29 November 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

We enjoyed a lovely week off of school. All of the local school districts reverted back to complete distance learning until end of January when they will reassess. I feel quite content with our decision to homeschool and avoid the back and forth between school and home. I needed the week to recover from teaching fractions to the boys...and to get ready for another week of fractions. 

Monday morning I photographed a newborn boy and his parents. I actually got a job off of a Facebook post! That normally NEVER happens, makes me grateful for the work. He was the "prettiest" little boy I've ever photographed. On the converse he was quite jumpy and hated to be on his tummy. He made me work harder than most for 4 hours. I got to use my new posing table made from a plastic table, nuts/bolts, and PVC pipe. I love how it collapses down and takes up less room than my huge bean bag set up. 

Tuesday was shopping day. I joined a myriad of other pre-Thanksgiving shoppers as I picked up items for our meal. I had a hankering for posole so put that on the menu this week. The little girls were able to attend gymnastics after our two week quarantine. Josie was quite sad the balance beam was on rotation, she fell off again and bumped her head. I was banned from the building per covid. The rest of Tuesday and Wednesday we worked on cleaning the house better than our usual jobs. Tuesday night I set the turkey in a herbed brine for 24 hrs. I enjoyed organizing the doll closet in hopes Evelyn and Hannah would play dolls. Jana and her girls arrived moments after I finished sorting the mound of laundry. Great timing on her part. Hannah was so cute welcoming herself in with lots of hugs and smiles. Rachel took a few moments to warm up to our crazy. She is still not sure about Phillip. Lots of fun playing that day! My older kids loved amusing Rachel. The girls were quite happy with makeovers from Amelia, especially Rachel. We forgot how early Jana goes to bed. They were all asleep by 8 pm. The rest of us stayed up to watch Jingle Jangle (a very cute movie) until 11. 

Thursday we aimed for dinner around 3:30. Took some maneuvering and planning to ensure everything was on the table and hot around the same time.  We had a grateful Turkey to decorate with things we're grateful for. Jana mocked our Horse Duvers lunch, said it ruined appetites with a load of salt...YEP! And it's TRADITION! Teasing! We rolled with our normal salty lunch of a relish tray, cheese/cracker tray, and fun homemade sodas with club soda, flavored syrups, and cream. After lunch we took a couple spins around the block. Rachel cuddled up in Mia's hoodie, looked so darn cute too. Dinner was amazing with a lovely turkey, hot rolls, green bean casserole, potatoes, gravy, and cranberry salad. Jana made pumpkin cake and chocolate parfait for dessert. After dinner we rolled about and enjoyed a lazy rest of the day. The husband and kids rallied to give me a short break by doing the dishes. After they finished I worked on making two pies. I enjoyed talking with Jared for an hour. One of his fellow soldiers thought I was his mom...strangely, that is totally plausible! We had a good laugh about that. Later on I chatted with my Dad in Riyadh before church. His job is to admit the members of that branch into the church zoom meeting.  

Friday we reached the boredom ceiling. It was past time to get out and play. The weather was too cold for little babies so we needed something indoors. I found a jump park open for business so we went there for 2 hours of exercise. We went to Urban Air in Meridian. That place was quite fun with a ball pit, lots of trampolines, a play structure, miniature golf, and laser tag. Rachel loved giving the mini golf decor kisses more than actually hitting the ball. Josie absolutely loved the ball pit. The boys, Evelyn and I teamed up for a fun laser tag game. It was intense! Everett won the top score from our team. I really wanted to try the zip line but had reservations about the harness fitting and the vision of a chubby lady flying through the air. I invited Darrel, Fawn, and Alexia over for Thanksgiving pie Friday evening. Jana was not about to join us, family drama going on over money issues between Darrel and the Baerwaldt siblings. It really is a messy situation. I still wanted to get to know them a little better since they only live 12 minutes away from us. They showed up with Uncle Dave in tow! Alexia had something else happening so Uncle Dave was a fun substitute. Dave was in a terrible truck accident early Friday morning. He was heading west when a car going east swerved across all lanes of traffic to slam right into Dave's rig. Dave said it looked like a suicide attempt, successful as the driver died. Dave was transferred to the hospital, released with a broken tailbone and lots of pain. We're all relieved Dave walked away from that mess. The accident closed the freeway for 4 hours. Lots of pie helped revive us from that stressful news. I made a cherry pie from the last of our cherry pickings earlier in the year, a pumpkin pie, and a pecan cheesecake. Fawn brought apple, pumpkin, and berry pie. We had a gallon of freshly whipped cream for the pies. My kids were quite excited to show off all our photos and stuff to a new audience. Everett and Phillip played 5-Minute Marvel with Fawn, hoping her grandsons would enjoy the game too. 

