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Sunday, November 29, 2009

In with a whimper and out with a bang

Dear Friends and Family,

Monday morning before the sun was up I was down at the Health Center getting us all tickets for the swine flu vaccine. It seems a little ridiculous to stand in line from 6:30 on just to get a shot! Tuesday morning we all went back down and took turns getting swine flu and regular flu shots. Kids were glad that they were able to get one of them as a mist. Robyn was very confident about her shot after seeing Jeremy take it without a wince. But there was a whole lot of whimpering and crying going on when the reality of the needle hit. We all celebrated by getting doughnuts before dropping off everyone to school. Krispy Kremes is our very unhealthy reward for doing all those healthy things like shots and cavities filled. Sort of defeats the purpose but keeps our kids happy to comply.

Wednesday Allison told me was one of the perfect vacation days. Sleeping in, stocking up on books at the library, eating hot dogs at Costco and then making pies all afternoon. Love when our house smells all good. Spencer made the cheeseball this year and Allison made her favorite pie - chocolate pecan. That night I went to a 2 hour zumba class fundraiser and wasn't around to realize I forgot to reduce the oven temperature for Allison's pie. So at 9 p.m. I was at the store buying more pecans so I could make a replacement pie in secret. [Side note is that between the library and Costco we went to get Spencer's glasses fixed. They used a different part to fix it. You would have thought he had been mortally wounded and was extremely out of control for quite a while about it. Just when I start to get complacent that his bi-polar is under control, something happens to remind me that I have to be pro-active about preventing such break downs. On the plus side is that after 15 minutes of screaming/tears he started working on controlling his breathing and by 30 minutes he was almost back in control.]

Thanksgiving Day we cooked and went for our annual hike while Jeremy and Taylor kept abreast of the football games. The hike was the easiest and best ever as Robyn (and I) for the first time ever made it to the top waterfall. It makes me realize how physically things are getting so much easier with my kids. Don't have to carry a kid everywhere or worry about diaper bags etc. There are huge perks to our kids growing up. As you might notice Robyn did the 2 mile hike in glitter shoes and a skirt - have to dress to impress!

Jason's family came over and we all feasted and played. Ate pie, Jason grabbed a nap - it was a really nice Thanksgiving.

Cousins stayed with us overnight and Jeremy, Jason and Kelly went up for a photowalk later that evening up in Salt Lake City. Kids had a great time playing with cousins all Friday and then we met up with their parents to go ice skating. Robyn had a little walker to push around the ice and Allison just took off after all her roller skating practice. Spencer had more the kamikaze approach and has the bruises to prove it. After they all enjoyed Red Robin hamburgers and Taylor chirped all the way home over the fries and dip.

Saturday I hosted a baby shower with my friend Allison for my friend Kate. Our girls loved to help make all the food and wanted to be in the thick of opening the door and helping with presents. It was a lot of fun to visit with a lot of my old friends and hear about our old ward and neighbors.

Saturday night Jeremy went over for one last visit to his mom's condo. Tomorrow the contractor comes and anything that is left is being gotten rid of. So our garage is a bit full of things to go through at the moment! Can't believe that this is it. And Jeremy nicely did all that by himself as I went off with a friend to see New Moon with her. We laughed a lot at it and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Today we broke out the Christmas boxes before church. Our kids no longer are content to wait for me to do all the work - they are in the midst of everything. To add to the pleasure - Spencer trying to sing The First Noel like Bing Cosby ("cause that's how real men sound, Mom!") which was cute the first time but after an hour was like fingernails on a chalkboard, Allison wanting to do everything right now because she just can't wait, literally trying to insert her body into your and Robyn certain that everyone else's job was better than hers and turning her angelic charm on periodically to keep me from kicking her our. So our tree is a little lop sided but it is up and kids were thrilled.

Robyn is showing off her lollipop found on the lollipop tree from LAST year. She still thought it was delicious!

I now know why family traditions are kept up. This week really made me realize how much our kids count on doing things the same way every year. They are the ones informing me about our hike and how there needs to be a cheeseball for Thanksgiving. Or that we need to watch a Christmas movie after pie Thanksgiving day. Or that we need to put the Christmas stories by the fireplace so we can read them every night. Or asking when they get to put their new ornament up for the year. You get the picture. I am amazed at how much they remember and what they put importance on. Its rather heart warming.

