Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween is a fun time here in Oz...

My little munchkin was sad (something about being forced to color his hair?)...

So I had to change him....

Into a happy, good little munchkin...

In time for our costume party. (He still refused to sing the Lollipop Guild song during the costume judging, but I give him props for finally going along with the costume.)

We had to paint the Emerald City orange...

and give it a bit of a spooky flair.

I had to refrain from throwing my magic wand (and scissors) through the wall about half way into making fun Halloween presents for the other little munchkins in the land ...but other than that, doing a fun Halloween craft was kinda a fun way to spend the day.

Then there were Glenda's favorite snack to prepare... (even though the smell apparently repels munchkins. Still deciding if this is a bad thing or a perk. He he he. I'm so kidding. I love my munchkin.)

And we threw in some delicious pumpkin munchkin grub for good measure.

The Haunted Ghost Tour earlier in the week has us tremblin' like the Cowardly Lion (ok...not really all. But fun...), and the ward party last week was fun too. Let's be honest...mostly cuz I won THIS:

Ha ha ha. Apparently my soup is to die for (or at least worth a little trophy the size of my pinky. Ha ha ha. Bragging? Nope. Ok. Maybe a tiny bit. :) I mean...did you SEE the awesome trophy? I'm just sayin... ha ha ha.).

All in all, a fun Halloween!

We hope all of your weekends are incredibly spooky. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Traditional Halloween Scary-ness

(Pause the music, and give it a second to load! :) As for the 5th blood sucking character... Just some guy we picked up around the streets of our current home-town. :))

Click HERE if it doesn't load...

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bear Encounter

Friday morning we left bright and early and headed to Shenandoah National Park for our annual fall camping trip along Skyline Drive. Our car was loaded to the max (yes, we're over packers, but you have to remember we're packing for COLD COLD nights), but we somehow still made it up the "mountain" (yes...mountain in quotations) and found ourselves a BEAUTIFUL campsite at Mathew's Arm. It was everything we would want a campsite to be: tons of trees (all changing colors), not too close to neighbors, not too close to the fluorescent glow of the bathroom (but close enough)... yes, we were thrilled with the campsite.

When we were picking the site, we saw a big ole pile of bear doo doo (probably should have been our first red flag...well, second; the first should've been the ranger lecturing Brian when we checked in about food and toiletry storage. But we knew we were headed into bear country and weren't too worried about it.). We thought it was (Yes, we can occasionally be middle-schoolers.) We also thought it was pretty cool that we were secluded enough that at dusk two deer (a mama and her baby) spent about 5 minutes just strolling right through our site, round and round. Must be all those dense woods we surrounded our tent with.

But by the next morning, Brian and I were discussing how all the features of our campsite that made it a killer camp site, also could've made it...well, KILLER. :) Here's what happened. After spending a windy night at the campfire, making smores and chatting, we headed to a very cold bed. Brian drifted off after not too long, exhausted from the work week. I was struggling. As I lay there awake, I thought I heard footsteps approaching from the direction of the woods. "Hm--a little weird for someone to be out there, but whatever floats their boat." But as the noise got closer, and closer, and CLOSER, I realized they were some pretty heavy footsteps, causing lots and lots of not only leaf rustling, but also twig and branch snapping. "Hm--a little creepy, but we knew there were bears in the area, so I'm sure he'll just head over to the edge of our campsite to his favorite latrine location and.... WHOA buddy. Why are the footsteps now inches from our tent and stopping?!!!!" I grabbed Brian's arm, and he awoke in time to hear the steps moving along right outside our tent and pausing again (for WAY too long). For the next 15 minutes or so (felt like FOREVER), we listened and flinched and about had heart attacks as what we can only assume was a black bear made his way around our camp, and our tent multiple times. Finally, we heard the footsteps leave, but guess who spent the rest of the night hyperventilating every time the gusty, gusty wind rustled our tent or dropped a leaf on us? :) It was crazy scary. Scary enough that we scrapped our plans for night number two, and drove home late Saturday after a day of hiking.

But guess what we saw on the drive home? (such a cherry on top moment...) We're cruising along Skyline Drive, when the car in front of us stops, and we see a big black bear in the middle of the road. Then out pops a cub... and another cub. They all scampered across before I could get my camera, but we were so excited! It was the first time either of us had seen a bear in the wild, and they were RIGHT there. Much better than having them lurk around outside our tent. Much better. :)

All in all, such a fun camping trip, even though we're exhausted today. There's lots of pictures! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Alive and kickin'...

Not surprisingly, we didn't come away from this weekend with a single picture (I don't know how you parents out there get anything done at all besides keeping your children alive and well. You are seriously our favorite super-heroes!) It's honestly too bad, because the pictures would've been so entertaining. If we had taken pictures, these would've been them:

*Our apartment completely covered: couches covered with sheets, bookcases covered with blankets to conceal temptations, floor covered with toys and torn up magazine pages, bathroom floor covered with diapers, bedroom floor covered with makeshift beds.

