Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where's the party?

Thanksgiving has come and gone and we had a fabulous time. We made up our own turkey trot since the weather and the traveling forced us to forego our normal tradition at the zoo. Then we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Heder's for a delicious dinner. Uncle Robert and Aunt Paula and family joined us and it was so nice catching up with them. We conversed, played games and watched movies...LOVE days like that...and then Jason and I mulled over the idea of hitting the 5 am sales the next morning.
We do it every year and every year we say we will not ever do it again, but alas, there is always that stupid bargain that we just know we'll never find again, right? Actually, I think what draws me back every single time is the fact that I can leave my sleeping children in the watch of their grandparents, have my husband with me, and get the majority of my Christmas shopping done before 8 o'clock in the's too good to pass up. Do I have to endure a lot of stinky breathed Walmart shoppers in order to get it done? Yes, but it just might be worth it.
After hitting the sales on Friday and letting the kids help Grandpa build a train set, we headed to the Coast to visit Grandma and Grandpa Short. There we did more shopping, golfing, leftover eating, and even snuck in a visit to the Aquarium.
We came home Saturday night, all much more tired than when we left. I can most definetely say that for Clara...what is it with two year olds? They have no idea what is going on, but when there are a lot of people and food and good times taking place, they know, and they become so un-interested in naps or bedtime much to the chagrine of every person around them. Why do they do this? All of my kids did this and some of them still do...their lids are heavy , they are as cranky as heck, but heaven forbid they should sleep...they might miss something big, right? Don't they know that sleep is absolutely better than absolutley anything else, I mean really. And then it dawned on kids are avoiding sleep only because it is preventing them from feeling included...they don't want to be left out...they too, want to be involved in the party...and where do they get this from? I wake up at 5 am on Black Friday to go to the mob infested Walmart. How sick is that! Another example...New Moon. I went with a group of girlfriends on opening day to see "New Moon". "Why?" all you smart people are asking. Was it because I love vampires? No. Was it because I love werewolves? No. Is it because Jacob is hot? That's a maybe. Is it because Stephanie Meyer is a literary genius and I want to support her on every single level? Hell no. (Sorry dad...emphasis needed to be added.) Is it because every other woman in America was going and didn't want to be left out? YES! Apparently I need a shrink.
Paula and Katie
Max, the pilgrim

the kids table

turkey can't tell, but we are soaking...thank you Oregon rain!

dinner before "New Moon"

And here are the suckers.
BTW, for the record, I did not go to the midnight show...I do draw the line somewhere.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Room Makeover

It was time for Clara to graduate from the crib and Mary needed an updated look to her room, so for her birthday she got a room makeover. These are the before pictures...

And here are the after pictures...

I still think we need some crown moulding and the wall above the bed and next to the window needs something, but I'm not sure what. Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Grandparents, cousins and aunts joined us Saturday evening for chili, apple cider, cupcakes and then off we went for a perfect night of trick or treating.

kitty princess

Luke skywalker

Annie Oakley

Clara and cousin Cedruic headed out the door for their first attempt at trick or treating.

And it deems successful...Clara was in heaven!

Mary thought she was big enough to trick or treat with her friends instead of being burdened by an adult chaperone.

Our neighborhood LOVES Halloween. This is one of the very decked out houses.

This house transformed themselves into an old ghost town.
And the kids got a hefty loot of candy, so night was deemed successful! Fun times!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reason #7: Halloween!

Friday night was our 2nd Annual Halloween Party and I have to say, we pulled off a pretty good shindig. We didn't have access to the great barn that we used last year, but almost better...we had access to a creepy cabin nestled in the middle of the forest which meant that once your vehicle was parked, you had to take a little walk to get to the cabin. One may have been accompanied on their walk by ghoulish creatures like this... Or come upon a sight such as this...

or this...

Or the creatures of the night may have howled and hissed ...

Once you arrived to the cabin (that's if you made it there alive) were greeted by a festive table full of delicious food, like real chicken fingers...

or kitty litter...

And then there were the costumes...

Janessa and Mitchell Couch ie. balloon boy and missing child

Josh and Melissa Merritt...hell's angels

Ben and Stacey Wolfe...trustworthy, loyal, helpful...yeah, yeah!

I'm the blood sucking attorney (notice the fangs?) accompanied by my client

Curtis and Amy Updike...The controversial nun and priest (yes, she's pregnant)

Corinna and Vaughn Hughes...damsel in distress and dragon

Ryan and Heidi Janeway...just scary??

Angela and Byron Grossnickle...KISS, Milli Vinilli, take your pick

Gabe and Dave Jensen...Laura Ingells and the Tooth Fairy

Matt and Melissa Rohbock...Victorian, that's not my camera...those are contacts

Jason and Tammy to Wonderland

Emily and Patrick Laing...goin' goth!

Scott and Lynne Nielsen...a wigger, a pimp, disco tech owner, I'm not sure and a soldier
There were good laughs, games, costume contest and a big bonfire along with fifty of our good friends. Can't wait til next year! It only keeps getting better!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reason #6: Birthdays

Around here October is a busy birthday month. We start it out on the 1st with Clara's then my father in law's on the 19th, the 26th is my twin brothers, Dan and Jon, and then TODAY is Mary's. Happy Birthday everyone!