Love to you all,


P.S. Read a GREAT book this week. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Am recommending it to everyone I know.

My friend Kate gave our family these cool placemats for a Christmas present. My kids love them. Robyn explains how it works.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Piano Recital

Heather already posted her weekly update, so I figured I'd make a separate post to add these photos & videos from the piano recital. Both kids did great! I am always happy to see them doing so well learning to play the piano, especially considering I am so devoid of musical talent.

Heather is likely not going to be too happy with the flycatcher moment on this photo, but since I was trying to hurry & switch modes to capture video I only have this one photo of them at the piano.

In case anyone notices and wonders, the little bit of hum/noise in the background is the image stabilizer on my lens I forgot to turn off for the video. Oh well :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Its a hard knock life

Dear Family,

After going out with my friends last weekend I was fired up and inspired that my kids have it too easy. So starting Monday they had to make their own lunches in the morning and usually their own breakfasts too. Robyn and Taylor were exempt although Robyn has become a LITTLE more self-sufficient. The experiment has brought forth such gems as:

"What! You expect me to stir my own hot chocolate!"
"If I have to keep taking care of myself in the morning I am going to have to get up at 6:30! That is so unfair!"
"Mommy still makes me breakfast...nanny, nanny"
"I can have Top Ramen every day now!"

So amidst my cringes about nutrition, kids have taken less in their lunches, not brought back any leftovers, raided our supply of lean pockets and top ramen and other microwavable treats full of preservatives, and Jeremy has patiently taught them how to make their own egg sandwiches in the microwave. Figure its time for them to grow up a bit and I sure like not having to do it for them.

Christmas came a little early for me this week as my little hutch arrived. Jeremy despite my extremely feeble assistance managed to manhandle it from the truck into our dining room. He also picked up our family photo so just going into our dining room right now puts a smile on my face. I hung up some wreaths to celebrate although I still need to find some ribbon to pretend hang them with on top of the fish line.

Other highlight was that Friday night I was able to go see New Moon and go out to dinner afterward with two of my friends. Loved the movie and the girls screaming when Jacob took off his shirt just made me laugh. Jeremy stayed home with kids despite his numerous offers for fun that night - photo pass to an MAA fighting event, a friend's photo book release party, and a volleyball game. Jason called it "double emasculation" - watching kids while wife sees New Moon. I call it pretty darn awesome. Right next to asking Saturday morning as we finish cleaning the house for his event "What can I do to help". The expressions of true love that you don't appreciate till you have kids. The best part was that Allison was having a late girl's night with her friend Sarah as she was missing Sarah's birthday party. So he had two giggling girls demanding pizza, hot tub, and ice cream and movie. You might notice in the photo I had my hair done. I say "might" as I was informed that it looks just the same. Not what you want to hear after you pay the hefty tab at the salon! Oh well, at least the roots are gone!

Allison just came to me with a clump of hair and a pair of scissors. Robyn says her hair is starting to be too long. Can't tell where she did it. Lots of tears and deflections going on. This morning while I was in the shower thinking how nice it was that I didn't have to worry about what kids were doing while I got ready. Came down to Robyn screaming because she cut her finger with a knife while trying to cut an orange. Not too bad though. Spencer was in the next room oblivious to the danger going on next to him. Robyn has had a good week. My neighbor's grandma died so we were able to babysit her friends. Friday afternoon it reached a high of 60 and was sunny. They all thought that meant it was time to break out the sprinklers. So they went hot tubing instead.

She continues to love her dance class and her preschool. In dance this week she learned how to skip so she has been skipping hands on hips all over the place. Jeremy suggested making a video of her with Riverdance music going on behind her. At school she learned a song/story of a worker in a clock factory who spilled glue. She repeats the last chorus whenever she gets a chance:

Jeremy had some fun events this week. Monday night he went to dinner with his photo friends to meet with this well known photographer. Tuesday night he drove up with a friend to hear a presentation by this photographer. And then Saturday he hosted a concealed weapons permit class all morning at our house with 20 of his friends. So Friday night and Saturday morning we cleaned and then the kids and I left for a few hours.

