Halloween Costumes

So what did you wear for Halloween? Since we were in Disneyland for Trick or Treating I made a costume for me and Sister-in-law Nurse. I got the idea from the California Gurls video by Katy Perry.

katy perry california gurls video blue hair cupcake bra top diesel crystal denim jean cutoffs daisy dukes

I went out on a limb and made these daring outfits for Sister-in-Law Nurse and me. Since I didn't have the body of a 25-year-old Pop Star I made ours less risqué. That and I didn't want to be kicked out of Disneyland. We were quite the hit with all the 20-somethings and younger. Most anyone older than that didn't know what we were.

Here's the whole family. Middle Child's coat zipped up with a funny face and Baby wore a Ghillie suit.

We had a ton of fun trick or treating and made out like bandits in the candy department. We shouldn't need to buy any more candy for at least the rest of this year. And don't expect me to wear this outfit again. Once was enough for a lifetime.


Jedi Training Camp

While wandering through Tomorrowland we ran across a Jedi Training Camp. Our family loves Star Wars. This was a dream come true for both the boys. They anxiously waited in line. And Baby was chosen to be one of the Padowans!

He was so excited. The Jedi Master taught them a special move that could be used against the Dark Side.

And then they all felt a Disturbance in the Force.

Who had come to Jedi Training Camp trying to woo Younglings away from the Good Side?

None other than Darth Vader! He tried to woo them with talk of power and wealth. But none would join him.

So he brought in the big guns. Darth Maul! They chose to duel it out with the younglings. They all had to fight. Good thing they had learned a special move that would protect them from the Dark Side.

Baby was happy to help the Jedi's. When they had all driven the Darth's away, they graduated. They had passed a hard test!

So now it's Official. We have a Jedi in the family.


The School of Learning: The Beach

Tuesday we went to the Beach. We had been there Saturday evening after we got into California. When we came Saturday the beach was really long. Tuesday morning as I walked in I wondered why the boys had set up camp so far from the water. And then as I got closer and could see over the wall of sand, the water almost reached them! The tide was high and the water was a good 30-40 feet closer than it had been the night before. The children had a lesson about the tides, and we were worried they would miss school. The children instantly set about playing in the sand.

Middle Child got buried in the sand. He was in heaven! I laid down and at one point the surf lulled me to sleep. I think I found my heaven on earth.

Olaf even got in on the fun. When we get on the beach he fits right in with the kids.

Castles were built, surrounded by moats filled with sea water.

The seagulls tried to get their fill of our food. This one took a wrapped cookie. He wouldn't let go of it. We didn't watch to see if he ate it with the wrapper or not.

I was amazed at the amount of surfers constantly coming in and out of the water. I was surprised at how many spent serious time warming up, but I guess it is a workout. These young guys here looked like they were bringing a younger brother that was just learning how to surf. It was cute to watch them teach him to warm up. They didn't go very far out, keeping the younger one in sight all the time.

It was an awesome day at the beach! Better than any day at work. I know where I'm spending my retirement.


Monday, Not at Work

Today we went to visit the USS Midway in San Diego. One of the coolest things about this? We got to park on a pier!

Then we went in. Olaf got to see a Corsair for the first time in his life. To say he was excited is an understatement.

We all went on a tour of the "island." That's the control tower for the aircraft carrier. You're pretty far up in the sky at this point!

Then I dragged everyone to the first mission in California, the San Diego Mission. It was beautiful! It was everything I had hoped it to be. While most of it is restored the Bell Tower is original.

It was full of beautiful gardens. And an ancient monster-sized aloe vera plant.

And then when we got home we found the Lovies put to bed.

Do you think I can get the maids to follow me home?

What did you do this Sunday?

Sunday afternoon instead of napping after church like normal, we rode the Teacups. Can you tell that there are six people in this teacup? There wasn't an extra inch of legroom left. I was the only adult, none of the others could handle it. We spun it as fast as it would go! For some reason the Teacups mean Disneyland to me.

And we rode It's a Small World, in honor of Grandma. It was her favoritist ride.

And we rode a whole lotta other rides. Oh, we had fun. Tomorrow we're off to San Diego!


What did you do this Saturday?

This is what we did Saturday.

Beach (2)

Don’t expect to hear much from me this week. We’re on vacation! I might make you jealous and post some pictures when I have time. Hope you have a good week!


Last weekend I got together with some friends. We used to play Bunco back when that was all the craze. But we all got pretty sick of the game. So now we just get together and eat or do crafts or whatever suits our fancy. This month we decorated pumpkins. I saw this swirly, crystal pumpkin and wanted to make it.

I went to the store in search of crystal swirly patterns to transfer to my pumpkin. But alas, they were stinking expensive! So I resorted to buying some other crystals, a starburst pattern, and plain ones.

I didn't know if they would turn out cute or not but went to work that night. And it did turn out cute! I was so happy.

The crystals are purple and clear. I thought they were perfect Halloween colors.