Saturday morning Jana got up early enough to workout at the gym before her long drive. I set up my photo paper for some birthday photos with Rachel. She tolerated the set up for about 2 minutes, long enough for the Olaf song to play. Poor kid would not smile for anything. Got some cute serious snaps of my darling niece. Jana left around 10 am. I promptly put myself to bed with a nasty headache and fatigue. Spent the rest of the day decorating the house for Christmas! Josie was the cutest as we pulled out all the bins, trees, and lights. Evelyn told me several times she finally found the spirit of Christmas as she played with the Nativity set. Josie decorated the kid's tree almost by herself. The boys went to the Lifetime store in search of kayaks for the Black Friday sale. We now have 4 kayaks to enjoy next year! The girls went to Walmart for a kid tree topper. I found a silly Santa head topper! The girls chose a fun ornament just for kicks. Josie first chose a princess castle, switched that for a dog, then she saw a Skye ornament. She was willing to get the more expensive Skye and forego a treat. Back at home she carefully hung Skye on the tree. Then took about 100 photos of her new ornament. I woke up this morning to find photos of Skye eating breakfast, playing with the Nativity, in the tree, posing with Josie, etc. Josie is eager to do anything Christmas related. Right after dinner the elves dropped off Santa squishmallows on the door step. Somehow the Nelves knew that I bought a bear and penguin at Walmart earlier in the day and evened out the Christmas squishmallows with 3 Santas. AHHHHHHCK! So freaking cool. 

My Lance grandparents are moving to Utah on Monday. It is so strange to think about 7232 Carmel St selling to new owners. That house was my only constant growing up. Mom is flying with Lynn and Jean tomorrow afternoon. Shawn, Sandi, and Ginny (Sandi's mom) also moved from Huntington Beach to Utah. They are staying with my mom until their home is ready. I hope the dust settles soon and everyone can find a new normal. Jana is helping find a personal care nurse who can help bathe and dress Grandpa. The logistics are massive! 

22 November 2020

Young Ladies Vocal Ensemble


Josie is finally on the mend. She had it pretty rough until Monday. Toward Monday afternoon Phillip got a couple smiles out of her and she ventured into the new box fort to play. The only thing she wanted to eat was refried beans! My gut instinct was "No WAY!" but she was quite adamant. She kept it down and wanted like 5 more servings over the next few days. All her clothes hang loosely on her frame now...even leggings are saggy baggy. We knew she was feeling much better because she had the best dream ever on Tuesday. She woke up excited about having a PAW Patrol dream with "so many" control towers, under the water with lots of pups, she had a squirter Marshall pup, and played with Skye as a merpup. Evelyn had a nightmare the same night that we lost all the water in the world. That sounds terrifying. Josie was quite whiney until Thursday...no one else got a tummy bug (yet) so I hope that experience is behind us. Amelia caught a nasty head cold from the girl next to her during choir practice. With Everett's cough all of us have sniffles, headaches, and such on some level or another. I repent! I will never jinx us again. 

Amelia roped the kids into participating in her volcano experiment for Earth Science. They exploded baking soda and vinegar but built the volcano layers around the flow pattern, making a spread volcano of sorts. The kids had fun with her homework. I wanted to bang my head against a wall after working on fractions with Phillip for school this week. He is so smart, just lacks focus and the attitude to want to learn about math. Everett was also quite frustrated with factions so we sat together and figured it out. The boys are starting a non-fiction research paper to check off several PLGs at once (non-fiction reading, writing, revise and share knowledge, learn and present knowledge, English usage, etc). I am excited to knock out a few requirements with one assignment. Evelyn is working with a fun new place value set I got last week. 

