Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Trunk or Treat/Carnival

Our church does a Trunk or Treat every year, where we have a little mini party/carnival at the church and then end the night with trick or treating out of the backs of everyone's car trunk in the parking lot. It's a lot of fun, however this year they decided to move the trunk or treat part inside the building and parade the kids from classroom to classroom to do their trick or treating. I personally would have preferred doing it outside like usual since the weather was nice and I think it would have been sooo much less clean-up too. But either way the kids had fun and that's what is important.

Dan is the scoutmaster in our ward and his group was in charge of one of the games. They put together a grave yard scene and built catapults to launch plastic bones and skulls into their graves and such. They did a good job and the kids loved it. For launching the bones the kids each got candy as a prize.
*I do have to insert my two bits though and say that having a scoutmaster as a husband means there is never a shortage of "favors" or projects that I get asked to help on. So that said, the black painted catapult and the gravestone scenery included some of my handywork too. I didn't build the catapult but I helped. And I drew all the gravestones and such on the front panels... just so you all know... :)

And here are some more pictures from the night...

I went dressed as a witch, but never got a picture taken. I'll have to do that this weekend. As for Dan's costume...well lets just say that I never got around to making it, so he lucked out and wore an orange t-shirt that said "this is my costume." Lame I know but what can you do? It has been so busy!

If you look back you'll notice Kiera's "Tinkerbell" costume wasn't quite up to par either. I didn't have the chance to put her hair up or change her shirt underneath to something more fairy like. In fact, I had to dress the kids in the parking lot because we had just came from Sears where I was trying to purchase appliances for our new house. It was a crazy crazy day!

Our carved pumpkins coming soon....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Painting pumpkins for FHE

For Family Home Evening this week the kids got to paint their pumpkins that they picked out at the pumpkin patch at last weeks fieldtrip. They loved it!
I just got out my big box of craft paints, gave them each a bowl full of colors, a paintbrush and let them at it. Pretty soon all the colors ran together and were painted over a couple times but the kids loved it and are proud of them every time we go in and out of the front door.
Now Dan and I just need to get our pumpkins carved. Not sure if that will be happening  but I hope so because I have no clue what to do with 2 giant pumpkins if we don't.

Preschool fieldtrip to the pumpkin patch

I've been slacking on my postings these past couple weeks. It has been crazy over here! WE are in the process of buying a house and I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with its head chopped off getting quotes on appliances, carpeting, laminate, and paint. But today I was finally able to get the appliances taken care of and the order is IN! They should all be here by the 16th. Here's to crossing our fingers....

But other than all that busy hullabaloo we have been having fun too.

For Kiera's preschool we went on a fieldtrip to the pumpkin patch. The kids had lots of fun riding the train, jumping in the bounce house, going on another hayride, and seeing the animals there too. Here are some pictures from that day...

Come back soon because I'll be posting more of our fun Halloween activities very soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meet our newest family members

Yep you heard that right, family members as in two! No, we aren't having twins. Whew! Wouldn't that be something?!

Instead, these new family members are orange, like to swim all day and all night, and eat little colored flakes.

These past couple weeks I have tried everything to get the kids to pick up after themselves. I decided that me doing it for them was not fair, and that if I kept doing everything for them they'd never learn to do it themselves. So I did the hardest thing and left their messes alone. It drove me nuts! It was awful and I dreaded it if anyone would want to come over because my house didn't look anything like it should. But finally, the kids got to work and cleaned their entire room AND the front room all on their own. The house looks cleaner than it has in 3 weeks!

I told the kids at the beginning that if they did what I asked we could go to the pet store and get a fish. Well, since the kids held up their part of the deal it was up to mommy to hold up hers. So, today the kids and I set out to find a couple new swimming friends.Their names are Dora and Buzz Light-year. The kids picked the names themselves too.

I spent about $14.00 total for their little set up and the fish themselves were only .28 cents a piece! Not too bad for the kids very first pet. We'll see how long they last. I put them up high enough that the kids can't get too playful with them so hopefully we won't have to send them on the porcelain train ride anytime soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Talk for this past Sunday

I had the opportunity to speak at church this past Sunday. I was nervous but it went very well. I just wanted to share my talk with you. And mostly wanted to be able to share it with family members who live far away and weren't able to attend. I had about 15 minutes to fill during sacrament meeting and decided to end my talk with the song His Hands by Kenneth Cope. I will try attaching a link to a youtube video that I found of that song as well.

