Saturday, October 11, 2014

Act 5; Scene 10: Jaker's Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin Patch

Today we drove down to Springville to check out a local pumpkin patch. We had heard they had fun activities for kids, and the best part...it was FREE!

And it was a BLAST! Thomas had so much fun, and so did we! 

Trying to coax Tommy into the little haunted tunnel. He did actually enjoy it.

Climbing the giant hay bale pyramid

Waving from the top of the pyramid

Coming down the tube slide

A partial view of the place/pumpkin patch from the top of the slides

Dad coming down the slide!

This was a GIANT pig

I found my car! This is Thomas attempting to put his thumbs up :-)

Our tractor driver was about 11 years old. (Truly)

This donkey was rolling the pumpkin along with his nose!

Possibly Tommy's favorite thing, the hay maze.

One of the many sad attempts to get a picture here...

On the way to pick out a pumpkin from the patch

Found a great one!

Just look at the colors on the mountain!
We had such a great morning. What a great find for free! (Well, not the pumpkins, but you know!)

Did you go to a fall fest this weekend?

Happy Haunting!

Act 5; Scene 9: Spooktacular Meal #2!

This weekend has been a blast of fun, fall activities.

Yesterday Grandma Center joined us and we explored the Witch's Fest at Gardner Village.

Sadly, we were too busy there to take any pictures...but here is one from someone else. The flying bicycle witch was one of Tommy's favorites:

Then we had our second Halloween Feast of the month.

Giant Spiders!

Ham and cheese filled pastries with croissant legs

This one even turned out with a mouth! haha

Pretty delish!

We also had monster mouths
And yes, I realize now that spiders actually have EIGHT legs, not six. So these may look more like crabs or something...but we were a bit short on croissant dough, so six legs it was!

If you want to make some spiders for dinner, here is what I did:

Get two packs of biscuit dough (or you can make your own if you are less lazy than me). Flatten out however many biscuits you want for spiders on a cookies sheet. Separately, mix together about 1 cup cubed ham, 2 Tbs browned onion, and 2 tsp dijon mustard. (This made about 5 jumbo biscuit spiders, so you can up it if you want more). Lay some swiss cheese on top of the flattened biscuit, then cover with ham mixture filling, then lay another slice of swiss cheese on top. Flatten out another biscuit to lay on top of that and seal the two biscuits together. Then use breadstick or croissant dough to make some legs to stick on the sides. Bake at 375 for about 15 min.

You can add olives with pimientos for eyes, but I just squirted some mustard on mine for eyes.

They were delicious! 

We also had Robert's famous mashed potatoes....ooooohhhhh mmaaaannnnn are those good!

OK, ready for another costume hint??

Costume Hint #3: Mine and Robert's costumes involve injuries.

Any guesses?

Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Act 5; Scene 8: A Haunted House

This year our library is having a haunted house display. Everyone was invited to create a Haunted House and submit it to the library by the end of this week. The houses will be displayed in the children's section of the library during October.

So of course this was a perfect project on a Monday for our little family!

We have been saving our cracker and granola bar boxes, along with any a few other recyclables to use for our haunted house. It's fun to try to make something out of random items around the house!

I did discover that Tommy's not a huge fan of finger paints--he kept asking me to wipe his hands off, funny kid! 

Here he is helping to stick the stickers on the house, probably his favorite part of the creating:

I told him to smile. After he said, "BIG smile!" Yup. 

And here is our finished product! 

And a big shout out to Kris for all of the paper and a lot of the stickers! We sure had fun!

OK, ready for another costume hint???

Costume Hint #2: Mine and Robert's costumes may make us look like zombies, but we are not.

Any guesses?

Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Act 5; Scene 7: An Autumn Morning Adventure

On Saturday morning we got up and out of the house as fast as we could to go on a canyon drive.
The weather and sunshine were beautiful, even if the leaves are not too colorful yet.
It was nice feel the fresh mountain air!

Thomas loves to RUN down any path

Cascade Springs

Playing hide and seek in the trees

I found you!

After our mountain walk we enjoyed a day full of General Conference, French toast, yard work, and girls' night milkshake and shopping spree.

The only downside was Tommy's stomach bug that emerged mid-day Satuday.

But altogether a pretty pleasant weekend. Hope you had a great one, too!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Act 5; Scene 6: It's October!

It's that time of year again!

Of witches and ghouls, pumpkins and corn stalks

Skeletons and black cats, candy corn and spooky socks.


This is what we did yesterday to celebrate October 1st:

Our first spooktacular meal: Mummies and body bags, goblin fingers and ghosts with a spider web dipping sauce

After eating our frightening meal, we decorated spooky cupcakes

Robert's monster fang cupcake creation

Not only spooky, but yummy, too!

Some of the final products

And per tradition, it's time to start giving hints to our family Halloween costumes this year! Each Halloween post of the month I will give a clue, and you can take a guess in the comments!

Costume Clue #1: We are being "characters" from a movie that I have never seen.

Any guesses???

Happy Haunting!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Act 5; Scene 4: Las Vegas Vacation--Pictures!

Tommy and I thought we might as well take advantage of Robert's accounting conference for an almost free vacation for us! And plus, St. George is on the way to Vegas, which gave us a lovely excuse to spend some more time with the Centers. 

And it just turned out that the Saturday of our departure was the Harvest Festival at Young Living Family Farm in tiny Mona, UT, about an hour into our drive down South. So we decided to be adventurous and check it out.

What a riot! We had a blast looking at all the animals, especially the giant black horses, taking a wagon ride and pony rides, watching a jousting tournament (of all things! A farm, and...a medieval jousting arena. weird.)

