Happy Thanksgiving!!

  Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
We are so grateful for all of our blessings, family, friends and of course family picture time!

An Uphill Climb

One Sunday Max went to Sedona to ride his bike with his buddy, Bill.  I thought it would be fun to do something with the kids so I invited my hiking buddy and Bill's wife, Aimee and her kids to hike Sunrise with us.
 It sounded a little crazy to take 6 kids on a 4 mile hike in the desert.  But Aimee and I were all the more motivated when Max and Bill said we were crazy and would never make it to the top.
 Here is the first peak.  We still had over a mile to climb and it was straight up.  The 3 year old was our pace setter.  I have no doubts this little girl is going to be an Ironman when she grows up!  She trucked up the mountain the entire way!
 We made it to the very top!
 Girls rule!  I won't lie that Aimee and I took great pleasure in texting this pic to the boys.  :)
However, we paid for our boasting.  The little one hit the wall and fell to pieces.  Aimee and I took turns caring her down and all three of my girls slipped and fell, getting skinners.  Luckily I had candy corn to bribe everyone to keep marching.  It was far more of an uphill climb going down than up.  I think they used all their gas to get up.  But they did it!  Four miles in three hours with six kids ages three to thirteen.  An uphill climb for sure. :)


We had such a fun Halloween season, I am still trying to catch up!
 We made carmel apples and celebrated Siri's birthday in the week leading up to Halloween.
 We had finger bones (white asparagus), guts (Halloween shaped Mac-N-Cheese) and blood (wine) for dinner.
 Max made Jack O' Lantern omelets for breakfast.
 I love packing Halloween lunches.  This year they got pumpkin cuties and sandwiches,  Cheez-Its that spelled Halloween, grape monsters, Halloween yogurt, candy corn and a black and orange Oreo.  It's good to be a kid!
 Even the big Pumpkin was dressed for the day. :)
 I am room mom for all the 3 of the younger kids and ran Kaitlin and Hank's parities.  By Karlie's age they watch a movie and have popcorn.  I guess they are too cool for crafts and games by 5th grade. :(
 These were a new treat this year to keep in line with the Michelle Obama school nutrition mandate.  Don't get me started!  They can't have sweets, so we had to find orange cups with no added sugar.  But we managed to try and make them fun for the kids anyway.
 They don't allow kids to dress up in their costumes or call it a Halloween party either.  It is a Harvest party and they do a book report and make a costume out of a paper bag representing one of the characters or themes of the book.  I applaud his teacher for trying!
 Hank did his book report on Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer.  Hank has really grabbed onto the Little Critter books and that is his favorite book right now.  Just Hank and his Dad made his costume too.  
The first graders then did a parade around the school to show off their costumes and books.  It was so sweet.
 Have I ever said that I love parties?!  I take so much pleasure seeing my guys have fun with their friends.
 Kaitlin's class did the mummy math wrap, weird science by combining liver and hydrogen peroxide, and then decorated a cookie that was suppose to go home.  But oops, we must have forgot to tell them that.
 My sweetie with her illegal sweets.
After all the fun school parties it was time to go to a Halloween party and then trick or treat.  We brought this ghoulish salsa.
Halloween was a wickedly busy and fun day full of treats and sweet times.

100 Miles

After a summer of having a little too much fun, I decided to set a goal to run 100 miles in October.   By then the weather cooled down enough to be able to hike and run outside.  I have become a true Zonie as I love nothing more than to run in the warm desert sun.  
My goal was simple.  My two feet had to take me 100 miles in a month, rather it be walking, hiking, running or even on the elliptical.  Siri was my faithful companion for many of those miles. 
If it is important you'll find a way.  If not, you'll find an excuse.

With a goal set, I worked out almost every day in October.  In November, with no goal, I have worked out three times thus far. :)

 Set your sights high, so you can climb even higher.

A Spooktacular Month

It was a busy and spooktaculary fun October.  (I get to make up words on my blog)  The kids love Halloween fun.  They can't wait to open their advent calendar each morning that counts down to Halloween.  Sometimes it is just a small piece of candy, other times a treasure hunt to a big prize.
 Their first hunt went like this...
Happy Halloween!  I love you to death and spooked up a little Halloween Hunt.  It might be hard but don't get hot.  Keep your cool. (Steam Room)
After a month of spooktacular teats, it will be time for a Thanksgiving feast.
(The dining room table)
Many people will wear a mask on Halloween but some wear them on Mardi Gras!
(Our Mardi Gras Mask souvenir)
Lets make a potion to drink!
(The bar)
You can play a haunted tune...
(The Piano)
Halloween is approaching, do you have your costume?
(My closet where all the costumes were)
Are you going to decorate your tree house for Halloween?
(Inside the slide)
Who you gonna call?  Ghostbusters!
(Inside the Ghostbusters movie)
You are my little pumpkins.
(Under the mini pumpkins decorating the table)
Maybe we should have pumpkin pancakes for Halloween!
The final clue was in the cupboard by the griddle where the skelly PJs were wrapped and said, "No bones about it, I love you!"
 Max's Morgue strikes again...
 Lots of Halloween Stories before bed.
 Many happy celebrations.
 A few date nights!  This guy was dead boring, so I tried again with this other ghoul.
We had so much fun at the Luke Bryan concert it almost killed us! :)
 These two cuties made sweet treats.  I must say it awesome to have TWO daughters that now bake on their own.  Going to be living large in the desert world.
 I was disappointed we didn't find a way to a real pumpkin patch this year.  So on a Saturday afternoon when it was 94 degrees, we made our own AZ style pumpkin patch.
 The pool patch was quite fun.
 The pumpkins might need sunscreen next time.
 So many yummy treats and so little time!  These pumpkin cream cheese muffins have to be my all time favorite of the season.
 It wouldn't be Halloween without Booing our friends.
 Karlie's teacher asked her to dress like her one day. 
We are finally getting use to carving pumpkins in the 90s.  Max is all about the power tools with the pumpkins.  I can't believe they can all almost completely carve their own. :(
I really just love this time of my life.  My little pumpkins made October frightfully fun!

Great Day To Be Alive

Since we didn't get quite enough Halloween fun in, today we celebrated Day of The Dead.
Earlier in the month we painted skulls with Dead of the Dead style art.  We had a true Mexican inspired feast and a festive wine for us and skelly goblets for the kids.  We finished off the day with Ghostbusters movie.  It was such a great day to be alive with the ones I love.