Category Archives: Family

A Nightmarish Halloween 2014

Warning: Lot’s of grainy cell photos to follow!

One of our little guy’s favorite movies is The Nightmare Before Christmas. He has been singing the songs from that show almost as long as he has been able to talk. So we thought Nightmare inspired costumes would be a great choice for our family this Halloween. My costume was store bought plus a wig and accessories I already had, Little Man’s was store bought and then altered and customized, and Bryce’s was a hand sewn last minute creation. It took about 3 hours, and we finished his costume just as the festivities were starting. His costume was made based on this tutorial here.

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We went trick or treating, and Little Man LOVED it. He couldn’t (or wouldn’t) grasp the idea that he should only take one piece of candy, so despite us reminding him at nearly every door, he would smoothly collect candy in his pumpkin until the candy bowl was taken out of his reach. He probably ended up with double what all the other kids did. Ha!

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We ended with a Halloween tradition…party at Great Grandma and Grandpa’s house! Lot’s of yummy food (It was mexican this time) and the adults and teens spent the night terrifying trick-or-treaters in Grandma’s annual spook alley.

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Thanks Jess for taking this photo of the spook alley!

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Who would have guessed Sally and the Oogey Bogey Man were so cosy…

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We hope you had a spooky and fun Halloween!

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Autumn In Utah

We recently took a 4-wheeling trip up Hobble Creek Canyon. (These are just cell photos, and don’t do it justice, but we used what we had!)

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It was breathtaking! The yellow aspen trees contrasted the dark green pines so beautifully! A little chilly, but the views couldn’t be beat!

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We hiked up to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley. Below us you can see Mapleton, Spanish Fork and Springville Utah.

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When I get some spare time, I want to paint an aerial view of the valley to go in Bryce’s office.

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On the way down the mountain we saw a small flock of wild turkey!

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I’m glad we got at least one more ride in before the snow starts coming down. Usually Lyam comes along, but this ride was a “date night”. We’ve been enjoying the four wheelers all year, and we’ve taken some great hikes. What are some fun activities you like to do in the fall?

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Grandpa’s Garden

So, I told you in a previous post that you HAD to see my Grandpa’s tomatoes, but this post will show you how pathetic my garden really has been this year, because you are about to see some of the rewards and results of a true gardening MASTER.

This is my Grandpa. He’s approximately 6 feet tall. The plants that he’s standing next to are Super Fantastic Tomato plants. Yes, they are gigantic, and gorgeous, and loaded with tomatoes.

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He builds large round cages out of wire fencing to hold these babies up, and as you can see, UP is exactly where they have gone!  (You can see one of the cages on the left (below), as well as part of grandpa’s carrot bed, and small corners of his melon patch vines and blackberry bushes.)

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Grandpa plants them in his “Black Gold”, which I’ve been told is mostly composted leaves (A.K.A. leaf mold) from his deciduous trees that he collects and piles up each fall. He usually starts his tomatoes from seed early in the season, eventually moves them to his handmade cold frame (which is beautiful and should be the subject of another post), and then finally they make it into the garden when it’s warm enough. He plants them in wide, deep holes that he FILLS with “Black Gold”. He said that this year, he mulched with a little bit of horse manure on top around the holes. As you can see, his methods are working.

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You will also notice that Grandpa had to make his fence a bit higher with baling twine to keep the resident deer out.  They were after his tomatoes! Grandpa’s onions are beauties, too. He grows these from seed each year.

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He gave me some seed heads for my garden next season! And can I just draw attention to the absence of weeds in his garden!?

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Aren’t the seed heads pretty! Grandpa makes great fresh salsa out of these onions and tomatoes!

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Grandpa told me that to plant his carrot bed, he crushes the seed heads in his hand and then broadcasts them in the area he wants them. He then puts some “Black Gold” on top. I think he does the same thing with his onions.

Thanks Grandpa for letting me show off some of your awesome gardening skills! I wan’t to be like you when I grow up!!

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First Day of Nursery!

Last Sunday was Baby Boy’s first official day in the nursery at our church! And bless Daddy for thinking of taking photos of him on the momentous occasion!

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This is a classic Baby Boy look. He doesn’t actually have an underbite, he just throws his jaw forward when he’s being cheeky. He gets it from his Momma. The fake underbite, I mean… and maybe the cheeky.

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Sweet little thing!

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I’m not sure why he is crying in this one, but I like his cute face, even when it’s sad.

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This boy loves to color, and Daddy got a few shots of him with his new crayons (thanks Fowlers!). P.S. That coffee table has had more than it’s fair share of being colored on.

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Ok, see the look he’s giving Daddy in the photo below, as he dumps all of the crayons out of the box? A little blurry, I know, but it was a good example of his “I know you are watching me, but I am still going to do this thing that I know you don’t wan’t me to do” look. Little mess-maker!

