Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday evening was the Trunk or Treat at our church and, as always, it was a ton of fun. In the past we have enjoyed an evening of soup and pie followed by the trunk or treat but because our ward has basically outgrown our building the refreshments were donuts and cider. They were still pretty tasty and it left everyone plenty of room to mingle and check out everyone's great costumes.
Our family had such a fun time dressing up this year...okay, maybe not David but he was a good sport and went as Zeus to my Medusa.

Xander went as Darth Maul;

Savannah was Clawdeen Wolf (Monster High person);

and Noah was an astronaut.

Every year there are some pretty amazing costumes and this year was no exception. We had lots of witches, Harry Potter characters, policemen and robbers, soldiers and Arabs, and vampires but always the best are done by my friend Megan. Her family is always coordinated and she makes the costumes herself. This year they were characters from the movie Labyrinth and their costumes were quite impressive. Here is her husband Jon as one of the wise men along with my hunky Zeus.

Noah hanging out with the teenagers, as usual.

It's always such a fun night!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

Ahhhh, yes, the Pumpkin Patch Field Trip. This was my seventh time going on this one...yes, seventh time! But it was also my last so that made it a touch bittersweet but only a touch. Noah and I did the exact same things that all my kids have done on this field trip. First, we showed up with plenty of time for Noah to run around the hay maze with all his friends.
We then rode the wagons out to the pumpkin patch where the kids received a lesson on the many jobs a farmer has.

After that the kids were set free in the pumpkin patch to select their very own special pumpkin. The adults always get to pick one as well.

Last, we headed back to the main area for treats and more hay maze fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Savannah's Award

What a great way to start off the school year - Savannah was nominated by her teacher to be the ABBY student of the month for September. Bascially this means that Savannah is well-behaved and doing all the right things in her classroom.

Way to go, Savannah! We are always so proud of the kids when they receive this special award.

Her wonderful teacher, Ms. Patek.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Go Utes!

This past weekend we headed up to Pittsburgh to cheer on our Utah football team as they faced the University of Pittsburgh. What a great time we had! Although it was extremely windy and a tad cold we cheered loudly and enjoyed the great game. The Utes had a tough start but came back to win it.

Xander seemed to enjoy most of the game but grew a little restless by the fourth quarter.

And Noah? Well, he was done with the game after about the first minute. Of course we had forgotten the gameboy in the car so for about the first half of the game he sulked.

Thank goodness the Walker boys (the family that joined us on our fun little weekend adventure) entertained him and kept him busy. Noah can be so cute when he wants to be and even endeared himself to some of the Pitt fans that were sitting next to us. One of the Pitt guys kept offering him licorice and patted Noah's head any time Noah got near him.

By the fourth quarter Xander, Noah, and AJ kept themselves busy with games on the parents' phones. Whatever works!

Savannah stayed true the whole game and really seemed to enjoy the game.

When the Utes win on the road they come sing the Utah fight song with the Utah fans.

Despite the cold wind, the lack of a band or cheerleaders, and the Mormon bashing going on by some of the Pitt students, we had a fabulous time!

While driving home Sunday we decided to take a slight detour and see the memorial to Flight 93. It was definitely a sobering experience to see the memorial, the crash site, and the pictures of all the men and women who fought back the morning of September 11, 2001.

The memorial that contains the names of the people on the flight follows the flight pattern of the plane just before it crashed. We explained the significance of this event to the kids but I think Xander and Noah still a little young to truly appreciate that they were wallking where heroes had sacrificed their own lives to save others.

The crash site.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Night of Planning

Savannah and I truly look forward to the first Friday of each month when we meet together as a Keepers group , learn new things, and have fun. The culminting event for this year is a special dinner for the girls' dads so each meeting that we have before then has an activity or two in preparation for this event. At this October meeting the girls decided what they would serve at the dinner (working on their Menu Planning award) but we'll keep that secret since David reads the blog and I know Savannah wants him to be surprised. It's definitely going to be yummy!
The girls also spent some time on napkin folding, a nifty little skill that will enhance the beauty of the table at "the daddy dinner".

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ladew Gardens

Noah's first preschool field trip was to Ladew Gardens and all the kids had a great time. As we walked through all the beautiful gardens the kids had a checklist of things they needed to check off once they saw it. These items included leaves changing colors, seeds of certain trees, butterflies, frogs, and bees. Looking for all of these items really kept the kids busy!

We loved checking out all the bushes that had been trimmed into various shapes. Here's Noah in front of "the man on his horse" jumping the fence.