We did not get any school done on Wednesday due to preparations I needed to prep for Activity Day Girls. This week we worked on embroidery. Amelia helped me trace cute patterns on fabric then prep the hoops. About an hour before the activity the other leader wanted to cancel since Josie was sick. I felt so mad. Instead we moved the activity to the church and had those exposed to sick (my family) wear masks. The other leader stayed in the gym with her daughter or sat in the corner with her phone. I was not happy...yikes. Still the girls were quite excited to learn how to embroider animals of their choice. Several girls haunted my house the rest of the week working on their projects to get occasional help from Amelia or I. Right before we were to leave for the activity Phillip accidently hit Logan with the prong of our rake. Logan's eyelid split from corner to corner! Phillip was not watching his boundaries and Logan was not watching his. Phillip felt so bad. He got Logan a nice Lego set as a way to say sorry. Our Nelves made a short pre-Thanksgiving visit Wednesday night. Evelyn managed to keep her temper in check until we started to clean the school room. She went into ballistic mode. We heard Nelf bells as a warning that we are under watch. Evelyn was quite freaked out, she went around yelling, "I love you Santa...Nelves!" I was grateful she stopped her ranting, raging tantrum. We usually don't hear from our Nelves until after Thanksgiving. Josie on the other hand went to bed with a smile humming Jingle Bells. The next day she made a long Christmas list for me to somehow interpret her squiggles. She did tell me squiggle line one was a real unicorn and the second line was $100 dollars for her wallet. This morning the first squiggle morphed into a new "adoorable" set or the golden unicorn prize. She found a Santa hat and is exclusively sporting Christmas clothes.  

Thursday I got my schedule double booked, tried to undo my mistake but still managed to miss my appointment with Garrett. I have a new piano student and a dr appointment at a strange time today. That was frustrating for me. Right after piano we left for Amelia's Young Ladies Vocal Recital. Justin took her beforehand so she could warm up with her group. I picked up Clair on our way. We had time to grab some dinner at Chik-Fil-A! Yum. The recital location was packed and small for the amount of people in attendance. We were lucky a recital was even performed. It was so cold outside and like usual I was not prepared for the cold. We huddled together for warmth until I spotted a place inside for Jo and I to squeeze. A little more room opened up soon after. Amelia's group performed 6 songs, 3 at the end of the first group and 3 at the beginning of the next. She had a small solo during the 4th song. She was not feeling well at all but did her very best. 

Josie started crying this morning when she woke up because her wish did not come true. Her wish? That today was Christmas. I didn't notice she left out a stale cookie for Santa last night. Bless her sweet little heart. She is on full Christmas mode. Seems like it should come early this year.  I found her twice plunking her own version of Jingle Bells on the piano. I love the imagination of kids at Christmas. I found a cute used tree for $40 on FB Marketplace. The boys and I drove out to Middleton to pick up the tree, we loved a chance to listen to Fablehaven book 6. 

Friday we took a break from school to watch President Nelson's 15 minute global address. His address was on the healing power of Gratitude. He challenged us all to fill social media with gratitude using the hashtag #givethanks. It's a powerful thing to go from political/negative Facebook to a flood of 1.8 million updates about gratitude. I am thankful for a chance to relay my thanks for all that is good and lovely. 

The boys decided to test me this week. They spent all week dorking around and piddling about with their assignment lists. By Thursday morning they each had 9+ pages of English, half a unit on fractions to finish, and research books to read all by noon. Everett buckled down and got his work done by 11:45 on Friday. His fractions unit test was giving him troubles so he had to wait for me to help him. Phillip rolled around on the floor for two hours whining about the work. The consequence is absolutely no TV or devices on the weekend if their schoolwork is not finished by noon. He scraped by with seconds to spare. I took the afternoon off to thrift shop after dealing with the chaos of Phillip. 

