Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's All Good

We are all okay here!  Sandy has come, and is still hanging about, but we are safe and dry.  We really weren't expecting to come out of this so easily.  I know it has to be because of the prayers that were sent our way. 

Sunday, church was cut short, but we still had our Primary program as scheduled.  Then the waiting game began.  We brought in our flashlights from the garage and filled them with working batteries.  We gathered our candles and made sure our lighters worked.  I started cooking to try and use up the food in the refrigerator in case our power went out. 

Monday, the rain started to come.  We did laundry, dishes and more baking to use up more refrigerated food.  I filled bags with water to freeze in case our refrigerator went out we could use it to keep it cold inside.  We watched the news all day, waiting for the power to go off.  The winds picked up, and the rain fell harder.  The lights flickered all day long, but we never lost power until late last night.  The power went out around 10:30pm, the wind was really starting to howl.  We had already endured the winds from the front end of the hurricane and the eerie calm of the eye, but nothing was scarier than when the winds picked back up and started pounding the house.  Theo and I were sitting in our bed on the second floor of our house with the windows open so we could hear the rushing wind, and then all of a sudden we heard a loud crack and a tree fall.  There are a lot of trees behind our house, but whichever one that was it wasn't close enough to fall on our house.  Then as we were putting the kids to bed the wind was blowing so hard it was pushing against the windows, I thought they were going to be busted out!  We got the kids settled and they fell asleep, but I felt too uneasy staying on the second floor, just in case a tree would come down on us.  So Theo set up the air mattress and I got the Pack-N-Play for Charlotte and we moved all our sleeping children downstairs to the living room.  Luckily they all stayed asleep, but Theo and I found it hard to sleep with the crazy wind blowing outside.  We stayed up a bit until my eyes couldn't hold the lids up any longer!  I woke about 2:30 a.m. because Charlotte woke up and noticed she wasn't in her bed.  I took her upstairs, and since the hard winds had passed by this time we felt confident sleeping in our own bed. 

At 3:30 a.m. the power came back out.  Several sources told me to expect that if we our power went out it may take at least a week for it to come back on, thankfully that wasn't the case.  We are doing really good today, no damage, power is on...life is good.

Please pray for those who have been more negatively effected from this storm, and all those who have to yet to feel its wrath. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Treats

We LOVE Halloween around here.  Theo loves Halloween so much he came into the world on that day, and I love it so much I found a man that was born on Halloween and married him. :)  The downside is it is the beginning of the slippery slope holiday season.  There is no way around it, the candy, the parties, the food, the candy!  And it one right after another...Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's, then Valentine's, then Easter...then it's swim suit season.  Isn't it such a cruel world! 

But of course I had to contribute to it tonight at the Ward's Halloween party by making my chocolate cupcakes with cookies and cream filling and buttercream icing on top dipped in Oreo cookie crumbs to give the appearance of dirt, then a chocolate covered graham cracker on top with RIP to represent a tombstone. 

They were a big hit, and that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  One lady even told me that was the best tasting cupcake she has ever had!  Now that's a true compliment.  There wasn't one cupcake left! 

This past Monday I made this stuff called Monster Munch that I found on Pinterest:

Oh my goodness...talk about good!  This stuff is freaking awesome!  Popcorn, white chocolate, peanuts, Reese's pieces, candy corn....can it get any better!

But I think I have caught on to something this year and my kids have helped me come to this solution, they loved this stuff so much they wanted to share it with all their teachers.  Tobie has 5 teachers, Miriam has 2, as well as Emma.  So I made up 9 goodie bags with some cute tags and sent off this magnificent munch off.  There was only a little left that I divided between Hannah, Charlotte, Theo and myself.  I didn't pig out, because I gave it away so I wouldn't have enough to pig out with!  I'm so smart.  Ha!  That's what I did with the cupcakes, I taste tested a plain cupcake as they came out of the oven, and then I had only one with all the icing and filling and then gave the rest away.  I feel good about it, I still need to make sure that I run at least 5 miles tomorrow, but at least I don't feel completely riddled with guilt for gorging.  And since I love to bake and cook, this is a win win.  I don't have to give that up, and I can enjoy the rewards of good food.

With this new plan I'm ready to take on this holiday season....Bring it on.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Terror Behind the Walls

 I have to say, this place was pretty AWESOME!  It's been Theo's goal to take me to a GOOD haunted house ever since I can remember, but I'm not too big on haunted places.  I should clarify that, I'm not too big on 'pretend' haunted houses.  I just can't disconnect myself from the fact that the people trying to scare you are just actors with make-up.  All they do is get right in your face, and I'm like, "Dude, personal space!".  It's not scary, it's annoying.  This place did a little of that, but it actually was successful in scaring me a bit!
 Eastern State Penitentiary.  The first official jail in the history of America.  It was housed Al Capone!  It's built like a castle to intimidate anyone who even thinks about breaking the law.  It's so menacing, what a cool place!
They still have the original heavy oak doors to the cells.  They focused on isolation as a recovery, so the prisoners had no windows, just a small vent at the ceiling.  They had a small courtyard right outside their cells, that they were only allowed to come outside for 1 hour a day, and the courtyard was enclosed also, so they didn't even get to interact with any other prisoners.  They even fed them their food through a slot in the door.  Pretty lonely if you ask me.

