Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Snailsville" Population 6

This summer Ashton and Dallin played a lot with the Ockey boys, Jared and Owen. One day after playing together, they showed up at our house with a few garden snails out of Tamra's (Jared & Owen's mom) garden. I thought they would just watch them for a while and then let them go. Well a day later, and 2 snails more, I realized they were serious about keeping them.
To avoid the "cool-whip carton coffin" fate for the snails, we searched the internet for instructions on how to care for them and went to Petsmart for a real "cage" for the snails.
Yes, I know, I am a pushover.

We enjoyed watching the snails, they were easy to care for, and Ashton took care of them really well... until the newness wore off. Then they were just stinky and one more thing that I had to worry about.

As it got closer to fall and cold weather I kept asking him to release them so they would have time to burrow before it got too cold. My pleas fell on deaf ears, until about a month ago when Ashton came to me and said he was going to release the snails. I WAS ESTATIC! I was finally going to be rid of "Snailsville".

We were discussing where to release them when Ashton looking in their container said, "What are are those little things? (Pause) Oh my gosh, those are babies!!!"
Sure enough, I looked in and there were what seemed to be a million little snails everywhere! There were really only 48, but that put "Snailsville's" population up to 62!

It was then, I thought either God hates me or He must really enjoy a good practical joke.

Now that babies were involved, Ashton's argument became that they would never survive the winter, so we needed to keep them until spring!! Of course, our reply was- No Way! If one could have babies then the others could too and what would I do with hundreds of baby snails in the middle of winter!

He mulled it over for a few weeks and last Saturday he released all but 6 snails. The lucky six- three big and 3 baby snails. Not exactly what I had in mind, but a compromise I could make.

A top view of "Snailsville" and the lucky 6.

It was a good thing he released them when he did, because when we cleaned out their container there were 2 big egg clusters buried in the dirt containing about 60 eggs each.

The buried egg clusters. (The white masses in the middle of the pic.)

I sincerely hope that we have a baby free winter, but if not and you get the hankering for escargot I know where you can get some snails real cheap!

Big Band-Aids

Yesterday, Benjamin was playing in our exercise room. Of course, he had his shirt off, because it seems that the colder the weather gets the less clothes my children want to wear. Sometimes, I think I'm raising abunch of little exhibitionists. Anyways, he fell and hurt himself. With a nice big scrape on his back to show for it.
Later on, I had given him the job of putting toilet paper in all the bathroom vanities. He was busily doing his job and headed into my bathroom. The next thing I knew, he was telling me he that he needed me to put this big band-aid on his big owie. I turned around and he was holding a pantyliner that he insisted I place on his "owie". Being the good, kind mother that I am, I obliged. Needless to say, I also had a good chuckle and took a few good blackmail pictures for when he is an unruly teenager.


Found his. Now, where is mine?

This is dedicated to my friend Karen & her blog post, "Enjoy Me While You Can". Karen, You are not alone.

If you read my post about Halloween, you know that we could not find the head to Ben's dinosaur costume. We looked everywhere. Well, I found it the other day while I was putting our Halloween decorations away. Right, in the Halloween Costume tote. Right, where it was supposed to be. Right, in the only place we didn't look. RIGHT, WHERE I PUT IT! The funniest thing about it, is that I kept telling Richard on Halloween, that I kept feeling like I had put it somewhere and now I was worried that now I couldn't remember where.

When I opened the tote and saw it laying there tight on top, I REMEMBERED! I had cleaned up one day and put in back in the tote thinking at the time, this was the best place for it so we could find it on Halloween. Great plan, if I would have actually remembered that little fact on Halloween!

So if you come to visit or call and can't find me, you may want to try the mental hospital up the road, my husband may have checked me in!

Ben With His Head....
Now, I wish we could find mine.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Tooth!!!

I now know why my usually very happy, easy going gal has been a little cranky the last few days.... a tooth! Finally, at 13 1/2 months Emma has her 1st tooth!!! Hopefully, coming in this late, will mean she will have better teeth than her soft enameled brothers! Thus, better for mom and dad's bank account too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Today, I woke up to "change". I could feel it even before I opened my eyes. And as my sleepy mind came more into focus I realized the chill in the air. I recognized this chill, and it wasn't coming from the change in weather that left a blanket of new fallen snow, reflecting light through my window. It was the same chill that settled in my body last night after California's votes were called and declared a blue state, sealing our fate..... An Obama led America. (Some of you may not agree with some of this, but this is MY blog, therefore MY opinion :P).

I was blue, eventhough I voted red. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and not get up for 4 years. But, duty calls and I had kids to get to school. Plus, as I mentioned we had our first snow fall of the season, which always entails the great search for boots, gloves, snowcoats, and I would need extra time. It hit me then how "messy" my world had just become (ie:socialist leader, gloves & hats everywhere, wet snow soaking clothes creating more laundry, etc.).

Though as I opened the blinds, I marveled at how beautiful things looked all draped in white, my day brightened. As I walked the boys to school I noticed the peace and quiet as the snow dampened the sounds around us and that no matter how grey the skies were, the snow still glistened and reflected the light. And so as I walked home to the national anthem playing from the schools PA, I realized that though my leader of choice may not have been elected and I may not like the choices that are made for my America the next 4 years, I can still follow the ultimate leader. And that by following him, I can be a bright spot that no matter how grey the sky gets or how the storms blow I can still reflect light- his light. And for me and my family that will create peace. So I felt like I could go on and that things would be okay.

Emma's 1st time with snow.

That was until I got home a saw the mess of the great "snow clothes hunt" and Ben's whiny voice wanting to go out in the snow. Since Emma was intrigued by the white stuff outside, and this is her first real time of experiencing snow. I decided what the heck. So I found her some boots that somewhat fit and put on the coat handed down from her cousins (Thanks, Shaleece and Maysa!) while Ben donned his boots, and being the hard headed 4 year old that he is, decided he only needed a scarf with his PJ's to brave the snow and out we went. (Yes, mom. I got Ben his coat.)

Silly Ben without his coat!

Emma didn't quite know what to do especially since she had a hard time moving in the oversized coat & boots. But she didn't like that cold white stuff when she fell over in it. So I picked her up and stood her up on the sidewalk, figuring she could just look at it. Well, she promptly fell over face first into the cement. Poor baby, her binki hit the cement and cut her lip.

At this point, I think that it is safe to say, that Emma is not enjoying her first experience with snow. Now, that Emma is screaming, I figure we are done having fun in the snow, so it's time to go in the house. Well, those plans didn't exactly match up with what Ben had in mind. Because now Ben is YELLING (and those of you who know Ben, know he can yell) at me 'cause he doesn't want to go in yet and I think to myself is it too late to go back to bed, pull the covers high over my head and stay there? Wake me up in 4 years will ya?

The mess from the great snow clothes search, not including the tote with boots in it in the crawlspace that has been dumped.

Emma- "I'm done with this stuff!"

See mom, proof- Ben has a coat on.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Baptism, A Blow Out, & A Birthday Boy

After trick-or-treating Friday night we headed north to stay at my parents house. We wanted to be there early Saturday morning for Richard to cut wood for his parents before we joined the rest of the family for our nephew, Bryson's Baptism.

Bryson & his dad, Steve.
After the baptism, we headed back to Bryson's house for treats. Since Richard is from a family of ten children who are all married and have atleast 1 child, is not uncommon for several family members to share a birthday. So Dallin shares his November 1st birthday with his cousin's Cassandra and Samantha. We sang "Happy Birthday" and had brownies and a Costco carrot cake (they are the best) to celebrate the birthdays and baptism.

Then we rushed home to host Dallin's birthday party. This year we let Dallin have a friend party, so he invited his neighborhood friends, Tyler, Casey, Kelby, Joe, Owen, Stephen and 2 school friends, Brandon and Clancy. We played sport themed games, ate pizza, opened presents, enjoyed more carrot cake (Dallin's favorite- that's my boy!) and icecream. I was a little nervous about having a party, but the boys were a really great and Dallin had a fabulous time.

Dallin with his 2nd cake of the day

The Birthday Bunch

Opening the loot! Thanks to everyone for such great gifts! And of course, a big Happy birthday to Dallin, we love you and are glad Heavenly Father sent you to be our boy!
Now about the blow out.... and I'm not talking the tire kind, I'm talking about diapers. We stopped quickly at Wal-Mart, so I could run in and grab some last minute items for the party on our way home. When I opened the van door to put my bags in, my nostrils were assaulted by a very wicked odor. It smelled like a outhouse! But with having boys this is really not abnormal. So I passed it off as a bunch of passed gas, that was until I glanced at Emma, and noticed that a good portion of her cream colored tights were now brown! We rushed home to bath her, get things cleaned up and the smell out of the house before the birthday guests arrived. The only reason I blog about this is that you have never dealt with a blow out until you've dealt with one in tights. I won't go into details, just trust me it is DISGUSTING!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween this year started out with me walking a small army of Star Wars Clone Troopers down the street to school. Then realizing I forgot my camera I rushed home to grab it. Then it was back to the school for the Kindergarten Costume parade. It was fun to watch Dallin, dressed as one of the Clone Troopers, march around the halls of his school.

Next on the schedule, it was time to get Ben ready for his Pre-school Halloween party. Ben decided to be a dinosaur this year, which worked out great because the costume he wore 2 years ago still fit! Love it when that happens! The head to Ben's costume has been floating around the house all month, but don't ya know it, when we really need it, it is NOWHERE to be found! I'm sure it will show up as soon as I get all the Halloween stuff packed away. He surprisingly enough, was okay going to the party without his head (to his costume that is).

Clone troopers taking over our headless dinosaur, Ben.
Since Dallin's birthday is on Nov. 1st, Saturday this year, his teacher said we could bring his birthday treat for their Halloween Party. His treat of choice is of course Krispy Creme doughnuts. So off to the doughnut store we went. Then back to the school to drop off the doughnuts and party with Dallin's class.

Birthday Boy.
Next, item pick up Ben and grab some subway sandwiches for a quick lunch (Halloween tradition, see Halloween Memories for the why), before it was back to the school again. This time, to see Ashton, as the other clone trooper, and the rest of the school show off their costumes of choice in another Parade.

Ashton as Commander Cody.
Emma enjoyed her 1st real Halloween dressing up as a beautiful witch. It was so fun to watch her as she got so excited and would run to the door when trick or treaters started ringing the doorbell. That excitement turned to tears when she realized we were giving the candy away! She takes after her mom in the sweet tooth category.

How Emma trick or treated.
Our trick or treating trip was short and sweet, as by the time we had gone up and down the street and around our little circle they were all asking if they could go home now! Who are you and what have you done with my children!?!?! It worked out great since we were planning on leaving to go north to Grandma Jeanne's & Pop Marlin's house when we were done and I had packing to do. All in all, we had a spooktacular Halloween!

My Little Ghouls!

Ashton's pumpkin

Dallin's pumpkin ( a "Y" for BYU of course)

Ben's 30 lb pumpkin (under the security sign)

Emma's pumpkin (smiling)

Halloween Memories

I love Halloween. I always have. I don't know if it is the crisp fall air, the chance of escaping to be someone or something else for just one night or the allure of all that FREE heavenly chocolate, but Halloween evokes great memories for me. Memories of visiting spookalleys put on by the mutual where you stick your hands in spaghetti (supposed intestines) and peeled grapes (supposed eyeballs) and all the time thinking in my little brain, "Who did they get intestines and eyeballs from?" Others include canvasing all the subdivisions in upper West Point as fast as we could to fill our pillowcases before people turned out their porch lights. Then there were spooky dinners by candlelight where my mom had created a menu of all things ghoulish to eat, like "Swamp Slime, Skeleton Bones & Bat Wings". Never did green jello, french fries, and chicken wings taste so good! But the best memory was created by my sweet husband. While we were dating I worked as a Home Health Aide. I traveled around to my patients homes and helped them with activities of daily living that they were unable to do themselves. This particular night he went with me and waited in the car while I was in my patients homes working. It was nice to have the company, although I'm sure he was bored to death sitting alone in a car for a good part of 5 hours! I finished with work and we headed towards home. You have to know I am a product of tradition, and the tradition in the Huff house while I was growing up was to go to the Kiddie Kollege Pumpkin Walk on Halloween. Hundreds of pumpkins carved and decorated all differently was always a highlight of my Halloween. Richard informed me that before we could go to the pumpkin walk, we needed to stop at his sister Susie's house to see all the kids in their costumes. I was fine with that, all though I was antsy because it was getting late. We started to approach his sister's house and the lights are on and activity going on in the house. Richard started squirming in his seat and told me not to stop, and then made up some silly fib about wanting a drink or something. So he had me drive past the house down the street to a convenience store where he gets out and makes a phone call! Well by now, I am getting very annoyed! The pumpkin walk was going to end and who is he calling when he is supposed to be buying a drink!? He got back in and told me to drive back to Susie's house. Being annoyed I gave him the silent treatment and drove back to her house. I can see as we are approaching her house that it is dark and looks like no one is home! Now, I am MAD! How are we supposed to see kids in their costumes if they aren't there and they were there just 10 minutes earlier when he made me drive past!?! He had me get out & told me "let's just go and see". Well I'm sure you all saw something coming 10 sentences ago, but at this point I was still clueless. We entered the house to spooky sounds playing and candles flickering I followed them down to the family room that had been turned into a graveyard complete with real leaves crunching underfoot, gravestones with our names on them, skeletons,-the works! He had worked most of the day decorating & getting everything ready for a special Halloween picnic for two in a graveyard. Wow, did I feel really foolish for being mad. He explained to me that Susie's family was supposed to be gone by the time we drove by the first time, but weren't so he had made up the excuse to go to the store to call and tell them to leave. He said he was sorry, and that we could leave and go to the pumpkin walk if I still wanted too. Needless to say, I declined, and stayed to enjoy my Subway Club sitting in my own burial plot next to Richard in his burial plot enjoying the spooky sounds of a perfect night. Maybe it is okay for traditions to be broken.