halloween parties, fall festivals, school carnivals, haunted houses, pumpkin carving and trunk or treats...oh my! we were busy this month, and i'm glad it's over. i love this time of year, but some days are just too busy. the kids were just as exhausted as mom was. ellie had a halloween party, which the kids had a blast at, we ditched the school carnival (oops), and had lots of crock pot meals this month. parker was a scary abe lincoln in the neighborhood's spook ally, and spent most of the month, working on his "set" with cousins and friends. this is such a fun thing for the kids 8 and older to participate in. and you can't beat a haunted house for $.25! thursday and friday night were spent running thru the spook ally, and having $.50 nacho's for dinner.
our ward's fall festival was wednesday. it was the best fall festival i've been to. the weather was perfect! the kids ran around without jackets or shoes. they had face painting, bounce houses, tractor (quad) train rides, and other booths. the food was amazing. crystal's white chili, is one of my favorites. i wait all season for it. 2 bowls full, and i barely had room for anything else. indian fry bread, hot dogs, chips and salsa...and plenty of it. saturday was my parent's ward's trunk or treat. same idea, booths and games for the kids. quincy was extra excited to go, cus her school teacher is in my parents ward! we had navajo taco's, caramel apples, pie eating contests, and then trunk or treating. this is my personal favorite. it's over in 15 min, and it's safe for the kids. but traditional trick or treating is also fun. we finished the night at grandma cheryl's store, and then the kids and mom & dad were passed out before 9:30pm. since halloween fell on a sunday, we opt'd out of the traditional trick or treating this year. i thought we'd have trick or treaters on both days. saturday, not one! sunday was the night to go i guess. my kids did go up our street and to family's houses, half way dressed up, some not dressed up at all. tilley had just as much fun passing out candy, in her full princess costume of course. she couldn't get enough of the costume this month, and i cannot wait to put it up. come 7:30pm, conway had taken over on passing out, and we found tilley passed out, costume and all. since she's ditched nap's she rarely can hang past 7:30pm. which is fine by me. bring on the turkey and stuffing. next to the fourth of july, thanksgiving is my favorite. so low key, and just good quality food and family time. and i have plenty to be thankful for, this year, and every year.



grandma cheryl has a carving party every year. it seems like every year it's just me and the kids at this fun event. this year, they were all old enough to clean out the guts themselves. grandma helped them draw faces, and they helped each other carve. the kids are becoming so independent. and i love it, especially when it comes to these dirty jobs. parker and quincy did traditional jack-o-lantern pumpkins. conway carved a bat in his, and tilley did a princess pumpkin. crown and all.


buzz boy

uncle lance gave conway the nickname "buzz boy" when he was little. maybe 2. i always had my boys buzzed. it was way easier than fighting with them to comb their hair. this past year, conway decided he wanted to grow his hair out. parker tried too, but didn't last. conway did, and looked adorable with his long shag. the back and sides had curls, i loved it! the past couple weeks he had gone back and forth with getting a buzz or keeping it long. finally one night he decided it was time. i wasn't ready...and i'm not sure he fully was either. but we did it.i think he looks cute either way...and it's just hair. it will grow back! till then, we have our buzz boy back!


picture day

picture day came early this year. i had flashbacks, like i always do, about my picture days. my mom was out of control. mele and i always had matching dresses, ruffly socks, and huge bows attop our freshly permed hair. i remember my 6th grade year, begging my mom not to make me wear the outfit with the bib she had picked out, to match my 2nd grade sister. i laugh every time i get the form sent home for my own kids picture day. i keep them simple. they picked their outfits. same as their "first day of school" outfits. i did however, make them wear long pants, just for the class picture sake. their hair is flat, and their smiles are forced. but i love them. i can read exactly what each one of their cute faces say. parker, my obedient child, is doing exactly as we had practiced. quincy is screaming "hurry up!" she can't wait to take her cardigan off, cus it's over 100 degrees outside. conway's may be my favorite. through his clenched teeth i can hear him saying how much he hates smiling for the stranger behind the camera.


