Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I have never really decorated for holidays besides Christmas. I really only have seasonal decorations. This year I was determined to have some Halloween decorations. So I started cruising some home decor blogs, and found this idea.

Then I was off to DI to find a cheap, yet suitable for my needs picture and frame. I finally found one for $15 on my 3rd trip to DI. YEAH! The picture was some hideous modern thing I was happy to cover with tinfoil. So I spray painted the frame black (gloss), and cut my tinfoil squares. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to hang in front of it, until I found a grapevine wreath on sale at Robert's. I spray painted that black (flat) too. I hung it from some silver/grey and black striped ribbon I already had from something or other. Then I found some black birds at the dollar store. I put one inside the wreath and strung cobwebs and put plastic spiders on it.

When my ward had their Super Saturday activity I signed up to make the "spooky" blocks. (On the reverse side it says "thanks".) However that night I also helped with a holiday treat demonstration, so I didn't have much time to get my blocks done. I had only painted them. I finally decided to do them in all black and white/tan. I think they turned out awesome.

I knew I wanted some candlesticks with taper candles, but I couldn't find what I wanted. I finally found some crystal candlesticks at Walmart for $4. I bet you can guess what I did next. Yep! I spray painted them black (gloss). I bought some red candles and spray painted them black (flat) too. Then when I burned the candles, it looked like they were "bleeding". Kind of morbid, I know. But I thought my mantle looked great for Halloween.

Crystal, Gracie, and Stephen in front of my "Spooky" Halloween-ly Decorated mantle.

We also carved pumpkins. Kate liked digging the "guts" out with her hands.

Andie prefered a spoon. The girls divided out the pumpkin seeds and we roasted them. The girls didn't know if they would like them, but they did.

Andie had said all along that she was going to be Minnie Mouse again this year, but 2 days before her preschool party she decided she wanted to be a bunny. I told her that would mean she would have to dress all in pink. She consented, and we found a set with bunny ears, bow tie, and a tail. She was the cutest bunny ever.

Kate wanted to be a witch, and I had intentions of making her a witch tutu, but I got sick and ran out of time. Luckily Angie let me borrow a darling witch costume. Kate loved it.
And she was the cutest witch I've ever seen!

The girls were so ready to go trick-or-treating, it was like they were already on a sugar high. And trying to get them to calm down, was almost impossible.

Luckily Rob took them out, and I stayed home and handed out candy.
Good for me because it was cold and rainy, and I still wasn't feeling great.

Ready to go, with whiskers and a nose.

Friday night, Rob and I were invited to a costume party. We weren't sure what to dress up as, but I came up with this.

Juno & Paulie Bleeker
Kate took this picture with my phone, so it's not the best.
Someone took some at the party, so hopefully I'll get a copy.

Before and After

Earlier this summer I found this vanity at a yard sale. I'd been looking for things I could refinish or spray paint, and couldn't pass this up. It was mine for only $20!

So, after spending time disassembling, sanding, trying not to lose pieces, painting, and varnishing. It is done. I spent about $20 in paint and varnish, and another $18 because the girls broke the mirror. It didn't end up being as cheap as I had hoped for, but it turned out beautifully and is now sitting in the girls' bathroom.

I think it turned out great, and I LOVE it.
And so does Kate!

The Girls' First Day of School

Kate's first day of first grade was August 25th. True to form, she had her outfit and hair picked out days in advance. The night before we put curlers in her hair, and she had to sleep on them. These are definitely not the most comfortable curlers to sleep on, so I let her use my neck pillow, and she ended up putting her face in the hole most of the night.

She was so excited to be going to school "all day, and not just half of the day."

The thing she was most excited for was not recess,

it was not music class,

or science class,

or even getting to use the school library.
(Look at that posing. I promise I did not encourage this. She comes up with it all on her own.)

The thing she was most excited for was school lunch.

She was so excited to go to school and eat lunch there, and be there all day. She loves her teacher, and loves learning.

