Sunday, November 17, 2019

Officially Opinionated

Hey, look! We celebrated Halloween!
Lincoln was Gekko from his favorite TV show PJ Masks. 
Jonah was Catboy from the same show. 
Carson was...
Hey Carson! Turn around, this way! There we go. He was a Jazz player. 
When Carson tried to explain to the residents of Nevada that he was dressed as a "Jazz Player," several thought he meant he was dressed as someone who plays jazz music. And that frustrated him. Rightfully so.  

Eli was all in on the Dodgers. Even though they had just lost. Which everyone mentioned to Eli. Which frustrated him. Rightfully so. 

I am trying to be frugal this year, and surprisingly the more frugal thing to do was to buy Halloween costumes. I found Jonah and Lincoln's for $10 each which was way cheaper than what it would have cost me to make them for, Eli already had all of his gear, and I just had to buy a $5 shirt for Carson and sewed a few things onto it. I've easily spent up to or more than $100 on Halloween costumes, so I was proud of my frugality but sad I wasn't able to get creative with their costumes this year.

It should also be noted that my kids officially have their own opinions and would not cave to my family-themed costume ideas. The end of an era. 

The boys and I went to the Excell Spooktacular. Jeff was on duty and had to stay behind. I brought back an old favorite costume -- a shooting star. Lincoln stole my gun so I had to improvise. 
The food was freaky, the root beer was frothy, and the costumes were clever. Christmas is great and all, but I love Halloween!
We played a fun pumpkin bowling game, did a cake walk, played a zombie game, and had a fishing station. Another fun party by Mary!
Jonah and I hang out for an hour twice a week at Lincoln's community preschool. They have these weird tube toys that we can't figure out how to play with other than by sticking them on our fingers. But what a way to play with them, amirite, Jonah? 
Waiting for Dad to carve your pumpkin is hard work. 
The payoff. 
Oh heeeeeeey. I carved a pumpkin just long enough to get a picture of me carving a pumpkin so that when my kids are going to college and reflecting on their lives and begin to assess that I never, no not once, ever carved a pumpkin in their entire childhood, and begin to accuse me of being an unenthusiastic-for-the-holidays mom, I could pull out this picture I'll be carrying in my purse for just such an occasion and say, "Nay, children. I did do fun things sometimes on holidays. Like the time in 2019 when I stuck a knife in a pumpkin. And then vowed to never, no not ever do it again. Because I hate carving pumpkins. But I did it once. And you should know I gave it a good try."
These three are pumpkin carving enthusiasts though. I'll let them have all the fun. 
Please notice there has been a wardrobe change. Every party or activity we went to Lincoln and Carson would pick a new costume for it. Those two have more in common than they want to believe. 

 We're all sugared up and counting down the days until Christmas.


It wasn't until we were sitting in church one Sunday that the texture of Eli's "church pants" caught my eye. They looked so much softer than I remembered and I stared at them with perplexion for several seconds. The look of the texture just was not matching with my memory of what he usually wears to church so I eventually leaned over to give them a feel to figure out what was up with them. 

Eli sheepishly looked over at me and waited with much guilty anticipation for me to connect the dots. Once he saw my eyes grow bigger and heard the small gasp escape my mouth, he whispered with a smile in a sing-songy, staccato voice, "Pa-ja-ma Pants."

The mad man did it. He snuck-wore his black pajama pants instead of his black church pants in the ultimate comfort move. You win this round, Eli. 
Carson gets as excited about Jenga as Eli does about his PJs. 
And we all know baseball is this boy's excitement generator. 
We tried out the magic-word-candy-giving-out-during-general-conference game. It was as fun and as noisy/distracting as one would predict. 
A surprisingly quieter activity was crafting gigantic paper airplanes. 
There are only two times a year I will endure the mess of Perler beads. 
Jonah discovered the joy of Vegas landscape. 
We did a Sunday lesson one week about the Armor of God. The manual had little (don't tell my boys this but basically paper doll) guys for them to color and attach different pieces of armor onto. We read the scriptures about each piece of armor and they added that armor to their guy. Then I came around with arrows (cooking skewers), and attacked their guys. They were delighted to see the armor keep their guys safe and screamed in fear if I approached before their armor was properly pasted on. Once the guys were fully armored, Jeff laminated them and the rest of the day they paraded around the house with their warriors. 
They even joined us at the dinner table. 
And a whole week later Lincoln and Jonah were still carrying them around the neighborhood on our walk. I'm calling this one our most successful lesson!
Eli's becoming quite the Chess expert and he loves to play with whoever dares to challenge him. 
One day Carson came home from school with a paper flower craft he had made at school. Just before dinner he was rummaging around the house for a water bottle and as I went to set the table, I noticed he had replaced my centerpiece with his floral arrangement. What's hard to see is that he cut a hole in the top of the water bottle so he could stick the pipe cleaner stem into the water. So cute. 
We had a little time one Saturday to do an activity from our POGO Pass. We went go-karting and Jonah was thrilled to get a ride on the big karts.
Another successful lesson (with the floral arrangement still present in the background), was when we learned about a soft heart and a hard heart. I cut a heart shape out of a diaper and put that in a bowl with a rock in another bowl. We poured water on both and saw the water drip right off the rock and get soaked up by the diaper. Object lessons have proven to be effective with this bunch. 
Carson and Eli brought home a haunted house project they did in art class. I thought they were both so cute and loved all the little details in both of them. Carson's is the first one. 

One day Jonah cuddled up next to me and wrapped his little arm under my arm. He rarely slows down enough to snuggle anymore so it was a sweet moment. 
We enjoyed Veteran's Day by going to Red Rock Canyon. We were thrilled to find out once we got there that it was a free entry day. The weather was beautiful and we had a blast exploring and adventuring!

We saw two real, live tarantulas out in the wild! I hadn't ever seen a tarantula not in a cage before. Eek!

This is the face I make when I'm trying to convince you Jeff is really this much taller than me.
This is the face you make when they say, "Suuuuuuuuuure, Sarah."
Red Rock Canyon or bust!
Eli has endured his first (and probably last) basketball season. He was not super excited about the sport but he was a sport about the season and gave it a good effort as he stuck it out to the end. We were so proud of him when he made a basket at his last game. I may have teared up a little bit. Their whole team grew a lot during the season and it was fun to see Eli try something new. 
We'll end with today, the primary program! This is the picture I took for Instagram that turned out less than Instagrammable. You get our memory scraps, old and faithful blog. 
The boys did such a good job! They all spoke clearly and loudly and with conviction. They wrote their own parts so that made it especially sweet.

Eli shared about how he had faith in Jesus Christ when he moved to Las Vegas. It was hard at first but he prayed and he was able to find some friends the first month we moved in. Then he shared his testimony that he knows Jesus Christ will help us in our lives when we are going through hard things.

Carson shared that he is preparing to be baptized by going to church and learning more about Jesus.

Lincoln said, "I show my love to Jesus by going to church and wearing nice clothes to church." He perfectly delivered his line. And then he boldly stayed at the microphone as he eyed me and Jeff with a devious smile. After a brief pause and a moment of inner debate, he went for it and quickly said, "Bye, bye." into the microphone before being escorted back to his seat. 
That's a wrap. In the words of Lincoln, "Bye, bye!"