Having Fun

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we are loving having so many people in town!

1. Having fun with Grandparents. Dustin's parents came in on Saturday so they helped us put up the Christmas tree. Luke loves the lights.

2. Having fun with cousins. Swimming, video games, pass-the-baby, crafting, not-really-sleeping sleep overs, movies. . . can't wait for everyone to get here.

3. Having fun with old friends. The Stohls, our friends from college, are in town so we met up with them for dinner last night. I love seeing old friends, and I love that between blogs and facebook it's like you never really left off. The kids loved each other and can't wait to be reunited this summer.

More details to follow and all my birthday fun when we're done having fun.


Oh Sadie

Chances are if you have a secret crush on just one of my children, it's Sadie. It must be the dimples, but she seems to have the world wrapped around her little finger -- and she knows it. I hate to burst your bubble people, but she can be a real stinker. She's really clever and so grown up that sometimes I can't believe she's only 2!! I already dread the teen age years.

One night she wouldn't go to bed and Dustin walked in to tell her to go to sleep. Her response? "Blah blah blah." Before "Blah blah blah" became her patent sassy reply, it was "La la la." When that got her in trouble it quickly turned into, "La la la looooooove you." Currently it's "AHHHH! Stop bugging me Dad."

Last week she found a leftover Halloween rat which she then decided was her pet named Mambi. She sang to Mambi and fed him and loved him. . . she even taught him tricks.

And she thinks the pantry is her own personal playground. One day while I was feeding Luke I heard her calling my name. She was hanging from a pantry shelf that she had climbed trying to reach marshmallows.

Another time I was feeding Luke (yes, she's figured out the best time for pantry raids is while I'm feeding Luke) I hear her little strained voice: "I'm not tall enough." Tall enough for what? I ask. "For reaching." Reaching WHAT?? "I need to reach some chocolate chips." Well she definitely wasn't tall enough that day, but she must have figured something about because a few days later I found her running around the house with two handfuls of chocolate chips.

Sadie, I love you. Please stop growing up.


A Sister Like That

This is an homage to one of my favorite tear-jerker Christmas stories: A Brother Like That. In fact, my own sister and I were crying over this very story today in the midst of hormonal rages. Can you believe our parents thought we should talk LESS?

It's not Christmas and my sister didn't buy me a car, but she did send me 2 fantastic packages for my birthday and I love them.

Package one contained some of her winter clothes. Since she's 7 months pregnant and won't be needing them this winter, I get to wear them. It works out great since I was pregnant last winter and didn't buy any new clothes, so fun new-to-me clothes for me!

Package two was full of little gifts to open every day until my birthday. Some of them are silly little gifts like medical face masks (a la swine flu), Halloween sprinkles, movies, drink mixes, and snap bracelets (awesomest trend of my childhood), but a lot of them have proven to be more than useful. For instance:

1. Mentos -- perfect for bribing children while taking pictures.

Can you spot the mento? In an attempt to get a picture of the 4 (since I'm pretty sure all 6 of us will not all be together and awake to take a picture any time in the near future) and check "Order Christmas Cards" off my list, I tried to get all of them to sit still for pictures on Saturday. They're not professional, and they certainly didn't sit still, but perfection is over-rated and I love that you can REALLY see their personalities.

2. Measuring Spoons (and cups) -- I don't know where my spoons are disappearing to, but I had 2 sets and both disappeared. Then I bought ANOTHER set last month. Gone. Someone (I'm guessing a BLONDE someone) has been doing who knows what with them, but I certainly threatened them if these new cute blue ones disappeared. Perfect for measuring ingredients for treats for your sister and neighbors. Like Paula Deen's Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake.
It was ridiculously delicious. I still have some. Please stop by and eat a piece so it will not all end up on my butt.

3. Bump-Its -- Ellie has been OBSESSED with Bump-Its, so imagine her delight when we opened our "Hollywood Bump-It" in the package. She begs to wear one
Like when taking pictures.
Or for the Primary Program on Sunday (I was so worried Nate would fidget the entire time and instead he fell asleep by the end).

4. Smooth Away -- While Kathleen was in the As Seen on TV aisle of the store, she picked up *my* TV commercial obsession. I had even told Dustin a few weeks before that I hoped those showed up in my stocking.

Now you're probably all jealous and wishing YOU had a sister like that, but remember to take a cue from the story and BE a sister like that. Love you Scuttlebutt!!

And also because my boys are so handsome and to appease the Grandparents:
(Luke's shirt is a gift from my sister too -- why does she spoil me?)


Boo-tiful Halloween

Getting ready -- I can't imagine having to get more than 2 girls ready on any given day.
One of my favorite things about Arizona is the great Halloween weather -- no winter coats here. Some years it's sweltering, but this year was GORGEOUS.

I have better pictures of the 3 of them, but I love Sadie's enthusiasm
Along with the perfect weather, comes our perfect little neighborhood. We started the night off with a neighborhood potluck at the vacant lot across the street (I'm not sure I ever want anyone to build on that because it creates hours of entertainment for my kids). We had lots of neighbors and friends show up with camping chairs. I always love when the older neighbors without kids at home come out and hang too!

After about an hour, we headed out Trick-or-Treating. We only have two streets in our neighborhood, which is the PERFECT amount for little kids. We gets lots of candy, but not obscene amounts, see all our neighbors and don't get exhausted/bored from walking around in uncomfy shoe. Ellie and Nate took off with the Olpins so Sadie and I took our time and chatted with different friends as we walked along.

The end of the street is always the best because all the people who came to the party, but don't live in the neighborhood are lined up in camping chairs so it's just one long row of candy, including Dustin and Luke who stayed out with the crowd to chat and hand out our candy. We had two pieces left at the end of the night -- HOORAY for the perfect amount.

An hour later we were done and out bag were full (our neighbors are too generous with their handfuls of candy bars) so we piled in the car with Casey and her kids and headed over to the Martin's Spook Alley. Sadie *thought* she wanted to go in and then FREAKED out, Ellie loved it, and Nate skipped it this year and chased around a little girl from his Pre-school instead.Bought this costume on 75% off Target sale last year, Sadie's costume is from my friend Beth years ago and Luke's is from when Ellie was a baby. SO proud of my Halloween frugalness. I did buy Nate's despite having TWO other Spiderman costumes.
By a little after 8 we were at home with Bailey and Brady watching a short Halloween movie and sorting and trading candy. Luke was really set on rolling over to get Sadie's candy.
Poor Sadie is not trading savvy. The kids were trying to trade her jolly ranchers for her chocolate candy bars. BAD TRADE! But all Sadie would say is, "Sure!" I finally had to get involved before Ellie got her hands on all of Sadie's kit kats. I don't know why it matters that much since in one more day I'm dumping all the candy into one bowl so I can pack up their Halloween bags.