Monday, October 30, 2006


Curtis and Shandy have started a fun tradition this time of year. We go to their house on the Monday before Halloween and have chili and doughnuts. Then we put our skills to the test with some pumpkin carving. This year they also made "witches brew" out of juice, fresca, and dry ice. Shandy can back me up here, Carson loved the dry ice effect so much that it occupied at least an hour of his time tonight. Shandy finally got a separate bowl for him with his own piece of dry ice in it. He cackled like a witch and played with the 'smoke' forever!

Carson was very excited to carve his pumpkin like a skull. But, we all know what that really means. That means that Sam carves it while Carson plays with Curtis' dogs. Actually, Carson did help me pull the guts out of the pumpkin, which was more than he's ever done before so we are making progress!

Curtis was working on the same skull pattern with this HUGE pumpkin, I didn't see the finished product, but I bet it was very scary.

And here's our pumpkins. Mine is the old school jack-o-lantern because cutting out designs from patterns stresses me out!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Trick or Treat? We Got Tricked!

Late this afternoon we were going to go to Hogle Zoo with our friends, Ryan and Natalie, and go trick or treating. I got Carson all psyched up and seriously excited. Then Natalie called and said she found out that the trick or treating ended at 3:00pm and we weren't going to be there until 5:00pm.

So, I had to have a discussion with Carson about the difference between "Trick" and "Treat". It was very uncomfortable and felt like the "birds and bees" discussion might be like. I shudder for the day.....

Anyway, being the awesome mom that I am, I have never taken Parker to the zoo and he's now 2 years and 4 months old. So, who cares about trick or treating, we're gonna go see some animals in cages!!

Here's the first animals Parker saw, some ugly turkeys. I can't read his expression. Is it happy, sad, fearful, astonished, perplexed, mystified, or maybe a turkey just "goosed" him!?!

Next we saw elephants. We hung out with the elephants FOREVER and as we were leaving, Carson said "HEY where are the elephants?" Now, the sad thing, is he wasn't kidding. I think he was too excited about the running water that went around the elephant display to even notice the 4 ton elephant in the room.

Ryan and Natalie's daughter, Ivy, threw her pacifier over the fence into the elephant display. I got a sweet shot of Ryan jumping over into the elephant home to retrieve the treasured binky. Nice one Ryan!

Here's a cool bird (Darren, what is it?) and some fruit bats (super creepy). It was very smelly in the different animal houses. As we walked into the Ape house, Carson took a huge, deep breath and said "it smells FRESH in here!" I swear I'm not lying!

I've never seen this animal before, but it's a "red panda". It is friggin' cute!

And finally, my kids will never walk by a cool fountain without getting soaked from playing in it. Notice Ivy with the binky in her mouth? Once again, good save Ryan!

Now, don't get tricked tomorrow and show up to church earlier than you need to! Remember to "Fall back" your clocks!

Friday, October 27, 2006

All About Carson

Carson has made me laugh pretty hard over these last few days so this posting is dedicated to him.

Remember how Parker got the new Spongebob bedding? Well, Carson was pretty bummed that he didn't get new sheets. So, my work gave me $100 because I've been with the company for 10 years and I thought buying Carson new bedding would be worthy of my "years of service" bonus.
While Carson was at school, Parker and I picked out some cool "Cars" bedding from the Disney movie. I put them on his bed and when he came home from school, I was in his room with the camera and I said "Hey Carson, come in your room for a minute."
He walked into his room and saw me with the camera, and totally started smiling for the camera and didn't even notice his bed!!! Sadly and tragically, the picture I took of him fake smiling didn't turn out. Finally I said "what's on your bed?" THEN he did the happy dance and jumped on his bed and gave me a genuine smile! He was so happy and became miraculously tired and said he probably should go to bed right then (it was only 4:00pm).

Parent Teacher Conference:
I'm such a grown up now because I attended my very first parent teacher conference the other day. It was pretty funny actually. Carson's teacher showed me this drawing. He had all the students draw a picture of themselves. He was impressed by Carson's drawing because kids his age usually don't put ears, nostrils, 5 fingers, and shoelaces in their drawings. I should have been pleased about Carson's skillzzz, but I kept laughing because I think this drawing is so funny!

