25 October 2016

Stake Conference

We've had an interesting month church wise! First General Conference, then Temple Dedication, and this week Stake Conference. We were spiritually fed during each meeting in different ways. I am so grateful to participate in these special occasions.

Evelyn found the most redonkulous toy ever during our Walmart trip. She found a huge Cinderella carriage that actually drives. It was like a toddler dream come true. This week she had a huge crush on making Jell-o. As soon as the kids left for school she raided the pantry and helped herself to a box of Jell-o. Before I knew it she tore the box open and the paper sack of powder. She knows how to get me moving in the morning! I then "help" her boil water and stir, stir, stir powder into the water. She picks out the mold of the day and BAM! Jell-o is ready to set up. Problem is she wants the jell-o ready in five minutes and not three hours. The waiting drives her nuts. So she grabs a can of soup to eat for brunch, a special bowl, and stares at me until I heat it up. She is quite handy with her pleases and thank yous. She and Phillip decided to smash doughnuts all over their faces instead of eat the treat. There were so many crumbs that Josie joined in the fun, or Phillip gave her a doughnut. They even had fun vacuuming up the mess. Wednesday Evelyn and I made a ghost with paper, glue, and cotton balls. She loves her ghost. I spent half the week sorting clothes. Everett was wearing size 3t PJs, he looked quite silly with his shorts up to his buns and his shirts halfway up his chest. Amelia finally grew so I was able to box up all her size 6x and 7s to save for the smaller girls. I gave a large tote of clothes to a family down the street who have 3 small growing boys and one older girl. Evelyn played fashion show with the small clothes I was preparing to donate. She looked hilarious wearing a coat two sizes smaller than she is.

Friday after school we had a huge rush getting the kids ready for Cabela's Trick or Treat street. I did not have Amelia's Rey costume completed so she wore her newish Ariel dress, Josie was baby Ariel! Evelyn wore a Cinderella work costume. I whipped up a head scarf headband to match the outfit. Phillip was Jet Vac again, his costume gave him a fantastic wedgie. Everett was Trigger Happy, another SkyLander character. We found the main suit but he lost the guns and the thrifted costume was without a mask. Mostly, he looked like a short Ewok. The kids were so excited! I love the creativity of the rooms the different departments decorate. There was Adams Family, Hotel Transylvania, Inside Out, Jurassic Park, Peter Pan, Up! and a couple others I cannot remember. Evelyn ate most of her candy before we made it upstairs! Amelia was disappointed over the amount of candy, or lack there of. It is rough growing up! Upstairs was a photo booth and some refreshments. We were late so missed out on the refreshments.

Saturday the kids cleaned out the van. I am always dismayed over how fast it gets cluttered up. Justin drove his motorcycle to Cheyenne for Priesthood Meeting. I took the kids plus Ella for another afternoon at Fanny's Fruit Farm. Hey...why not?! I enjoy having something cute to do that is not miles and miles away. Everett's hair was quite amazing! It was standing on end and sticking out in all directions. The kids spent more time exploring and enjoying their favorite activities. This time the kids tried out laser tag and the goat barn was open. Jen showed up to spend time with us out there. She convinced the kids to help her pick raspberries. I am very sure the kids ate more berries than the handful they collected in the end. Evelyn somehow got chicken poo on her legs, bum, and back. She spread the poo into the millet boxes. Gross. Of course I brought an extra Josie outfit because of last week's barf episode. I luckily had a size 5 dress in the van to cover up Evelyn after I cleaned her up. Seems like Ella had a grand time! She picked a pumpkin with Amelia's help, the kids rode the tractor back to the main house. We ate dinner at the main house, nachos and a couple hot dogs with root beer. Evelyn kept stealing cute toys and candy from the gift shop. I hope I managed to catch all her shoplifts and return the booty. I somehow thought the Adult session started at 7, nope, it started at 6. I was late and all the kids were going nuts. We went home instead to put the cranky kids to bed.

We got up early to make the drive to Cheyenne for the 9 am Stake Conference session. I packed a lunch, drinks, and snacks for the trip. It is not easy to leave on time with so many variables running around. We managed to make it to Cheyenne in time, we walked in the door as the meeting started. Justin put on the Saturday morning session of conference for the drive up. Everett almost barfed several time from carsickness. Some fresh air and movie helped alleviate his nausea. Conference was excellent. I really loved President Brown's talk on sharing the the gospel and being prepared for the temple. Justin chose the very back row, the kids had a large space to make trouble in. They spent more time playing in the extra aisle room than sitting. We took turns putting kids in time-out in the foyer. The more space we have the harder it is to keep the kids reverent. That is a good lesson! After conference we enjoyed a picnic at the discovery park. I am glad the kids got some energy out before we trekked back home. Josie looked darling in a white Bishop collar bubble suit. Swoon.

18 October 2016

Ft Collins Temple Dedication

It's been a long week of photo culling, processing through LightRoom, and Photoshop. I finally finished today, Tuesday the 18th, just pulled the last burned CD from the computer and slapped a label on it. That was hard and tedious. Each day I spent an hour during afternoon naps and then a couple hours at night plugging though the mini session photos. Evelyn watched Cinderella III about 10 times, it is her new favorite movie. Evelyn wore her new dresses each time she watched the movie, during the movie she cooked up some nefarious concoctions on her pretend kitchen. She also enjoyed playing with kinetic sand and such last week. I managed to get the worst and longest migraine ever this past week. With the weather changing ever other day my head is bearing the changes with severe aches. Housework suffered because when I was not playing with girls I was hiding behind sunglasses. Yikes. I felt pretty amazing all day until 4 pm, when the weather changed yet again. Grrrr. Me grumpy.