Robert axe-throwing at the medieval village


I even got a knife to stick!
The Knights

Black swan at the pond

Trying to paddle boat in the pond
After a lovely Saturday evening and Sunday morning/afternoon, we headed to our grand destination--The Luxor, Las Vegas.

We finally made it to a parking spot and after trekking about a mile to get checked in and into our room, we were ready for bed. And Thomas was having tons of fun playing with...the shower:


We put Thomas to bed and had lights out in our hotel room by...7:20 LV time. Robert and I spent a very quiet, slightly bored evening together until we hit the sack around 9:30. 

Monday morning Thomas and I headed out to see what there was to see. We walked through the Excalibur, and made friends with a big dragon with light-up eyes that would growl at passersby. We ended up spending a lot of time with that dragon on this trip. Then we made our way over to M&M World, and spent some time buying candy and looking around. 

Oh yeah, these guys were there when we got out of the elevator onto the street for the first time. I was excited to see them! Until they told me to give them money for talking to Thomas...I mentioned these guys in my earlier post: 

We kept walking all the way down to the Flamingo, where I had heard there was a mini aviary with some cool birds. It did take some guts for me to actually decide to enter the huge casino and walk around through all that...stuff...before we found the birds. But found them we did, and it was one of our favorite things!

This is a white swan, cleaning her feathers

sleeping pelicans!

Of course, the flamingos

Giant fish. They were 3 feet long!

He wanted a picture by the dirt...

More big fish! And waterfalls!
After the Flamingo we started the 2 mile trek back...and ended up getting lost going the wrong way. So we added about a half mile onto that, and then trekked back. Oh, PS--it was 100 degrees. Surrounded by hot pavement and big buildings. Yuck. By the time we made it back to the hotel, we were starving and so ready for that blast of AC. We walked into the room...and...sauna. Our AC wasn't on. After cranking it for an hour, it still was blowing warm air. So I called maintenance and we went swimming.

Thomas was the only kid in the pool, and man did he have a blast. I think the others had a good time watching him laughing and playing, too. As long as they didn't get splashed, which I tried really hard to prevent. I did notice that there was a very wide berth around us...haha...

And after swimming, came to the room, and...sauna. Yuck! So after showers and attempting to nap, I called again and they agreed to switch our rooms. Which meant I had to spend an hour packing up everything, and standing in line at the front desk to get a new key, (if you haven't been to one of these hotels, you should just know that the Luxor is HUGE. I mean, standing in line is like waiting for security at the airport.) and trying to figure out if we can move all of this stuff and still get to dinner on time. 

We decided to go get frozen yogurt before Robert got back for the big move. Partially out of hunger, partially out of heat, and partially out of stress. It was delicious.

Robert finally got home, we got our things moved to the OTHER SIDE OF THE HOTEL. I'm telling you, it's like a mile walk over there! And finally headed out around 6 to walk to the famous Hash House a Go Go for dinner. 

Poor Tommy pooped out in the stroller. Which we counted as fortunate, since the sights of Las Vegas are a bit different at night than they are in the mornings. Oh, did I mention it was a 2 mile walk to the restaurant, in 99 degree weather? Robert was NOT HAPPY. Plus the smell and the loud music and the confusing streets (and the lateness of dinner) were really piling up the unhappiness. 

We finally found the restaurant and came in sweaty, found a place to lay the stroller back so Thomas could continue sleeping, and thought there is no way this food is going to be worth this, no matter what people say.

Well...we were wrong. The food was the best part of this trip:

Tommy's stroller leaned back against the booth

So this sort of turned out to be a date! Since Tommy slept through most of it!

Sage fried chicken eggs benedict, ala Man vs. Food. Notice also the giant biscuits in the back, and the side of cheddar bacon mashed potatoes (my personal favorite). Soooo good!

Thomas woke up, ate some melon, then conked out again, this time lying down on the bench
On our way back we stopped by the Bellagio to see the fountain display. Pretty cool!

Our view on the way back to the Luxor through Excalibur
We made it back to the hotel and finally conked out around 10. Of course Tommy got his second wind and ran around the room and jumped on the bed for like an hour before he could settle down to sleep for the night. Sheesh!

Tuesday was a day of hanging out. Thomas begged to watch TV, so we just sat in the hotel room and watched Curious George for an hour or so, while lying on the bed. Relaxation!

Soon we both got restless, so we headed back to the candy stores and made it to M&M World in time for the free 3D movie. It was hysterical to watch Tommy view the little movie with his 3D glasses. At first he would try to reach out and touch everything, then when the "action" started he was pretty terrified--shaking on my lap. He now frequently points to his M&M souvenir toy and says "scary!"

Picked up smoothies for lunch--perfect for the hot weather--then met Robert to go to the Shark Reef Aquarium.

I think this dragon has the cutest face!

Looking for Dori

Sting rays and horseshoe crabs

Touching a sting ray!

Lion fish. These guys are awesome.

You can't see it in the picture, but this guy had rows of giant teeth!

It was really fun to see all the different sharks swimming all around us. We just parked it and watched them for a while. I love hearing Tommy yell out "Rark!!!"

After this we trekked to the car. Really, being in these casinos feels like being in one giant airport--there's airport food, airport moving walkways, different "wings" that are all connected (you can walk to almost all of the casino/hotels without going outside...just like an airport). We were so glad to get in the car and head back to peaceful St. George!

Wednesday morning we enjoyed some swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's pool, then leisurely packed our things and headed back home.

This was probably the longest post I've written...but I'm glad I have it down for our memories. Sorry if it was too long and boring for you!