Friday, October 31, 2008

Celebrating Halloween...

We really had a fun time this year during Halloween. I helped at Harrison's 4th grade classroom Halloween party on Thursday. We decorated pumpkins with pipe cleaners, googly eyes, doll hair, pom poms, glitter, feathers, etc. I usually do this project for one of my kids each year and it always amazes me how creative the kids are with the supplies. I was really on the ball that day and even remembered to bring my camera, however the card wasn't in there! I think Mrs. Knight has some pictures, so I will post them later if I get some.

We waited until the last minute (Thursday night) to carve pumpkins. Since carving pumpkins is my very least favorite tradition, I conveniently went out to dinner with the ladies in the neighborhood to celebrate October birthdays. When I came home, pumpkins were lit on the porch and all the insides were thrown away. Thanks Rick! Janessa went all out carving her pumpkin, going with the "hippie" theme.

Harrison carved Sonic.

Nathan wanted a nice face with a gold tooth.

Harrison & Nathan didn't have to go to school on Halloween (they have some Fridays off), so we grabbed Harrison's friend Ben and went out to lunch and to Cornbelly's. It's a really fun little place that they create at Thanksgiving Point during the month of October. The kids loved it. Nathan is batman, Harrison is the scary "Scream" guy, and Ben is a storm-trooper.

I thought this parking sign at Cornbelly's was hilarious!

We went on a hay ride. This was the bumpiest hay ride I have ever been on. I was super sick afterwards!

Nathan especially loved the pit of corn. He could have played in there for hours and hours!

Nathan and I hung out a lot by ourselves while Ben & Harrison went around on their own. I really have a fun time when it is just Nathan & I...he is so much fun to be with!

He is such a tease. They have a tractor that pulls a train of cow cars. He got in the last car and was waving as they went on a little ride through the hay. While he was on the ride, I went to check on Harrison & Ben. I got back over when they were coming back around. He wasn't in the cow at the end!! I was trying really hard not to panic, thinking he is old enough not to fall out. I had a million thoughts going through my head, 'did he jump out in the middle?' 'did someone take him?' 'could someone really have taken him?'. Just when I couldn't breathe, he jumped up out of the cow car and was laughing! He just hid at the bottom to tease me. It worked!

We scored with Nathan's costume this year. He was going through the costume bin and wanted to be batman (this was his costume two years ago!). He does look super handsome as batman! He really acted the part the entire day too!

After the kids came home from school and we got back from Cornbelly's, the kids had some fun with the left-over mini pumpkins. They got all the supplies out and decorated a few, then they started carving the little ones all by themselves! Janessa & Harrison did most of them and then they put them all up the steps and lit them! I forgot to take a picture that night, so I ran out this morning and took some pictures of them. I thought it was a cute idea. I love it when they are old enough to do creative things like that on their own.

We had some dinner together. I made some yummy butternut squash soup & hot rolls. The kids helped make homemade root beer...they love that tradition every year.

Janessa & Lizzy went to a Halloween party. They were dressed up as "Peace" and "Quiet"... which is really funny if you know them at all.

I dressed up as Sarah Palin (sorry, pictures didn't work out) and went trick-or-treating with Harrison & Nathan (and Parker). My outfit was fun, but I didn't think it through very well. The high-heels aren't really the proper attire for walking up and down our hills in the rain. My feet hurt really badly afterwards.

Andrew's costume was the scariest of all! He announced that he is way too old to dress up! He & Cameron had a fun Halloween party with some marching band friends. They played games, ate treats and watched "The Others" in the theater room. I didn't take any pictures of that either! But, they had a really fun time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another mission call...

Tonight feels like déjà vu. My adorable niece Lisa opened her mission call. It feels like only last week when Kimberly opened hers. Most everything was the same tonight, except the call that is!

Lisa has wanted to go on a mission for a long time and finally made the tough decision to put her papers in. We are so proud of her. We love her so much and are excited for her to have this amazing experience.

She opened her call in front of lots of friends and family... including Jeff, Karen, Stephanie & Marianne on the webcam (Scott on a cell phone, as he was away on a school trip).

She will report to the MTC on February 11, 2008 and then will be off to TOKYO, JAPAN! I can't even believe it. Most everyone guessed Italy, since there seemed to be a pattern. Aersta & Harrison actually guessed Japan, but I think they were still shocked. Her Aunt Laura was so excited, as she served her mission there in Tokyo.

Wow, what an amazing place to go…. A great opportunity to teach the gospel on the other side of the world. The people of Japan are lucky to have Lisa coming their way.

Monday, October 27, 2008

AFHS marching band, the newest champions...

We had such a great weekend. The American Fork High School marching band went to the Western Region Bands of America Competition in Las Vegas. Rick and I went down to Vegas together on Friday while Andrew rode the bus down. They competed in St. George first and then continued on to Vegas on Saturday. Rick and I enjoyed some time alone...eating fabulous food and just plain relaxing. The highlight, however, was attending the competition.

The event was held at the UNLV Sam Boyd Stadium and had schools from all over the Western states, from California to Oklahoma.

They first played in the preliminary competition.

AFHS band won 1st place in their division and made it to the top ten later that evening.

They really rocked that stadium. They were amazing!

The coolest thing... all 10 bands that competed marched into the stadium, all in single file lines. They came from both sides of the end zone, and continued to file in as the UNLV drum line played. It was very impressive.

As they announced that American Fork had won the championship, there was no snapping a photo...the kids where jumping and screaming so much that they were all blurry! This was one I thought was cute, it is when all the other bands came into the celebration to congratulate the band.

It took a while, but the announcers finally cleared the field and turned it over to the AFHS marching band to have one final performance. I don't know if it was just me, but they seemed to be playing a little louder and they looked much more relaxed!

This is Mr. Miller, the band director. I love the way he watched the band as they played one last time. He deserves amazing accolades. He has really done a great job with this band. He works them hard, but they all respect him. He said that in the last 20 years they have competed, this was their first Bands of America win. They are now ranked 3rd in the nation and are onto the National competition in Indianapolis to play on the Colt's football field. They are expected to do very well.

They entire band was given individual medals afterwards.

This is Andrew's friend, Christian.

Andrew & Cameron.

This was the entire pit, enjoying thier moment.

And this is the percussion group, including the drum line. They are with thier fantastic instructor Mike Huestis.

My friend Katrina (an old friend from Moab) now lives in Las Vegas and came for the competition. It was so sweet of her. We had a great time and she even stayed until the end!

I know this picture is blurry, but it is the only one I have of Rick and I with Andrew. I really need to take a point-and-shoot for situations like this. It is way too much to expect someone to be able to use a complicated camera!

We had such a wonderful time. It was fun and exciting to watch this band win this competition, they really deserved it with their hard work and efforts all year.