Then he showed me Carson's report card, his first report card ever!! His school goes from 4 down to 1 instead of A down to D. He's doing well, but I can't help but wonder, what happened to the categories of my day? Where is math, reading, PE, Social Studies, and English? Kids these days are too good for the general schooling that I received!

And finally...
Carson has had a cold and he started losing his voice yesterday. I heard him say to his friend: "Hey Lee, you wanna know why I can't talk very well? It's because my umbilical cords aren't working!" Lee just said "oh", which made me laugh harder.

6 year old boys are VERY funny!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Precious, Excited, Kind of Sad, and Amazing

The precious:
I walked into the living room the other day to this scene. Of course Carson was there first and Parker copied him. I wish I could say it was a BYU devotional that was capturing their attention, but that would be a lie. It was a little yellow sponge who wears square pants that put those grins on their faces.

The excited:
My boss gave me this bedding a few months ago. For some reason I didn't put it on Parker's bed until yesterday. I had the camera ready and this was Parker's very first reaction to his cool bed. I know it's hard to tell, but he was very excited!

The "kind of sad":
Today I pulled all my annual flowers out of their beds. It was kind of sad because they are still blooming. But, I decided I'd take advantage of this beautiful 61-degrees day and finish up my yardwork for the year. I also raked the leaves, for the 3rd time this month. Sadly, from the looks of the trees, I still have at least 3 more times to go! Here's a picture of my full lawn cart. I filled it up like this 4 times, good thing the garbage man comes tomorrow!

The amazing:
In the spring-time, Carson's preschool teacher gave him a seed packet full of carrot seeds. Carson planted them in my flower beds. The seeds never grew and we forgot about them. As I was cleaning out my flower beds today I noticed a funny little plant. I pulled it up and a TINY carrot was dangling below! I know it's hard to tell from the picture, but this carrot is about 1/2 inch long. I showed it to Carson, and at first he was totally disgusted until he realized what it was, and then he did the happy dance for a few minutes. That's when I wish I knew how to post videos on my blog!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Murder Mystery Dinner

Saturday night I became Madame Garlique (a fortune teller gypsy) and Sam became King Aldrinktotat (a mummy) for a murder mystery dinner. Our awesome friends, Ryan and Natalie Jones, decided that our ward needed to do more things as friends and neighbors instead of waiting for the activities committee to do a party. So, they called 26 couples in our ward and invited them to a murder mystery dinner at their house. 16 couples agreed and came. Natalie and Ryan were very smart because they sat people together who may not normally hang out socially. We had 4 murder mystery games all going at the same time. It was hysterical. So many people have already told me it was the first time they really felt welcome in our ward and neighborhood and they can't wait to get together again! I'm still amazed that 32 people fit in Natalie's basement for dinner! That's brave and inspiring all at the same time.

One of the best moments of the night: Our host, Ryan Jones, said a blessing on the food. He was dressed as a devil, so.....picture that!
Enjoy the photos:

Here's is Sam playing the mummy

Here are Davis and Holly Strong. Davis was Frankenstein but he put an Elvis twist onto it. For some reason every time I looked at him I couldn't stop laughing. He kept that mask on the entire night, and he's "follicly challenged" (pretty bald) so the fake hair was a hoot.

Here's Sam and I. Notice the awesome dungeon walls? They covered every wall with this plastic that looked like a dungeon and they made homemade rootbeer that was brewin' for us. Yummy!

Travis and Emily Maughan. She is my visiting teacher and he serves with Sam in scouts.

Here's our hosts: Natalie and Ryan Jones

This is Kimmy Buckley. She played Dr. Deth DDS. She made earrings out of her actual teeth x-rays! That is creative!

Here is Russ and Amy Adams. They moved into the house next to Ryan and Natalie. They hadn't even been to church yet so this was my first time meeting them. I was so nervous that I wouldn't recognize them today in church, but after a few minutes, I made the connection okay. She actually has blonde hair!

It was such a fun evening and I learned so much about my neighbors and friends. Does anyone have any other ideas for a get together? I definitely want to keep this trend going!

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Week

I can't believe it's been over a week since I updated! Sheesh, why hasn't anyone screamed at me? Just kidding, Sam has been on my case to update for a few days now...

Nothing super spectacular has happened this week, but a lot of little things have happened.