Spencer had a pie making class at the rec center Saturday morning with his friend. They made 2 mini-pumpkin pies, 1 chocolate cream pie and 1 cherry pie. He was quite proud of the fruits of his labors and was reluctant to share for a bit. Only comment on the class was that instructors were really good but really bossy - you had to follow their instructions exactly. Told him that is what learning to cook is all about.

Allison, Robyn and I trolled Walmart for an hour. They each found a remnant of fabric to make mini-tissue pack holders for their friends. Then Allison and her friend were off to open gym to fool around doing flips etc. for an hour and a half. Little girl heaven. After collecting all the kids and getting dressed up we were off for their Christmas piano recital. We are rushing the seasons a little bit! Spencer has been playing Rudolph constantly since before Halloween! They both did great. Allison and I played a duet and she had two false starts which made her nervous but she did it. Spencer was running up to the stage and did his by memory. Messed up one chord but just kept on going. They were a little disappointed that our post recital celebration consisted of cleaning the office (I admit scrubbing the toilets and emptying garbages never gets them very excited - even under the best of circumstances). But they got to come back and eat lots of pie and watch a movie with Meredith all suitably tired out and into that giddy, parents are so glad to be leaving them behind stage.

If you have figured out everything that happened Saturday you can understand why Jeremy and I were so happy to go out to dinner and just sit with quiet adult conversation. Then we went over to sort through Lauri's stuff for a few hours and bring another truckload here. We keep finding things that we need to save mixed up with everything else. Like a marriage license under a box of old garfield mugs. The contractor is scheduled to start Dec. 1 so our deadline is getting close.

Taylor has had an on/off type of week. Its always hard to tell if little seizures are bothering him or if he isn't feeling well. As you can see below if Jeremy isn't around Rocky REALLY likes Taylor eating. After we painted we decided to try Taylor up at the table. Its been nice having him not off to the side. We have to be careful of his reach as when he is searching for a cup or having a seizure those arms go flying.

My favorite part of Sunday is about to begin. Robyn is ready for bed and Spencer and Allison have books and are laying by the fire with pie filled bellies. Think I need to join them!

Love to you all, Heather

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ladies' Day Out!

Dear Friends and Family,

One of my favorite days of the year was yesterday. I get excited for this day months ahead of time in a quite ridiculous way. Several of my long time friends and I get together for a day of Christmas shopping and eating every year. We visit those non-kid friendly crafty stores, get fudge at Gardner Village and hit a few practical toy shops at the end of the day. I get a lot of cute things for Christmas and have a ton of fun catching up with my friends. Long suffering Jeremy rides herd on the kids with a patient smile and by the time I arrived home at 11 everyone is out and the house is cleaned up. What a great day!

Snow hit us yesterday adding to the holiday feeling. We walked to tithing settlement at 9:30 this morning and the kids all ran back inside to grab coats. Earlier this week we were wearing t-shirts but I think that was the last gasp of autumn. I made fruitcake Tuesday. Tried out two different recipes. I will post my favorite next week when we have a taste test. Spencer and I have to be the only people I know under 50 who like fruitcake but it always seems part of the holiday season to me.

Monday Spencer and I (with the always present Robyn in tow) went up to see a pediatric gastroentologist. She think Spencer's reflux is gone and he can go of his prevacid. Yeah, one less pill! We are going to wait till spring when we are past croup season to try taking him off it. Spencer was excited by the visit because he learned he had grown another inch so now he is 5 foot 1 inch (107 pounds). I felt a little bad for always riding him about his weight when his height and weight matched up perfectly at just above the 100 percentile. According to the growth charts he should be my height at age 12 - that made his day!

Jeremy had a tougher day than usual Monday as he had a filling at the dentist in the morning and than a photo shoot with VERY unhappy little boys that afternoon. But he redid them Tuesday along with another family and got some great shots then so all was well. Speaking of pictures I printed out some of our family ones this week and put them around our house. I have the ones of our girls sitting on my dresser. Makes me smile every time I see it. Jeremy was a bit stiff int he legs this week after playing volleyball but Friday night he and Spencer headed to the church gym for some more. Spencer is learning how to play volleyball in P.E. right now and Jeremy said there were some very, very patient adults on Spencer's team. But he came home happy, tired and proud of himself.

