Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Festivities

As with most holidays, we spread this one out over a few days. The kids were out of school Friday – it was a teacher work day at the end of the term. Ryan went to Kangaroo Zoo with a friend, and had a great time. They even ended up going to a Halloween party at a neighbor’s house that afternoon!

Friday night, October 29, we went to the 4th annual Spooktacular at the South Davis Recreation Center. As a swim team family, we were asked to volunteer at one of the game booths for an hour. We did “mummy bowling.” Ryan and the other swimmer did such a great job, I stood back and let them do it.
When our shift was over, Kristin and Abby met us, and we spent the next couple of hours hanging out with them – games, spook alleys, and even a canoe ride through the “haunted swamp” (where Ryan swims daily).On Saturday, October 30, Marc & Frances & Alice & Claire invited us to go to “Boo at the Zoo” with them. We had a lot of fun with them, as always! The girls dressed up as giraffes, so we enjoyed taking various pictures of them by the REAL giraffes!We came home, did chores, and then went to Colonial Square for their Trick-or-Treating. We actually hadn’t planned on going this year, but we had a video game to return there. As we were getting ready to take it back, I remembered the Trick-or-Treating (we have attended for several years). Ryan put his costume back on and we walked around there. (Sorry, no pictures.)
Since Halloween fell on Sunday this year, Saturday night was the local-culture-accepted Trick-or-Treating night. For the first time EVER, I stayed home and handed out candy. Last year we were coming home from Washington, DC, on Halloween. We ended up getting some dinner and then visiting some friends. In prior years, Ryan and I have either attended parties, or I have hung out at Rara & Papa’s house while Ryan went Trick-or-Treating with friends in their neighborhood. This year, Ryan went out with his friend, Matthew. They were gone for over three hours (in the rain), and he proudly returned with EIGHT POUNDS of candy! He was so proud!The real Halloween was pretty quiet. We had dinner with Rara & Papa, including my favorite – red velvet cake. That was MY awesome Halloween treat!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Birthday Celebrations

I don’t know how other families celebrate birthdays, but our family tends to spread celebrations over a few days. I love it!

The day before my birthday, Frances came to visit and brought me a chocolate chip babka! (Like our traditional Polish nut bread that we make at Christmas, but with chocolate instead of nuts. Wow!) She was doing a presentation on Polish eating habits in one of her classes. (And, no, she didn’t study our family as Ryan questioned. It was a secondary research project.) She made a couple of different things to share with her classmates during her presentation, so she made an extra loaf for my birthday! Yea!

On my birthday (Thursday, October 7), Ryan woke up early and brought me breakfast in bed! He made chocolate chip Eggos and poured dark chocolate almond soy milk. He obviously knows me well! He brought it all to me on our little breakfast tray. I debated including this picture. Now you all know what I look like when I first wake up.The evening of my birthday, Rara & Papa brought dinner and coconut lime cheesecake. Yum!Since we were preparing for our neighborhood yard sale, we spent the rest of the evening getting things together for that. Ryan gave me one of the books I asked for - “I Am a Mother” by Jane Clayson Johnson. Rara & Papa gave me the other book I asked for – “Resilience” by Elizabeth Edwards. I have been reading both of them, and LOVE THEM!On Sunday, October 10, we celebrated together as a family. As always, we had fun with Alice & Claire. Claire was fascinated by the Sesame Street puppets stuck to Ryan’s face. Yes, you read that right.We tickle the girls’ faces to help them relax and sleep. Alice started tickling Ryan’s face.My candle blow-out helpers…Thanks, my awesome family, for several days of birthday happiness!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blog Printing

I subscribe to a couple of daily coupon deal websites. Every day is a different deal, usually about 50% off of a local product or service. But today’s deal is so exciting for bloggers, I thought I’d share.

For those of you who print your blogs, Blog2Print is offering a 20 page blog book for $12 ($24.95 value) through the “Groupon” site. If your blog book has more pages, it is 35 cents per additional page. It would save a little bit of money! You can buy the coupon (code) for 2 more days, and then it expires on 12/31/10.

There is also currently a coupon for an additional 15% off of your purchase (email me if you want the code). When I ordered the book, the site let me use BOTH codes! I have printed by 2007 and 2008 blog posts, but hadn't yet printed the 2009 posts. I decided this was a good time! My original total for my 2009 book today was $70.45. Once I used both codes, my grand total was $38.68! I LOVE a great deal!

I thought about buying another coupon for my 2010 posts, but since it expires on 12/31, I’d likely be spending New Year’s Eve putting it together to print. Not the way I want to ring in the new year.

