Monday, October 31, 2011

monsters on PARADE

On Halloween day the kids' school put on a wonderful Halloween parade.  All the kids came looking scary or cute (well they were ALL pretty cute - even if they were meant to be scary)!

Kyle was a vampire (again - his choice)...

Colton was a ninja...

Morgan was a flapper girl.  She had to ask me what a flapper was.  She just liked the outfit.

Kyle with his AMAZING teacher.  Honestly.  She's wonderful and SO good with him!

Colton's class (that's his teacher in the Dorothy costume on the far right).

Kyle's class went back to the classroom after the parade for a fun Halloween party.  His teacher planned everything.  She is adorable!

And here they are before heading out to trick or treat that night.  Kyle's ready to take a bite out of Morgan!  Bryan went trick or treating with a bunch of his friends from church.  He's growing up so fast!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

pUmPkiN fUn

Here in the Arizona heat, we can't carve our pumpkins too far in advance of Halloween or they rot before the big day.  We elected to carve our pumpkins the day before the big night.  Sarah, Josh, and their little guy Jace decided to join in the festivities.

Kyle and Mark were working on an owl...

Colton was doing a very intricate and scary monster...

Morgan was working on Mario...

and Sarah and Josh were doing Mickey Mouse.

I thought they turned out pretty darn cute!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Fun at Vertuccio Farms

There is a great farmers market called Vertuccio Farms near us that offers all kinds of seasonal activities for kids.  Before Halloween I decided to take Colton and Kyle there for their corn maze and some other fun activities.  We had so much fun!

Here we are entering the maze.

Here we are in the corn maze, looking at directions to try and find a list of characters hidden in the maze.  The kids did rubbings at each station as they found a character.

These bouncy horses were a lot of fun as they raced each other around the coral.
 These two boys are such great friends (99% of the time).  They really love each other a lot.

These were bicycle tractors they had fun riding...

Then there was a huge bounce pad thing that sloped down at the edges.  They bounced around here for probably 30 minutes nonstop.  So fun!

Last we took a train ride with a tractor pulling barrels that had been carved out for us to sit in them.  Fun!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sarah's bIrThDaY

My friend Sarah is fabulous.  I love her so much!  She is so supportive and is always there for me.  Always.  She lifts me up when I am down.  She understands me.  Completely.  I can tell her anything and not worry about her ever judging me.  We first met when Mark and I moved to Houston, Texas.  She and her husband, Josh were in our ward and lived in the same apartment complex as us.  We lived there for seven years, then moved here to Phoenix.  A year ago they moved here too for Josh to finish his training.  We are SO glad to have them here!  We missed them!!

Today we celebrated Sarah's birthday.  I made her a VERY chocolatey cake from a Martha Stewart magazine.  It was amazing, but we could all only eat a very small piece.  It was rich and decadent and super, super chocolatey.  It was as sweet as Sarah!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Taylor Swift in Concert!

Mark and I gave Morgan a pretty awesome surprise.  We bought tickets to Taylor Swift here in Phoenix, but didn't tell her.  Mark had to go on a work trip to New Orleans.  I told Morgan we were just going to pick him up at the airport and then go get some dinner together - just her and us.

We got to the airport, picked up Mark, and started driving.  When we got near the concert and pulled in to park, we told Morgan that Mark had to go get something for work out of this office building.  We were walking in with all these people, and she saw the sign for the concert, but still just thought we were going in to do something for Mark's work in this building.

We walked in the door and I handed the usher our tickets.  Then I handed Morgan her camera and said, "You might need this."  She looked at me really confused.  Then you could just see it click in her eyes.  She got a big grin and said, "We're going to see Taylor Swift?!!"  It was awesome!
 Professional cameras weren't allowed, so I had to use my old camera.  The pictures were not great of the actual concert, but you can still make Taylor out.

Fun night!  The funniest part was seeing Mark sing all the lyrics to EVERY song!  He borrows Morgan's Taylor Swift CD's all the time to listen to when driving to and from work.  Pretty cute!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Trip to Washington DC - Day Eight

Today we started at the Spy Museum.  We were all given another identity to begin with.  We had to memorize things about our identity and we were tested at different points throughout our visit.  This museum was full of all kinds of spy gear that had been used by spies throughout history.  We were able to read true stories of things that had happened to different spies or what they had accomplished.  It was pretty fun!

After leaving the Spy Museum and grabbing some lunch, Mark and the kids went to play frisbee at the grassy park at the National Mall, while I went to take some pictures...

After finishing frisbee we all walked across the street to the United States Botanic Garden.  It was so beautiful and what a lot of amazing flowers and plants!  Here is just a taste...

This first shot is of Bryan pulling a face because he was kind enough to lug my camera pack around almost the entire trip!  He was such a great sport.

When we left the Botanic Garden, Mark asked me where I would like to eat dinner on our final night in DC.  I surprised my whole family when I answered "Good Stuff".  I'm tellin' ya, I am normally not into hamburgers, but those were absolutely DELICIOUS!  We enjoyed our burgers and another round of toasted marshmallow shakes.  Yum!

On our walk back to the subway to catch a ride back to the hotel we passed this beautiful church...
We were all a little sad to be wrapping up such an amazing trip.  Hopefully we get to come back someday!  The next morning we flew home and left beautiful Washington DC behind us - but we have some amazing pictures and memories of our stay!