Saturday we went to Lowes to get a new Christmas tree for me. I almost purchased one online but there is something about actually seeing the product before buying. I did not actually love the tree I loved online, found a different one. The kids enjoyed getting out of the house. We finally celebrated Justin's birthday with a dinner out at Wingers. All the kids were impressed with the wings. My spicy wings were so salty I couldn't eat them, I love salt but that was blech. My quest for wings in Idaho is failing miserably. The boys are still raving about how good the wings are. They even ate half of Mia's leftover "on accident." She declared mortal combat. 

Justin and I enjoyed a night out with his accounting team at Jennifer's home. She provided a catered meal for us all that was quite amazing with a salad course, main course of prime rib, mashed potatoes, and vegetables, and dessert of mint cake or baked pear. I enjoyed getting to know his team better outside of the zoom meeting cameos (accidently walking in during a meeting) and the phone calls. Their pitbull dog was quite the star of the show. He liked to trip people in the food line hoping for a bite. Then he took a snooze, complete with snores, on his favorite arm chair. I left the kids with a pot of broccoli soup, which Josie actually ate, and free reign with devices. They were quite happy with their lot. 

15 November 2020

Quarantined again, Justin turns 45


Monday Justin was sent home from work at noon because his team was exposed to COVID last Thursday. We are supposed to quarantine for 2 weeks, Justin especially is banned to stay home. It's been a tough, boring week for us all. Justin's COVID test came back negative, but he still wants an anti-body test to make sure. Pretty much we stay home until Thursday when his test came back. We did go swimming since the amount of chlorine killed whatever germs we carried. I made a couple trips out for groceries and such. 

Thursday we went to the library since Justin's test was negative. We wore masks and used lots of hand sanitizer. The trip was quick in and out. The max items on our new cards is 80 books and 15 media! I might need to bring a wagon next time. I was quite bummed that the book I was reading accidently made it into the return pile. The boys are taking more responsibility for their school work. If their work is not done by 2 pm they can't play and risk losing weekend electronic priviledges. Amelia and I were able to work through her 65% math grade. She uses Schoology to correspond with her "teachers" but communication is scarce at best. She uploaded the incorrect screen shot for one of her first assignments. We were able to resolve that snag, she now has a 98% for Algebra I. We were really worried since this grade counts for high school. That was a lesson, Mia was ready to just accept the grade...sometimes a little communication goes a very long way. 

By Thursday we were stir crazy to the max. The little girls got up and started playing princesses going to a ball. Amelia caught up the idea and made the morning extra special! She gave everyone names like: Sir Fancy-Pants of the Fancity-Pancity people and her servant Dave (Phillip), Fedora of the Fedora Folk, Princess Snowie (Evelyn), and Princess Lolly (Josie).  Amelia made a delicious macaroni salad and Phillip made peanut butter sandwiches on a platter. We invited over the Ostlers to our Royal Ball. Phillip used a PVC pipe as a herald trumpet or a digeridoo, take your pick. I gave lessons on waltzing for those interested. So much excitement! We all love when Amelia decides to make something fun into something fantastic! 

Friday morning Josie woke up with a stomach flu. She was not feeling well at all, poor kid could not hold any fluids down at all. By Saturday I was spoon feeding her bits of pedialyte. After 28 hours of continuous throwing up I took her to the insta-clinic. They pretty much just patted my hand and told me she would get better. Here we are Sunday later afternoon and she is still throwing up. She will keep down less than 3 ml, anything more and she throws it up. Justin gave her a blessing last night, we're praying she gets better soon. Evelyn came down with pink eye on Friday. I have a sinus thing going on, popping sudafed to keep my sinuses clear. Justin bought a forehead thermometer that takes temperature with some sort of x-rays. He likes to sneak up and violate my rights as a human to keep my temperature secret.  He even assaulted me in bed...those angry red lights stole my temperature reading. I'm glad he's finding a way for comic relief. LOL. Amelia got her first set of contacts. She had to put the contacts in and remove several times before she could leave with the contacts. Her vision is super amazing now! Taking them out is a bit harder than putting them in. So far she really likes them except for the installation part. 

