Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Witches Night Out at Gardener Village and E on Pinterest

When we took Jane on her date out to dinner a few weeks ago at Gardener Village, we had forgotten that they were doing the Witches Night Out and we just happened to be there on one of those nights. Jane loved her date and came home and told the kids all about it and they asked if some time during October if we could go see the witches, and if we could go when it was dark because they thought it'd be more fun. Well, it wasn't actually that fun at dark, and we went on probably the busiest night ever. There were literally thousands of people! The music was loud, lines to go in anywhere were long and nearly everyone was dressed up in witch costumes (or other costumes) and it was hard to see anything over all the tall witch hats. 

After a short time the kids decided they really didn't like Witches Night Out after all. Loud music, plus loads of people does not equal "our thing". But since we were there and we paid the five dollars to park way out in China (thousands of people, remember), we decided to walk around for a bit and take pictures with the statue witches and watch a few minutes of the witches parade which started at 8pm. The witches parade is just where they have a stage and loud music, and they'll let maybe ten people on the stage at a time to dance around for a minute as they walk off the other side of the stage. Because of all the people and their tall witch hats, the kids couldn't see a thing, so Scott held Nora and the oldest four asked if they could sneak past people and go up a little ways in front of us to the front where they could see better. We agreed to let them do that and I told them to be sure to stay together and that we'd be waiting in this same spot, and off they went. After about 5 minutes Scott said that he'd take Nora to get the van and asked that the kids and I come meet him out by the parking lot in about 15 minutes when he thought he'd be there. I agreed and then enjoyed watching the parade by myself for about 5 minutes until I looked ahead and around and realized I could not see the kids. I started kindly and apologetically pushing my way through people, saying I was looking for my kids. I got myself all the way to the front and then looked left and right and could not spot any of them. I started to panic. All sorts of thoughts started running quickly through my head: what if I can't find them. I need scott to help me. I'll call him. Wait, he forgot his phone at home! He's going to be there in a few minutes and we won't be at the spot where we're supposed to meet him and then what? This thing doesn't end for hours and there are thousands of people! I stepped back to my previous spot and stood there and thought a few minutes longer. I think 5 minutes had passed now since the time I realized I couldn't find the kids. I finally thought to pray, and I did. I turned around and noticed a kid standing on top of a large wagon. Not my kid, but he was high up enough for people to see and notice him. I walked over to the wagon and go on top too; it wasn't too far away from my original spot so I figured if the kids went back to that original spot, I'd see them easy. I stood there looking into the crowd for maybe 2 minutes when I say all four kids emerge, coming toward me. They had spotted me. I said a quick pray of thanks and jumped down to meet them.
I am so grateful that we're never really left alone, and that the Lord is always there to help us if we'll just ask and then listen and follow his guidance (sometimes in the form of a new/good idea).
Once the kids and I were together, we quickly walked to where we were supposed to meet Scott and we waited maybe 2 minutes before we spotted our van driving over to us. 

Once all were safely gathered in, we drove to Kneaders and got each person a pastry (they are 50% off Saturday nights after 8) which was what we had originally planned on doing since we knew there would be long lines at Gardener Village and overpriced items. 

 I snapped this picture of Scott and Jane Sunday after church, as they made a bread pudding for dessert. We used our whole wheat bread and it tasted wonderful.
I introduced Elisabeth to pinterest about a year ago and she has done some cool things with it since. She planned her Harry Potter birthday party which was awesome, and this past week she made this fun Halloween spider web out of a lawn and leaf bag, 
she made these witches with the little girls using their hands for the body, 
 and she found this cool contraption for our fruit fly problem which totally worked! We seriously had an infestation of these fruit flys all of a sudden and both Scott and I had looked up some homemade traps that we experimented with and failed, but this one that Elisabeth found worked! So we made a couple more and we kept two in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, which is where most were, and it worked! Within hours our bug problem was no more!
 All it is is a paper funnel, place in a large quart sized jar (actually this one is bigger, it was a big spaghetti jar) with a little piece of banana and 1/2 inch of apple cider vinegar in the bottom, and some tape around the top of the jar and paper and that's it. Once we had a lot in there I put a plastic grocery bag over the top, stuck it in the freezer for an hour, and then when I took it out they were all dead. I let it sit out for about 10 minutes then brought it outside and dumped the contents into the grocery bag, tied it up and threw it in our outdoor garbage.
Once we had a lot in there I put a plastic grocery bag over the top, stuck it in the freezer for an hour, 

and then when I took it out they were all dead. I let it sit out for about 10 minutes then brought it outside and dumped the contents into the grocery bag, tied it up and threw it in our outdoor garbage. 

 And random picture; I photo bombed Charles' selfie :). He does that to everyone so I thought it was only fair :).