Robyn and I got to drive Spencer and part of his class on a field trip this week to the space center. Part of a school that has been turned into a space mission stimulator. Spencer thought it was so awesome. He was in charge of sending out space probs and analyzing the video feeds.

Allison lost a tooth this week. And for the first time the tooth fairy remembered the first night before she woke up! There has been some creative "helping" to find the tooth fairy money in the morning in the past. As well as some great apology letters. Allison finished up the Little house in the big woods series this week. Her friend Alena has taken her on some big play dates Friday and Saturday as Alena's family plays while the dad is off hunting. So Allison went to the Mayan, the aquarium, Wendy's, the nickelcade. So she had a good weekend! She and Robyn are truly "frenenemies" lately. Wednesday night they will not stop poking, bugging each other at dinner. Then while I am gone for 20 minutes to pick up Spencer from karate, Allison gets them both showered, in their PJs, combs their hair and washes all the dishes from dinner. She must have been cruising. Made me realize how old our kids are getting.

Thursday night Jeremy and I went to a fireside at the church. Our babysitter came down with a cold so for the first time every our kids were left to babysit themselves. I was really nervous. They were thrilled to watch a movie on a school night. I was more worried that they would get caught up in the movie and Robyn would be free to go create some mischief undisturbed. They were fine though and it made me think how Spencer is almost 11 and how I used to hire 9 and 10 year olds to babysit for me all the time while I would visit teach etc.

Taylor was doing great for the first part of this week. At school they learned he would laugh if given pineapple or lemon pudding to eat. And he has been doing well drinking from a camel-back on his own which is huge. You have to put it in his mouth but then he would be able to do it. He came home Thursday morning from school because his seizures were just knocking him out. Friday we went up to Primary's to have his VNS adjusted. Am hoping it will help and he will be back to enjoying life again. One of his aides made his a muff for his hands. The middle part is lined with sheepskin and they stick a tactile type toy in the middle for his fingers to play with. So his hands stay out of his mouth, they stay warm and he is busy entertaining himself with things to touch and manipulate. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance.
Spencer and Allison are currently playing airplane with Robyn. Looks very precarious but they are all giggling. Love to everyone, Heather

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mimi's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mimi shared this recipe with us last year and it has become our favorite one. Robyn was adamant that for her turn on preschool treats she needed to bring cookies. So we spent the afternoon making them - make one, lick hands and sample bites, wash hands, make one and repeat.

1 1/2 c Crisco
1 heaping cup packed brown sugar
1 heaping cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 beaten eggs

Combine till fluffy.

Mix together:
3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Combine wet and dry together until barely blended. Add a bag of chocolate chips and cook for 12-15 minutes on 325 degrees.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'll clean the bathrooms tomorrow...

Dear Family and Friends,

Currently: Jeremy is at meetings, waffles are cleaned up and roast is cooking in the crock pot, chex-mix is cooking in the oven (snack food can count as lunch, right?), sun is shining, kids are building a humongous fort in the family room with Taylor chirping next to them, girls hair is curled and done and I still have an hour before church. I love the lazy late meeting schedule! Of course we don't do anything but that's what makes the morning feel so enjoyable. I am sure the peace will evaporate soon so I will enjoy it while I can!

I think every day this week I told myself that I would clean the bathrooms (that didn't get done last week and are approaching biohazard conditions) and every evening I would promise myself tomorrow I'll get to it.

Monday I was able to go out to breakfast with two of my friends for one of their birthdays. One of my friends is having a tough time right now so it was wonderful to be together and heart wrenching at being unable to help her at the same time. So we spent the morning laughing or crying while our three girls who are all friends ran circles around the resturant and played ponies. Spent the afternoon either driving kids or in a church meeting. Spent the evening making rock hard caramel apples and talking about the word of wisdom. There are some horrific before and after pictures online of drug abuse that enthralled our kids. No ones teeth fell out from the apples and the leftovers were discretely carried out to the trash later.

