Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Zach & Kate started this fun Halloween with special snacks at school. Zach's snack theme was orange. I love how Mrs. Cressey drew jack o'lantern faces on tangerines! Kate had a harvest snack theme. Her class made applesauce yesterday and they ate it today. Noah & I went in to Zach's classroom this afternoon to help with their pumpkin math activity. It was all about estimation and then figuring out the real answer. We measured the circumference of our pumpkin, we counted the vertical lines, we weighed the pumpkin & we counted how many seeds were in the pumpkin. 704! Noah was the lucky one to put a cooking pumpkin in water to see if it would float. It did! There was snack food left over from morning snack, so Noah joined Zach's class in eating it. Noah also received a special book from Mrs. Cressey to bring home. Zach has the same book, too.

This was a year to break traditions. The mall is no longer passing out candy on Halloween, so we had to come up with a new plan. We stopped at Mrs. Cressey's home first. It was fun to see the pumpkins that Zach & his classmates had worked with today. During class, each group decided on a jack o' lantern face for their pumpkin. We drew the faces on the pumkins and then Mrs. Cressey carved them when she got home. The kids had fun visiting with Mrs. Cressey and her dog. The kids jumped when the scarecrow sitting nearby moved and scared them! Then we got to meet Mr. Cressey. :-) The kids were warned in class that Mr. Cressey would do that, but it was kept a secret from the rest of us! We did the rest of our trick or treating along Forrest Hill. We saw many friends & teachers along the way! It was raining when we first got out of the car, but it quickly let up. We ended our fun Halloween evening at the Halloween party at the Jewett school that is put on by the fire station. The kids played fun games & ate a few treats. We came home and the kids ate their favorite treats from their buckets. It was a nontraditional Halloween, but it was a hit and the kids are ready to continue this new Halloween tradition next year!

This was our first year trick or treating without Zoe. :-( She came along for the ride and spent most of her time in the car. She did join us for the party.

Emily & Zach stayed with their wizard costumes from Harry Potter. Noah stayed a pirate and Eleanor was a pirate, too. Kate was a butterfly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Too Much Fun!

Noah & I had a fun day at the children's museum with Jessica, Ian & Claire! There is always new excitement when we go there! Today, the kids got to pet & hold a real snake! They also came across Halloween goodies that were hidden in the Dino dig sand. The candy necklaces were a big hit! They found a bunch of spider rings, too, but the rings got lost somewhere along the way in the museum. That was okay because there are so many fun activities to do in the museum that the rings were quickly forgotten. :-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Delicious & Fun Equation

Pizza + Donuts + Hot Chocolate + Political Talk + Carving Pumpkins + Kids Halloween Movie Theme Songs = A GREAT Family Home Evening!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Calling

For Matt. He is now the Youth Sunday School Teacher. Zoe will be in his class and I think she is a bit nervous about this. She jokingly said today that now she will have to pay attention in class. She said she was joking anyway. I am anxious to hear how their first class goes next week!

The lyrics to the hymn Be Thou Humble really stuck out to me today. I want to memorize this hymn.

Be thou humble in thy weakness, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee, Shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers. Be thou humble in thy pleading, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee, Shall bless thee with a sweet and calm assurance that he cares.

Be thou humble in thy calling, and the Lord thy God shall teach thee To serve his children gladly with a pure and gentle love. Be thou humble in thy longing, and the Lord thy God shall take thee, Shall take thee home at last to ever dwell with him above.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

More Halloween Fun!

We had our Halloween party at church this afternoon. I wish I could post the pictures. I miss being able to post pictures from my Xoom. The cord or something stopped working awhile ago. Maybe Santa will help me out. Anyway, the party was super fun! There were awesome games for the kids! Sack races, fishing for little webkinz animals, a pumpkin toss & a glow in the dark dart gun room, which attracted the teenagers. :-) We ate soup & bread. Cakes were brought out for Brittyn & John to celebrate their 16th birthdays, which were this month. Then the kids (small & big) went room to room collecting candy & toys. This was the first year that all of our kids went independently to collect their goodies. Matt & I watched as they went person to person down the hall & back. They were very pleased with what they got. After they had a chance to check out their loot, I brought the younger 4 home. Zoe was invited to Brittyn's & John's party at the haunted school house near the church, so Matt & Emily waited for her. They were going to make sure everything was clean & tidy for church tomorrow since it is our week to help clean. I'm still waiting for them to return home.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pictures, Pictures & More Pictures

Nature Girls

Testing the soil
Spreading milkweed
Moose leg
I saw a bobcat standing on the side of our road one night and it was huge!

Zoe's last middle school soccer game

 We hosted a fun Halloween party today!  Thank you Eleanor, Mo, Jenn, Hayden, Connor, Lauren, Colby, Colleen, Longrie, Sophie, Andrea, Jack, Jesse, Harry & Victoria for coming!
Thank you Jenn for lending us fun costumes!
We played fun games outside thanks to the beautiful weather!
 Hmmm...this is harder than I thought!

