Thursday, October 31, 2013

Getting ready for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
This is Ashley's pretzel creation.
It was the end of the bag....she was bummed that she didn't have enough for another L   :)
This month Ashley and I took a quilting class at the store where she did her sewing class in the summer. She had fun hanging out with the girls but cutting out over 100 rectangles and trying to piece it out for 6 hours was more "fun" than she wanted in a day. Ha ha.
The girls were tired and didn't finish but us moms already have a mother/daughter girls day planned to help them finish.  These cute girls will end up with a quilt eventually!

For the last couple of weeks we've been selling Halloween grams at the school.  We probably sold over 450 and just when I think we would be done more would come in.
They just got delivered! Hooray!
Last week Taylor had a last minute Halloween party that he wanted a costume for.
Since Jacob and him were having matching costumes for Halloween and Jacob wasn't going I asked him what he wanted to be. He said "I don't know maybe a grim reaper or something"
So we went to Kmart to look for a scythe.
3 stores later we didn't find a scythe but we found skeletons in the Christmas decorations.
Why even have seasonal decorations? Why not just throw all the decorations out for the whole year since they are all in the store all together. Every year about this time I get bugged that I feel like retailers are trying to create a false sense of a need to buy things that nobody really needs.
Within a month I know I'll be sucked up into it like everyone else :/
So here is his grim reaper costume. Our scythe is 1/2 a curtain rod we found in the garage with some balsa wood duck taped on. The costume was Jeff's old devil costume that we remade and added some material to on the bottom. So if you have a homemade and thrown together costume...


It always helps to paint your face.
Taylor said he showed up and some of the people didn't recognize him until he started talking!!  :)
That night Jeff and I had our annual couple Halloween party. We didn't know how to top Chucky and Bride of Chucky that we did last year.
We considered Duck Dynasty and threw out that idea. Jeff was out of town until a day or so before so the only thing that we could agree on was minions. We thought they wouldn't be too hard to do.

 I ended up having to buy the sweatshirts on-line and they didn't arrive until 5:30 on Friday and the party was on Saturday! We made it happen...

Jeff ended up looking more scary than cute...ha ha ha.
We were greeted at the door by Snookie and the Jersey Shore clan.

Glad we didn't do Duck Dynasty because Rob and Jen pulled it off way better than we could have!

Fred and Daphne from Scooby Doo

Of course us....(I won for most creative costume...Jeff won for scariest, ha ha)

Mike was dressed as a country singer and Summer was dressed as a fan. She had the picture of the country singer he was dressed like on the back of his shirt. I guess he's been stopped on the street and people think he's really him!

More duck dynasty...

They were "The Heathmans" superheros.
It was a fun party with the crazy games and fun prizes. The craziest game this year was a Halloween trivia game and if your team got the answer wrong you had to send up a team member to crack a possibly raw egg on your head!

This last week I subbed 3 times, helped a ton at the school and got to take a break to take Mary Ann out for her birthday lunch (a day early). We went to the Mission Inn which was decorated for Halloween and enjoyed some good Mexican food. It was nice to relax with a friend in between all the other craziness.
In the middle of craziness Jacob announced that one of his classes were having a party and he asked me to make coconut brownies for him. It was like 9:00 a night and I was exhausted but Jeff helped me and we got them in the oven. The problem was I fell asleep on the couch and by the time I woke up and pulled them out of the oven they were ruined and had to all go in the trash!
This morning I tried again for his Halloween party and I made sure I made them early in the evening!

This Saturday Ashley had her school car wash. After days of fog and cold weather we got a beautiful day for a car wash. The 6th graders did a great job and had fun working together too.
 After the car wash we drove out to pick up Ashley's friend Jenna who was coming out for our
 ward Trunk Or treat. She was coming to the party, then spent the night and came to church with us the next day. Ashley always loves having a friend to hang out with. They decided to carve a pumpkin right before the trunk or treat. They realized how hard it was and never finished the mouth...that's OK they had fun doing it.

