Monday, October 29, 2007

Adults only Halloween!!!!





Dave and I love to have good times with friends. That's one great thing about Halloween. It's a holiday that lends itself to great parties! This weekend it was our turn to raise the roof. Ever since the Halloween party we had with friends while in dental school I've wanted to have another. I wish we had a bigger house. It was so hard to narrow down the invitations to three couples. Fortunately some of our friends made it easier on us by being out of town or by just getting into town. I only wish we could have invited everyone! We invited three couples that we knew would make for great company to the house for dinner and games. I started cooking at 1:00 and finished at 7:00, 30 minutes after our guests had arrived. So much for hair and make-up!!!! Thank goodness Dave was home to help! Either I am a very slow chef or I need to hire help, maybe I need to hire help because I am a very slow chef! I will never know how restaurants can cook for so many people at once. We asked our guests to arrive in costume or in black to fit with the festivities. As you can see everyone jumped on board. I wish you could see the back of Dave's bowling shirt!! We had such a relaxing conversation at dinner. I think the combination of all the personalities was fantastic! Games were great. We played pictionary and a family favorite "Famous People" (similar to Disney charades). I would have to say that the funniest part of the evening was watching Mary shake her hips to Elvis's Hound Dog and Watching Nathan flop around on the floor like a mermaid out of water. Man I love our friends! We asked all of our friends to bring a Jack-O-Lantern to the party for a contest. Please see the photo and the picture on the side bar and help us choose the winner! The winner gets a plate of carmel apples, YUM! Once again three cheers for Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hooray for Halloween!!!!





The kids have been bothering me about how unfair it is that Dave and I are having a Halloween party and they don't get to come. The other day I was thinking, "how hard could it be to have a party for big kids?" I followed the lead of a friend who is so clever and said, "I might be in the mood to throw a kids party if the house was clean," and they were off! So the next day I found myself planning a party while Dave was off rescuing his sister's family from forest fires. (They live in Fallbrook CA which has been consumed by raging fire) We bought store bought invitations and just wrote in our party info. Then we surfed the web and looked through my collection of ideas that I pull out of magazines looking for party food ideas. The kids each were allowed to invite 7 friends each. They chose which party dish to assign to each friend and the invites were hand delivered in the drizzling rain as we walked the dog on Sunday. I picked a few games I thought the kids would enjoy and bought some Halloween mad libs and that was that. Pretty easy. All I had to do was make punch and deal with 14 kids in my tiny house. Easy enough:-) The kids were so excited. Emily asked me every morning how many more days.

As friends started to arrive it became clear that we might be having a Griffendor House party. We had three Harry Potters and two Hermione Grangers. I had to break up a few duals because the Protegos, Expeliarmous and Acios were getting a little loud and carried away.

The kids all looked great in their costumes and they had all done such a wonderful job with the treats we had assigned them. I was shocked to see how much food the kids could put down. We went through almost everything they brought. The games were a riot. The doughnut game was my favorite (another clever friends idea).

We all had such a wonderful time. I love a good party. I really, really love that my kids have such wonderful friends!

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Why I love Fall in Washington



Today was beautiful. A little bit crisp for some of you hot bloods out there I'm sure, but it was so pretty. After lunch I took Zeke out for a walk on one of our forested trails to enjoy the day. It was just beautiful. I love a slight bite in the air as long as it's not windy and I have a coat! With a blue sky and puffy white clouds over head I entered a wonderland of singing birds, woodpeckers, crunchy leaves under foot and beautiful colors all around me. I was alone...Zeke ditches me the moment I let him off leash...to just soak up the splendid scene and thank God I get to enjoy his masterpiece for one more Fall. The air even smells good it's just so crazy. On days like these I think to myself, "the rain is all worth it!"

I love the farms we visit together. How we will ever go back to pumpkins on the street corner I don't know if we move back to California. Dave and I recently went on a date to a near-by corn maze after dark. It was so fun to hold tight to him (to keep warm and not get lost) as he navigated our way through to all the check points. Part of me wanted to get lost in the stalks with him, but he was way to efficient. We made it through without getting lost at all. Darn all the military field training.

