Sunday, October 18, 2015

Weekly update, October 18, 2015

I had dinner Monday night with my lovely friend Wendy at her brother's and his wife's house.  Collin stayed home with the kids so that I could have all kinds of fun without worrying about getting back in time for a sitter.  Good thing, too, because we had a blast.  Ryan and Rachel (brother+wife) pulled out all the stops with a delicious dinner, and I brought this apple crumble pie with hard sauce for dessert. 

Fall is upon us!  We went to Rowley's Red Barn in Santaquin on Tuesday.  We went there last year and had the time of our lives, so we thought we would repeat the experience this year.  It was still plenty fun, but not quite as magical as last year.  We ice creamed, photo op'd, giant slided, sandboxed, go-kart pedaled, haystack climbed, corn mazed, wagon rode, and of course pumpkin picked.
The schools were on fall break this Thursday and Friday, with an extra day off on Monday (tomorrow) for staff development.  We celebrated by going to the Cedar City cabin Thursday evening until today.  We always have such a lovely time there.  After an initial scare involving a locked door and not having the key, we were able to - ahem - get in and start the fun.  We took a few little hikes through the property each day.  There are no paved trails, only slightly more traversed pathways that the deer have carved out over time.  Speaking of wildlife, last time we saw a family of deer wander through the yard.  This year we had to content ourselves with a family of wild turkeys and a dead deer on one of our hikes.  Hey, nature is nature, right?
A friend of mine did a fantastic little project with her kids on her blog: a homemade Halloween village set - or ghost town, if you will.  We did!  I brought all kinds of craft supplies with us to the cabin, then we planned, cut, painted, hot glued, sanded and repainted (note to selves: some of the boxes were too slick for tempera paint to adhere to), decorated, and sanded and repainted again with acrylic paints (additional note to selves: tempera paint is not ideal for these kinds of projects) until we were completely satisfied.  I love how they turned out, and it was something the whole family got in on (Collin was responsible for the saloon, natch). I even spray painted the ghosts with glow-in-the-dark paint for maximum awesomeness. 

The kids helped by hunting for the perfect ghost-shaped rocks, painting the ghosts and buildings, and drawing on the ghosts' faces.  Elinor kept adding more and more rocks to the pile until we put a cap on how many ghosts we could have.  In the end she decided to draw her own family of unpainted mini-rocks.
When everything was complete, they had a blast playing with their new ghost town set.  They alternated between playing with the set outside on the deck while the ghosts charged up their glowing power, and running their ghosts inside and shutting themselves into a pitch black bathroom to have a glowing ghost party.  Seriously, so much fun!

Daisy had a great time this weekend too.  She was more content than usual, just hanging out and smiling and cooing at anyone who would look her way.  We kind of adore her.  Happy fall break!

P.S.  We checked on the kids before going to bed one night and found Ellie like this:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Weekly update, October 11, 2015

Busy week!

Sammy's kindergarten class hosted a "Moms and Muffins" party, wherein the moms came and looked at their kids' personal reading books, watched a few song presentations from the class (the one about the letter 'S' was set to the tune of "There's a place in France where the naked ladies dance," which I know isn't the actual name of the tune, but c'mon - I couldn't have been the only immature mom present who was singing the alternate lyrics in my head), and shared a muffin with them.  It was the highlight of Sammy's week, and he was pretty much on cloud nine all day.
We taught Isaac and Sammy to ride bikes by first using balance bikes - essentially, a bike with no pedals.  When Sammy graduated to a real bike, Ellie inherited his balance bike, only she was too scared to use it until this week.  Look at her go!  She's still in the cautiously waddling stage.

Speaking of Ellie, earlier this week she fell asleep mid-conversation while sitting on a bar stool.  One of the hazards of dropping the afternoon nap.  Not sure what's up with the Sharpie in her hand.

I love sweet little moments like this one: Just a daddy clipping his little girl's nails.

I spent all day Friday putting together my first wedding cake.  I baked all the layers and made all the fillings (lemon-scented white cake, raspberry jam, lemon mousseline buttercream filling, and Italian meringue buttercream frosting) the week before and froze everything, so all I had to do on Friday was assemble and decorate.  Then it went in the fridge overnight to firm up enough to transport Saturday morning.  It went mostly as planned, with only a few minor hiccups.  It's not exactly perfect, but I'm still very happy with the result.  I hope the bride and groom liked it.  Also, I'm never doing another wedding cake again.  Oh, the crippling stress!

I took a break from the cake decorating Friday evening to attend the Mann family reunion adults-only dinner party at Sheena's house.  Grandma Mann was able to hold Daisy (who doesn't count because she's so cute and little) for a little while.  She's her 109th posterity.  There are 110 total posterity from Grandma and Grandpa Mann.  Pretty cool. 

Saturday was the Mann Family Reunion 2.0, with kids! We had rented out Arete Gymnastics and spent 3 hours doing crazy things that most of us are too old or out of shape to be doing: hula hooping contests, handstand contests, planking contests, human hamster ball rolling, sisterly balance beam posing, jumping through hoops.  You know, just to name a few.  It was a blast.

Before we went to the gym, I took Isaac on a sushi lunch date.  No pictures, but we had a fantastic time. I taught him how to use chopsticks, and he managed to eat his whole lunch with a trainer set.  We also discussed proper restaurant etiquette and how to be a little gentleman.  The waitress was so charmed by him that she asked if she could give us some free miso soup.  Score!  I love how Isaac is so willing to try new things.  He loved all the sushi as well as the seaweed salad, something Sammy would have gagged at. 

And finally, our niece Gwenneth's baby blessing was today, so we went to the Barringtons' house this afternoon.  Daisy was a really good sport all weekend, missing all kinds of naps and getting passed around to all kinds of unfamiliar people.  She was smiles for many of them and chubby cheeks for all.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Weekly Digest, October 4, 2015

This was a pretty slow week.  Maxine got a hair cut on Tuesday and you can kind of see it here.  I really love this haircut - one of my favorites.
Last weekend we tried a fancy new-fangled type of pizza and we all went crazy for it.  I present to you the cheeseburger pizza!  Ketchup and mustard-based. Mozzarella and cheddar-cheesed.  Ground turkey and bacon-loaded.  Lettuce on-topped.  So good we did it again last night with the Barringtons!

Wednesday the 30th was the boys' school jog-a-thon.  Isaac did it last year but this was Sammy's first and he was PUMPED.  Isaac ran 16 laps and Sammy ran 15 laps - about 1.5 miles!

The boys are obsessed with the Battle of Hoth scene in the Empire Strikes Back.  They love AT-AT Walkers and snow speeders.  Isaac has been attempting to re-create an AT-AT walker with Legos so they can re-enact the battle of Hoth.  The boys spend hours a day crafting robots and vehicles for their epic "battles."  Seriously, hours every day.  That's how they spend the majority of their time.   That green blur in the background is Sammy.  :)

 Daisy is getting really social now.  She loves it when we hold her close so we can interact face-to-face.  She's started to try to communicate with us and it comes out in cute little "oooh's".  It's cute.

Ellie continues to be completely smitten with Daisy.  It's so sweet.  But now she equates "cuteness" with being "shubby" (chubby).  If we say, "Ellie, you are so cute!" She'll respond "No! I'm not cute!  I'm not shubby!"