Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Carving Pumpkins, Part II

So really, I did end up getting the guts out of a few pumpkins. Chad carved his, to look like a spider - in reference to Spiderman. I carved Macy's to be a skull. Luke's is a tombstone, Haley drew on hers and D carved a scary guy on his. Reeds' ended up being used to make pumpkin stew. Go figure. Someone emailed me a recipe for "dinner in a pumpkin", and Reed's pumpkin just happened to be a sugar pumpkin (I think) which was exactly what I needed. So, I made this stew, then put it in the pumpkin, and then cooked it for an hour. Pretty good, actually.

Also, as a homework assignment for Chad, the 6th graders had to take a pumpkin home and make it resemble a favorite fictional character (he actually used two pumpkins. He only got the top one from school, then he added the bottom, because he needed a body. How else would the lightsaber be held?). So, who do you think Chad's turned out to be... just one guess...

Un-Halloween school parties... anyone else out there have these?

Counting pumpkin seeds.
And pomegrante seeds.
Just going from class to class, eating anything she is offered. My kind of girl!

Happy Hack-o-ween everyone!!! We hope that you are having a super day! Haley, Reed and I just returned from being at Luke & Macy's school for their un-Halloween parties. Macy has someone in her class who doesn't celebrate Halloween, so they couldn't. They are currently studying communities in the 2nd grade, so they had a community pajama party. They opened the wall between 2 of the classrooms, learned about motion and gravity and then built some roller coasters, and then had treats - carrots, apples, grapefruit. Hello? Bring on the cupcakes, please! I had many a cupcake as a kid (still do for that matter!) and I grew up ok. At least I think so...

So then I go to Luke's class for their un-Halloween party. Their teacher got more into it, but again, they have someone with strict allergies in their class, so all the treats had to be pre-approved so that the mom could go out ahead of time and check the ingredients in them. Again, I never died... nor did anyone else in any of my classes. At least, not that I know of. So anyways, Luke's class had cupcakes, juice, and some other treats, but the cool thing was the teacher had some learning involved too. She cut open a pumpkin, and the kids took bets on how many seeds were inside and then proceeded to count. There were around 637. They also did this with a pomegrante. Don't know how many were in there though. (Ok, so just got updated. Apparently, there are roughly 1067 seeds between two pomegrantes. Just in case anyone ever asks.) I accused the teacher of doing this just so she wouldn't have to, and she laughed. That's one way to get the guts out of your pumpkin. Sheeesh, I'm taking all our pumpkins to school next year to "get the seeds counted"!

See... you can learn all sorts of things on our blog!

Happy Birthday Cooper!

So today is Cooper's birthday! Hopefully, now that he's one, he'll be perfect! No more eating shoes, chasing kitties, tearing up screen doors. Not likely... but a girl can hope, right? If not, Derrick may never like him again!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Carving Pumpkins - Part I

So, for Family Home Evening, we decided to carve our pumpkins. I was at dog obedience class with Cooper, so didn't get home til a bit past 7:30, and they were dragging all the pumpkins in. We got them open, and my job is the scooping - lucky me - however, I seemed to be pretty busy and let them do their own scooping. So, I had to wash all the seeds off. Still got pretty messy - YUCK! Ran out of time though, so the actual carving will have to take place tomorrow night, so here's some pics of the scooping and the mess part. To be continued tomorrow.

Halloween stuff...

Friday night D's work had an outing... to visit the Shanghai Tunnels. "What", you may ask, "are the Shanghai Tunnels?"... well, let me tell you. The Shanghai Tunnels are these basement-like tunnels under all the establishments in Portland. Apparently in the 1800's men would wander into salons, get drunk and these kidnap people would "shanghai" them drug them and drag them into the tunnels, put them in holding cells, and then sell them to sea captains to work on their boats. They would stay on the boats for 3-6 years, and then might get returned to Portland. Hence, the term "Shanghai" was created. So anyways, we go on a tour of some of these tunnels - their really kind of cool, once you get past all the creepy-ness of them - for about an hour an a half, learning all this cool history and everything. It was pretty neat, but after a while, it was just another creepy, unfinished basement, and we never saw or heard any ghosts - DARNIT! Yeah, cuz I REALLY wanted to - NOT! The tour guide kept assuring us that something happens on every tour... and let me tell you, I was really happy that nothing did happen! Scott and Carrie Murphy, our Cub Scout packmaster and Primary President
John and Paula Perkins
Bob and Susie Huckvale - we love you guys!
Saturday night we had a couple of friends over for a murder mystery party. It was 50's theme, and we had a lot of fun. Very surprising to find out who the murderer was. And it was fun to see our friends dressed up and in character.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Isn't he cute?????

