Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Funny :)

I saw this on my friend's (The Idaho Cheney's) blog and thought is was pretty darn funny :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

"I miss Jesus."

Tonight I sent Parker (4) up to his room for being unkind to his sister. Meadow and I followed him upstairs to start the evening baths at about 6:30. To assure that Meadow could not follow him into his room, Parker dashed inside and accidently slammed his ear in the door. I KNOW, how that can happen is a mystery to me also. But it did, and it was quite red but not bleeding and it hurt a lot and he cried while I got an ice pack for him to put on it. I let him Ice it in a chair upstairs while I bathed Meadow and got her into her pajamas. Then after Parker was clean and in his pajamas he asked if his ear would heal. I said yes. Then he said "Can Heavenly Father and Jesus help my ear to heal?" I said yes they can and we said a prayer together asking that his ear would be feeling better very soon (Greg was out of town today). Then he burst into a fresh round of tears crying "I miss Jesus, I want to see Him. My Spirit wants to see Jesus." These were his exact words. I think I heard variations of this sentence repeated through sobs for the next what seemed like 10 minutes. I must say it was pretty sweet and definitely a little humorous too because of the earnestness and how it all started with the shutting of the ear in the bedroom door. I gathered the puddle of a Parker up in my arms and we talked about how we could live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again someday as a family and how we can keep His spirit with us even though we can't see Him and that we can say prayers to talk to our Father in Heaven whenever we want. We looked at pictures of Jesus and closed our eyes and imagined Jesus giving Parker a big hug. I called Greg to see if he had any other suggestions and he got to hear the "I miss Jesus" wails also and talk to Parker for a bit. Parker calmed down shortly after and I am left reflecting.

How individual and encompassing is the love of our Savior. What a loving elder brother He is. What great friends they must have been. How precious are our children to Jesus and to our Father in Heaven. "They loved us before we came to this earth; they continue to love us now; and their great love for us will never change." What a task we are entrusted with.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Something to consider with Halloween upon us...

Ever since attending a Halloween party in the singles ward at the Taggart's house (SO fun!) I have known that I wanted to have a large dress up/costume trunk! Kids that came to that party without a costume were lead downstairs to a large trunk full of fantastic finds and within minutes were transformed into something great. Greg and I have been adding to our collection over the years and recently had two YW come over and dig through it to find something to wear to a party (they ended up being Snow White and a Fairy). Also the primary borrowed a wig because they did a roll playing in sharing time. :) Since I had everything pulled out, of course we had to play in the costumes and took a few snap shots. After Halloween sales and thrift shops are great places to add to your collections. Thanks Taggarts!! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here it is Lisa!

Per Lisa's request here is the picture of "The world's smallest Horse, too small for even a baby to ride" from the fair. It's not that great of a picture because I wasn't sure if pictures were allowed and I was trying to be sly. ;) Then I saw the sign that said no pictures please so I only got the one. I felt sorry for the horse. I think it was asleep actually because it suspiciously didn't move the whole time we were looking at it. You can't tell from the picture but it was about the size of a large dog like a Rottweiler or something. If you have read the children's book "Good Dog Carl" by Alexandra Day (I recommend it!) you will know that babies CAN ride on dogs..or horses the size of dogs. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Fair Experience

We went to the State Fair today today with our canned food and had a great time for only 40 bucks! We had fun seeing the animals and all of the sites and the kids played one of the fishing games where you always win a prize. We couldn't rationalize spending TWENTY dollars for the 4 of us to ride the ferris wheel this year but we let Parker choose his favorite ride to ride (Meadow was asleep in the stroller) and they let me go with him for free because we started to leave when we saw the sign that said "must be accompanied by paid adult." Then off to one of our favorite parts of the fair where they make delicious fresh apple cider freezies and the blue grass band plays and it smells like kettle corn. :) Before leaving, we had to get one frozen cheesecake dipped in chocolate to share (I call it happiness on a stick), cotton candy for the kids, and check out the "world's smallest horse, too small for even a baby to ride" for 50 cents. One flying pony on a stick and a light up light saber- $9, leaving the fair with happy children, tired feet and smelling like a combination of farm animals and smoke - priceless :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dinner in a Pumpkin

I got the idea from the Carlile Family Blog - Thanks Guys! I had never heard of it but it sounded like so much fun so I searched recipes online and thought everyone might like to make "Dinner in a Pumpkin!" Scroll down for an allergy free version.

1 pumpkin medium size
1 onion small
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 10 3/4-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups white rice

Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and clean it out.