Tuesday we had our temple play group. So nice that I have friends who kick me in the rear to take advantage of going to the temple! Plus Robyn loves playing with her two friends on a regular basis. Spent the afternoon working at the school hanging up art work. Then our neighbor invited us over for one last pool day. So we spent the afternoon splashing in the water and getting out when the sun went down realizing that 68 degrees only feels warm when you aren't wet! That evening I was able to go to a fireside on Christmas gifts with meaning. Gave me some good ideas. We were supposed to have cousins over for a long weekend while Jason and Kelly went on a mini-vacation to Colorado to play and see Wicked. That night Brynn was diagnosed with swine flu. Felt really bad for Jason and Kelly to cancel all their plans. Our kids were quite bummed out.

Wednesday and Thursday I finally tackled painting our kitchen. I have spent forever picking a color! I don't know if it is the color that makes such a difference or the fact that I removed buckets of dirt from the walls and counters of our kitchen in order to get ready to paint. I decided when I moved the fridge and stove that every disgusting thing in our house had crawled under our appliances. Right now our kitchen still looks pretty clean as all the extra crap is covering our dining room table as no messes are allowed back in here. I am enjoying the clean and clutter free feeling too much! Jeremy even came home Thursday with lunch for me and we got to take a lunch break together. So nice and yet strange to sit at our own kitchen table eating by ourselves. I kept waiting to be interrupted or for some glass to be knocked over.

Allison at Activity Days this week learned how to make mini-pizzas. So Friday night she directed operations and made dinner for us. Of course you have to use the pizza dough that comes in a can as homemade just doesn't work! She felt very proud of herself and I was impressed.

Friday had its ups and downs a bit. Went to the grocery store with Robyn in tow. She was convinced that she could walk next to me and even help push the cart. She pushed the cart right into a big display of plants and the whole thing came tumbling down with me catching the backdrop before it hit her. Plants and dirt everywhere, Robyn crying (suitably dressed in a gymnastics leotard as you never know when you might need to do a somersault, managers asking if we were OK and picking stuff up. Yeah, good times for all! Thursday I had gotten a call from the school counselor that the girl and her family wanted to meet together as they weren't letting this situation go. Jeremy and I were dreading what this could turn into. So when I walked in the door from the grocery store at 11:15 I heard a message on our answering machine that the meeting was going to be that day at 11:15!!! So we ran over there arriving a few minutes late. Ended up being fine. Girl talked about picking up a ball and Spencer running up behind her and instead of grabbing the ball he grabbed her chest and then ran away. (Spencer still vehemently denies this and since the girl didn't want Spencer to be in the meeting, I still think she was mistaken on the identity) But the girl and dad both came to the conclusion that it wasn't done deliberately and that the girl started playing four square this week with Spencer's group and feels fine about it. So I am not sure why they wanted to make this into such a big deal but it seems to be over now.

Friday night I took Spencer, Allison and Robyn to a piano concert at the school. They had a great time watching this BYU kid play amazing original pieces and redone popular songs. Their favorite part was watching him put on a stripped vest and red bowler hat and play the entertainer standing backwards, upside down etc and moving around without every stopping the song and having it sound amazing. Taylor went with Jeremy to cheer him on at a ward volleyball game and then we picked him up afterward. Kids must have noticed as I said prayer that night that I was really, really done for the day as I prayed for patience as they all came up afterward to give me a hug (even Spencer!) and quietly walked off to bed.

Saturday I managed to get up early to jog/walk around the temple. Watching the sun come up, golden trees everywhere and laughing when Bust a Move comes up on my ipod. Great start to the morning. Wish I could remember that more often when my alarm goes off. Jeremy took on the always frustrating task of hanging up our Christmas lights with kids "helping". Add to that, that his knees are killing him from periodically jumping with volleyball and it was truly an act of love. Our "date" Saturday afternoon was mutually satisfying. Jeremy went to a photo walk and then out to dinner with his photo friends. I ran errands and enjoyed being able to concentrate on picking out our Christmas cards and getting a frame for our family pictures etc.