Talk on Elder Uchtdorf’s General Conference Talk “You are His Hands”
October 17, 2010

Brother Heacock called me last week and asked me to give a talk. I knew I had two choices, one to accept the task or two, to say no. I knew that if I said yes I’d have to spend a lot of time, work and effort writing a talk, and time has been something that I haven’t had much of lately lately. So I've decided to go the other route and decided not to give my talk today...(calmly sit down).

wait a minute...(Stand back up) Ok just kidding, 
I was asked to speak on Elder Uchtdorf’s talk from last general conference “You are my Hands.” In his talk he told a lot about us and how we need to be more like our Savior. Elder Uchtdorf said,

“When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless and love. He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation” “that is what he did during His mortal life, it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”

After re-reading that part of his talk I thought to myself, am I like that? Do I talk kindly with people? Do I lift others up when they are around me? Am I a comfort or a blessing in their lives? I know I have things I can work on but would hope that I help others feel that they belong and are loved.

I come from a very giving home. Since I was 10 years old, my parents took in foster children. They continued to do so up until my second year in college. I have over 40 brothers and sisters that I consider family. They stayed with us anywhere from 2 days to 2 years. I learned a lot from my parents and their willingness to bring children into their home. It didn’t matter what the reason was, how long they’d be staying, or how difficult the situations the children came from were; they were ALWAYS welcome and were immediately part of the family. Growing up with it I got used to it pretty quick, and loved having more brothers and sisters around. It took a day or two to adjust but after that, it was normal, it was life. They were my brothers and sisters, and I loved them as such.

Being part of a foster family was very trying at times. I saw a lot of heartache, abuse, violence, drugs, horrible things that children were put through. It was going to be a lot of effort to turn things around, but my parents still did it. It took a lot of time, a lot of work, a lot of effort, and a lot…of love. But it’s amazing what a little love can do.
Elder Uchtdorf said,

“True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long – but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” “Christ did not just speak about love; he showed it each day of his life. He did not remove Himself from the crowd. Being amidst the people, Jesus reached out to the one. He rescued the lost. He didn’t just teach a class about reaching out in love and then delegate the actual work to others. He not only taught but also showed us how to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees. Christ knows how to minister to others perfectly.”
“When the Savior stretches out His hands, those He touches are uplifted and become greater, stronger, and better people as a result.
“If we are His hands, should we not do the same?”
I could have said, “Someone else could do a better job at giving this talk. I’ll let them do it.” I could have said, “I have enough to worry about, I don’t have the time.” But I didn’t.
 My parents taught me a lot. They could have said, “Someone else will care for those kids, we’ve done enough.” Or “We have our own family to worry about.” But they didn’t. Instead they took those kids in, gave them a home, gave them the things we take for granted, they showed them love.

The first foster child who came to our house was about 10 years old, a little younger than I. His name was Michael. He came with only the clothes on his back, 1 can of tuna, and a package of crackers that he carried in an old backpack. When he was getting settled into his new room my mom asked him if he wanted to put his tuna and crackers in the pantry for later. He refused. About 4 months later my mom was cooking in the kitchen when Michael came in. In his hand he held his can of tuna and crackers. He handed them to her and said, “You can put these away now, I know that I won’t be hungry now.”
Another time we had a set of 4 siblings come. They had been living and sleeping on the floor in their car. It was not a good situation. They came in and were shown where they’d be staying. We took them to show them their bedrooms and one of the brothers said, “You mean we get beds?” He was so amazed. We all said of course thinking nothing of it. The things we take for granted…

I can remember one little girl who stayed in our home. One morning my mom was doing what she always did for her girls in the morning before school. She was just doing our hair. We each got a turn. My sister and I were done and it was now her turn. Just procedure. Nothing special. That girl looked at my mom, so surprised and said “you’re going to do my hair for me?” She had never had her own hairbrush let alone someone who cared enough to something as simple as brushing her hair. I know she felt love from my mother that day. And that simple act changed her that day.

