Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Recap

Oh Halloween. It not really my favorite holiday and I'm always glad when it's over. Then I don't feel so weird about listening to Christmas music. :) Actually, I just hate all the ghoulish monsters that are everywhere we go in stores and in people's yards. I do enjoy the harvest stuff, and the colors and the smells of fall, but Halloween itself....blah. However, children happen to just love it and we have been anticipating the fun of tonight for weeks and weeks. The big boys went as Power Rangers and bought their costumes themselves this year (thank you very much boys) and Easton had 2 options. A dinosaur or a tiger depending on the weather. It was too hot for the tiger so dinosaur it was. Besides, he wore the tiger last year....but it still fits this year thanks to the "miraculous thin-down." Just look at this little fat-man! (Seriously, click on the link and scroll to the bottom and look at the picture of him in the stroller. SO FAT!

Yesterday we went to a fall festival. Another excuse to wear the costumes and grab a couple buckets of candy for a head start. :) I was there solo and I didn't bring a stroller so I didn't get many pictures. And then tonight we did the whole trick-or-treating thing. This year Easton was soooo cute! The big boys were really good with him helping him learn the ropes. And I think he thought it was really fun and kind of weird. He tromped around following the big boys as best he could and sometimes he would say, "treeeat" and sometimes he would just hold out his bucket. Then he would wave bye-bye to everyone. It was so cute and very sweet. I think we filled an entire pillowcase so the candy should last us a week or so...maybe more. :)

Easton the dinosaur---he just figured out how to smile on purpose...or on command I should say.!

will the pointing ever end? I hope not

this picture reminds me of "the night Max wore his wolf suite and made mischief of one kind...."

Here are the pillowcases I made the boys. We were at HobbyLobby. They spotted the fabric. They picked out their own (including Easton....I couldn't persuade him from the owls) and I did the sewing. Brendan said I must put them on the blog so Nana could see them.

I accidentally took this picture, but it shows just how sweet the little trick-or-treators were.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kid Quotes::Vol. 40

after church tonight....

Rand: So Bren, what did you learn at church tonight?

Brendan: Well last week (we didn't go last week) they learned about the 10 commandments.

Rand: But what did you learn tonight?

Brendan: Well, we didn't learn about any characters of the Bible.

Rand: Okay, so what did you learn about tonight????

Brendan: Yep.

alrighty then.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chicken Chronicles::Vol. 11 (The Best Pets)

Our 4 chickens have been the best pets. We have all loved them. Rand has sort of loved them. They were impossible to keep off our patio because I insisted on letting them run around wherever they wanted. They made a royal mess on the patio and it was a real pain trying to keep it clean. I loved watching them run around the yard and chase bugs and fight over fruit and take dirt baths. Not to mention the daily supply of eggs...even if one of them hid them from me most of the time.

I loved these 4 ladies and that is why it was so sad for us to let them go to a loving home who wasn't going to truck them north and then probably provide them to raccoons for supper in their not-so predator safe coop. We are already making lists of names for our new flock that we have planned. And believe me. There will be more than 4! :)

The Pumpkins

We lit them for only 2 nights.

And then they looked like this:




Pretty much less than a week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Easton::18 Months

I'm about to miss the milestone all together. In just a week he will be over the year and a half mark and well on his way to two!

Easton keeps growing, although he is still in the same size clothing he was wearing about 10 months ago, thanks to the miraculous thin down. He has yet to have his appointment so no impressive stats to report. I suspect he is sneaking down into the "normal" ranges, though he still seems really big compared to other kiddos his age.

This is a little boy who wants to be big and little at the same time. He keeps up with his big brothers well. He wants to climb and jump and ride bikes and run outside with them...and he does. At the same time he is very much a mama's boy. Doesn't share me very well and likes to be close pretty much all the time. Loves his Daddy time but has more fun if I am nowhere in sight.

