Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trunk or Treat

Happy Halloween everyone.  One thing I took for granted living in Utah was that everyone celebrated Halloween on Saturday if it happened to fall on a Sunday.  The fact that the whole state recognized the Mormon tradition of keeping the Sabbath day holy is no small thing.  We have decided to let the kids dress up and help pass out candy tonight.  They did all their trick or treating last night at our Stake’s annual Trunk or Treat party. 

It’s hard to say if the Trunk or Treat was more crowded than usual since it was the only opportunity for trick or treating for the members. 


I think it’s always crowded.  People usually run out of candy at the Trunk or Treat but I think it happened sooner than usual last night.  Everyone was pulling out of the parking lot by 8:00 pm.  I heard someone say there were over 500 kids expected to be in attendance. 

For all the ward and Stake level Trunk or Treat parties I have been to over the years I would have to say that this Stake is the best.  They have the best games, decorations, and organization. 


Unfortunately, I never have the crowd patience for more than a couple of games. 


The one activity we look forward to every year is the photograph by a professional photographer in another ward.  The line for this is long.  It goes from the front foyer, where the photographer is set up, to the back door.  I am not making that up.  But look at that cute picture.  It’s worth the wait.  Parker said he forgot to smile. 


There was another fairy waiting in line by us.  The two girls were instant friends.  Shared fairyhood will do that. 

Heath went as a BYU fan in his BYU shirt.  I went as a skinny wicked witch of the West.  My plan was to go as a witch because then I wouldn’t have to dress up.  Get it?  It’s a joke.  But I got some new jeans to replace the jeans that are too big for me.  I walked into the store wearing one size, holding the pants up with a belt, and walked out with a pair of jeans two sizes smaller! 


After the trunk or treating Gwen helped herself to a lollipop.  This was her third or fourth lollipop of the day.  We got haircuts earlier and Gwen was fabulous.  Next time I need a trim I’m taking her by myself because if she’s anything like she was yesterday she’ll be fine.  Lollipops, books, and me telling her beforehand that she would be beautiful after getting her hair cut, was all it took to have the stylists and customers amazed that she’s only two years old.  I’m bummed that the season of pros and semi pros doing our hair at home is over.  We’ll be fine though. 


Gavin had tons of fun but once we were finished trunk or treating and just sitting in the van waiting for the parking lot to clear out so we could leave, he was done.  He couldn’t figure out why we had to wait.  Poor kid.  He has my impatience for crowds. 

Swigging the Soda

The expression, “Time flies when you’re having fun” is not true.  The last two days have felt like two years.  We have crammed in more fun than two days can handle without a wrinkle in time.  Moving on with Friday, the longest day ever . . .

After the parade we had enough time to pop popcorn and watch half of Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure before heading out for lunch.  Since there wasn’t enough time to get Parker and eat somewhere before having to get Gavin we picked up Mr. Pickle sandwiches to enjoy in the parking lot.  That was not the original plan but since lunch was ready sooner than we expected that’s what we did.  The kindergarten teachers were letting kids go early if their moms were there.  Parker was dismissed 15 minutes early because his teacher saw me waiting by the door.  I kind of hoped Gavin could be released early too but an hour early is probably pushing it. 

We finished our lunch in the van near the park.  Then we played at the park, making three trips to that park/playground for Gwen in two days!  (Thursday morning and afternoon, and Friday afternoon)  It’s a convenient place to waste time on minimum days when the boys get out an hour apart. 

Finally it was time to get Gavin.  It was 1:00 pm by the time we got home and Heath and I were totally wiped out.  We put Tinkerbell back on.  The kids binged on candy while Heath and I zonked on the couch.  I know.  How lame are we?  It felt like a day and a half by that point though. 

Then we went to a pumpkin patch at the fairgrounds.  The kids were super excited since we have been trying to go for a while now.  It’s just hard to work around football games and rain.  Friday was our day. 


Can’t you just feel the pent up excitement?  Gwen was tired.  I tried to get video of her saying, “You got it dude!” like Michelle Tanner since her ponytail kind of looked like little Michelle.  Instead I got video of her crying and saying she didn’t want to be happy.  Yay for fun family outings.  Heath was in the grocery store buying soda for us so he could get cash for the pumpkin patch.  Yay for another 20 oz. of caffeine! 

Before I get into the pumpkin patch pictures I have to say, are we doing it wrong?  This is the second time we’ve gone to a pumpkin patch as a family.  Both times I thought of Jerry Seinfeld talking about soda commercials.  He says the people are so happy they’re dancing and laughing and having parties.  He says he sees the commercials when he’s drinking the same soda being advertised.  He looks at his soda then back to the TV and says, “Maybe I’m putting too much ice in mine!”  That’s how I feel about pumpkin patches.  Everyone blogs about them as this all day greater than Disneyland party for their kids. 


I get this.  Long swig of my Diet Coke.  Yep, maybe I’m putting too much ice in mine. 

Actually, we picked a great pumpkin patch for our family’s needs.  The kids loved the hay bale maze (free) and the bounce house ($9).  The guy running the bounce house was awesome.  He gave our kids an extra five minutes just because he was a nice high school guy! 



Gwen was a little irritated that she couldn’t get her body to cooperate.  She wanted to go down the slide too but she kept slipping and couldn’t climb up to the top. 

