Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Today was a great day! We started it with the boys staying home and spending some quality time together and the three of us girls heading to town. I had told the girls last night that I would take them to Michael's this morning for their craft time.

So, at about 9:15, we headed out the door. But, before heading to Bellingham, we stopped at Starbucks for some of their Caramel Apple Spiced Cider. Yes, I would normally go to Woods but when Brenna and I were at Safeway the other night, the Starbucks stand there was giving out samples of their Caramel Apple Spiced Cider and we both just loved it! So, that is what we stopped for before heading to Michael's. We spent some time making the craft and then picked up a few items that we were needing from Michael's and WalMart and then headed back home.

We spent the rest of the afternoon making cupcakes and muffins for Noah Nite tonight and then go the kids ready to go. I love that my kids don't ever choose to dress up as anything that takes a lot of make-up, no fuss.

This year we had our Lynden Lions Volleyball player (and a great player she is!)...
...our very own Hannah Montana...
...and a little boy who was suppose to be a pumpkin (that's all he has talked about for a month now) until 7:15 Friday night. He was on the internet with Brenna on They had been on for a little while when he turned to Jason and I and declared, "Mommy, I have decided that I want to be Handy Manny and NOT a pumpkin." Oh my! I had to get busy quickly. Thankfully, we have clothing close enough to what Handy Manny wears. We were going to just cover all of the Bob the Builder emblems on his tool set but then I found a template online for Handy Manny cardstock tools. I went with that! I printed them out, glued on craft sticks and taped the "tools" to the inside of my cleaning bucket. We didn't have a tool box for him to use while trick-or-treating so we were able to convince him that the bucket would be great for his tools and candy. He was fine with it once he heard that Uncle Tyler and Papa Duane sometimes carry their tools in a bucket.
Once we had everyone ready and had taken all the pictures, they were very excited to get going.
Our first stop of the evening was my mom's house. Of course, she doesn't just hand them a piece of candy or two. They each had a lunch sack filled with treats...stick mix, peanut butter crackers, and other goodies along those lines. No worries...there was candy also.

Alyssa couldn't wait to get that first piece of candy and eat it. She was caught red handed!
As we were leaving Mom's, I couldn't get over how beautiful these trees were. I just had to take a picture of them. I love to see God's creation changing colors during this time of year...the leaves are so beautiful!
From Mom's we went to Grandma Groen's and then to Uncle Todd and Aunt Trisha's. They had the cutest little lioness waiting to see us. I just could not get over how absolutely adorable Paige was in this outfit. This is only one of the many pictures that Auntie took of the little precious.
As we were leaving Todd and Trisha's, we quick took a picture of the kids with Paige.
We made one more stop at Jason's parents' house and then headed to the church for Noah Nite. This year we had a free community dinner and lots of games for the kids to play and they got a bunch of candy.

Dinner was chili dogs (or plain dogs if you wanted). They were soooo good!
After dinner we made our way out to the games. We came across this scene... This is our Children's Ministry Pastor, Ken Alsum. These girls had convinced him to let them paint his finger nails. They painted them BRIGHT pink. It was so funny and he was such a good sport about it. He is an amazing guy!! We are so blessed to have him working with our children!!
This was a new "game" for Noah Nite this year. It was so funny. The kids had to stick their hands up either one of the nostrils of this "nose" and they would either get boogers/slime or candy. Alyssa went first and I think she got slime but I can't remember.
Brenna was next and by the look on her face, there is no mistaking that she got slime. She told us she wasn't doing that again. We talked her in to doing it a few more times throughout the night and she did end up with candy for the most part.
Uncle Deryl and Aunt Shari had their big debut at Noah Nite this year. They had never worked a booth before and this year they each had a booth to work at. The kids loved seeing them there. It's great to people like Uncle Deryl and Aunt Shari there who enjoy playing with the kids. Thank you both for giving up your evening to make Noah Nite a success and a time for our kids to enjoy!! The kids really like Uncle Deryl's booth at the end because he was giving away the candy by the handfuls!!! SCORE!
The highlight of the night for Ethan was when he spotted his buddy Brandon. He instantly got the giggles and went running towards the table where Brandon was standing with a friend. Brandon immediately turned all of his attention towards Ethan to say hi to him. Brandon, you made Ethan's night!! It was so good to see Brandon...he is home from college for a 4 day weekend.
After Noah Nite, we made one more stop. We had chatted with Pastor Craig at Noah Nite and he mentioned that Debbie was home handing out candy. So, we told him we would stop by their place after Noah Nite. It was great that Craig had beat us there so he could be there when the kids arrived. These two people are amazing! They love our kids so much and make them all feel so special. We ended up hanging around for awhile and just chatting and catching up.
It was nice to finally get home and have the kids unwind a little before getting them into bed. I am so thankful for the extra hour of sleep that we are getting tonight! The kids need it...and so do dad and mom!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Harvest/Halloween Party