They did an awesome job of scaring throughout.  There was those few who would just get up in my face and stare, but their make up was unbelievable!  I was staring more at the make up than the whole scary picture.  The one place the really got me was this room where the prisoners were in cages yelling and banging on things, and then all of a sudden one would actually come out at you!  It wasn't the prisoners that frightened me, it was the anxiety of not knowing which one was going to come out at you.  Then they would redirect your fear, you would see you're coming up on something scary and then BOO! someone is waiting behind you!  They got me so many times with that tactic!  It was so good!  No wonder it's rated in the top 10 scariest Haunted Houses to go through in the nation.

I found myself trying to look around more in between the acted chaos just so I could get a look at the place, I can't wait to come back during the day to take the daytime tour!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jersey-isms Pt. 4

I am absolutely in love with this time of year!  I have always LOVED the fall!  Halloween is my favorite holiday, the weather cools off just slightly, but not too much to freeze you to death, and the leaves change beautiful colors.  This is the first year that I actually get to enjoy that last one.  My eyes feel like they are drinking in the beautiful colors all over the place and I can't decide where to look first, and I definitely can't get enough!  The yellow, orange and my favorite RED!  Just gorgeous and I get to enjoy them all!  Here is a picture of my back yard, mostly yellow with a hint of reds poking through.   I would have put up a better picture, but the best scenes are when you are just driving down the road and you are flanked by these wonderful, colorful trees on either side, and I can't just stop and take a picture....although I am tempted. :)

I seriously feel so blessed to be here, I've always wanted to live in the New England area, and this is just the icing on the cake!  Theo and I drove to Philly on Friday night to go to a Haunted Prison, Terror Behind the Walls at the Eastern State Penitentiary, and the ride down the Expressway was breathtaking with all the colors!

I think I'll blog about the Prison tomorrow.  It's always been Theo's goal to find a haunted house that actually scares me. Check in tomorrow to find out if he was successful with this one!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekend with Mimi and Pawpaw

I didn't get to blog yesterday because my parents were here over the weekend and they absolutely wore me out!  But in a good way, we had so much fun and the kids were so happy to spend time with them.  They were actually begging them to stay a little longer, hopefully their next visit they can do that.  Here are some pictures of our adventures together.

 Friday, after dropping the kids off at school, we headed over to Philly.  We got to see the Liberty Bell, the last time I was here was when Theo graduated from boot camp and we spent a day in Philly after the ceremonies.  It was the first time my Dad had seen the bell, my Mom has been here before back in 1950 as a child.
 Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed.  It's a really beautiful building.
 The clock tower.
 On Saturday the whole family ventured to the Statue of Liberty.  Theo and I and the kids have taken the Staten Island Ferry and passed by her, but this time we actually got to go to her island.  The photo above was a really old cool train station in Liberty Park where we had to catch the ferry.
 Inside the train station.
 The ticket area, and Tobie.
 The girls posing outside of Ellis Island, which is a very beautiful building, I don't know why we didn't take a picture of it.
 Still on Ellis Island.
 Cool picture Theo took of a copper motorcycle made from scraps of copper from the Statue of Liberty.  I love how he got her reflection in the glass!
 Quick family pose.
Lady Liberty in all her glory!  I knew she was green, it's an oxidation effect from copper being exposed to air, but you really don't get the full brightness of it until you are standing at her feet.  She was a gorgeous bright green color that was absolutely beautiful! 

It was such a wonderful and fun-filled weekend with my parents, I miss them so much, and it's little trips like this that mean so much to me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apple Picking

For Joy School we were going to be studying Johnny Appleseed, so Jen, the other mother teaching with me got the great idea to go apple picking!  I love U-Pick places, my kids really enjoy it and they really seem to enjoy the food that they pick personally more so than the food I bring home from the store.  So we planned it on a day when ALL the kids were out of school, between the 2 of us we had 9 kids!  But we were not going to brave this by ourselves, my hero, Theo took the day off to come along with us. :)  It was still a little pricey, and we heard the day after that apparently apple prices were up because of bad crop production.  Oh well...it was still super fun!

I thought I was doing good by remembering the camera and to check the batteries, guess what I didn't check...memory card.  Yep, it was at the house safely tucked into the memory card slot.  *sigh*  And on top of that my camera with the cool Instagram app doesn't work all the time.  It's funny how when my kids get a hold of it they can take 50 consecutive pictures of random stuff, but when I take pains to get the right shot or a cute moment, it doesn't work...what the?!!  So here you are graced with some pictures taken with Theo's phone:

 I got one good picture with my camera using the Instagram app before it just completely stopped working for me.  It's a cute one though!
 SOOO excited!!!
"Look at these huge apples!"

