Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

I'm starting to think our Halloween's are a little big jinxed. Oh, we always look forward to Halloween and have great fun with all our traditions. But I've started to notice that we seem to have strange things happen near or on Halloween about every other year.

2009: I got Swine Flu on Halloween. Granted I didn't realize it was Swine Flu till a few days later. But I could tell I was coming down with something and I felt darn awful.
2011: The day before Halloween we crashed our truck through the garage and out the back wall. We spent most of Halloween dealing with insurance agencies, getting a rental car and trying to pick through the mess to see if their was anything to salvage. We didn't even get around to carving pumpkins that year. (See "That's a pretty big oops" here)
2013: Within a week of Halloween this year Rebekah got in a car accident (thankfully she was not hurt, nor was it her fault), Julianne's English teacher was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with the male student T.A. in Julianne's class, and Brandon broke his nose at gymnastics (well, maybe...we never did get it x-rayed).

Makes me wonder what's in store for us in 2015...

Regardless, we had a great time this year.
Halloween Costume Fashion Show:

REBEKAH aka Tinker Bell
This was her costume for the big Halloween Dance. Her date dressed up as Peter Pan. (Pictures and stories soon to come...)

JULIANNE aka Snow White
She and her friends decided to coordinate Halloween costumes this year with a Disney princess theme. Originally Julianne was to be Rapunzel, but after looking in 4 different stores and only finding Rapunzel costumes meant for toddlers, we gave up in the interest of time and went with Snow White instead.
Julianne had a rehearsal for "The Little Mermaid" on Halloween afternoon. Sigh. Her director moved up the time so the kids could be done by 7:30, an hour earlier than normal. And though I understood why, seeing as Thursday was their normal rehearsal day and their show was opening in one week, I was still not excited about her being gone. But being a teenager meant that festivities with her friends would still be going strong when she got home.

BRANDON aka man? Or something?
I'm not sure what you call this costume. But there sure were a lot of kids wearing various colors of this same thing.
Brandon ended up still having a gymnastics workout on Halloween. His coach moved the time up to earlier in the day, and cut it to three hours rather than four, thankfully. Though I wasn't thrilled with the idea of a workout on Halloween at all, it did mean that Brandon ended up bringing teammate Porter home to trick-or-treat with him.

LILIAN aka Mummy
I'm not sure where the idea came from, but Lilian was insistent that a mummy was what she wanted to be. Certainly it was a less expensive costume than the other three kids so hooray for that. Apparently we didn't wrap her quite as securely as we thought seeing as half way through the evening she started to unravel and trail her wrappings out behind her. But hey, made for a good leash when I needed her to slow down....

For the third year running Heather and family joined us again for Halloween this of our very favorites of Halloween traditions. And per tradition, Heather and I took pictures together out on the front porch.This year, a gangster and Superman. Well, more homage to the Man of Steel than anything else, really.

Other pictures of our Halloween night festivities....

It was a comic book style superhero theme at the Elliott's home this year. (Past years have included Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Dracula) "Superman" was pleased with my choice of attire. "Batman" on the other hand, jokingly told me that I needed to get out of his yard. Hmph. He had told me earlier that this year was to be all about superheroes...he just didn't specify which one was his superhero of choice. haha.
After Superman and I posed together Lilian pulled me aside and shyly asked, "Do you think I could get a picture with him too??"

(And in the interest of full disclosure, I totally lifted a couple of these pictures from Facebook because they were so much better than what I got in the dark with my little iPhone camera. Clearly I need to start hauling around my nice camera with me trick-or-treating. So Rob, if you are reading this....thanks!)

And then down the street we also had the 2nd annual Shadows of Fear haunted house that raises money for charity. This place was hopping and had a good 40 minute wait to get in. But there was also plenty to keep you entertained in line...people were dancing to "Thriller", there was a fire-juggling creepy clown...just to name a few.
Lilian and I lost our place in line and missed our opportunity to go through the haunted house because she "had to go potty." I'm not feeling to bad about missing it. Impressive as it supposedly was, I'm a chicken....

And of course Halloween is not complete without doing the candy inventory and swap. Here's Porter, Brandon, Noah, Garett and Lilian all going through and sorting their stash...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Have backpacks, will hike

Bryan has decided we need to be a family of hikers.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Bryan changes hobbies frequently. Or, rather than change really...maybe I say he adds to his list of interests and hobbies frequently. Or maybe we could describe it as going through phases? Because although the interest remains, eventually it does fade a bit. Remember when he was into magic and balloon tying? Or when he would spend hours building wooden blocks and puzzles with his newly bought power tools? How about when he decided he wanted to learn everything there was to know about music theory? Or the late nights he spent perfecting his juggling routines? The summer nights we would spend at the park slack-lining? He is still interested in all of these things....but the amount of time spent on them has diminished. Mostly to make room for new interests. Right now he has been working on learning to re-load used gun ammo....a complicated and time consuming process, but something he has been enjoying immensely. And, as I mentioned earlier..hiking.

