Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fright Night Flight

We have a favorite Halloween book at our house. Actually, we don't have it. But we check it out from the library every year. Fright Night Flight. It's about a witch who flies a "super jet-fueled broom." And on Halloween she flies it to all kinds of scary locations to pick up her spooky friends. It's all in rhyme and each time someone new hops aboard, it repeats each character...when the last character is picked up, the witch says:

Hop aboard, there's always room
for a musty, dusty Mummy,
a jittery, skittery Skeleton,
a hulking, skulking Monster,
a boo-boo-boo-oo-gity Ghost,
a howling, growling Werewolf,
and a lurking, smirking Vampire
to ride this broom.

The final destination on this Fright Night Flight is your local neighborhood where they show up at a doorstep to trick or treat.
It's absolutely adorable. My kids have it memorized. This is the book that inspires all of Parker's Halloween costumes. Last year he insisted on being a "hulking, skulking Monster." And that Reid was a "musty, dusty Mummy."

This year he was prepared to be a superhero of some sort until we checked this book out from the library and he couldn't be anything but a Halloween character. He is not just a vampire, but a "lurking, smirking Vampire." And he wants to look just like the one from the book with black hair and sideburns and a greenish-white face. He's devastated that he doesn't have white and red polka-dot socks like this vampire. Parker is so detail oriented.

As if the book wasn't cute enough on it's own, the pictures are to die for. I think they are so creative with a great use of colors and attention to detail. The ones I scanned in don't do them justice. And my favorites were two page and didn't scan in well at all.

So just a plug for our favorite book...

Fright Night Flight
written by Laura Krauss Melmed
illustrated by Henry Cole

...but don't take my word for it...

Parker's been practicing his own Halloween illustrations. I have pages upon pages of vampires he's drawn the past few days. I have to share.

(notice the green-ish white face, red collar on his cape, red blood spots on his face, black jacket, white shirt...details, details, details.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

House of Dread

My mom posted a picture of her cute Halloween decor on her blog. This is it:

Cute baker's rack, huh?

And being the non-Halloween lover that she is, her decorations put mine to shame. Pitiful. I have very little resembling Halloween decorations...3 serving dishes and 1 BOO sign that lights up. I know, I'm a sorry excuse for a Halloween lover. My kids were begging to put up Halloween decorations a few weeks ago. I was more than happy to oblige, so I searched my house inside and out and this is what I came up with...for a small corner of my home. I was hoping for much better, but this had to do. There are few more things...candles and a lantern that I just didn't get a good picture of. It's a good start, but not put together well enough...it's lacking. Hopefully it will give me a good starting place for next year.

And last night we hosted a little dinner party. At the last minute, I decided for a slightly spooky decor. I wish I would have thought about it earlier and come up with something a little better. It didn't matter...the company was GREAT. Plans have already been made for the next dinner together. Maybe I'll like Texas one of these days.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Baby's Got Soul

That's right. Grayden has become a fan of the Commodores.

A few weeks ago Park and Reid were singing 'Brick House' on repeat for several days. (Gray's not the only one who likes a little soul music.) And one time, we heard the two of them... "She's a brick..." (pause) followed up by Gray..."House." We laughed our heads off, but thought it might be a fluke. Maybe it just sounded like he was saying house. Baby's sometime talk gibberish that sounds like real words. Not the case this time. It's a nice little call and response. Every time we say 'she's a brick', he follows up with 'house.' Clear as day.

Today on the way to take Park to school, the oldest two crazies were singin' it with Gray and he joined in on the 'a brick' part, too. My baby sings soul. I've tried to get it on camera, but he won't perform any tricks on video. He's all about a live show.

I find it so funny. Up until this point, he just said the usual 12 month old baby babble. Boo, woof woof, mamamama, dadadadada, a-choo, uh-oh, probably a few more things I'm forgetting. And all sorts of other nonsense baby gibberish. 'House' was definitely a surprise and 'a brick' even more so.

My kids are so cool. Can we say future rock stars? Watch out Hanson. Move over Jonas Brothers. My kids have SOUL. (Or maybe I'm looking at this all wrong and they just want to be architects... Gray says, "a brick house.")

Upon further reflection, I've realized 'Brick House' may not be the best children's music. But I'd still take it over Barney any day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's Autumn Time...somewhere in the world

There are a lot of things to love about fall, and Ohio has them all. My time there increased my love for this time of year ten fold. I have never missed Ohio as much as I do know. Ohio does fall WAY better than Texas. So...my top ten reasons I miss Ohio falls. (In no particular order.)

1. The scenery. Just look at the color of these leaves. I haven't seen anything remotely close to these colors in Texas.
(These are all fall of 2003.)