Put rice and water in a microwave safe dish and cook on high until rice is tender (about 15 mins.)

Brown ground beef in a large frying pan and add onions to saute. When ground beef is no longer pink add the rest of the ingredients and stir until completely mixed.

Mix ground beef mixture and rice together and pour into pumpkin.

Put the top back on the pumpkin and bake at 350 for 1 hour. (Make sure to use roasting pan to avoid a big mess)

Be sure to scoop out part of pumpkin when serving.

Allergy free version I found:

Dinner in a Pumpkin (Serves 4):
1 small to medium pumpkin (or 4 small sugar pie pumpkins if you want to serve individually, as shown above)
1 onion - chopped
1 cup soy milk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts - drained (or use 1 8oz. can of Hearts of Palm)
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey/beef
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 tbsp. WHEAT-FREE soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. favorite seasoning mix

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Cut off top of pumpkin(s); clean out seeds and pulp.
3) In a large skillet, sauté onion in oil until tender; add meat and brown.
4) Drain drippings from skillet.
5) Add WHEAT-FREE soy sauce, brown sugar, seasoning and soy milk; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.
6) Add cooked rice and water chestnuts (or hearts of palm).
7) Spoon mixture into pumpkin shell.
8) Replace pumpkin top and place entire pumpkin, with filling, on a baking sheet.
9) Bake for 1 hour or until inside meat of pumpkin(s) tender.
10) Put pumpkin(s) on a plate(s); remove top and serve!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Clone Trooper vs. Scooby Doo

What can I say, October has been an exciting month! Today Parker attended the always fun, 3rd annual - for him, Allergy Free Halloween Celebration put on by NC Faces, a local Food Allergy Support Group for families. They play games, have a parade through the park and then each family contributes non-food items for the kids to hunt for in the woods, except this year it was too muddy so it was more like trick or treating. Parker loved it (Meadow was sleeping) and it is nice to talk to other parents and not worry about what's in the candy. :)

This week's excitement

Battery died in the van for no apparent reason. My awesome friend and neighbor Aubrey Packham came to the rescue and between the two of us and the trusty Odyssey Owner Manual we managed not to blow anything up :) I know, a simple thing, but still, a proud girl moment. :) Thanks Aubrey!! (P.S. that WAS the anti-theft horn honking because I noticed the anti-theft light was flashing on the dash when I was driving around afterward. hahaha!

Greg's short film "Broken" got accepted into the Asheville Film Festival! He didn't want me to post this because it might not win anything but STILL, finishing it and getting it accepted are things to be proud of if it wins anything or not :) Way to go Love!
To give a very brief description of the film: "Broken is a warm hearted supernatural drama that proves all we need sometimes is a second chance."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some Halloween Fun for everyone

The Kiwanis and Rotary Club out in Holly Springs are sponsoring the 6th Annual Holly Springs Haunted School. The Haunted school has not so scary times for little ghouls and scary times each night.

Haunting at Harris: Halloween Town out at Harris Lake County Park is a fun annual family event. Fun games, pumpkin carving and a hayride out to the town of Buckthorn makes for a great Fall afternoon.
Along with bats and black cats, wolves are another great Halloween animal.

Head over to the NC Zoo for HOWL-O-Ween to learn the howls and tales of the Red Wolves.

October on the Neuse is a fun free fall celebration for the whole family at Anderson Point Park. The celebration includes inflatables, a hay maze and children's carnival games. Remember to bring an uncarved pumpkin for the Pumpkin Decorating Contest.

Ken's Korny Corn Maze, started in 2000, and has amazed and amused visitors since it's first day open. The maze is worked out as early as February where put on paper their ideas to turn six acres of a cornfield into two miles of twists and turns. It takes four men working in the field to make the patterns. The corn is about two feet tall when they start shaping and when they finally finished the first week of July it is head tall. To make the five-foot paths corn stalks are actually pulled out rather than cutting them, to avoid leCome out and see usaving dangerous stubs in the ground. The average time to maneuver the maze take 60-75 minutes. When you get in there, all you see is cornrows and blue sky. You might also hear some passing planes. Many planes often circle around to go over the field again, slowly and lower. You will get out there and learn about farm life and get some exercise, it's a lot of good, family fun. (Greg just worked on a commercial for them with Frankenstein running through the corn and said it looked like fun)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Great Appalachian Adventure


Traveling the 3 hours to Virginia we had a bit of rain and it was very cloudy so we hoped that it would clear up so we could see out from the mountains we were hiking and warm up a bit. We stopped for lunch at a Subway and met a really nice local guy who we invited to eat with us and he gave us some good tips about the part of the trail we were hiking. Dropped 1 car off at the end location and then came back to the starting point to begin - yeay!