His words are coming slowly but surely and he has quite a vocabulary if you are me and can understand what he is saying. More, Milk, Elmo, Einstein, No, Ow, Mouth, Nose, Eye, Mom, and Dad are the most spoken. He's not combining words yet, but soon. He loves looking at animals and we drive around an area of town that has tons of horses, goats, sheep, etc. just to entertain him. I call it our drive-by zoo. It's just people with pets in their yards. :)

He still takes 2 naps a day...most of the time...and sleeps great at night. He and I get up together at 6 usually. A little early, but these years of being a Mommy have made those early mornings a little easier. I guess I'm getting used to it. I took the crib rail off his crib (much earlier than I wanted to) out of necessity because my belly is now what I would consider "large" and I can no longer bend over the side to put him in. He can easily get in and out by himself, but knows when it is nap/bed time and he stays in and does what he is supposed to. What a good little boy! Not nearly as stubborn and strong willed as his oldest brother was. Either that or it is just the difference between a 2 year old and an 18 month old. We will see as time goes on!

Easton loves babies and has acquired a baby doll from a little girlfriend and he actually is so cute with it. Carrying it, just like a baby, and sleeping with it and poking it in the eyes and then, of course, violently throwing it to the floor. I think there will be a love/hate relationship at first with the new baby. I'm praying for this little guy and the transitions coming up in his life. My heart always hurts a little bit when major things happen in the lives of the little ones that they can't quite understand yet.

18 months old. Kind of hard to believe.
We sure love this little big guy!

Monday, October 17, 2011


We got our pumpkins a little early this year. It's still 100 degrees here. I've been trying to put off carving them because they don't have a chance of surviving once we cut into them and leave them outside. But you know little boys.....they can hardly wait. Every. Single. Day. "Can we do pumpkins? How 'bout tonight? How about I get the pumpkins ready?" Every day. Last night we had an early-ish dinner and Rand hadn't gotten a call yet so we just went for it. We will light them every night this week and see how long they last. I have no hope of them still being around by Halloween, but whatever. Last year we didn't even get pumpkins. It was our first year skipping the tradition and I felt so bad that an early destruction of the poor things really isn't that big a deal.

For the record, Easton wouldn't touch the goo (he has a spoon in the one picture). He thought the whole thing was a little weird and kind of scary. He's not a fan of the dark so he wasn't even that impressed when we went out into our really dark front yard and lit them. But he also only had one nap and it was bedtime for him and so I'm blaming that!
see? doesn't he look tired?

now he's getting further away from it. :)

Brendan's, Wyatt's, and Easton's (next year 4?)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weighing Pros and Cons

The job hunt. What can I say? We have been determined to stay here. Unlike other past job hunts, Rand has kept his resume here, in the Valley....right where we are, knowing we have a bit of time to figure it out and find something that will work. We have driven all over town dropping off resumes and there are the multiple online searches a day looking for what is new in both of Rand's career fields (funeral service and ministry). Nothing.

The only other place we occasionally check is Washington because deep down we've always thought eventually we'd go back there for good. Well, let's be honest...Rand started dreaming about living in our house here forever, but not me. It's for this small town girl. But I have been more than willing. Anyhoo, Rand knows my dream and so in the search that has been bringing up nothing he has also looked in Washington just to see if there is anything. Recently a job came up within his company (SCI) and he made a call about it. Turns out he went to mortuary school with the manager there who is hiring. There was an interview on the phone and then they asked him to fly up to continue the conversation. He spent last weekend in Olympia checking it out. It went well. And now we are left with a really hard decision.

At night I panic and say, "No. We just can't. We have to stay here. But there's nothing else. We are running out of time." And then in the morning I feel really good and think, "No problem. I'm okay with this. We can do it. It will work out just fine."

So I have been making lists and lists of pros and cons. There's a lot of things on both sides. Here's a few of the majors:

Pro: Hey! It's a job offer! That's more than we can say for any other leads we have followed.
Con: It would mean moving again.