So I have been hard at work this past week preparing for Alyssa's class party. Being room mom, I have the job of planning all of the activities that we were going to do with Alyssa's class for an hour. I didn't know if I would be able to fill that hour but it all worked out and the kids had fun.

I started with making brownies in a pumpkin cake pan that I have. Frosting them was the worse part and the fact that I did these so late at night did not make for cute faces. Considering the kids were 2nd graders, they didn't really care. I was so glad about that!
I divided the class into three groups. Each group was at a station for about 10 minutes. Station #1 was Jack-O-Lantern bingo. Alyssa and her friend Amanda were waiting very patiently for a number to be called that they had on their card.
At station #2, the kids made Caramel Apples. No...we did not melt caramel and dip apples. That is just way to messy. Last year I came across these Caramel Apple Wraps. They are amazing! You get 5 caramel wraps and sticks per package. You stretch the caramel out a little bit and the drape it down over the apple, insert the stick, and then either put in the oven or microwave. Since we were at school, we just used the microwave in the supply room. It was perfect!
We have a mom in our class that is very crafty. So, at station #3, the kids made candy Scarecrow necklaces. They turned out really cute the kids were excited about them.
I finally get a great picture of Alyssa and me and it's blurry. Aagh! Oh well. It was a fun afternoon and Alyssa appreciated all the work that mommy put into her party.
Alyssa and her friend Kinna having fun and enjoying their snacks.
Friday morning, I had babysat my niece Paige. Trisha had called wondering what we were doing for dinner. I mentioned that we were going to go to Papa Murphy's to get one of their Jack-O-Lantern pizzas. When she came to get Paige, she surprised us with a pizza, dessert pizza, and pop. It was a surprise very much appreciated!! When we baked the pizza, we all got a good laugh when it was coming out of the oven. It came out looking like it had puffy cheeks. It was great!
Now that our Harvest/Halloween party is over, I need to start preparing for the next party in December. Yes, I know, it seems a little soon for that but if November goes as fast as October has, I'm toast!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Look what Ethan did!!

We have been working so hard with Ethan to get him to write his name. It was hard to send him to Preschool knowing that he wasn't doing that yet. I realize that many kids aren't writing their name before starting Preschool but the girls were and that's all I had to go on. Ethan was just not interested. Even after he started Preschool, I would try to work with him and he would inform me that I was not his teacher. So, I gave up and left it to his teachers.

Today, when I picked him up from Preschool, I took the paper that was in his cubby out and checked the back of it...just to make sure it was his...and this is what I found!! I was so excited!!
We have been praising him all night. I had to share with all of you!!

Cookie Dough Sale

I know, I know...I owe you an update on life. I'll get to that...I PROMISE!!

Today, I thought I would just put it out there to anyone who might be interested... The girls are selling Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough as a fundraiser for school. It's their one and only annual fundraiser that they do. The cookie dough comes pre-portioned and frozen in re-usable tubs. So, there is no thawing, no scooping, and no mixing. Just throw them on a cookie sheet and you've got cookies in no time! There are approximately 36 large cookies per container and are good in your freezer for a year. If you are at all interested in purchasing cookie dough or any of the bonus items they offer, you can email us at I will list the items and their prices below...
*Chocolate Chip - $14
*Carnival (M&M and Chocolate Chip) - $14
*Butter Sugar - $14
*Chocolate Chocolate Chunk - $15
*Strawberry Short Cake - $15
*Cranberry Oatmeal - $15
*White Chocolate Macadamia Nut - $15
*Triple Chocolate - $14
*Peanut Butter - $14
*Reduced Fat Chocolate Chip - $14
*Oatmeal Raisin - $14
*The Holiday Joy Cookie - $15 (Has chunks of peppermint and re-coated white chocolate.) Perfect for the holidays!