Hiked 3.8 miles in Jefferson National Forest. Today was mostly uphill. It was a very misty lovely cool fall day. Perfect hiking weather! The fall leaves are gorgeous. Some parts of the trail are really rocky and some of the rocks were moss covered. We camped in a clearing near a beautiful meadow. We made dinner using boiled water boiled in a cute little pot on the propane stove that we shared and then added the water to dehydrated meals. Tonight was Polynesian Chicken, broccoli and cheese mashed potatoes and then Greg and I split a freeze dried ice cream sandwhich. I think I could have eaten 12 of those - Yum. Actually everything was really good. The mashed potatoes kind of turned out like soup but it was cold, so it was perfect! The funny of the day was the following conversation: Robbie: "This (dinner) is surprisingly satisfying." Philip (worked with Greg and Rob at UNCTV): "Yeah it is, sitting out here in a field full of poop. If someone brought this to me in a restaurant, I'd throw it in their face."

Philip found a cool survivor man area that blocked the wind and we all hung out after dinner and had a nice circle chat time. It was too foggy and cloudy for cell phone reception tonight so I didn't get to say goodnight to my babies. :(

We each carried part of Greg's "hetero-life partner" (one redeeming part of the gymnastics movie "Stick-it") Robbie's 3 Man tent in our packs and decided to all stay in it versus pack in another heavy tent. Which may sound very weird and creepy but really it wasn't - just logistics. Greg was in the middle of course and I felt just like one of the boys. hahahaha. I am sitting here writing by the light of my headlamp in the tent as we speak listening to them both laughing like school boys. It is contagious. I laughed like a school boy myself, just a little higher pitched. They are hilarious. They are telling old scouting stories, repeating lines from movies and talking about snakes in their boots and what would everyone do if we just started honking the bear horn over and over. I brought a paper back Book of Mormon and just read in Mormon about Moroni being alone to tell the great destruction of his people and hiding the records up and "Wither I go it mattereth not." It feels very real out here in the wind with the tent flapping. How difficult that must have been.


Last night we all slept terrible!! It was so windy that the tent kept flapping franticly and spraying water on our faces. We could hear people from the other tent snoring. I woke Greg up once because it sounded like a bear snorting and then I kept imagining one just outside the tent getting ready to bite my face- eeeek! I had to keep changing which side I slept on every half hour or so, so that my arms could take turns falling asleep. We got up for good around 6 to catch the sunrise. It was freezing, but worth it and no one was sleeping anyway. We had fun taking pictures jumping in a field after that.

Breakfast was adding water to dehydrated eggs and bacon bits and gravy with sausage bits in it. I think everything tastes good when you are camping really, but It was just ok. The bacon and sausage had the consistency of jerky - stayed really chewy. hehehe.

Today we hiked about 9.5 miles. We stopped to refill our water at Scales Horse Coral and we used a really good filter but the sign saying "Water untested, boil 5 min." made me slightly nervous. Holy Smokes the trail was gorgeous today. The trees and hillsides were glorious. We crossed 3 small streams. The landscape changed alot, We felt like we went through Narnia and then Middle Earth. We climbed a quaint little A-frame ladder to get over a barbed wire fence and went through a narrow gap in a stretch of Rock aptly named "Fat Man's Gap." We stopped at a lovely spot for lunch and made our dehydrated pad-thai. It was actually pretty good too. Then we continued hiking and made it into Grayson Highlands National Park. Almost immediately we saw one of the wild ponies the highlands are famous for. The ponies love the hikers and visitors and we got to pet them and it was so fun. Everyone we have met on the trail has been so nice. We met a local family hiking around the highlands and they took our phone numbers on a toilet paper roll to call our families and let them know we were doing fine since we hadn't got cell service back yet. The second half of today the trail was pretty rocky. It was a little tough on the ankles and knees and I snapped my walking stick in half stepping off of a really big rock. It gets so cold and windy when the sun goes down at 6:30. We found the perfect place to camp on Mt. Rogers in a sheltered area of trees that already had a fire pit made. This area is really crowded actually. There were some scouting groups etc. It was kind of comforting though having the noise around. No bears will be bothering us tonight. :) Dinner was not good tonight. Jamaican BBQ Chicken and rice and a side of red beans and rice. They were kind of crunchy and spicy but with no taste and they actually tasted identical to me. I wish I had a snickers bar and a big bowl of soup...and a hot tub...yeah!! :) The great news today is that we finally got cell signals and got to speak to our families - Hooray!

