Friday, November 29, 2013

The Fantasy of Trees - 2013 Edition

We mixed things up a little this year. Scott took the big kids to a movie while I took the little girls to the Fantasy of Trees and met the Langfords and Troy and Dan there. We made our rounds looking at pretty trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses then of course hit the rides and the face painting. The girls indulged me to pause for plenty of photos. It's such a pretty place...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ben = 12

That's old. I don't even know where to start. Ben is good. So good. He helps, he serves, he is kind, he is funny, athletic, he is smart, he stands out. Did I mention he's strong too? His gym class had a pull-up contest. Out of 50ish 6th grade boys he came in second place with a solid 10.

His birthday was last month. He's twelve now. At church that means he graduated from Primary (the Sunday school program for kids), and has moved on to the youth group (teenagers--yikes!). He also received the Priesthood, which is humbling and beautiful. Now that his responsibilities include joining other young men in passing the sacrament to the congregation, he got a new suit for his birthday. Good looking kid.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Basketball season prep...

The four oldest are all signed up for basketball this winter. Woo! That's a lot of basketball. It's not even a sport most of them have been particularly into in the past, but there has been a surge of enthusiasm here lately, and you know, it's kind of a life skill. So we decided to go for it. Practices start this week.

Some new gear was in order--the right size balls, some new shoes--and here's where Scott had a stroke of pure genius. They would earn these things by preparing for the season: two cents for every basket made and a set amount for half an hour of dribbling as well. I love it, they are outside every day as soon as homework and chores are done, working hard toward the thousands of goals they'll need. And here's where Scott was diabolically brilliant. Emma, Ben and Josh all use the same size ball, but he only got them two. So they are compelled to fight for rebounds and try to steal it away from each other and equally determined to protect it from being stolen. We've told them they have to follow the rules (no traveling, double dribbling, or fouls) and be nice (so far, so good), and hopefully they are getting some good muscle memory developed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Halloween 2013

I love dressing up. I just do. Love helping the kids dress up too. We decided quite some time ago that our family theme for the trunk-or-treat was going to be puns. This was mostly for the benefit of Scott Hates-Dressing-Up Cruze. He was a great sport last year, so this year I promised him something easy. And that was a very nice thing about this year's costumes. Way easy. Very little time involved and only the cost of some posterboard and felt.

Scott = quarter back (he had a printed picture of a quarter taped to his back)
Emma = smarty pants (hard to see in this photo...sorry!)
Lydia and Afton = pigs in a blanket
Ben = candy (w)rapper
Josh = chick magnet
Lori = cereal (serial) killer

It was a lot of fun to walk around and have people try to figure them all out. They were mostly pretty easy, but Ben and I gave a lot of people trouble.

I didn't take any photos of Halloween night costumes, we were too busy coordinating everyone's plans. But for posterity: Ben was the only one who wore the same thing. Afton was a princess, Lydia was a pirate, Josh was Yoda, and Emma was an M&M. Everything came out of the dress-up box--nice! This was the easiest Halloween yet, I think. We'll have to get complicated next year.