We celebrated a second week of Fall break...just because we could. I figured since submissions were pushed into November why not take a longer break. We did light school, no daily electronic usage, and lots of playing with the neighbors.
We're updating our family photos...it's been a couple years. I have a love/hate relationship with family photos. Seriously, it's stressful for a photographer to have photos done...with me on the other side. I am quite self-conscious about all my current weight gain, don't really want to document that...but it is what it is. Amelia was my sidekick fashion expert. We raided DI on Tuesday for all clothing in Earthy green tones. I found several cute dresses for Mia and quite a few just fun dresses for me that looked extra comfy. Mia also found a set of rollerblades! She got a fun Stitch union suit at our next stop (Fred Meyer) during a stop for a dinner ingredient. We all got a kick out of watching her slide across the floor muttering "Stitch is coming" in a silly Stitch impersonation. Later that evening I stopped at Kidz Resale before Mia's choir practice for boy clothes. They had a good selection of pants in Phillip's size that were comfy and durable. I forgot my wallet so ran into lots of inconveniences being without money. There's not much worse than leaving a cookie at Sodalicious because they didn't have Apple Pay...same story at Hobby Lobby. I am most happy to report the few wardrobe updates I thrifted worked out splendidly. Then is it was making sure the boys had decent hair cuts and I had makeup my eyes would not reject (of the allergic sort). Amelia bruised her tailbone the first time she tried out her rollerblades. She slipped and...smack...right on her cute bum down on the driveway.
Everett stumbled on a jackpot of free scrap wood from the Ostler's. He made a plan for the wood then executed his plan to make a table and stool out of the wood. Sarah helped him cut the wood into correct lengths. He finished the rest of his plan and assembled a really fun mini table with a seat. He was so happy about his accomplishment! The girls wanted to try out his new creation, he said they could use it for a $1 per use. Next morning he came down to find the girls had put a table cloth on his table and were eating breakfast (for free). He came unglued. Oatmeal scattered across the floor as he ripped off the bowls and cloth. Mia tried to mediate. I was in the shower. Then the fight escalated. Soon Phillip called Everett "a B****," Everett not wanting to be outdone threw the F-bomb back at Phillip. Wow! Just wow. I sequestered Everett in my room until I was decent enough to deal with the fiasco. He told me his version (omitting his bad word but telling me all about Phillip's cuss word). The boys got their first taste of bar soap. There was no electronics for the day and no fun allowed. It was quite the epic day. Evelyn had her own tantrum later. I was an emotional mess inside! Justin lead a family meeting before devotional about cussing, we beat that topic like a dead horse. Sheesh.
The kids spent several days raking and blowing leaves to make an epic leaf pile. The wind dispersed their pile at every turn. They finally gave up and piled the leaves into the trampoline! I watched Evelyn rub her head across the trampoline catching leaves in her hair. She could've passed for an Army sniper wearing a ghillie suit. Justin had the honor of bathing and brushing out those leaves. The report was "It took forever to get the last remnants of the leaves out of her hair last night. It required a bath, a shower, a lot of conditioner and brushing to get the last little buggers out of her hair." She, of course repeated the hair incident the next day.
Thursday Everett, Evelyn, and Josie had dental cleanings. Josie sat in the chair like a big girl with her mouth wide open for two minutes before her cleaning started. We enjoyed a long laugh! She looked like a baby bird. Evelyn made it through her cleaning with no fits or crying, YAY! The kids earned a clean bill of dental health, a toy, and of course new tooth brushes/floss/paste. I ruined their newly cleaned teeth by making a double batch of caramel. We invited over friends to help us decorate caramel apples. Used up 22 apples, half the caramel, and my reserve of sprinkles. The delicious treats then sat on the counter rotting until they went into the garbage on Sunday. My Great Depression grandparents turned over in their grave at the same time.
Linder Farms hosted a homeschool day at their pumpkin patch on Friday! We joined many, many other families including the Ostlers for a lovely day outside. I love how each pumpkin patch is different and the same. I hear Linder Farms is closing after this season, the event was used to fund missions for their family the last kid is leaving this year! Mission accomplished. The kids immediately split up and raced off to enjoy all the fun spots. Mia volunteered to chase after Oliver for a while. The boys were a team, Ambree and Evelyn, and Sarah with her littles, me with Josie. Josie spent lots of time on the swings! She loved that ride best. I got quite a sunburn on my neck from standing in direct sun for so long. We were able to pick a free pumpkin on the hay ride around the patches. Evelyn balanced her pumpkin on her head. Let me tell you picking the perfect pumpkin is serious business! Josie spotted her baby pumpkin right away. The other kids flitted from pumpkin to pumpkin in search of the best and biggest. Amelia and I went back to the patch later to pick some specialty pumpkins like a porcelain doll, speckled hound, turk's turban, and jarrahdale. We ate a picnic lunch together when the crew got hangry. We stayed until our water bottle ran dry around 4 pm. An order of mini doughnuts revived our spirits. Good wholesome family fun for 5.5 hours, we beat our current pumpkin patch time record. A large box waited on our porch when we got home containing 3 cute baby Yoda squishmallows. Aunt Miekka clued me in on the release of Star Wars and Disney character pillows. So many cute things to hug. Yoda belongs to team BYU just like his parents and grandparents. The girls, especially Evelyn and Ambree have decorated our driveway with lots of fun art. Josie and Evelyn get into art contests, trying to beat how many art/love notes each girl can make Justin in a day. He get spoiled with lots of fun art from both girls. Josie favorite theme is Justin (heart) Josie drawings.
Saturday the men worked on the yard. Justin hardcore edged the lawn a couple weeks ago...it looks amazing. Justin had Mia, Phillip, and Everett help him switch out his bad tire with a new one. They kids got to place and operate the hydraulic lift, the bolts, and such. That was a really good life lesson. The girls took a trip to Target for a couple more just-in-case items for photos. Josie spent her allowance on an "IB" Pet, really it is a VIP Pet, but she will correct you. Three days after getting her new toy the hair is impossibly tangled and most the pieces scattered to unknown places. She carries around the Amazon toy catalog like her personal bible. She circled about half the book. Evelyn helped me make some cute new hair accessories for our photo session. Evelyn was content to use the glue gun to her fancy and make lots of cute clips and bows. Felt nice to whip out creative supplies and make something pretty. Josie even came in a while later and made a few cute clips of her own.
Justin was called to be the Deacons advisor with our neighbor Dustin. It will be nice to have Justin in the program when Phillip advances in a couple months. After church I had a mass of hair to curl, Amelia's alone took me 40 minutes. We left early so I could do the Ostler's family photos before ours. Parking was scarce. We were a bit late but it all worked out in the end. While waiting for my cousin I took photos of my kids and groupings that I wasn't in. Photos went by way too fast. I'm glad that is over. I quite enjoyed spending a bit of time with Alexia. Our kids are very similar in age so that was fun for all my kiddos. I brought along chocolate bars as bribes. I jokingly asked if Sarah was making dinner for us as well...she invited us over. Dustin made s huge pot Hungarian Borcht. That was delicious. Then we played the Thimble Game, remember the one with a cap of water and everyone guesses? So fun! I forgot about that game.