Archive for October 2008

Halloween 2008

In the weeks leading up to Halloween I kept hinting at Emily that she was too old to go trick-or-treating and she kept saying “this will be my last year Dad”. I didn’t forbid her from going and she managed to finagle an angel costume from her Aunt Janey so she joined ranks of trick-or-treaters once again. Anne was a princess. You can’t see it in the picture but Nancy made the costume and it included fancy puffed sleeves and a fancy skirt. Nancy was going to make Texas a fairy costume (fairies were very popular this year) but ran out of time so Texas ended up being a witch with a costume out of the Box of Halloweens Past. Sam was a vampire (thanks for the cape Aunt Janey) with 100% genuine fake blood! Luppin was a witch (again from the Box of Halloweens Past) without a hat because “it’s bugging me Dad”.

This year was my turn to take the kids trick-or-treating. Fortunately, Emily, Anne, and Texas wanted to go off by themselves so I only had to deal with the vampire and the littlest witch. We walked around the block and the whines about being tired and the candy bucket being too heavy started up after about 10 houses. We headed back home in order to drop off the littlest witch and Sam said he wanted to keep going but once he saw Luppin dive into her candy he called it quits. I guess that old saying about “a bird in hand” rings true to vampires. Emily, Anne, and Texas straggled in about a half hour later and then it was time for Candy Inspections and Taxes. I impose a Dad Tax on all my kids. Someone at work asked me if I had a progressive or regressive taxation policy. I said, “When it comes to Halloween candy, I’m most like the Sheriff of Nottingham”

Sam didn’t like this picture of him. When Nancy asked him why he said “Because Vampires don’t wear jeans Mom! They’re supposed to wear black pants.”

Hair cut for Caroline

Brian has been bugging me to get Caroline’s hair cut for a while now, because her long hair kept getting in her face. So last week I took her with me and we both got our hair cut. Now we both have nice short hair that doesn’t get in our faces.

Halloween Jack-o-Lanterns

This is how the pumpkins began their journey to Jack-o-Lantern bliss.

This past Monday night instead of a regular Family Home Evening we carved five of our pumpkins that we grew in our garden. We let Emily and Anne have their own way with their pumpkins, and mom and dad helped the other three kids with theirs. I think they turned out pretty well.

The End Result

I’m too old

Now that I am in my late thirties I don’t like to celebrate my birthday quite as much as I used to. This year I had a great low-key birthday. I went out to sushi, had cake and ice cream with the family, and I bought myself a new serger how can it get any better than that. I have used my serger a couple of times and it is very fun. I can’t wait until I take the class this next week and then I am going to be an expert at using my new serger. Thanks everyone for a wonderful birthday.

Spiked Hair for Buddy

When Grandma and Grandpa came over at the beginning of the month, they left us with some NuSkin products. Among the products was some hair gel. Sam was the happy recipient of the hair gel and wanted immediately to get spiky hair. I think grandpa tried to spike his hair, but it didn’t work too well. So a couple of weeks after that Sam came up to me after taking a shower and put the gel into my hands. I got the message that he wanted me to spike his hair. I did the best I could and this is how it turned out.

He liked how it turned out and spent most of the day looking in the mirror. The only bad thing is that his dad just cut his hair and now doesn’t have as much hair to spike anymore.

Alphabet Crown

Yesterday Luppin made a big achievement in her preschool life, she got her Alphabet Crown. After a year and a half of preschool Luppin finally has mastered the task of identifying all the letters in the alphabet and repeating the sounds they make. BYUFan and I told her(as we did for all of her siblings also) that if she got her alphabet crown we would take her out to dinner. Emily and Anne persuaded her to pick the Training Table and Texas and Sam tried to persuade her to go to McDonalds. In the end the Training Table won. Now all she has to do next is get her blending badge and then she can go to McDonalds.

Fall Harvest

BYUFan has been on my case ever since the end of last week when I picked half a bucket full of green beans to get them canned. I don’t have a pressure canner and on Saturday I went to a couple of stores to try and find one, but no luck. Finally on Tuesday this past week I called a lady from the ward who is in charge food storage and emergency preparedness for the ward in hopes that she owned a pressure canner that I might be able to use. Luckily for me she did, and she said that she could actually come and help me that afternoon. After I hung up the phone I had to scramble and get everything ready for her to come over. I had to get our quart bottles from the basement, wash them, pick the green beans from the second row of beans, run to the store to pick up lids, and then to wash and cut the beans all in one and a half hours. Luckily BYUFan was working from home that day and he stayed to help me. I couldn’t have gotten it all done without his help(he also had to take the girls to piano lessons). Thanks BYUFan!!!! So when our preparedness lady came over we were almost ready to can. She showed us how many beans to put in the bottle, how much salt to add, and how high to fill it with boiling water. We then put the bottles in the canner, got it up to pressure, and cooked them for 25 minutes at 14lbs of pressure. I took them out after the pressure abated and they all sealed and are now sitting in my cupboard ready to be used. I am grateful for good neighbors and good husbands.

Now, what would be a good thank you gift to give for my neighbor who lent me her canner? Any ideas would be great!

These are the the bean plants we grew this year

Canning is a messy job

The finished product

Harvest Time

We’ve had a pretty decent garden this year given the fact that we planted beans and corn so late. I’ve definitely had my fill of corn on the cob and Nancy was giving fresh corn away to the neighbors. Yesterday she went out and picked a bucket full of beans from one of the bean rows. We’re going to try bottling them today. We still have another bean row left that needs to be harvested but it’s raining all weekend. Tomatoes have been good but not great – enough to eat and make salsa from but not enough to bottle. I tried a new method of pruning and staking them this year and it was certainly a learning experience. Carrots weren’t that great but we did dig up a few. Strawberries and raspberries made it through the hot summer so hopefully we’ll have a good crop of those next year.

One of our neighbors is a landscape designer and I think he chuckles at what he probably considers our crass and ugly landscaping. When he came into the backyard he noticed our garden and said, “Wow, that’s a nice garden, where did you get your topsoil from?” When he got closer to the garden he realized it wasn’t top soil but just plain old South Jordan clay and he was surprised that we could get the harvest that we did.

Starting to look like fall

The best crop of all this year was pumpkins. We have a lot of empty space in the backyard that we haven’t landscaped yet and pumpkins so we planted two pumpkin plants on the north side of the house. Nancy tended and watered them all summer and we ended up with several nice pumpkins from the two plants. One for each of the kids to carve for Halloween. Thanks to Nancy for taking care of the garden during the hot summer months. I get gung-ho in the spring but then lose steam as the summer starts to get hot. Nancy keeps the garden going throughout the summer until I start to get interested again around fall and think about tilling the garden and composting and ordering seed catalogs and such.

We’ll let you know how our canning operation goes. Beans have to be bottled with a pressure canner – they are low acid so you can’t use the hot water bath like you can with tomatoes. Nancy went off on a shopping trip to get the supplies she needed and I’m pretty sure I’ll be pressed into spending all afternoon into snipping beans during the second session of General Conference.