Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I'm a lover of holidays. They add some excitement to the droll of every day life and it gives a great excuse to spend time together and create family traditions.

Halloween was on a Sunday this year and I'm glad because we actually spread out our festivities over the entire weekend. It was nice, because sometimes it's a lot to pack into one day.

Usually I'm lazy and just make sliced apples and caramel dip, but this year we made real caramel apples with nuts, drizzled chocolate and sprinkles. As you can tell by this picture-- it was very yummy.

Carving pumpkins. This year I got one for each kid (the younger ones got the small pie pumpkins). That worked out great because they could all be creative and there was no fighting! :) I'll be doing that every year.

Here is Lauren's hair. She was Cinderella this year and so we made her hair so "pretty". She loved it!

From the back.

Here she is in her costume.

And another back shot.

Kohler wanted to be a skeleton.

He thought it was cool that we painted his face white.

Alyssa was a Musketeer this year.

A very cute Musketeer.

We always call Brynlie, "B". So it's only fitting that she is a "B"for Halloween. :)

I was going to make black antennas to put on her headband, but I put two piggies in her hair and thought it looked so cute, I just left it that way.

Kamary is a funny girl. She has made an alter ego for herself. She is Kamary Smith, but also Gaine (pronounced Jane) Smith-- rock star (kind of like Hannah Montana vs. Miley Cyrus). So this year, she dressed up as Gaine Smith. She's even written a song called "We Will Survive". It actually is catchy and I find myself singing it during the day. Lauren sings it all the time. She's Gaine Smith's first and biggest fan!

A close up.

I haven't dressed up in years and decided that this year I would be Jane Austen's, Emma. It was a lot of fun.

Another back shot.

Jason did Hanna's makeup.

He did a GREAT job! Hanna went as Darth Maul this year. They made her lightsaber out of PVC pipe. She was pretty excited about it.

Close up. Some people had a hard time recognizing her.

All my cute kiddos together.

In the car, after the trunk or treat party.

On Halloween we have a tradition of eating Taco Soup out of a pumpkin. Yummy!

Here's our spooky Jack-o-lanterns.

We made Mummy cupcakes for dessert (out of devils food cake, of course).

Here are our spider web decorations. The kids look forward to Halloween each year and this year we really had a great time!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mogollon Rim

We had Fall Break this week and the kids begged us to go camping. So Jason took a couple of days off and we headed north to the Mogollon Rim near Payson, AZ.

It was so beautiful. Even though I live in the desert and long to be in greener pastures, I am glad that Arizona has places that I can visit and get respite from the sagebrush and saguaro cactus (unlike other states I could mention but won't).

Here are some pics of our fun camping trip!

We found a great campsite at the Christopher Creek campground.

Yo dude! This place rocks!

Alyssa is making a bed for her barbie.

Setting up the tent. Alas, it fell apart after this trip, but it has served us well and has given us many wonderful camping memories.

This is how my husband starts a fire. How about yours?

Saying "Good Morning" to the pooch.

Just waking up.

The mornings were pretty cold, but we had hot cocoa and a morning fire to warm us up.

Hanging by the fire.

Getting hugs from Daddy.

What a dirty face!

Here is a shot of our campsite. What you don't see is the mountainside across the street that is filled with many fun places to explore.

Love this dirty smile!

Kamary loves to create and pretend. The kids actually made a huge shrine, but I didn't get a picture. :(

Relaxing with Minnie.

During the day we headed to Woods Canyon Lake. It was so beautiful. There was a trail that went all the way around the lake. We only took it part of the way, but loved it! We even got a little taste of Autumn.

Here's a shot with the lake and a fisherman. They rent fishing boats for $45 for 4 hours. That's going on our "things to do" list!

Lauren & Alyssa.

At the lake.

Lauren's dipping her feet in the lake-- giving the "princess" pose.

Roasting hot dogs over the fire. My kids love roasting things. They keep coming up to me and asking, "Now what can I roast?" This time we did the normal hot dogs and marshmallows but also added shrimp and mushrooms. Yummy.

Alyssa found a secret hideout.

Her hideout was only a few feet from our campsite.

Getting ready to pack up the car. It looks empty now, but we packed that thing full, using up every available space!

Another Brynlie smile-- can't get enough of them.

Hanna's roasting one more hot dog before we douse the fire and head home.

Minnie found a comfy place to rest under the picnic table.

We really enjoyed our trip. It was kind of hard coming back to the desert. At least we have pictures and memories that can tide us over until next time!