The TV has been on non-stop for 3 days now. I'm ready for a break. Thank you to Sara for the pot of chicken soup. Yum. Everett brought me plans for a new box fort with a lock earlier in the week. Saturday I spotted a neighbor getting new furniture and the large boxes sitting outside. The boys were thrilled to drag home two boxes larger than a fridge! As of today they made a couple doors and hung Christmas lights inside. I have a lock to fulfill Everett's dream. 

Justin turned 45 today. Unfortunately, it's been quite anti-climatic. I'm making a special dinner and his favorite brownies. He will probably add another jacket to his collection for his present. We ordered pizza on Friday for dinner. This morning we dog-piled him as a morning wake up call. He is so dedicated, taking care of our needs.  

14 November 2020

First Snow

We got a dusting of snow Saturday night! The kids were so excited they ran out in PJs and wet hair from baths to make tracks in the snow. The snow was still on the ground come morning. Justin and I woke up to the happy sounds of kids playing outside. Our kids teamed up with the Ostler's to make a large snowman named Bob. The kids did not account for the heaviness of wet snow, the mid-section and head took a team effort to build up. First snow is always magical! 

Tuesday was Election Day! In my mind the air seemed electrically charged with opinions and votes. Justin voted right around 8 am. I made it to the polling place around 2:30. The line was nearly wrapped around the building! The wait was tense, long, and boring. I voted on an electronic tablet case that printed out a ballot with the votes I cast. I supported Trump because he is Pro-Life, Pro-Religion, and has the best interest of our country at heart. He might act like a nut case, but could be a smoke screen to conceal his true workings.  

I had several morning meetings this week. First Evelyn is no longer eligible for her IEP. Idaho has a much stricter scale of need than Arizona. She no longer qualifies for speech services. Her stuttering has greatly improved over the last few months. So hooray! Way to go Evelyn. Wednesday was the crazy busy day, so crazy that the younger kids did not get much school work done. When I am not around the mice play...it's so frustrating. Lost privileges until the work was done did the job. Dog Vader finally had a grooming appointment, it's been a while. I had to clean off his bum and cut away the fur from his bum since he had several dingle knobs dangling about. Yuck. He came back looking like a different dog, he's got shaggy Jekyll and groomed Hyde as "fur"sonalities. Wednesday afternoon I was busy from noon until 5:30. Mia had an eye appointment for new glasses and possibly contact lenses. In order to get contacts she has to take a $70 class where she learns how to remove and install the contacts then care for the lenses. She loves her frames so will most likely get glasses as well once she takes the class on the 13th. I had another counseling session using EMDR with Garrett. It's crazy how our brains think and retain information. Garrett said I was the most resilient trauma victim he's ever met, not sure exactly what that looks like but I'll take it. I had to trust the kids to clean up the downstairs while I was gone. Moments after I walked in the door we started Activity Day Girls. This week we worked on making some goals, the girls got their cool rings, and a photo of the temple. Thursday I had the most frustrating experience with Valley Sleep Center. I need to order some CPAP supplies but need a prescription in order for insurance to cover it, and most distributors require a prescription. I called the provider in AZ I used to get my supplies. They would not fax me my prescription, said I had to have a follow-up visit. With tele-health in the arena now I couldn't use the excuse of moving to ID to put them off. Stupid. Had to pay $75 just for a 2 minute zoom conversation. A few moments later the nurse called me about my meeting. I repeated my request for a hard copy of my prescription. She related they "don't do that" but rather deal directly with places like Apria. This means they can require yearly visits for $75+ per customer. Asinine. Justin's had his prescription for 10 years with no problems. I felt quite upset most of the day thinking about how to get around their policies. Request of medical records? Done! 

