Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fun A-Fair

If you think this year's fair post title is lame, just think of how desperate I'll be next year for a creative title. Yeah...

So, this year was the first year we've gone to the fair in November, and now we know why we go in October... it's warmer! When I saw rain and chilly temperatures in the forecast, I started dressing the kids in warm clothing, but Russ decided we were crazy because it looked nice outside. I think he might have been the only one there in shorts.

First order of business upon arrival was getting some junk food, and Pickle O Pete's had just the thing to hit the spot... pickle poppers! They were messy and weird and just wonderful because of it, even if we did feel like we needed a shower after eating them.

Paige had something else in mind.

Okay, I never eat candied apples, but they do look lovely.

And of course, we had to have our fill of fry bread.

When it started to rain, we went indoors and found sand birds, a fair tradition from my childhood!

Next was a fun house... the big guy went along and reported that it wasn't fun at all.

Apparently it didn't satisfy Brandon either, so he went into this much more fun jungle gym.

I was ready to get an action shot of him coming down the slide, but the wetness made him go down at a snail's pace. He thought that was pretty funny (even if he did get a wedgie).

Paige had had enough of the wimpy rides and headed for the Flying Dutchman, her favorite from last year.

Action shot! (Okay, I was proud of this because I moved the camera with the ride to keep them in focus... and a cell phone camera at that! Just sayin'.)

You know the kids had to take a spin in a Dizzy Dragon. I hate dizzy with a passion. Luckily they are all tall enough this year to go without an adult.

The repeating announcement on the bumper car ride was SO ANNOYING, but we put up with it for Brandon. And then there were so many cars that he barely moved. What a rip!

He didn't seem to mind, though.

Next was Russ's favorite (NOT). We can't miss the petting zoo, though!

Lori and I made a new friend.

At least the animals get some food and a little brushing in exchange for putting up with all the people.

This llama stunk. Like bad.

Hi little goats!

Say, what's that coming out of your rear? Curious little boy... hilarious!

I think my kids know a really great trick. If you like something, make sure to mention how much you like it so that Grandma and Grandpa can hear.

We saved enough tickets for everyone to go on the Grande Wheel together.

Some of the family rode in the next car over.

Looks like it was pretty fun in their car, too.

My classic view of the fair from the top.

Brandon was amazed that the rest of the family could be on one side of us one moment and then the other side of us the next moment. What?!?!

Well, you know, I hadn't been on any rides besides the ferris wheel yet, so I thought it was about time, and the girls just love to squish me on the Himalaya, or whatever it's called now. Can you believe I never took a ride on the swings this year? I know! Sad! But it was just too darn cold! We didn't get to ride on the giant slide, either, because it was wet. Brandon was super bummed about that. He was talking about the slide all night, and I kept telling him we'd do it if it dried out, but the rain just kept coming.

The cold didn't seem to stop that weird dude wearing shorts, though.

Count me out!

Before the cousins left, they were determined to go with my kids on the mirror maze.

The kids blew the last few tickets on the crazy coaster, and they loved it so much that they convinced Grandpa to take them again. Lucky kids!

And just like that, we ended another great year at the fair. Can't wait to go again... in OCTOBER!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's Alive!!

When did Halloween become more about us than the kids? It's hard to say, exactly, but it happened... I think it started with the zombie bride and groom theme, but Russ says it started much earlier. We've got a reputation to uphold now, and we did it again with Frankenstein's laboratory! My favorite quote came from the kid in the van parked next to us, "Dad, can we try really hard next year?" I have to say, there were several great trunks this year. I love our ward!!

It was obvious that Russ would be the monster, but the question remained... what would I be? Bride of Frankenstein? The doctor? He was a man, though! I thought and thought ('til my thinker was sore), and after seeing a lot of steampunk costumes in the pattern magazines, I decided to tell the real story.

See, back in the 1800's, it was not socially acceptable to have a woman doctor, so Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, opted to change the story and make Dr. Frankenstein a man so that her book could be published. Presenting the real Dr. Frankenstein!!

Sampling the goods.

We were the first to arrive at the church that day (only because we left our car parked in a primo spot at about 2pm so that we would have electricity), and we were the last to leave.

Another picture of Dr. Frankenstein with slightly better lighting.

The monster didn't stay in his costume long enough for me to get a picture of the whole look, but here's his stitched up face.

The next day was Halloween, and somehow we hadn't carved a jack-o-lantern yet! I was hosting some friends that night, so I was rushing around a lot, but somehow... by some MIRACLE... I bought one and helped the kids carve it.

I think I'm the fastest knife slinger in the west!

I also managed to make ghost pizzas, eyeball meatball subs, and mini meat mummies. Everyone else brought the rest of the fun. Love it!

We set up the lab again out front.

This is the part you didn't see in the earlier pictures at the trunk or treat... the creepy table where the monster was brought to life!

After the little kids got back from trick-or-treating, I had some carnival games for them. Still can't believe I threw all of this together in time. First I set up some paper towel rolls that were decorated like ghosts and let the kids knock them over with a fake pumpkin.

My trusty jack-o-lantern bean bag toss game has been enjoyed by children for years and years now.

One of the prizes was balloons, so Russ delighted the kids with some balloon animals.

I ran out of prizes, but then I remembered the fangs with fake blood that I bought at the dollar store. All the kids seemed to want some, so I was set for the "fang walk."

We threw together Kyle's costume a couple of days before. He's supposed to be Grimm Jow, an anime character. (I'm not responsible for this decision!)

Got enough candy there? I confiscated a whole bunch for the gingerbread town I am dreaming of making this year. Yes, a town. I'm nuts.

Getting the kids ready before sundown on Halloween so that we can get pictures is usually impossible. In the past, it has totally stressed me out, but this year I told myself I can have them dress up later. And I did. Such a great plan!!

Before the pictures, though, I have to tell this story... so, Kallie told me she wanted to be Pikachu, but all the patterns were out of print. So, I got on eBay and found this one:

Well, I bid $20 and was outbid by someone who paid $25. Sheesh! Down but not out, I used a combination of two costume patterns I already had, plus my own design for the ears and tail. Suck it, lady who outbid me!! This Pikachu is the cutest I've seen!

Luckily, Brandon saw the costume pattern I was using for the Pikachu hood and decided to be the dog he saw on the front. Yes, kid! Great idea! His dinosaur costume last year was made from that pattern as well... 99 cents well spent!

Then there was Wyld Style from the Lego Movie. I couldn't even find any Wyld Style costumes, so again I had to improvise. Found a black wig on sale and sewed in two colored strands. Then I bought a black hoodie (which was harder to find than you might think), removed the gray hood lining, replaced it with a pink hood lining, and carefully pieced the blue and pink design on the front. Paige LOVED it! She still wears that sweater to school every day.

Cuteness x 3.