Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

We carved our pumpkins last week...the big, fat pumpkins that we got at the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago.  It was a process, because you know, everything in our house is a process when you have a perfectionist 11- year-old and an over-zealous 1-year-old.

Abby was undecided all through the gutting of her pumpkin as to what she was going to do. She finally decided to use the owl template she'd used on the pumpkin she carved at my parents house. Uriah carved Finn's baby pumpkin, although we let Finn help.  And I got my own pumpkin to carve.

We thought Finn might have a career as a professional pumpkin carver in his future. He was very dedicated to getting those pumpkin insides scooped out.

And then he tried to eat the pumpkin guts, so we had to take the pumpkin away from him. To avoid a meltdown, we let him keep the spoon, which he used to bang on the table and sometimes, on Uriah's arm. So...maybe a drummer in a rock band?

There was not one seed left in that pumpkin. She scooped and scraped and looked inside from every possible angle to ensure that there were no seeds left. Then she had to clean off the outside of her pumpkin before she could start carving it. Now if only she would apply that kind of solid dedication to her Social Studies homework, her grade might improve a bit.

I put some pumpkin guts in front of Finn, thinking the slimy-ness would keep him occupied. It did. It kept him occupied trying to eat them. He currently has 3 pumpkin seeds growing in his stomach.

Abby tried to help keep Finn distracted from noshing on seeds by making scary faces at him. He just laughed at her. He has this big belly laugh and he throws his head back and lets loose when he thinks something is really funny. Apparently he found Abby hilarious that night.

Oh, sweet pumpkin guts. I probably shouldn't keep referring to them as guts, but I'm not really sure what else to call them. Pumpkin insides? Pumpkin membranes?Guts definitely sounds better than membranes! Anyway, I soaked them overnight, then Abby separated the guts from the seeds. Uriah roasted them off and we have pumpkin seeds to snack on for the next week.

Finn's baby pumpkin was the first one done, so we turned off the lights and lit it up for him to look at. He just kept staring at it and pointing. By then he was ready for a bath and bed, so Uriah took care of washing the pumpkin guts out of Finn's hair while Abby and I finished our pumpkins.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Welcome to Fall.

I mentioned that we took the kids to a pumpkin patch a couple of weekends ago.  It was a random, spur-of-the moment stop.  We had to go to Sioux City, IA for Sunday brunch (work-related for Uriah...the hardships of the job sometimes!).  The day was absolutely beautiful, almost too good to be stuck in the car for a couple of hours, but on the way down, we passed this roadside pumpkin patch that looked ah-mazing.  We decided that it would make a good break spot on our way back home; a spot for the kids to stretch their legs and for some Halloween pumpkins to come home with us.

I can't wait to show you the pumpkins that we carved...just as soon as I get the new USB cord for my camera.  I dropped it in my coffee last weekend and had to order a new one from Amazon.  So, basically, I have a lot of pictures on my camera and no way to get them off!  Fingers crossed I can pick it up this afternoon.  

Happy Friday, friends!  I'm going to try not to drop anything important in my coffee this weekend...phones, camera cords, kids...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On my mind today...


  • The tree in our front yard has finally turned yellow.
  • Now all of the leaves are going to fall off.  Onto the yard that I've already raked. Because I thought that tree was going to keep it's green leaves for. ev. er.
  • Can you believe Halloween is next week?  I'm kind of excited to have trick-or-treaters to our house.
  • We've never had that before because we've always been at Uriah's mom's.
  • She gets trick-or-treaters but it's not the same as having kids knock on your own door.
  • I need to finish Finn's costume.
  • He gets to wear it to school on Monday for a Halloween party.  
  • His first Halloween party!!

  • Abby came home from school sick yesterday morning.  She was sleeping when Finn and I got home.
  • I think she gave it to Uriah because he woke up sick last night.
  • I think he gave it to me, because I woke up not feeling very good this morning.
  • Families kind of suck in that way.
  • I hope I don't give it to Finn...he's already snotty and has a slight cough.  

  • We have pumpkins to carve this week.  
  • 3 big fat ones.  Well, 2 big fat ones and a fat baby one.
  • I'm going to roast the pumpkin seeds.
  • I've been getting carving ideas online, but I think I imagine myself more artistic than I really am.
  • Last week, Uriah and I made seafood lasagna.  It was my idea, but Uriah made it happen.
  • I told him we make a great team: I'm the idea person and he's the executioner.
  • I really meant executor.