First things first: Carson finished his Tee-Ball season and everybody got a trophy saying "oustanding player". I was totally hoping they would personalize every trophy with awards like "player who was facing the wrong way most of the time" or "Friendlies player: for talking non-stop to the guy on 3rd base while you were trying to get him out" or my favorite one, "The player with the tiniest bladder who held himself down "there" every game." Carson EASILY could have won any of those trophies!

Carson finally ended his 3 1/2 weeks of being off track, gotta love year round school. Can I get an Amen? So he is back in Kindergarten and life should calm down a bit. I had a good chuckle when he came home from his first day because he had a note pinned to his shirt:

It reminded me of my friend Anne from college. She said her elementary school teachers used to pin notes to her coat saying "send more chapstick" because Anne's lips were always a mess. This note, however, was regarding Parent Teacher Conference appointments. Yikes, I've never had to do this before, I'm so grown up now! I go next week, I'll keep you updated there...

This week I decided to accomplish a project every day. It had to be something I wouldn't normally do. So, changing a diaper doesn't count because I already do it! I'm mad at myself because I wish I would have remembered to do before and after shots of each project, but I didn't so use your imagination!

Monday I cleaned out my fridge. I haven't done a serious cleaning to my fridge since my blog entry in January!

Tuesday I cleaned out Carson's "junk drawer" in his dresser. I can't take a picture of it because Parker's in there sleeping now, but trust me, it was horrific! The drawer was full of random odds and ends and the top of his dresser was overloaded with the same type of stuff.

Wednesday, I took everything out of the cupboard from under the bathroom sink and organized it and put it all away. It was really bad because every time I buy something that belongs under the sink I open the cupboard, chuck it under there, and close the doors before it can fall out again!

Thursday, I cleaned out the toy room! This was such a huge project I could have counted it for 3 days worth of projects! I promise I'm not lying: I could barely see the carpet in this room before I cleaned it. I threw away tons of junky toys that Carson has gotten from happy meals and dollar stores. Then I bagged up a bunch of toys for DI, then I put everything else away in an organized manner. I will cherish these pictures because by tomorrow it will be a wreck again!

Today, Friday, I cleaned out the microwave. I remembered to take before and after shots.


Now, aren't you all jealous of my exciting life?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blue Eyes In The Pumpkin Patch!

Tonight we finally made it to the pumpkin patch before they closed. It was a sweet deal because the pumpkins at the patch were even cheaper than Wal-Mart's. We let the boys pick out several pumpkins that we used to decorate our yard with. Check it out.

And here's a few shots of my yard with the pumpkins...


For Carson's birthday, my mom and dad gave him an 'experiment box' that is all about crystals. Inside the box there are several different experiments you can do that involve some type of crystal properties. For the past 3 days we have been doing these activities. It's been really fun and it's nice because pretty much everything you need to do the activities are included in the box, which is a huge bonus!

Here are some pictures of the first one we did. It's called "Crystal Jungle". The first picture is about one hour after we poured the crystal solution on the jungle. The last picture is about 12 hours later. It was excellent fun!

The next experiment was to make a polymer. It was pretty bizarre. I added a bottle of elmer's-type glue to some water and food coloring. In another jar, I mixed water with some crystal powder. Then I combined the two jars of 'stuff' and it turned it into a rubbery blob. Fascinating eh? Well, it was to my 6 year old. Seriously, he played with this blob for about 3 hours!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Carson!

We celebrated Carson's birthday on Saturday, but today is his actual 6th birthday. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said "jump in a pile of leaves!" I'm going to cherish these early years with kids because the entertainment doesn't cost money!

So, we (I) raked all the leaves into one huge pile and I let Carson and Parker play in them until I was sure they had crushed leaves in every pocket and crevice of their body. But then the joke was on me because later on they jumped in my bed to watch cartoons. I went in my room a little while later and there were crushed leaves all over in my sheets! Dangit!

After the kids played in the leaves we decided to take a picture of the pumpkins Fern painted. Parker's pumpkin has "Boots the Monkey" on it from "Dora the Explorer" and Carson's pumpkin is "Danny Phantom". They are awesome! Thanks Fern

Finally, this afternoon I found Parker on the couch playing with Carson's toy my parents got him for his birthday. He was doing some classic face impressions. Here is one of many! What a nut!