Monday, November 16, 2015

Annual Family Trip to Thistledown Farm Pumpkin Patch

Every year in October we go to the pumpkin patch at Thistledown Farm with my family.  Grandma and Grandpa are always there, but which of my brothers and sisters come seems to change each year.  This year only Jeff and his kids could make it at the same time we could go, but it was still beautiful weather and lots of fun!
My "pumpkins" were excited to be here!

 I like the shots my dad got on the covered bridge - both inside and out!

This is one of the first years that we have gone on Saturday - so we got the horse drawn wagon instead of the tractor pulled wagon.
 Before we picked out our pumpkins, we got a family picture in an old corn field.  We thought it would be a cool background, but it was actually pretty creepy to stand there - there were eerie sounds in the dry corn, and bugs everywhere!

Then the hunt for the perfect pumpkin was on!  We told the kids they had to get smaller pumpkins this year, and they found some pretty good ones.


Once we found our pumpkins, it was off to the corn maze.
The kids ran through several times before I actually made it through with Alan, but I cornered them at the end for a picture (of course).

They also played in the hay maze, and then we took some more pictures around the rest of the farm before we left to go home.  Since Leilani goes to college next year, I feel like I have to get as many pictures of all my kids together as I can before she leaves.



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Family Home Evening - Prayer and LDS Taboo Game

Since the Stake Presidency asked our family to focus on prayer, scripture reading, Sabbath day observance and Family Home Evening for the next couple of months, I decided to have our Family Home Evening lesson tonight focus on individual prayer.  The challenge in our family is appealing to all ages - 3-17.  I assigned Elisabeth to find songs on prayer that we could sing, and except for the fact that Leilani fell asleep in the middle of it (she was snoring), it went fairly well for our family gatherings.

We talked about prayer - when we should do it, how we should do it, etc.  We talked about how it is a habit like brushing our teeth, and how it can protect us like brushing our teeth protects our teeth (and we are probably the only family that had to endure an argument that brushing your teeth really doesn't protect your teeth because an undisclosed family member hasn't brushed their teeth in months, and they don't have any cavities).  We also likened prayer to a sandwich, and talked about the bread (Dear Heavenly Father and Amen) and what goes in between (things we are thankful for, things we need, repentance, etc).  The kids also got a reminder on how we should shut our eyes, bow our heads, fold our arms and LISTEN while the prayer is being said.  I found a quote that I liked that appealed to the teenagers, and got my point across quite well about praying on a daily basis.  It is:

At the end I gave them prayer charts to color and decorate.  I laminated them and told them that we would talk about how well we'd done every week at FHE.  This is the prayer chart I used:

But there are a lot of different styles out there.  I actually used different ones for my primary class - they were smaller and only had prayer on them.  I wanted these since we are focusing on scripture reading also.
For our activity, we played an LDS version of the game Taboo (where you have to get your team to guess a word or phrase, but there are a list of "taboo" words that you can't use in your description).  I got the game at this link:  (but there are many other versions on Pinterest). 
This website also has a Catch Phrase disc to print out with LDS words, and an LDS version of the werewolf/mafia game (Gadianton Robbers).  Since we are focusing on keeping the Sabbath day holy, I am trying to print out a bunch of these games for the kids to use on Sundays only.  To keep the day focused on gospel things.  It didn't take me that long to download, print (29 pages with 6 questions per page), and laminate the cards.  Cutting them all out took a little longer.  They don't fit into the Taboo card holder, but they are not double sided either.  Other websites seemed to do better on the sizing issue.

Overall it was a successful night.  Now to see if everyone can remember to do individual prayers daily.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lone Pine Farm

We went out to Lone Pine farm for a family fun day.  I wanted pictures with the Halloween decorations, and they wanted apples.  Unfortunately, my children were not in the most cooperative mood for pictures...but we got a few anyway. 

The problem with my kids is that they each want their own picture - not group shots - in the exact same place.  Yay for digital!  I would never be able to afford all the film they would want me to use.

 They didn't want to leave the hay maze.

 This is where the pictures get to be a drag to take.  Each of my kids have to have a turn to put their heads in the pumpkins.

Then we have to each have our turn to put our heads in each character.  So many pictures!  You can tell in this one that Benjamin is starting to get mad.  They were fighting over who would be Harry Potter...and his sister was not sharing.
 Alan earned "Dad of the Year" for the Batman poses.  The girls wanted to measure taller than Batman, so Alan got down and let each kid stand on him for a picture.

 By this point Benjamin was in full melt down mode because he was not getting his way in all the pictures, and he had not been getting enough sleep lately.  I will show these to his girlfriends someday :)

We were going to print Happy Halloween on this one and send it everyone...but it didn't get done.  After this picture, the night went downhill.  My kids give me the pictures I want, because they know it is faster to just take the picture than to fight me and stay there all night. But in case someone has been fooled into thinking my kids are perfect...I caught some of their bad behavior too.
 Ben trying to ruin the pictures he wasn't in, and his sister bugging him.
 The girls fighting over swings and having kicking wars.
There are more, but this is a long post anyway.  Suffice it to say, they are mine, and I love them!!!