Remembering past Halloweens

It amazes me how quickly time flies, and how much our kids have grown in the past five years. I always try to make Halloween fun for our kids, and looking back at these photos, and remembering those Halloween evenings tells me that they indeed had fun!
Aargh, pirates! circa-2007
going to the opera, circa-2008
Witches, circa-2009
bumblebee, and Miss Utah, circa-2010
Most of my friends started blogging back in 2005, and since I started in 2011 these pictures didn't make it into "a" blog. You can read about our Halloween last year here, but everything that I documented about our girls for the past 15 years is in a pile of scrapbooks. It's been nice having a computer now in which I can blog about our family, and anything that inspires me.

One of our greatest blessing for all of us was adding Noah to our family!

He sure has been a blessing to us all and continues to do so with his sweet personality!
One of these days I'll compile all of their photos, and make a video out of them. For now...they have their scrapbooks, and this blog to read.
Sierra going green, & a one year old Noah-2010
Due to Hurricane Sandy trick our treating has been postponed until Friday, and our trunk or treat for our church is next Tuesday! That's okay...we will enjoy this day anyway, and that gives me more time to prepare for trick or treaters as well as figuring out Lexie's costume! Noah and Lexie are all ready, and so is Sierra!

Hope everyone has a happy, and safe Halloween wherever you are!

Inspirational thought

"The wise stand in 
              wind and pray
not so much 
for the danger to
but for the 
~from the book, One Thousand Gifts

Hunkered down in Jersey

Lexie overlooking Blackwood Lake which will probably be overflowing after tonight.
I woke up this morning to the sound of my son's voice saying, "I want some "papa" (which is slang for "food" in Spanish), and then our seven year old keeps asking us, "When is the hurricane going to hit us?" 

Truth is that we are tracking it, and it should make landfill sometime this evening. 

So far we are having light rain and wind, and Sandy is taking her time in arriving to our little borough. While others may want her to hurry up and pass us by I personally am in no rush for Sandy to come. I am enjoying this day having electricity with my family, and I will continue to do so even after she hits.

I am thankful to have children who are calm, and cautious. They have all been a huge help in helping us prepare for Sandy.

Growing up in Texas and remembering the resilience I had when Hurricane Allen hit in 1980 taught me that at the age of 10 to never panic when a hurricane is about to hit. Telling them that story to our girls has taught them the same.

Having had the calling as Humanitarian leader back in Utah really opened my eyes on how crucial it is to have all the emergency essentials as well as a plan. I wasn't a professional then, and I am not a professional now, but I do know what basics to have in case of an emergency, and we do have a plan.

I have a feeling that this one will be bigger than when Irene hit last year, but we are preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best.

I may not have enough food to feed my neighbors, but I do have a heart full of love and compassion to let them know that if they need anything to let us know anyway.

I will continue to pray for everyone on the path of Sandy, and pray that all of your essential needs including love and support of friends will be met.

Take care, and may God watch over us all!

enjoying the calm before the storm

Autumn this year has been especially good to me, and I am really going to miss it. I don't know why this particular autumn has been so special to me, but as you can see from my most recent posts they are all pretty focused on the joys of autumn with our kids.

On my way home from church today my friend and I were discussing the needs of what it takes to be prepared for a hurricane. We should be expecting Sandy to arrive sometime tomorrow evening, and I hope that it won't be catastrophic. They say this one is supposed to be worse than the storm we had last year. Last year we were without power for only 18 hours. It wasn't too bad compared to friends of ours in the New England area who had no power for over a week! Talking about this and knowing that we are somewhat prepared puts me at ease.

The fact that Sandy is landing close to Halloween doesn't sit well with my seven year old. She asked me today why does Sandy have to come close to Halloween, and cancel our trunk or treat? I explained to her because it's important to be prepared, and once Sandy passes we can focus on Halloween. She seemed pleased with my answer, and then mentioned how lucky we were to have gone to this trunk or treat this past week. I said to her that was a blessing in disguise, and that I, too was happy that we went.

Today we experienced another joy of autumn (without Sierra due to her being sick), and after dropping off my friend from church we took advantage and took a walk behind her quaint little apartment complex.
There was a gazebo in which the kids through leaves up in the air...again. I know this should be a day of rest, but I am taking in all this scenery, the nice cool 50 degree weather, and documenting every action of autumn I get!