Ashley and Jenna had their costumes planned since the year before!
 They were a very cute Thing 1 and Thing 2.
I took a lot of time to get their hair back under control!

We dressed up as minions again (without the scary looking mouth) except Jeff kept taking the hood and glasses off.
 Our game was to reach in and feel spooky stuff. This year I kept it to things that were not messy in any way. My favorite was "ghost brains". It had everybody stumped at first.
(It was fake snow and felt cool and dry)
The kids had fun and got lots of candy but the pumpkin didn't fare so well. By Monday I noticed it was sinking and there was mold growing inside of it.

Here is a side view of what it was supposed to look like. Every time I passed by it was sinking down more. The skin was even splitting! I rolled it into a trash bag to take it out and it was a mushy mess!


Oh another change in our family. We adopted out chimi and churro, Taylor's chinchillas. He is getting too busy to give them the time he feels they deserve so we had them go to a good home.

 So we said goodbye

It was sad because they were both the calmest they've been in a long time and it made you miss them already...

I don't think Jacob was quite as sad. ha ha.



So here is a sneak peak of Ashley's 2nd costume. Since Jenna and her can't be together tonight we had to come up with a second costume. She wanted to be supergirl. It was a lot of her own idea along with some of my help to pull it together.
 I found a blue shirt and painted this logo on a piece of felt (she thought I painted it right on the shirt and was worried)

Then she came out of her room like this.  She'll be ready for tonight!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Feeling like fall

 It's October and it's just starting to cool off here.
Well mostly in the mornings and the evenings because it's still supposed to be 85 today so I guess that's not too cool.
But...we don't have to run the air conditioning nearly as much as last month so I'm happy about that.
Lately football has been making more of a showing in our house. Jeff's got his fantasy football team all figured out and I see him sneaking peaks at scores here and there. A couple of weeks ago we got to go to the King vs. Citrus football game.
Taylor and Jacob who don't seem to have as much school spirit as we do decided they didn't want to go to the game, because none of their friends were going. So we brought Ashley who wanted to sit with her friend Kate.
Kate was there watching her brother who plays for Citrus so...
We sat on the opposing team's side. It was like a mini Thompson family reunion that night! Everyone was out watching Trevor play.
Trevor did great but King ended up winning. We had to cheer for King on the inside rather than the outside. It was funny when Jeff wanted to go to the King side to buy a t-shirt during 1/2 time he had to explain himself to the confused people working the gates. Ha ha.

We also had our Stake event. It was a country fair pie night following the general Relief Society broadcast. Both the broadcast and the pie night turned out great.
We all pulled out our fall decoration boxes and I got to go to town. Then we pulled it all down at the end of the night and it pushed me to decorate my own house.


Cindy Pendleton got a big group of us together before to go out to dinner and then we got to socialize afterwards over pie. It was fun and I got to meet a couple of new friends.
The next day we were invited to a dinner at a friends house where all us guests got to help make the dinner. There was lots of cutting up and combining things for fruit salads, grain salads and more. It was a fun way to have a dinner party.

I've been getting in the crafty mood again too. It seems like that happens when the weather gets cooler. I was running low on cards so I started creating...


Cooler weather also gets me in the mood to bake. I've tried a couple of new recipes. I got this one off the internet. Ashley always complains when I make boxed dinners so I limit them to no more than once every week or two. This one was called "Crazy Good Casserole" and it got good reviews so I was hopeful.
It was a casserole with chicken, pasta, cream of chicken soup, and cheese topped with bacon. It was pretty good but kind of bland. It tasted like a glorified mac and cheese with chicken in it. It was good if you got a bite of bacon but it needed more flavor.
Jeff thought the Velveeta box mix dinners had better flavor.  I might've done better with the box diner. It's pretty sad that we are all so used to the processed stuff homemade tastes bland to us!
The next recipe was my attempt at a fall cupcake to bring to our home teaching and some of my visiting teaching people.
I was in the mood for something pumpkin. So I found Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I liked them and Jeff liked them but the kids didn't really eat them. I pretty much gave them all away so I wouldn't eat them because they were pretty good but I knew how much sugar was in them!
They were good enough I'll include the recipe...
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
·         3/4 cup butter, softened
·         2-1/2 cups sugar
·         3 eggs
·         1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
·         2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
·         3/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
·         1 cup buttermilk
·         FROSTING:
·         1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
·         1/2 cup butter, softened
·         4 cups confectioners' sugar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  Nutritional Facts
1 cupcake equals 340 calories, 14 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 233 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.
1.    In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin. Combine the flour, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and ginger; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
2.    Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
3.    For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield:2 dozen.