Can you fit 22 people in a condemned trailer?  Why yes, yes you can.
The kids bobbed for apples and then covered their apples with chocolate frosting or caramel sauce.  :-)

We didn't get to the mummy pizzas during the party, but Zach, Kate, Noah & I had some for dinner.

Such a fun start to the weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

End of a chapter

Zoe played in her last middle school soccer game today in Bar Harbor.  Her team lost, but Zoe played great defense as always.  She was a bit fiesty at times, but the referees didn't seem to notice.  Zoe has enjoyed playing soccer, but now she is looking forward to basketball.  We have next week off and then another busy season will begin!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I spent most of the day with Eleanor on her field trip to Fields Pond Audubon Center.  This was the first of many visits that will take place throughout the year with the Field Pond educators, Matt & Cyndi.  Some visits will be at the center and the other visits will bring Matt & Cyndi to the school to study nature there.  At the center today, the kids were divided into groups of 2 or 3.  Eleanor and her friend, Desiree are partners.  The first assignment for the groups was to come up with a name to call themselves.  Eleanor & Desiree are Nature Girls.  Each group was given a 10' x 10' plot of land to observe throughout the year.  The kids counted trees & plants, looked for living & non-living things, learned how to read a thermometer (it was 49°), learned how to check soil to see if it is wet or dry (squeeze a handful of soil, if water comes out then it is wet), stood on their plots to see if it was flat or steep, walked around to see if it was bumpy or smooth & they looked closely at the dirt to see what was in it.  It sounds like Eleanor is going to have a lot of awesome hands on science experience this year.  :-)
Noah spent the day with Colby. :-) I picked him up after the field trip and then we went back to the school to help out in Zach's classroom for the last half hour of school.  Noah & I took Zach & a group of his classmates into the library to play Around the World.  We made a circle and the 1st two students that I picked competed to see who could answer the addition problem that I showed them on a flashcard.  The winner then moves to the next student in the circle and competes against him/her.  A student would earn a prize if they made it all the way around the circle (or world:-) by winning each addition problem.
We have big Halloween party preparations going on here!  We are hosting a party for some of our school friends on Friday after school!  We are excited!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Setting the bar high

Zoe is a hard act to follow when it comes to school.  Matt & I met with her teachers this evening and they all said the same thing.  She is getting a 100 or close to it, she is a great student, she works well with others, she does extra work when it is available, she challenges herself and they are challenging her, too.
We are proud of you, Zoe!  We know you work hard!  Thanks for being such a great example to your brothers & sisters!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kid Update

Zoe got a 97 on her first Algebra test!  Way to go, Zoe!
Emily is doing a great job keeping up with her chores and staying motivated to do them.  :-)
Eleanor is the first of our children to be referred to an orthodontist.  She has a side bite and her top jaw is smaller than her bottom jaw.    Her top jaw needs to be extended.  I will make an appointment and we will go from there.
Zach got a 100 on his math facts!  He completed his paper in 10 minutes and he got all of the answers right!  Way to go, Zach!
Kate has adjusted well to Kindergarten and she has made some good friends.
Noah had a tic lodged into his head that Matt took out this evening.  It was all blown up and very disgusting!  Noah has a scab on his nose that everybody wonders how he got.  He is often climbing and falling, so I don't know which fall caused the scrape on his nose.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

TOFW photos & More

Our Host
Michael McLean
TC Christensen
Brad Wilcox
Mackenzie Turley
Springfield, MA
Mercy River

Chris Williams
Deanne Flynn
 S. Michael Wilcox
 Julie De Azevedo Hanks
 Emily Freeman

Lunch Break

Cub Scout Camp Fire

Emily's weekend craft project

Saturday, October 20, 2012

TOFW Day 2

We were blessed with safe travels last night in the dark and rain, although there were some bumps along the way.  We are now listening to Hilary Weeks over the sound system as we wait for the day to begin.  We got here after the doors were already open, so we weren't sure how close to the stage we would get, but sweet Aunt Tonia got here before us and saved us seats.  We have great seats as always!  I am excited to see and hear from Mercy River today!

Mercy River is singing A Beautiful life.  Love it!  Oh, loving this more...they are singing the everyday music in their lives as moms...Dora the Explorer!

Chris Williams...We heard him talk in Orlando, but I am happy to listen to him again.  His wife & 2 of his children were killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver in 2007.  He has a great story of hope & forgiveness.  The Savior will succor (run to) us in our times of hardship and trials.  He was inspired to Let it go.  Let the burden (anything he couldn't control) go.  Check out his book, Let it go (my recommendation, not his). He was invited to take upon himeself Christ's yoke.  Faith in Jesus Christ saved his life.  Prayer and repentance helped him gain a fresh perspective and saved his life.  The Holy Ghost helps us to see things as they really are.  In the temple, he felt his wife near and she told him to get busy and serve others.  He is now remarried to a widow with 2 small children.  They have 2 children of their own.  It has taken awhile to blend the family, but worth the effort.  Chris is singing Come Thou Fount and he sounds good.  :-)
Chris has inspired me to be forgiving, listen to the spirit, be obedient to God's will & live life.