We finally found a frog!

Blowing seeds into the meadow.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The X Man is 7!

Seven fun facts about our Xanderman:

  • He loves to sing! Most afternoons when he finishes his homework he heads down to the basement, blasts some music, and sings at the top of his lungs.

  • He's really tall for his age. I never really noticed until last year when I was a chaperone for a kindergarten field trip - Xander towers over other kids his age. I can't tell you how many times I have heard parents from the other soccer team commenting on Xander's size and how they think he's in the wrong age group. And he's not just tall...he has humongous feet! His are a full size bigger than Savannah's.

  • He is like me - he does NOT have a sweet tooth. He would prefer a bowl of fruit over candy any day.

  • He's good at saving his money. Just recently he saved half the price of a DS. Pretty impressive for a young kid.

  • He is a mama's boy; he absolutely loves me. We definitely have a little Oedipus Complex going on. One night he was snuggled up next to me as we watched a movie on TV. David walked in and asked what we were doing. Xander replied, "I'm stealing your love." It was pretty funny. He's always picking flowers for me and tells me I'm his beautiful mom. I definitely treasure his feelings for me because I know in a few years I will probably turn into lame mom.

  • He loves math and is really good at it.

  • He is a hard worker.

Somehow the kids instituted a tradition of being able to open one of their gifts in the morning. Xander was thrilled to find out that his first gift was a Panthers shirt. I'm going to interject here what great parents David and I are. Here we are, complete San Francisco 49ers fans and we allow our children to choose their own special teams to root for. Aren't we fabulous? For some reason Xander has attached himself to the Carolina Panthers...go figure.

We all got to cheer Xander at his soccer game

and then spent a wonderful afternoon watching General Conference. Before the men headed off to the Priesthood Session we had Xander open his presents. I love how Noah wrapped up one of his own toys to give to Xander. What made it even more funny was the Panthor he gave to Xander (not really gave, more like presented for a few minutes) was that it was a Christmas gift to Noah from my parents and they were sitting right there. Talk about a re-gifting faux pas.

The love of all things Harry Potter has not disappeared in our house and now Xander is all set to cast evil spells with his very own Voldemort wand.

Remember how I mentioned what great parents we are? Look at this - the love continued with his very own Carolina Panthers jersey. I do have to confess to a little secret...that player whose jersey Xander has? Well, the only reason it has been allowed in our home and on our son is that it is Steve Smith's. Yes, Steve Smith...a former Utah Ute. The ONLY reason it's allowed.

Cake time! No, Xander is not 9...that's what happens when Mom totally forgets to pick up birthday candles and just goes with the only candle to be found in the house.

Xander's Favorites at 7:

  • Food: hamburger

  • Color: green

  • Movie: Rio

  • TV Show: The Clone Wars

  • Book: the Froggy books

  • Toy: Imaginext Samurai

  • Thing to do: be with mom

  • Dessert: chocolate milkshake

  • Candy: Dots

  • Fruit: watermelon

  • Vegetable: broccoli

  • Song: Disney songs

  • Sport: football and soccer

  • Holiday: Halloween

  • Temple: Salt Lake City

  • Scripture Hero: King Solomon

  • Animal: Panther

  • Restaurant: Red Robin

  • Place to go: school

  • Season: summer

  • Wants to be when he grows up: a rock star and a police officer

  • His best friends: Orion, Jesse, and Kyle

Happy Birthday to our Xanderman!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grandparents Visit

For several years my parents have wanted to visit during the fall to see the kids play soccer but it wasn't possible with my mom working. Now that she is retired they headed on out for a wonderful five day visit. The first day they were here was Rosh Hashanah so, with the kids out of school, we decided to head to the Baltimore Zoo.

On Friday Mom and Dad were able to spend some time with Noah in his preschool class which he absolutely loved! For the first half hour of class on Fridays the kids rotate between stations that have various academic activities and the parents (and grandparents!) are always welcome to stay and help out.
Noah enjoyed picking out sight words while reading with Grandpa.

Working on numbers!

And of course on Saturday came the main event - or actually two events, Xander and Savannah's games. Although the weather was pretty damp and cold, we cheered their teams on.

After the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference we celebrated Xander's birthday and he was so glad to have his grandparents there to celebrate his special day.

The kids took advantage of the time they had with Grandma and Grandpa. They had them read LOTS of books...

and even help with homework.

We were all so bummed when it was time for them to leave. We sure do love when family visits!