Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This had to be the easiest year for Halloween costumes ever. Okay, going "shopping" at Randy's sister's house is easier and she has the most amazing costumes, too. But since Mark and Dax now like to pick what they are going to be, I was so glad that they picked easy costumes.

Mark wanted to be a vampire. I didn't really know why until I went to his school Halloween parade and I saw 4 other people in his class dressed as vampires. I'm sure they discussed it at recess. So I threw on his church clothes, bought some fangs, and found a cape for $4 at Wal-Mart. I had planned to make the cape, but I couldn't beat that price (and the lack of sewing required).

Dax wanted to be a ghost. He has been saying that for about 4 months. A few weeks before Halloween he went through a different idea every day, but Dax finally settled back to ghost. I cut up a white sheet, bought him a white beanie for $1, and grabbed some white face paint.

I love this picture of Dax even though it is all faded--he looks very ghostlike.

Seth was the cheapest since I just pulled out our baby costumes. One of Randy's sister gave us a pumpkin costume when Mark was a baby and every one of our boys has worn it. Now it was Seth's turn. Seth was also an M&M which my sister gave Mark. Dax didn't get to be an M&M because he was too big by the time Halloween rolled around since his birthday is in May. That's okay . . . Dax doesn't even know. 

It sure made Halloween simple this year and I actually enjoyed my least favorite day of the year a little bit more.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Don't Read This If You Don't Like Bragging

My boys begged to play outside a few days ago. I argued it was too cold and windy, but they insisted. So I let them head out for a little while. After I put Seth down for his nap, I walked outside to check on them. This is what I found:

They were raking leaves for our neighbor. Mark told me that Dax had headed over with the rake and Mark decided to go help Dax. I was so impressed that they thought to do such a kind act all by themselves. I helped them fill two bags with leaves before I had them head inside. There were still a lot of leaves, but it made me proud to be their mom. I told you this was straight up bragging!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cows Eat Grass

Okay, I know you are smart and you know cows eat grass, but I didn't have any idea that cows absolutely LOVE fresh mowed grass. Last Saturday, Randy was mowing the lawn for hopefully the last time this year and I was inside cleaning up the dishes from dinner. The windows were open and all of a sudden I heard cows stampeding toward the fence. When I looked out, I saw about 8 cows munching on the grass that Randy had just dumped over the fence. Pretty soon more cows came to push their way in for a little snack. Every time he stopped the lawn mower, the cows looked up to see where he was going to dump the grass. It was hilarious.

Randy told me that as soon as he started the mower, the cows had started heading over. Mark and Dax thought it was so funny. We all hung around the fence watching the cows fight over the green grass. Who knew cows could be so entertaining?

Cows fighting for the grass.

The cows all ended up with green faces!

Dax kept saying, "Cows, are you enjoying our grass?"
I thought it was pretty cute.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Randy Works Hard Again

I don't know if you remember, but about this time last year, Randy was involved in a sumo wrestling match. If you don't recall, you can read about it here.

Today, Randy helped with his school's fundraiser again. This time he had to walk the plank. Every year, the students participate in the Hawk Walk which is a walk-a-thon. If they reach their money goal, the principal, and now often Randy, does something crazy like sumo wrestling or getting dunked in the dunk tank. When I taught at Highland, the principal spent the day on the roof (he loved that one), wrestled a different teacher in jello, kissed a snake, got slimed, and tried to catch a greasy pig. I always laugh at the things the PTA comes up with for him to do.

Anyway . . . here are the latest pics of Randy being a good sport for the students he loves so much.

That's Randy walking the plank. The principal is the pirate in the background.
Yes, he got dunked in his suit. He thought it would add a nice effect.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Surprise for Seth

Seth loves laying on his new quilt!
We had a special surprise for Seth today. Randy does some tutoring for one of his ex-students. She's a seventh grader now, so they've been working together for 4 years, and they've grown pretty close.

Unbeknownst to us, she chose to do one of her Personal Progress Projects for Seth. She started before Seth was even born, and worked very hard. Yesterday, as Randy left her house after a tutoring session, her mom asked if they could drop by and meet Seth-- they had a little gift for him.

Jennie and Seth
When they showed up, the gift wasn't little at all. It is a beautifully quilted baby blanket that took months to make. It is blue, red, and tan and wonderfully soft. It features trains and trucks-- both family favorites. There is an "inscription" stitched in the corner: For Seth Love Jennie. Seth was all eyes and stared at the blanket appreciatively (at least it seemed to me). Seth has received many thoughtful gifts in his few months here on Earth, but this one seemed particularly heartfelt because of the time, planning and love with which it was prepared.