Andie's first day of preschool wasn't until about 2 weeks later. As you can imagine, this seemed like forever for this four-year-old. Every day she would wake up and ask, "Do I get to go to preschool today?" Every day I'd say no, and tell her how many days until preschool started.

True to form, Andie couldn't have cared less about what outfit she was wearing, or how her hair was fixed for the first day of preschool.

In fact, right before we took these pictures, she had a complete meltdown because I had put a bow in her hair. Heaven forbid I do such a thing!
She finally stopped crying when I told her I'd take the bow out after pictures, and that she wouldn't have to wear the bow to preschool.

See, no bow and she's as happy as can be.
She was so excited to go to preschool. She had met her teacher a few days before, and was happy to walk right in, hang up her jacket and backpack, and start playing.
She is growing up way too fast.

P.S. There are more pictures of Kate's first day simply because Kate is more cooperative in front of the camera. Andie was done after about 5 pictures. Kate would have let me take tons more.

On Conference weekend we went up into the mountains and attempted to take some family pictures. This one is one of my favorites. I love Andie's face in this. LOVE!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Year in Review

I can't believe it's already been a year since I last posted. Time has flown. Life has been crazy, but wonderful. Hopefully from now on, I will be better about keeping this blog up to date.

But for now, here is a brief summary (with pictures) of what we've been up to this past year.

WARNING: Pictures may be out of order, and due to frustration of the author she's not fixing them, so DEAL WITH IT!

The girls had a great Halloween. (October)
Kate was Giselle from Disney's Enchanted, and Andie was Minnie Mouse.

Kate turned 6! (November)

Crystal had her baby, and the girls have a new cousin. Gracie is one loved little girl.
The girls love to shower her with hugs and kisses. She is adorable! (End of October?)

We had a wonderful Christmas, and loved our new 12 foot Christmas tree
(a steal I found on KSL). (December)

In February, Rob and I left the kids with Lara and Crystal for a week, and took a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. We visited Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. It was a blast, and just what we needed to escape the cold, Utah winter!

The group.
Back row: Rob, Josiah & Sharla
Front row: Me, Rusty & Mistie

Leaving Cabo, enjoying our Pina Colada mocktail.

We took a trip to St. George to meet up with Randy and Tracy. We got to meet the little girl they adopted in January. Stella is so cute, and the girls just adore her! (March)

We colored Easter eggs, and had a great Easter weekend. (April)

In May I went home (to good 'ol B-ville) for my friend, Cheryl's wedding. She was a beautiful bride, and her husband seems like a great guy.

We took a trip to Moab with Crystal, Steve, & Gracie. Rob and Steve biked Slickrock, and I think Steve was ready to kill Rob afterwards. (April)

Andie turned 4! (April...I warned you the pictures were out of order!)

On the 4th of July we woke the girls up early for the annual Balloon Fest.

That night we went to Stadium of Fire. The girls were so excited to see Carrie Underwood. Kate's favorite song of the night was "Snake with Blue Eyes." We all know it as "Cowboy Casanova." It was fun to see the girls singing along, and the fireworks were great!

Camping out on the deck.
The girls started out in the same tent, but Rob and I quickly realized that was not going to work. So separate tents it was! They had a BLAST sleeping in tents on the deck.
And they even slept in until 8 am!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Girly Girl Goes Fishing

Last weekend my sisters and I headed down to St. George for a girls weekend. We went shopping at the outlets, and also saw Aida at Tuacahn. It was so much fun! (Pictures to come later.)

While I was gone, Rob took the girls fishing. They had so much fun. Kate was sure to give me the low down as soon as I got home. Apparently she caught 4 fish and Dad and Andie only caugh one, together. Kate was quite proud of herself!

The set up at Scofield.

Andie and Dad's catch of the day.

Kate goin' fishin'.

