Archive for the ‘Fun Things’ Category



June 16, 2009

My dear Princess Peanut is one today! As I look back on this year, I truly can’t believe it has been that long. It seems like only yesterday that I would catch her napping in her bouncy seat. That she wanted to be wrapped up as tight as could be.


Then I look through my pictures of her. I find that she really did grow up slowly. She smiled by September. She was still such a skinny little thing, but that smile captured our hearts.

A baby's smile transforms her face

A baby's smile transforms her face

As she continued to grow, that smile grew with her. That personality that couldn’t be a more perfect fit for our little family.


By Christmas her little cheeks were filling out, she was getting chunky, and she finally started sleeping more.


By 8 months, I noticed how like her older sister she looks. It is funny how we all just seem to mesh. Our lives were not complete without this glorious little girl.

Sisters 8 months

One of my favorite memories is always the first spaghetti. There is something magical about that orange substance.


Then came hiking. We rediscovered Zion this spring and early summer. We have gone over and over again. Punkin’ loves the backpack.


As we returned from one of our hikes, we had to get on a bus that takes us back to our car. It can be quite busy and thus tight on the ride. Punkin’ was still in the backpack, but on Sultry Husband’s lap. She watched as strangers boarded the bus and held on to the bars provided. I watched as she reached out to hold one, looking up to see what these other people would do about it. That bar was her friend for the next 30 minutes.


And finally, one of my favorites. Punkin’ used to be content to be surrounded by her toys. Now, she wants nothing more than to explore and find new and glorious things to create mischief with. She loves to “find” us as we call to her. This last picture shows her wonderful personality and the excitement she feels when she find’s us.


Happy Birthday little one, you are a welcome addition to our family. We couldn’t imagine our lives without you.


W-h-a-t What?

April 21, 2009

As M has learned more at school, I find her teaching herself more often. The other day, she was sitting at the table creating Multiplication problems for herself. Wow, I so totally never did that as a kid.

Yesterday I called her into my room for just a second. I wanted to show her something, but instead of just coming in, she felt the need to say “W-h-a-t What Mom?” She had this little grin on her face waiting for my reaction. I smiled, bopped her on the head, and called her a goof ball.

So now she is spelling to me? Yet another thing I have never done.



April 15, 2009

I have always adored the first year. So many new things to try, developments in personality, and my personal favorite has always been the first time my babies try new foods.

Punkin has been growing like a weed the past few months. She is now 10 months old, sitting by herself, entertaining herself, sleeping mostly through the night, and bringing such joy into our home.

Last weekend she went camping for the first time. She did really well, but I am saving that story for when I finish editing the 250+ pictures I took (I am almost done I swear). Last night though, I captured one of my favorite moments. Punkin tried Spaghetti for the very first time. We took off all her clothes, strapped on a bib, piled some on her tray, and sat back to watch.

She seemed confused and even nervous at first. Touching with one finger, moving it around for awhile, then finally the magic moment happened. She placed one small noodle into her mouth. I wish I had the camera when that grin appeared, but I didn’t even think about it till she was double fisting the spaghetti into her mouth.


One word describes the scene: ADORABLE!


The longest 2 minutes

December 24, 2008

After reading the Christmas Story, singing Christmas songs, reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and setting out cookies and milk, we sent our children to bed.

Not even two minutes later, M came out of her room with a dejected look on her face. When asked what was the matter, she stated “I toss and I turn, but I just can’t go to sleep”.

Man it must be rough. I wonder what she can do in another four.



December 16, 2008

Those of you who live north of me have my full permission to mock. Remember that I was raised in snow, I know how this stuff works. I know that every single winter, there would be a foot or more to deal with. I even lived in Rigby Idaho for three years, enduring some of the coldest weather imaginable. (Yes Karen, you may mock that statement too 😉 Ontario is most definitely colder than Idaho).

My kids on the other hand, barely remember Rigby. I am almost shocked each time I realize that my girls don’t have the foggiest memory about what it is like to live with snow. Yesterday, it snowed pretty much all day long. By 10 pm, we had a whopping 3.5 inches in the yard (yes I actually went out and measured it). This morning, we woke to three more inches! My poor girls wanted to go right out and play, but we reminded them that they had to go to school and the time to play in snow is after they get home. There was much weeping and wailing, but it bought me time to find their old snow gear that I know is somewhere in a box within the depths of the garage.

The forcast says that it will likely snow until Thursday, I can’t wait to see how much we end up with. And for that matter, I would like to know how long it will actually stay around. Copper (my golden retriever), remembers snow, loves snow, and acts like a newborn puppy each time I open the door and let him out. Poor Phnarph (my corgi), has to bulldoze up to his chest each time he steps out. I will try for some pictures later on.

Right now though, I am tempted to wait for the plow to come through, then go buy a snow shovel. We left ours in Idaho when we moved…


When the seagull met the parrot

December 4, 2008

Princess Peanut has been growing up so fast! She is the cutest little chubby baby, and so mild mannered. We just can’t get enough of her. M and L love to play and shake her little fists around because she laughs every time.