The Bonus items are...
*Pretzel Kit - $15 (Sweet or Savory, You Choose! Includes a salt-packet and Cinnamon & Sugar Packet...12 plain pretzels per box.)
*Grilled Cheese Stuffed Pretzels - $15 ...10 per box
*Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake - $15 ...20 servings
*Double Chocolate Chip Brownies - $15 ...20 servings

So, there is no pressure. I just wanted to put this out there in case someone is interested. The girls have to turn in their orders by Monday, November 3rd. Thank you in advance!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Carving...

We decided on Sunday that we had better get our pumpkins carved that afternoon or they may not get completed. Our week was full with getting ready for school parties and everything else going on. So, after going through pages and pages on the internet of ideas for their pumpkins, the kids finally decided what they wanted.

We brought the pumpkins in and got to work. Jason and I cut the tops of and loosened the insides of the pumpkins and then we have the girls help clean the pumpkins out. Ethan's job to "supervise". I was not about to have him get into the pumpkins because I knew it would end up all over the dining room.

Once the pumpkins were cleaned out, we started in on the carving and this is what we ended with...

Jason and Brenna carved a moon and stars in Brenna's pumpkin.
Alyssa and I carved a heart in Alyssa's pumpkin. I was so not surprised when Alyssa chose this out of all the other templates we looked at.
Ethan and Jason carved a "Jack-O-Lantern". Ethan didn't even look at what was available online. He brought his plastic pumpkin "bucket" to Jason and stated clearly that he wanted a Jack-O-Lantern. So, Jason did his best to copy the plastic pumpkin face.
I found this scarecrow template and decided to carve the 4th pumpkin on the front porch. I think it turned out pretty cute. (It was much cuter after I cleaned it off...sorry!)
We had quite the mess when we finished and I collected just enough pumpkin seeds and roasted them for snacking on. I don't do too many because the kids seem to get tired of them quickly.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back to the blog world!

Yes, yes...I know, it's been awhile since I've blogged. I really do have good reasons!!

Over the past couple of weeks, we have had sick kiddos. Our girls have never missed a day of school and last week, they were both home. Brenna woke up Monday am with a headache, stomach ache and low grade temp. So, we sent Alyssa to school and Brenna stayed home. Even though her temp was gone by the time school started and she was ready to go to school by noon. I kept her home. Our rule is you have to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.

Tuesday morning, both girls headed off to school. I took Ethan to my mom's house and headed to the school to volunteer and Alyssa's class. When I went to sign-in at the office, I saw this cute, little, blond girl in the nurse's room and quickly realized that it was my Alyssa and she was crying. They told me that they were just getting ready to call me because Alyssa had a stomach ache and fever. So, instead of volunteering, I gathered Alyssa's work for Tuesday and Wednesday and we headed for home. I quick went and got Ethan from Mom's and then got Alyssa home and in p.j.'s. I think that's the best part of being get to stay in your jammies! Alyssa's stomach ache was short lived but the fever didn't go away until early Thursday morning. She stayed home Thursday and was very excited to return to school on Friday.

Ethan has been "sick" for a week and a half. He always gets croup this time of year. Thankfully, it hasn't been as bad as years past. We have become true pro's at handling croup in this house. Ethan has had it off and on since he was 5 months old. In fact, our doctor has finally just given us the medication that we need to treat Ethan with his croup and we just call in to report when we use it. Since he's given us the medication, we've only had to use it once. Poor Ethan, the first night/early morning, he woke up with it, Oct. 10, he looked at me and said, "Mommy please don't take me to ER. I don't want to go to ER." I told him that we didn't have to go there any more because mommy had the medicine at home if we needed it. I think the poor boy has been there one too many times for this croup business. Anyway, with the croup stuff, Ethan has been fighting a cold. This past weekend, he had the fever part so he was home bound. Thankfully, the fever is gone and it's just the lingering cold that he's dealing with now.

