Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

I learned this year that in Utah, when Halloween falls on a Sunday, everyone goes trick-or-treating on Saturday. Cool! Growing up in Washington, when Halloween fell on Sunday we just didn't go that year, though our ward was always sure to have a big Halloween party with a trunk-or-treat at the end.

Saturday, before trick-or-treating, we watched the children of our good friends Ben and Gina so they could go to the temple. Since we were to have 4 extra kids at the house for a couple hours, we thought it'd be a lot of fun to have a mini Halloween party with them. So that's what we did. A couple of neighbors came over and decorated sugar cookies with us. We played 'hot pumpkin' which is essentially hot potato, we had a balloon stomping game, donut eating contest on a string and face painting. It was fun. Here are a couple short video clips from our donut eating contests:
The big kids:

And the adults(I think what Scott did was cheating...he thinks it was a world record):







Later that evening we all dressed up and went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. We stayed together for the first 20 minutes or so, and then Jane and I went home and handed out candy, well fruit leather actually. It was kind of funny, a couple of times a kid would pull out a fruit leather and look at it strangely, turn around and say, 'dad what's this?'. To which dad would respond, 'it's a fruit snack'. :) Anyway, it was a little cold and rainy...once again I was reminded of home in Seattle.:) I have fond memories of Trick-or-treating in rain jackets. In fact, I don't know if I have any memories of not wearing a rain jacket while trick-or-treating.





We let the kids eat all they wanted that night (they each had probably 5 or so) and then told them to pick out ten more which we'd save for them and the rest we'd let daddy bring to work to share.

Pumpkin painting and temple square with Dad

The past few years we've been getting mini pumpkins for the kids to paint instead of doing a lot of carving. This way is a little less messy and there's more involvement from everyone. Scott and I even painted our own pumpkins this year as well.
The day before my dad left, I thought it'd be nice to drive up to Salt Lake and drive around temple square area since that's where my mom and dad were married 40 years ago. I didn't think we'd walk around because it's so big and my dad's knees It turned out there was a parking spot right outside the gate by the south visitors center so we parked and got out and walked around for a little while. We all had a really nice time and my dad's only regret was that we didn't come out here earlier on in the week and get to see a few more places within temple square. We got to see the new model of the temple which is pretty cool and my kids loved watching all the video clips the church makes on families.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sword fight with Gramps



I love this video. I think it's hilarious watching my 84-year-old dad sword fight with my 4 year-old son. Charlie and my dad were smiling and laughing the whole time.









Scott made these foam swords this week. I saw them at a boutique and thought it seemed easy enough so we got a swimming noodle, pvc pipe, electrical tape(just for the handle) and a little fabric glue or spray. We love them because they're soft and it's nice that you can make two swords out of one noodle. Here are a few pictures of the guys sword fighting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dad, Super Girl cape and mask


My dad, Grandpa Garnica, is out visiting right now and we're enjoying our visit with him. We try and get out somewhere every day for a little while so he doesn't get too bored, and since too much walking and other movement is getting hard on his old bones (he's 84), we seem to go out to eat quite a bit which the kids are loving.
My mom always packs a bag of items for each kid when one of them travels out here. Here are a couple pictures of the girls showing off some of their new stuff. She sent Jane a Super Girl fleece outfit which looks like the previous owner must've had a cape that snapped on. This past weekend while at Walmart, I got some shiny pink fabric and thought I'd try and make a cape out of it. For those of you who know me, you know I have extremely minimal sewing talent; for proof, just take a look at the badges I 'sewed' onto Scott's scout uniform some months ago. I used a straight stitch on his circular badges, but it looks like I used some sort of funky zigzag setting that produces uneven zigs and zags all over the place...and a few of them never got sewed on there all the way around so they are loose. Anyhow, I took my material home, measured Jane from shoulder to knee and then the width of the outfit, added an inch to each, made the bottom of the cape a bit wider and produced something that actually resembles a cape!

I folded the fabric in half here and made the shape of the cape and straps in chalk on the backside of the fabric.
I was so pleased that nothing went seriously wrong. Of course the stitching isn't in a perfect line and I had some difficulties when I had to turn the garment right-side-out and try and sew the last bit without showing any fraying edges, but all in all, everything turned out alright. Just don't look too closely. :)
I added a little sticky-back velcro to the straps. If I'd had the normal sew-on velcro I would've done that as it holds up better, but alas, I did not have any on hand, just the sticky stuff.
I decided to try and make a mask for good measure. It looks alright in these pictures, but it's really not very well done at all. And it's a bit small and tight, so she won't be wearing it over her eyes on Halloween, but rather as a headband which still looks really cute.
Super Girl to the rescue!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Macaroni and bread sticks

Here are a couple of recipes we love. The macaroni and cheese recipe was one I found in my Deceptively Delicious book. The garlic bread recipe was one I made combining different recipes and making my own healthier modifications.

Macaroni and Cheese- Deceptively Delicious

2 c elbow macaroni

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp flour

½ c milk

½ c butternut squash or cauliflower puree

1 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese (about 8 oz)

4 oz (almost ¼ c) reduced fat or nonfat cream cheese

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander.

While the macaroni is cooking, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1-2 minutes.

Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3-4 minutes. Add the vegetable puree, cheddar, cream cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the macaroni and serve warm.


Bread Sticks- Makes 18 bread sticks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups warm water

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 3 c white flour

  • 1 c wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 cup white sugar (you can make it without sugar)

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • garlic powder (about 2 tsp sprinkled)

  • garlic powder and parsley flake mix

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix yeast and sugar in water in a liquid measuring cup. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. While waiting, combine dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the water mix. Combine and knead for 5 minutes. Turn off oven. Put dough in a glass dish and place in warmed oven. Let stand 20-30 minutes.

