Thursday, October 19, 2017

Halloween Costumes for Kids

Halloween is quickly approaching and my kids finally picked their Halloween Costumes.  They were unsure what they wanted to be but finally decided.  We don't tend to do really elaborate or extreme costumes, but usually something more simple you can pick up from the store.   Today I am sharing our easy Halloween costume ideas from over the years.

I will be starting with the newest and working my way back.

Halloween Costume ideas
A Rithmatist (Brandon Sanderson Book character), A Police Man, an Empress
Sadly, this was probably the last year my oldest dressed up, as he doesn't want to this year

Kids Halloween Costumes
A Ghost, Minecraft, BYU Football Player
Make sure you check out the Ghost Photo Shoot We did this year
Ghost Photo Shoot-6

Anna, A Police Man and a Pirate
This year, Ryder got the themed Pirate photo shoot

A Cowboy, a Ninja (which Ryder is actually being this exact thing this year(, a Ghost

Knight, Dragon, Princess
This is the one year I got all of my kids to coordinate their costumes.  We had a little fun with it a made this video

Mystery Super Girl, Train Conductor, Superman
Fireman, Pumpkin, Cowgirl
A witch
A Bumble Bee and a Fairy
Black Cat
Superman-- yes the same costume his brother later wore
A leopard

Wow! What a trip down memory lane!  My kids have definitely recycled ideas amongst themselves, even sharing costumes over the years.  

Since my oldest isn't dressing up this year, it is a big reality of how fast time goes and of the different phase in motherhood I am entering.  Life goes fast.

What are your kids (or you) going to be for Halloween this year?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Five: Teenagers, Birthdays and a 2K

It's Friday the 13th!  Hopefully it is still a good day and no bad luck!  Here is this week's Friday 5.

5 Thoughts

1. On Sunday Lucas turned 13!  It is crazy to me that I officially have a teenager.   He is now probably a couple of inches taller than me and is just looking older every day.

2. He jokingly asked for a 7 layer strawberry cake with chocolate frosting.  Well he may have been joking, but I delivered!   It may have been tipping a bit, but was oh so yummy.

3. The day after his birthday, he hit another milestone, one he didn't really want-- he got braces.  His mouth has been pretty sore since, so lots of soft food.  But he is trying to have a good attitude about it all.

4. This week I did my pumpkin patch mini shoots that my good friend Amanda of Kaleidoscope of Colors sets up. It is fun seeing the same kids each year and how much they grow.  Plus I brought a friend along to be my assistant and for the drive and it was just such a fun day.

5. Eric and Alex ran a 2K this weekend.  Alex had a soccer game in the afternoon so they just did the shorter race.  Alex got 3rd place overall for girls in her age group. Eric technically got second for men in his age group, but they just don't give medals for his age in the 2K.

5 Pictures
2k race

2k race

birthday cake

7 layer chocolate cake

book fair books

Do you have any fun weekend plans?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Great Book for Teens: Topaz Reign

It is sometimes rare to find those books that would be great for tweens and teens and also really holds the attention of adults too.  Topaz Reign, the second book in the Altered Stone Series by Teresa Richards is one of those book series for me.

I am going to do this review a little differently, as I don't want to give away anything, so will be recapping the first book a little and then giving you my thoughts about the whole series.

The Book:-- Emerald Bound 

A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairy tale.

Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate. 

Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.

If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend. 

My Series Review:
  What if fairy tales are true, or at least partially?  The Altered Stones series takes you on a fantasy adventure exploring the possibility that fairy tales may be true.  I loved both Emerald Bound and Topaz Reign.  Emerald Bound actually wrapped up pretty nicely on its own, but this second book is the perfect sequel jumping off where the first one left off but adding to the story wonderfully.  The books are a mix of fantasy, magic, friendship and a little bit of romance (totally clean and good for the younger reader though).
   I like how the author brings more science into the fantasy side of it, making it more scientific than just magical.  The books also have a strong sense of family and ancestry that drew you even more into the story.  There were points throughout both stories, were it felt like the story was going to take unrealistic directions, but then there were twists that made the story feel more authentic and possible.  The climax at the story definitely kept me turning the pages and not wanting to put the book down.

I highly recommend this series.  They are clean books, free from language and strong graphic imagery.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday Five- Random Thoughts

Thanks goodness for Friday--this has been a roller coaster of a week.  Here is my Friday 5.

5 Thoughts

1. What a week this has been, filled with such sorrow and tragedy and just questions of how someone is capable of such as act as happened in Las Vegas.  The weekend started so wonderfully filled with the wonderful messages of conference, then ended in pure devastation.  I have been turning my radio off a lot more this week, trying to shield my kids from the news.

2. I am trying to find the good and focus on the joy and good that there is still out there.  This week I was able to to serve twice, first by helping in Ryder's class and then working with women from church to make blankets for children in the cancer wing at a local hospital.  I am so grateful for the opportunities I have to serve.

3. Eric texted me last night, I was at goal keeper training with Alex, saying the boys had played 9 rounds of Uno, 7 of which Ryder won.  He was having a very lucky night.

4. Tonight Eric and Alex will have to pick up their registration packets for a race they are doing tomorrow.  It is one for our school and actually the one and only 5K I have ever run.  I am not doing it this year, as I definitely have not been training.  Eric and Alex are just doing the 2K as she has a soccer game later that day.  She has wanted to do this race for forever, but soccer has always interfered, so since she has a late game she finally gets to do it this year.

5. I cannot believe it almost the holiday season, this time of year really does just fly by so quickly.

5 Pictures
going to Priesthood session

selfie with grandma

at school

making blankets

after soccer practice

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Parenting A Teenager

This Sunday will mark a major milestone in both me and my son's life, he is going to officially be a teenager, and yes that does terrify me a bit.

I remember the teenage years, the anxiety about peers, about boys, some of the really stupid choices I made.  Every once in a while I will recall a specific memory and how I felt, which as awful as it is, I am so grateful for.

Grateful that I have those little glimpses back into my teenage brain that definitely did not process, or reason through things like I do now.  That teenage brain where the bad moments truly can feel like the end of the world and everything is so much bigger and more important than it probably really is.

I am grateful for these glimpses so when my son does things that just baffle me, I can remember, and I can have compassion.  I still need to be his parent and try my best to knock some sense into him, but in a way filled with love and understanding.

These are a few things I hope I remember along the way:

--To really listen--
    We all want to be listened to, want our voices heard, so I need to listen, even if he is droning on about video games or something I have no interest in.  It matters to him, and he matters to me, so I try to listen.  That way, when it comes to the big things, he will know I listen to him, so he will hopefully come talk with me.

--To have some fun--
    The teenager years, as dreaded as they were, were also a lot of fun.  I need to try and enjoy these years now as a parent.  My mother-in-law always says the teenage years were her favorite and she loves teenagers.  I think she truly does, but I think she truly does and did because she told herself that so much until she believed it and lived it.  If we go into it thinking it is going to be awful, well it will.

--To Parent--
   While we have that fun, I still have to remember I am the parent, and yes I do reason and think differently now and have a greater perspective than my son does.  So it means setting limits, saying no at times, and probably having days where he just doesn't really like me very much.  But if I can guide him and direct him to good and growth, then we will all be better off in the end.

--It will Pass--
   Just like the terrible two's, or three's they always seemed worse than two with my kids, it is a phase and will pass.  On those days where I know we will butt heads and he will try my patience; I just have to remember who he truly is and that this phase will pass.  I just need to be there to help, guide, and love unconditionally.

So to my son- I am going to try! Let's stick together and make these the best years possible.

Parents of teens, do you have any tips or advice?