And yes our bathrooms did finally get clean late Saturday night. Then Jeremy and I curled up on the couch to watch Angels and Demons and eat a big piece of cheesecake he brought back from SLC. It was a good week. Love, Heather

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Few More Photos

I added a few photos to Heather’s post below, but I had a few more I wanted to share here on the blog from last week. As Heather mentioned, I was of course the de facto ward photographer for the Halloween party again this year.  I’m happy to do it of course and I think people in the ward enjoy having them.  You can see the entire collection here, but here are a few of just our kids:


I also was playing around in the kitchen Saturday, talking cameras & lenses with Kelly. While talking we of course shot quick photos of each other to show what we were talking about. We had a few fun portraits come out of the fun that I figured I would share.  As Heather mentioned, the monitor I had ordered some time ago arrived, but I am not sure yet of the color accuracy on it, so I’m not sure how these next photos will look on your screens. I need to borrow a color calibrator and get it tuned in. You know I am geeky about such things.

20091031-IMG_0758 20091031-IMG_0759 20091031-IMG_0761 20091031-IMG_0766

20091031-IMG_0754 20091031-IMG_0763 20091031-IMG_0762

Heather wasn’t too happy with this last one because she thought she was slouching too much, but I love her smile and overall countenance, so I had to share it :)


Dear Family and Friends,

This is one of those weeks where things just keep seeming to happen. Sunday night, inspired by Mimi we made homemade caramel apples and enjoyed a night of reading and laying around. Good thing we enjoyed it while we could! Monday Allison had 2 teeth pulled and was a champ. The dentist promised her that the tooth fairy paid extra for super long roots. Since she has my mouth she will be back many more times!

I thought she was hoarse from all the blood she swallowed and took her to school for the afternoon (following a lunch of fries and a milkshake - the only food a little girl can eat with holes in her mouth of course). After school she had gymnastics and just crashed. So she spent till Friday laying on the couch, fever, no voice, coughing till she would barf - extremely pathetic.

This week winter gave us a preview with cold winds and periodic snow. We would wake up to lawns being covered but by mid-morning it would melt away. Robyn Tuesday morning with the first snow ran out in glee with snow gear on:

Since Allison was sick Tuesday was a catch-up day. Couldn't do the temple play group or babysit that afternoon so I spent the day doing laundry and making the house presentable. I always feel better if I don't feel like a cleaning imp is sitting on my shoulder listing in my ear all the jobs that should be done. Allison helped me sew her pioneer costume although at that point we didn't know if she would even be able to use it. She was highly motivated to keep trying to sip some juice! Watched all her girlie movies and finished Harry Potter. Best part of Tuesday was that Jeremy found a sale on southwest tickets and arranged for me to go visit Daniel and Mimi for a weekend in December and see Claire and Samantha. I was very, very stoked!

Robyn had her Halloween dance class on Wednesday. She was thrilled to perform her dances for all the moms in her Halloween costume. She was a firefly this year being inspired this summer by Angelina Ballerina's costume in her Halloween book. Her dance teacher must have nerves of steel to stay so highly energetic and smiling for that class!

Wednesday night reminded me of the joy of Relief Society. I made dinner for a neighbor who just had had a baby and my visiting teacher brought me over a loaf of bread. Isn't that what its all about? Spencer went in to have his wart on his forearm burned off. We have been trying all summer to get rid of it and it has reached monstrous proportions. Weird place for it as well. Spencer is trying duct tape as well in an all out effort to get rid of it. That evening we made sugar cookies for Robyn's preschool party and had to of course eat all the leftovers.

Thursday was a bit of an emotional upset for me. Got a call from a school counselor that another 5th grade girl and her friend claimed that Spencer ran up to her at recess two weeks ago, stood behind her, reached around and grabbed both of her boobs. Her dad was very upset. Talking about sexual harassment and how she might need professional help. I was just flabbergasted. Spencer up until a few weeks ago was spending his recesses inside reading. His and teacher and us have been encouraging him to go outside and play and he has been really proud of his efforts to play foursquare with 3 or 4 other boys. Didn't know how to deal with this. Then I talked to Spencer who claimed no knowledge, said he never had even sat next to her or been by her or even talked to her. Talked some more to the counselor who said she and the teacher didn't think Spencer had done it either as he was way too shy and didn't want to be around girls. So I don't know why this girl said these things but we had to explain to Spencer why he had to stay far away from her. All I could think of that night was why did she have to pick Spencer for this! Am hoping it will all just blow away.

