Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween 2017!

Another year, another Halloween!  Jake had a band practice (for an awesome performance that went great!) so he wasn't free to join us until 8pm, so we went to our church Trunk or Treat and then picked him up for some later-ish evening house to house time.  It was cold but not TOO cold, and very foggy - very "haunted" looking.  Some snow would have made it perfect, but we can't be TOO picky.

The kids are the perfect age range this year - they are all old enough to keep up/really enjoy the Trick or Treating, and they all had about the same threshold for length of time.  We had fun!

To top off all the Halloween fun the kids had their annual Halloween bash with Grandma Karen too - they always have a great time, it's a bit of an annual tradition now!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October Cats

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween Activities

Kara decided to make a ribbon chain using Halloween ribbon.

Bentley was really into decorating for Halloween and he helped a lot with this chain.

The chain was draped in our foyer using the chandelier as a center point. 
(I should have take a photo of that, but it's far too late now.)

Kara shared this photo with me after learning I didn't have one of the garland hanging up. Check out the spider we dangled from the chandelier!

Someone gave the kids a Halloween Twister mat.
It was rather slippery.

We have a huge collection of Halloween cookie cutters, so we make sugar cookies every Halloween.

My Halloween Legos: The Monster Fighter Collection

Most of the sets are stored built, but there are few that are taken apart and rebuilt, so Lincoln and Evan are busy putting some of those sets together.

Evan is mining for the candy corn in the Halloween snack mix. (We told him not to!)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Jake the BLACK BELT!

Jake has worked very very hard, and is now a black belt!  He claims the distinction of being the 2nd youngest black belt ever at our dojo.  Bentley was working on his first stripe for his black belt, so the boys had a chance to study together - lots of late nights, quizzes, and long essays.  I'm very proud of Jake and his hard work!

Friday, October 20, 2017


Lincoln asked me one day if he could make a pillowcase. Then a week later the Relief Society at church announced they were doing a pillowcase drive. This was great for our family because Bentley needed some service hours for a scout rank and Jake needed service hours for a church thing. It is hard to find service activities for children this age. Most community organizations that need service want kids to be 12 or even 16 years old.

Since Lincoln had asked me, I helped him make one first.

Then Bentley and Jake worked with me for a couple of hours:

Before I finished the project I recruited Viva, too, because she also needed service hours for a church thing.

I was overambitious and I cut out sixteen pillowcases, so after the kids helped me, I still had a few to sew on my own. The pillowcases are going to the local children's hospital.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pumpkin Carving

Mid October the kids all had a pumpkin carving date with Grandma Vicki!  I didn't get pics of all of them, but they were all present/accounted for/had a great time!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Idaho 2017

Matt, Lincoln, & Evan headed down to Idaho at the end of September to celebrate Grandma Darlene's birthday with her.  It was a fun trip!  Some random pictures...

Huge pinecones - always a thrill for Alaskan kids!

Some nice sunny playground weather.  Love those bright orange socks.

Ball at Grandma's place!

Buddy-buddies.  Matt says they stuck together the whole time.  <3 p="">

My airport shot - proof their Father was on the trip too!

A day in Boise with Uncle Mark, on the way to Lewiston!

Games with Grandma!

A birthday dinner at Aunt Sally & Uncle Don's place.

Idaho visits aren't complete without a visit to the favorite climbing tree.  :)

Monday, October 09, 2017

Drone Battles

Long ago...last February (?)...Uncle Glen and Aunt Terri sent our family a drone. Soon Opa had to own another drone and another and then came sets of drones for all the children. Now we have shelves in the garage stuffed with drones and a counter in the mudroom is drone central. At one point in time drones were flown outdoors, but currently only the battle drones are in play and the field of play is the mudroom. Usually the battlers are Opa, Bentley, Jake, and Lincoln. Evan does not like to battle at all. Viva used to battle with the boys, but hasn't for quite a while.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Then & Now

Earlier this year Facebook reminded me that I loved this picture from three years back:

It was an awfully cute picture of my stair steps, so I determined that I ought to recreate the picture.  The little cherubs aren't quite as agreeable as they used to be (the good old days.... *sigh*....) but, nonetheless, they did begrudgingly dress up in my cute matching clothes and take a picture.

It only took me three months between when I bought the clothes and when I got outside to get the photo.  And it probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't realized snow is going to arrive soon.... ! :)

Friday, October 06, 2017

Everyday Life: September with Lincoln and Evan

Almost every month when I look through photos I find that more than half the photos have Lincoln and/or Evan in them.  It's a lot harder to get interesting photos of Bentley and Jake. They spend hours on school days in the schoolroom working on school assignments (boring photos). In their free time they do online chess, programming, or reading (again boring photos) or they are at karate (and I and my camera are not). Viva spends hours in the classroom with Jake and Bentley, but she also has lots of interesting hands on projects that she works on that I can photograph. I don't see how to change this dynamic...!

One of Lincoln's block garages.

Lincoln at the Emergency Room 
He is susceptible to croup and sometimes it's very scary.
This is the first time Kara took him to the emergency room. 
(One other time we called 911, but he didn't have to go to the hospital.)
We all hope he grows out of this soon!

Every six months or so the Death Star gets a bath.
Lincoln doesn't play with it as much as he has in the past, but he still wants it out to visit occasionally.

Lincoln and Evan with the first chapter books they read!

The Gamer with Another Popular Game
(My buddy and I play a few different games almost every day.)

Lincoln looking through his rock collection.

The bros playing with some helicopter type flying toy.

Mastering the Magnetic Ball Puzzle
(It's not that easy because if you tilt everything rolls around.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Everyday Life: September

Two Kids and a Cat

I'm not sure what Lincoln was watching that drew in a larger audience, but it's much easier to get a good photo if the subjects are still like this!

Viva is training Thea to do tricks. 

The kids were hanging out at their charter school's offices waiting for Bentley and Jake to finish some required testing. Viva is a quick test taker. She doesn't believe in agonizing over choices. She either knows the answer or quickly guesses one and moves on! (I was worried this meant she didn't take the test seriously, but she did very well on it.) 

Rat-A-Tat-Cat has been a household favorite game for many years. (We play a shortened version where each hand is a game. That way three hands might yield three winners. We all like to win!)

It's a late birthday celebration at the bouncy house. 
We go on two-for-Tuesday in the early afternoon and the kids get the place to themselves!

Lincoln is now tall enough to play in the big kid area. 

Evan is not, but he's a good sport about not having full run of the place.

Viva checking out her newest craft kit. Kara signed her up for a club that mails a new kit every other month. Viva really enjoys the kits which are high quality.

Thea napping on my quilting project.