2. Fall fashion. Not just kid fashion, but I don't have a good picture of my fashionable self in fall apparel. Fall clothes are my favorite style. I love the colors and the layers. Plus I look WAY better in long sleeves and pants than short sleeves and shorts. I love to wear tights with my skirts. I prefer loafers to flip flops. And it's not so cold that you have to cover it all up with a bulky coat.

3. I lived closer to some of my favorite people...close enough to spend Thanksgiving with these old college friends. One year, Tammy and Nathan made the drive out from Connecticut. And another year, we drove up to Vermont to visit Carrie and Chris.

4. The Circleville Pumpkin Show. I've never seen so many pumpkins in my life.

(2005...I know I just look fat, but really I'm 6 months pregnant with Reid.)


5. Ohio State Football. Need I say more.
6. Picking apples at Lynd's Fruit Farm. I doubt if apples even grow in Texas. In fact, every time I go to buy some apples I'm surprised at how much they cost. I'm positive they're cheaper in Ohio.

7. The weather. I'm ready for a little chill in the air come September. I hate that I'm still wearing flip flops. And that today it's 77 and I'm in pants because I think it feels cold. This is one of the coldest day we've had all season...tomorrow it's in the 80's again. It was cold enough in Ohio to wear whatever Halloween costumes I came up with. I'm a little concerned this year that my boys will bake in what they'll be wearing.

8. Grayden was born in an Ohio Fall.
(at the hospital)
(Blessing Day)
9. Pumpkins. We grew and carved and decorated with our own home grown pumpkins. They grew well on Ohio.
(Parker 2005...This is the only picture I could find with one of our home grown pumpkins)
(2007...I think this is a cute pumpkin picture, too.)

10. My friends and neighbors. We had the cutest old people living next door on both sides. They adored our kiddos. It was so nice to have good relationships with our neighbors. And especially my friends. I miss you girls all year...not just in the fall. But you're just one more reason I'm pining for Ohio about now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


A fun tag has been going around and Jeanine just tagged me. You open your pictures and post the fourth picture in the fourth folder. And voila...

My wedding, obviously. This is a fun candid shot my talented Aunt Lisa took of me and my college roommates, Brooke, Heidi and Carrie, who made the long drive from Utah to California to be there. I was no doubt telling them the great story of my amazing Aunt Debbie...who recovered that hat we found at an antique store the day before my wedding.

I tag the Ohio girlies...and Mom.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anyone wanting to know more about this...

...should check out my other blog. Though I work on goals regularly, I have a hard time remembering to post them. I just added 12 I think.

I had to share this picture. I think it's hilarious.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I wanna run through the halls of my high school...

Reason #257 why I LIVE for the fall...

HOMECOMING! I loved homecoming in college, and it's even exciting at whatever school Spencer is attending or working at at the moment, but no homecoming compares to high school homecoming week...especially senior year. I've missed Flashback Fridays three weeks in a row. I hope this makes up for it. I scrap-booked the entire event. And I am embarrassed to post my sorry scrapbooking skills on the world wide web. To my credit, scrapbooking has come a long way since then. Plus I was never really into it. And though I don't really do it, I'm MUCH better now. Some one gave me a bunch of homecoming pictures after I finished my scrapbook, so I'll include a couple of those, too.

Homecoming is different at every high school. Ours started with an extended pep rally between classes two weeks before the big game. Every sport and club nominated one boy and one girl to be on court and we all get our names read while we walk down the red carpet at this pep rally. Zac and I were nominated by the madrigal choir. People vote all week and the top 7 boys and top 7 girls are announced at the homecoming dance on Saturday Night.

I've always loved this picture of Zac and I at the pep rally.

These are almost all of the nominees. It was a two page picture from the year book and I can't seem to fit the whole thing in my scanner. Sorry Jessica, you're right in the fold of the book.

For whatever reason, I was popular in high school. And I attended a fairly large high school. I look at these pictures and don't think I really fit in...though I never realized that at the time. I certainly wasn't cool. I've always been a bit of a dork. But I really didn't care a wit in high school. I didn't really notice or care that I didn't fit in. Oh, to be that carefree again! I stayed really involved in high school and knew a lot of people and kind of had a feeling that I might make homecoming court.

So the day of the big dance, I got a personal invitation to a choir workshop at a nearby college. Only one person from each part got to come and I was the alto chosen from my school. I was assured I'd make it back in time for the dance. HA! The workshop was an amazing experience. One of my favorite choir memories. (Though I went with Chris Mathison, Chante Olivas, and Scott Mendenhall...Chris and Chante snubbed me the entire time and Scott I think met some girl from another school right off. I was a little lonely during the breaks and never wanted so bad to be friends with Chante and Chris.) It was seriously a great day, but the concert we put on at the end of course ran long and my choir teacher was driving us back in a school van and I was still in my choir dress.