Thursday was girl haircut day! Amelia went drastic with a darling shoulder length cut. We determined half of her hair was cut off! Her new hair is much easier to dry and style. She decorated a couple packets of hair clips with glitter, nail polish, and such for new personal accessories. Her new look is to clip back one side of her hair. So cute. With contacts she will be quite the grown up teenager. Josie requested in a timid voice for only 2 inches left of her hair, I quickly clarified she just wanted two inches cut off the bottom. Evelyn and I also got much needed trims. I've never had my hair dry cut, she also combed my hair out with a small comb, those tangles still hurt. I rarely brush/comb my hair opting for a pic to separate my curls. We felt quite fancy with our trimmed up hair. I pulled out the camera for a couple fun photos of Mia's new hair and a fur bonnet I rediscovered in my photo prop bins. We used the same snowball bush for a backdrop, green with white blooms in the spring and vibrant red in the fall! 

Friday I spent most of the day editing our family photos taken a couple weeks back. It's not an easy thing to hardly recognize oneself in photos. All this recent weight gain is absolutely killing me. I've had a hard time with each pound that won't drop off. Jana says to weight lift as well as cardio. Now to update all the walls with the most recent set of photos. 

Saturday was a fun day off of a sort for me. Jana's friend Sarah asked me to photograph her wedding starting at 3 pm. I took Amelia along to practice her camera skills as part of her photography class. I needed to get some new garment bottoms, it's been quite a few years since the last trip to distribution. We enjoyed browsing the books, nativity sets for sale, and the cute ornaments. It was cold and rainy most of the day. Amelia needed a cute cardigan or jacket so we went to Goodwill next. She found a fun polka dotted sweater to match her polka dotted skirt. We went back across the freeway like 6 times as we went here and there. Lunch at Costa Vida then to the temple. Love can come at any age and station in life. Watching Sarah and Brent was a great reminder of those temple covenants. He was recently divorced with 5 kids nearly grown. Sarah is one of Jana's friends from work and the Single's Ward she attended for years. I was impressed with Sarah's support system of women who attended the temple and reception. Mia did such a good job capturing all the fun details at the reception site. It was snowing when we headed home around 8:30. The kids headed outside with wet hair from the bath to kick the new snow around.  My grandma and grandpa Lance are in the hospital this weekend. Grandma had a very high calcium count which was causing all kinds of symptoms that looked like mini-strokes, really she was very dehydrated. Grandpa was in such a panic that Grandma left he ended up in the ER. Grandma finally consented to the Utah move asap instead of after the new year. We are all praying they will make the move smoothly. I am so glad my Mom is able to stay with them, I really think we could've lost both of them if my mom was not around. Justin's Uncle Cary also passed away. 

The entire voting process is broken. Turns out Biden won. Trump won't hand the baton over because of voter fraud. Brother Godard said one of his clients started getting thank you texts from the Democratic party, after she voted republican. Turns out her spouse voted democratic...he passed away in 2005. So now the dead are voting Democratic. It's all a ploy for Pelosi to take over our country. Ha ha. I want to buy a bunker and live underground. 

06 November 2020

Halloween 2020


I checked off a bucket list photo dream last Sunday. This park close to our house hosted a lovely array of colorful leaves on the ground. I dreamed of two little girls snuggled against the leaves...it was not all idyllic (imagine crying about the pokey leaves) but the photos are pretty. Sunday night we issued a challenge to the Ostlers: who could make the best paper airplanes! 

Monday Mia and I walked outside to find the temperature hovering at 26 degrees. We shuffled ourselves back inside for down coats before heading to the gym. Everett and Phillip have given up the gym at the young ages of 9 and 11. The kids found various tools in the garage to break up the ice on the pool once we got back home. Josie was so cute hunkered over hunks of ice with a hammer and intent look on her face. I finally figured out the winter clothes situation...the little girls are set the rest all need coats, snow pants, snow boots, and gloves. At 10:00 am our paper airplane opponents came over for a contest! My kids were stoked to build all the kids of paper airplanes they could find. I found a fun site called "foldnfly" with tons of fun designs. I worked hard making a bat plane that was supposed to move it's wings! The wings didn't flutter but goodness, that plane had a sweet glide. Our hallway proved to be too narrow and not long enough so we snuck into the church cultural hall for our contest. Phillip won the all around contest! The losers were sore so had their own losers contest. In the end the kids had more fun folding their planes and just playing than the contest. I tried to make the event educational with a 5 min chat about aerodynamics. 