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ponderize, Char sports, Altra Zero Drop, basement update

We are taking turns choosing the Ponderize scripture of the week. Week three was Elisabeth's turn and she picked 1 Nephi 10:18. 
I snapped this picture of Charles before school started. He likes to get to school ten minutes early (or around there) so that he has time to play a quick game of football or whatever sport they feel like playing.
I have been in need of a new pair of running shoes and Scott and I went to the Run Gr8 store and had them do a little test on our feet to see where we put pressure and to check our arches and how we run. Once they do that they help you find a shoe that's good for your foot. I had a hard time deciding between the saucony, brooks and altra shoes, but decided on the altra because I've had a pair of both saucony and brooks before but not altra. I got the zero drop shoes which means there's no heel, so it feels more natural, like you're running barefoot, but with cushion. I've taken them out on a few runs and I've used them while weightlifting and doing Zumba and so far so good. I love that the toe area is so much more roomy so the top of my toes don't feel squished up at the top.

And here's another basement room update. We've recently textured and painted (Scott textured, I painted) the hallway, and Scott has started putting up the bead board, baseboard and chair rail and he's hoping to finish that this week and put the crown molding up on Saturday, which means, we might be all done by this Saturday!!! Wahoo! But I'm not holding my breath because it seems something always happens or comes up and so when we say that we think it'll be done in a week or two, it's not really. But, it is coming along and should be done very, very soon. Tonight we have a guy (friend's father, actually) coming to put the texture on the ceiling...that was one thing Scott did not want to do himself if he could help it. He did electrical and framing and everything else though :). I LOVE the way the bead board looks on this wall, and the paint color (which is called Gray Owl, and it's a Benjamin Moore paint).

Here's a before picture of that same glad to have that orangey/brownish color gone, and the rectangle woodwork design on the lower half of the wall:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

BYU football game, Hiking the Y, Elisabeth bought a bike

Our good friends Brian and Maren, invited us to go to the BYU football game Friday night with them along with the Robbie and Marisa Clayton. 
It was fun being back at the BYU football stadium and to get to visit with Maren and Marisa.

 I got a kick out of watching the guys :). They get really into the games :).

 The tickets also came with the hospitality tent which meant we had buffet dinner before, and it was open during the rest of the game for snacks and desserts which was fun, and our seats had water bottles and snickers bars underneath :). Scott and I brought the snickers home for the kids to have another day (we didn't get home until 1030pm so all the kids were asleep; and the house was all clean...Elisabeth is such a good babysitter!)
 Saturday morning we went on our long promised trip back to BYU to hike the "Y".
 The weather was beautiful, absolutely perfect for a hike. Not hot, probably 60's which is so nice when you're working up a sweat hiking a steep incline.
 The hike is 2 miles round trip. All the kids did great and loved it, minus Nora who had some tantrums. She was good during some parts, like at the beginning and when she was held :).
 Nora only rode in the backpack for a short time and then she decided she didn't like it, but she still wanted to be held :).

 There are lots and lots of switchbacks (12 I think?) and we couldn't see the Y until the last couple. Can you see it in this picture behind the kids?
 Almost there!
 The Y is made of rock and painted white. The 4 oldest kids crawled up higher, which made me a little nervous, but I followed them up and kept reminding them to stay low...did not want a big gush of wind to come in and knock them off balance and go tumbling down that very steep, stony 'Y'.

 It's a gorgeous view of the city from up there.
 Nora walked/jogged for part of the way down, but was soon tired again :).
 Here she is, resting, at one of the switchback stops.
 As we carried her up and down the mountain, we may have wondered out loud, "Who invited the three year old?" :). We love Nora and she really did quite good exercising her tiny little legs and body that day.
 We made it back to the bottom and took a picture at the BYU gate.
 We started the hike around 945 and made it back down to the bottom around 1130am...and then we went straight to the creamery on 9th for some ice cream...before lunch! The kids kept saying, "What? ice cream before lunch? This is so weird!" But they were happy. It's cheaper at the creamery than most ice cream places. All seven of us had our own ice cream and the total came to about $14 which is not bad.
 After the creamery, we went onto campus to the BYU bookstore and the kids each found a favorite item that we took a picture of so that we could more easily shop for them come Christmas :).

 There was free face painting going on in the middle of the Wilkinson Center (near the bookstore) so the kids each got a 'Y' painted onto their faces.

 Afterwards we dropped by the broadcasting building to see where Studio C was filmed, but the doors were locked so we just peeked inside through the windows/door and then dropped by the smith fieldhouse to see the indoor track and then went on to get some lunch at Bajio and headed back home.

