Sunday, September 30, 2012

When September Ends

October is all but here and I have been so excited! This year there has been nothing to keep me sane except for the prospect of throwing another awesome Halloween party this year. I added to it all last year with the new tradition (hopefully) of a Witches' tea party. This year is going to be fun! I can't wait to show you all what I have been up to... Happy Haunting!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Little Star Babies

Does the moon love her little star babies?

It is difficult to describe one's thoughts and feelings on days like today. It has been a difficult couple of months to watch as my decently healthy-albeit-almost-90-year-old grandmother seemed to fade after a stroke left her without the full function of her mortal body... It has been the craziest of roller coaster rides as she improved with a lot of promise before slipping away again. There were times near the end that we could catch glimpses of that spectacular lady there. A wry little smile, a twinkle in those eyes, the abhorrence of the blue fingernail polish a nurse so kindly painted on her fingernails...

This morning she answered the final call home. Peaceful was the way it was described to me. And she was a lady who wouldn't have it any other way. I don't recall her voice ever getting very loud... there was always a sweet smile on that beautiful face.

Why is it so difficult to put into words how much you can love and adore someone so special? She was kind to everyone, patient, selfless, humble, with a sense of humor that kept you on your toes. She loved everyone and you always knew that she would remember your special days, that she was proud of your accomplishments, and the love from her would always be unconditional. She is one of the best examples of a Christ-like person I have ever met.

I always loved to go to Grandma's house. Her freezer was always stalked with ice cream sandwiches, dove bars, or Popsicles and there were always crackers in the cookie jar. She would let me play with her special figurines and her little cast iron stove. Grandma made me meatloaf, and taught me that lemon juice is the best way to eat broccoli. I loved her pearl necklaces and the fun toys she kept for the grand-kids in the bottom drawer of the dresser. She would sing to me as I fell asleep. I remember those lullabies and feel warm and safe when I hear them again. "Does the moon mama love her start babies..." She read to me from her old story books and had a record player that you could read along with and turn the pages with each "ding."

I was so excited to share my life with her because I knew she genuinely cared. When I was asked to the Jr. Prom, I asked my date if it would be okay to go see her before the dance. I was so proud to share that moment with my grandma and I feel that she appreciated it a little bit too. I know she has attended hundreds of programs and talks, missionary farewells & homecomings, baptisms, birthday parties, weddings, and the like. Her grandchildren were special to her (and her great-grandchildren too!) and we all know it.

She was an incredible example of selfless service to me. I didn't fully appreciate just how much she did for my grandpa before he passed almost fourteen years ago... but in recent years I have learned just how much she cared for and loved my grandpa. What a special lady. I cannot help but smile to think of her long awaited reunion with the man of her dreams. It brings a lot of comfort to know all is right with her now. I do wish I took the time to spend more time with her, but cherish the time I did get. Not one of my memories of her is unpleasant. This post really doesn't do her justice...

How grateful I am for the testimony I have of the truths of eternal families. Families are sealed together for eternity and through the Savior, Jesus Christ we can re-unite with our loved ones who have passed through the veil before us. I know I will see my beautiful grandmother again. This brings me great peace in the midst of lonely tears. I look forward to that day.

I love you Grandma. Thank you for all you have taught me, and continue to teach me through your incredible legacy. I miss you. Say hello to Grandpa for me. Until we meet again.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Halloween: Monster Bash 2011

This is the time of year that I spend my free time concocting another Halloween party. This is my favorite party to throw every year. Last year was a very successful party and I was pleased with the turn out. Due to the blog change, I have lost the opportunity to post the details. So, as I was looking back at past parties, I thought I would post a few of my favorite parts from last year... think of it as a little inspiration for the upcoming holiday... a teaser before the details unfold for this year's bash!

The "Monster Mash-tini" Bar:

We had a "Monster Mash-tinis" complete with the "spare parts" bar. Guests were served martini glasses filled with mashed potatoes. Everyone was then able to add whatever toppings they wanted and enjoy their "mash-tini". (hence, the spare parts...)

The spread also included a few... "Dreadful Edibles" including "Purina Wolf Chow" (Chex muddy buddies with candy corn and peanuts), Fruit "ninja bites" (fruit pizzas), a jello heart, and my mom's panna cotta brain.