Mary has been having more of a "birthmonth" instead of a "birthday". We needed to get her out of the house for a couple of days to get her present ready, so back at the beginning of the month she headed to Grandma's house where she got treated to a fun shopping day (which included two new stylish outfits) and on her arrival home she was surprised with a Room Makeover! (Pictures will be posted later as we still have some final touches to finish up.)

The next week she was kidnapped, along with her best friend, Felicity (Felicity's birthday also happens to be in October), by Felicity's mom to a fun afternoon...

They started by getting manicures...

After the manicures, they went shopping for new matching Halloween shirts, headbands and earrings and then off to the Mexican restaurant for dinner.

Silly ten year olds...

Oh, and Mary lost a molar during dinner.
After dinner the girls came back to our place for brownies and a movie. Oh yeah...Saturday, prior to trick or treating, we will be having family gather to celebrate her birthday.

With all that said, when she requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning, I felt totally justified when I responded with, "How about toast?"

Kidding aside, I adore this girl. She is blooming with personality and has become so responsible. She is a top notch student and a huge help to me around the house. I'm a lucky mom! And bonus... now that she is officially ten it is legal for me to let her babysit her younger siblings while I run to the store. ( I was just giving her practice all those times before...shhh...).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reason #5: Candy

The kids and I for fun one day after school made candy people and then the kids played their favorite activity of ding-dong ditching and left them for friends in the neighborhood.

Leftover Snickers Bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with a food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reason #4: Getting Scared

As if the size of my laundry pile isn't scary enough to make me run far far away, I still feel the need for a good frigtening this time of year. I'm always on the lookout for a good scary movie, but I have specific slashers and nothing Satanic. No Exorcist or Freddy Krueger, thank you very much! Some that I have found that I will list for those interested are:

*The Others

*Watcher in the Woods

*Nightmare Before Christmas

*The Birds

*Something Wicked This Way Comes


*The Village

*Sixth Sense

Please send me your reccomendations.

This year I also decided to revert back to my old college days and scope out a few local "spook alleys" in my ongoing quest for a good scare. My first attempt promised to be a real nail biter. A fun group of couples had dinner and then went to the fairgrounds to participate in "The Field of Fear". Unfortunately, the scariest thing about it was the $12 entrance fee we paid. In an effort to redeem myself I gathered several of my friends and on Monday evening, we snuck out of our house after the kids had gone to bed and headed to the Haunted Barn just a mile down the road. Goal accomplished! Laughter, screams and some serious heart palpitations occured. The "scarers" even agreed to pose for a picture with us...
Thanks ladies for humoring me! Happy Haunting everyone!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reason #3: Pumpkins

Whether I'm picking them, eating them or carving them or decorating with them...I love pumpkins! They are so festive.
I love pumpkin patches and Portland is adorned with them. Its always a challenge to find which one exhibits the best petting farm, which one has the best corn/hay maze, which one has the cheapest pumpkins, which one serves the best apple cider and which one has the most little people.
Every year we usually have two different pumpkin patches that we usually go to, but I'm always itching to try a new one and this year we did. We always go to Lakeview Farms (which we did again) and Bauman Farms. We continued our tradition of going to Lakeview Farms (it's local, inexpensive and the kids love the train and boat ride). This year Grandma Heder joined us. However, we also decided to try out Roloff Farms this year. Yes, all you TLC lovers out there, it is the same Roloff Farms owned by the Roloff Family of "Little People, Big World". We were pleasantly surprised by the good time we had there. We were always told that it is too crowded, but we must have hit it on a good day, because the crowds were low and the weather was beautiful. They had a fun collection of farm animals, reptiles and even a baby lion that the kids got to pet. They had a pumpkin fun house and a great hay maze that counteracted the overpriced pumpkins. We even saw the camera crew and Mr. Roloff himself.

The camera crew interviewing Mr. Roloff (he's in the red).

My sweet little pumpkinfeeding the animals...The very odd, yet interesting "Pumpkin Fun House"

I just really like this pumpkin.

Just sit in this chair and you can feel little too...A fun hay maze.

We stopped for dinner afterwards at the Helvetia Tavern where we ate some seriously delicious burgers.Happy kids after a fun day at the pumpkin patch...One tuckered out baby...
Like I said, eating pumpkins is another reason why I love them so much so I thought I'd throw in my family's favorite Pumpkin Dessert Recipe.

1 large can Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix (not to be confused with just regular canned pumpkin...I know people who have made that mistake...the result will be unpleasant)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk (pour into a 2 cup measure and add enough water to make 2 cups)
2 beaten eggs
Mix above ingredients and pour into greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle 1 pkg. yellow cake mix over the top. Dribble 1 cube of melted butter over the top. Bake 1 hr. 1o min. @ 325 degrees. Cool and serve with whipping cream.

And of course, there is the carving. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of this, but the kids love that slimy stuff between their fingers.
The end results with the flash...

And the end results without the flash...