The kids all love this time of the year, and I think even Noah knows that all of these beautiful colored leaves will be gone tomorrow.
We walked further into a small path which led to a garden. It was such a beautiful day, and I cannot begin to tell you how much I am really going to miss fall this year. It just seemed to fly by us too quick! Maybe the fact that Noah turns three next month doesn't help either!
Why can't time just be still for a moment the way these pictures do! 

Like all the kids growing up, I want fall to last just a little bit longer!

A trunk or treat at Our Lady of Hope

Chelsea is sure going to have a lot of treats this year by going to numerous trunk or treats (including our own next Tuesday), and on Halloween. Those are the perks of having friends from other churches, and in my opinion...I think it's great!

After our our leaf war yesterday, we went home, had dinner, and got ready for the trunk or treat at Our Lady of Hope. Sierra, and Lexie had homework to do, and Noah crashed out soon after dinner. So Chelsea and I made this "a pre-halloween girl's night out."

And what an evening it was!
Aida and Lexie were the sweetest girls on the block. They all wore their "50's" attire, and had a lot of fun. 
I had to take a picture of Obama. This kid was hilarious!
Obama with a beard, a cigarette, and some Bling!
All the cars were elaborately decorated, and I felt like as I was back trunk or treating in Utah. Members of the church back in Utah went to the extreme in decorating their cars. Coming here has given me some ideas as to how decorate my van for future trunk or treats!

Chelsea with storm trooper Joe, and Julian the Ninja!
There were so many kids having a grand time. Too bad Sierra and Lexie couldn't come. They would have made so many friends with this crowd!
We had so much fun tonight, and everyone was extremely nice. It is so nice to be friends, and fellowship members of a different church, and in my eyes that's what makes a beautiful world. It shouldn't  matter what race or color we are, or what religious & political preference we have.
We are all equal in the eyes of God, and attending this trunk or treat with members outside of my faith was proof of that.

Hope y'all have a fun Halloween Weekend!

scenes of a late fall, and a leaf war.

While my family and friends in Utah had their 'first snow' today the kids and I are still enjoying the beauty of fall. This might be the last time we see beautiful colored leaves until next year, and since we don't have a single tree in our yard we all decided to go to a nearby park where we noticed some fall foliage. The minute we arrived the kids all began to gather leaves and make a huge pile of it!  

The kids all had fun gathering the leaves, and throwing them in the air. Noah really energizes the heck out of us. I have to admit I NEVER did this with the girls when they were little. The most the girls and I would do during fall was go through a walk in the woods, take pictures of the beautiful fall foliage, and that's it. Never did I ever think to have them gather a bunch of leaves, and then jump in it!
It was so fun watching them, and I wish I would have jumped in there with them. Too bad Sierra was still at school, and missed out on all the fun. 
We sure did have fun today! Thank you Noah for bringing out that valiant spirit in both your sisters and I when it comes to being adventurous! We will now look forward to winter.

apple picking & the red barn.

One thing I never did ever until I moved to Jersey was pick apples with our kids. I never did it in Texas, or North Carolina, or Utah. The only thing I would pick from a tree in Utah were apricots in my mother-in-laws backyard, and that was about it.

This is another reason why I love Fall!

For the past four years we have made it a tradition to go to one of our favorite orchards to pick some apples. My better half tagged along, and he really had a blast with the kiddos helping them pick the best apples.
Since the time for apple picking is almost over, we were lucky enough to have the whole place to ourselves.
There were so many apples thrown on the ground. It makes me feel bad because I think of those children who are hungry, and when I see apples thrown on the ground I think it's a waste. Oh well...that's how orchards roll I guess.
Chelsea has picked apples with us before, and this was Noah's official first time. He was a baby when I first took him, and all he did was sleep in his carseat until we were done. Chelsea was such a helpful sister showing Noah which apples are good to pick.
and so did dad.
Now that he is older, and he knows what an apple is...he absolutely LOVES them. The apple is one his favorite fruits, and has been for at least a year now.
and boy do will we have fun baking apple pie with apples picked from an apple tree.
pink lady apples picked from the orchard.
After we picked apples we decided to cruise around the country side of South Jersey. We found this red barn, and oh... how I love barns! It didn't look abandoned, yet there was no one around so we decided to just let the kids explore.
Noah was hoping to find some horses in the barn, but even though we knew there weren't any we decided to pretend there were.

Knock knock...Noah was knocking against the barn to see if he could hear any neighing or some kind of noise. I was playing along with him.
We were doing this for quite a while, and I think he knew there were no animals in the barn. 
We still had fun just hanging out on this beautiful sunny day with the perfect fall weather,
and it was a perfect day spent with our two youngest!
I loved, loved this day!