Dec 29, 2009

Evolution of a Pinch Pot Snowman

I saw a really cute snowman on Etsy and decided to see if I could turn it into a project for Homeschool Pottery in December.
So working from memory, I made this guy:Not cute. Kinda creepy.
I tried again changing the proportions:
Better, but still "eh...!"

Later, I made another one with my students adding a "pickle nose" per Samuel's instructions.
(From a favorite Snowman story book of Miss Judean's.)
Getting cuter!

(Both arms have already been glued back on twice. I'm thinking next year I'll just poke two holes and use real twigs that can be removed for easier storage.)

Finally, I looked up the original and copied it almost exactly:
Now THAT'S a cute snowman! Thank you for the prototype, Etsy potter! (I promise not to start selling these!)

Dec 21, 2009

Christmas Songs to Rock Out To!

We have numerous Christmas playlists made in i-Tunes: D's Christmas mix, (includes Country. BLEH!) Kid's Christmas mix, (Listen only if you want a nervous tick) Sunday Christmas mix, (Go MoTab! Just added the Christmas Devotional music to this one. Loved their version of "Oh Holy Night")...and the master "Christmas Songs" mix which has EVERYTHING--all the old stand-bys and favorites. Every single song.

THIS list is MY mix. These are the songs I never hear enough during the holidays. (Although a few are new additions and a few are strictly included so I can learn the words to sing them to my kids.)

Mock my choices if you must, but right now all the boys are out building a ginormous snow fort, and I'm rocking out to Wham! --about to make myself some Stephen's Gourmet Hot Chocolate. (I'll make SwissMiss for the boys later.)

I love Christmas time!!!!

Silent Night (Intro) Boyz II Men--Ultimate Christmas
Silent Night Sarah McLachlan--Wintersong
Oh Christmas Tree GrooveBarbers--Glory (This one is for the kids)
Gabriel's Message Sting--A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1
Song For A Winter's Night Sarah McLachlan--Ultimate Christmas
Wonderful Christmastime Jars of Clay-- Christmas Songs (Bonus Track Version)
Christmas By the Bay Tim Hockenberry--Christmas By the Bay (Makes Doug and I both nostalgic and possibly a little teary.)
Christmas Song Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds--A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) U2--A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1
Christmastime Smashing Pumpkins--A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3
Christmas Wrapping Waitresses--Now That's What I Call Christmas! Vol. 2 (ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE OF ALL TIME!!!! DOWNLOAD IT NOW!!!!)
Last Christmas Wham!--Now That's What I Call Christmas! Vol. 2
Santa Baby Kylie Minogue--Now That's What I Call Christmas! Vol. 2 [Disc 1]
Nuttin' for Christmas The Re-Bops--Oldies for a Cool Christmas (Because I learned it in Elementary School and always sing it to my kids in December.)
That Was the Worst Christmas Ever! Sufjan Stevens (New addition. Just 'cause it sounds cool. Admittedly, it's a little depressing. But PRETTY!)
Last Christmas (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast--iTunes single (I like "Glee". Doug does NOT.)
Snowfall Ingrid Michaelson--Snowfall
All I Want For Christmas Is You Mariah Carey--Merry Christmas

Go ahead. Download all of them. Make your own playlist. Then put it on "REPEAT ALL".

Merry Christmas!!!

P.S. I LOVE my new skinny Christmas Tree and all our pretty vintage looking glass ornaments plus the new Japanese additions. (And I love the vintage Block Island prints (background-left) Doug gave me for Christmas last year.)
P.P.S. See some awesome pics of Gabey-boy on Doug's blog!!!

Dec 19, 2009

...And Blank-O Was His Name-O

So, you know we're having a(nother) boy, right? I've mentioned that? Well, I'm having a little problem. I need a name. See, we've already bestowed 6 total boy names. And frankly, I'm out of favorites. Add to that the fact that we unwittingly started a tradition and now we have to stick with it. (Lest boy number four feel like the ugly step-sister of the family.)

The tradition is this: For better or worse, all the boys have names that end in "L". Not only that, they have names that can be (and are frequently) shortened and/or abbreviated.

Let's review:

Maxwell=Max/Maxer/Maxer-boy. (We avoid Maxi for obvious reasons.)
Samuel=Sam/Samers/Sammy-boy/Hey You Little Punk!
Gabriel=Gabe/Gabers/Gabey-Baby/Gabe the Babe/Gabey-boy.

Initialized, we have MSG. Not good for your health, but that's what we've got.

That's where we're coming from. Now we need to name boy child number 4 and I'm a little stumped. Not that there aren't plenty of options, it's just that I don't love any of them.

Take the name Michael for example. I really like this name. However, I don't like Mikey, and I'm not overly fond of "Mike". (And lets face it, Miker doesn't work.) And so he would have to stay Michael. And that hardly seems fair...! PLUS, I don't want another "M" name! I want to branch out!

(See all of the above reasons for why we will now eliminate "Mitchell".)

Next, we have Nathaniel and Daniel. Both fine names. I don't have a problem with either one. It's just that I don't LOVE either one. Do I really have to use a name I don't love just because it "fits"? I don't know. Maybe one of them will grow on me, but they're not currently at the top of my non-existent list.

So now we start to dig a little deeper and get a little more creative.

My friend Roxanna offered "Lemuel" as a suggestion!

Well, HEY, that works! It ends with "L" and it's not common at all, which is a bonus! The only problem is Lemuel is one of the biggest "bad guys" in the whole Book of Mormon. And I happen to be Mormon. Therefore, Lemuel=Mormon Party Foul.
(Roxanna thinks she's so funny!)

Now, for awhile there, I was leaning towards Dashiel. Yes, I did steal it directly from "The Incredibles" and yes that is a strike against it. But "Dash" is a really cute name!!!! (Don't deny it!)

So I threw it out at a dinner party the other night with two other families present. All three men in attendance gave it a big thumbs down. And as one pointed out, "What if he isn't FAST!? He'd HAVE to be fast! And BLOND, but what if he ISN'T??? Then you have Name=FAIL!"

Well. I can't guarantee he'll be fast. Or blond. (Non-fast, non-blond=Sammy) And I don't want the mean kids to trip him. So Dasheil is off the table. (Plus, it looks funny when I type it a breed of dog.)

Last but not least, inspired by the recent Christmas songs playing constantly at our house, we have Israel and Emmanuel.
Problems: I'd always be singing "Oh Come, Oh Come Eeeemmahhhhhnuuuuel".
And I'd be forever pronouncing Israel as "Iiiiiihhhhsssssss-RRRiiiiii-Ellllllll!!!!"

But, what other choice to I have? I'm out of alternatives.
Emmanuel it is. A little pretentious perhaps, but he'll grow into it.

In the mean time, I'll call him "Emma".

I've always liked that name!!!

Dec 17, 2009

War on Cavities

When Doug said he wanted to join the Armed Forces to pay for school, I said "NO! Absolutely NOT! What if you have to go to WAR?!?!"

But there was no war. Just the potential for a lot of debt. So we kept thinking about it.

Then there was 9/11 and I said, "Okay, now you REALLY can't join! We're going to go to WAR!" And he said "Now I really WANT to join and serve my country!!! Besides, what are the odds I'll be deployed?!" (Slim to none, according to the recruiter. That was when the war was just a baby.)

And I was proud of him. And I didn't want all the debt. So we joined the Air Force and went merrily on to Dental School.
(And in case you think we're debt free because we joined, think again. In fact, think in the 200k range. We went to school in San Francisco.)

Fast forward to now. Turns out, had Doug not decided to do PEDIATRIC dentistry, there are very good odds he would be deployed to a war zone at some point. BUT, since he's the only Ped Dentist on base here, he's not going anywhere. (Except on a humanitarian mission to Thailand. But that's only for three weeks.)

Unlike his office mate/sponsor/best buddy Merrill. A Dentist. Who is--right now--getting combat training in America before being deployed to Afghanistan.

Merrill gave me permission to reprint this letter he sent us. (See below.)

I thought it was a good reminder to everyone back home that there is, in fact, still a war going on. And families who are already serving their country in BFE, I mean JAPAN, still have to have their spouses deployed for LONG periods of time!

(Deployed spouse + living in Japan = not a lot of help available from family back home and a long lonely deployment! Currently, there are three families in our church branch with deployed spouses. And more deployments coming in the new year. Our Branch President was deployed months ago and had to be released. He's still gone. His wife and four kids are still here dealing with it.)

Anyway, here is Merrill's letter:
(FYI, he is in the Air Force, but being trained by the Army.)

My wife loves me so much! She would fly around the world to
potentially only spend 30 minutes with me. Some may call it crazy,
but I call it love.

I graduated my Combat Skills Training at ______,__ and have moved on to Detainee Ops Training at ______ in _____,__.

We are in the middle of nowhere. Not the most scenic
place but probably the best place to be simulating a deployed
environment in the Middle East.

Our unit had to get special permission to bend the rules of "General Order #1" (the rules you live
under when you are deployed; e.g. no civilian clothes, no riding in
anything other than a government vehicle, no going off base, etc) so
that several of us could see the family members who came to see us.

We didn't know until we got there on Friday that they were going to "let
us off" until Saturday night at 10:00 PM. The Army is so generous!

Janeen knew she might only be able to see me at the airport before
I was taken away to our new "home". At least we got to spend a day
and a half together. I felt like I had been let out of prison.

Janeen was able to come out to Camp _________ a few times to meet me at
the little recreation center they have there. At least I didn't have
to talk to her by telephone through a glass wall. Although it was
short, it was a huge boost to my morale. It was so nice to be with
Janeen and have some snuggle time with Emma. I really hope Janeen's
travel goes smoothly back to Japan.

Our last week at __________ was a lot of practical exercises where we
would put together all the skills we had been learning the previous 4
weeks. We went out on convoys to small villages, interacted with the
"local nationals" (actors they had hired who dressed the part and
could speak the language), searched homes, were attacked by IEDs,
mortars, and snipers (the Army instructors love setting off their

Most of the people in my class thought it was a lot of
fun, but it seemed a little too realistic to me and I didn't enjoy it
that much. The whole month just made me very thankful that I will not
be doing those things over there and gave me a much greater
appreciation for the soldiers who are doing those things. Every time
they leave that base, they don't know whether or not they will be
coming home that night.

These are some very brave men and women.

I would send an address here to you but I don't know what it is, and I
won't be here long enough to get any mail anyway. Looks like I will
be spending Christmas in Kyrgyzstan in route to Afghanistan. Sounds
like a great time. I will send along an address once I get settled at

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support for me and my family.


Dec 14, 2009

Items of Note/Notorious Items

(Warning: I use a LOT of capitals and exclamation points in this post!!!)

*Last Friday the kids were off school so we had Maxwell's birthday party at the Weasel's Den*. He liked his Lego cakes, so all went well. (In my mind.)
He had a blast with this buddies and got some great gifts.I'm glad he enjoyed it because we only get "friend parties" every other year in this family.
* We got our first batch of Christmas cards yesterday! HOORAY! I LOVE CHRISTMAS CARDS!!! (Especially the ones with pictures.) My friend leaves her Christmas Card Pictures up on a closet door all year long. I think I'm going to leave mine up on the closet door all year long, too.

* Incidentally, our Christmas cards will be going out late this year. Very, very late. They've been ordered and shipped, but who knows when they'll get here.
(Unfortunately, this is not the picture we used. Just the picture we SHOULD have used. Long story. Thank you for the awesome photo shoot Therese!!!)

* I had an amniocentesis this morning. This means I got a really long needle shoved through my belly and into my uterus to withdraw amniotic fluid. Our neighbor (and former friend) is also my OB. He had to stick me twice. It hurt. A LOT!!! I told him he's off the Christmas Card list. Then I demanded more of his homemade Baklava.

* We just got through babysitting a two-year-old (same age as Gabe) for a week. His Mom (My friend Janeen) went to America to see her husband (Doug's friend Merrill) before he deploys for Afghanistan. He's a Dentist. And yet notice the very large gun he's learning to use.
(They live here, but he's getting training in the states. More about them later.)

I pretended Gabe and "Little I" were twins and dressed them the same all week. Turns out, two isn't much harder than one. The house ends up messy either way.

* I have a new church job. I'm the R.S. 2nd Counsellor over the Activities-formerly-known-as-Enrichment. I haven't been to Relief Society regularly for over 6 years. It's scary being with grown-ups again! And there aren't even any Primary songs!!!

*We (finally) got (a little) snow. And it stuck! The boys are THRILLED!

(They kept trying to force Gabe onto a sled. He wasn't having it.)

* The Japanese do not plow, or salt, or sand their roads. So driving to the church -off base- on icy roads was less than thrilling for me this evening.

* I am now 23.5 weeks along.

* I've already gained 18 pounds. (Whoops!)

* That's about it for us! Life is good here in Japan!!!

(Call it "supporting the troops"!!)

Merry Christmas!

*The Weasel's Den is a converted airplane hangar. It includes a huge indoor playground with awesome equipment, two party rooms, a small miniature golf course, an indoor soccer area, pool tables, video games, a theater for playing "Rock Star" and the Outdoor Rec. Department. (Where you can buy and rent sports equipment, plan ski trips, etc.) A guy in our branch is mostly responsible for putting it all together so we praise his name every time we're there. (Which is often. Especially in the winter.) THANKS BEN!!!

Dec 9, 2009

Dear Mormons...

Did you happen to see THIS article in the October Ensign?

Or read this talk give by M. Russell Ballard?

If not, I'll give you the low down:

You should all be blogging!

(Un-privitize your blog so I can read it in Google Reader, please!!!)

That's all I have to say.


Dec 6, 2009

Maxwell's Baptism

Saturday was a big day around these parts. Maxwell turned EIGHT and was BAPTIZED a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The baptism was held at our local church building here in Misawa and the room was packed! Lots of friends from church and four of Doug's fellow dentist's came to show support and love for Max and our family. It was really really cool. The talks were great, the music was great, the baptism didn't have to be done twice because of un-dunked clothing or, in other words, GREAT...!
Max was on top of the world all day. He bustled around doing chores without being asked (so unlike the Birthday Brat I turn into on MY birthday) and was acting so mature and grown up all day. On Sunday he even fasted and bore his testimony for the very first time. I'm so proud of him!
If I wasn't absolutely POSITIVE I'm only 24 or 25, I might think I was getting old or something. I have an EIGHT year old!!!

Now indulge me as I take a quick jaunt down memory lane...

Our first family Christmas picture: (Notice the drool-wet shirt.)
Do you see the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge in the background? Well, it's there. Quite close, as a matter of fact. (We're at Baker Beach. In the fog. Obviously.) You'll just have to trust me.
Max and his girlfriend (and betrothed) Ani. Easter Sunday 2006.
I just love this picture. Taken In our tiny San Francisco apartment with the beautiful Eucalyptus trees in the background. ...Before my fear of him falling out said window became too acute.
Holding Gabey after church in Rhode Island.

Dave's wedding in Mesa. Look how white his hair is!

He made quite a name for himself in our neighborhood in S.F. (This is what happens when you go camping shortly after potty training.)
I love you, Maxer!!!

Nov 29, 2009

Pinch Pot Turkeys

Made these as examples for Homeschool Pottery in November.
The body is a pinch pot placed either upside down or right side up. I learned not to make the feathers too thin or they broke off...repeatedly.
The kids did a great job and amazed me with their cute and creative turkeys!

Nov 26, 2009

I Am Thankful for Pot-Lucks!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving this year.

Yes, Thanksgiving Dinner in the High School cafeteria may seem unconventional to some, but my philosophy has always been "The More, The Merrier." (Doesn't seem like very good grammar now that I type it out.)
(FYI--The 12,000+ kids in attendance-not pictured-spent most of their time either in the "Movie Theater" (a large utility closet) or the gym (which was filled with toys)--leaving the adults free to chat, relax, and play card games after dinner.)
It probably stems from my upbringing. Every other year we got together with my mom's family for a huge meal at a local church cultural hall. The "off" years, we were home with anyone and everyone who didn't have another place to go. Cousins attending BYU or Ricks college, random roommates of said cousins and siblings, visiting relatives, Honduran refugees...
One year we even hosted two inmates from the local prison. I still remember them smoking out on our porch swing. Good times.

(At least for me. My only responsibilities were eating, playing, and occasionally arranging the gourds in the cornucopia. My mom got to do all the cooking and all the cleaning up. Poor woman! I appreciate you a lot more now Mom!!! And I'm thankful for Doug who can cook. And clean!!!)
Anyway, that's why a quiet Thanksgiving at home doesn't appeal to me. I like to be surrounded by lots of people. And lots of pies. Fortunately, there are a lot of cool people around here to be surrounded by. And they brought lots of pies!

A good time (and a full belly) was had by all!!!
(Doesn't seem like very good grammar...again.)

And on an unrelated note, here are a few reasons I'm okay with having a(nother) baby boy:

And a few reasons I still plan to adopt a girl:
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Nov 17, 2009

A Peek at My Week

*Saturday morning, around 7 a.m. we received a delivery: Three extra kids. 'Member when we went to Hawaii and our neighbors took OUR three kids? Well, this week we're returning the favor. Our friends are basking in warmth in Hawaii, and we are now the proud parents of a 9yo, 7yo, 6yo, 5yo, 2yo, and an angelic (but very mischievous) looking 1 yo baby girl with golden curls. It's been a busy week.

When they arrived and Doug handed me baby Ashley, I said; "See, this is what adoption is like. Someone hands you a cute little baby and there's no additional wear and tear on your body!" (I have 5 adopted nieces and nephews. I do realize it's not quite THAT simple.)

*Sam has been officially diagnosed with ADHD. The "inattentive" type. (Max is the "hyperactive" type.) Awesome.

In the throes of motherly guilt (since I was diagnosed with ADD in first grade) I asked Doug, "What about you? Do you think you could have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD as a kid? You were pretty hyper, weren't you...?"

Doug: "Well, there was that time I chased my sister with a knife...and since my parents weren't home, someone had to call the neighbors to come over to help..."

Uh huh.

Thus we see this is all DOUGS fault. No more guilt for me!

*It's been cold and wet and overcast all week. A few minutes ago I walked by the window and huge snowflakes were filling the sky. Five minutes later it had stopped again.

*We like to save up our maintenance issues until we have more than one. Then call all of them in at the same the same time. Doug called yesterday and promptly at 10 this morning, seven Japanese men showed up at my door. Two came in to fix the dishwasher (it was making noises), two came to fix the stuck closet door, and three went upstairs to fix the water pressure in the showers. (Kramer would love it. But it makes me feel like I'm being sand-blasted every day.)

Of course, all of them took their shoes off by the door. (This is standard procedure and we do it too.) I noticed at least two wearing the socks with the individual toes.

They all went to their separate parts of the house and did their jobs. Within 25 minutes, all of them had asked me to check their work and had left. All problems fixed to perfection.

Contrast that to calling a repair man or plumber in America. It's never quick. It's never easy, and they track mud through the house. (In my experience.) Plus, I usually wondered if the slovenly men I was letting into my home had criminal records.

Sometimes living here makes me despise American customer service. Okay, a lot of times.

We could learn a lot about courtesy and efficiency from the Japanese.

Plus, why don't we wear cooler socks?

*At the beginning of the week, we let all the kids pick their favorite meal and made a dinner menu. Max choose "Wizard Wonton Soup"--a Sneaky Chef recipe from her second cookbook.

Unfortunately, the commissary was out of Wonton wrappers. So we bought Lumpia wrappers and I cut them into quarters and used those. Who knew the Lumpia would dissolve when placed in the simmering broth?

When I served the soup, the ground turkey/veggie filling was floating unwrapped in the extra thick broth. Like square meat balls. Fortunately--for everyone's sake--the kids ate it anyway.

And that's all I have energy to write.
It's 6:42 p.m. I'm going to bed.

Nov 11, 2009

What the S-e-x?!

*Warning! This post contains graphic information regarding the s-e-x of our baby!!!"

When Doug came home from his TDY in San Francisco, he brought more than just Sour Dough Bread for my souvenir.

He also brought this:Since this was a few weeks ago, it was too early for an ultra-sound and we were, understandably, anxious to know the s-e-x of this baby. (#4)

So, the morning after he got home, Doug dragged me out of bed at 6:30 a.m. so I could do the test. (You have to use morning pee.) Here's how it works. You pee in a cup. You use a syringe to pull out an exact amount of pee and put it in another cup already containing a mystery substance. A crystally/powdery mixture. Then you wait ten minutes.

If the pee stays yellow or orange, you've got a GIRL.
If it turns green, BOY.

My pee turned green. Immediately.

"Told ya!" I said. And went back to bed for an hour.

The next day, I picked up the packaging and started reading more carefully. We'd followed the directions correctly. But then there was a Q&A section which said "Preliminary studies have found un-protected s-e-x within the last 48 hours can lead to a false "male" result." (Or something to that effect.)

Huh! I thought. Maybe there's still a slim chance we're having a girl!
('Cause, you know...we'd...a..........nevermind.)

When I told my friend Julie about the results, she said,
"You need to check the Chinese Calendar. The Chinese Calendar is NEVER WRONG. I trust it over your test."

So I checked the Chinese Calendar.
It said...


Well, around these parts you can't get an ultra-sound until 22 weeks and then they may or may not tell you the gender.

But you CAN go to an O.B. clinic in Hachinohe, pay 2,000 yen, and get an ultrasound with video!

So at 17 weeks and 6 days, we did.

The Doctor came in. A distinguished older Japanese man. He smiled politely as he pointed out the beating heart, skull, spine, arms, and then...bum and legs. Legs with something in between them. "Boy?" we asked. There was definitely something there. He just smiled serenely and pointed to a sign on the wall.

"S-e-x cannot be determined until 24 weeks. Results are not guaranteed."

He just kept smiling and shaking his head.
We just kept saying "Boy! Yep! It's a boy!" We've seen boy ultrasounds in the past, ya know.

We brought home the pictures and the video tape.

A few days later I showed my friend Tami. She's a pediatric nurse. She looked at the picture. "I dunno. That's awfully big for only 18 weeks!" (Doug grunts like Tim the Tool Man in the background saying "Yeah! Dub Boy!" in a deep voice.)
Tami: "Maybe that's a hand!"
(If so, my little girl was giving me the finger.)
Then she watched the video.

"Okay, that's a boy!"

Uh huh! Thought so!

A few days later some other friends, the B's, had us over for dinner.
Dr. B also happens to be my O.B.

Doug brought the video.

"Well, I don't usually look at such early ultrasounds. Usually I don't see them until the third trimester. But it DOES look like a boy to me. Of course, it could be a girl with c_____ g______..." (Trust me when I tell you it's something freaky you DON'T want your baby girl to have.)

WHAT THE...?!?!?

We'll take a boy, thankyouverymuch!!!

No more verification needed!

Yep! We're having a BOY!

And I'm fine with that.
We're happy!
We love boys!

And I'm planning to adopt a girl.
No more rolling the dice for me!

No, I'm not joking.

Yes, I'm totally serious.

I will get my girl. I WILL!!!

(Let me know if you know of any birth mom's who want their baby to have four big brothers!!! THANKS!)

Ta-Ta For Now!

Nov 9, 2009

Homeschool Pottery

Every Friday, I load Gabe and his booster into the car and head to Arts and Crafts where I teach a Pottery Class for Homeschoolers. (We have a lot of kids on base who Homeschool!!!)

I've been doing it for quite a few months now and the same old projects were getting a little boring for the repeat students. (And especially for me.)

So last month I decided to shake things up. On the regularly scheduled "pinch pot" day, instead of making plain little bowls, we combined two pinch pots and made Halloween Jack 'o Lanterns.
(As seen on "Art Projects for Kids"--one of my favorite blogs ever.)

I loved the results so much I brought my camera in to take some pics. Yes, I'm the only one excited about these pictures. Sorry. Pregnancy is making me a boring blogger. Anyway, here they are:

This month, we made Pinch Pot TURKEYS!!! I know! You're dying to see them! I'll be sure to post pictures when they're finished!!!

Nov 3, 2009

Kyoto Trip - Take 2

We did half-day tours on two different days.

Wednesday afternoon our tour took us to the nearby town of Nara where we visited the Todaiji Temple, Nara Park, and the Kasuga Shrine.

Highlight: Biggest indoor Buddah in Biggest Wooden building. (Pretty darn cool.  Even Max and Sam were impressed!)  Totally worth the side trip out to Nara.  Also, the boys LOVED seeing the wild deer!Lowlight: Wild deer.  Nara Park is home to 1200-2000 wild deer.  That's a lot, fyi.

They're cute.
At first.

And then they ATTACK!!!!

Okay, maybe "attack" is too strong a word. But I like to approach wildlife. I don't like wildlife to approach me.

And I DON'T like it biting at my pants or trying to plow over my small children.

(Though, admittedly, it was incredibly amusing to watch Doug get stampeded after buying a packet of "deer cookies".)

Sure, he looks all cute an innocent as Max shows him a ninja star...but when his friends come over, all bets are off!

to be continued...

Nov 1, 2009

Halloween Recap

We celebrated another fun Halloween here in Misawa. Pumpkins were carved for Family Night the Monday before the big day. The boys picked their design, Mom and Dad did the dirty work.

(One of the pumpkins has morning sickness. Which inevitably leads to stringy hair.)

For costumes, Max was Darth Vadar and Sam was Obi Wan Kanobi. (Thanks!) Unfortunately, I have only one picture!!!

Sam at the Halloween party at church.
No pictures of the other two. (Gabey was an Orange Monster, btw. Hand-me-down. Poor third child!!!)

Once again we had friends over for Soup and Homemade Donuts. (Alton Brown's donut recipe. Made by Chef Extrodinaire, Erin. They are Donut perfection. They are the best EVER! Erin is the best ever for making a million of them over the course of two hours!)

Once again we had about a million Trick or Treaters. But this time, we were prepared. I bought about 10 big bags of candy and the friends who came brought just as much. I'm not so good with the numbers but I'd say we gave away over 1,000 pieces.

Once again, a good time was had by all.