Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkins, Ducks and Frogs

Benjamin patiently awaits Daddy's return home from work.
Benjamin likes our pumpkin. We had three, but Paul cooked the pie pumpkins already and made scrumptious pies, waffles and bread out of them. I think we still have some puree leftover too.
Here are the boys, working hard in the yard. Paul's been out there almost every night after work and every Saturday, getting the dirt ready to plant grass. The process involved removing a ton of mulch, a bunch of rocks, a few prickly bushes, a lot of old rotten tree roots, a brick patio which had a lot of sand underneath, and some patchy grass that was full of pot-holes. Then he turned dirt--about 600 square feet of it. Yesterday we completed the process by tilling the dirt with a hoe and leveling the yard to a smooth graded slope, covering it with a top mixture we made using the sand and some fertilizer, and seeding it. It was a long day, but it looks amazing! We're so excited to see the grass come up. We're pretty sure it's going to be golf-course quality with how much work we put into it!
We never did take "before" pictures, which we regret, but here's the "after"!

On Friday night, our ward had a Trunk-or-Treat party where all the kids were dressed up and we had dinner in the gym before heading out and going car to car. Benjamin was pretty excited about all the costumes, but this lion was especially appealing. The poor kid had Benjamin chasing him all night, trying to "pet" him. It does look like a pretty plush costume though!

Here is our cute little duckling. He was certainly a lucky duck too, staying out TWO hours past his bedtime--until 8:30!!!

He didn't quite get the hang of begging for candy, but he enjoyed chasing a remote controlled car with a demonic pumpkin on top, that was going all over the parking lot.

Look! A frog!

Benjamin wanted to "pet" the frog.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nauvoo Campout

Our ward went up to Nauvoo for a camping trip this weekend. It was loads of fun. We still don't know folks very well, so this was a good opportunity to get to know them better. We were stoked when the Bishop pulled out his guitar and others brought out their fiddles. They had an extra mandolin which I was thrilled about; it's been a very long time since I've played with anyone. We had a regular old hootenanny until midnight or so.

This was Benjamin's first campout. Although he fell asleep on the way up and didn't get to enjoy the campfire, when we woke up in the morning he was gleefully surprised. He looked around in the tent with a curious grin. He loved the woods and running around with the older kids.
Benjamin woke up at 6:30 and he and Paul went on a walk down by a nearby reservoir and then up to the Temple. Nauvoo was breathtaking in the morning. The sky turned smokey red as the sun came up, and the Temple looked like it was on fire.
Neither of us have been to Nauvoo since we were kids, and it was quite an experience. We all walked down Parley's street which goes straight down to the Mississippi. It's the street the Saints walked down when they left the city for the last time. There was a calm reverence there like a cemetery, but it felt happy and peaceful with the rebuilt Temple gleaming in the hills above. It is a really special place, and everyone should come out to see it, and while you're at it you can visit us!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tag, We're It!

Thanks, Karey for passing this along. We need to be better about keeping our blog updated!

What I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:
Sarah: Ten years ago, I had just turned 14, brace-faced and a whopping 80 pounds. I had just had my first Sunday in Mia Maids, but more importantly, I had just attended my very first Oakton Stake Dance. To help me feel comfortable, my 17-year-old sister Rachel took me around during the slow songs and asked various boys to dance with me. It was pretty awkward. I was in 8th grade at Thoreau Middle School, and vaguely remember a Halloween Dance where I showed up proudly wearing royal blue corduroys and a matching multi-colored, collared, short-sleeved sweater...and stalking a 7th grader who I had a huge crush on. I was obsessed with my cat, Misty, and was an occasional closet-Barbie player (I had 3 little sisters to play with, and wasn't too excited to grow up).
Paul: I was about to turn 17. I was probably furious to be back in school especially because my friend Travis and I just got back from a random trip to Tahiti. I was also probably furious because most of my friends had already graduated. I was also probably furious about some social injustice and pretending to be a communist.

