Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015

My poor children, to have such a lazy mom who doesn't LOVE Halloween. Poor Cheeks was a chef for Halloween since it was a gift her grandmother gave her for her birthday and I was too lazy to come up with anything else (honestly, didn't register to come up with costumes until a week before and then I took the path of least resistance.  Boy Howdy was a fireman, a legit costume recycled from last year when he REFUSED to wear it. It was too big for him anyway last year so it made the perfect costume this year. Poor boy didn't even get asked what he wanted to be. The costume was chosen for him, again, because he has a lazy mom.

Thanks to a Curious George Halloween special the children have been watching on repeat for a couple of weeks, Boy Howdy was eager for the big day. For weeks he wanted Halloween to be today, and all day today he has been asking if it is still Halloween, scared he is going to somehow miss it. 

We had planned on going to our ward's Trunk or Treat at the church a few blocks away. But then it started raining, pouring really. And we decided since the children still don't know what they are missing, instead of traipsing out into the cold wet night we would stay home, get costumes on and "Trick or Treat" here. It was AWESOME! While the kids were finishing their dinner and getting dressed up I sent Matthew upstairs with a lot of candy to "hide" for the babes to find. They were soooooo excited! It was like an Easter egg hunt except without the complication of eggs and a whole lot more candy. The joy on their faces as they found treat after treat made me feel like I wasn't such a bad mom after all. 

Do you see the look on that boy's face? How can you not love that look? What added to their joy was being allowed to eat 5 or 6 pieces of candy at once. They had almost died and gone to child heaven.

While they were enjoying their spoils, we had a very small handful of trick or treaters come to our door. Boy Howdy ran to the door each time so very excited to pack their little bags with candy. Even parents got candy. I love small children and their enthusiasm and love.

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Courtside Reunion 2015 - Boston

These women fill my cup. Uplifting, it is the theme when we get together. These women love the Lord, love being moms and love their husbands. Their conversation is always on the up and up and always filled with love, laughter and joy (even when talking about hard things). I am still amazed that I get to associate with them. When figuring out who would be roommates in college, I still don't quite remember how I got involved with them, but I am eternally grateful I did. They are my sweetnesses.

This first picture was taken in a pew box in the historical north church in Boston. We all dreamed of what it would be like to go to church in a box where you could keep your children contained more easily.

Isn't the foliage gorgeous. The weather was definitely colder than we had hoped but the scenery made up for it in spades.

Harvard campus has started putting out fun chairs on the quad. We couldn't help but want to get our picture taken in them.

And then, of course, us in front of the temple. We didn't get a chance to attend this time, but there is something about being on temple grounds that is always so special. For me, especially, this was wonderful as I felt like I grew up in that temple while I was living in Boston as a very young single adult.

Love Love Boston and I Love Love Love my darling college girls. Thanks go to Matthew for taking days off work so I could go and thanks go to my children who were sweethearts to their father.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Crayon Crafting

I am a good mom. I promise, but sometimes I feel like having children in my 30s has made me a lazy mom. So it's times like these that I feel pretty good about my children's childhood. I found a post explaining how to melt broken crayons into new ones. So, Boy Howdy and I spent a bit of time peeling off old crayon wrappers and organizing them for cooking. I was so impressed at the result. 10 minutes to cook and about 5 to cool and they were ready for coloring. Boy Howdy oohed and ahhed and Cheeks just wanted to hold them all. Thanks to great recycling ideas that help me to feel like I am winning at motherhood.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hawaii Grandma and Grandpa Visit - Saturday

Father Marler joined the merry group on Saturday morning (along with Matthew's brother Aaron). He came bearing gifts, not to be outdone in the affections of his grandchildren by his wife. Boy Howdy was enthralled with the airport set, and insisted that Hawaii Grandpa play with him.

The plans for Saturday was to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum. For sure Father Marler, Aaron and Matthew would love it. Boy Howdy, I thought, would love it as well. He mostly did, but a 3-year old's interest in reading about all the history behind each plane was extremely minimal. So while the others wandered around soaking it all in, we found airplane seats and a kid's zone that proved more entertaining. Included in the kid's zone is a basketball hoop with a ball not to be thrown but blown. The kids could have spent hours here. And it was pretty fun trying to capture their sweet little expressions.