We've been Boo'ed!

We came home from a scout court of honor last night (Chad got his first advancement to Tenderfoot! Yeah! Would've gotten Second Class also, but the Board of Reviews committee wouldn't cooperate. Anyway... ), and found two plates of cupcakes on our doorstep. There was a note which said "You've Been Boo'ed"! Kind of like a chain letter, but much tastier! Now, we have to go and "Boo" two other families - only we've decided to do 6! Trick is, once you've been boo'ed, you need to put a sign up on your door so that you don't get boo'ed again. That way, lots of people will get chances. Gotta love that!!!

Boo Bash.

Christian, Chad as "Venom", Macy, Haley, Luke, Brendan and Jordan

K, so back to my small town tribute. Not that we really live in that small of a town, but growing up in Los Angeles, this town is tiny to me.

Anyways, the week before Halloween, the city of Camas always holds a "Boo Bash". It's when the kids can go trick-or-treating to all the stores in downtown. I was talking to my friend, Lisa Whitecomb (Hi Lisa!), down in L.A. yesterday, and she told me that Montrose, CA, does the same thing. Well, a) I never knew that and b) would you totally see all these people you know while doing it? Yesterday, even though it was raining, us (and a whole bunch of other people) went trick-or-treating to all the stores. It was cold, but the kids had a great time, got a bunch of candy, and saw tons of people that they know... from school (even teachers - they have kids too... did you know that?), church, everywhere. Only in a small town does this happen. Good or bad... depends who you ask. I love it! I love seeing people I know, everywhere I go (isn't that a song?). However last year D took the kids to WalMart one night, right after school started, and they ran right into Macy's teacher. Now the kids all loved it, and D finally got to meet her... however, Mrs. Andros was in her pajamas, being a normal person making a late night run to WalMart, and was slightly embarrased to be meeting a parent for the first time in her pajamas. Ok, so I'm rambling... the point is, Boo Bash's rock!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stupid Soccer Moms (count me in!)!!!

Look at those socks!
Crazy people!
Macy's friend, Sierra, soaking wet!
Look at all those dirty, wet butts!!!

Ok, so I remember driving somewhere last year when we first moved here, and it's POURING out, and I pass this soccer field and all these moms and dads are standing there, under umbrellas, watching their child play soccer. I thought, "how stupid are they to be standing out in the rain, just for soccer!" Well, silly me! Soccer only gets called here for serious hail, thunder or lightning (these people are like serious soccer moms - dads included!). So who was out on Saturday, under an umbrella, still getting wet, laughing because the whole thing was so funny???? Mud was going in every direction, the ball was hardly moving, and there were some seriously wet little girls, but a good time was had by all!


Ok, for those of you in California, this is what is called a "season". Some call it "Fall"; others call it "Autumn". Whatever. I love it! It's amazing to see all the leaves changing colors! They actually turn another color BEFORE they fall off the trees! Crazy!!!
This is the road that I drive to take Chad & Luke to gymnastics. Much better than the 5 to Burbank!!!

More pumpkins.

Feeding the goats.
Giving the donkey a pretty hairstyle.
Reed - the only one of us even remotely dry.
This will be her "car" when she turns 16!
Cleaning off the pumpkins. Gotta make sure they're clean after all that rain.

Haley's 1st field trip. Pumpkin Patch. Fun... lots of rain. By the time we left, we were pretty soaking wet! She got to ride on the bus; first time and she thought it was very cool. Go thru a hay maze. Pet lots of animals; including stealing food from the bunny cage to feed to the goats. Apparently goats aren't too picky about what they eat. And then the hay ride to pick our pumpkins. I was pretty ready to leave at that point, but it was still a lot of fun.
And the funniest part is, with all the pumpkin patches that we've been to lately, and all the small pumpkins that we have, we only have 2 that are big enough to be carved! Gotta get some real pumpkins!

Life as normal in our house. If Cooper is going to eat their food, they will help to share his also!


Welcome to the world, little Ms. Daphne Helen Huffman! Born to Patricia (Pati-ric-ia) Saphier and Dana Huffman two weeks ago. A whopping 8 pounds, 5 ounces. We are very excited to meet you!!!

