Friday, October 30, 2009

Monster Mashin'

Tonight was our ward's Trunk-or-Treat... and the kids had a ball!

They played a couple of fun games, ate mac-n-cheese to their hearts content, and then headed outside for the candy gathering. It was so gorgeous tonight that we almost didn't even need a jacket.

Sam was Davy Crockett (thank goodness we still had the hat from his birthday party)...

Anna was Elphaba...

And Josh was the angst-ridden shark. But I must say this for the little man--he did wear that darn shark head the entire night.

And sometimes, the very best ideas are the ones you steal from your friends. My friend Jeni made these darling suckers for Halloween gifts and when I saw them, I knew that they would be a fun, easy thing to do for Halloween goodies this year. And Jeni being the lovely, talented and generous friend she is, let me shamelessly steal her idea. And she even shared her stamps (what a lady)! I love the way they look all piled up in my big bowl all ready for tomorrow night.

So after helping with Anna's classroom party today, watching kids this afternoon and Trunk-or-Treat tonight, I am ready to put my feet up and have a cup of hot chocolate. And some of the good stuff from the kids' candy stash. I won't tell if you won't.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sam's Vote of Confidence

I volunteer at the kid's school on Mondays and Sam's teacher saw me working in the hallway outside Anna's classroom and came over to talk to me. She said that Sam had come into class today and told her this:

Sam: "My dad left last Friday. And he's going to be gone for six.whole.months."

Long pause.

Sam: "That last part is a secret. Mom's not supposed to know it's for six months."

Thanks for the overwhelming vote of confidence, Sam.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anna's Piggie Love

First of all, thank you for all your kind words and support. We have known for a bit that Tony would be leaving, but the day before and the day after he leaves are always a shock to the system. It means the world to know that my friends are thinking of our family and praying for us. Thank you so, so much.

I'll have more to share this week about Anna's birthday, but because Tony was leaving, we celebrated as a family last week with dinner out and cake. Well, she wanted pink cupcakes, but something cool like Sam's last year. So on Thursday afternoon, we made strawberry cupcakes, frosted them, used half a strawberry marshmallow for the snout, rolled out pink starbursts for the ears and used mini-chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles for the eyes and nostrils. I had originally intended them for Anna's school class, but school policy is that we can bring in only store-bought food (which I completely understand), so our family enjoyed them instead.

Have a fabulous week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Truth

You know, I really believe that the Lord knows us. He knows our capabilities. He knows our talents. And I also know that he loves us enough to give us just enough challenges to grow...but not enough to send us to the looney bin.

Case in point. This week, I have been without a computer. I have been without my wedding ring. I blew out a tire on my car across town from home. I have been trying to go about my life with a degree of grace and self-confidence when all I wanted to do was hide in my closet and cry.

And yesterday, just when I thought I might not make it, the Lord steps into my life from the shadows from where he was waiting. My computer was fixed 2 days early. My ring was back a day early. Tony rescued me from certain death in a car with a completely flat tire (that was a little dramatic, but you get my point.) The newly remodeled Zips just 2 miles from home started carrying diet Dr. Pepper on fountain. And so when one of the greatest challenges of my life was due to begin, I was at peace.

You see, Tony left today for a 6-month deployment (but I won't be sharing where or other details). And the honest truth? I love my country. But I love my husband more. And I believe in him and I am learning to believe in me. So I know our family will weather the storm.

Until we're all together again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amy's Turkey Tuesday Giveaway

**Well, we got our computer back today and it seems to be humming again. I've been a little slow in spreading the word about this giveaway, but better late than never. More to come from me tomorrow...**

My talented friend Amy has just started a new blog and is giving away this darling turkey (which she designed, might I add). So if you'd like to get in on this terrific turkey Tuesday giveaway, head over here and leave a comment to win! Let Amy know I said hi...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Life Happens

We are having a few computer issues. And it is almost worse than having no computer at all. So while we are considering our options (i.e. throwing it out the window or smashing it with a hammer), life continues to happen.

Just before we left Nebraska, I spent a day with Kristi antiquing in Nebraska City searching for treasures. I'd seen all the fun things online that ladies were doing with old flour bags so that is what I was really looking for when I found this great corn seed bag. When I had my sewing machine out this week, I turned it into a pillow for my favorite red chair in my kitchen so that I can be reminded of Nebraska (and rows of waving corn) whenever I see it.

And this week I finally finished playing with my bushel of Golden Delicious Washington apples I bought this Fall. I made 6 quarts of applesauce (the apples were so sweet I didn't need to add any sugar...just a pinch of cinnamon) and have been drying some into apple chips that are divine. We're down to the last 4 or so in our crisper and I look forward to doing it again next Fall.

I'm missing your blogs...but I promise once we get these glitches figured out, I'll be back in full force. Hope everyone is happy and healthy!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mummy Sticks

The big kids didn't have school today so we planned a little project to do while Josh napped. I saw these in a Halloween idea magazine and thought they were so very cute! Now, they originally call for mini M&Ms for the beady mummy eyes (which is much cuter) but I couldn't seem to find any ANYWHERE so we were reduced to using mini chocolate chips. But you get the idea.

First, we melted milk chocolate squares in a double boiler, dipped the pretzel sticks, attached the eyes to the wet chocolate, and let them harden in the refrigerator. When the chocolate had set, I put some vanilla icing in a freezer Ziploc baggie and cut a hole in one corner. The kids had a ball "wrapping" their mummies in icing! They are almost too cute to eat. Almost.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Got Us Covered

When we move all the time in the military, drapes for our windows seem like a bit of a waste. Of time. Of money. Because inevitably, they don't fit the windows at your next house. Which leads to a box of unusable drapes. But I felt like our living area needed something extra. And I found a fabulous set of barn red raw silk drapes that look fantastic with the colors and mixed textures in my decor and I'm so glad that I splurged.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"F" is for...

As I was perusing Anna's work that she brought home from school last week, I came across this worksheet. I can only guess that they were supposed to cut out the things that started with "f", glue them on the left side of the page and then draw a picture of something that also begins with "f" on the right side in the frame. Because Anna is already reading and writing, she is supposed to also write the word that corresponds to the picture she drew. And out of all the "f" words in the world, this is the one she chose.

And a little child shall lead them...

**"F" is also for feedback and free stuff! The mother of a friend of mine just started this website about women's health and nutrition. If you are so inclined, check it out and then visit this page to leave a comment about the site for your chance to win a large Pampered Chef stone. Good luck!**

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble

I am excited to have ladies to visit teach again and to have ladies to visit me! I'm starting to get my land legs here in Washington and have met some really great, kind and talented ladies.

Last year after fruitlessly searching for weeks, I happened upon a set of the Martha Stewart plastic test tubes at Mangelsens and couldn't snap them up fast enough, knowing I would pack them away and use them this year. They are tricky to find, but I have heard that Target is carrying them this year and Ellen Hutson has them available online here. I filled mine with sour apple Jelly Bellys, corked them, and added a "Beware of Contents" tag with ribbon.

Happy Haunting!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pretty in Pink

It's October again and that means that I am proudly wearing my Susan G. Komen bracelet, saving my Yoplait lids, and pretty in my OPI pink nail polish . I hope you are all doing the same. I think it would be a wonderful time to remind our friends, sisters and loved ones to do self-exams and to schedule that mammogram if needed. And just because I'm so obsessive about Ghirardelli about raising the awareness of breast cancer, I bought a bag of these yummies yesterday. I usually go for the dark chocolate, but I'm willing to go milk this time. But only for the cause, my friends, only for the cause.