What I Was Doing 5 Years Ago:
Sarah: Five years ago, I had just turned 19 and had started my first semester as a Freshman at BYU. I was living at 1206 Hinckley Hall with Alison Faulkner, and I had met my name-twin down the hall, Sarah Elizabeth Lowe from Orange County, California. I was having the time of my life, finally going on lots of dates and staying up playing ultimate frisbee with the guys' hall every night. I had an All-Sports-Pass and went to all the football games with my brother, Bryan, who was finishing his last semester there. I was serving as Hinckley Hall's Publicity Chair, and helped decorate our building for Homecoming. I was trying to figure out what direction to take as an art-major, whether I wanted to go into Illustration or Studio Art. It was a fun time of life!
Paul: I was back from my mission for 10 months, bright eyed and bushy tailed, looking to progress on the "Ordinance Path." I was probably considering changing my major to middle eastern studies because one math or stat class was kicking my trash. I was certainly anxiously awaiting the first snow fall and hanging out all night with friends, seriously crushing on a 28 year old. I think I was living with my brother, Brigham, in a swanky condo.

One Year Ago:
One year ago, we were living in Wymount 469, and Benjamin was 4 months old just learning how to sit up. Paul had just officially started in the Master's program at BYU, a.k.a., the hardest semester of his life. It was a happy time of life, and it was exciting watching Benjamin cross each milestone.

Paul went to work, and Sarah took care of Benjamin who has a cold and slight ear infection. He hasn't been sleeping well at all the past few nights; he's had a blazing fever and a few isolated vomiting episodes in the middle of the night. The house became miraculously clean for Sarah's Visiting Teachers yesterday morning. We had a chicken broccoli casserole for dinner, and afterward Paul went to work in the backyard leveling the dirt to prepare for planting grass. Once Benjamin was asleep, we had a bowl of ice cream and watched some HGTV.

Five Snacks I Enjoy:
Sarah: 1. Kirkland Vanilla Ice Cream, 2. Any in-season fruit-especially strawberries and peaches, 3. Our Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, 4. Our Homemade Oreo Cookies, 5. Homemade Caramel Corn.
Paul: Stork Chocolate Reisens, 2. Hot Tamales, 3. Carrot Sticks, 4. Any of our homemade cookies, 5. Pumpkin Bread.

Five Things I Would Do With 1 Million Dollars:
Sarah: 1. Invest most if not all of it, 2. Buy a Honda Odyssey, 3. Get nice furniture and make-over our home, 4. Start a bank account for Benjamin's college fund, 5. Travel the world.
Paul: 1. Live off the interest, 2. Sod, instead of Seed our lawn, 3. Buy all the tools I want to do all of our home improvement projects, and that's all.

Five TV Shows I Like:
Sarah: Lets see...five shows I new favorite is "Find Your Style" on HGTV, but I've also been known to be a succor for "So You Think You Can Dance" and "American Idol."
Paul: 1. "Psych"...

Five Things I Hate Doing:
Sarah: 1. Driving with talk-radio on, 2. Waking up multiple times a night with Benjamin, 3. Dishes that never seem to end...but we have a dishwasher now, so this isn't really relevant anymore!
Paul: 1. Dishes, 2. Washing Lettuce, 3. Chain emails/forwards....that's it.

Five Biggest Joys Of The Moment:
Sarah: 1. Benjamin's adorable fits of giggles when we do something ridiculous, 2. Paul coming through the door after a long day (or any day!), 3. Going to a pumpkin patch on a brisk fall day, 4. Making some part of our home or yard more attractive or livable, 5. Benjamin's hugs and kisses.
Paul: 1. When Sarah talks in her silly voices (it's true... she has silly voices), 2. when Benjamin was very young we gave him a car to play with and he began making loud, rumbling noises with his mouth, 3. how excited Benjamin gets when it's time for me to read one of his favorite bedtime stories, 4. when Benjamin lights up when I come home (which isn't everyday unfortunately,) and 5. any work in the yard anytime.

Five People I Tag:
Um...whoever is reading this and has an hour to kill and/or someone who needs to update their blog.