Thursday, November 3, 2011

Trick or Treat

Here we are :)
Jake cried about being Elvis for the church party, but then when I gave him a choice for Halloween, he replied, "Mom, I wanna be ELVIS. And I'm not gonna cwy about it this time."

Kate, with her friends Halle and Addie

Jake with his buddy Bryant

The Girls

Luke, feeling like he is right in the middle of the action, I love it!

checking out the loot

Learning the tricks of the trade

If only he tasted what was inside :)


There's no way you are eating all of it!

Are You Making Eyeballs?!

That was the question I got as I stood in the kitchen smiling to myself as I stabbed these little eyeballs onto their forks. "Yes! That is exactly what they are!" I was so thrilled that the kids knew what they were :) We had a spooky dessert night for Jake's preschool co-op over at our friend's, the Webb's home. We were spoiled with Loriann making everyone a yummy dinner and then the kids had the time of their lives making their dessert choices: ghosts, pumpkins, witches brew, eyeballs, goblin hands, among other things. Here are the older sisters taking center stage.
We got home and realized that Halloween was the next day and we hadn't carved our pumpkins!! So, Sunday night, we went to work. Here's what we came up with:

Luke was fast asleep by this point. I think the kids ended up going to be close to 11pm. Lovely. But memories were made :)

Wilderness Wimps??

Call it what you will.Joe and I LOVE the outdoors. Getting outside and doing a little exploring is one of our favorite things. We are this way because we were both brought up doing it. So, comments from the peanut gallery complaining that legs are tired and "where's the snacks?" were a bit annoying. "Are we raising wimps??!!" We asked to each other, horrified!!!!!!!!!!

(and then I began wondering...was I like that???)
We were so adventurous with numero uno. With numero dos, things slowed down a bit, and when numero tres came along, life outside of our normal routine almost came to a halt.
(Is that why this darn baby weight hasn't disappeared???)

So, a new resolution for our family: get out on some trail and do some exploring at least one weekend a month.

In October we went about 15 minutes from our house to a trail over in Livermore and we hiked 4 miles. Kate made it the entire way and Jake got a piggy back ride briefly. Luke enjoyed luxury the entire trip. We were cruising at a speedy 45 minutes per mile but the kids loved looking for birds, acorns, and running after butterflies. Joe and I have high hopes that our speed will increase.

For now though, we were thrilled that we didn't hear, "My legs are tired," until the last mile; and we got some fresh air in our lungs :)


"I'm coming home on the late bus." I read the text and thought, "Alright...maybe something really EASY for dinner." As I started opening up cabinets and peering into shelves, I heard bursts of excitement, papers shuffling, drawers slamming and the the sliding screen door being left open...they were up to something but I didn't have the energy to stop it. I continued cooking. I found Jake trying on one of his many costumes (thanks Jeri) and stomping to and fro chanting silly things... "MOM! It's time! Come HERE!!!!!!!!!" I followed their happy voices to the back door and found this.Apparently Halloween had come a little early and we were going to celebrate.
All of our indoor Halloween decorations were taken outside and used appropriately to create a nice ambience.

They decided that it was only appropriate to eat outside for the party. There was even a special seat decorated for the "queen herself."
I was told I was the queen.

We ate dinner, played "pin the witch hat on the rocking horse," told ghost stories and even trick or treated. They planned and executed the entire thing.

Thanks for shaking our routine up a bit, kiddos. I think we all needed it :) I needed arms about 4 inches longer to get Luke's face in this one! At least his forehead is accounted for :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

Every year we make sure to head over to Half Moon Bay and bask in all of the Fall Fun-ness. We decided the weekend after getting home from Hawaii was a good time to go. It definitely didn't feel like autumn and coming from palm trees and warm breezes, we weren't feeling very fallish either, but we did our best to manage having a great time :)
If we allowed it, our kids would jump at the chance to have these cute little furballs be a part of our family. They LOVE bunnies and loved hanging out with them at the Pumpkin Patch.

I include one of these every year. Had to do it again. Although, for some reason, Jake was a little more timid this time...not sure why! Luke's first trip down the bouncy slide seemed to go relatively well. His "chill" attitude didn't falter.

We headed over to Barbara's to get a little clam chowder in a bread bowl and take advantage of the reason we pay so much to live in California :) The weather was simply perfect.

Always love Half Moon Bay with my family


It feels like our Hawaiian trip was already eons ago...I'm ready to go back and I think everyone else feels the same way! I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures (check the slideshow above) :) We tried something new this year and went in September which was WONDERFUL! No crowds!!! The only sad part was that we weren't complete. Mom decided she really wanted to go to culinary school and the program began before our trip ended. So we REALLY missed her. But we are so proud of her for getting out there and doing what she loves. Although, I don't know how you can perfect perfection when it comes to cooking :) Chris and Kalei are busier than ever in their first year of dental school, so we aren't expecting them to be able to join us any time soon...but when they do, it'll be a happy day. With the Merrills in Oahu

Let's see, what did we do? Relax, swim, eat, read, hike, visit with good friends, play, sleep, exercise and did I mention eat?! Hard to come back to reality after such a wonderful trip. I feel so blessed to have the family we do. Hard to get sick of each other... and I know that's rare :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rodents Among Other Things...

We had a mouse situation that was literally driving me crazy for the past month (even though they weren't around for that long--Comet and 409 have been my best friends as of late). At least they weren't rats is what I kept telling myself. Still...

Kate came up to me a few days ago holding one of her many pieces of art with a big smile on her face. I was expecting rainbows, flowers, butterflies and Kate and me...her usual preferences. Instead, I saw this:

I LOVE the mouth. I laughed so hard! Apparently I've been letting my thoughts become vocal one too many times lately :)

Not to be outdone, Jake came running up to me and said, "Ya, Mom....this is me. And I'm mad because my hair is so long!" Thanks for keeping it real, Jake.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Glitz, Glamour and Giggles

Kate turned 6 years old on August 12th. Six. Wow. When she realized we were actually going to be home this year for her birthday, she was so excited, she planned her entire birthday party before we even agreed she could have one! About 50 kids were on the list...wish we could have worked that! Some beautiful maidens graced us with their presence and we simply had a BALL. We played a few games including Kiss the Frog, we got our nails painted and our faces done up, we made bracelets and put on tiaras and loads of jewelry, we checked our appearances in some really silly mirrors, we had a tea party, a pinata castle and truly felt like we were the real deal.
Happy Birthday, Katie Pie. So glad we could do this for you. You made a dramatic entrance into this world and some things never change :) I love every single inch of you and all that comes with it.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

We did something that I'd definitely do again. For the Fourth of July, we went to see the Giants play. Instead of driving across the Bay and dealing with traffic and parking, we decided to take the ferry across. It made the trip an adventure within itself! The best part? It drops you off right there at the entrance to the park.


So great having Kalei's Mom with us!!! We love Bernie!

Kate and Gracie's eye's were HUGE when we told them we'd be taking a ferry to get to the game. We realized an explanation of "fairy" and "ferry" was needed :)

On the Ferry

A beautiful day. Would have been even better if the Giants had won!