Jell-o heart

Ninja bites

sorry for the terrible pictures...
The Bug Juice:
 This drink was my favorite of the night. Did you know that if you put a raisin (or in our case, raspberry crasins) into a carbonated beverage it will rise to the top and sink to the bottom? It was way fun to watch! I used the Berry 7-up that was purple and plopped them in. The picture doesn't do it justice... 

Activity: Haunted House contest:
We decided to hold a graham cracker haunted house contest! Entry into the contest was a bag of a candy you could use to decorate with. We provided the graham crackers and the royal icing. 

Activity: Pumpkin Bowling
We also had our traditional pumpkin bowling lane set up in the carport. Small, round pumkins work best when using water bottles as the pins. I make sure to have a few extra... the first usually get pretty smashed. We have also used a fake pumpkin I buy at Michael's. (though, that too ended up in pieces...)
Tip: glow sticks in the water bottles made them easier to see.

Costume Contest:
Everyone placed a vote for their favorite house, as well as their favorites for Creepiest, Cutest, and Most Creative costumes. Awards were presented and the party ended with a movie (Ghostbusters) for those who wanted to stay for the after-party (the clean up...). 

we won the office "best family theme" prize at Bryce's work. just FYI.
one more, just because it makes me smile... :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Time Sure Flies!

My little man is not so little anymore. 18 months. Where did the time go? Well, it went toward crawling around the house, learning to walk, and running around the house. We spent a lot of time making random animal noises and doing funny little dances. Plenty of time went to playing with cars, balls, and stuffed animals. 100s of stories read, thousands of pages turned, and Veggie Tales has been watched more than once.
Where are we now at 18 months?
24 lbs, 32 inches. Taller than average.
He can also slide down slides mostly by himself, loves to swing, and will occasionally give kisses to a select few... High-fives (and the famous fist-bump) are passed around and we are still very into clapping for ourselves. And we finally have all of our teeth (which we love to brush, its our favorite part of our daily routines)! He eats almost anything (as long as it looks like we are eating it too)... including the curried chicken I made last night... I am so proud!

Words + English translation:
"Ma"- Mom
"Da"- Dad
"Am-mam"- Amen
"ba"- ball
"Ca"- car
most recently "Mo"- more and "og-gog"- hot dog (can you tell what his favorite lunch is? yep, hot dog and cottage cheese.)

Animal sounds include: cat, dog, cow, horse, pig, duck, sheep, chicken, bird, elephant, tiger, bear, monkey.  

Interests include: Cars, Lightning McQueen, turning the TV on, climbing, coloring in our coloring book, throwing anything that seems it should fly, and drinking water from a cup. 

Tantrums include head banging on any hard surface available and collapsing on the floor, but luckily he seems to be getting that it hurts more than he wants it to...

I have always heard the cliche "enjoy them now because they grow up so fast"... but I understand it better with every day that goes by. Time sure flies! Love my little man!

Thanks for letting me brag a bit!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Free Verse Poetry Night

As I continue meshing my old blog with this one, I thought I would re-post a party I helped put together for a ward activity back in February... Its almost cold again so the thought of hot-chocolate excites me a little bit...

Free Verse Poetry Night: 
Each of the tables had a centerpiece of old books stacked on a square of fabric. We used a mini easle to hold a faux calkboard with an inspirational/famous poetry quote. Some of the books were poetry books for inspiration/help. There were also instruction papers on how to write haikus and such... and pens with stationary for guests to write their own poems.

The mic was at the front with a few soft chairs around it and the lighting was low and relaxing. We had a guitarist and drummer to serenade us while we wrote. There was even a bongo drum for added drama. (Yes we snapped our approval and everything.) 

To complete the "coffee house" feel it was necessary to have a drink bar. :) Through a series of events I was basically put in charge of the food and drink. I admit I was excited to give it a try in the full scale as I have only done a very small version. 

We started with two options for a "base." I made a homemade basic hot chocolate and kept it warm on the table in a crock pot. I also used our Cocomotion to warm up plain milk for another option. 

Then come the mix-ins. We had a wide variety to keep the creative juices flowing... Flavored syrups, peppermint powder, cinnamon, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and peanut butter chips,caramel syrup, sea salt... the flavor possibilites were endless!


Top it off with one of three types of whipped cream (peppermint, cinnamon, or vanilla) and grab a donut to complete your delectable creation! :) 

Being one who likes a little inspiration we used the "chalkboard" theme onto the drink bar and had instructions for flavor ideas. It turned out so great! I am pleased with how it turned out.

Party Date: February 10, 2012
Provo Married Student 41st Ward