Once home, I took the three oldest girls to Walmart. They had been saving their money and Elisabeth, who babysits and gets more money then the younger ones, had been saving for a new, bigger bike, and she finally had enough after also putting money aside each week into long term savings and paying tithing. She loves her new bike, and she gave her old bike to Annabelle which she loves as well. Jane picked out a new dress at Walmart, and Annabelle new boots.

 Later that evening Scott and I went to the Run Gr8 store and did the test where they have a computer that looks at how you stand, where you put pressure on your feet, and same with how you run, then they determine what kind of running/athletic shoes are best for your feet. I was in need of a new pair and had a hard time deciding between the saucony, brooks and altra shoes, all were very light weight and with a very low or no heel, but in the end I decided on the altra zero drop shoes because I have a wide foot and they were so roomy and comfortable. I've never had shoes with zero lift in the heel, which makes them feel different, more like being barefoot with how level it is, though with a cushion which is nice, so I'm excited to try and them out and see how I like them during a run and while doing zumba and weightlifting etc. I'm sure they'll be better than my sketchers :).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hiking Lisa Falls, Week 2 Ponderize, Jane starts piano, Remembrance Box

 Saturday, a week ago, our family drove to Little Cotton Wood canyon(25 min) for a quick and easy hike that had a small waterfall. The hike was a total of 1/2 a mile there and back, which was easy for just about everyone, and just right for Nora. We didn't have a lot of time, but this was fast enough that we were able to squeeze it in and I'm so glad we did. We love hiking and being active and outdoors. I love the mountains with all their giant rocks, beautiful trees with leaves that are changing colors and the peaceful and calming waterfalls and small streams.

 We sat on some rocks by the stream for awhile and let the water run over our hands.
 Nora had to go potty while we were up there and there are no bathrooms anywhere, so we offered to take her to a secret spot and have her go pee in the woods. It sounded too horrible (it would to me too) and she refused but she couldn't hold it much longer and ended up peeing in her clothes while standing in the stream. We rinsed her off there but kept her clothes on until we got back down to the van (she still hiked back down without trouble) and then we took off her bottoms and I tied Scott's bandana around her like undies which she thought was pretty funny. She must have been comfortable in the bandana because after a few minutes of driving, she was fast asleep.
 Sunday we choose our week 2 scripture to Ponderize. I love this one! Wednesday morning when I went for a 6 mile jog at 530 in the morning, when it was still very dark and the stars were shining, I repeated this verse in my head over and over again, which helped me to feel stronger as I ran that distance and more courageous and not afraid during that dark morning when I was alone. I am loving that we are doing this and that all of us (except maybe Nora and Jane who are too young to memorize and remember the scriptures) will have so many scriptures memorized that we can recall and use in times of trouble, for comfort, advice and so much more.
 We've started the kids in piano when they turn 6. Jane is 5 but Elisabeth is going to be her teacher for the first year or two and they both decided that they wanted to start early (Elisabeth is out of all the piano book levels and wants to practice teaching with her sister so that down the road, she'll feel a little more experienced and able to teach other children). Elisabeth gives Jane a 30 minute lesson once a week, usually Wednesday after school because it's a less busy day for Elisabeth. During the week in this first year, as with my other children who have gone through piano, I sit down with Jane and help her practice. Here's her piano notebook with what she's supposed to practice for the week.
 Wednesday afternoon, Nora, Jane and I went grocery shopping at Sprouts and Costco. We were gone for a couple of hours and they were exhausted by the end...I unbuckled Nora when we got home and then I started bringing in groceries and when I went back out to get more, both of the girls were fast asleep, Nora standing with her top half laying in her car seat.

 Once everything was unloaded, Nora slept on so I just left her and after about 15 more minutes she moved to the floor of the van and slept for another 20 minutes or so.
 The kids had early release Wednesday and no school Thursday and Friday which was fun. They finished chores and piano in the morning and then played with friends/neighbors in the afternoons. We followed our normal nightly routine, dinner, clean up with music and dancing, reading books, scriptures and prayer and putting the little girls to bed. Once they were in bed the older kids and I watched a movie together (Scott, the dear, continued to mud the bedroom and hallway...they were movies he'd seen before so he didn't mind).

Thursday afternoon, Jim Madsen (Charles Primary teacher and the former stake president) dropped this remembrance box off that he made for me, with a very nice note expressing his condolences for the passing of my dad and thanking me for my talk I gave Sunday which had helped a couple of his grown kids who were there visiting. His thoughtfulness and love touched my heart and I felt the love of the Lord, once again. That day I put dad's harmonica inside the box, rummaged through some pictures and found a few favorites of dad that I also added to my box, and then I listened to some old voice mails I had saved on my phone and watched old videos on my youtube channel of dad.
 Elisabeth took this picture of Scott reading to Nora at night before bed. He is such a good dad and a loving and supportive husband. We're lucky to have him!