Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween at Our House

Halloween at our house is getting a little cooler each year.  I'm actually a moderate fan of the holiday, but don't have much to show for it because I'm cheap.  Haha.  I'm slowly building my collection of Halloween decor and hopefully someday Marshall will finally approve.  He is a real fan of this holiday and considers any house without Halloween lights outside to not be ready for the big day.  The last couple years there has been a family that lived down the road that put giant spiders on the exterior of their house and he wants some bad!  The closest we got was we hung some bats over our porch (which I thought turned out adorable... thank you Pinterest.)

We also added some spider webs around the house.

These little pumpkin people are still my favorite Halloween decorations I have.  I got them on clearance after Halloween a few years ago at TJ Maxx.  You can't see it here, but the "groom" is holding a diamond ring for his sweetie.  How cute.

Some more clearance decor, from the same store.  I love TJ Maxx.

It is also not officially Halloween until we eat Pumpkin Casserole.  It's basically a hamburger and rice casserole cooked in a pumpkin.  Marshall talks about it from the moment Halloween stuff starts to appear at the store.  He doesn't even like to eat the pumpkin part, but he loves Pumpkin Casserole!

I know it looks kinda nasty here, but it really is pretty good.  Last year I made it with chopped bell peppers in it, but Marshall doesn't really like cooked peppers, so I used chopped celery instead this year.
I found the recipe here.

This year I put a little more effort into the treats Marshall took to preschool.  Last year I can't remember what I sent him with, but I remember feeling uber lame when some moms had handcrafted adorable little treats for all the kids.  So I stepped up my game this year with these spiders.  Again, thank you Pinterest. Haha.

And... the boys in their costumes.  They have had multiple occasions to wear these costumes this year and have loved every second of it.  And one more time, thank you Pinterest.  I knew I could find a homemade version of a ninja costume and Pinterest delivered when Google did not.  (I love that website, I tell you...)  There's just something about a clever, homemade costume that is so much cuter than a generic store bought one.  At least when it comes to ninjas.  I'm cooking up some big plans for next year's costumes that will definitely not be homemade.  :)

I thought Tyler's little "flavor saver" here was sooo funny.  
It was frosting from a cupcake in the perfect shape.  Haha.

Here are a few quick shots of Marshall when he was headed to his Preschool Halloween party.

These last two are my favorites!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Fun

A few days ago we threw a Halloween Party at our house.  Marshall and Tyler invited all of their friends from their little play group.  When all the kids are running around a playground you don't realize how many munchkins there actually are... but it was a mad house around here!  We all ate a spooky lunch with everything from bones, and fingers, to mummies!

All the kids had such cute costumes!
This is Max.  He was a bat.

We had Ironman and Little Red Riding Hood's wolf. 
(He ditched his snout for lunch and because it was really creeping out some of the kids.)

Luigi & Mario

Princesses, clowns & Little Red Riding Hood herself.

And ninjas, witches, ghosts, Spiderman and others.

We went bowling for ghosts,

and played "Stick the Eye on the Monster" followed by a couple Halloween stories.

Here is a fair amount of the kids.  Not all of them would gather for a photo and pretty much none of them would stay still.  Haha.  It was truly so funny!  I ended up with a whole series of pictures with various kids crying, fighting, hiding & smiling.  Too funny.  What do you expect out of a bunch of kids 5 and younger?

We've been having a great Halloween week.  Hopefully you have too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Deer Hunt :: Opening Day

These three sure make me smile.  They were right there in the meadow, with their guns, ready to help their daddies get a big deer.  Next year Brigham will be big enough to be "hunting" too.

We had a little mishap and the keys to the truck were lost for a bit and the boys' guns were stuck inside of it.  Once we got over to the meadow to meet the hunters Colby and I ran back to the cabin (in someone else's vehicle) to try to find them so the kids could have their guns.  Hello!  It's not hunting without a gun.  We made it back about 10 minutes before everyone headed back out hunting or back to the cabin.

Doesn't this picture remind you of Peter Pan when the boys are playing "Follow the Leader"?

I sure love my boys.  I hope our family gets blessed with at least a couple more.

Stratton Family October 2011
-funny story about Mom's hat-
Colby had the boys in WalMart the morning I was running the marathon and they each got a hat and Marshall picked out this pink camo one for me.  Colby, being the good husband he is, understands the real problem I have with pink camo.  He tried and tried to convince Marshall that I did not need this hat and tried to put it back multiple times.  But Marshall (being the product of Colby and I) wouldn't back down and remained persistent until he got what he wanted.  And so, I finished my marathon, climbed into the truck and found this "beautiful" hat on the seat.  I gave Colby a questioning look and he quickly informed me it was all Marshall.  Well, one day I was going to return it to WalMart, but Marshall started getting really excited about my hat and talking all about how I would be wearing it during the hunt.  So... of course... I couldn't return it.  And I wore it for two whole days for Opening Weekend.

I just love the hat Tyler got.  So does he.

Marshall has been wearing his hat for a good three weeks straight now... even sleeping in it.
It's his "hunting hat."

When Uncle Brady came back into the meadow he caught the boys a horny toad and my boys got quite good at holding it, dropping it while transferring it to each other, then catching it again.  Both of them have actually gotten quite good at catching critters lately.  Marshall chased a huge grasshopper around my mom's yard until he was able to catch it (I still don't know how he did it) and Tyler had a lot of practice catching lizards this same morning.

