Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trunk-or-Treating and Pumpkin Carving

Today is Halloween! The two older kids went off this morning in their costumes for their school Halloween parties. I am sure I'll have an ear full when they get home. They both were very excited! But before we go out tonight for trick or treating I wanted to share what we did last night at our ward Trunk-or-Treat/Chili Cookoff.

I was in charge of making the prize for the best overall chili and so I made a Halloween apron. It was very cute. Wish I had taken a picture of it. But I guess I got too caught up in the project and didn't think about it when I finished. Oh well.

I also took a crock pot of chili that I had tested out at our "couples only" Halloween party last week. Here's a picture of Dan and I at the party. Animal, and Cookie Monster. Aren't we cute?

The chili was a HIT! and the funny thing was that I won! But instead of them giving me the best overall prize (since I was the one who made it in the first place) we gave it to someone else. They just didn't know. Shhhhh! Just knowing I won is good enough for me.

One of the primary presidency members set up a photo backdrop and took pictures of everyone throughout the night. I was so antsy to have ours taken since I never got the chance to get a group shot on our own. But I had a problem! Dan still hadn't shown up from getting off work! I was pretty upset! His working late every night is wearing on me.

So I tried my best and juggled bringing in chili, cookies, the prize apron, loading up 3 kids in costume, feeding 3 kids once we got there and found seats, AND I had to take them around on my own for the trunk-or-treating portion. I was so grateful for the sisters who held Emma for me when I needed an extra pair of hands. When that was all done THEN Dan showed up. Can you sense my steamage? I know it wasn't all his fault and he did indeed have meetings til 6:00 but boy I wish sometimes he'd have the guts to say, "sorry I need to leave early for a family event we've had planned for the past month." Just sayin'. Ok enough venting.

I did get to have our picture taken after all. The photographer is one of my good friends and she kept the backdrop up until the last minute just for me. I had brought Dan's costume along for that purpose alone. And yes I made him put the WHOLE thing on even when he asked if he could just up the top half on. He owed me that much.

When we got home we decided that it was now or never so we broke out our pumpkins and carved away.

The kids had fun scooping out the pumkin guts and dug out the seeds for some roasted pumpkin seeds that I will probably make up today. Then they were off to bed while Dan and I finished the pumpkins. Emma stayed up with us for a little while and got to pose with her very first jack-o-lantern. It was the tiniest pumpkin I have ever carved and Emma seemed pleased.

And here they are all lined up. I love the look on Emma's face too. It was the best I could get. It was hard to get her to sit still enough to get a smile without the picture ending up blurry.

Dan told me that he'll be getting off early enough to take the kids trick-or-treating tonight so I'm happy about that! Maybe I can come up with something as an excuse for him to come home early on Thursday and Friday too. But that's probably pushing it.
Happy Halloween Everyone and be safe tonight!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zumba Party in Pink!

Last Week I think it was I had the opportunity to participate in a Zumba Party in Pink Breast Cancer Fundraiser. It was so much fun! Everyone got dressed in pink and had a blast. And it was all for a good cause.

I even won one of the prizes while I was there. I got a spa package with some Matrix hair care products, some bath scrubbies, A 1 HOUR MASSAGE! gift certificate (can't wait to use that one), some Zumba toning sticks, and a Sonicare Toothbrush worth over $200.00 by itself! Can you say saaaweeet! But even more fun was the fact I got to share it with some of my dear friends who got me started in this Zumba thing in the first place.
This shot was taken by the beautiful Kellianna Wirth. She is a very talented woman and takes some amazing pictures. Check out her Facebook page at

The night was full of music, fun, sweat, and amazing women including some of our very own breast cancer survivors. I was so glad to be a part of it all. Here are a couple other shots I took while I was there.
Me and a couple of my YMCA Zumba buddies

Me and the lovely Janette

Our very own Stacy Nice who won her battle with Breast Cancer!

The lovely Chris, who we are looking forward to her being back on her feet again and joining us on the dance floor.

3 of the Zmammas in charge of the event.  Left to Right: Janette, Shannon, Suzanne

More survivors!