Seth loved Jennie' mom. He was laughing at her crazy hair---well, that's what she said! :)

Seth laid on this blanket a lot today and was happy every minute of it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Picnic Inside

The other day Dax said he wanted to go on a picnic. Since it was almost 5:30 PM at night and cold outside, I told him we would have a picnic inside. At first he wasn't so sure about it, but then we had a great time.  We moved the table and chairs and brought in our picnic blanket. Randy even brought our one house plant to the kitchen so we could feel like we were outside. It turned out to be a great adventure. Randy and I ate our left over lasagna while the boys had sandwiches. Here are some pictures.

Picnic Inside!

Seth came too.

When Dax went to the bathroom, Randy told him he was going behind the waterfall.
One more reason to feel like we were outside on a picnic!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Finally Perfect!

This is Seth at Cornbelly's last night. He's had more adventures
 in his short 3 month life than many kids get in years.
Okay, not really perfect. Seth will always have to visit a cardiologist. And there is always a chance for a complication like an aneurysm or another narrowing as the aorta grows (or doesn't).

But at Seth's first appointment since his angioplasty, Dr. Hoffman declared that Seth's blood pressures looked great. His gradient is at about 3. (The ratio of the difference between pressures above and below the coarctation-- it was 37 before the angioplasty, and 5 after.) Finally, Seth catches a break!

Seth doesn't have to go in for 4 more months, and the doctor even said that "the chances of Seth having further procedures and complications are very low now."

After this great news, we were so excited that we decided to keep Seth permanently. Of course, we celebrated with a photo shoot. Here are a few of our favorite pics:
Look at that punum!
(Check your Latin dictionary)

Seth doesn't look thrilled here, but he really likes his brothers. 

Hey ladies! (This photo goes best with a Marvin Gaye song.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We've Been Busy

For the last three weeks we have been trying to cram in every possible hike we can before it's too cold. We didn't get to do much hiking in the summer because I was pregnant the first half and then Seth was little and had all his drama. It feels like we have been running around the whole countryside, but the boys have been great hikers and it has been good for us to get out and adventure again.

So here are all the waterfalls and hikes we have found in the last little while. You can read more about them on our other blog (Utah Valley Family Adventures) if you want to try one for yourself.

Lisa Falls--Little Cottonwood Canyon

Rocky Mouth Falls--near Little Cottonwood Canyon

Stairs Gulch--Big Cottonwood Canyon

Hidden Falls--Big Cottonwood Canyon

Bridal Veil Falls--Provo Canyon

Thanksgiving Point Gardens

Devil's Kitchen--Nebo Loop

Grotto Trail--Nebo Loop (Payson Canyon)

Ghost Falls--behind Draper temple

Temple Quarry Hike--Little Cottonwood Canyon

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A New Pet

Our cow--he is standing in my flower bed!
Today my boys headed out to ride their bikes, but came back in after just a few seconds to tell me there was a cow in our yard. Every year during the fall and winter, we have cows in the field next door. We love it. It makes us feel like we are living in the country even though we enjoy the benefits of the city. So I thought maybe the cows were just close by the fence, but I glanced out the window and saw the cow standing on the grass of our neighbor's yard across the street. Well, I wasn't exactly sure what to do. The owner of the field rents it out to people, so I didn't know who to call. There were no holes in the fence and I am not a good roper (in fact, we don't have any rope), so I called Animal Control.

He spent a lot of time near our basketball hoop.

About 15 minutes later, a police officer showed up. I talked to him for a brief second and he told me that he had a few people coming to take care of the cow. The policeman just sat in his car and if the cow started to venture down the road, he would either get out to scare the cow or flash his lights. We watched from inside the entire time. The poor cow was doing okay until all the other cows moved away from the fence to the middle of the field. Then he got upset and started mooing and running around a lot more. I also called Randy to tell him about it because he grew up on a farm. I told him what was going on and then mentioned it was a young cow, probably born in the spring, and that it was a bull. Then he said, "Are you sure?" because he wasn't sure I knew how to tell the difference. I'm pretty sure!

It's a boy!

About 45 minutes after we noticed the cow, two farmers came and took a look at the fence. Then one of them started walking behind the cow herding it around the corner while the other drove slowly in the truck. A few minutes later, we saw them open the gate on the other side and let the poor cow in. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

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