Friday, October 30, 2015

Birthday Party X 2

No school today, as it's the final day of the first quarter and the teachers are getting their grades submitted, which was just fine for the Smith Clan.  This gave us a chance to celebrate Simon's 12th birthday (which happened about 3 weeks ago, whilst we were on holiday) and to celebrate Annie Joy's 10th birthday, which happens on Monday. Basically, today was nuts. Bowling birthday party in the morning, followed by an evening Halloween/ dance/ pizza party.  We partied like it was 1999. How lucky I am to be the parent of these two crazy pigs.

Soooo grateful Simon wanted maple bars instead of cake. Goodness, that made things super easy.
We also had Neapolitan ice cream just to make sure every started the party loaded on sugar.

Naughty food is meant to be consumed at a bowling alley. We enjoyed cheese fries, chili cheese fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings and super nachos. Mmmm.

When Simon's score came up, this "Happy Birthday Simon" would flash on the screen.
Totally cool.

Moving on to Annie's party.  
I am so excited that Ryan finally hung up my new family member, 
our giant Spider.  Isn't it fabulous?!

They started by turning each other into mummies, and then ended by shredding the toilet paper and attempting to bury a party guest.  Good clean fun.

Got some pizza tonight from a place that makes jack'o'lantern pizza for Halloween. 

Annie Joy wanted chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.
Sooo delicious! Lovely lady! If she were older, I would totally share my passwords with her.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Countdown!

Let the fun begin.Only two more days till Halloween. The day began with Halloween dress up breakfast party.  In the middle I combined Halloween with story telling at Owen's Halloween classroom party, and the night ended with some story telling at a discussion on a new book that just came out "Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings." It's a collection of essays by Mormon women, about Mormon women, from the 1970's to present. Super excited to read it. I'm basically into all things food, Mormon, and women.. This book will combine two of my three favorite topics.. So when I read it I'll need to make sure I have something tasty to eat.

Group shot.

There has to be a joke that starts with "a hotdog and a pirate..." 

For my part in Owen's classroom party, I decided to dress up like a scout leader and tell scary campfire stories.  The kids loved it, especially the fake fire.

In Provo, at a place called "Writ and Vision" where we got to hear a panel discussion form the editors of the the Mormon Feminism Essential Writings.

We we're in the car together longer than we were at the discussion.  Super glad to have such a fun road trip friend. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lonely Halloween

Tonight was our ward (congregation) Halloween party.  It was well attended and delicious.  Halloween parties were invented just so chili cookoffs can have a yearly event to go to.  It was super fun and tasty. I loved seeing all of the creative costumes. So "why lonely in the post title?", you might ask.  Maybe more appropriate would be the title "Mahana you lonely."

I haven't really dressed up in an official costume for Halloween in a very long time. I spent far too long trying to come up with an outfit, and after chatting with my fabulous mother, she gave me the perfect suggestion: Mahana and Johnny Lingo. Even better was that Norman is a cow for Halloween (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's okay. There's a totally cheesy Mormon movie from the 70's. The basic concept is that a man loves this woman (that others think is useless) and he pays the highest dowry that the island has ever seen, 8 cows.  Whatever)....Ryan was running late so he just met us at the party and... long story short: my husband decided that he would be exercising his legal right to not join his wife in dressing up.  I don't think I really need to articulate my thoughts on that decision, or the irony of my chosen costume with the evenings outcome.  It was indeed a one cow night.

He's chatting with a friend.

This is one of the baby whisperers in the ward, who helped this little cow go to sleep.

The night had a chili contest, a pumpkin contest and several minute to win it games.
Well planned, well executed family fun.

Pumpkin carving at home.
Why can't there be an easier way to get the bloop out of the inside?!

Cuteness overload: Norman chewing on the pumpkin stem.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chinese Eggrolls

I got the chance to volunteer at the kid's school today, something I try to do on Tuesdays. Annie was in her class, where her Chinese teacher speaks fluent Chinese. Half of Annie's day is in Mandarin, and the other half is in English. I feel little hope that I can learn Chinese, but I have great hopes that by the time she's fluent I will have mastered how to make the perfect Chinese egg roll. Mmmm.

She knows the answer.

Filling a ziplock with water.
Not sure what the purpose was.

Then her friend dumped some blue food coloring in the bag, and then they taped the bag to the window. My job was to give the students the big strip of tape. 
I think/hope/imagine that the whole thing would make more sense if I spoke Chinese.

A Hotdog, Panda and Monkey walk into a bar...