Thankfully Tyler understands not to hold it too tightly.
I can't believe I almost forgot this... Tyler couldn't remember that it is called a horny toad.  He kept calling it a daddy toad, which seemed like a fitting substitute.  Haha!

This photo needs to be framed in their room!  I love it.

Marshall having his turn with the horny toad.

And what do you know, he finally remembered how to smile for the camera instead of doing his typical ugly tongue sticking out face.  I'm so happy.

We didn't come home with a deer opening weekend (and there's still a couple days to get lucky), but the boys did get to watch some cousins try their hand at slaying a deer.  The girls shooting never quite got it, but my boys thought it was super cool to watch the whole scene go down.  And I'm happy to report my deer spotting skills are getting better and better.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Carmel Apples :: First Attempt

The other night Ronnie & Sam LeBaron came over for a little fun.  We made carmel apples (since Sam & I LOVE them) for Family Home Evening.  I had never tried to make them before and was glad Sam got me excited about trying it.  I'm a huge fan of buying them from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, even if they do cost more than the price of 4-5 pounds of apples.  
We were all excited to get domestic and had a lot of fun doing it.

We were able to incorporate a variety of toppings and were quite pleased with how simple the process turned out to be.  We learned a few things along the way, but felt generally accomplished.

We had mentioned getting a picture of all of us with our apples, but perhaps the fact that I didn't put any makeup on that day made me forget that idea before the night was over.  
My boys were all about posing.  Yikes.

Here's the apples that stayed at our house.  They all looked delish, but the carmel got cooked a little too hot so it was pretty much rock hard and inedible.  Haha.  
We're going to give it another try though, that's for sure.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pleasant Surprise

Marshall and Tyler tagged along with me while I had a photo shoot yesterday.  I only had to remind them to stay out of the way a couple of times and even had a couple chances to snap some shots of them as well.  It truly is Murphy's Law that the times you are not intending/planning to take pictures of your kids is when they are their cutest.  I've tried just about everything to get cute portraits of them but I usually end up giving up because they like to try my patience...  Even when they are being so adorable in candid moments, if I take a second to pick up the camera they turn off the adorable and turn into aliens or something.  I was happy to come away with these photos of them from yesterday's shoot.

You can bet I'll be taking my little family back to this second location!

Friday, October 14, 2011

We Got Our Flu Shots Today

The kids got to eat popsicles for breakfast today.  Popsicles... and a sucker from the doctor.  
It was their reward for getting a flu shot.

I got mine first, to show them it wasn't a big deal.  Then it was Tyler's turn and we laid him on the table and I held his arms for a second and it was done.  He did his fair share of crying, but nothing like his big brother.  Marshall was hiding behind the table and when I grabbed him and put him on the table, he was kicking like mad and would not let us do it.  So I held him on my lap, holding his arms as tight as I could and the doctor came in to hold his legs so the nurse could just get it done quickly.  Poor Marshall screamed BLOODY MURDER until we were all done and had let go.  I have never heard him scream like that.  I don't think I've ever heard anyone scream like that.  Poor little dude.  It reminded me of a time that my dad took me and my baby brother in to get shots and I flipped out!  I remember just fighting like crazy, bouncing off the walls, and screaming and crying before they gave me my shot.  I clearly remember thinking my dad was going to spank me because he NEVER let us behave that way, but I didn't care.  I did not want that nurse to touch me with that needle.  Then when it was baby brother's turn, he just gave a little grunt and it was done.  No tears or anything.  My poor dad.

Well today, as we left, Marshall kept telling me how much he didn't like getting shots and that his leg still hurt.  So I took a moment to explain why we get our flu shots.  It's more than just to keep us from getting sick.  I explained to him that a long time ago his Aunt Lauren was in a car accident and wasn't wearing her seatbelt and she got a lot of bad owies.  One of those owies (her ruptured spleen that had to be removed) makes it so she gets very sick very easily.  If she gets just a little sick it is easy for her to get really sick and when others are sick she has to stay away from them.  So we get this shot so that we don't get sick so Aunt Lauren can always play with us.  After a few minutes of thinking about that, he called her on the phone and left her a message that went a little like this...

in the saddest, slowest voice you can imagine
"Hi Lauren.  We got our flu shots today so we can play with you all winter.  I love you. Bye."

Lauren called me after she had heard it to tell me even though it was the saddest thing she had ever heard, it made her laugh so hard she was crying.  It was pretty classic.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Carving Pumpkins at the Johnson's

This last Monday the Johnson's invited us over for Family Home Evening and we had dinner and carved pumpkins.  It was super fun and we were glad to spend some time with our buddies.  The boys were less into carving pumpkins than I thought they would be.  Marshall didn't like the messy part one bit... his hands were getting dirty and it all felt slimy and all that jazz... and Tyler just wasn't entertained by it much.  You can see that Tyler was a little concerned with the mess too.  So I did a majority of the work, but it was still fun.  I tried my best to follow Marshall's instructions and the only thing Tyler cared about was that he chose the green pumpkin and he wanted it to have "pokey eyes".  Here are way too many pictures of our evening.  :)

Once we were done with the pumpkins the kids "decorated" cookies.  
Marshall did a good job, but Ty just wanted to eat the frosting off of the knife.  Haha.  Silly kid.

Here are all of the masterpieces carved that night.  
Marshall's is on the very left (with the hair) and Tyler's is the little green one.