Thursday was our ward Halloween party. Glad we had a trial run on Spencer's make-up before going to school. Getting him to look like the undead took an emergency trip to the beauty supply store and many tears. Much deep breathing on my part! Allison's fever was gone so she came along trying to hide her coughs from me. Jeremy spent the evening on the stage taking pictures of the kids. Kids ate tons of chili and sugar and enjoyed all the booths manned by the young men and women. Afterward while Jeremy hosed all the face paint off kids I ran over to my neighbor's wedding reception.

Through the power of positive thinking and a too lenient mom Allison went back to school Friday. Robyn and I came to help out with Allison's class party and then Spencer's. Lots of fun. Allison liked bobbing for worms in her class. They covered gummy worms on a plate with cool whip and then tried to see who could find and eat the worm first using only their mouth.

Spencer's class reminded me how brutal 5th grade boys can be as they razz each other pretty brutally, punching each other in the arms etc all the time. Definitely survival of the fittest and you better not flinch or blink. Spencer seems to handle it fine but I was flinching for him!

Friday evening Jeremy and I were able to go to the temple together while Meredith put exhausted kids to bed early. It was nice to just have some calm time together. Most impressive was that Jeremy's new monitor arrived that day. And he didn't open it till AFTER our date! It was a late night for him :)

That night Robyn woke up with a fever - caught some bugs from Allison. On the plus side, I was a bad mom who took Robyn to Allison's baptism Saturday morning. Nothing like a fever to take the edge off - she was so nice and quiet all morning!
Allison's baptism was just awesome. She was so excited and ready. Her face was just really happy and beaming at her experience. Jason, Kelly, cousins and Meredith came along with 2 of her friends. One of the coolest things for me was that after she was confirmed I looked over and Taylor was looking up with a big goofy smile on his face. That doesn't happen very often. Afterward we all had pizza back at our house and then enjoyed a few hours of quiet time to get ready for the night. Jeremy and Robyn even got to crash for an afternoon nap for a bit.

That evening the Hancocks and Jolleys came over for a Halloween dinner of brains (noodles), blood (spaghetti sauce), bones (breadsticks in bone shape) and jack-o-lanterns (hollowed out oranges with a face carved into them filled with fruit salad and a green fork sticking through the lid for a stem).


Then kids all paired up for trick-or-treating. Jeremy took the big girls out - he has been claimed by them for a month now! Boys were given their parameters and for the first time the 4 of them went off by themselves, very excited by the freedom of the night. Robyn went along with the little girls and my two friends. Taylor and I manned the door. For the first time ever I ran out of treats - 150 I guess was not enough! I felt really bad that I didn't have any extras stashed away. Kids had a wonderful time and ate a ton. Spencer was so motivated to eat all the good candy before he had to make his Jeremy donation that he made himself sick. We didn't have much sympathy!

It was a great Halloween and I was so glad that we all got to enjoy sleeping in this morning with Daylight Savings time. All the kids knew NOT to wake up Mom!

Taylor is doing much better this week and has enjoyed all the Halloween festivities. We got him a pirate hat with some fake hair on it for his costume. His class keeps sending home all these cute crafts they have been working on. His seizures are still there but not so unmanageable. He has been enjoying operating the soda can crusher at school. They have been working on teaching him how to drink out of a camel back. The idea is that eventually he can have one on his wheelchair and get a drink whenever he wants. He can get the occasional sip right now but prefers to use it as a chew toy.

Robyn is doing better today but is still pretty craby/puny. If she was an adult she would just crawl into bed for the day and be fine tomorrow. But she is a little kid who think naps are a punishment not a blessing. Right now the kids are all making a mammoth tent city in the family room.

Love to you all and hope you had a wonderful Halloween! Heather