Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I had just happened to get my kids snow clothes and boots the night before - in the nick of time! Henry's friend Eli called at 9:30 to invite him to come over and play in the snow. He felt pretty cool in his snow gear. (By the way, this is his new pose for pictures.)
Henry also played in the snow at Max's house too. He came home excited because at Eli's house he had hot cocoa and at Max's house he had hot chocolate. To him, there's a difference. (I know this because yesterday after he played in the snow, he asked for hot chocolate, and when I gave it to him he informed me that I had accidentally given him hot cocoa!) Hopefully I'll get it straight before winter's over!
It was good that the older kids had snow clothes too, because at school, they still had recess! I drove by and saw kids all over the winter white playground making snowmen and throwing snowballs. When Gillian and Elliot got home from school, they both said it was the best school day EVER!
As the day progressed, the snow kept coming and getting deeper and deeper. Our deck railing has been a good indicator as to how many inches of snow we get. This looks like a good 6 or 7 inches, doesn't it? (I pulled out a tape measure before I went to bed Thursday - we did get 7 inches!)
Now I really believe that the Halloween decor needs to come down fast next year! I think that may be a skeleton's knee sticking out of the snow there!
So, here are some of my observations so far about the seasons in Utah:
- Spring tulips only bloom for a couple of weeks. Seems like a waste! You have to have the presence of mind to plant them 6 months earlier in September. And then, after they die, you have to remember where the bulbs are, so you don't accidentally dig them back up when planting summer annuals. (Done that.)
- Summer is perfect. Everyone here seems to like summer best. About half of our neighbors have boats - the other half has a trailer or RV. It's warm enough for boating, swimming, tubing, etc. but the temperature rarely goes over 100 degrees.
- The leaves start to change colors late in September, instead of late October and November like I've always thought. As of now, about half of the trees are already bare.
- I get a little giddy when the leaves start to change red and orange. My favorite colors.
- It's really cool driving down the street in the neighborhood and hundreds of fall leaves are swirling around in the wind. I laugh at people's yards that are covered in 2 feet of fallen leaves - mostly because we don't have trees in our front yard and we don't have to rake!
- The first winter freeze kills EVERYTHING in your yard. Two days ago I had vibrant red and yellow mums (even some roses still). Today it's all black and crispy. It will be 6 months until we have flowers in the yard again. There are two advantages, though, with a winter landscape: super low water bills and no mowing the lawn!
- There is much to prepare for before winter hits: draining all hoses and irrigation pipes so they don't freeze, covering trailers/patio furniture/AC units/BBQ grills, etc., buying a snow shovel and salt for the sidewalks.
- It takes twice as long to get the kiddos ready to go to school in the snow - boots, warm socks, snow bibs, gloves, coats, hats and scarves (I can't get the phrase "I can't put my arms down!" out of my head as I get them dressed). Then when I drop them off at school and watch them drudge off to class like a pack of marshmallows, I cross my fingers and hope that all of those boots, warm socks, snow bibs, gloves, coats, hats and scarves will find their way home in the afternoon!
- The seasons are so short! It seems like we just barely watched all the trees blossom - now they're bare! The trees only get to keep they're leaves for 4 months!
- The cool thing about 4 distinct seasons is that there enough good things about each of them that you miss a season when it's over, but are excited for what the next season brings, and then can look forward to doing them all again the next year!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I made chili for dinner, as usual, and then I took the kids out trick-or-treating. I guess we got pretty lucky with the weather. We've been told that in Halloweens past, the weather was cold, snowy and miserable. For us, the temperature was fairly mild and we only had to endure some light sprinkles of rain. The kids got tons of candy (Gillian filled her candy bag more than twice!) The girls then went to a Halloween party and sleepover and the boys came back to house and dumped and sorted their candy. Overall, it was a relaxing holiday. Here are pics of the kids in their costumes:
Captain Jack Sparrow
Indiana Jones (also named Henry)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
After dinner, the kids played in the jacuzzi for a bit and then watched a movie before retiring to the "bunk-bed room". We arose EARLY the next morning the make it to school by 9 am for the big costume parade. Elliot also had a classroom Halloween party that I had volunteered to help out with. Samantha was also part of the the sixth-grade dance, Thiller. I'm glad I didn't miss that!
Then I had to run home to start making Halloween chili and cornbread!
Our kids are more interested in getting to the final result. So, as Nathan and I carved, the kids ate caramel apples.
In the end, the kids got what they wanted - tons of sugar stuck in their teeth and their Halloween jack o' lanterns.
Where's Samantha's pumpkin, you ask? Well, she has always been too cool for pumpkin carving - she sat in the kitchen reading a book the entire time!
Apparently, Gardner Village does the same thing at Christmas time, only with an "elf" hunt and hot cocoa for a reward. So, I guess we'll be going back in December!