  2. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment sheets.

  3. Remove dough to a lightly oiled surface. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough up into 18 pieces. Roll each piece on an oiled board, from center of piece to the outside edges to form bread sticks. Place bread sticks at least 1 inch apart on the prepared pans.

  4. Brush bread sticks with butter and sprinkle with garlic powder and parsley flakes.

  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Missing home


Today as I was driving through rain and over cast skies I couldn't help but think of my parents home in Washington, despite dad being here visiting for a little while. I love the rain! I don't always love overcast skies, but today I welcomed it.

I'm also missing home right now because I haven't been able to see my nephew, Andre Casino, play in any of his high school football games this year. I especially would have liked to be there last night when Andre was announced homecoming king and when he scored two touchdowns. I don't like watching sports unless I know someone playing, and then I get into it, a lot. I used to be a cheerleader, so it's what we do right? :) Go Andre!

I stole this picture of Andre and Luis off Luis' facebook account. Thanks bro. :)

I love to hear laughter!

Here's a short video I took of Jane-almost 7 months- on my digital camera laughing at Annabelle. I love it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Super Wednesday

It's over!Yay! I love our annual Super Wednesday/Saturday craft activity day, but being on the planning end, it's a bit stressful and very, very busy. I'm always glad to have it be done for the year. Now I've got several months before we need to start planning the next one. :) Everything went well. We had an especially good turn out for dinner and we had quite a few people help out on a quilt we were tying to give to the humanitarian center. Here are the projects I completed:

An Easter home decoration and 4 clipboards that I scrapbooked and mod podged:

I'll save the clipboards for Christmas presents for the kids. They color and write notes all day and are always looking for something hard to put their paper on. I know Jane is a little young, but I figure some day, Jane will feel left out and want one of her own.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Degrading, mind-numbing, time wasting....

I've always loved the story of Superman. I loved having a good, honest, virtuous superhero who helped others. Scott and I rented Lois and Clark some years ago, from the library, and watched all the seasons. They were fun and pretty clean for the most part. Scott and I used to be faithful watchers of the TV show Smallville. After finishing season 7(a few years ago), we decided we wouldn't watch it regularly. It was getting pretty violent and there was some other bad stuff occasionally too. Once season 8 finished airing on tv, we ended up renting it from the library and watching the whole season on dvd, fast forwarding the sketchy parts. Season 9 we didn't watch at all while it was on TV but one day I saw a preview online which showed they were starting season 10 and that it would be the final season of Smallville. 10 years of episodes coming to an end. Which means Clark Kent would learn how to fly and Lois and Clark would get together. I'd been waiting for this to happen for years! I started thinking, 'well we'll just go back and watch the last few episodes from season 9 and then we can start watching season 10, since it's the last one.' Well, season ten has lived up to it's violent reputation and I think has gotten worse. And there's other trashy material in so many different parts that we ended up going to other websites during the show and actually watching maybe half of it(we watch it online after it's aired so we can watch it at a more convenient time). Like Elder Hales said in the previous conference, there are some shows he'll never be old enough to watch. I felt this way while watching Smallville.

After last week's episode, Scott and I had a talk. We decided that it'd be best to stop watching it. Forever. Yes, I'm still curious as to what will happen in the end(though if you know the Superman story, we all pretty much know what will happen, right?) and when he'll fly, but I've decided that my curiosity is not worth having my mind filled with filth. And, I don't want the CW to get the wrong impression and think that I like all the trash that they're showing because my TV is on.

I had another bad experience with a show this week. Scott had to go into work one night from 10pm-1am to watch traffic where there's lots of construction going on. I thought I might try and wait up for him. So I went onto new.lds.org and read some conference talks and other things which was great. After awhile on there I thought I'd see if I could find a movie or something to watch online to kill some time. I had heard a couple people say good things about a show called Glee which had singing and dancing, and thought I'd give it a try. Wrong! It was SO bad. So, so bad. I snapped it off within the first couple of minutes because of how immoral it was and decided to just go to bed. So now Scott and I are back to watching zero shows again and you know what, I'm glad. We're so busy already that having a regular show each week felt like a complete waste of time, especially when the shows regularly have that, 'one bad part'. It reminded me of the many talks that were given in general conference about being careful of entertainment that is 'coarse, degrading, violent, mind-numbing, and time wasting.' It's so nice to have latter day apostles and prophets who know what we're up against these days and give us continual guidance and counsel.

Annie Belly dressing herself





Yay! Good job Annabelle!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

FHE fishing


We made some construction paper fish, fastened paper clips near the mouth and made a magnetic fishing pole. I wrote different things on a piece of paper and used the paper clip to hold them on, that way when we want to do fishing again with FHE, I won't have to make new fish, just take off the old slips of paper and put on new ones to go along with the new lesson. Last weeks lesson we gathered some ideas from general conference. The kids fished, read the slip of paper and then decided if the activity written on the paper was a good, or not so good use of their time. Fishing during FHE certainly kept the kids attention.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A gift: hot wheels track

Charlie's former teacher from church called this past weekend and asked if Charlie could come look at something that she wanted to pass along to him. It was an extensive Hot Wheels track set! It belonged to her son who is now in his late teens. Charlie was and is still in heaven. He LOVES that thing and plays with it all the time. He usually sets up pieces of it in his bedroom, though yesterday we pulled it out into the living room and him and I worked together and set things up. I'm no engineer, like some people in our family, so it took me a good hour before we had most of the pieces all together. We had fun doing it. Thank you Jill and Austin!





Jane watched us as we set things up. She is SO sweet and cute! Her smile and laugh are contagious. I just want to eat her up!