A few weeks ago, PP started making some really funny noises. It isn’t a cry, it isn’t a laugh, it is something in between that sounds rather like a seagull. She makes these squawking noises when she is happy and content, but on her own. Usually they come from her bedroom early in the morning after a good night’s rest. Or, in the past few days, they have shown up with much more frequency. She calls out at about everything.

I know that I have talked before about Jasper our African Grey parrot. Jasper picks up many sounds that I wish she wouldn’t, including PP crying. Anyway, Jasper has started mimicking our little seagull. They even have conversations in seagull speak. Meaning that PP, once she hears anyone making her sounds, will start to giggle and make more seagull like sounds. Thus, Jasper and PP have a happy time talking to one another. It is actually quite entertaining to listen to. Both parrot and baby seem to enjoy themselves.

Now for some much needed photo’s. Monday night, we went up into the woods for a Christmas tree. About halfway there, I remembered that I forgot the measuring tape. Sultry Husband didn’t think this would be a problem, but I was afraid. It proved to be a problem to me but Sultry Husband wasn’t upset that once again we have a giant tree that dominates the house. My dining room table is now in the middle of the family room, and we have to duck branches as we enter the kitchen… of course he is in heaven while I threaten to cut off branches if I run into them one more time!

The three girls did really well while picking out our tree. M was determined to name it “Little Freddie” while L wanted to name the tree “Flower”.


We finally settled the problem by adopting both names… if you know my kids at all, you know that they were both excited as could be about sharing.


The little seagull loves to be lifted up into the air, it always brings big smiles and giggles. Even a squawk or two.


And finally, just because she is adorable in every way, one more shot of Princess Peanut (who isn’t such a peanut anymore). Happy Christmas Tree hunting everyone!



Better Late than Never

November 10, 2008

I had the energy last week to actually post a few of these photo’s over on Facebook, but after that I kinda crashed. I had to attempt to bring my house back from the brink of disaster. It looked like a tornado had come through. It still looks like half a tornado, but we are making progress.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the Haunted Barn that we put on again this year. The money we made all goes to my little youth symphony, which makes me very happy. We can stay afloat for another year it looks like. I am posting them in the order they would have fallen in the layout of the barn…

The entrance was awesome this year
As you entered the haunt, we had a creepy guy pointing you in the right direction. He looked so real that he added to the anticipation of the haunt. We had many people asking who was “inside” the waylighter.

The first startle of the night was this guy, who actually proved quite problematic when it came to photos. He had flickering lights inside his head that looked like flames, and he was bathed in an eery green light. As you approached him, his head jumped straight out at you. We dubbed him “Mr. happy”

Just before this prop, we had one that proved too much for me to photograph. It was a creepy head that jumped out of a stump… This witch was used last year, but we put her in a different setting this time. She had a flickering orange glow inside her cauldron, and fog pouring out of it as she cackled at you… so creepy.

After the witch was a stage area that we “fenced” off. Behind the fence was a scene… An organ with keys that moved on their own, and a skeleton organist who’s head moved up and down, and his arms also moved on their own over the keys. These two props were the most difficult to create out of everything we did this year. We dubbed him “Mr. Pib” short for “Mr. Pain in the Butt”! It turned out better than we could have hoped, and we received many comments that it was the favorite effect in the haunt.


Beyond the organist, there was a priest and a flying skeleton. A very creepy scene that broke up the long stage. It was actually two scenes included in one. The fabrics we purchased this year really made this scene.

The graveyard is the only large area in the haunt. At the top of a giant “rock wall” there is a Grimm Reaper that stood over 8 feet tall. The effect was topped off with chilled fog rolling down


At the end of the Graveyard scene was a static prop on one side to distract the eyes. A static prop is one that looks really creepy but does nothing, just to throw you off. Make you jump at nothing…

Static Guy sm

Just after Static Guy was another startle prop we named Jumper, because he jumped up to about 7 feet straight up, moving his arms up at the same time.

Beyond the Jumper was a strobe light hall. This was my most effective place for actors to jump out and scare. We hung cloth strips from the roof of the hall, and flashed many strobe lights throughout. If the little kids made it this far, we usually got them in here… add a little more fog and you have a terrifying area.

The final turn takes us to “superman” we named him this because of the position of his hands, he held them out like superman did in the movies. He jumped up from hidden on the floor to a height taller than I am… he was actually our most effective startle prop.


After superman came the bats. They hung all around and from the ceiling. As you passed them, two of them jumped straight off the wall at you, just as a red flood light burst on. I love these guys, a very easy to build prop, yet quite effective.


The awesome bar near the back provided ample opportunities to frame up photo’s. This guy was named “Fred” by the kids in the Haunt.

Finally at the end of the Bar we found the “Thrasher”. He was half out of a red coffin. His head was on one motor going one way, and his arm was on another going the opposite. He looked like he was trying to escape the confines of his grave… so cool!


This was such a fun haunt. Next year, we would like more help, but then we always say that. Thanks for your patience in walking through this with me, it was fun to re-live it all with you, just by writing this mongo, huge post…