Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Spooktacular Halloween Weekend!

October 29-30, 2010

We had a lot of fun activities planned for Halloween weekend. To our surprise on October 27, 2010, we got three inches of snow. Luckily, it melted by the end of the day! We crossed our fingers for better weather during the weekend but it didn't work out because it rained! We tried our best to not let the rain ruin our fun!

The girls got creative this year coming up with costume ideas. My oldest daughter decided it would be cool to be a klutz or accident victim, while little sister wanted to be a bootiful butterfly! The butterfly costume came from Robin (my awesome visiting teacher)who gave me some adorable hand me down homemade costumes last year! We had to borrow some things for the klutz costume such as the crutches, boot, and neck brace! I got some pretty pink/purple eye shadow and glitter face make up for the butterfly. I put her hair in pony tails and added yellow pipe cleaners as her antenna! As for klutz, I made a fake black eye with a black stick of make up. Added some purple color to the black eye to make it look more realistic. We stuck a couple of band-aids on her face too. We found her nightgown dress at Savers! The texture of the dress reminded us of a towel or soft robe! We even made a patient hospital wrist band!

My oldest daughter invited over two friends for a Halloween slumber party on Friday night. They played games such as hungry hippos, attack uno, the game of life, compatibility, and 20 random questions. While listening to The Phantom of The Opera soundtrack, we painted our nails with Halloween color nail polishes (black, blue, green, orange, and purple). We had pizza, soda, made fruit sushi, popcorn, and pudding cups! A total sugar rush! The girls were so silly and sleepless! They ended the night watching a movie. They had a couple options to watch Halloween movies such as Nightmare Before Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown but they thought  Elf was the best option, lol!

Our California sushi rolls! This is one trick that makes a tasty treat!

Fruit Sushi Recipe By Rachael Ray

3 Tablespoons of butter
1 package of marshmallows
6 cups of Rice Krispies
18 fruit roll-ups
Possible candy: licorice cut in half, Swedish fish, gummy worms, eye balls, etc.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir the marshmallows until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal. Stir to coat cereal evenly in the melted marshmallows. Roll out the fruit roll-ups, place some candy on the roll-up, then add a few spoonfuls of the cereal mixture, and then press some more candy on top of cereal mixture. Wrap and roll the candy and fruit roll up so that the finished product resembles a sushi roll. Place a sharp knife in warm water. Cut the candy sushi with the warm knife and arrange pieces on a plate to serve.

My chocolate and vanilla pudding cups with Halloween sprinkles!

Around 1:30PM on Saturday we attended our ward party. It was supposed to be outdoors but due to the inclement weather they moved it indoors at the church. There were many activities for the kids, such as playing games, writing letters to the missionaries, making ghosts (with suckers), coloring, fishing for prizes, cookie walk, watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and eating donuts from a string. We ate chili, corn bread, and cookies for dinner. I volunteered to bring some peanut butter candy corn Halloween cookies. The kids got to see the new Pleasant Grove fire truck. My oldest daughter won the funniest costume in her age group at the party. She got to pick out a large size candy (Skittles).

I was dressed up in Halloween colors black, green, and orange. I was told I looked like a I was ready to go deer hunting, lol!

My amazing Halloween cookies! You can find the recipe here: Candy Corn Kisses Autumn Cookies

My girls with a friend (dressed up as a doctor) standing near the ambulance outside the church!

John missed out on all the fun on Saturday due to having to work all day long. He did make it home in time to take the girls trick or treating! Mother Nature was not too happy at the time! The kids went trick or treating in down pouring rain. We had to put ponchos on them to keep them dry, which covered up most of their costumes. Rain on Halloween just ruined the fun of trick or treating! They didn't last more than three streets (we even drove the car). In the end, it was okay the less candy the better for their teeth and less temptation for me to eat it, lol! In addition, we took the girls to Orem to see family, dropped off some cookies and fruit sushi to Justin Silva, and went to Winco to pick out some bulk candy as our treat for not being able to trick or treat very long. We got less than a pound of each of the following:

1. Chocolate Body Parts- nose, toes, fingers, ears, and eye balls tiny sister's sweet treat.
2. Sour Strawberry Tape- big sister's sour treat.
3. Szechuan Mix- crackers, wasabi peas, nuts, etc John's salty treat.
4. Mount Hood Mix- toffee, chocolate, nuts, and yogurt- my sweet and salty treat.