Monday after morning nap was over I took the girls on a nature walk. I tried to convince Evelyn to wear tape with the sticky side out over her sleeves. She was not having it, even after I donned tape cuffs. So I wrapped the stroller handles with a loop of tape. We walked around the block searching for treasure. She was enthralled with the word treasure. Her favorite treasure was a weed that looked like a firework exploding. She named it wishenpoof. She was mostly attracted to bright colors! That's my girl. Everett is excelling with reading at school. He whips out homework on our walk home and we finish the reading parts before we even arrive home. He gets excited about the bucket bucks store on Fridays. He buys obnoxious toys like whistles and poppers, the grin on his face is the best in the world. We read Creepy Carrots each afternoon for a week. He is quite entertaining with his collection of sound effects.

The leaves are falling. One morning we were enjoying the autumn glory, leaves softly floated to the ground around us. Evelyn was entranced with the pretty leaves, she said it was raining leaves. Josie quite adores her turns in the swing. She beams from ear to ear when I push her. Throughout the week I made several leaf piles for Evelyn to jump in and scatter the leaves. Josie is pure perfection. I love her sweet smiling face. When she gets excited her arms and legs flap in sync.

Wednesday was the coldest day of the week with a high in the 50s, two days later it was 85 outside. Evelyn made a double cheese, double bologna sandwich with mayo slathered between each layer. As she makes the sandwiches she eats about a tablespoon of mayo. She dressed up fancy to feed the ducks bread. She also fed the ducks her bologna sandwich. Josie was not so sure about the ducks being so close to her. She was fascinated and scared at the same time. It was quite a lovely day outside. I made a delish vat of refried beans for dinner. We ate what we could then froze the rest.

Elaine and Nicole drove from Lisco to spend half a day with me. They watched Evelyn and cleaned my house while I worked on editing. Nicole was one of my mini session families. Elaine had the kitchen cleaned and sparkling in under 30 minutes. She is speedy! Also, she did not have a toddler helping her. We all had lunch with Justin and Della's Cafe. The Greek salad with Gyro meat is divine. Evelyn and Gideon scarfed down bowls of chicken noodle soup. Elaine and Nicole took the kids to the park for a couple hours. Justin drove me home to keep working on photo editing. I got 4 sessions completed that day! I am very grateful for Elaine and Nicole. That was awesome service.  

Friday morning Jen gave Evelyn two bags of old make-up she was about to throw away. That girl was in heaven. A few moments after opening the bags and assessing her new contraband she was giving me a makeover. With every new item she pulled from the bag Evelyn would say, "Oh my goodness, I lub dis!" I ended up with lipstick on my teeth and a new eyebrow. She spent the afternoon painting her face, she sort of looked like a punk rocker. The rest of the kids also enjoyed the new make-up. Soon all the kids had sparkly skin and eyes. We went to the park for an hour to show off their new selves. The after school kids were playing at the park, Phillip and Everett each had friends at the park. They vanished within moments after arriving. Best Day Ever.

Saturday Justin worked on replacing a part on Betty Blue's battery. It died a while ago, he got the needed part in and some free time to work on it. The kids followed him outside clothed in PJs for some morning play. Justin went on a motorcycle ride while the kids and I cleaned the basement. Rephrased, I cleaned and ordered my troupe of dog-kids to put particular items away. No worries by the next day, the basement looked just as bad as it had 24 hour earlier. We are awesome mess makers. We spent the afternoon at Fanny's Fruit Farm. We returned home in the nick of time to watch the Ft Collins Temple Cultural Celebration. All the youth in the temple district worked very hard on the songs and the dance numbers. We streamed the event onto our TV. We loved catching glimpses of our youth as they performed. The theme was "A Fortress of Faith" telling the history of our part of the country. As the story unfolded a model of the temple came together. I am so proud of our youth! I can only imagine the testimonies built during that experience.

Sunday Justin, Amelia, and I got to attend a session of the temple dedication. I attended the first session at 9 am. During the first session Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Renlund sealed the temple cornerstone. I am ashamed to admit that once again my head was nodding as I fought sleep. I must have mother-induced narcolepsy. Justin and Amelia attended the noon session. Amelia chose to wear her baptism dress for the special occasion. She looked so sweet in her dress, clutching her handkerchief. I hope that experience of waving her hankie saying Hosannas will stay with her. God bless this area! We have a new temple. What a joyous event! A temple in the crux between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. I shooed the boys outside while Justin and Mia were gone. They decided to wash their bikes with the hose. I was delighted with their choice! Both boys were soaked and whooping over their play! I raked up a decent leaf pile for Evelyn to jump into. The boys joined us as gun slinger and bumblebee. They raked up even more leaves and piled leaves onto the slide. Phillip had a great idea to stuff leaves down their costumes. Yeah, that lasted just a few moments. Soon they boys were running around in underwear getting leaf burns on their skin. They play hard and sleep hard.