Wednesday morning we headed out to Kidz Resale for boy winter gear. The store had quite a large selection of snow gear and coats. The boys each got more long-sleeved shirts. We met Justin for lunch since we were a mile or so away from his work. The little girls enjoyed making Justin some fan mail before we left! Josie even made Justin a perler bead heart. Rose sent us a fun box of stuff, mostly makeup for Evelyn and fun hair stuff for the girls. Evelyn was in complete heaven! 

Coach Mel, the kid's gymnastics teacher, loves seeing what my girls bring to spectate their lessons. This week Yoda with fancy clips, decorated LOL babies, and elephant watched. Everett had an off-day on Thursday. He slithered on the gym mats moaning for no good reason. I made him apologize to the coach and remove himself from the floor. 

Our quarter-grown trees finally dropped enough leaves for a decent leaf pile. The Catalpa tree finally dropped it's large leaves when the freeze happened on Monday. Justin, Phillip, and Everett gathered a rather large pile for the kids to play in. After a few jumps the leaf pile was greatly reduced! Josie and Evelyn couldn't remember our Sidney leaf piles so they had first dibs on this pile. Josie was not too sure about jumping on leaves. She got over her reticence after the first jump. 

Friday evening Justin and I went out for a date. I had a hankering for pizza. The first place had an hour wait. The second place refused to serve us because the manager was not paying the employees enough, the employees wanted to make a point. I think they got fired for their statement. We settled on second rate chicken wings, where is Bon Chon when you need it? Oh yes, Arizona. I was not in a particularly great mood, too much home time, a headache, and way too tired. Poor Justin! Amelia had the table ready for pumpkin carving once we got home. So much excitement! Josie designed her own pumpkin, she did her best to carve it solo. The older kids required little assistance, their imaginations came out for the carving. Amelia had a cute, complicated carve of a flower. Phillip carved a face then stabbed a pack of tooth picks into the pumpkin. Everett made a fun face with little. I helped Evelyn carve a kitty in honor of the Ostler's new kitten, Astrid. Hooray for tradition. I tried to coax the kids into painting pumpkins, I lost. 

Saturday we worked on cleaning the garage for the Halloween bash. Sara is the Primary President, she organized a block party on our street instead of a trunk or treat. My garage was assigned as the photo booth and face painting station. I finally took down the school photo back drop, course someone messaged me a while later asking for photos. LOL. Always! We took it easy until 3 when it was time to start fixing hair before the party. Justin brought over three hay bales for the photo booth from the Ostlers. Sister Finch and Sister Whiting helped me paint faces. The party started at 6 pm! Our kids enjoyed running up and down the street. Josie tried to trick or treat all by herself down the next street over. Someone brought her back home! Justin managed not to lose her the rest of the evening. Amelia and Cassidie/Jocelyn ran the fishing booth. Phillip and Carson managed the corn hole game. We kept busy until 8:30! I hear we were practically the only homes open for business. I couldn't see any other homes with porch lights on for the kids. Several neighbors came over thanking us for the fun night. The next day a friend from AZ posted a video of a girl stealing the rest of the candy in their bowl, the girl yelled to another girl, "Chloe! This bowl is almost full, should I take the candy?" Yep, it was our Chloe as the invisible girl outside camera range. Josie was up from 3 am with a tummy ache...too much candy for the sugar girl?! I headed downstairs with her after an hour of her thumping about in our bed. We watched TV from 4 am until the kids woke up. At least it was daylight savings, that extra hour was much needed. Poor kid collapsed on me during church for a nap. Phillip made a disgusting mess making hamburger helper. Ah the struggles of kids learning to cook. He cleaned up to the best of his ability. I re-worked his effort after he left the house to play. I am unsure how he managed to get hamburger helper on the microwave, oven, floor, and cabinets. That was impressive.