Praying for California!

Just want to send lots of thoughts and prayers to all of our family and friends (and everyone else!) in California! We're thinking of you and hoping that you are safe!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Just a cool pic...

An email that was sent to me this morning. First off, a really cool picture... but then it also offers something to think about... God made us all to be like pumpkins (uuuhhhhh, hello? - hang on, I'm getting to it!). He lifts you up, takes you in and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside, and washes out all the yucky stuff - including the seeds of greed, hate, envy, etc. Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see. Have a super day and let your light shine a bit brighter today!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gotta run...

Ok, so I just have a random thought... what amazing friends and family we have!

I totally hate school fundraisers! You are always spending A LOT of money for really, something not that great, just to a) support your school (Go JDZ, Skyridge, and the CW Co-op!), b) so that your kids can win stupid prizes, and c) because you get guilted into it by all the PTA people. So, a lot of the time, I just don't participate. Last year, Chad, Luke and Macy all went to the same school. Their school didn't like fundraisers, so they just asked for $45 per family, or whatever you could contribute. Love that! So easy! Just write a check once a year and be done with it!

So anyways, back to my original thought... I don't like fundraisers. However, right now, Luke and Macy's school is doing a "Run For The Arts" fun run to sponsor the Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington. They help to keep arts' programs in the schools. I am all about that! Nothing to sell... just support the kids, and keep art in the schools.

So, last night I sent an email to a bunch of family and friends in our address book, and what an amazing response we've gotten! Just want to say, you all rock! Thanks so much for all the support and love! And know, totally back at ya!!! That's my kind of fundraising! A worthy cause where you're not spending a lot of money on a roll of wrapping paper!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Can someone find us, please?

Here's the crazy maize. Chad took a picture of it before we went in to try and help us if we got lost. Didn't help too much though! We couldn't figure out the front from the back! Nice thought, though! We ended up in the middle of the tire, and then got lost.
Cool, isn't it?

On the hayride. Julie in the back with two of her daughters, Greta and Anna, and Liz in the front, holding Reed, with her son, Aaron, and Haley.
The kids at the front of the hayride. Luke, Brendan, Emma, Macy, Jordan, Christian and Chad.
Mom... it's bigger than me and shaped like a jellybean... can I have it?
Macy and her "precious" pumpkin. Check out the a"maize"ing pumpkin field. Isn't it cool?

Neat market. I bought a hay bale here for our front porch. D wants to know how you dispose of a hay bale when you're done with it. I don't know... just plant it or something!

On the cow train. Apparently Chad broke it and they had to stop the whole thing to get it fixed. It doesn't move real fast, but the kids all enjoyed it!

Yesterday was a school holiday in Washington. Not sure why, but whatever. So me and some of the other moms were looking for something fun to do with the kids, and we ended up going to one of the pumpkin patchs' kind of nearby. It was really cool! There was this giant, crazy corn maze, where me and the moms' got lost... and the older kids had to come and rescue us. It was very muddy, 'cuz we've already had some rain this week, and slippery, but fun, nonetheless. We took a hay ride to a giant pumpkin field, got to visit with some animals, climb on huge hay stacks and ride the cow train. Really cool! All the kids had a great time - even the moms!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Only in a small town...

Learning about Georgia Pacific paper mill.

So, on the note of community workers (see previous post), the 2nd graders (at some of the schools) up here get to walk to downtown Camas and meet a lot of our "community workers". We started our trip at Georgia Pacific (think all your boxes of copy paper) with a little information about the paper mill; then headed over to Westlie Ford, the oldest car dealership in the area; then on to Lutz Hardware, just a neat, old, hardware store where they gave all the kids a "key" to the city (very cute!); then on to meet a policeman and tour his police car; on to the firestation, where let me say the firemen were very nice and showed the kids every aspect of the fire truck and the ambulance (no fire pole though - they no longer have one... we asked!); onto Riverview Bank, a very old bank in Camas where they have drive-thru tellers, and will give dog bones or lollipops to whoever is in your car when you drive thru, where the kids got to go into the vault, which they thought was really cool; then on to City Hall where they got a 1-on-1 with the mayor and all got his autograph (very funny!); and finally on to the library where we had lunch and then toured the library. It was pretty fun! A bit of a lot of walking, and a tiny bit drizzly, but fun for all! Only in a small town!