Friday, November 18, 2016

Halloween 2016

Here's my Halloween crew...

Josh and Matt both wanted to be hobos.

I got pics of everyone before school except for Josh so this shot was later that night.

About the only character that Ben loves that he hasn't been for Halloween was "Super Why".
I didn't get crafty at all...just decided to buy it online and it fit wonderfully!

Abby's costume was the trickiest...
I think I purchased three different pirate costumes and none of them fit or worked well.
We eventually ordered the shirt off of Amazon and were very grateful that it fit, found some boots at Walmart, the hat at Halloween City and kind of just pieced together the rest of it.

We were able to visit Grandmas after school...always fun to see them...and of course, Ben wasn't cooperating very well for the pictures :)

That night the kids went off with their friends to go around the neighborhood and my parents and brothers came over for dinner.  We watched Halloween Studio Cs and munched on goodies and handed out lots of candy.
My little Super Why was exhausted.

I forgot to get pictures of the pumpkins in their full glory but here they are just before we turned out the porch light....

Andy is so sweet and often finds random reasons to bring flowers home for me.
I don't want to sound like I hate Halloween but it is definitely not my favorite holiday.
I am always relieved when it is over and we can get on to Thanksgiving.
Knowing that it is kind of a stressful day for me, Andy brought these beautiful roses home to brighten my evening.

Happy November Everyone :)

Abby is 12!

The only other lady in the house is becoming a young woman :)
She turned 12 at the end of October

These next several pics are from our celebration at my parents' home the week before her birthday.

Here she is (from a distance) while her class sings Happy Birthday to her...

After school I snatched her up and surprised her by taking her to get her ears pierced.

She had been asking for a while if she could.

She did great and we spent quite a bit of time afterward looking for earrings and fun things.

Then we stopped and snacked on soft pretzels, checked out Bath and Body Works and then went and picked up pizza for her birthday dinner.

Her main gifts were a new scripture bag with a matching Personal Progress holder since she is now in Young Women at church...

...and an essential oil diffuser for her room.
In the past, she has begged to use mine so I figured it would be a fun surprise for her.

We watched a movie and had pumpkin and salted caramel cheesecake after we ate our pizza.

We love this lady!  She is such a great influence in our home and is beyond helpful taking care of Ben.  She is kind and loved by all her peers.  It's fun to see her growing up :)
Happy Birthday sweet Abs!

New Bathroom, New Carpet!

Our wonderful home is 13 years old and things are starting to break down and need replacing.
We've been hard at work the last month or so around here...

So our main bathroom upstairs has been quite terrible for some you can see, drawers falling apart (I should have taken a picture of the inside of the sink because it was falling apart too!)
Dirty, messy to the point that Abby refused to enter and consequently took over our master bath. 

Finally, we took the steps to renovate and we are so pleased with the result!

We painted, put in new flooring, a new vanity, mirror and cabinet and a new toilet.
Andy did most of the work but I did help with painting and the toilet...and of course, picking out the new stuff :)  We ripped up the old linoleum but had the new stuff installed by someone else (Andy was willing but the people at the store were pretty insistent :)

We love it and Abby will gladly use it again (as a matter of fact she has become somewhat possessive of it now...which is what we were hoping for)!
(I realized that in the above, middle picture, I was a little too eager to get the "after" pictures that I didn't wait for the silicone caulking to dry clear around the bottom of the vanity :)

It was also way past time for new carpet on our main level.  There was so much dirt that we tried so many times to get out and couldn't.  There were stubborn stains and I honestly was embarrassed to have people come into our living room because it was so bad (the pictures don't really do it justice)

So one night, we worked super hard as a family to move everything downstairs, into the kitchen and the garage so we could rip up the old stuff.

The kids were troopers and were really, very helpful!

Andy and I stayed up late that night to finish up before the new carpet came the next morning.

People have been asking to see "after" pictures of the new carpet...It's hard to see much of a difference I have to experience it :)

But here it is!

We feel very blessed to have been able to make these improvements to our home.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall Recital/Concert

I actually got a good seat at the piano recital this time so I was able to get some decent pictures of the kids playing their pieces.
They all did a great job!
It's so fun to watch them progress.

Josh had his first orchestra concert at his new school.
It was actually quite interesting because there were three separate groups from his school and then one large group of sixth graders from elementary schools on the south end of the valley.
They were all out on the floor at the same time and the program bounced around from group to group.
It was a lot of fun :)

I asked him on the way to the concert if he was still loving playing the cello and he quickly responded in the affirmative.  I then suggested it was maybe time to step up his practicing a bit and go 45 minutes a day instead of 30.  He didn't seem too excited about that I guess he doesn't "love" it that much :)