I wasn't well Thursday so Jason stayed home from work to help with Alyssa and Ethan. (He's such a great husband!!! I didn't even ask him to stay home, he just did!) I honestly think I was just worn down from everyone else being sick and getting up so much during the night with the kids...taking temps, giving tylenol for fever, cold and cough medicine for those needing that. A mother's job is never rest for the weary!

I did take advantage of some serious scrappin' time last Monday and Tuesday while the girls were home. I completed 13 pages!! I'll share just a few of them.
There are lots more but I didn't really want to take pictures of them all. It is so much easier sharing my digital scrap pages. I can't wait until my kids are caught up in the traditional world and I can get back to digital scrappin'!

This past Monday, Ethan and I met my mom, sister and niece out at Bellewood Acres. We had never been there so it was fun to go explore a new place. Ethan had fun watching the workers sort apples and get them ready for packaging and then watching the man making apple cider. He just took it all in and told Jason all about it that evening. Here are a few pictures of our day.

Ethan found these huge pumpkins. He's wondering if his cousin Wayne can grow pumpkins this big. (Wayne had his own pumpkin "patch" this year.)
This was Ethan's favorite part to watch...making apple cider.
The crew...
Ethan found this cart of pumpkins and jumped in for a picture. I was going to have him stand next to it but no...he wanted in. Okay!
Checking out all of the apple trees...Ethan and Mommy Paige and TrishaPaige and Ethan with Mom...Ethan was being such a goof at this point. It was hard to even get a good picture of him.Paige and Grammy.It's been nice to get everyone back to normal routine this week. It's our last week of sports so next week will be even better! We won't have to worry about getting anyone to turn out and who's going to who's game on Saturday. We are looking forward to a quiet (as quiet as it gets) schedule for the winter months.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The weekend accomplishments!

We started our weekend out early Saturday morning. Ethan woke up with his "seal bark"...croup! Aagh!! Thankfully, he has grown enough that his airway is bigger so we aren't having to go to ER with him any more. He was so cute though. He looked up at me as we were sitting on the couch together and said, "Mommy, I don't want to go to ER." I assured him that we wouldn't have to do that this time.

Brenna had to be at the gym for volleyball practice at 8:00 am. Jason dropped her off at the gym and came home to get the rest of us for her 9:00 game. She has improved so much over the past couple of weeks. (Again, the pictures aren't the best...we may need to call on our family photographer for help...AGAIN!)
Getting ready to serve!
After Brenna's game, we headed over to Bender Field for Alyssa's game...sorry no pictures. It was so cold and the wind that was blowing made it even colder! It was all we could do to stay warm. All of the girls out on the field were very cold and their legs were not moving very quickly down the field. They were all so happy when the game was over.

Once we got home, we warmed up and got busy with the day's projects. The big one on the list was getting the cable line dropped down the wall where our desk is. Considering Jason had never done anything like this before, he did an amazing job. You would never know that this line wasn't originally put in when the house was built. Way to go babe! It is so nice to have the computer back out on the desk and no longer in our bedroom.
While Jason was busy with his project, I finally got the outside of the house decorated for Fall. I'm loving the way it turned out. Here's the front porch...
And, then...each side of the garage.

This afternoon, after church, I finally completed this project. I put together this canvas of pictures of Ethan a few weeks ago but never had the wording for it. This week, I got my sis-in-law's (I know, she hates being called that...sorry!) Cricuit to use for scrap booking and for this wording. So, today was the day this project got completed. I think it turned out pretty good. I'm just glad it's finished and Ethan was pretty excited about it too.
This evening we headed out to Everson to do a photo shoot with three families. We just kept rotating through all of us until we had all of the desired shots. Thank you Ashley and Tanya for setting this time up. It was fun but crazy! There were 10 kids and they were all a little tired...okay, some more than others. Considering that, I thought they did great! 3 & 4-year old little boys are very hard to get smiles out of and have them looking at the camera at the same time. Here are just a few of our favorites...and keep in mind...these are before any edits have been made. I need to decide which ones I want to order before any editing will be made.