*Little Samantha smiling and bouncing at me saying, "dYah! dYah! dYah!" when I went to get her out of her crib every morning and after naps (cutest thing ever...she was always so excited!)

*Madison (not LITTLE Madison, "Big Girl" Madison) soooooooo excited about painting her nails and toenails "pretty princess pink" (First thing out of her mouth when she popped out of bed the morning after we promised her we'd paint them: "I stayed in bed all night! We get to paint my toenails!" and into the bathroom she ran!)

*The stick collection (mama, baby, and friend) that Madison lovingly found the perfect home for during our walk (a very large sidewalk crack that they didn't quite fit in... I'm hoping bikers are paying attention as their tires pass that way :))

*Samantha laughing her head off at the playground in the baby swing, turning every one's heads

*Madison discovering the joy of Go Fish (and creaming me and Brian all 50 trillon times)

*Samantha letting out one of her big ole banshee squeals at random moments (at Wendy's, in the car, and especially during sacrament meeting) sending me into hysterical giggles.

*The looks on people's faces at church when Brian and I suddenly had 2 kids. Half of them didn't recognize us with the children, and the other half were just confused.

*Brian and I collapsing onto the air mattress in our front room every night and immediately going unconscious.

*Snuggling up for a movie that Brian and I enjoyed just as much as the girls. Seriously, Enchanted ROCKS.

All in all, a fun, adventurous weekend. The girls were adorable, and broke us into pseudo parenthood gently (although, going from zero kids to two in one day is quite challenging in and of itself). I so wish we had pictures, because probably haven't seen two more adorable girls. Loved having them. But we will say this... holy cow, you parents out there are awesome. And... to answer the most asked question of the weekend... no... we're not baby hungry. I think we're too exhausted to be anything else right now! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010



*Cleaning day was a lot more fun--I finished cleaning, and then picked up my mom from the airport!!! The next 10 days were filled with rainy walks ( caught at Fort Ward in the rain, and just kept doing laps. looked like we'd jumped in a lake!), fall pedicures, doing family names at the DC temple, old town shopping (where someone hit my car, but we won't get into that...), yummy food (I loved showing off some fun new recipes, and my mom loved taking us to every possible gluten-free friendly restaurant in the area...thanks mom!), summer weather (fall weather all of September and then my mom comes to town and...wham...90s!), autumn shopping, late night chats, doctor visits (so awesome that I finally got in for my endo appointment and test when my mom was in town... having a buddy at the doctor's is definitely the way to go! not so awesome was the test where I got my blood drawn three times and a shot given all within the course of an hour, but even that was fine with my mom there! you would've been so proud of my maturity :). and life is good!), mini-golfing, Clue playing...I could go on and on. It was just all out FUN! I was a bit depressed as I cleaned yesterday, I will admit (cue the cheesy song Memory from Cats...).

*Bought the cutest outfit for Little Lady Number 1 (no...not an announcement. anyone who has seen our apartment size can tell you that kids are not an option til we move. but couldn't resist. add it to the hope chest stack.) Doesn't it look just like little Lily? (yes...I guess the cat is outta the bag. her name is Lily. I figure if Brian and I have been calling our firstborn daughter Lily since long before we were married, I can announce it without it being any weirder than it already is :). sorry to spoil the surprise, but those of you who have known me since I was a teenager, probably wouldn't have been surprised anyway. we'll get you with the middle name, how's that? :) )


*Started into fall food with pumpkin stew (YUM), and stuffed peppers (YUM). Love the calories this time of year. The pumpkin from the stew was so delicious that we cut it up and served it as a "banana squash-esque" side with the stuffed peppers a few nights later. Holy Yum.

*Watched General Conference, and LOVED President Uchtdorf's talk (CLICK TO LISTEN)

*Became obsessed with magenta-y purple and royal blue together after creating a gorgeous wedding book using them (I'll post the sample on the business site after her wedding, but seriously...stunning colors.)

*Got Brian's car back from the shop. Took it in for an oil change and state inspection, got a call saying our last oil place had put a temporary plug in the oil pan, and we needed a new one. The bill was HUGE. But apparently the temporary plug was a really dangerous situation, so we just are feeling blessed that Bri and Soph were kept safe on all their long long long drives to work. case you haven't noticed, our cars HATE Virginia.

*Put together a cute video of my Young Women to introduce them to their pen pals in Maine. girls are all so stinkin amazing. The youth of today ROCK. Not a single one of my 7 girls have 2 active parents in the home, and a lot of them come to church on their own. Yet they are still such amazing, sweet, solid girls. It's a tough calling (sometimes I feel more like a chauffeur than a leader, and it's really really really really busy), but so worth it. Love them. Just love them.


*This weekend may make or break whether Brian and I ever have a little Lily. :) We are babysitting a three year old and an almost one year old for our good friends Thursday night-Sunday night. They are the cutest girls...but I must admit, I'm a bit terrified of Friday when Brian will be at work! :) Wish us luck...if you never hear from me again, you'll know why. ha ha ha.

*If we DO survive that, then we'll brave the bears next weekend with some fall camping in the Shenedoah Mountains. Perfect. Just perfect.