  • I ran on the treadmill after work yesterday and I got the most awful cramp in my calf last night.
  • The kind that makes you limp after it's over because the muscle is still so sore.
  • I might have almost cried, it hurt so bad.
  • If Uriah wouldn't have been there to help, I probably would have called 911. 
  • I don't do pain very well, as evidenced by the epidural I got when I was 6 months pregnant.  Just kidding, but I thought about getting it then.  You know, to be prepared.
  • I'm going to do some weight training today - just arms and abs.  No lunges.  My calf still hurts.
  • Tomorrow, I guess I'll take it a little easier on the treadmill...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today we are going to:

  • Clean the house.  Oh, Lord, do I need to clean this house.
  • Clean out the garage.  (I'd like to park in it as opposed to in front of it!).
  • Do some laundry (maybe not all of it...there is still tomorrow.).
  • Head over to the park.  Swing.  Slide.  Race around.  If it warms up, that is.
  • Nap.  Nap long time.  (Both of us...I didn't sleep very well last night, so family nap today!)
  • Read all of our books all over again...and since we've already read every single book this morning, maybe we will go to the library and get some new books to read.
  • Make a menu for next week (I didn't have one last week and I felt very frazzled every evening!).
  • Bake something...sweet?  Savory?  Okay, both!
  • Put some apple cider on the stove to simmer so my house smells like fall.  And so my insides warm up; it's a bit brisk today.
  • Finish the first season of Weeds (with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed, of course!) 
What are your plans for this weekend?  All day pajama day?  Or do you have something more productive in mind...

Friday, October 21, 2011

2 years of wedded bliss...

There was a couple from Iowa in the news this week.  Norma and Gordon were married for 72 years.  They were in a car accident and they died an hour apart, holding hands.

I know that it seems strange to mention it in a post about our anniversary*, but when I was talking about Norma and Gordon with Uriah this evening, he said how lucky they were to be apart for only an hour.

Uriah...I hope we have at least 70 more years together.
And I will hold your hand every single one of those days.

*Our actual anniversary was on Monday, but I have been very busy doing laundry from our anniversary weekend getaway and haven't time to dump my camera.
**You can read about Norma and Gordon here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

These two...

  • This one had her last volleyball game of the season tonight.
  • She looks like she could take the opposing side out with a look.
  • She improved her game tremendously these past couple of weeks - and even managed to serve the ball over the net a couple of times.
  • She needs to learn to relax on the volleyball court; she's so afraid of doing something wrong that sometimes she doesn't do anything at all.
  • She's been working ahead on her homework.  Way ahead.
  • Her room is a mess.  Constantly.  A complete cluster.  
  • I get heart-palpitations and sweaty palms just walking past her door.  
  • I had to remind her how to make her bed last week.  Tossing blankets up to the top doesn't cut it in this house.
  • She's going trick-or-treating this year.  Her dad said she could.
  • She wants make-up for her birthday.
  • She put science kits on her Christmas wish-list.
  • She still plays with Barbies sometimes, but she has a subscription to Teen Vogue.

  • This one doesn't feel good tonight.
  • He didn't eat much at school today, took an extra long nap, needed a change of clothes at some point and has been tugging on his ear.
  • I went 15 months without a major illness, I guess I'm probably due.
  • I put him to bed early tonight.  I hope that cures all illnesses.
  • He had a splendid time with Grandma and Grandpa this weekend.  He didn't even cry when we left, but he sure looked happy to see us when we got back!
  • We showed him how to jump in the leaves yesterday.  He didn't catch on.  Maybe next fall...
  • He likes to read books and push the Barbie scooter around.  Sometimes at the same time. 
  • Tonight he was extra cuddly, so we read extra books.
  • I love Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.  He loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  We read them both.
  • I wonder how long it will be before Santa brings him a set of golf clubs.
  • He makes the cutest "meow" sound.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bedell State Park {Fall}

I had originally thought to title this blog post "Fall in the park," but as I was re-reading it, I thought...this could go one of two ways for the reader: either a) fall as in the season (which is what I intended) or b) fall as in the action (which did not happen while we were there).  This titling business is requiring too much thought for a Friday morning and, to be honest, I want to ignore the housework and packing that needs to be done while Finn is napping and instead, watch an episode of Weeds, so I'd best get on with this.

Uriah and I took Finn on a lovely fall walk through the Elinor Bedell State Park that is here in Spirit Lake.  It was more of a leisurely stroll, because I stopped every 12 inches to take a picture.  I thought it was beautiful here in the summer, but fall is quickly becoming my favorite time...the leaves were amazing colors and the branches against the blue sky made for some great contrast.  The wide open fields gave harvest gold a tangible color and it really does feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere and those rolling acres will just go on and on until they meet up with the ocean.