Next to the bounce houses was another bounce house looking thing.  It was three slides.  I don’t know if it was $3 a person for one slide or 10 minutes of sliding.  The bounce houses were $3 for 10 minutes and you could go back and forth between the two bounce houses.  The kids, well I should say Parker, wanted to do the slides.  But we’re not stupid.  Those slides were really tall and steep.  So we said no.  He whined and cried and said please 50 bajillion times like maybe politeness would change our minds.  Another long swig of Diet Coke. 

We took them back to the hay bale maze.  The only other thing to do there was a slide that cost more tickets but it looked like a roller coaster of a slide.  Parker promised he wouldn’t be scared!  He quickly dropped the subject when we told him it was as scary as the roller coasters at Disneyland.  Gavin wanted pictures by the fun Halloween cutouts.  You’ve already seen how well that worked out in front of the cow. 


So we tried the ghost.  Gwen looks like she’s thinking, “You’re not scary.”


Ah yes.  Photographic evidence of the kids fighting over who got to stand where and touch which part of the ghost.


Gwen holding the pumpkin bucket while Parker has a look of feigned innocence.  Not buying it kid. 


All I can do is laugh.  My kids are crazy.  An hour and a half and $9 later we were done.  The kids loved that we got to go to a pumpkin patch!  And no surprise that we all slept until 8:30 the next morning.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Parade

Two cameras + two parade participants = over 150 pictures

Heath took 83 pictures of the parade part of today.  I took maybe 10 before my camera battery died.  Of course!  The other 60 some odd pictures I took were from the rest of today’s festivities to be posted in the next post.  Today is picture day don’t you know?  By the way, I’m not enlarging any of these so if you want to see more detail just click on the picture. 


The day started early.  I got up at 6:00 am so we could get me everyone ready by 8:00.  Morning kindergarten starts at 8:15 and with the whole school on a minimum day Parker had to be there early.  You can’t tell at all from these pictures that the kids are super excited. 


I just like this picture.  Parker is looking into the sun imagining all the possibilities of this day.


Classes lined up to begin the parade.

We could not have asked for a more perfect parade day.  Temperatures were in the 50’s so it was chilly but not unbearably cold.  Gwen wore a long sleeved t-shirt under her costume and had a blanket to keep her legs warm.  We taped her shoes to her socks since they are too big! 

It seems that every year the parade route changes.  I’ve always seen the parade take place in a huge square created with yellow caution tape in the back corner of the blacktop.  This year we have a new principal and she never made it clear how the parade would work.  She kept saying it would go around the blacktop.  None of the parents realized what that meant until it started.  The parade went around the perimeter of the blacktop which was actually kind of nice since everyone could easily see that way.  In the past parents were stacked deep and if you were in the back you couldn’t see your kid. 


Office staff dressed as M&M’s.  The principal is the yellow peanut package.  The red and orange M&M’s probably know me on a first name basis they have had to call me so often with my kids in their health office for one reason or another.  The second picture has a teacher walking out of the shot.  I want to point her out because the grade levels usually dress up in themes.  That team of teachers dressed up as San Francisco Giants fans because the Giants are on fire right now in the MLB World Series.  One of the teachers actually dressed as a Texas Rangers fan.  She held a sign that said “Shave the Beard!”  I thought that was pretty funny.  Some of those players look pretty good with their goatees but the full beards look a little creepy.  But good luck charms are good luck charms and this one seems to be working! 


Parker’s kindergarten class.  Aren’t they so cute?  The second picture shows the Three Musketeers again!  Parker and his little buddies.  I mean Woody, Pit Crew, and Spiderman.  And how cute is Parker in the last picture?  Man, I love that kid. 


Gavin’s teacher, our neighbor (all in pink) as a baby with her friend, and Gavin waving. 


Neighbor’s sister (We carpool with these girls), another neighbor as a first grade pirate, and Parker’s friend’s older sister.  I love that family.  They are so nice.  We actually watched the whole parade with the mom who is the nicest lady. 

Creative Costumes:


One of Gavin’s first grade teachers from last year.  She is Kanga and her two year old is Roo although he pooped out of the parade by the second lap.  The other co-teacher from that class is not in the parade because she is dressed up in sweats as a new mother the second time around on maternity leave. 


The old man is one of the PE teachers.  He was hilarious.  He was really getting into character and the kids were loving it.  I love the fried egg and the scarecrow was really cool too.  I have no idea who those kids are.  They were just really good costumes. 


Our favorite costume by far was the Lego guy.  He was walking in time to the music which just added to the awesomeness of the costume.  My friend was telling me that she saw him walking to school.  She said he was taking little steps and seemed to be having a hard time moving in the costume.  She was afraid he wouldn’t make it to school in time.  As we all stood around waiting for the parade to start and the kids started filtering in we were commenting on cool costumes.  She said that she hadn’t seen the Lego guy (she thought he was a robot though).  We were laughing saying he was still out there somewhere in the neighborhood trying to walk to school.  But there he was in the parade with his class!  Yay for Lego guy! 

Heath and I were commenting on how it was obvious which costumes were store bought versus which ones were homemade.  The store bought costumes looked cheap and junky compared to the homemade costumes.  The store bought costumes are made of thin plastic and most of them have a picture of what the costume is supposed to look like somewhere on it.  The homemade costumes were much more original, durable, and authentic looking.  So the next time you hit the stores hoping to find a great costume for a good deal – just make it yourself.  It’s less expensive and looks better that way. 


By far my favorite picture of the whole day.  This was taken before she got bored and started pushing her stroller around in a circle narrowly missing hitting parents trying to photograph their kids.