Fall Break: Cabin Weekend with the Colemans!

October 15-17 2010

We had two family functions scheduled back to back on different weekends! One weekend with the Free family and another weekend with my side of the family the Coleman clan! What a busy October for us! Since my brother Nate, my sister's family, and my family had a lot of fun during the summer at the Critchfield's cabin, we decided to do another weekend during the fall! It was absolutely beautiful due to the change of season (fall colors exploding off the trees) and we had perfect warm weather with a slight breeze all weekend long. The nights were cool but not cold enough to keep a fireplace going. Unfortunately, John was not able to to attend due to working at his new job and had some early morning Sunday meetings at church. So it was just Nate, Adam, Karen, me, my two nephews, and my two daughters.

During the day, we all had fun riding the four wheelers in the foothills! Adam brought his motorcycle. Can you believe all four kids fit on one four wheeler?

Karen took me on the back of a four wheeler. Do you love my glasses, LOL? I was wearing some motor cross riding goggles to protect my eyes from Nate and Adam's dust while riding since I forgot to bring sunglasses!

Nate was disappointed that he didn't bring his motorcycle! The four wheeler is not fast enough for him! He still had fun though!

Here is my brother-in-law Adam dirt biking! He loves his new motorcycle!

When the kids were not riding the four wheelers, they played their DS games, slap jack, and go fish.

Sometimes the kids complained during the day that they were bored since the generator was off. It's really sad how much they rely on electricity to entertain them. So we told them to dig a hole and a HUGE hole they dug, LOL! The funny thing is they had to fill the hole the next day because they dug the hole near the septic tank, ugh! Nate was afraid his foster dad would not be too happy to see that large hole near that area!

Around dusk we either sat around a warm fire, while in-doors played card games such as phase 10 with a twist or sticks, listened to music, played Nintendo or Xbox, and jammed with the guitar hero!

Since there was a big rain storm brewing in the unita mountains, we cleaned the cabin and went home around mid-afternoon on Sunday. We were dirty and smelly because of no shower for a couple days! I was so happy to be in my own bed and with my husband! We sure missed him while we were gone.

Grovecrest Greeter and Fall Field Trips

October 13, 2010

Grovecrest Rules
I am responsible to follow directions from all adults, speak kind words to others, keep my hands and feet to myself, give my best effort, and learn something new every day.

At the beginning of the month, sixth grader was picked to be a Grovecrest greeter for six weeks. Her duties include the following:

1. Arrive to school early to greet the buses and students.

2. While on recess, she needs to be on the look out for lonely kids (play with them) and report bad behavior to an adult on recess duty.

3. Be a great example to her fellow grizzy bear students!

We are so proud of her! Way to go, girl! She gets to wear that cute denim grizzly bear cap every day and will get to keep it after the six weeks.

Grovecrest School Motto
I am a Grovecrest Grizzly! Today I will respect myself and others, obey the school rules, and work responsibly to become a life long learner. RAWR!!!

Later that same day, sixth grader went on a field trip to Hee Haw Farms. She went down some slides, went through a corn maze, played in corn, pet the animals, and many other fun activities. She went to Discovery Park for lunch after her field trip! She is on the right back row wearing green pulling a silly face with her fingers in her mouth!

As for second grader, I was able to attend her field trip with her this year since I went with my older daughter last year. The second graders went to Macey's for a tour. We got to see the different departments such as the bakery, butcher, the back of the store, the big freezer, the management, the security room, and so forth. We got free samples of ice cream and sugar cookies. After the Macey's tour, the bus took us to Discovery Park for lunch. My daughter was so happy that I tagged along! In the picture below, I am on the left in the back row standing and my daughter is sitting on her "pockets" on the right front row!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Free"kin" Awesome Family Reunion 2010

October 8-10 2010

Over the weekend, 53 Free descendants gathered at Little Creek Cabin up Paragonah Utah Canyon for a marvelous family reunion. That was not the whole family either. We were missing a couple families such as: Elizabeth & Ben Campbell, most the Silva clan, and all the Christiansen family. The cabin was rustic and spacious decorated with wild game decorations, farm antiques, etc. There were many trails to hike on, a couple horses on the property, and cattle roamed near the area! Most people got a log bed to sleep on. There were a few bodies in random places like a hammock, coaches, or air mattresses. We had an amazing time among family members playing games, eating great food, hiking, riding four wheelers, playing football, and so forth.

