Thursday, October 30, 2014

fall fun

 When we lived in The Swamp, we didn't go to any corn mazes or other fall-ish places like that. One of the things Josh looked forward to the most to our move was getting to go to a corn maze, and he got the chance with my brother's family last week.
There were a few haunted houses that aren't haunted during the day, so the kids could be slightly creeped out without without being too scared (although, I think Ethan is at the age that he wants to be scared in a haunted house, at least a little bit...) 
The younger three didn't particularly like the empty haunted houses, or the squishy-walled, dark, non-haunted dinosaur innards.
What Josh was looking forward to more than anything was the pedal bikes. He's asked me for at least half a year if in the fall we would go to a corn maze so he could drive one -- because last time we went to a maze, he was too little to drive them. It was a dream come true. 
We stayed late enough to watch the fireworks. The kids watched it from the top of the giant slide.
On our way out, we got to meet two of my favorite creepy halloween characters, Beetlejuice and Jack Skellington. The kids thought it was such an amazing day and already can't wait until next year to go again!

Monday, October 27, 2014

strange poses, half marathon fun, some froyo, and designer paper doll costumes

 The other day josh kept sitting like this. We had no idea he had such a useful skill.
 Since Ethan is pretty much 13 now, he decided to grow some facial hair. (I wish we bought the hat with attached beard. It looks cozy for the winter months, and totally classy, too!)
 We found some "art" at the mall and had to explore what was inside. Lots of random trinkets in a giant wooden box. I never could figure out the deep and hidden meaning behind the piece.
 My brother ran a half marathon (that's him with the white shirt), so we decided to cheer him on at the half-way point near our house, and then drive to the finish line where we could cheer him on again. The kids got a runner's-cheerleader-high when we'd cheer for random runners and they would say, "Thanks, I needed that!"
 At the finish line, they had a few activities for families, like climbing walls, and giant bowling.
 Here Brandon and Ethan are climbing together, and below, Ashley and Makenna are climbing together.
 Last week we met up with Chris's brother's family to get some frozen yogurt for Family Home Evening. The kids loved their treat, but more than that, they loved playing in the alley behind the shop with their cousins, making up all kinds of games. They are never bored when they're together.
Two of our sweet friends from The Swamp make beautiful, hand-drawn paper dolls and gorgeous clothes to go with them. When Ashley told them she was going to be a robber for Halloween, they quickly created and mailed a matching costume for her paper doll. They're amazing women with amazing talents, and we're lucky to have them in our lives :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

conference weekend and the rest of the fun stuff

 After we showered, we headed out to see more sights. There's a quirky little building down the street from the cabin called The Flute Shop, and we stopped in to let the kids buy a souvenir. So exciting!
 Then they posed in the tee-pee with their new items. Ethan got a rock, Brandon got a sword, Josh got a tiny flute, Makenna got a bracelet, and Ashley got a barrette with beads that hang down over her shoulder.
 We headed into Fruita for a pioneer activity. They had some fabulous bluegrass music going on, as well as a lady cranking out some delicious homemade apple cider, people making pottery, and ladies teaching the kids how to sewing quilts.
 Our favorite was this farmer who told the kids all about branding cattle, and how to make a rope out of cow hair that will repel snakes.
 Here's a horseshoe growing in a tree. And an Ethan climbing in a tree.
 The cowboy let us brand a cow with a hot stick. The kids were proud of the brands they created.
 A sweet old lady sat on the steps of the old farm house with her rolled down socks and told stories about the people who settled the area so long ago, and their dealings with scorpions and other scary things.
 We ate some ice cream and sipped old fashioned soda. Ashley's wouldn't stop foaming with every sip, and it pretty much got everywhere.
 It's fun to watch these two teenagers hangout and have "I know more about everything" competitions.
 And the lack of humidity gets to us occasionally. Josh wouldn't stop licking his lips, until he ended up looking like a clown. Poor guy.
 This is a deep crevice carved out by rivers through the centuries. You can see the decent sized river near Ashley's left hip, way down below.
 This is how the teenagers watched conference. While the ten year old girl took notes...silly boys.
It was a beautiful weekend, and so much fun to share it with my brother's family, who had never been to Capitol Reef before. We did learn that you don't get as much conference listening done when there are hikes calling out to you, so it's not the smartest place to go if you want to listen to the prophet speak. :) Luckily we can always listen on the internet later...