Zumba and cupcakes don't usually mix well but in this case we'll let it pass.

It was a fun event and it is amazing what a difference a few women with a purpose can pull off! Great job ladies!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Girls Night With My Girl

Last night I taught Zumba with a fellow instructor at our Halloween Dance Party. It was a lot of fun and we had a GREAT turn out! But what I think I loved most was sharing it with my little girl! We both went in costume and had a great time. Kiera even won a prize from the drawing. She chose a singing/dancing dog that sings about going trick or treating. I don't know how many times I've heard the song this morning but we finally put him on the shelf for a break. All the shot on this post are not my own. They were taken by the other instructor's husband Chad Shurtz. He does a great job and has taken our family portraits in the past. This is his website

In fact here's a shot of Kiera from our photo session back in 2010. They grow up so fast!

Kiera is my buddy. And I love spending time with my girly girl.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photo Contest! Help me and Win too!

Hey bloggy friends! I need your help. I am in a photo contest to win a free professional photo-shoot. I love taking shots of my family and kids but it is hard to get shots of myself. Winning this would be awesome! All I need is you to vote for me by "liking" my photo on Adelia Photography. Also if you're my FB friend and you "like" Adelia Photography it'll count as a vote for me as well.

Here's the photo of me you'll be looking for:
Please comment telling me you like Adelia Photography and I'll do my own special little contest and draw one of your names for a prize. Just make sure you leave your e-mail address so I can contact the winner!

Thanks so much!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday At The Pumpkin Patch

Saturday afternoon we took a trip as a family to our favorite pumpkin patch at our local Plant Farm. It is the perfect place to go with the little ones. The pumpkins are all strewn out in a grassy field so you don't really have to worry about muddy boots which I love in this wet climate. They have a cute little train ride, hayrides, farm animals, and wooden cutouts to stick your head in for picture taking, and its all free! You just have to pay for your pumpkin. And concessions if you want. It's really reasonable too. For the kids their pumpkin costs about $3-$4 a piece. The large ones are $7. So not bad at all.

We got their just in time too. It started to rain when we were leaving and it was COLD! It started to hail when we got home. Brrrrr. But it was worth it. The kids loved it and it gave us a chance to get a nice family picture. Although I wish I had asked the girl on the hayride to retake it since Emma's granola bar wrapper ended up in front of Ethan's face. Oh well...

I tried to get a good shot of the kids with the pumpkins in the background but every shot I took Emma was fixated on the animals she saw. And Kiera wasn't cooperating. This was the best one I got. You can tell Kiera was really excited to have her picture taken huh?

And here are a couple more pictures of the kids on the tractor at the entrance to the patch and another  one of Emma and Daddy looking at the animals.

Now we have 5 pumpkins on the front porch bench all lined up from biggest to smallest. I love Fall!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Projects Update and Taking Time to Reflect on What Matters Most

Life has been busy busy around here lately. I haven't had much time to think let alone sit down and write a blog post but I have a few minutes before Emma wakes up and we head out to the pumpkin patch.

The purpose of this post is for me to catch up with what's been going on around here and to reflect more on the simple yet more important things in my life. I get caught up in the rush of things, or what one of my friends from For The Love of Naps likes to call them "the trenches of life" that I forget to be grateful where we are and to treasure what stage or "season" we are in with our little ones.

I have so much to be grateful for and one thing I have been enjoying lately is my mornings with my baby girl. Her and I have been spending Monday Tuesday and Wednesday mornings just the two of us while Ethan is at preschool and Kiera is at school. She is the funniest little girl and is the biggest tease. She is finding her voice these days and every once in awhile you are able to get a coherent word out of her but right now I am loving the mumbles and the grunts and the singing during our morning errands and to and fros.
When Thursday rolls around Ethan and Emma spend a lot of time together. Ever since Kiera started school these two have become best buddies. I hear a lot of giggling in the back when I'm driving the van. Ethan knows exactly what makes Emma laugh and does everything he can to get his sister to smile. And I can't believe how much these two look alike.