The kids love to visit the farms the most. They love the corn and hay mazes, the animals, hay rides, pumpkin bowling, apple slingshots, cider, etc... There are always limitless things to do if your a child. And the Farms around here definitely know how to make you want to come back year after year.

I love the Steilacoom apple squeeze. It's on Sunday every year so it's definitely a sin I'll have to pay for some day. There is just something really cool about small town traditions. We love making our own apple juice. It is unbelievable. I'm not kidding, you can't even tell it's related to the stuff in the store. This year they had a press with two handles so the whole family got in on the action at the same time. We love sending gallons of awesome juice to our grandparents! Somehow poor Grandma and Grandpa Wilcox's jug got lost in the mail this year.

I love pumpkins once their carved. Dave thinks we have our own pumpkin patch on our porch this year. The more the merrier I think. I love decorating for the holidays.

We love to BOO our friends with plates of goodies and this year we were Booed ourselves. I'm not sure what was more fun. Doing our own sneaking our opening the door to free goodies. This year I had to be the get-away driver. I'm not to fast now that I'm the size of a hippo. Katie has told half of our targets the surprise. (don't ever trust a 3 year old to keep a secret!)

I love dressing up and having parties (posts coming soon).

I love baking without worrying about heating up my house.

I just love Fall in Washington...and winter and spring and summer.....!

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Our Soccer Girl


Soccer season is almost over. I think that everyone will be glad about that in out family. Mom won't have to drive to practice twice a week and a game on Wednesday. Dad won't have to stress about games that his missing when he's working or the time the games are taking up 2when he does have a Saturday free. Chase and Katie will I'm sure appreciate not having to be dragged to everything and having more of their Saturday free. Emily has not enjoyed soccer at all. She groans every time we get ready to go. Most of the time she dances around the field as the ball and the other 15 kids or so zoom past her. She is not quite an athlete yet. For now we stick to Gymnastics which is still nice and low key. So, however unsuccessful our attempts were for interesting Emily in sports we at least got some good pictures.






Jen's Sickness!!


I have to tell this story because it is too crazy. Some of you may know that I have this weird problem. Sometimes I can assert myself with no problem. Mostly around family and sometimes friends and always in church settings (who knows why it's so easy to express my opinion at church?????). Anyway most other times it is a real problem. I hate to call up friends and ask for a favor or help. If I've called you, you should know that either you are a really good friend or I have struggled with making the call for hours sometimes days. I hate to call customer service. Even if I'm not complaining in particularly. Like calling to get warranty service is nearly impossible. I hate calling to schedule deliveries and even worse hate to be the person home when service people come over. So yesterday I was at the mall and something happened that so perfectly illustrates this. I was at Babystyle. I am in terrible (not desperate) need of maternity clothes. A: I have already surpassed the heaviest I have ever been by 10 lbs. So most of my clothes don't fit me. B: My previous babies were all summer births and I am now having a winter baby is a cold place (it was 44 degrees three days ago). So I need pants, long sleeves and sweaters. So I grabbed a few things at the store tried them on and went on to make the purchase. One of the pieces was an adorable sweater that I thought was wool. The cashier said, "that will be $300 please." I about fell over. I wonder what kind of face I made. I tried to hold my composure, but instead of asking to remove the item I went ahead and paid for it. What Kind of crazy lady doesn't look at the price tag, and goes through with an insane purchase of something she'll only wear for another two months. That crazy sweater was $225. No kidding. I looked at the label and it has some cashmere in it. That must be part of it. I came home and showed Dave my new very expensive sweater. I have full intentions of returning the sweater. But now I have to drive all the way back up to Bellevue to do it when I could have just taken care of it right there. I should have just said, "I'm sorry I've changed my mind about the sweater. I'm too poor and too SANE to spend that much on a sweater!!!!!! Oh yes, I know I should have looked at the price tag. That's my mother's fault...yes it is genetic (no offense Mom but I am so like you)." And then I could have tried to want out of the store without feeling like the biggest goof ball of the year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mathamatical Genius Revealed