We all slept way better with the wind cut way down and the tent not spraying water in our faces. I didn't get cold and for whatever reason my arms didn't fall asleep as much either. I remember going to sleep a little thirsty because I was too lazy to get out of the tent and find my water in the cold. Never do that. Robbie woke up once in a claustrophobic panic because Greg had accidently squished him against the tent wall and he couldn't find the zipper in his sleeping bag to get out. hehehe, It was very funny to hear him describe it.


Woke up to another beautiful day. Made a really yummy warm blueberry granola and hot chocolate. :) Hiking down Mt. Rogers, Robbie spotted two more ponies off of the trail so we hiked up to them and thought it was a lovely way to spend part of the last day! Then we continued on to Thomas Knobb Shelter and refilled our water from a spring there. It was such a pretty hike to Thomas Knobb. Lots of pine trees along the trail made it smell like Christmas! Greg was extra sweet today and always helped me put my pack on and off. Further down the trail the landscape changed to more of a hardwood forest and then to the open hills and fields and the end of our journey. Today we hiked about 5.8 miles. What a great feeling to reach the finish line and a lovely one at that. What an all around great trip! Great sights to see, really genuinely nice hiking company, and a mentally rejuvenating rest from the hectic pace life sometimes has.

We piled into the car and drove back to the starting point to pick up the other car and the plan was to go to Subway again on the way home. We were behind the other car. I kept feeling like there were so many turns in the road and started to feel sick. I told Greg I thought I might throw up. He said to roll down the window so I did and then I waited to see if the feeling would pass and I passed out and threw up IN the car while I was passed out! Greg pulled over and pulled me out of the car still unconscious and then I came to covered in puke in the empty parking lot of a post office. I took me what seemed like forever to figure out where I was and I had a headache the size of Mt. Rogers ;) So we thought I was dehydrated and I changed clothes and Greg and Rob gave me a blessing. Thanks guys. I drank some water and then threw up 4 more time (2 out the window, 2 on the side of the road.) So we kept driving and saw a Blue Hospital sign in Sparta, NC, Alleghany County and they gave me an IV and I felt SOOO much better. It was CRAZY how suddenly it came on. I am grateful It waited until I was finished hiking. I think it was all of the combined prayers that everything would go well for us and at home. I am also grateful the other car didn't see us pull over!! Two witness to me passing out and puking is quite enough thank you :) DRINK MORE WATER. DRINK MORE WATER. DRINK MORE WATER. My new hiking mantra. :)

Big Thank You's to both Greg's parents for taking care of our sweeties during the three days and to my Mom and Natalie for visiting and taking care of the sweeties on Sunday when we had the lovely hospital delay. Love and hugs to you all!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Best Job is Mom

Parker had his first preschool field trip to the Apex Fire Department. It was fun to tag along as a chaperone and Meadow felt like she was a big kid too :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Down on the Farm

Down to the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect pumpkin and hopefully get the perfect picture of your pumpkins picking it is always a fun adventure. We were losing daylight and 86 pictures later (Do we LOVE digital?!), someone refusing to smile or look at the camera, someone crying to go see the donkeys, someone's eyes closed on accident, a frustrated camera man (you get the picture) and we finally managed to get a picture of both children smiling and enjoying themselves at the same time. How? Put a pumpkin on your head and pretend it is about to fall off while stumbling around saying WOAH, WOAH!!! It is good that we had the place to ourselves ;)

Friday, October 3, 2008

October is a great time to go to the beach!

We decided to do a day trip to the beach this week. We weren't feeling quite right about ending the summer without a beach trip so we loaded up the van and off we went. Here are our favorite tips for a successful day trip.
1. The sooner you can leave the better so pack the night before. Bring beach umbrellas/tent if you have them.
2. The morning of, pack a cooler with lots of snacks and lunch so you don't have to leave the beach if you don't want to.
3. Drive around until you find a public beach access with a outdoor shower.
4. Bring a bar of soap and extra towels to shower off with at the end of the day. Warn the children that the shower water is a little cold (like the ocean) and see how brave they can be. Can shower in swimsuits and wash out the suits as well, or hold up a towel for privacy while de-sanding.
5. Bring a big garbage bag to put all of the sandy clothes, towels etc. in.
6. After you de-sand the children, put them in their pajamas for the ride home. They just might be asleep before you get out of the parking lot. :)