A Halloween to Remember


Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.  ~Judith Olney

I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening than running around the neighborhood with kids dressed as ghosts and goblins and eating candy until your eyeballs pop out. 

This evening as we were trick-or-treating, I was thinking about how far our


 kids have come over the last few years.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were holding their hands and helping them up steps.  Tonight they were running ahead and we were the ones trying to catch up.  Those days of hitting only a few houses are long gone.  They now want to hit entire neighborhoods and their eyes get bigger and bigger as their bags fill up.  We have entered the years when quantity matters.  The more the better.

I’ll be the first to admit that everything is getting easier as the kids get


older, but I couldn’t help but be taken back to years past when parents with toddlers would walk by us.  The innocent faces, the sweet costumes.  The precious hand holding mom’s finger.  It made me realize just how fast time really goes. 

My children are still young and (somewhat) innocent.  They still want to be super heroes and ladybugs, they still get excited about all the little things that make Halloween so much fun.  I am going to soak it all up, because I know that it will pass way too soon.  Tomorrow they will be wanting to trick-or-treat with their friends, because parents just aren’t cool.  They will fly out of the house in scary costumes with blood painted on their faces.  


Of course, when those days arrive, I will soak them up as well, because it won’t be too long after that when they will decide to give up trick-or-treating all together.  But, I don’t want to think about any of that just yet.

I just want to watch them have the time of their lives.  I want to watch their bags fill up with yummy goodness.  This excites me, too, because I know that they still love to share their special treats with me.  

As another Halloween comes to an end, I realize that life just doesn’t get a whole lot better than this…

It’s Friday! Thank Goodness…

Oh my, what a week it has been!  I must say that I am glad it is over.  I started out behind and became even more so as the week went on.  So now it is catch-up time.    

Nathan had his second basketball game on Tuesday.  I think his team lost, but who’s keeping score?  The highlight of the game was… drumroll please… Nathan actually got the ball!!  Not for very long, but at least he was able to touch it.  They had team pictures afterwards, so those should be cute.  

Let’s see, what else did we do this week?  Catheryn had a Halloween party at dance yesterday.  All the girls sat around a tablecloth on the floor and had a little tea party.  It was very sweet and they came away with a lot of goodies.   

The twins each had costume parties at school today.  Kindergarten was the only grade allowed to wear their costumes, so I took advantage of the opportunity to sneak into their classrooms for some pictures.  William’s class had a little party the last half hour of the day, so they were able to stock up on treats as well.  All three kids are excited to go trick-or-treating.

It sure doesn’t sound like much, but there was something about this week that kept us on our toes.  I think it had something to do with all the running around for Halloween supplies, and baking treats and mending costumes, etc.  By the time we got the kids to bed, all we had energy for was staring at the wall for a few minutes before passing out ourselves.  Rob and I are just looking forward to catching up on a little sleep.  Good night,  Zzzz…             

Sterling Cattle Maze

We spent a fun afternoon out at the Sterling Corn Maze in Vaughn.  William’s Cub Scout pack was meeting there for an outing, so it was a perfect opportunity for the whole family to go.  They had corn boxes for the kids to play in, an irrigation pipe slide, a tractor ride and a few mazes to explore.   We even saw a rainbow after a little shower.  Sterling’s is a cute place, but I must admit that it made us miss Greenbluff.  U-Pick pumpkin patches were always among our favorite places to go in the fall… 

Disappearing Act

Our house is like a picnic blanket, our children the ants…

There was a time not too long ago when things stayed where we put them.  Even if we didn’t put something away when we were done with it, we would still be able to go back later and find it just where we had left it. 

It started slowly, the disappearing of things.  One day we would find the kitchen towel missing, the next day it would be a shoe.  It took us a little while to discover that it was our children, though just crawlers or early walkers at the time, who were toddling away with various items. 

When they were younger, it was easy to hide things from them.  Nowadays, they climb on counters, root around in drawers, dig in bags.  I’m beginning to think they are part blood hound the way they can sniff things out. 

They all have their favorites, though.  If you are missing the flashlight, calculator or MP3 player, your best bet is to find Nathan.  If the tape or scissors have disappeared, William would be the kid to ask.  Catheryn isn’t quite as sneaky, but she does like the hair clips.

Earlier today, the kids were sneaking downstairs with a box of zip-locks, tweezers and a flashlight.  I grabbed the zip-locks, and eventually the tweezers and flashlight made their way back up, but that isn’t always the case. 

Although, if you are to ask “where’s the flashlight?” Nathan silently disappears and returns a minute later with it in his hand, a cheesy grin on his face.  Lucky for us, the kids usually remember where they have stashed their finds, so even though the batteries are dead and the tape dispenser is completely empty, the stuff eventually finds its way back home. 

The ants go marching three by three…

Here and There

Nathan had his first basketball game today!  The “green” team played the “yellow” team.  It was a great game.  Not one kid had a single clue what the heck they were supposed to do, and it was just too cute for words.  The coaches were getting quite a workout trying to get the kids from opposing teams to actually be on opposite sides.  One of the boys completely forgot that you had to dribble the ball, and so he would grab it and make a mad dash for the other side of the court.  It was great!  They all seemed to have the idea that if you were to actually get the ball, you were to run to the furthest basket regardless of which team you were on.  Catheryn and I were cheering for everyone, because they couldn’t have gotten any cuter.  And to show you just how competitive I am, I have absolutely no idea what the final score was.  I think the green team might have been up by one point, but you never can tell, a yellow kid might have made that basket!  Either way, it was great entertainment and Nathan had a wonderful time, even though he never actually got the ball.  Practice again tomorrow night, and then a game against the “purple” team next week.  

