Sunday, October 31, 2010

Boo at the Zoo

I don't know if all zoos do something like this, but every year at Halloween the Idaho Falls Zoo decorates itself up and invites in vendors to hand out candy. We've never been before because Gideon was so young, but he's finally to that age where I thought he'd enjoy it, so we went this year. We were going to take both kids, but at the last minute grandpa (who was tired and didn't really want to go anyway) volunteered to keep Parker at home. That was probably better anyway, even though her costume was plenty warm for a cold night, she still has a cough and doesn't need to be out in the weather.

This cowboy and princess are actually relatives. They're the son and daughter of Trav's cousin June. Jaden and Addison. Addison was born a few days before Gideon and June and her husband adopted her, only to find out a few days (literally days) later that June was pregnant with Jaden. Anyway they're cute and it was fun runninginto them.

Most of the vendors at least dress up and keep a theme with their booth, so it's really fun to see.

And of course you get to see the animals that haven't been put up for the winter yet. Gideon would have stayed forever at the flamingos and monkeys. He was fascinated by them!

The decorations were great, eveything was just so sparkly and festive! (Yes, I just said sparkly.)

Gideon was having such a great time that I literally had to run after him. He would just take off and head for the next thing!

The big cats were very restless and moving around a lot. I'm not sure they're used to getting so many night time visitors.

Taking a much needed rest with Nana. It only lasted about 30 seconds and then we were off again because Buzz saw something else he had to run and investigate.

This was the coolest pumpkin patch ever. They have a carving contest the week of Halloween and then all of the entries get displayed here!

Buzz, meet Buzz. Gideon was so funny every time he saw another Buzz or Woody he followed them and wanted to hang out because they belong together (of course.)

It started getting really crowded after we'd been there about an hour, so we kind of sped through the end and headed out. Next year we're going early. Anyway after we left we met Grandpa and Parker at the IHOP because they were doing free "scary face pancakes" for kids. Gideon had a great time decorating it and then eating eyes nose and mouth. But he wouldn't eat the actual pancake. Oh well, at least he ate some of Nana's broccoli, so we'll call it a success.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why yes I am Super Woman....

...Thanks for noticing! Thursday in addition to having our usual crew, we also watched Lincoln (who just turned 1 two weeks ago.) It was a busy morning, but I think we managed pretty well. There were no major issues, they played well together and at the end of the day the toys picked up just as quickly as they always do. Five kids may not be a lot to some people, but for me it was pretty major. Still, I can't complain because everything went about as smoothly as it possibly could have.

BTW - I just noticed that Gideon got hold of my Diet Coke while I was apparently busy taking the picture. What a little stinker! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkins & a Party

Last Monday as a family night activity, we took our pumpkins to Nana & Grandpa's house and carved them.

For the first time in my life, I actually cheated and used a pattern book & carving kit instead of just doing them free hand with a big knife. I think they turned out super cute and they were waaaay faster.

This one is supposed to be an owl in a tree. But even with the pattern & proper tools I'm not convinced I have the artistic ability for something like this.

Anyway Gideon LOVES his pumpkins. He goes out on the step everyday and checks on them and talks to them (afterall, they do have faces.)
Okay is it just me, or does it seem like Halloween lasts a lot longer now than it did when we were kids? I mean it seems like when I was growing up if you got to wear your costume twice, that was awesome! Lately though, it seems like the entire week of Halloween is filled with parties and carnivals and other excuses to get dressed up & inhale more sugar. Not that I'm complaining, it's just an observation.

Tuesday night our church had a little carnival put on by the youth for the little kids. I didn't dress up because to be honest, I completely forgot about it until a friend reminded me 15 minutes before it started. Fortunately my mom just happened to be at my house, so I left Parker with her, threw munchkin's costume on him and ran out the door.

He had a great time! As usual, his favorite thing was the fish pond! He thought he was a real pro!

But there were a lot of cute games and booths and activities. And just a lot of candy, which, of course, I've had to hide and dole out rather judiciously.

Anyway, we've had other fun adventures since then, so I'll be sure and post more pictures soon!

My New Gig

So I've taken on a new responsibility because I just wasn't busy enough (ha, ha, ha.) I've started babysitting twice a week for a friend. Her sons, Gavin (who is almost 2) and Isaac (who is six months old) are a lot of fun. Gideon has had a great time playing with them.

Really it's been good having someone for Gideon to play with twice a week. Truthfully I think I get more done on the days they're here because they keep each other busy. Plus, there really isn't any bigger of a mess to clean up at the end of the day. Anyway it's been busy, but we're enjoying it. And at the end of the day it's nice to be able to just settle down with my own babies.
Parker watches the fun from the safety for the changing table.

Wow! I think Isaac is an average size six month old, but Parker's just so petite, he looks huge!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Could someone please explain to me why on earth the only place I ever get homesick for is Indiana?

I just don't get it. It doesn't make sense. But it happens. Every year during the fall, when the weather starts to cool I get homesick for a place where I only lived for 5 short years.