lil bunnies

the girls did mesa high school's "lil bunnies" this past weekend. practice was a week before, for a couple hours, and friday was game day. parker insisted tilley do it with quincy. she is my dancer. both of them loved every bit of the practice, and performing. i couldn't find quincy in the crowd, and tilley was being held the majority of the time...but they had fun. that's all that matters. go mesa!



parker and i went with grandma karen to the scout store. parker was very curious. he could have spent all day there. all i kept thinking was "when is that mattas across the way going to open?!" parker's excitement for the scout program makes me smile. my mom is a big wig in scouts...for her stake. so it is nice having her there to ask questions about the program. it also helps that grandma cheryl is a mother of 6 boys, all eagle scouts. parker wants his eagle by age 14. parker flew through his bobcat. for family night one night i figured we'd finish by going over the "parent handbook." i strongly advice reading it over, before sitting in front of all your kids trying to do so. it was very straight forward about some things that i wasn't ready to share with my little ones. scary. dad wasn't there to assist either...but it went well. i am glad it's over, and my kids have that little scare of what we call reality. even tho i dont think my littlest ones really understood. we're super excited for scouts, it helps having an ambitious child!


we ♥ az

home is where your ♥ is. our hearts were, and always have been, in arizona. after many conversations, parker and i decided we needed to move back to arizona. we also decided the kids needed to start school with their cousins. the day before i loaded up and made the 11 hour drive. i got to the school 30 min. before it closed. registered the kids and school started the next day.grandma always comes to see the kids off on their first day. we all met at the davy's and rode bikes from there. tills and i followed on my bike and found the kids classrooms. there were no jitters or nervousness with 10 other cousins at the same school. even my conway, starting kindergarten was full of confidence! even with registering late, we lucked out with teachers. conway has mrs. watkins, quincy started with her last year. quincy has mrs. watkins sister, mrs. nichols. parker started with her last year, and she happens to be in my parents ward. and i got to pick parker's teacher, since the numbers for all 3, 2nd grade teachers were even. i chose mr. ellsworth, who was my 4th grade teacher back in the day. he's still just as nice as i remember him. i was able to get tilley into mrs. suzanne's class with her cousin marley. their first day was the same day as the others. the two girls were giddy during pictures. not so giddy when it was time for "drop off." tilley is my clingiest child, by far. she has a hard time being away from me. i think all the moving and with a new baby coming, it's gotten even worse. preschool however, was a must. i'm hoping it will help her with that.


baby number five

as i drove to the ultra sound. the thought crossed my mind. "maybe it is a boy..." this was the first time ever since, the day i found out i was pregnant, that i ever thought anything besides girl. i have only really thought of girl names, looked at girl clothes, planned matching outfits, bows and necklaces with your sisters. i had a couple dreams this pregnancy, of a little boy. i figured maybe that meant, there was a number six! this pregnancy has been very similar to my pregnancies with your brothers. i should have known. i laid down on the table, and made small talk with the doctor at fetal photos. he is an ob, and was so nice. he asked me if i had any preferences. i told him i had 2 and 2, and it didn't really matter...but that "i have known since the beginning that it's a girl." he began the ultra sound. we listened to your heart beat, i seriously love that sound. it means you're healthy and strong...and everything is "ok." he took pictures and measurements and kept saying how cute of a nose you had. he said you had the perfect profile. he gave me the due date and said all your organs and your head looked good. you slept through the entire ultra sound, with an occasional kick when the doctor tried waking you up. as the ultra sound went on, i asked, "do you know what it is already?" he said in his thick lithuanian accent, "i do, do you?" i said, "no, i'm not good at that stuff. i can never tell in the pictures." he said, "look right here (moving the arrow around on the screen) and tell me what it is..." which is when i could clearly see...."it's a boy!" i cried. i was in shock. i was so in love! and sooo anxious to tell daddy! this was going to be the perfect surprise! i text dad the picture of the 4 kids with both colors of balloons. he was so confused. he called me and said, "did you find out!?" i was on my way to show him the pictures...so he could see for himself. when i got to the store, i handed him the pictures, with the "it's a boy" ones at the bottom. he said, "how am i supposed to tell what it is?" i said, "keep going..." when he read, "it's a boy" he yelled so loud. he was "high fiving" people in the store. it was awesome. he was so excited. and so am i! they were all so excited too. tilley doesn't care what we tell her. she still says it's a "baby sister" that's probably my fault. we cannot wait to meet you. january 29th, or close it it! i'm hoping you come early, like all your brothers and sisters.