I think the hiking bug may have come from association with our friends Hade and Frederick. They live up in the foothills of Bountiful with multiple hiking trails practically at their front door. I've been hiking with them once. Bryan has gone a few times. And since then, hiking has become his outdoor activity of choice. We haven't been able to go as much as we'd like...mostly because in order to find a time when the whole family is home and available seems to take something just short of a miracle. Stars aligning and all of that. **
But we are ready for when those moments come because now Bryan has even invested in some hiking backpacks. Smaller ones for day hikes that have a water bladder in them as well as room for a few other odds and ends. Also some bigger ones if we wanted to go on an overnighter and carry food and shelter with us. (Also doubles nicely for emergency preparedness, yes?)

Luckily for us, we live in a state with an abundance of hiking trails and gorgeous scenery. A few weeks ago after church we decided to check out a trail right up the canyon from where we live. It was a harder hike than we had expected but the colorful leaves and the waterfall at the end made it very worth it.
Bucket List item....Bryan wants to hike in New Zealand. Scenery from Lord of the Rings fame. Can you just imagine???

**The stars did not align on this specific hike....Rebekah couldn't join us because she was scheduled to work.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Homecoming 2013

Last year at Homecoming time, Rebekah was getting ready for her very first high school formal dance. Big stuff. Lots of angst as we spent days checking out multiple stores (in some cases multiple times) to find the perfect dress and shoes. We almost forgot the boutonniere!
This year...been there, done that. My girl was experienced. She picked out her dress in a one stop shopping deal at our favorite dress store one afternoon with her friend Shannon. She was supposed to be looking around, ruling things out, narrowing things down...and then I would swoop in with the wallet for the final go-over before we picked the final dress. At least that was how it was all working out in my head. But instead I got a text with a picture of her in a cute little purple number, asking my opinion and if it was okay to put some money down and give them the go ahead to make modesty alterations. (And take in the waist girl is an itty bitty one.) Another day we ordered the boutonniere, found shoes and jewelry all in one quickie afternoon trip. Yep, experienced she is.
She was asked to the big Homecoming dance (and big it is...this being their high school's 100th year and all) by of her very best guy friends. She was very excited knowing that with Jayden, she was going to have rip roaring time seeing as they always have so much fun together. (This is the boy that she took to Lagoon in the summer....)

It was a drawn out date...with the day activity the weekend before, the Homecoming football game the night before, and then the actual dance with dinner before and games afterward. (The dinner was some 7-course meal cooked by one of the boys' uncle who is a chef. Rebekah claims she has never eaten so well. Hmm. Should I be offended?) It was fun to hear all her stories....because my girl had a fabulous time and raved about the big night for days afterwards.

(Props, kudos and thanks go to Julianne for doing Rebekah's hair....)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Young love

Mom: How was Fun Dance today, Lilian?
Lilian: It was great! There's a boy there that I love. I want to kiss him. On the lips.
Mom: (Concerned) Umm...Lilian, you're too young to be kissing boys. How well do you know this boy anyhow?
Lilian: I don't know him at all. I've never even talked to him.
Mom: So why do you love him and want to kiss him then?
Lilian: Because he's just SO cute!!
Mom: (Sigh) You can't love boys just because they are cute! What if he's cute but really boring? Or maybe he's cute but super mean....
Lilian: Oh no Mom, he's not mean! He says hi to me every week! But I never say hi back because I'm shy. (Lilian? Shy?? Ha!!)
Mom: Does he say hi to everyone or just to you?
Lilian: He says hi to everyone. But there's one girl that he really likes and talks to all the time. (disappointed look)
Mom: (Consoling) Maybe he already knows her. Maybe they've been in class together for a long time or live near each other.
Lilian: (Defiant) Well, whatever. I'm going to marry him.
Mom: What's this boys name? (You know, if he's going to be my son-in-law someday...)
Lilian: I don't know....I forgot.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pioneer Trek in pictures

I didn't have any disposable cameras to send to Pioneer Trek with Rebekah and you can imagine my happiness when I was sent an email a few weeks ago with a link to over 2,000 pictures that various photographers had taken of all the wannabe pioneers. It took me quite awhile to whittle through them and find the few shots of my own bonnet wearing girls. But find them I did. And in the name of preserving our family history, even though I've already told the story of Trek back in June, here is the experience in picture-palooza form.