This is my most recent project. My neighbor asked me if I would be willing to make a cake for her co-worker's daughter who is turning 1. I of course said yes and am so glad I did. This cake turned out to be adorable! She also ordered 24 matching cupcakes. It is a yellow cake with pink buttercream frosting with a hint of creme de menthe flavoring. MMMmm! Everytime I open the fridge the scent is glorious! The outside of the cake is covered in marshmallow fondant and piped buttercream. It was so much fun to make I can't wait to make another.
 I think the cupcakes are my favorite though. I love those bows and mouse ears. I used white pearl sprinkles for the polka dot theme too. I was almost sad to see those cupcakes leave the house. (probably not a bad thing though)

Another project I did this month was around General Conference weekend. At the beginning of the month our church gets to listen to the apostles, prophet, and other leaders of the church. I love this time of year. I love listening to them speak and the spiritual uplift that it is.

In our church we have a women's organization called the Relief Society. We are assigned certain sisters in the congregation that we are stewards over and we are called their Visiting Teachers. It is a way for us as sisters to come together and to look after and serve one another.

I decided since General Conference was coming up I wanted to make a little something for the sisters I visit teach. I made them each their own "Conference Survival Kit" I got the idea somewhere on Pinterest and thought it was so cute. In my kits I had a notebook and pen to jot down notes or spiritual inspiration they recieved during the conference, some boxes of candy and put it all in a basket tied up with a ribbon and note from myself. I got everything from my local Dollar Tree. Each basket cost about $6.

I told my husband what I was doing and he asked if I could make some extras for him to take to his Home Teaching families. It was easy, fun and I think they turned out pretty cute.

This month I have been crazy busy with projects, canning, appointments,  teaching Zumba classes 4 times a week, and being mom to 3 busy kiddos. Sometimes I just need to take a break. Ethan no longer takes naps but he does have quiet time when Emma goes down for a nap. That is my chance to throw in a load or two of laundry, wash some dishes and make my attempt and a tidy house.

On one of these occasions Ethan spent his quiet time building a masterpiece. He inherited daddy's old Lincoln logs and is now starting to really enjoy them. While I was out teaching one of my Zumba classes Dan went up to check on Ethan to find this:

 Ethan was so proud and Dan was so thoughtful in taking a picture of it for me so I could see it when I got home. And I think too, that Dan is pretty proud of his little boy taking after him. These Lincoln logs were one of Dan's favorite toys growing up.

Well its now time for Emma to wake up. Dan should be home soon for us to go hunt for that perfect pumpkin, enjoy some hayrides, and make some memories. Going to go enjoy some of that crisp fall air but more importantly my little family.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Costumes Almost Complete

I've been busy busy. I have been canning peaches, apple sauce, strawberry jam, pears, grape juice, and apple pie filling. It seems to never end. I am so looking forward to being done with canning this year. Just one more order of chicken to can and I'll be done.

 In the mean time I've been working on planning and putting together our Halloween costumes for this year. I've decided to go with a Muppets theme. Dad=cookie monster, Mom=Animal, Kiera=Kermit the Frog, Ethan=Big Bird, and Emma=Elmo. I'm just about through. I just have to add finishing touches to mom and dad's costumes and then I'm hoping for a nice sunny night to go and take our family picture with the fall leaves behind us.

Ethan's costume is made from a xxxl sweater I found at the Goodwill that I altered and added a crotch and tie in the back. The eyes on the yellow baseball cap are made out of ping pong balls and I made the legs (not shown) out of an orange and pink scarf. I made some mittens from the parts of the sleeves that I cut off so his hands will be nice and warm too.

Emma's costume is a Clifford the Big Red Dog that I found at goodwill and I just cut the tail off. The .50 cent visor used to be blue but I remedied that with some spraypaint made for plastics. The eyes are some more ping pong balls and the nose is one of the kid's ball pit balls that I painted in orange and sealed with acrylic sealer.

Kermit is pretty simple. I found the hat at Walmart along with mom and dad's Cookie Monster and Animal ones. The collar around the neck is just the collar from one of Kiera's old t-shirts that was too small for her that I cut triangles out of and left in tact to just be pulled over her head. She has a green sweater she'll be wearing Halloween night too.