Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Last night we attend our church Trunk or Treat party. Very popular activity around here, apparently. It was well attended and a lot of fun for the kids. For the first time ever we won the cake walk...something unheard of in this family. And all three kids won! (We let them choose someone else when Ben and Johnny won at the same time). Here are the costumes:

Johnny likes to hang on the handrails and yell, "Super-man!" We found that pageant dress for cheap at a thrift store in Oklahoma, so we just added the wig and called it good for Courtney. Benjamin was going to just wear his karate uniform with a ninja hood for his costume, but they will be having a dress up party at karate, and it didn't seem like much fun to not really dress up for that, so he got the full outfit.

Kyle and I have done these costumes before. It's easy. I made, (or was that Mom made), the skirt 21 years ago, and it still fits. It's getting holey and has rust spots all over it. I'm thinkin' it's time to let it go.

Johnny loves candy, so trick or treating was a no brainer for him. Afraid of walking up to strangers? Not if they have candy! We practiced beforehand at home, and when he finished the piece of candy in his basket, he just walked up to me and said Trick or Treat again. Courtney and Benjamin loved the day, too.

For Family Home Evening we painted pumpkins. Johnny did the green "dragon", Courtney's is a princess, Ben did the vampire, and Kyle did the witch in the moon. Painting gets a little messy, but nothing compared to cleaning out a pumpkin. Yuck!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Mahna Mahna

This may be old news for some, but here it is again...

Here are the Muppets doing Mahna Mahna. Watch this first because it was Johnny's inspiration for the next video:


Here is our one and only you tube video for you to enjoy. Johnny singing Mahna Mahna:


Friday, October 26, 2007

Our new home!

In August we moved from hot and humid Oklahoma to sunny and warm Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are so excited to be able to shop somewhere besides WalMart. That's all we've had for 3 years! And we are now a day's journey from Utah and only about 45 minutes (not 3 hours) from the Albuquerque temple. And 10 minutes (not 2 hours) from the Stake Center.

We haven't sold our house in OK yet, so we are renting for now. Here is our home:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We were so excited to get rid of our lawn mower before we moved....yard work isn't exactly our favorite activity. Here is what our backyard looks like:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The kids have made friends and are enjoying school. We have made friends and Kyle is enjoying work. Our friends and the kids' friends are in the same family, so we get together with them at least once a week to play games. The ward has already put us to work. I teach the kids who turn twelve this year in primary. Kyle is teaching Gospel Essentials/ Spanish! We do have lots of opportunity to use our Spanish here. I get to visit teach, and be visit taught, in Spanish. I'm a little rusty, but not too bad.

We have a guest room and we'd love to entertain any family or friends who'd like to come visit beautiful Santa Fe!!

Finding my inner doodle...

I am taking a doodling class. Crazy, I know, to pay someone to teach me how to doodle. But, it is working. I have learned confidence in my swirls, which is what I was hoping for. Here is a layout I did in my scrapbook:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The journaling says:The year 2000 was a very big year: I had my first baby & I graduated with my master of Social Work degree. Benjamin was born just 3 days before the beginning of my last semester of school. I was determined to not stop just one semester short of my degree. So with my Mom & Dad to babysit I finished. Benjamin came to class with me many days, but he couldn't come to my internship with me. He became something of a fixture at school, so dressing him up to graduate with me seemed like a perfect option. I made the hat after a fruitless search. I guess I did a good job--a professional photographer gave us these pics in exchange for using one in a book he was writing. As important as it was to me to finish my degree, even more important was my role as a mother. Once I gradutated I hung up my career hat and was blessed to be able to be a full time Mom. I am grateful Kyle provides for us so I can do this. Perhaps when the kids are grown, I'll return to my career. But until then, I truly feel I am doing... "what matters MOST".

(Photos by Ron Nichols.)

On a different note...

I have had the unfortunate opportunity to study about spiders for the past week or two. Benjamin's teacher has them working on spider reports and dioramas. I can't stand looking at closeups of spiders. Ewwwwww. So what did I do? I took a photo! (the closeup is edited...I wasn't that close.) This is our new neighbor we found on our front doorstep today. NOT OK. He has been outside our house two days in a row. As long as he stays outside, I might tolerate him. Did I mention I hate spiders???

Ben and Courtney earn their orange belts

Last month Ben and Courtney started karate. I wasn't sure how Courtney would like it, but she is having a lot of fun. I wanted to get the kids into an activity, but I wasn't thrilled with juggling two different schedules. With this, they are in the same class, so all I have to do is keep Johnny busy for an hour each time we go. And you can choose which days (and how many days) you go. Heaven! Anyway, yesterday they both promoted and earned their orange belts. It was exciting! Here are some pics from the day:

Benjamin was first to receive his belt. Renshi (master instructor) tied it on for him. Renshi is an all star and is the state rep for New Mexico. He has a lot of patience with all these kids! They have fun in class.

After putting on the belt, Renshi bows to them and they bow back. Then they bow to the black belt next to him. Renshi calls Courtney, "Courtney San". I think it's cute, but she won't let me call her that. Just Renshi gets to.

Next they face the class who all bow to them . In Japanese tradition, the deeper the bow, the more respect you have for a person. They learn culture and vocabulary as part of their lessons.

Their favorite way to end the class: sock ball. Ben is throwing a sock at Courtney who is bending down to pick up a sock. This was before the belt ceremony, so they still have their white belts on. White is the first belt. Then orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown and black. It will be a few years yet until we get to the black belt level....if we stick with it that long. They love it. We'll keep up with karate as long as they are still having fun!