Chase brought home a math problem that he worked on during his free time at school today. First I think it ways something that he chose to do a math problem when he could have done countless more normal things like draw, read or sit and talk to his classmates. But math ability has definitely been passed down from someone (Meghan my sister is the only one I know on either side of our families who has any unusual talents that I know of). Anyway he was so excited to come home and show me his work. Does anyone know the answer to:
679210875216810923478925782098118762189765342019821089101112282 Divided by 3?
It seriously took him nine pieces of paper to do the work. The number is so big I check check his answer on the calculator and there is noway I'm doing the work to know for sure. But I know my sister will so here is his answer:
226403625072270301159641927366039587396588447339940363033704094
(hopefully I didn't type things in wrong)He sat down with me and we did a problem that took up a whole page and he did it perfectly. I'm definitely wowed!!!!!

Pumpkin Carving FHE

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This was our Family Home Evening activity last night. It took us severla hours due to the size of our pumpkins this year. We carved a combined weight of 194 lbs worth of pumpkin! Here are the results...

Kate's Pirate pumpkin is waiting for an eye patch.
Emily's Jack-o-lantern
Chase's spooky pumpkin
Dave and Jen's Jack and Witch
Dave and Jen's pumpkin cat

Haunted House




Dave thinks I've gone insane but I've had so much fun decorating for Halloween this year. When I was growing up we lived a few streets from this little old couple who got a picture of their house in the local paper every year for having the most outrageous Christmas decorations. I'm not kidding you they covered every square inch of the house and yard in lights. You could probably even see their house from space!!!! The also had all sorts of stuff out on their yard and didn't even stop there. All passer-byers were greeted with candy canes and cups of hot chocolate. Finally a few years ago they had to call it quits because their retirement budget couldn't handle the outrageous electric bill every month. We were sad to see them stop. But, apparently Dave doesn't want to be that house. I thought he was going to put me under contract or something. Anyway I think the house turned out really nicely. The Home owners association is picking a best decorated house and I would be lying if I said I wasn't hoping to win, but really it all comes down to the fact that I absolutely LOVE HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!

Peek A Boo Baby!



We still don't know what we're having so nobody get excited!! Here are some sonogram pictures to tickle your taste buds. The black and white one is my standard 22 weeks sonogram and the 3D one is at 31 weeks taken this last weekend. This is the only picture that we got. Not only was the baby breech but it was facing my spine. Talk about noncooperation. Notice the pout???? I'm nervous! I tried everything. (jumping jacks, running, spinning, drinking capri-suns) This is the best we got of our little bundle. We still haven't decided on a boy's name. I've posted a poll on the blog so everyone vote and let us know which name you think sounds best: Garrett David or Dean Winston????? If we have a little girl I'm pretty sure we will stick with Sara Nicole (Nicole is my sister's name...I haven't even told her we're using it). Only two more months to go everyone!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dave's last day Active Duty Army! Hooray!


So I'm done working for the Army. I'm truly out on the 31st to be honest, but right now I'm getting paid to sit at home and play Halo... er, I mean help Jen with chores around the house.

Leaving active duty in the Army is a little sad. I'm going to miss being the guy in camouflage. The little kids think I'm so cool. I'll also miss being able to respond, "Hooah!" when someone asks me a question. Separation from the Army also brings an old argument between Jen and me to center stage. Where are we going to settle down?

On the whole I'm happy about it. I'm really looking forward to dentistry in the real world. I'm excited about finally growing my mullet out, and now I can go on a trip to Canada over the weekend without any one's permission or having to take a course on counter-terrorism. Mostly though, there is some peace of mind knowing that I'm not going to have to spend more time away from Jen and the kids.

So would I sign up again knowing what I know now? I don't know, I'll let you know if I find myself in that situation.