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He had a great time in the nursery. He loved all the toys and I think he was excited to have all the other little kids around. He needs some practice with sharing toys, but he’s so smart, and he’s learning fast! We are so proud of him!

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A Jolly Visitor

A surprise phone call brought a magical guest to our house the other night.

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Baby Boy wasn’t quite sure what to think of him, but he was still willing to take a candy cane.

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Smart boy!

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He recognizes Santa when he sees him, but he doesn’t know much about him yet, so it’s no surprise that he was a little wary. Santa was so kind and gentle with him though, I think he made a new friend!

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Cheers to friends and holiday magic! Thanks Santa for the treats and the visit, we’ll keep trying to be good! What are some of your favorite Christmas memories and traditions?

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Capture the moments

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Since scoring my new camera (happy birthday, and merry christmas to me AND Bryce!), I have delighted in my new ability to take high quality photographs of my son. It was actually one of the main reasons, if not THE main reason, that I felt we should fork out the cash.

As a stay at home mother, I am blessed with the opportunity to witness nearly every irreplaceable moment of growth, every new discovery. I get to nuzzle his soft cheeks, kiss his tiny lips and subdue his wispy hair.

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I get to hold him as I read him stories, listen to his adorable singing and teach him animal noises.

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I get to see his excitement when Daddy get’s home. I get to teach him how to be “soft”. It breaks my heart a bit every time I think of how fast time takes our children from our cradled arms and pulls them into adulthood. Unfortunately, the world we live in seems to be taking that race to heart, forcing our children to “grow up” younger, and so often teaching them that to survive they must be callous and uncaring. 

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I hope and pray that I can somehow guard my children long enough, that they can see and CHOOSE the good in the world, and keep their tender hearts.

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But in the meantime, I am capturing in earnest moments and images that will help me remember the tender little kisses, and wide gappy smiles. Oh, I love him so!

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Try to capture the fleeting moments that exist when your children are tiny, trusting and brave. 

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They are honest in their expressions, with little understanding of what it means to put on a “face” of any kind.

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While they still get excited over what, to us, has become mundane and expected.

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Capture the tiny dimples on each knuckle, and the soft fleshy feet that disappear with babyhood.

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Memorize the full cheeks, and sharp little teeth.

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Catch the light of excitement, zeal, interest, and hope in their shining wide-open eyes. 

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Remember simpler days full of laughter and grimaces, that by their teen years, may not be so easily won.

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While they are soft and open-hearted and yours, photograph your children!

A photograph to a grieving parent will be priceless. To an aged parent, a distant parent.

To any parent.

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Don’t always wait until they are clean, well groomed, and dressed to to impress. Don’t assume that the only tiny faces that you will miss someday are the smiling ones. Whether you use a professional camera, a phone or a disposable camera (Yes, they still sell them!), preserve the moments before they’re gone!

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Fresh Apple Juice

Bryce’s friend Bevan built a heavy duty juicer/press using a garbage disposal to crush the apples, and a car jack to press out the juice. Pretty ingenious, I would say. We have great intentions of building one or two apple presses of our own in the near future, but Bevan was kind enough to let us borrow his in the meantime. The night these photos were taken, we were at Spencer and Shanille’s house. Baby Boy wasn’t quite sure what to think of the puppies, but they sure seemed to like him!

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I was loving the sunset light, and the effect it was having on his fly-away hair. (He still hasn’t had a first haircut!)

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Watching the action happening up in the apple tree!

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In the tree, shaking and throwing apples down to the “gatherers”.

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Now for a game of “Where’s Baby Boy?!”

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There he is!

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Considering how much time his parents spent in the trees as children, I guess he comes by his interest in climbing honestly.

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Since the apples were unsprayed, they had a few worm holes. We cut out the bad parts of the apples, and used an apple slicer to cut them into smaller pieces so that the disposal could be more efficient.

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This cutie stopped gathering long enough to give me a smile!

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Observing…something.

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Baby Boy helping to gather apples.

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Enjoying the sunset…and the homing pigeons.

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A quick trampoline break!

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Feeding apples into the disposal! Our process went something like: Collect the apples, cut/core/deworm-hole the apples, put apple slices into BYU bucket, fill the bucket with water and rinse the slices, drain water out of bucket, feed apple slices into the disposal, collect apple mash in a mesh lining, press the juice out using a carjack with a round wooden piece attached, collect juice in the bottom tray and finally dispense juice into the clean buckets.

Ta dah! Apple juice!

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Bryce hauling the apple cores out to the animals.

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Overseeing the apple press.

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The outcome of our labor! Fresh apple juice! Hooray!

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I didn’t get photos of the buckets filled, but we divided the apple juice into BYU creamery icecream buckets. The buckets are large, 3-5 gallons I think, but it’s possible to fit at least one into our refrigerator. Since we intended to drink the juice fairly quicky, we didn’t bottle or freeze any. That will be an experiment for some other time.

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