General Conference

We had the opportunity to go to the morning session of General Conference on Sunday, October 3. We had to be in our seats by about 9:00 am in order to be ready for the Tabernacle Choir broadcast. All of downtown was packed with people and cars, so Rara & Papa dropped Ryan & me off at the corner by the church museum, and we went and got seats. Then they parked and came in and found us.

While Ryan and I were standing in line at our door, Chad Lewis (former BYU and NFL football player) started walking toward us. I said to Ryan, “There’s Chad Lewis!” just as he approached us. We said hi to him. Ryan thought that was pretty cool. Well, truth be told, so did I!

General Conference was great. Just as I have done for the past several years, I prepared a “conference packet” for Ryan to work on during conference. He had a lot of fun working on it through the session. Our session included talks by the members of the First Presidency as well as a couple of members of the Quorum of the Twelve. One of the talks was the somewhat controversial talk given by Elder Packer. I’m not going to comment on it either way, except to say that I’m disappointed that so many of my friends who were once active members of the Church are now using this particular talk to spew hateful messages themselves. For those who are arguing that it was a message of hate against a particular group, many of their comments could be defined in the same manner. With my family history, of course some of the things that Elder Packer discussed were very sensitive. However, I felt that, overall, the message was given with the spirit of love and encouragement, not hate, blame, and guilt. That’s my two cents.

When the conference session was over, we took Ryan's picture between pictures of some of his heroes, painted by one of my heroes. We also had a complete stranger take a picture of all of us outside the Conference Center.

Later Sunday night as we were doing Ryan’s bedtime routine, he said, “Mom, I have a new life plan. I’m going to play football for BYU, then be an engineer, then be a general authority.” Quite the aspirations! As one whose original life plan didn’t quite turn out (nor the back-up plan, nor the back-up, back-up plan), I tried to be encouraging, while still expressing that he may not necessarily be the one that makes some of those decisions. At least one of those is something that people generally can’t pursue and accomplish strictly on their own. We had a good discussion about it. I believe that Ryan is capable of many great things in his life, so it will be fun to see which “life plans” come to pass.

UPDATE: This is PERFECT! It's what I've been saying for over 15 years!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


It's late, and I'm exhausted. I have a couple of posts to write from last week, but I'm not going to do them right now. But I HAD TO make sure that I made an entry for today - 10/10/10. Last year on 09/09/09, I had a few fun activities for Ryan to do. With 10/10/10 falling on a Sunday, I didn't prepare anything for him. Besides, we spent 3 hours (well, really 3 1/2 with all of the visiting after) at church, and then several hours at Rara & Papa's celebrating my birthday with the fam! We didn't need any extra entertainment!

I start another quarter of classes tomorrow, so I'll get caught up on my posts before my school work gets too crazy again. But I wanted to document 10/10/10 on the blog, since it has become my journal lately.

P.S. Am I good? Look at the time stamp - I posted at 11:11 pm on 10/10/10. Wow. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Alice & Claire!

Hard to believe...Alice & Claire turned 2 on September 28! On Friday, October 1, we all celebrated their birthday at Frances' parents' house in Orem.

We visited with friends...

The girls opened (and fought over!) some fun presents...

Frances' mom made a darling farm cake...

Rara & Papa "helped" Alice & Claire have a little sample...

After we ate dinner, we sang to the girls and (finally!) let them dive into the cake...

"Alice, where's Mimi?"

Marc's favorite IKEA item...full body bibs...
We all had a lot of fun, and we're so happy to have Alice & Claire in our family!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

SDAT 2010-2011 Kickoff Invitational

On Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25, the South Davis Aquatic Team (SDAT) hosted the first swim meet of the season - the Kickoff Invitational. There were HUNDREDS of kids who came to compete, from as far away as Idaho Falls!

Most events had 30 kids entered! Because of that, we knew it would be competitive. Most of Ryan's events had three heats, with ten kids in each heat. They determine the heats by the kids' best times in the events in prior meets. Ryan's times were good enough that he was in the last heat of all four of his events. But most of the kids in his heat had faster times. We knew he would likely place in the top ten in every event (out of 30) due to his times, but we realized that he would likely not be in the top 3 and medal.

Ryan and I talked about it. I told him that the most important thing to me was not that he won any medals (1st through 2rd place) or even any ribbons (4th through 10th place), but that he beat his own times in each event. HE DID!!! He beat his own times by about 2 seconds in all four of his events. He was so proud! So was I!

Here are the results for...



Here is the start of his backstroke...
And his freestyle...
Since it was a home meet, each parent was responsible for either working as a timer for 2 hours or working in the concession stand for 2 hours. I signed up for the last two hours of the meet, but it ended early, so I had a short service time. :)

However, I had to watch Ryan's best event (Butterfly) from the concessions booth. It was actually a better view than our seats! Here are a few pictures of his Butterfly event...