We loved having them to visit this week. I could not have asked for more from my darling Mother Marler. Thanks for coming! Please come back soon!!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hawaii Grandma Visit - Friday

Mother Marler is all about fall so I knew along with the apple picking, pumpkin picking would be right up her alley. Thankfully we opted to pick pumpkins at the beginning of our excursion because clean clothes did not last long. They played on the tire mountain, tractors and tire horsey swings. They loved their day, except for the part about not being able to go on the big kid rides and excursions. It was probably a good thing we got their cute faces and enthusiasm captured early in the day.




Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hawaii Grandma Visit - Thursday

Thursday, Boy Howdy, opted for the Gilbert House instead of driving back to Portland to go to the zoo. Fine by me. He loved showing Hawaii Grandma the airplane room and she got to teach him how to really play in the Veterinarian room. Boy and Girl Howdys were pro at listening to hearts and giving shots by the time we left. It's a good thing they have a Grandma to help them build their imagination. Their favorite part, though unpictured, was the outdoor camping and cooking area, complete with as many bark chips as you could want. They made a LOT of mashed potatoes and bread out of that bark. Poor Cheeks may have gotten a little too excited to try her creation because, at one point, we had to help get bark dust out of her mouth. Mother Marler and my favorite area, again not pictured, was probably the large blue block room. We may have had more fun building a ball ramp then the children. Another completely lovely day. You may have noticed that this is a lot of pictures for me. Thanks go to my MIL for being a picture fiend and to Google for making it easy to share them.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hawaii Grandma Visit - Wednesday

The plan for Wednesday was to go apple picking after Boy Howdy got done with preschool. He had had a hard time at preschool that morning and wanted nothing to do with leaving the house for the rest of the day. After concluding that no amount of coaxing and downtime was going to change his mind, and since Matthew was already home from work, Mother Marler, Cheeks and I ditched the boys and went apple picking by ourselves. Having lived in Washington for a solid portion of her life, mostly while her children were young, I was surprised to find she had never before been apple picking, especially considering how much she loves the fruit. Thankfully neither the experience nor the apple variety disappointed. She has now fallen in love with freshly picked Jonagold apples and I have pictures for another activity with my children.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hawaii Grandma Visit - Tuesday

Tuesday we took advantage of no preschool and went to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). They were having an exhibit on guitars, featuring the world's largest. I'm not sure how interested the kids were in said guitar, but for their father's sake they had their picture taken in front of it.

Of much more interest to them is the preschool/toddler area upstairs where you can play in really clean sand and whirlpool water. Kudos go to Mother Marler who stepped in to save my daughter from getting sand dumped in her hair and all over her back by devious twins with an oblivious mother. They left Cheeks and all the other kids alone after getting a talking to by my wonderful MIL.

And then there's the space shuttle cockpit that was begging to be enjoyed. Love OMSI, but especially love having another adult to man one child for me.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Hawaii Grandma Visit - Monday

My darling Mother-in-law came for a visit for a week. My children were IN HEAVEN to have a constant playmate for the entire week. They have spent a lot of Sunday afternoons talking to her on Skype, so to have her in real life was wonderful for them and for me. We had a completely lovely week doing everything imaginable. Monday we planned on doing the Gilbert House after Boy Howdy got out of preschool. Unfortunately, the Gilbert House is closed on Mondays for the school year so we got a picture in the really big rocking chair and then walked across the bridge that connects downtown Salem from West Salem. The kids had so much fun walking and running across the bridge, stopping every now again to look at the spiderwebs in the railings or ducks on the water.

At some point, I realized that trying to get the kids back across the bridge was going to be a very unpleasant task, so wonderful Mother Marler agreed to let me leave them with her to whack trees with small sticks and push rocks off parking railings with those same sticks (so handy). A completely lovely afternoon.