Packing up to go home.
The girls also go to play on the beach and swim in the lake. But being the guy that he is, Rob forgot to pack swimsuits or a change of clothes for the girls. Andie ended up going skinny dipping, and Kate stripped down to her undies. Sorry no pictures of that on the blog! Ha ha!

Rob also forgot to pack sunscreen. See how red they are?!?
Guess that's what happens when mom's not around to be the sunscreen nazi!
(They ate the fish they caught for dinner.)
And for the best part of the day...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Baby is All Grown Up (and saving China!)

Kate started Kindergarten today. Yes, I am the mother of a kindergartener. I am that old. When did she grow up? I could swear it was just yesterday she looked like this:

I feel like Mushu at the end of Mulan. When he says, "My baby is all grown up and saving China!" But really, where did the time go? Kate was so excited to start school. She couldn't wait. She had her First-Day-of-School outfit picked out weeks in advance. We went shopping and picked out her binder and pencil box. She got to meet her teacher at an open house almost 2 weeks ago. She was super excited that she shares 2 names with her teacher. Not only is her teacher's name Mrs. SMITH, but they have the same middle name as well. Kate couldn't have been more excited. She was ready.
Then, Rob took her shopping earlier this week to pick out her backpack. She was so excited to come home and show me. She was so proud of herself. She was so ready.

We got ready. She told me how she wanted her hair.

She put on her backpack. She was ready.

We took a few pictures at home, and then a few more in front of the school.

And another just outside her classroom. She was so ready.
She went in and hung her backpack on her hook.
She found her seat, saw a few friends, and sat down.
Then she got back up, gave me a hug, and told me she'd miss me.
She was ready.
She started working with the wooden counting blocks.
That was my cue to leave.
She was ready.
I know she will do so well, and she will make new friends. She'll learn so much.

I'm just not sure I'm ready to let her go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Letter to My Kate

In my hopes of getting caught up on scrapbooks for the girls, I've decided to start making books (on blurb) for each year of their life. It just so happens, that I've started Kate's first book just as she is starting kindergarten. For the book, I wrote her a letter with some advice from me. It may be a few years, okay a few decades, down the road before she appreciates this advice, but hopefully some day she will appreciate it.

My goal is for you to have a book of each year of your life. By doing this, I hope for two things. One, that you will know where you come from, and two, that you will know just how much you are loved.

I remember the day you were born. You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I was so happy, and yet at the same time, I was scared. Here was a precious baby our Heavenly Father had entrusted to my care. You depended on me to take care of you and to keep you safe. That was pretty easy for the first little while, but then you started growing, and you began to explore the world on your own. I was no longer "in charge" of all you were exposed to. Have I taught you well enough that when the world knocks you down you will be strong enough to stand on your own? These are the things I worry about each and every day.
So, here is my advice to you.
If you make mistakes, and you will, don't be afraid to admit them. Just make sure you learn something from them. Be kind. Treat others how you would like to be treated. Hold the door open for someone following you. Always say please and thank you. Don't be afraid to stand up for something you know is right. Remember who you are. You are a daughter of God. Laugh often. Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself. Don't let anyone break your heart twice. Be determined. Read a lot. Send thank you notes. Always stand up for yourself. People can only treat you badly if you let them. Don't gossip. If you won't say it to their face, don't say it behind their back. Find somrthing you love and do it well. Don't be afraid to be smart. Listen to your parents and your grandparents, they love you more than you'll ever know. Smile. Don't give up. Stand up for what you believe in. Pray. It works. Be polite. Take care of your friends. Be a shoulder to cry on and provide a listening ear. Don't be judgemental. Looks can be deceiving. Be yourself. Some people may not like you, but it's okay. They won't know what they're missing out on. Appologize if you hurt someone's feelings. Listen to your heart. There is nothing you cannot change or correct if you have the will to fight for what you want. Your future is defined by your choices, not by the chances, you take in life. And most importantly, never settle for less than what you know you are worth.
All my love,