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Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall Break - The Big Kids - 2017

Hello! This is Tim and this is the first time I have posted on this blog. A few weeks ago over UEA, I had the opportunity to take Taylor, Erika and Brycen down to Green River, Arches National Park, a Ghost Town called Thompson and explored Moab. We stayed in Green River for two nights. With the exception of Taylor's snoring (and mine I understand), we all had a great time! Just outside of Green River there is a ghost town named Thompson. Up a small canyon in that town there are some really cool petroglyphs that we found quite impressive.  

The petroglyphs are hard to see in this pic above, but there are some above Taylors head.

We set our alarms for 5:30 AM and by 6:15 AM we were leaving our hotel:)
We arrived at the entrance of Arches National Park around 7 and we avoided the crowds that seemed to trickle in throughout the day. I am so glad we did this, because we felt like we had the park to ourselves for the most part. We were able to stop at every outlook sight and hiked several trails and the last stop was very crowded. We are so lucky to be so close to so many National Parks and we love Arches! We were all awestruck as we explored the grandeur of the various formations, hikes and saw so many cool arches. We truly enjoyed the beauty of it all!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Halloween 2017

Halloween this year with our little crew was about as perfect as we could have hoped.  Our little horse riding cowboy and mermaid princess have been excited and talking about dressing up for weeks.  They  even found old Halloween buckets and have practiced trick or treating at the doors around our house.  We didn't have any parties before the big day so by the time Halloween finally arrived they were completely ready to put on their costumes and start the party.  Tim joined the fun and showed up as Robin to make and serve breakfast.

She is fierce!

Going to school with friends on Halloween made it especially exciting.

Luke's teacher asked for volunteers to help with their class party and I was thrilled to be a part of the party.  I signed up for treats because I thought it wouldn't require any creativity.  Somehow I ended up still searching Pinterest and running around last minute to find the supplies to finish my project (treat). These little monster donuts ended up pretty darn cute and I was excited to share with the kids.

Luke's class was so excited for their party and I loved seeing all of the costumes and listening to their stories about Halloween.  Several seemed a little concerned to know what my costume would be for trick or treating.  While the kids ate donuts I read them "Goodnight Goon" and "Room on the Broom".  Kindergartners have to be about the best audience ever.  

The school Halloween parade was the social event of the school year.

The afternoon seemed especially long and Luke and Ruby could barely eat dinner they were were so excited to be able to get out and start gathering treats.  They were mostly patient with me and my need for pictures, which means they only asked about every two minutes if it was time to go yet.  The best surprise was when Grandma and Grandpa Whitesides arrived...although they were pretty nervous to get too close to grandma when she was in her full costume.  

When we finally headed out to trick or treat, Luke and Ruby literally began by racing from house to house.  It is so much fun to go out in our neighborhood because we see so many friends and neighbors and I love the feeling of community.  The entire evening was so much fun - I absolutely loved watching the pure joy on Luke and Ruby's face as they experienced the sights and sounds, and of course, all of the candy.  Ruby was the total social director, making nearly all of the decisions of where we should go and how long to keep at it.  By the end, Luke was lying in the grass asking to go home and Ruby was marching ahead in search of "just one more house".  It was such a great example of their individual little personalities.

When we got home, both kids emptied out their bags to count and organize their candy.  They opened the door for a few latecomers and were pretty proud to be on the giving side of the candy.  We finally got them calmed down and into bed - everyone went to sleep agreeing that it was the best day ever.

Our ward had a Fall Festival party a few days after Halloween and Luke and Ruby were thrilled for another chance to dress up.  They came up with different costumes and Ruby decided to wear the Cinderella dress she got for her birthday from Grandma Whitesides.  One of my favorite moments was when Luke saw Ruby he told her that she looked beautiful and said "if there is costume contest I think you will for sure win".  I hope they are always so supportive of each other.

The party was fun with dinner, games, dancing, and a "hayride" around the neighborhood.  Ruby was the belle of the ball and Luke was in good company with plenty of other heroes.