When I lived there I couldn't wait to get out. Clay County was just too small and too unimportant. I went to college far away, moved to the rocky mountains and then went to Europe. Still the only place where I've ever felt truly at home is stupid Brazil, Indiana. I guess on some level it's the only place I ever felt like I really belonged.

I lived the first 14 years of my life in Texas and by virtue of being born there, still consider myself a Texan. But I don't get homesick for Weatherford. Or the horse farm where I spent my formative years. I have great memories and wonderful friends from there, but I don't generally have any longing to go back. When I think of Texas I do feel a draw back to it, but I'd never consider returning to the greater Metroplex area. When I imagine maybe one day returning to live in Texas I picture myself in the hill country. Somewhere between San Marcos and Uvalde. Maybe a quiet little place like Campwood. But while I miss the blue bonnets and the quirky little things that set Texas apart, I don't necessarily get homesick.

I've now lived in Idaho for twice as long as I lived in Indiana, and yet somehow I still don't feel at home here. When I travel other places I'm always depressed and cranky about having to return "home" to Idaho. (Instead of feeling relief at getting to return home like most people.) I don't care for the landscape, lava rock and sagebrush really do nothing for me. I've never been awed by the mountains like some people are. Sure it's great to go up to some high point and feel like you're on top of the world for a while. But I've never wanted to live in the mountains. I don't hunt, I don't fish and frankly I don't like snow. I'd be fine in a world where it never snowed. Ever. I don't need it. In other words I spend six months of the year depressed and not wanting to go anywhere or do anything because it means going out in the ice and snow, which as previously stated, I hate. There are good people here, but no one I've felt a particularly close connection with (besides my husband, of course.) Most people who live here are surrounded by family and extended family, so the social structure of this area tends to be fairly family centric. That's not a bad thing. But when your own family is scattered across the country it means that you don't get the opportunity to become close to many people. Still I'm stuck here because the man that I decided to spend eternity with, has never lived any place else and can't imagine leaving. (And you'd better believe if I didn't think he was worth it, I wouldn't still be here. I'd have bought a one way ticket out a long time ago.)

I've lived other places I've absolutely loved. The Carolinas & Holland to name a couple. And I can think of a dozen places I'd love to live if given the opportunity (Charleston, SC is currently at the very top of that list.)

Still I can't think of one good reason why I get so homesick for Indiana. There have been great memories and good friends everywhere I've lived. It completely escapes me why the only place I've felt like I was truly needed and wanted is someplace that I have to constantly explain to people isn't an exotic foreign country, but a small midwestern farm town.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Has it been a month already!?!?!?!?!

So Parker has been getting a steady stream of presents pretty much since we brought her home, but the other day we got a package from Uncle Neal and Sandy that contained a present for Gideon as well.

They each got a new blanket. They're beautiful, warm and soooooo soft. We love them (and have been putting them to use already!)

And princess Parker is already one month old today! How did that happen! Time sure does fly!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nothing Short of Miraculous!

Okay so I know I had Divine help today! There's no other way that I could have have pulled it off this morning after such a rough night. (The kids were fine, I just couldn't sleep.) But somehow I still managed to be up, have both kids fed and dressed, myself showered, make-up on and hair done and pulling out of the driveway at 8:50 this morning. Translation: We weren't late for church!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Picking Pumpkins

So before we get to all the excitement at the pumpkin patch, I have to tell you we had a first today. Gideon actually said, "I Love You, Mommy." And it was clear and audible and almost made me cry. He's never actually said it before. He's very affectionate and gives lots of hugs and kisses. But I was really surprised by how moved I was just hearing the words.

Okay so enough of the sentimental stuff! Since we were going to the pumpkin patch today, I decided that Parker should be dressed accordingly. (I'm seriously having way too much fun having a baby girl to dress up!)

She IS so cute it's scary!
And here are my little punkin'heads! Wow Gideon looks so grown up!

He was so stinking excited! He kept trying to take the pumpkins off the display. It took two grandmas & a grandpa to herd him in the right direction toward the field so he could pick his own pumpkins.

But first we stopped and saw the chickens and then took a trip through the straw maze. It was great fun!

There I am with my great big boy!

Parker slept comfortably in grandpa's arms the whole time!

The maze was a lot bigger this year than I remember it being last year. Still Gideon had a great time. Every time he'd get stuck in a corner he'd just laugh and turn around and run the other way!

It took no time at all for Gideon to find at least half a dozen pumpkins he liked.

He was very thrilled to pick out baby pumpkins for "his baby."

We were the only people on the place when we first got there, so we had the run of all the fields to ourselves!

After we picked out about 10 pumpkins (several which "fell off" the wagon before we made it out of the field) Gideon had to take grandma through the maze!

Sadly we picked the day to come to the pumpkin patch when the train was broken! They were waiting for someone to come and fix it.

Of course that didn't stop my boy from climbing right in the driver's seat and making himself at home!

Seriously Handsome!

Eventually we had to gather up our pumpkins and head for home!

Gideon was a big help loading and unloading them! We're going to wait a few days before we carve them so that they'll still be fresh for Halloween. But it really got us in the spirit of the season getting to spend some time in the pumpkin patch!