This last week I had the opportunity to go to the temple with ladies from the church. I enjoyed the new temple film and lunch at Café Rio afterwards.
The friend I drove out with had to get back early for work so I ended up driving back 3 older ladies that are outside my normal social circle. They enjoyed the lunch and I did too.  I really enjoyed talking with an 83 year old grandmother full of life experience and wisdom.


So a quick update on the kids.
Ashley is doing good in 6th grade. She loves her teacher and she is being responsible with her homework and reading. I don't have to remind her nearly as much and she is taking control of her school work. (hooray) Now practicing piano is another thing...
This is the beginnings of Ashley's Halloween costume. She is going to be Thing 1 and Thing 2 with a friend of hers. They decided to get red footed pajamas and then make the rest of the costume. Well since you can't really find them in the store for their size we ordered on-line.
I ordered this guessing what would fit her and was hoping for the best. It came just in time for conference weekend and it ended up fitting her so well I'm not going to have to hem it (a miracle). She wore it watching church this weekend! :)

Jacob is doing well in school too. The desk we got him for his room seems to help. He has a place to do his homework without distractions. Jacob will do his homework with his headphones on and sing along to the music. I can't talk to him (because he'll never hear me) but at least I know he's working.
Jacob was very happy to get his braces off this week. Smooth teeth. He got a cup full of things he can now eat...even though he was eating all that stuff anyways ;) 
Taylor is doing good at school and is now looking at applying to colleges. He is taking the ACT and re-taking the SAT a week apart and is trying to figure out future plans even though it feels like he just started his senior year. Applications start Oct. 1st. I didn't remember applying that early but here it is.
This weekend all the chinchilla babies sold and now just Chimi and Churro are left. One of the girls that bought a baby had another chinchilla that she takes on bike rides and walks and plays with all the time. Taylor is planning to let Chimi and Churro go too. As he gets older it's hard to put the time and energy that he used to put into them and he wants them to have a good home. It's bittersweet but I understand.
Jeff is doing good and busy at work. He is busy at church too and his only complaint in life is probably being tired. He flew out of state for 2 motivational speaking trips last month and said 2 is too many for a month! 
Here is the washing machine mishap right after his trips. His brand new, freshly tailored shirt bit the dust when a pen was left in the pocket.
I could say "Don't you check your pockets before you put your shirt in the laundry?" but he could say "Don't you check the pockets before you put them in the washing machine"
Well neither of us check pockets very well. He was actually very good about it and just said "Those things happen". 
That why I love him.
As for me I've gotten over the funk I was in when the kids started back at school and I didn't know what to do with myself. I've started new projects and looked for more to do than putter around and wait for the kids to get home. I've looked outside myself and tried to serve more and do more and not just waste time. Looking at the calendar it won't be too long before I'm too busy for my own good anyway so right now I'm just trying to enjoy the time I have to choose what I want to do.
I thought this was funny I was eating cereal the other day and Jacob was grossed out saying that it looked like turtle food. This was what I was eating...
This morning before I ate it I put them side by side to take a picture. Jeff came downstairs and looked at my bowl and said "Why did you pour it all out" He thought it was a bowl of turtle food too. Ha ha!
Pretty much the same size and shape so I can understand.