Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Feast

Last Thanksgiving, we stayed in California and had dinner as our little family. This year was quite different. We had 7 people and 2 dogs come to visit, Ty's two sisters and one of mine. Needless to say, it was a full house around here! Luckily we had enough room to cram house everyone. With everyone traveling in from out of state, I didn't really have anyone cook anything. I was pretty nervous about how everything turned out, but luckily it went well and at the end of the day everyone was full and happy.  

Here's proof we cooked it all and didn't just get it from Boston Market: 

 The one thing we imported from Utah was a Norbest turkey roast from Moroni. If you haven't tried one, you should. They are easy to cook and taste amazing! I know the turkey doesn't look that appetizing. I cooked it breast side down, it makes it super moist! I was going to flip it over to crisp the top skin, but by the time I went to, it was falling off the bone.
Pretty good spread, I thought:

I was too frazzled by the end of the day to take a picture of our 5 pies, but my sister managed to snap a pic of the white chocolate pumpkin cupcakes
Here's all of us:
It was crazy stressful, but I know some tips if I ever host again. It was great to have family here and the girls were so thrilled. Oh and here's one last pic of our gratitude tree:
What a wonderful fall we've had!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall Fun

Now that we FINALLY have snow (I've been waiting) I thought I'd post some fun pictures of us raking leaves last week. The girls had never done it before and they had lots of fun. I downloaded a new app on my computer to edit photos so that's why they all look different. I'm trying to figure out what I like best:

 One of my favorites:
Another fun thing we've been up to is story time at the library. We go just about every week and I really love it. It's a good way to get out of the house and it hopefully reinforces the love of reading I'm trying to instill in my children. A few weeks back, there was a special story time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. If you aren't familiar with Mo Willems children's books, then I highly recommend you do so. They are hilarious. At the party, they read the book, colored, made pigeon puppets, had live pigeons, and then frosted cookies to look like the pigeon. It was lots of fun and I just really appreciate programs like this. So much fun!
What have you been up to with this awesome long lasting fall weather?!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gratitude Tree

I'm really trying to embrace each season around here. I'm loving the fall weather and how long it's lasted, although it's supposed to snow today. I wanted to do something fun this month to keep our minds focused on Thanksgiving. (rather than just looking forward to Christmas) Usually on Thanksgiving we go around the table and say things we're grateful for, or something like that. This year I decided to take it a bit further. I got some books from the library about Thanksgiving and I've been teaching the girls about the pilgrims and Wampanoags and the fact that they were giving thanks for their harvest. We had the missionaries over for dinner and had them stay to give us a thought for Family Home Evening about gratitude.
Then we introduced our gratitude tree. We all got leaves and we write (or draw) something we're grateful for then add it to our tree.

 Whitney is grateful for Thanksgiving:
 I have a pile of blank leaves so anytime throughout the month we think of something we're grateful for, we can add it to our tree. Hopefully it will be a good reminder and make us focus on the wonderful things we already have.
The girls are probably more excited about putting the leaves on the trees than thinking about what they're grateful for, but they'll grasp the concept eventually.
 Here was our tree last night, We're hoping for a very full tree by Thanksgiving!
Alma34:38 That ye acontend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the bname of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and cworship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live indthanksgiving daily, for the many emercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

Do you have any fun thankful traditions you do each November?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

The girls and I picked out pumpkins yesterday with the plans of carving them for family night. Well, Ty has to work tomorrow, so we thought it'd be fun to do it tonight. We haven't carved pumpkins in a long time, so it was a fun messy family event.
I'm sure you'll be very surprised to learn that the girls refused to touch the gooey middle of the pumpkin. Don't ask me why they are wearing leotards, they just wanted to

We had stencil books for the carving, which I used for mine, but I found Disney stencils online. We decided to have the girls' pumpkins match their costumes! So I did Lindsey's Nemo and Ty free handed his pumpkin and did Whitney's Snow White
Our finished products!

Here are some close ups:
Tyler just copied a picture he saw of a flaming jack-o-lantern, but Whitney kept insisting it was a girl with eyelashes haha

We sprinkled them with cayenne pepper hoping the squirrels will leave them alone. (they ate the top of the two smaller pumpkins we got in Brigham City)
Our not-so spooky porch:
To finish out the night we enjoyed pumpkin cheesecake. (A must have for this time of year!)
Are you ready for Halloween? Do you prefer to free hand or stencil your pumpkins?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Magical Weekend

If you know me at all, you know I love all things Disney. Well, every year they do a Halloween dress rehearsal. I wasn't planning on going this year, because the closest Disney store is in Denver. Whitney got the idea of wanting to be Snow White for Halloween. We tried for weeks to talk her into something cheaper, but she was really set on it, so we decided to head up and buy her the dress on the day of the dress rehearsal. Lindsey chose to be Nemo, a costume we already had. They were super cute and were very excited to make their Monsters Inc bags:
 Of course the workers are always so nice, we heard many Finding Nemo jokes:
 Trick or treating around the store:
In true Colorado fashion, we even had strangers chatting it up with us. This particular lady works at the store, but it was her day off and she still came in to see the festivities. I really love this place:
 They had coloring:

 Who wouldn't feel like a princess here:

 It was so fun and I highly recommend it to anyone. You don't have to be in their costumes or costumes at all. It's just a fun event!

Afterwards we headed into the heart of Denver and decided to try out a little place called Big Fat Cupcakes. It was kinda small, so we went to a beautiful park in Washington Park. My sister, Wendy, was here for the weekend so we wanted to give her a good experience in hopes she wants to come back to visit soon.

 There were lots of acorns on the ground, so we brought one back for the squirrels in our yard.

 The scenery was so pretty and the neighborhood around the park is so amazing.

 Sorry for all the pictures, they were too pretty to leave out!
 We came home to a pretty sunset:
 Whitney was thrilled to have a matching sweater Aunt Wendy got her. She wore it the rest of the weekend:
Are you all ready for Halloween? What is your favorite tradition for this time of year?