I picked all the tomatoes, squash, watermelons, peppers, and zuchinni off the vines this week. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of tomatoes this year. We ate over half of them this weekend! Yum! We had one watermelon that was sort of sweet, the other two were green. Just not enough warm weather here for watermelons. All around us the leaves are starting to change. The prairie becomes a very beautiful sight this time of year as all the various grasses turn rust, orange, red, and yellow. We have grass turning instead of leaves. We got to wear some of our long sleeved outfits this week. That was fun. Phillip is excited to wear socks again. I am excited for the kids to wear their Halloween outfits for the next month! I like the bright colors and odd combos of bright and black in Halloween clothes.
Evelyn is practicing her balance this week. She will use my leg or other object to slowly stand up then balance once she is occupied with something else. She does this funny "shy" move, where she puts her hands over her eyes in a claw shape. Reminds me of Michael Jackson's Thriller moves. Sometimes I put her down and walk elsewhere, as I turn around to go back I am surprised to find her sitting right behind me. I forgot how fast babies can crawl after a month of practice. Justin and I swear she tries to pray. When Justin announces prayer, she folds her arms and tries to say thank for day and Amen. Bless her little heart. Then to see her little short legs kneeling about kills me. In the past few weeks she started trying to talk to us. She gets an intense look on her face and seriously talks to us about heaven (or Phillip's unusual displays of love). We are coming to the end of nursing. She nurses (sort of) in the morning and before bed.
Phillip and Everett are very sweet to each other when they are not being bossy or forgetting to share. I often find them snuggling on the couch during quiet time. When Everett gets hurt, Phillip takes him into the bathroom and patches up Everett's boo-boo with several band aids. He will find Everett a toy at the Salvation Army before he finds one to play with. At the parade the boys kept exchanging candy with each other and giving candies to other little kids who had trouble finding candy. Times like these serve to remind me that we are heading in the right direction.
Amelia brought home her school photos this week. She was very excited that she still looked as cute as the day the photos were taken. She is doing so well with getting her homework completed and piano practiced with little to no fuss. I enjoy picking her up so we can chat on the drive home. Her teacher Mrs Belieu is amazing. She has all kinds of incentives, fun awards (like wearing your silliest hat to school, sitting in the fuzzy chair, or reading during lunch), and little gifts the kids can earn. Amelia earned a little notebook like a detective carries around. After school she pretended to take orders for dinner, make a list of what we can improve on as a family, and played Blues Clues with the boys.
Wednesday my Beehives were in charge of combined activities. We hosted a textile fashion show! Everyone brought household items (like old sheets, paper, foil, trash bags, tape, staples, etc) to share. The girls grouped up and made outfits with the textiles. The girls were so creative! I loved the fun outfits they made. Some want to use their outfits for Halloween! I made a hula skirt for Amelia out of a large bedsheet. Amelia made her own accessories.
I am feeling quite a bit of pressure lately with my business. Kelly, the awesome photographer in town, is on maternity leave. Heather, another awesome photographer, closed her studio and business last month to make more time for her family. Candice moved to Cheyenne and is in the throes of planning her wedding. The lady in Bridgeport is only doing Senior photos and limited outdoor family photos. Boils down to quite a few folks looking for a photographer to fill the gaps. I have a very hard time saying no to something I love doing. This week a lady called in a panic needing newborn photos for her 5 day old baby. She was scheduled with someone but the appointment was cancelled. I finally said yes after trying to find someone else to help her with no luck. This week alone 9 ladies called me asking for appointments. Talk about pressure when I am supposed to only have 2 per month! This month is booked with a senior session, family session (to pay for Amelia's piano lessons) and the mini-sessions. Too much I tell you. It always gets this way the closer we get to Christmas.
General Conference always coincides with Sidney's Oktoberfest. The committee was considering shutting down the event after this year due to several years of low attendance. The weather has been pretty cold and downright terrible the past 6 years. Course, this year the weather had to be perfect and delivered a cash cow to the beer tent. The kids all knew about the parade...and General Conference. For FHE we talked about the Prophet and Apostles. Phillip fell in love with Dieter F Uchtdorf's name. He says it just to get a laugh. I ended up taking the kids to the parade from 10:15-10:45 since the parade route is 3 blocks away. The kids stuffed massive amounts of candy into their pockets and the little bucket I provided. Evelyn jived to the band music with a lollipop. Everett was pretty hilarious, trying to stuff his pockets with candy and eat the candy at the same time. Back at home the kids devoured their candy for the rest of the first session. During the second session they amused themselves, making candy posters with candy, markers, and a roll of electrical tape. It was very hard to hear over the noise they produced. Amelia and Phillip often get into fights over silly issues like who gets two Thomas Trains. Absurd. Everett sat quietly and ate so much candy his breath smelled like a liquor factory. Poor Evelyn is not feeling well. She moaned and cried all of Sunday, refusing to nap. I attempted to stay awake by crocheting an Elsa hat for Amelia's Halloween costume. I loved hearing the different languages this conference. I loved the talk on health and exercise by Elder Klebingat, Elder Holland's talk, Elder Uchtdorf's talk, and Elder Bednar's talk. My favorite talk was Elder Callister's talk on the family. Between sessions on Saturday we went to the beer tent (yep, the beer tent) so Amelia could perform her ballet recital piece. I love seeing all the little girls relaxed and excited to perform outside of the pressures of the formal recital. The boys enjoyed dancing on the stage before the performance started. Justin and I enjoyed brats with sauerkraut for lunch, the kids snacked on hot dogs and ate their chips. The weather was perfect. Between sessions today we had the kids ride their bikes while we walked. Phew, the kids were obnoxious and needed to get outside! Justin grilled up a delicious skirt steak on his new charcoal grill for dinner. He even cooked up some veggies and beans. We ended up with an amazing fajita dinner. I love when he cooks!