Thursday, November 29, 2012

Catching up: Cornbelly's

This year we didn't get around to going to Cornbelly's until after Halloween, and it ended up being a fantastic decision.  The crowds were much smaller, so the lines were much shorter.  We met up with Collin's cousin David and his family and had a rather marvelous time. (Don't you think the word "marvelous" should be brought back into vogue?  I do.)

First we stopped for some photo ops, just so we could let everyone know what kind of a time we were about to have.
 We arrived just in time for the giant pumpkin smash.  That's an 800-lb. pumpkin being lifted up by a crane to be dropped onto a car.  Oh yeah, Lehi knows how to have fun!
 There were giant wooden play structures all over, so the boys were pretty much in heaven.

 The men decided to have a race.  I think David won, but Collin was slightly more encumbered.
 Whee!  Fun with animated GIFs!
 We finally got around to doing the kiddie corn maze.  The kids were generally more interested in the corn than the maze.

Elinor spent the entire time snug in her wrap, but here she is before departure looking all prim and proper.

 We look forward to going again next year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Guess who's smiling?

Actually, she's been smiling for a couple of weeks now, but I haven't been able to catch it on camera until recently.  We all love making fools of ourselves to coax just one more smile from our Baby Sister. 
 That's right Elinor, work that double chin!

She's not exactly smiling in this picture, but how cute is that outfit?  I just had to post.

 I hope everyone has a HAPPY Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Isaac turns five, Star Wars style!

Today is Isaac's 5th birthday.  Can you believe it?  He's been hanging around us for five whole years now!  In that time, he has taught us more patience, long-suffering, fun, and love than we knew could possibly exist before we knew him.  I'm so grateful for his sweet and gentle temperament, his unconditional love for all his family, and his burgeoning wacky sense of humor.  He is the best big brother any sibling could hope for, and I'm just tickled pink at his boundless imagination and creativity.  Happy birthday, dear boy!

And now to the fun stuff!  Isaac requested a Star Wars themed party this year - the first time he's actually asked for a party with friends.  I turned to the interwebs for some inspiration, and boy did I get some!  I was already in a party planning mood, so things quickly started getting out of hand.  In the end, I'm very pleased with the way things turned out.  More importantly, Isaac and his guests had a blast!

The Invitations
I did these in Photoshop and am rather proud of myself for figuring most of it out (with minimal help from Collin).  Had them printed as photos at Costco for just a few cents each - awesome!

The Fashion
I made the kids each a Star Wars themed t-shirt for the occasion using freezer paper stencils.  It was my first time doing it, and I was rather pleased with the results (though the Princess Leia one was by far the best).

The Games
We started the young padawans with some Force training by playing Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda blindfolded (get it?  They had to use the Force to feel where his lightsaber should go.). 
Once they had a firm grasp of the Force, each kid was given a lightsaber made from a foam pool noodle cut in half and decorated with duct and electrical tape.  We practiced a few sweet moves...
...and then Darth Vader arrived (to the sound of the Imperial March, nonetheless!) and their skills were put to the test. 

Clearly, they won. 

As Vader called out his final defeat, he produced a mysterious clue directing the kids to locate the Death Star in order to destroy it.  We went on a wild hunt throughout the house, finding clues that led to other clues until we finally discovered the secret location of the Death Star - inside the dryer!

Now it was time to destroy the Death Star.  It started with some orderly hits with their lightsabers and quickly devolved to this primal show of good triumphing over evil.

After several good whacks with a proper stick, the Death Star was destroyed, revealing some rather tasty rewards.  Now it was time for the celebration feast!

The Food

Most of the fun of a Star Wars party (for me, anyway) lies in the food puns.  And while the kids didn't necessarily appreciate my refined sense of humor, they enjoyed the food. Our menu:
Pizza the Hutt
Han Solo frozen in "carbonite" Jello (the kids really got a kick out of "rescuing" him!)
Pretzel lightsabers (pretzel sticks dipped in tinted white chocolate)

Wookie Cookies - they're extra Chewie!  (Ja!)
Yoda Soda (Sprite and lime sherbet)

Bantha milk (Milk tinted blue. They were pretty jazzed about this until they tried it, then they were unimpressed.  I should've added a hint of honey or sugar to it.)
Cupcakes with homemade marshmallow fondant cupcake toppers (I used the Star Wars cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma)

The table was decorated simply with black plastic tablecloth, silver paper plates and cocktail napkins, black paper cups with shiny star stickers, and a lime green spoon (to match the yoda soda).  There were silver star confetti strewn down the center of the table and alternating silver and clear helium balloons tied to each chair. 

I probably won't be going so overboard on future kid parties, but it was really fun to do it just this once. Happy birthday, dear Isaac, and may the Force be with you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


The boys were so excited about Halloween this year.  Isaac had his heart set on dressing up as a construction worker, which for some reason actually meant fire fighter.  Sammy didn't care, so we just reused his monkey suit from last year.  That's right.  Our kids don't grow very fast.  Or at all.
Their cousins came over and they all went trick-or-treating together, but not before we attempted to get a group shot.
To celebrate the occasion I made fancy decorated sugar cookies, because that's what my crazy sleep-deprived brain thinks about first thing in the morning.  This was my first foray into the world of decorating sugar cookies with royal icing, and I'm quite pleased with the results.  I foresee a new obsession in the works...
They've already mostly forgotten about their candy haul, which bodes quite well for me.  Hooray!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm too busy for my shirt

... That title really didn't have much to do with this post.  I just wanted to tell you about something that just happened.  We've had this black helium balloon in the house for the past three weeks.  It's been floating proudly all this time, though the past several days have finally seen it waning in buoyancy. 

Lately, we've noticed a certain... sentience about this balloon.  It floats around the house on its own, surprising us in random rooms at random times.  We were watching TV late tonight when I noticed the thing, black as night, slowly but deliberately floating down the stairs and around the corner to the family room where we were.  It continued to creep its way to the far end of the family room until finally it reached Collin's head (I had by then gotten the heck out of that room), whereupon Collin grabbed the thing and popped it.  As the air slowly drained the life from the balloon, I could swear I heard it hissing, "Death is not the end..."

Creepy, right?  Moral of the story: Don't buy possessed balloons.  Oh, and this story was 95% true.  We will be having balloon nightmares tonight.

And in case you're wondering about the title of my post, it's because I'm too busy to put on a shirt these days, so you may want to avert your eyes if you see me out and about.  But seriously, it's a new level of Busy and Having a Life that I'm quite unaccustomed to.  I actually have to check my planner daily - nay, hourly - to make sure I don't forget anything.  It's bizarre.  I keep wanting to do things like sit down and update the blog, but there isn't time (except like right now at 1:00 AM, which I really don't think is the best idea I've ever had, but what can ya do once you get it in your head to post a story about a late-night balloon exorcism?).  I'm making a goal to post something with pictures by the end of this weekend, though.  It helps if I have somewhere/-one/-thing to hold me accountable.  And with that, I'm off to bed!

P.S.  Aren't you glad you read this blog post?   You're welcome.