tie breaker

we are all so excited about baby number 5! the kids have been arguing since the day we told them "mom has a baby in her tummy" that it was a boy or a girl. not only that, but they've argued names, and who get's to hold it first. usually this is in the car, and it makes me laugh. tilley seems to care the most. she's switched from boy to girl, and has stayed girl for the past couple months. she's named it annie, and summer, and goldie locks and she refers to my tummy as "mom's phoebe." the first couple times she said it i thought she was saying "mom's baby" but then realized she has been saying "mom's phoebe." which i think is so cute. well before we make the big move back to arizona, and are away from daddy for a little bit. i decided we leave him with a surprise. today before going to lunch with my cousin steph, that i'll miss so much...i'm going to a place called fetal photos, to find out the gender. i haven't slept since i made the appointment on friday. i am so excited. since the day i found out i was pregnant, i've thought it was a girl. i really don't mind either way. i'm just 90% sure it's a girl. i've only really considered girl names, i really only look at girl clothes. i would be completely shocked if they said "boy!" i'm not the type that "knows with every one" but i did know with parker and quincy. conway and tilley i didn't. in less than 2 hours, it will no longer be a secret, and i can begin the planning. i cannot wait!


we slept...

...in the city that never does. trust me. it took us forever to get from california to las vegas. at the last minute we decided to stay a night at a cheap hotel in vegas. i had heard so much about cheap hotels on priceline, i thought i'd give it a shot. this was my first priceline rodeo. and probably my last. i did a 4 star hotel off the strip and entered a low ball price. and of course came back as denied. so i lowered it to 3 stars for the same low ball price and got accepted. at a holiday inn. bust! we were trying to think of every last way to back out...and with priceline you are locked in. there's not even a number on their website to call them. we pulled up to the holiday inn, just off the strip, and thought, "not bad." it was a brand new, holiday inn. no smoking and no slots. thank goodness. we decided to stay a night, and try and back out of our second night. the room was really nice, and the beds were super cozy. i love hotel rooms that have blackout shades, and nothing is better than cranking down the ac. the next day we ate breakfast at the hotel, kids ate free, and then headed to the strip to find something fun for the kids to do. everyone recomended "circus circus." besides the tantrum tilley threw, and having to go to a time out in the bathroom....followed by losing my purse; which luckily someone turned in...we had a pretty good time. i had coupons for $5 off each "all day pass." we bought garrett and the kids all a pass, and we took turns taking tilley around to the kiddy rides. the olders went with g. we were there all day...till after the tantrum sitch. tilley was done, so tired. she peed her pants even. so i had parker take us back to the hotel. i had never felt so tired in my life. she had a bath, we hit the pillows and seriously crashed for 3 hours. the kids swam at the pool when they got back, and then we headed back to the strip to show the kids what vegas looked like at night. kinda scary. we parked at the belagio so that we could watch the water show. we walked to serendipity, which is completely over-rated. and then went back to the hotel. we woke up the next morning, had breakfast, and headed for utah. i'm ok, if i never do vegas with kids again. they had fun, but there really isn't a lot for them to do there. quincy picked up one of those stupid cards with almost naked girls on them, and totally looked at it. she made a funny face and then threw it down. i mean seriously! so many freaks there. i was afraid walking around we would lose one of the kids in the crowds. there was a ufc fight at mgm so the streets were packed. i had explained to the kids once before the reason it's called sin city...and i'm pretty sure after this trip they kind of understood why.