***Actually, the hotdog, panda and monkey walked into a retirement home and did the family night lesson with treats.We were lucky enough to be scheduled on the Monday night program right before
Halloween, which meant the kids showed up in costume. I introduced the family and reminded the residents that our oldest son Preston (who wasn't there bc he was performing at a choir concert) works there.  Ryan talked about how important it is to have a sense of humor, especially during difficult times, and then the kids told jokes: Simon the hotdog told hotdog jokes. Annie the panda told panda jokes.  Owen the monkey told monkey jokes. And I told a joke about Norman making cow pies, since he was dressed as a highland cow. It was the funnest FHE we have been a part of in a very long time.

Fun and ridiculous.

My darling panda.

What a good dad, and well behaved monkey.

I love the highland cow hat we got in Scotland.
It's the warmest hat we own.

I wish the body was just as fluffy and hairy as the hat, but beggars can't be choosers when trying to throw together a highland cow costume.

Third row up, far right. He's in two choruses, concert choir with like 80 students, and madrigals, with 32. They sounded so amazing. It was such a a lovely concert.

Preston and a friend posing after the concert.

*** This post is for Monday, October 26th, 2015***

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Paperclip

I found myself at a retirement home on Sunday Morning. My children were supposed to sing a duet at the church service that is held there (the same location that Preston works at) but our pianist was crazy sick, and the song was difficult to play and she had made several changes, etc. So I suggested that instead of the duet, the congregation just sing a rest hymn, but for some reason, I was having trouble conveying this message via text. Not wanting to flake out on a commitment that my kids made, but also knowing that they couldn't perform what they had planned, I decided to fill in for them.  I couldn't find a brush, had no time for make-up, and my dress was crazy low-cut and needed a safety pin, but all I could find was a paperclip... yes, you read that right, a paperclip.  Preston was actually working at the retirement home so I was able to drag him away to sing "How Great Thou Art." It went about as good as I looked, which wasn't half bad given that we didn't practice even once, and sang it for the first time in front of the elderly congregation.  Long story, lame story, and at the heart of it: what kind of mom can't find a safety pin in her home... or a brush?!


***This post is for Sunday, October 25th, 2015***

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Super Saturday

What is a Super Saturday? For the women and girls in my church congregation, it was a time to gather for cinnamon rolls (made by our Bishop!) for crafts, classes, treats, food, conversation, silliness and service. Basically, it was a Saturday, gone totally super!  Thanks to all who helped, came,  and played with Annie and I. I'm super excited to do it again!

So Yummy. Food glitter is now a new favorite.

I did a class on jazzing up your parties with food.

Super fun table to have hanging around all day.

Annie made a chicken wire frame.

And some darling soap dispensers.

Group shot. Lots of people came and enjoyed.

Check out that frame!

Cool sign.  The ladies in charge of the event did a bang up job.

Norman was with Ryan all day during the event.
After Super Saturday, we headed over to spend some Halloween time with my Aunt.
I love spending time with family, and if I had my own way, we would gather weekly... for a talent show... and cheesecake...every week.

**** This post is for Saturday, October 24th, 2015****

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Under the Bucket

I drove into my driveway, parked my car, and to my utter distress and horror... I found a mouse, that looked drunk, wandering, stumbling aimlessly, much too close to my doorway.  I had no choice but to grab a bucket, and wait till Ryan got home. I simply don't get paid enough to take care of mice.

That is what a hero looks like.

Owen held the bag whilst Ryan shoveled it in. Preston tied the bag and dumped it into the trash.
There are not words to describe my loathing for roaming rodents on my property.  
This will haunt me for years.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Crazy Hair Day

There are only a few days in the school year that can even come close to the fun of the dress up days found in spirit week/ say no to drugs week.  Over the year's we've done crazy hair day, 80's day. 50's day, wacky socks day, western day, backwards day, twin day, super hero day, etc. All good fun.  Last night Annie and I went for a run to the grocery store to get some halloween hairspray. We were kind of late to the game, and variety wasn't impressive.  We settled on a white, which turned out to not really work out at all. The purple glitter was moderately better than the white, not a very impressive feat. Which made the star of our purchase the bright orange.  Now you know.

Annie and orange hair. Her brothers took off too quickly for me to catch a pic.

Ryan working form home this morning, with a sleeping helper cuddled near him for moral support.

Calvin after his band concert.

He's the handsome one in the back row, fifth person form the left, about to play the symbols.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shark Attack

Shopping for Halloween, oh what fun.  I love the idea of hand crafty amazing costumes, but I also like the idea of supporting the economy through purchasing merchandise that will only be used at 2-4 parties a year (The Smith's LOVE Halloween parties!)

We didn't buy the shark hat, a decision I now regret.

Yes to the monkey costume.  For the love of all good things, what a great monkey!

Annie found the panda and just knew it would be perfect.

Norman and Cricket, hanging out.



Supprised that he rolled over.

Still kicking Cricket.

Today was walk to school day, with donuts and chocolate milk upon arrival.