The Monster Couch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I promised everyone this story, well picture really, so long ago. It all started when we were getting ready to leave for the kite festival a few months ago. I told Dave I really needed a break from the dog. We had taken Zeke on the last two vacations with us and I just needed a break from worrying about him. Plus we were going with our friends who are not dog people and I just didn't want to have to yell OFF! and DOWN! all weekend long. So, I wanted to board Zeke at the kennel. Dave, he is such a softy, thought we should ask our friends to dog sit. So we called them up and they said yes and we were off. The next day we got a call from a very apprehensive friend. Zeke despite all their efforts was being a pain. I think he just had separation anxiety. My girl friend called and the phone call went something like this: "Jen....I have bad news......" "What, what's wrong?" "Zeke destroyed the couch." "How bad?" "I just don't know how he even got he zipper open on the one cushion." "It's OK I wanted a new couch anyway." ................... the conversation went on. I got off the phone and Dave asked for the down low. I told him that it was bad news for him and good news for me and he knew right away that it was about the couch. So now, for all of you that have been patiently waiting to see the extent of the damage, here it is!

Halloween Costumes Complete!!!!!!!




HOORAY!!!!!! I'm done with this years Halloween costumes! I love that I can make cute things for my kids to wear. Even if I do mutter under my breath the whole time I'm making them! Emily this year wanted to be a witch. We did look around a bit at the stores with no luck. Everything for her size was either too Gothic looking or sexy. So we went about designing our own. We had lots of fun looking at all the pattern possibilities and even more fun looking for fabric. My favorite part of the costume are the boots (but then I've really been into shoes lately). I think she is the cutest witch I've ever seen. Katie went back and forth between being a care bear and a kitty cat. Thank goodness she finally chose the cat. I would not have been real jazzed about making a care bear. (Dave thinks that the kitty cat costume looks like a bear. So I guess I would have just had to add a tummy symbol) Kate wanted to be a nice black cat named moonlight. We found only two options for the costume. Either tights and a leotard and then she would have been frozen solid by the third house or the whole jumpsuit thing. I decided to leave out making a hood so we could all see her cute little face a little bit better. She picked the heaviest faux fur available. The little stinker!!!!! I had been dreading starting the outfit for weeks. Every time I saw the fabric sitting in the corner of my room it made me cringe. I'm glad to say that all went well...that is if you don't count that I cut out the entire pattern upside down. Now in order for us to pet her and have her fur lie straight and smooth she has to stand on her head. Nice one. She can't tell though and there was no way I was going to go out and buy new fabric ($$$$$$$) and then start all over again cutting. (I filled an entire trash bag full of fuzz from cutting it out the first time). My girls are sure to get the candy all the neighbors are holding in reserve for the cutest trick-or-treaters!!!!! Kate is already practicing. She comes up to me and knocks in the air. I have to pretend to open the door and she says trick or treat holding out an invisible bag. TOO CUTE! I totally cheated on Chase's costume this year. He will be Harry Potter. He has the hair part covered let me tell ya. I'm still looking for a black or charcoal grey sweater vest if anyone knows where I can find one speak up.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What my kids are really doing in the morning

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Oh my goodness, this is too funny! I'm waiting for Dave to get home from work (Thursday he works late at the dental office) and I decided, "what the heck, I'll try out the video function on blogger!" So I was looking through all of our little video clips that we take with our camera and I discovered this gem! I thought my kids were little angels most mornings. Doing the regular things like playing, watching cartoons and eating breakfast....IN THE KITCHEN. But low and behold the truth is revealed. Not only are they playing around with our camera...No No number 1, but Kate is being a great big goofball for the camera, and is it just me, or can you hear the sound of crunching cereal? HELLO....they are sitting on the couch... not IN THE KITCHEN!!!!!

Emily's Family Drawing

OK this is too funny so I had to share! Emily brought home one of those silly paper books they are always making in school. It was an "All About Me" book. On one of the pages she had to draw a family portrait. This is hers. I love the baby in my tummy. I love that the kids know what's going on in this big tummy of mine and that they are so excited for it to, "pop out" (Katie's words)!