Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Halloween

Do you know what we like to say in our house?

"We are the Wilkins family.  We work hard and we play hard."

I keep meaning to add more to the family motto...

That's all we've got for now.

And... we play hard in October by doing a fun spooky-themed activity every. single. day.

1.  Decorate our tree outside with ghosts
2.  Make floating ghosts
3.  "Boo" our friends with treats
4.  Play "Trick or Treat"
5.  Read spooky stories in the dark
6.  Go on a fall hike on Mt. Charleston
7.  Make caramel apples
8.  Make ghost suckers
9.  Play "Mummy Wrap"
10.  Make ceramic Halloween ghosts
11.  Decorate mini pumpkins
12.  Go on a "Skeleton Scavenger Hunt"
13.  Go to a Halloween party
14.  Make milk jug ghosts
15.  Play "Don't Eat Frank"
16.  Play "Spooky Eyes"
17.  Eat pumpkin pancakes with black syrup
18.  Look at Halloween decorations
19.  Make mini mummy pizzas
20.  Go to the haunted house at the library
21.  Go the the Halloween carnival at the school
22.  Make haunted houses
23.  Play "Pin the Face on the Pumpkin"
24.  Eat "Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin"
25.  Play "Vampires at Dark"
26.  Watch a Halloween "Movie on the Green"
27.  Go to Halloween storytime at the library
28.  Decorate Halloween sugar cookies
29.  Carve pumpkins
30.  Have a special Halloween-themed dinner
31.  Trunk-or-Treat at church; Trick-or-Treat in the 'hood

The key to doing an activity every day for a summer or a month? 

Keep it simple.  Plan it out.  I plan the entire month in advance.  I try not to have too many activities I have to buy stuff for; those I do, I make a list and buy the stuff in September so we are all ready.

Here's to a spooky month of fun with my little goblins!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

At the Football Game...

Adam tried out and made it onto the school flag football team!

3 days a week we wait at the school while he has an hour-long practice.

On Saturdays, he has games.

He plays hard:

Grace and Josh color:

And I try to figure out what the heck is going on in the game. 

I have no idea how to play football.  I went to almost every game in high school.  Mike has tried to teach me.  Mike even bought me a "How to Play Football" video early in our marriage.

But, I guess I just wasn't motivated until my baby boy was the one running around and getting knocked down on the field.

He works SO hard at practices each week and at the games.  It is so fun to go and watch him play!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

From Korea

Grace was SO happy when she got a package from Uncle Elder Rice in Korea: a nice letter and socks for her birthday!

She LOVES them and won't take them off.


Last night she was saying her prayers with Mike, and prayed for Uncle Elder Rice-that he could teach the kids about Primary and be safe.  Then she prayed that when Jessica (his waiting girlfriend) was sad, that she would remember how funny Uncle Elder Rice is, and would feel happy.

It was so sweet.

I teased her later that she should have prayed that Jessica would remember how stinky Uncle Elder Rice is so that she wouldn't miss him so much.

I was in serious trouble for calling her best buddy forever stinky.

I guess those best buddies can just be stinky together.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back-to-School Night

We were able to go to back-to-school night tonight!

We had fun seeing what our kiddos have been up to during their first month of school, and learning about what's in store for the rest of the year.

Adam has Mr. Brewer this year:

He is SO young that he makes me feel ancient.  But, he is awesome.  Adam adores him!

Grace has Mrs. Miller.

She is incredible, too!  Grace adores her (and her chunky baby).

I love the school our kiddos go to... it is such a blessing!

We had a great night seeing their desks, their awesome teachers, and all of their hard work so far!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Toast to Fall 2012


cooler weather
football games
crunchy leaves
red, yellow, green and orange

We toast to you.

Happy Fall!

(We ate caramel apple pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin bars.  It was our first year trying the pork chops and it definitely going to be our traditional toast-to-fall dinner.  SO good!) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Adam's Mama is So Cheap...

Adam and I have played an on-going game of Monopoly for months.  (Well, not the same game.  We play for 15 minutes every 3 nights after bedtime... so we've finished a few games in that time.  We just keep starting new ones.)

Mike and I bought this Monopoly game when we were brand spankin' newly married.  And it's been played a lot and has gotten a lot of abuse over the past 11 years.

It finally cracked.


So, we kinda just prop it together.

And every few minutes it gets bumped and must be re-arranged.

But, we deal.

And THAT, my friends...

... is how cheap Adam's mama is.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Sundays used to be torture around here.

A day of rest and worship, almost always turned into whining about what they couldn't do, fighting because they were bored, and me constantly "shushing" them, because Mike has to sleep after he gets home from church and his meetings from 3-10, since he was to work all night.

On top of that, battling the three of them on my own (since Mike got called into the Bishopric) and 2 hours of Primary president duty left me exhausted.

I used to HATE Sundays.

No more.

I decided to make some changes weeks ago to Sundays.

3 changes, to be exact.

1)  "I Can Keep the Sabbath Day Holy" dessert.

SO cheesy, right?

I made a list of all of the things they CAN do on Sundays and hung it on the fridge.  Every Saturday (or Sunday) I make a fun dessert.  They get the dessert after dinner if they are reverent during Sacrament meeting and complete 5 things on the list:

Read a chapter in the scriptures
Play a Primary CD and sing along
Write an e-mail to Elder Rice
Write a letter to family
Read an article in the Friend
Read a story in the Friend to a sibling
Play a quiet game with a sibling
Act out a scripture story
Write in your journal

It has worked out sooo beautifully; I haven't heard one request to play the computer or watch TV or play Wii since we started... and NO whining.  Blissful.

2) Sunday Puzzle

We got a puzzle keeper and a 550-piece puzzle.  It only comes out on Sundays.  We work on it together and talk and laugh, and when it's dinner-time, we put it away until the next week.  We all love puzzles and this makes it extra-special.

3) Special Sunday Dinner

During the week we have super-easy meals.  Life is too busy for anything but super-easy meals.  On Sundays we have started making a slightly more elaborate dinner together.  We each do a part.  It's special and I love it.  We work together and then when we eat, everyone compliments the other on their part.  It's been SO great! 

Yes, she's breading raw chicken.  Something I couldn't do until I was 21.

Sundays are a little more work nowadays with making dessert and dinner, BUT they are truly now a day of rest and worship and I no longer dread them.

I look forward to them now. 

Too fun!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

For the first time in MONTHS, we got Mike for the day!

He had a 3-day weekend from D.I. (he worked all 3 nights at Red Roof Inn)... so on Saturday he wasn't catching up on sleep or working... he was all ours!

We got him for a little bit on Monday, too, in-between his naps. 

It was soooo fun!

We introduced him to the awesome park the kids and I found over the summer:

Had a yummy barbecue (Man!  We have missed Mike's grilling!):

Toasted (or burned, in Adam's case) marshmallows:

And busted out the water guns:

It was such a great weekend!

It is so hard having Mike gone so much, but it sure has made the time we do get to be with him so much sweeter!