Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jack-o-Lanterns 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

One of the best things about Halloween is carving Jack-o-lanterns! I love the smell of freshly cut pumpkins. I love digging in with my hands and getting elbow deep in the goppily-goo, and I especially love pumpkin seeds! What could be yummier that a batch of seeds sprinkled with a little season salt and toasted in the oven until they are crispy and warm? (It's just a bonus that they happen to be good for you as well.)

It's too bad that this day only comes once a year. I get pumpkins, my kids get candy- everyone's happy. And I can always use a little more happy.





Laura's Pumpkin





Kimball's Pumpkin

Tustin's Pumpkin

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bringing the Wild West to NY!

With our Ward Halloween party last Saturday we were able to try out the costumes a little early this year. I think the boys were more excited about their weapons ( pistols, rifles, and spears) than their actual clothing, and Laura?- she's all about the candy!! ( the bucket NEVER leaves her side- even while sleeping!)


(Three cowboys and an Indian)

(This picture isn't very good of the kids, but it is the ONLY one of me. (such is the fate of the family photographer- we never actually get any film time ourselves.)

(Laura, my little buccaneer!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Normal Costumes--- Anyone????

I've recently been made the "activities chairperson" in our ward. This basically means that I'm responsible for planning a bunch of parties and get-togethers for our church. Unfortunately for me, the previous person in charge of this endeavor was amazing, (shout out to you Rachel) so I have a very hard act to follow. ( As a side note, if at any time you attend a terrific activity, whether with your own church or elsewhere, I would love to hear about it. When it comes to this sort of thing I am all about plagiarizing other's great ideas!) ....

...On to the real reason I am writing about this. Most every year I make my family's Halloween costumes. I just like doing it. (In some way, I think it connects me to my own childhood and especially to my Mom. My Mother was, and is, an amazing "costume developer." If it was Halloween, or you had a presentation for a class, or a school assembly to perform in , she was your gal. It's an amazing gift she has. You need to be a mad scientist? An Indian Chief? A bunch of grapes? A disco freak? Odds are my Mother had just the thing you needed hiding in her closets of wonder- and with the help of her magic sewing machine, within minutes you had the most fabulous, often outrageous, ensemble to delight everyone.......so every time I try and make a costume for my own family I think of her and all those great "dress-up" memories she gave me. I want my kids to have those kinds of memories with me- and thus, when it comes time to be a Jedi or whatever- I get out the goods and start to create.)

Now- back to the beginning- since I have found myself in charge of things, like Halloween parties, I have also found myself with far less time and energy to make my families' costumes, so I decided I would just do the normal thing and buy them. In fact, I was really looking forward to how easy this was going to be. I went to the local Costume Superstore and found adorable attire for the kids and even my husband. Now- onto myself. Where could I find a fun costume for me? It should be in the women's section of the costume store. But, I was soon to discover something very disturbing...

....In the year 2007 a woman, and a mother, such as myself cannot buy a costume in the store. Why, you ask? It seems the only costumes sold for an adult women are for "babes,"- or what I would call "women for sale." For example, would you like to be nurse? Sorry- your only option is to be a "naughty nurse." Perhaps you would like to be something cute like "Holly Hobby?" Sorry again- you're only option is to be the ultra, super slutty, Holly Hobby. What is going on here?

I do not have a problem with "bedroom costumes." They certainly have a place in any fun, healthy, and married (had to throw that in there) relationship. But, that is what they are- bedroom costumes! And that is where they should stay. What self-respecting woman, or mother, wants to parade around like a royal slut for the public? It would seem that costume makers are convinced that this is what the American woman wants. "Party City" has all of about 2 women's costumes that consist of more than a bra and loin cloth! I felt like I needed to shield my 5 yr. old's eyes from the display shelves. Was this Party City, or some sort of porn shop!

I am getting pretty fed up with living in a society that has so completely demoralized woman that we can't even show up to our own church Halloween party as a regular vampire! Oh no- a woman of today would never want that- she wants to be a "hungry like a wolf" vampire- if you catch my drift! Ugh!!

So-it's back to the sewing machine for me and if I never find the time to make something I can wear without shame, I will just have to be plain old Amanda.

Atleast I can keep my self-respect.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wisdom from a 5 yr. old

Last week there was a minor fire at my sons' elementary school. Fortunately it was contained and all the children were evacuated safely. However, being that they could not return to school that day all the parents were requested to pick up their children immediately. I quickly drove to the High School (the designated pick-up locale) and joined the other 400 or so parents in line waiting to claim their kids. ( That's another story best abbreviated into two words: "complete mayhem").

Anyway, once I'd gathered my kids, they expressed their concern that they had to leave their backpacks and precious belongings. This gave us a good opportunity to talk about what really is important, and we agreed that getting ourselves and our friends out of danger was more important than things. People matter because they cannot be replaced. Material things do not matter because simply, they can.

I thought we were all on the same page with that.... Yet, as soon as we had finished this meaningful discussion, my five year-old looked up at me with his big blue eyes and shared his deep, deep thoughts....

..... "But, Mom, if you're in an emergency and you have to choose between friends and food, you should choose food right? Because if you don't have food you would die."

There you have it. Let this be a warning to all of Kimball's friends---If it comes down to you and the Chef BoyarDee, Kimball will choose the canned goods every time. A kids got to eat right?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance?

Amanda, Marianne, and Rachel

A savvy friend of mine ( shout out to you Rachel) was able to procure 3 tickets to the "So You Think You Can Dance Concert."- It was awesome! I've always been a big fan of the show, but seeing the dancers live is pretty incredible. I'm not even sure how some of the moves they pull off are even possible! They are pretty inspiring.

Now, I do have to say that lately every time I go to an event like this I feel a little pull on my heart and I find myself fighting the blues. I'm getting so old! Once upon a time I called myself a dancer... Where is that girl? I'm not even sure I could pull off a decent triple pirouette anymore. How did this happen? Motherhood and life took over, I guess.... Still, it is mildly depressing for me to realize that that label of "dancer" I once wore so proudly has been sitting under a dusty pile of "non-use" for so long that I'm not sure it could be brought back to life if I tried.

I could mull over this one for many a worry-filled night, but I'm not going to. I think I'll just start from scratch and sign up for a local class. I'll just enjoy myself and never mention to them that I actually got a degree in the art form- that would be too humiliating!

So, this brings me to the next dilemma- finding a decent, and local, adult class. (because there is no way I'm going to stand in front of a mirror next to a bunch of perky teenage girls. I generally feel good about myself- but no one woman should have to take on that trauma whilst trying to maintain their self-esteem. Seriously- I'm practically three-quarters of the way to menopause!)

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