Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Halloween 2012

So my LAST post was about last Halloween, and this post is about THIS Halloween even though Christmas has already gone by. Christmas later... hopefully.

As if we didn't have enough parades in our little town already, this year a few ambitious gals decided we needed to have another. I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, it was cute and fun. On the other hand, we already have an elementary school costume parade that is a long standing tradition here. And really, do we need even MORE to do around this time of year. Nevertheless, it was fun for the kids (and Molly) and we participated and I, of course, took lots of pictures.

Jaxon had a monk's robe that we'd gotten him for his Friar Lawrence part in the play. He slapped it on and called himself a Jedi. Easy.

 Brynn wore her "hippie" costume which was pretty cute on her. We actually found her some sandals at the thrift store with a peace sign carved into the wedge heel, that went perfectly with this get up.

 And here are a WHOLE BUNCH of fun parade pics. You know me, I'm all about the pics.

Isn't it amazing what horses will put up with?!



Ramona thought is was all an awfully good time. She's such a smiley, happy little poochie. She's just sure that EVERYone is there just to see her. And she really took a shine to Harley, and Harley to her.


And this is Luke in the school parade - rockin' his Indie look.

On Halloween, the big kids were having their last night of play practice and didn't get home until way after dark. Every single year, we've taken pictures of them on the front lawn right before they trick or treat. Well, this year we had to figure something else out for cool costume pics. I took them in the doorway with my bounce flash and the dark, dark night behind.

Jaxon won the most creative costume award at school with his mom-made Gandalf look.

Luke's hat was my dads - Grandma had given it to him when we were at her house in October and it was the springboard for his cool Indiana Jones.

Brynn's colorful, shiny hippie costume was pretty much just right for her.

And Molly was Korra from Avatar. (That's her bathroom door wrapped around her waist - held on by my robe belt.)

And I had to add Jenna because she had the BEST costume I saw this year - she looked so authentic and cute as Rosie Riveter. Her grandma was a real Rosie and Jenna has always loved this time period. (Molly took this picture and it turned out great.)

So that's it - the whole big hairy deal of Halloween 2012. Yay for photos of people in costumes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Retroactive Halloween Post - Halloween 2011

As I was looking back through some old photos today while working on year end projects, I realized that I never blogged about last year's HALLOWEEN! Oh my goodness, it was the funnest Halloween ever. My little sister brought her fiance Charlie clear from Missouri to have some bridal portraits taken and they happened to be here over Halloween.
Since they weren't married yet, and since Charlie is a REALLY good sport, he agreed to let Sharon dress him in any way she wanted to. If our mom had been here, she never would have let Charlie debase himself in this way, but since she wasn't......

Yup. He was the bride and Sharon was the groom. And even though Charlie is quite a handsome man, he really made a hideous woman. SOOOO funny.

We went around town and let Sharon and Charlie knock on all the doors. Watching the reactions on everyone's faces, just never got old. They'd do a happy "greet the trick-or-treaters" face, which immediately turned to a shocked, "what in the world!" when they saw Charlie face, which then turned into a "oh yeah, it's Halloween and that's just a man dressed up as a really ugly bride" face. Too rich.

We also had Molly - our oldest, adopted, child - who has been with us for Halloween for several years. She's always a character from Avatar: The Last Airbender. This year was Zuko? I think?

The younger kids were a Captain Jack Sparrow, a Japanese lady, and Wolverine - respectively.

Except when Luke spent a few minutes as a Wolverine-Bride. Bride of Wolverine? Hmmm.

We had a little pumpkin carvin', some trampoline jumpin', and a whole lot of fun.

I'm getting to where I'm liking Halloween more every year. Especially this one!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Decor - A First For Me

Wow, it's been a loooooong time since I've blogged. I'm having a major urge right now to list all my excuses, but the short version is, I'm just real busy all the time. In fact, I'm too busy to list all the reasons why I'm too busy to blog. So I'm just going to jump in.

My two younger kids - mainly Brynn - were complaining the other day that I don't don't decorate for Halloween. And it's true, I've never really gotten into it. My own mom was very anti-Haloween. She allowed us to participate, but she had a lot of trouble with the creepy, scary, evil, death themes - not to mention all the candy - and I really do get that. But I also realize that kids love Halloween and I don't want to be a total bah humbug about it.
So I was at the craft store the other day and  found some cute bottle labels by Martha Stewart that were on clearance sale. I knew Marty had been collecting glass wine, whiskey and beer bottles from the dump and/or the side of the road. So I bought a cheap can of black spray paint and went to work - with help from a lovely assistant.