We bought 20 lbs of apples, and after only getting to use 4 for some homemade applesauce my kids ate them all within 2 days.  What can I say, my kids are apple freaks.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mitt on Monday

A friend of mine from Florida recently posted this on her blog.  I thought it summed up perfectly why I to am voting for Mitt Romney.  She was kind enough to let me legally plagiarize her sentiments: 
"I am writing this post, not to persuade anyone or to start an argument, but because I want my children to read it one day in the future and know where I stand and what I stand for. 
How proud I am to be an American. 
I love my country. 
 I love, respect, admire and am so grateful to those who serve our country to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. 
We live in the greatest nation on earth. 
I will never vote for a man who won't put his hand on his heart in front of that sacred flag that so many have given their lives for. I don't care if it was "just" for the the national anthem that it wasn't there, It should have been. 
I will never vote for a man who apologizes for America and what she stands for. {here}
I will never vote for a man who wants a communist society. If you want a communist society, Get out of America. There are plenty of other places you can go. 
I will never vote for a dishonest man. 
I will never vote for a man who wants universal healthcare. It is garbage. It doesn't work. Check other countries track records, or talk to someone who has dealt with that system.
I will never vote for a man who wants to "spread the wealth." You are not entitled to a car, a house, or even food. Yes, I said you are NOT entitled to food. " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,"{Genesis 3:19} God's way is that you work for what you get. I am not cold and heartless, On the contrary, I would and do help anyone that is struggling, but trying.
 I will never vote for a man who wants to force me to give. Hey, Guess what? If you want to help people, and give them your hard earned money. You still can! But we should never be forced to "help" those who won't help themselves. That's a disgusting thought to me.
I will never vote for a man who's policies go against the constitution. Who's policies go against the foundation that our country was built upon. 
I will never vote for a man who is friends with people who hate America. 
If you have anything but love and pride for this country, We are going to have issues.
I will vote for a man of integrity. 
I will vote for a man who knows how to manage money.
I will vote for a man who is a man of God. Who's actions reflect that.
I will vote for a man who loves his country and the freedoms we enjoy. 
I will vote for a man who knows how to take companies that are in the crapper and make them successful. Hey, That's the boat that America is in right now. He has the track record, to PROVE that he knows how to fix economic issues.
I will vote for a man who will not fail. 

This election will be a turning point for America. 
I want my children to live in a country that is free, successful, And respected. 

The Book of Mormon states that America will remain a free land as long as the people worship the God of the land. It also assures us that “unto the righteous” this land “shall be blessed forever.”

I am not voting in ignorance. And neither should you.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
  --  Thomas Jefferson"

Thanks Kyrsten! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Emma's 6th Birthday

My little Emma Bean (her nickname, Bean is not her actual middle name) has turned 6 years old!!  This has got to be the hardest 6 years of my life!  There has been joy, but there have been tears...oh the tears...shed out of frustration, anger, feelings of inadequacy as a mother that is clueless as to how to raise a child that is LITERALLY the definition of 'spirited'.  I love this picture of her, and this is her essence in a picture...fiery defiance, but with the widest brown eyes that are so easily accepting, and those lips!  Holy Cow, she was blessed with the cutest pout!  It's so hard to be upset with her when she makes this face because her lips are so adorable...

This year she kept asking for an Easy Bake oven, but I know that equals HUGE messes...so that was out.  She was also asking for a swimming Barbie, but the thing is they have TONS of bath toys and besides what she really needs is a new bike.  She just learned how to ride on two wheels, a few days before Miriam was able to master it.  So she kept taking Miriam's bike, it has been WWIII up in here fighting over who gets the bike.  It was so hard telling her that she had to give it up since it is Miriam's bike because ever since she learned to ride it has been her world as soon as she wakes up to her sleep induced pleadings at night to let her ride "Just a few more minutes!". 

We kept trying to push it on her, prodding..."Wouldn't you like a new bike Emma?  Then you wouldn't have to fight Miriam for hers.  She was completely against it, but once she saw the bike she was completely convinced that was exactly what she wanted.

 What little girl wouldn't LOVE a Barbie bike!  And it has a tiny bike that attaches to the handle bars that you can put a Barbie on and it will stay as you ride.  So cute!
 Safety first!
This year I made her a Hello Kitty cake, this girls wardrobe largely consists of Hello Kitty apparel.  The cake turned out really cute, but I used the star tip to cover it and I really wanted to do fondant.  I just ran out of time, and man did my hand pay for it!  I really hate doing stars...but it was adorable, she loved it and that's all that matters. 

It was a good day.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Perfect Skirt

I just found the perfect skirt!  And to make it even better, it's on SALE!

A friend of mine has this in grey, and I am constantly checking her out in it, she probably thinks I'm a Grade A weirdo.  But once I found out where she got it, I bought two and now I don't have to be envious anymore!  It's an Old Navy skirt made from jersey.  It is SOOOO comfortable!!  And it does a magic trick, if you don't fold the top down you can use that extra fabric to hold in any unsightly muffin tops!  Ta-da!!

Seriously....so comfortable...