You can't imagine my anxiety. Being on homecoming court was the single most important event in all of high school to a girl like me at that age. I hadn't re-applied make up since 5:00am and my hair was rained on and when the car pulled into the school parking lot I bolted for the dance. And I missed the announcement of homecoming court by less than 2 minutes. DEVASTATING!!! Part of the fun is getting recognition in front of the entire school. And I didn't show up? It must have looked like I didn't care. But the look on my face in the next picture says otherwise. And that doesn't begin to portray my excitement. Luckily, I made it in time for the year book pictures. Phew! Only I looked awful from my LONG day.

Homecoming week always had a theme. My senior year it was something like Dancing Through the Decades. So every day had a different decade as the theme. Original, huh? Se we dressed according to the theme and participated in some crazy activity everyday at lunch hour and during the extended passing period between 2nd and 3rd hour classes.

Monday...40's day. We were playing some game where you had to find a raisin in a bowl of tapioca. Gross. But I won. And the lunch hour activity was a dunk tank.

Proof I got dunked. I don't remember who got me, but I think some one cheated.
Tuesday...50's day. A three legged race and a massive slip and slide. That was a riot. It hardly seems fair that the rest of the school doesn't get to participate. I can't imagine why homecoming week is fun for anyone but the homecoming court. Though I remember loving it my other three years of high school, too.

Wednesday...60's day (notice a pattern?). I look disturbingly a lot like Elton John. The lunch hour activity was an auction. Each court member seriously gets auctioned off. I don't have pictures of the auction but just wait til you see what my purchasers did to me.

Thursday...70's day. But I was dressed otherwise. Remember the auction? Zac, Nicole and Traci bought me for the day. So they dressed me crazy, I had to wear a sign stating who were my masters and anytime my name was said by anyone all day, I had to break out in a round of the Kellogg's Frosted Flakes jingle...show 'em you're a tiger... They had a whistle for me to break into some sort of dance, too. This went on pretty much all day. There were a few races and things in the mix, but mostly wacky performances.

Friday...80's day. I know I dressed up, but don't have pictures. The parade was in the middle of the day and the court got to go home early to get dressed up for it. It's seriously ridiculous. Homecoming court had a free pass to do whatever we wanted that week. We skipped classes for goofy activities and yearbook stuff. We had a free pass to be late for anything. We were even granted permission to go home to change our clothes. We had special privileges because we were popular? I loved it at the time, but come on! I'm sure the teachers HATED homecoming week. No teaching or testing can really get done.

So, the parade...well, first yearbook pictures, then the parade. We drove around the neighborhood close to the school and passed an elementary school on the way. Kyle Lane, the court member I shared a car with, brought huge bags of candy that we threw to all the elementary school kids lining the street. I was happy to share a car with him. We'd been friends since like 3rd grade. It was more fun that way. Then we continued on to the football stadium where the entire high school was in the stands. (And we still threw large amounts of candy to the students...Apparently it worked for Kyle. He won homecoming king.)

I think it's odd that 6 out of the 7 guys were on the football team, but not one cheerleader made homecoming court. (Though one girl was on the football team.)

My graduating class had like the worst float every year. (I hope I'm not offending anyone who worked on it...I worked on the class float every year.) Some classes had spectacular floats. Ours was always a little bit pathetic. But fun none the less. This year, going along with the decade theme, we had a 50's diner. The pictures are awful, but the float wasn't great to begin with.

And finally, the football game on Friday Night. It hardly matters who wins. The week was so fun. The winner gets announced and nobody is talking about homecoming anymore by Monday morning. I didn't win homecoming queen. Elsa Sanchez did. She was on the football team. How was I supposed to compete with that?

So at the beginning of the game, the parade went around the field again. And at half time, the cheerleaders and dance team combined with the marching band put on a big half time show and each court member got escorted onto the field by a parent (my dad escorted me). They announced the winners and just like that it was all over. Two weeks all over with that quick announcement.

My fun friends came to the game that night to support me, even though they all had tickets to go to Knotts Scary Farm. They waited until after half time to go. I changed my clothes and had to work the concession stand for a choir fundraiser the rest of the night. It was back to reality.

This was like the culminating event for all of my high school years. This was SO important to me. From my first high school homecoming as a freshman, all I ever wanted out of high school was to be on homecoming court. And looking back, it is ridiculous. It's like we had celebrity status for a week. Why would anyone care about me waving at them from the back of a convertible? Though I'm so grateful for these fun experiences and memories, I'm glad my priorities are in a little better order these days.