Meanwhile, on the other side of the river…

…there was an Iron Man sighting!  William and Rob were playing games, eating cupcakes, gathering candy and enjoying other fun activities at the Cub Scout Halloween party.  Each scout was responsible for taking either a dozen cupcakes or a dozen cookies plus a bag of candy, so there were more than enough treats to go around the room at least a dozen times.  The twins and I snuck into the party after the basketball game was over, so we were able to overdose on some sugar as well.  

Rob also turned in his Den Leader application!!  As much as William is enjoying the Scouts, and as excited as Nathan is to join next year, and as much time as Rob is going to end up spending there as an “adult partner”, he figured he may as well make himself comfortable.  I think he will be good at it, not to mention he will enjoy the hikes and camping trips as much as the kids will.  It will be a great way for the boys to spend some quality “man” time with their dad.


In Search of a Ghost…

This morning we decided that since it is getting so close to Halloween, it would be great fun to find ourselves a ghost town.  We looked on the computer and found Copperopolis, about an hour and a half down the road.  Not too bad we thought, so we all piled in the car. 

The drive was great.  Pretty fall colors, a detour hike along the way, a little Mamma Mia sing-along, you know, the usual.  The only problem we encountered was that we could not find Copperopolis.  We were right where it was supposed to be, but it was not there!  The ghost town seemed to have disappeared. 

Lucky for us, we found a sign for Castle Town, another ghost town about 20 miles down a dirt road.  We decided to head into White Sulphur Springs to top off on gas and hit the bathroom, then we would go around the other direction to Castle Town so we would not have to take such a long dirt road.  Great plan at the time because we would be arriving at the ghost town in the late afternoon.   

As it turns out, Castle Town is about 45 miles from White Sulphur Springs.  Once we were finally on the right road, we realized that this particular ghost town was on private property and that we had to stay on the county road.  We were determined to see a ghost town, so we kept going.  At about 5pm, we arrived at Castle Town.  We were able to see a couple of buildings, but the rest were back off the road and we couldn’t get a good look.  We decided to pull over so we could get out to read the sign about the town.  But as soon as we stepped out of the van…

“Sssssssssssssss” was all Rob and I heard.  I think a foul word may have escaped Rob’s mouth as he rushed over to find the leak in our front tire.  I was instructed to get the fix-a-flat, only to realize that it was not in the car.  No, instead it was at home in the garage, where it belonged.  (I feel the need to insert here that it is totally unlike us to not be prepared.  Take for example, the time we went to Glacier National Park and ended up sleeping in the car because all the hotels were full and we didn’t take camping gear.  Or the time… Oh, never mind.)  Forget the ghost town, we weren’t even able to read the sign.  We got in the car, turned around, and flew down that dirt road. 

We stopped twice to fill the tire with the mini compressor before we decided to put the spare on.  No matter which way we looked, we were all alone.  There were no houses, no other cars.  Nothing.  (I believe it was right about here when my sweet husband flipped me off because I wouldn’t stop taking his picture.  I caught that on camera, too. :))

At 6:30pm, we finally arrived back in White Sulphur Springs.  We spent the next hour at the gas station fixing the tire so that we could get home.

Our check engine light must have thought we were lonely, because it decided to come on and then refused to go off.  It was dark by the time we left White Sulphur Springs and we drove the hundred miles home hoping our tire would hold out.  We made it home at 9:30. 

After all the events of the day, we didn’t even get to see a ghost town for more than 30 seconds.  Guess that means we are just going to have to go out in search of another one.  Preferably one not on private land.  Of course this will have to wait until our poor van is back up and running properly.  And he would probably like some new front tires. 

So what’s our plan for tomorrow?  We’ll be putting together a “so you are heading out on a spur of the moment trip and you have no idea where you are going or when you will be back” kit.  You know, just in case we do something like this again.  We wanted an adventure, and by golly, we got one!

Recipe for a Perfect Friday Night

I suppose that when most people think of a perfect Friday night, they think of a night out on the town with friends.  Perhaps dinner and a movie.  While settling in for the evening, I realized that we had all the ingredients necessary for that perfect evening.

On the way home from work, we picked up a movie and a super easy dinner.  The kids were able to eat at the coffee table while we watched “How to Train Your Dragon.”  For dessert, we stuffed ourselves on a “single-serving” brownie large enough to feed a small army.  When that was all gone, we cuddled up on the couch under a soft, warm blanket and finished the movie.  We laughed out loud and enjoyed the movie immensely.  Afterwards, the kids went to bed and Rob and I were able to watch a “Mommy/Daddy” movie.  Now, the kids are sound asleep every which way in their room, Rob is snoring softly behind me as I write this, and I am about to go to slumberland myself. 

I think that some of the best Friday nights are the ones spent at home…