I saw this one and loved it too. I like the sequins. They add enough bling to compliment the other pumpkin.

And my Mom made this  awesome table runner! I love the prints in it and especially the Trick-or-Treaters out getting candy. Something my boys hope to do soon.


Duct Tape Wallets

What is this mess you ask? Well, the cake frosting was delicious but the cake itself didn't turn out so well. So we resorted to eating the frosting off the top before I threw the whole thing away. Oh, you mean the red stuff! Why it's duct tape. Baby decided he'd try his hand at making duct tape wallets. These are some of his tries.

Olaf helped him and even found a youtube video for him to watch. He had a lot of fun making these and improving on the original design to make other things too, like change holders that you can stick anywhere.

He's so dang serious about it that I couldn't help but take a picture of him slaving away. As soon as he had made his first wallet Middle Child had the brilliant idea of selling them.

I think it's going to take a little more practice. But he's willing to try! Hopefully duct tape isn't too expensive.


Celebrity Quiz

One of the ways I know I'm getting older is by looking at the magazine covers while waiting at check stands. Half the time I don't know who's featured on the covers. And half the time they look too young to be famous. And then it turns out they're twenty-something! Definitely getting old!

For example: Who is this guy?

Mario Lopez: Fatherhood Is a Whole New Workout | Mario Lopez
Mario Lopez. Still don't know who he is!

And this blond?
 photo | Amanda Seyfried
Amanda Seyfried. I even saw one of her movies and didn't recognize her.

And I don't have a clue as to who this blond is.
 photo | Kesha
Turns out she's Ke$ha, I've heard her songs, just never seen her before.

Do you know who this girl is?
RACHEL BILSON'S BOOTIES photo | Rachel Bilson
Her name is Rachel Bilson. I'm still clueless!

I know who the old people are, but I can't keep track of all these young stars and starlets! Sometimes we'll be flipping channels and I won't know who someone is and the boys will volunteer the name and that they're some Disney star. And I'm amazed. Good thing they're here to keep me straight.


A Picture Story II

Here are a few pictures of Calvin and Boomer to share with you all.

This picture is of Boomer the day we got him. We thought he needed a bath. He wasn't too thrilled.

Here's Boomer looking for treats.

Baby wrapped Boomer up in his blanket.

Poor Boomer, dressed just like a person!

Calvin loved to let Boomer sleep with him.

Calvin built this replica of an Egyptian boat pretty much by himself.

Calvin and Olaf built this snow fort one winter.

Sister in Law Nurse snapped this photo of Calvin in a tree over the local river.

Here we are at Mesa Verde with the DenverAllens.

Even though this doesn't show Calvin's best side I love this picture. The boys were fighting and wouldn't stand any closer for this picture. The last time we were at Yellowstone we got a picture of the two in front of this rock and I wanted another one to show them growing up.

Here is Calvin with his friends and the deer he shot in Fall 2008.

His friends didn't forget him and found ways to keep his memory alive.

And they kept remembering him.

Calvin - We love you and will always remember you!


My Frosting Runneth Over

I love to bake. A few years ago after I had sent a spat of recipes over to all my family members I got a reply back from my Dad. It said, "Thanks for all the Fatcipes!" Well, not much has changed since then. I still love Butter. And Sugar. And Bread. And...Oh well, you get the point.

Last Saturday morning I woke up to a chilly house, so much so that I turned the heater on for the first time this Fall. And then in an effort to warm up I made cinnamon rolls. And I think this was my best batch yet. So gooey and drippy and scrumptious!

In case you haven't made cinnamon rolls before I thought I would show you a few pictures of what things look like during the process. Be aware that if you haven't made yeast breads before it may take a few tries to get it right. Hell, I still get it wrong sometimes. But it's worth it every time it turns out. And remember that yeast requires a commitment of a couple hours. It's a short term relationship that you have to be committed to for it to work, no one way street here.

I remember once asking one of my sisters a few years back after not having much luck with cinnamon rolls what her trick was cuz mine weren't very good. She said "Sugar. Lots and lots of Sugar!'

See all that beautiful brown sugar. I also dusted it pretty heavily with cinnamon, but not too much.

Then I rolled it up into this neat log. Now comes the tricky part, cutting each roll off the log. All recipes I have ever seen tell you to use a sharp knife. But that just seems to squish the rolls. When I was young my Mom taught me a trick that I have never forgotten.

Dental floss. Any kind will do. Or a sturdy string. Just wiggle it under the log and twist to pinch a roll off. Then put it in the pan.

My trick for rising bread, because I want to keep the commitment as short as possible, is to let the bread raise in an oven set for 200 degrees F. Works like a charm every time. My Mom taught me that trick also.

After they have risen for a while they look like this. Nice and puffy!

Then you bake them and spread your frosting all over while they're still warm. See how it runs over the edge a little. Oh yummy! Hope you have a chance to make your own cinnamon rolls someday because there is nothing better.