And then, after they'd dried, I found that the labels I'd bought were too big for most of the bottles, so I Googled "printable Halloween bottle labes" (SERIOUSLY, the internet is such an incredible and useful tool)
and found these great labels all ready to be printed:

I copied a couple of them into PS to resize them to the right sizes and printed them onto shipping labels, which stuck to the bottles better than Martha's labels - I had to glue the edges down on hers.

And they turned out really, really cool. I'm disproportionally impressed with myself over them. I'm awaiting an order of old corks I found on Etsy for $2.00 including shipping - apparently corks are very light - to finish the look.

And I'm kinda getting into the spirit now. Hmmmm, what next?  I'm realizing that it's possible to decorate for Halloween without too many icky things - cool without being all about tacky plastic pumpkins.

Oh yeah, now I have to come up with a Gandalf cloak and hat and an Indiana Jones leather jacket. Boy's size 9. Anyone have either of those things they'd like to lend me? Sigh....

Monday, July 30, 2012

24th of July in Our LIttle Town

We live in one of those All American Small Towns. It's one of those places that hardly exist anymore, where people care about and take care of each other. Where people are aware of their neighbor's triumphs and sorrows. For instance: there is a couple in our community who haven't been able to have children of their own. They wanted children SO BADLY and went through the whole infertility ordeal for years and finally were able to adopt a beautiful little boy. It's been a joy to watch them as parents. They decided recently that they wanted to adopt a second baby, and as expensive as adoption is, they had a big yard sale to help raise some adoption money. They had people dickering over a 45 cent item, trying to get the price down and then  hand over a $20 bill for that item. Or they'd pay $50 for $2 item. It made my cry when I heard about it. And they just found out that they're getting another baby, due the first of January.

Our town has 2 parades per year. The 4th of July, the 24th of July (a state holiday in UT, also called Pioneer Day celebrating the Mormon Pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley) and a county fair parade in August. Our parades are very small townie and homemade, but I love them. I think they're a lot better than big, fancy, city parades. The local sheriff's deputies stop traffic going through town, the main highway is also our main street, and the whole parade lasts less than 10 minutes. We have ridden our horses in the parade lots of times before. I've even driven my horse in a cart in the parade before, but we've never made a family float before. I've never had ANY desire to go to all the work to make a float. But something else happened this year. A lady who was a pillar of our community died a few days before the 24th of July parade. She was a wonderful person who raised a great family here. Her viewing was 2 days before the 24th and Marty spent several hours that evening with her kids and grandkids, hearing about what great childhoods they had. They told Marty about how she always did a family float in the 24th parade and how that was a great tradition in their family. Marty came home that night, inspired to start that tradition for our own family.

I groaned a little at first, I have to admit. My live is VERY full and I didn't know how we'd fit float-making into it. But Marty was determined and he even recruited my good friend Jenna, who is a great party planner/decorator/all around crafty and creative gal. So we took the nice flat bed that Marty made and has hardly used and we came up with a plan. The parade theme was "Our Heritage", so we decided to have the kids on the float playing some of our cool ancestors.  On the front half of the trailer, we put some old school desks, a chalkboard and Jaxon, Brynn and Ally playing the teacher and students. On the back half of the trailer, we put Marty's shoeing anvil and Luke as Grandpa Ted. Grandpa Ted was a master blacksmith, and I think Marty has similar talents that he maybe inherited from him. We also put Dallin on a horse with a mail bag, representing my Grandpa Howard who rode his horse and led a mule team from Escalante to Boulder and hauled the mail in his younger days. He was also a teacher among other things.

We put photos of some of our favorite ancestors along the side.

 This is my favorite ancestor - - my mom:

She, and Dallin and Allison's Grandpa Jeff, are teaching still.

 Jenna came up the with cool theme for our float: The Ordinary Lives of Extraordinary People
(themes are her speeesh-e-ality)

 The kids really had a great time riding on the float, especially the candy throwing part:

Marty built that cool schoolhouse/belltower piece in the middle and Jenna came up with most of the decorations.

The other entries were cool, too.

The Hoyt family, especially, is also one of those families that always does a great float for the parade. They've really done some amazing floats over the years and it's always fun to see what they come up with, but this year was my favorite. Our town used to be known as Souptown because they often ate dinner all together as a town and they usually made a HUGE pot of soup for dinner. So the Hoyt family made a soup float. It was the cutest thing EVER. Get a load of Jann and most of her grandkids as veggie soup.

They won the award for the best use of theme; totally deserved.

And guess who won first place?

 Us, that's who.

And we won just enough money to take everybody to lunch afterward. 

And guess who's already thinking about next year's float: