Saturday, November 21, 2015

These days

As I said on instagram when I first shared this photo:
walking the garbage out to the can is not a chore when this scene accompanies you.

Since that post, those leaves have fallen.
The temperature has dropped.
Change is in the air once more.
In fact, Thanksgiving is less than a week away!
Or for some people, like the Flegal family, it's tomorrow.
We'll be celebrating with the Mays crew early and then with the Flegal's next week. 
You know...
just in case you were desperate to know what our turkey day plans were. ;) 

As I was saying...fall has passed by. 
And it certainly was lovely. 
My photos never do the majesty of Autumn justice. 
That tree on the right, passed the stop sign, was my favorite this year. 
Its tips were a brilliant pink.
The varying degrees of orange, red and yellow reminded me of flamed light.

The cold of Winter has arrived, along with a few small snow flurries. 
We're still waiting for, that yet to be determined,
magical morning when we glance outside
to find that our world has been covered
 in a brilliant, pristine, blanket of white. 

Each season is special and unique for its own reasons.
The commonality they share, in my opinion, is that they testify of a Creator;
our God, 
our Father; 
who has blessed us with a beautiful place to grow and become.
Our world is fallen, imperfect and filthy due to mankind's folly and weaknesses, 
but that doesn't change the miracle that is our Earth. 

I have never appreciated nature the way I do now. 
This is how I know I must be growing old. 
The mountains that surround where we live stun me. 
I wax poetic about the sunrise each day as I drive my kids to school.
I want to scream to them,
"HALELUJIAH!!! ISN'T IT ALL SO AMAZING?" as I take in the beauty.
{And sometimes I do.} 

I must have matured. 
Which is a fancy way of saying, I have aged.

Good grief. 

Onto the children this blog so faithfully features. 
Today I begin with Forrest. 

My first thought when I saw him covered in lotion was;
"Shame on me!"
I had been wondering why he was being so quiet upstairs.
After ignoring our call that lunch was ready,  
he finally tiptoed into the room where Andrew and I were eating. 
Without making eye contact, 
Forrest took his self imposed walk of shame straight to the corner of the room.
Andrew and I just smiled at each other, 
both surprised and both eager to take a picture.
So, we refrained from scolding him.
Instead, we kindly explained that he had made a poor decision, 
but still, we mistakenly included phrases like,
"You're funny" and "adorable" in the mix of conversation.
In fact, he was rewarded immediately after said picture was taken with a shower.
His favorite thing.

So, you won't be surprised to hear that without a punishment or reprimand, 
the following day, he applied hand sanitizer, lotion AND Vaseline;
each on separate occasions.
His face and his hair was covered each time;
earning himself two showers. 
He has since been {lovingly} reprimanded.  
And I have given more thought to the urgent need that is mine to toddler proof the house. 

And while I point out to Andrew everyday how much he loves toddlers
{I'm not being sarcastic, he LOVES this age},
the two year old meltdowns and mood swings have arrived.
The other night, I denied Forrest a second serving of peaches because
he hadn't had any of his turkey pot pie yet. And it came to pass, 

that Forrest wept bitterly... 
...into a hot pad. 
It was a combination of funny/sad/adorable.
Poor Forrest. Being two is rough sometimes. 

Other moments, like when he's invited to join his big brother up on his bunk bed, are filled with JOY!!!
Aren't those boys adorable? 
I think so.

Lottie caused quite the stir two weeks ago when we straightened her hair 
She liked the attention her transformation garnered. 
Her Daddy on the other hand has requested that she never betray those natural curls of hers again!
In this video she shares her thoughts on her straight hair.

Also this month, I had the opportunity to have lunch with my big kids at school.
The invitation coincided with their school's book fair. 
The ploy worked.
Ignoring my budget, I came home with a pile of books I had planned not to purchase. 
Simple things like eating lunch with your kids at school mean so much to me as a Mom. 
Eliza was pretty excited that I actually did my hair. 
Okay, she didn't say that. But I could tell. 

Last weekend, some of the Taylor tots spent the afternoon with us. 
It was a real treat. 
They enjoyed a beautiful day outside complete with trampoline time and four wheeler rides.
Our neighbors have a beautiful field that they so kindly allow us to use. 

Also that weekend we had Stake Conference. 
A Mom spoke about how that morning she had made her children crepes for breakfast. 
I had to laugh inwardly as I recalled that I let my kids have leftover pizza. 
Crepes sound delicious. Maybe I will up my game this weekend. 

Other happenings:
Lottie took a preschool field trip to Macey's grocery store.
The hair nets that we were required to wear
scared the heck out of Forrest.
Once he got used to us wearing them,
he warmed up enough to walk around with his big sister.
They were adorable. 

I'm feeling grateful for Eliza.
She and I spent a night out at the mall together. 
It was a reconnaissance mission to learn what she wants for Christmas. 
Here's a cute video I posted about her American girl doll, Grace.

And last but not least,
Daddy's been taking the kids over to our neighbor's fields
on the four wheeler.
He squeezes rides in between chores on Saturday,
during lunch breaks or when he gets home from work.
They LOVE it!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Off to Neverland {Halloween 2015}


(Here's a family video I made of the kids marching in their school Halloween parade 
and wearing their costumes before we went trick or treating)

After ten years, we finally coordinated our Halloween costumes as a family. The closest we came to doing this was back in 2010.

Enjoy the fashion show, blog style:

Presenting our darling Wendy bird.
Peter Pan is both adventurous and dashing.
Cutie pie Tinker Bell made our night feel magical.
And last but not least, Tick Tock Croc had a ferocious growl. We're not sure if crocodiles growl, but ours did!

And a few more group shots:
I feel like we had an extended Halloween this year. Halloween landed on a Saturday and the kids had Friday off from school. It was great! I went to Lottie's trunk or treat on Wednesday, the kid's school parade on Thursday and then Friday, we went to Salt Lake to see the play Mary Poppins with Nanna Teresa. Friday night we had our ward trunk-or-treat and finally Saturday we enjoyed trick or treating as a family.

The kids had a massive candy haul. Being in the middle of a personal 40 day clean eating food challenge, it was torture. Those Heath bars taunted me relentlessly. Other than that, the holiday was a one of the best we've had. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Looking back, we were spoiled by pleasant temperatures throughout September and October. In fact, this was the first fall soccer season where we didn't have any weekend rain to contend with. It's been lovely.
After their last soccer game(s) of the season,
we celebrated with Bubba and Nanna at Arctic Circle.
It was a real treat having them come up to the games!!
Thank you, both! 

The changing of the leaves was a quiet reminder that summer had truly passed. As beautiful as the trees are, it seemed to conflict with the mild, warm temperatures. However, with daylight savings hitting last weekend, it seemed to signal that shift that we could no longer delay the cold.
Forrest made the most of the warm weather. 
He was outside as often as possible. 
I want to remember this scene:
driving his trucks, while wearing footie pajamas in his most favorite spot..
the sandbox. 

It's chilly outside; sweater weather, some call it. The stunning leaves, so full of color, have peaked. We've had our first "cold and flu" related illness. Halloween has passed and the holidays are right around the corner. My mind is filled with various Christmas related lists. I'm spending time in excel, working on different documents as I plan and budget out my shopping strategies. I do this with the hope that I can relax and enjoy December; even though, truth be told, I enjoy the shopping part very much. :) Our gratitude Turkey is up on our kitchen window and our thoughts are turning to Thanksgiving. It will be here in a blink.

I love this time of year. I love having four children, and an Andrew, to share this season with. Before things become to crazy, I'm here to post the events leading up to Halloween.

Lottie had a trunk-or-treat at her preschool. Even though she had signed up to be Tinkerbell for Halloween, she asked if she could go as Elsa again. It was an easy "yes" from Mom. She won't be a five year old girl obsessed with a snow queen forever. Let them be little, right?
Here she is with her cutie pie, pirate pal, Millie.
My favorite.
Scratches on her face,
courtesy of Forrest. 

Another, new to me, tradition is being 'Boo-ed.'
We came home from Church to find a most delicious plate of cupcakes
and a note explaining that we had been 'boo-ed'...
It was then our turn to come up some Halloween goodies 
and then anonymously "Boo" three families. 
 We made these darling Monster cookies.
The kids think it's SOOOOO exciting to deliver the "boos"

Here are the kids in baking action.

Eliza and Henry had spirit week. 
Crazy sock day coincided with school picture day;
so they looked extra special.
Crazy hair day...
Eliza came up with Henry's hair piece. 
I was surprised that he was brave enough to go with it. 
He said he was teased a little bit, but didn't seem to care too much. 
"People mostly laughed" he said.

It feels like
we procrastinate pumpkin carving every year. 
But don't worry. It happened.
And the best part was watching Forrest scoop the pumpkin guts back into the cleaned out pumpkins.
It was a very fun night. 
Friday, the day before Halloween, the kids did not have school.
Nanna Teresa was thoughtful enough to invite us to go see the musical,
Mary Poppins at Olympus High School. 
It was so well done. We really enjoyed it. 
Coming up next, our first ever Halloween themed costumes. (!!!!!!)