Pro: The job pays more, involves more (kind of a promotion), has the opportunity for overtime if desired, bonuses, is a "transfer" within his company so he keeps all his vacation, 401K, etc., is at one of the nicest funeral homes in the area, and is in Olympia (close to my family) and hello?? it's the Northwest. :)
Con: The compensation is more than he makes now, but is nothing to write home about.

Pro: We can stay here until we are ready to come. They are flexible as far as when we have to be there and start.
Con: uh, we are having a baby. Move soon? (NO!) Move after the baby is born? (NO!)

Pro: Living close to my Mom, Dad and Sister would be great help not to mention friends and other family we have missed for almost 5 years now! (Can you believe Brendan was 3 and Wyatt was Easton's age when we left?!?!)
Con: Our family here is great help too. Not to mention the friends we would miss terribly and would be saying goodbye to for the second time.

Pro: I prefer NW weather and really hate summer here (basically May-October)
Con: It rains there a LOT...and while I like the rain and grew up there and what not...I really enjoy winters here (basically November-April)...even though it's not really winter and I miss true seasons.

Pro: We have some property there that has always been a dream to eventually get on and grow our own food and run through the woods, etc.
Con: We have a house here and we aren't sure the best move with that (keep it as a rental and find someone to manage it for us? Get out at all costs and not deal with the headache? List our house now and deal with showings?)

These are just a few of the issues racing through my head all the time. I'm hoping that by writing it down I can get it out of my mind and get on with...I don't know...schooling the children, growing a baby, doing my chores, etc. :)

In my gut I feel kind of excited about it. Olympia feels like "home" to me and I can see us there very easily. The job is a really good job and I think Rand could really thrive there. The idea of moving doesn't stress me out all that much this time around and if we hadn't done it so much recently I probably wouldn't hesitate for a minute.
At the end of the day it comes down to what it has come down to every time we've done it. It's a job. It pays. And what other choice do we have??? That's the question!

What do you think? (Try not to be biased based on where you live) :)

Ahhhh, our life. So glad I've been writing it down for the last 5 years because honestly....who would believe it?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Patch--Southwest Style

Every fall that I have lived here I have mourned the loss of our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. I kinda thought the only way to get a pumpkin here was at the grocery store or one of those little hay stands by the side of the road...which might as well be the grocery store.

Today I was very much surprised by an impromptu visit to MacDonalds Ranch with Grandpa Mike. I decided last minute to go with so that Easton could participate too, even though I really didn't know ahead of time what we were even doing. Well, MacDonalds Ranch is in North Scottsdale on 1300 beautiful acres of desert. There was horse riding and all sorts of Western style games, lasso practicing, hay maze, a petting zoo, a LOT of dirt and a horse drawn hay ride out to the "pumpkin patch" that was literally out in the middle of the desert. The true desert is really quite a beautiful thing (especially when the temps are in the low 70's).

Now, I say "pumpkin patch" in quotes because it was a little different than I was expecting. As we rode along out into the desert I found myself pondering a pumpkin patch out there amongst the saguaros. I even said out loud, "I didn't think you could grow pumpkins here. I wonder what kind of watering that would take?" And then we rounded a corner into a clearing and it all made much more sense. There is no pumpkin patch in the desert. It was very much staged. There was no patch. There were no vines. There were pumpkins in bins and stacked on hay and who knows where they were shipped in from. But I have to say, it was the closest thing to a real pumpkin patch experience I think you could get around here! I have a LOT of pictures to share because it was so much fun, so keep your eyes peeled for the "pumpkin patch"....southwest style.

still a lot of pointing going on :)

he was thinking about riding a horse, but decided not to when he got up close!

i love this picture :)

i think he thought Wyatt's hair might have been food

a bull

a goat


here she is, people!

check out our driver! his mustache actually curled up on the edges, with a twist.