We arrived late afternoon on Friday just before dinner. John and I were in charge of organizing the menus and food helpers/clean up assignments. Each Free sibling was in charge of one meal and the grandchildren were the meal helpers/clean up crew. The adult grandchildren were in charge of the desserts. I believe the meals went smoothly and nobody went hungry. Friday night we enjoyed Navajo tacos and sconces made by Del Tso(a beautiful Indian woman who lived with the Free family as their foster child many years ago). We had free time afterward dinner which most people played games, talked, and so forth.

Grandpa with the yummy Navajo taco and Justin with a honey butter scone!

My youngest daughter sleeping in the loft with her two cousins Mandy and Brandon.

Saturday morning John and I were in charge of breakfast. We made vegetable sausage patties, hash browns, French toast, scrambled eggs, cantaloupe, and orange juice. It was a huge success and the only leftovers we had was hash browns which was fantastic due to limited space on refrigerator and coolers.

Next, we divided into groups (kids/granny/grandpa, young girls, young boys, college age adults, and the old adults) for scripture study. We read and discussed our scripture and had to come up with a fun way to present it to the whole family. The young kids did an awesome job acting out the story of Joseph Smith having surgery without any alcohol (a bottle of ketchup was one of the props, lol). My youngest daughter was a nurse that helped clean Joseph Smith's leg. Next the young girls did a cute skit that included a lot of singing! My oldest daughter was the narrator. The rest of the presentations were so creative and outstanding. There is a lot of talent in this family!

After scripture study, many of us went on an hour hike in the foothills near the cabin. We came back ate lunch chili, corn bread, fruit and grilled vegetables by Marilee and Rich Nelson. After lunch, we played a game of family feud, which my niece Holly worked very hard making the power-point and organizing the surveys. We then had free time for a couple hours. John played touch football with the boys while many of the girls got haircuts by Del Tso. My oldest daughter got her hair chopped too! It is a cute tomboy layered haircut with bangs that totally fits her personality!

Later that evening we had a delicious variety of soups and Top Raman (for kids) for dinner and homemade bread for dinner by Joe and Diana Free. After dinner we gathered in a HUGE circle and shared the following things with everyone:

1. What is one thing you are particularly thankful for over the last 15 years?

I am thankful for being FREE! I absolutely love my family and extended family members who have taught me how love, serve, be faithful, and find joy in simple things in life.

2. What is one piece of advice you would give yourself if you could go back 15 years?

I would tell myself not to be so hard on myself! I NEED to ask for help from others especially from my Savior. I would tell myself the importance of the Atonement, which is not only for repentance but giving my burdens to Jesus Christ through prayer. In addition, I would tell myself you're a child of God and Heavenly Father loves you very much.

3. What is one thing you are going to work on now as a result of conference or other personal study?

We are working on having regular family prayer/scripture study and being moderate in all things such as changing our eating habits, adding daily exercise, and budget our money better!

4. What is something you are seeking to accomplish/be/do or whatever in 15 years?

I would like to be a mother of four (two boys and two girls)and finish my college degree.

The next morning we had a simple breakfast and attended church in my in-law's Paragonah ward, which was 30 minutes away. I could tell my mother-in-law was so thrilled to have so many family members visiting her ward! For lunch, Dave and Kristin made a variety of yummy sandwiches, hot chocolate, and fruit. We had free time for the rest of the day. My daughter and husband loved holding the babies! John, Justin,the girls, and I went on the four wheelers. The kids played on the playground, held barn kittens, molded clay figures, played card games, etc. Matt and Chiaki made an amazing grilled chicken teriyaki rice bowel!

After dinner, it was time for us to go. The weekend flew by so quick! We enjoyed hanging out with the family and felt love for each other! What a magnificent weekend filled with smiles, laughter, songs, love, and appreciation of the great outdoors!