Growing up my mom had hung some of the Mormon ads in poster frames around the house. I think one of them that hung in one of the bedrooms was a picture of a jar with a bunch of hearts in it and said “Love One Another” or something like that. We had a little girl who came to live with us. She had been severely beaten and abused. I can’t remember how long she was with us but she did stay for Christmas that year. When my mom asked everyone what they wanted for Christmas she said she wanted a jar of love like in the picture that hung in her room. And you can bet that is exactly what Santa brought her that year. All she wanted was love.

A few times we had 4 extra family members. I have two biological brothers and one biological sister. So with 4 extras it made for 8 kids and two adults. It was FULL house. Because there were times when we had a very large family, my parents decided to build a house that could provide for everyone. It would also provide for whoever would go there in the future. That house is now very empty but I will forever remember the lessons I learned there.

If I could leave you with anything it would be a challenge to just look around you. You don’t have to do something huge. It can be something as simple as a smile. Just having one person know that you noticed them that day can be enough. Lift up those around you and make them feel welcome and loved. And as Elder Uchtdorf said, “Let us commit to become His hands, that others through us may feel His loving embrace.” And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I'd now like to sing a song for you...

Friday, October 15, 2010


Tonight after dinner, Kiera helped Ethan scoot his chair out from the table so he could get down. Soon after I hear whinning on the living room floor behind me.

I asked him "what is the matter?"

He says(in a very distressed voice) "my foot my foot, there's sparkles on it" There was absolutely nothing on his foot but there was a dent mark from his corduroy pants on his ankle from him sitting on his leg at dinner.

Mommy's diagnosis.....pins and needles from a foot that has fallen asleep. So, all I did was rub his foot for a second and then asked him if it was better.

Yep that's all it was.

Have you gotten sparkles on your foot lately? I love it! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Preschool fieldtrip to the Zoo.

This past Friday was our preschool's fieldtrip day to the zoo. The kids talked about it all week and the day finally came! The weather looked questionable that morning but I wasn't about to let the kids down after telling them all week we were going. It rained all the way there and I thought to myself this might not be much fun.  But when we actually got to the zoo it was blue skies and beautiful!

The kids all had so much fun and I was so happy that the other mother that went had brought her older children with her. They helped out a ton with the kids so that I didn't have to make my pregnant body keep up with my little runners. I was also happy that she had brought her stroller so we didn't have to carry all our bags and jackets.

Here are just a bunch of pictures I took while we were there.

We had packed a lunch and ate there at the zoo as well. It was a very fun and busy day. By about 3:00 the kids were exhausted. They had walked a looooong ways. They were so tired that we ended up skipping a bunch of exhibits just so we could make it back to the zoo entrance. The kids took turns riding on the shoulders of the two older boys that came and also took turns riding in the jacket-filled stroller.

Here's a picture of Kiera pretending to be asleep for the camera.
As soon as we were in the car Ethan crashed and was out for most of the ride back home. Fun day for the kids! 
And as for Dan and I.... we were able to go out with a couple friends that night for dinner at Famous Daves BBQ. I love Fridays!

The joys a simple box can bring

The other day when Dan got home from work he said, " I need  your help getting something out of the back of the truck." I thought to myself, oh no what did he bring home today?

Well, to my surprise it was just a plain old cardboard box. Except it was the size of a two dishwashers! it for a booth for the Halloween trunk-or-treat at the church? Nope.

Dan said they were just going to throw it out and when he saw it, his first thought was, "The kids would love that." I love my husband! He is always thinking of us no matter where he is, no matter what he's doing. He set it up in the front room and cut out a couple windows and a door with a box knife. Simple but oh what fun! I wish I could have gotten a picture of him when he stuck he head in there with the kids and all you could see were his legs and feet sticking out the front door.

And lets just say the kids weren't disappointed either.

The box has since been decorated inside and out with crayons and has been loaded up with all the kids stuffed animals, blankets, pillows and play dishes. We also gave them a LED lantern for some fun lighting. They absolutely love it! For now I really don't mind not being able to walk around my front room.