I saw on Pinterest that someone had collected some beautiful leaves at the height of their color, dipped them in wax to preserve them and hung them in their window.  I wanted to do that, but the leaves in the park were so dry from the lack of rain we've had this fall that by the time they were on the ground they were too brown and dusty to pick up for my project.  They made for good leaf crunching, though, until Uriah told me to pick up my feet and walk faster.  Sometimes he is such a party pooper.

The park also has a play area, so after we wound our way through the trails, we let Finn run around and play on all of the equipment.  The slide held his interest for about a minute and swinging was good, too, but the motorcycle on a spring held his attention the longest.  He kept going back to that red motorcycle and standing next to it, waiting for one of us to pick him up and put him on so he could rock.  I shouldn't be surprised, he loves it when he sees motorcycles on the street and will stop what he's doing to watch them drive by.

There was also a double airplane on a spring (what are these things called?  Do they have a name?).  Uriah was not a party pooper when he hopped on the plane with Finn.  He even let Finn be the captain, although I think Uriah really wanted to be in the front!

I'll leave you this Friday morning with my two favorites from our trip to the park.  I rarely get pictures of me and my best boy...mostly because I'm usually the one behind the camera, but Uriah took over for a little bit and let me run around with Finn and play on the motorcycle and the swings.

Happy weekend, my friends!  See you next week!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Regarding our Kansas City Trip.

We went to Kansas City a couple of weekends ago.

It was a much-needed visit, since we hadn't been back all summer (due to new job, new school, moving twelve hundred know, stuff like that.).  I know Uriah was a little homesick, and I think now he understands a little better how it was for me being away from my parents for the years that we lived in Kansas City.

Anyway, we had dinner at my sister-in-law's new house, and since Aaron and Angie are on both sides of my family tree, we got to see them that evening, too.  

Their new back yard is amazing (actually, their whole house is amazing!) and came with this super fantastic swing set.  The kids played outside until it was too dark to see.  Finn ran so much, he fell asleep before we even pulled out of the driveway.  That swing set is like the toddler whisperer.  I need one.

Did you know that getting 4 kids to look in the same direction at the same time with their eyes open is nearly impossible?  Also, I'm not really sure what kind of face Finn is making, but this was as good as it gets.  I will try harder and bribe bigger at Christmas.

Seriously...the most amazing play set.  Finn thought he could climb the faux rock walk, but alas, he never actually made it off the ground.

Ava tried to give Finn a hug.  He brutally rebuffed her by walking away.  But he made up for it by laughing and clapping when it was her turn to go down the slide.

It was so funny to watch them take turns and laugh with each other.

Cooper was seriously surprised when he saw Finn.  I think he still thought that Finn would be a baby and, even though Finn was walking around, Cooper kept asking if he could hold him and would try to pick him up periodically.

Where there's a cat...there is Finn.  Poor Casper is the oldest, fluffiest cat in the world and Finn only wanted to touch his tail (it's all he ever wants to do to cats - he's a cat lover.).  He chased that poor old cat all over the house trying to catch it.  

This is the first year that we won't be Trick-or-Treating at Debbie's, so she had some little treats for Finn and Abby.

We managed to get in a visit at Emily and Jerad's while we were in town, but the trip was too short to pack in everyone that we wanted to see.  I think we'll have a little bit more flexibility in our schedule when we're back for Christmas.

And by a not seeing everyone, I really mean that I didn't get my sushi fix while we were in the Big City, so I'm hoping that my in-laws will want to watch the kids for an evening over our Christmas vacation so that Uriah and I can go on a date.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Hunting

On the most beautiful of fall days, we drove deep into the Iowa country side and went hunting for the Great Pumpkin.

We were successful...and the fruits of our labor are currently residing on my front porch awaiting the carving knife.  And while I have a ton more pictures from our little side trip to go through, I couldn't resist sharing this one with you today.  Doesn't it feel like fall now?

Monday, October 10, 2011

My son...

...thinks that this is the appropriate way to eat dinner.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

On my (sugar-deprived) mind...

s'more cupcakes

// Chocolate Caramel Tart.

I absolutely love lemon! Claimed to be the perfect lemon bar recipe... must try.

mmmmm...yes, please.

{Find them here:1, 2, 3. 4}

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From Daniel's Visit...