Mercy River is sounding good, too.  I'm enjoying their stories and songs from their CD Higher.

Break Time...Just saw Gail Kill!

Deanne Flynn...Notes from God...I liked this one "Come to my house and bring your umbrella because I am watering my plants today."
What do you forget to remember?
1. Remember to listen
Listen to the spirit of the takes practice
2. Look forward
There is a pinch of Lot's wife in us.  "The best is yet to be" by Elder Jeffrey R. it :-).
Look forward, Press forward
3. Laugh often
Erma her!
Genesis 21:6 "And God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear may laugh with me."  ~ Sarah
Try laughing instead of getting angry.
4. Love deeply
Remember that God loves us.
Deanne has inspired me to be more in tune with the spirit and to act on the promptings I receive.

S. Michael Wilcox
Moroni 7...Search for, lay hold & cleave to every good thing
It is not good to be alone.  We need the beautiful relationships of husbands and wives.
Go around and collect all good things in the world.
Mike has inspired me to learn more, read more & have different experiences.

Lunch break at Hot Table.  I had my first steak & cheese with red peppers pantini and it was delicious!
Aunt Tonia left for home at the start of lunch since she has such a long ride.

Now enjoying Hello Sunshine by Mercy River.  I love their non-CD songs!  They made up kid bedtime lyrics to the beat of 'N Sync's Bye Bye Bye and it was hilarious and fun!

Julie De Azevedo Hanks ~ Songwriter/singer/Therapist
Heavenly Father's will +
your unique gifts & talents = Your authentic self
1. Honor your emotions.  Emotions are not good or bad.  Emotions are a guide.  It is normal to have a broad range of emotions.
Emotions = Energy in motion
4 basic emotions...Happy,Mad,Sad,Scared
Be real and honest, so we can become who we are meant to be
2. Invest in your own growth.  Taking good care of yourself is key to developing your authentic self and having something to give to others.
2 Nephi 2:25...Men are that they might have joy.
Our potential is to have a fullness of joy.
Take something that you loved as a child and bring it back into your life.
3. Celebrate the good that is already in you.
If we talked to others the way we talk to ourselves, we would have no relationships!
Triangle of love=God,Neighbor,Self
Make a TA DA List at the end of the day to see the good you have done.
Julie is singing to us...Beautiful!
Julie has inspired me to enjoy being me and to not feel guilt when I feel mad.  I need to express my anger in a way that will keep me guilt-free.

Emily Freeman
The middle moments of our lives
1. The Lord is aware of our situations & He knows how to get us through.
2. Trust God's word
When was the last time you had an answer to prayer?
When was the last time you have received an answer during scripture study?
3. Trust God's timing
4. Trust God's example
Matthew 9
5. Trust that sacrifice will lead to miracles.
Emily has inspired me to trust God & to trust the promptings of the spirit that I receive.

Another great Time Out For Women!  Heading back to Maine now...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Live From TOFW

Patti, Lucvie, my grandmother & I are the first in line to enter the Time Out For Women room!  We are always early, but have never been first in line.  We are in Springfield, Massachusetts.  We left Bucksport at 9:30am and now it is 4:36pm.  We ate lunch in Portland at On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina.
Michael McLean just said Hi to us and said he is glad we are here and then he walked into the room we are waiting to enter.  :-)
My Aunt Tonia is with us now!  She had a group that she was going to come here with, but the other women backed out...just like my mom!  We miss you, mom!  So, my Aunt Tonia drove here by herself and has a room by herself (at the same hotel as us) when she could have come with us!  :-(
We are in and my shopping is done.  I had my girls in mind and bought a talk on CD "keep texting from taking over" by Brad Wilcox & Russell Wilcox and David Archuleta's music CD Begin.  I am eating a yummy mint Utah Truffles.  Yum!

TOFW has begun!...6:30pm
Sheri Dew is on a recorded video talking about the 10th year anniversary and how TOFW got started.  Fall 2002 in Phoenix is where it started.  Sheri Dew's friend had a venue open because of a cancelled event, so Time out For Women was born.  Yay!  She hopes that we will be ready to receive the messages that God wants us to hear.

Michael McLean is singing.  Thinking of you mom!
TC Christensen...Film Maker...watching 4 clips from "17 Miracles" and then TC gives more details and testimony of these pioneer miracles.  TC loves cocoa puffs, FYI.

Brad Wilcox...Brad means Dweller in a broad meadow...loves learning about names...TC's name is Tom
Brad's son is serving a mission in Japan
Brad served his mission in Chile.

Different names of Christ
Jesus means God is help
Christ means Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed One
Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the carpenter's son...God is a framer, so carpenter's son works for Brad
Known as the son of God & the son of being one of God's names
Firstborn & only begotten...spiritually born 1st, only begotten in the flesh
Jehovah...covenant name
I am
The bread of life/The living water
King of Kings/Lord of Lords
Son of the blessed...reference to His mother Mary
Christ knows our names
God loves us just the way we are, but he wants us to continue to reach our potential
Immanuel...God with us

Michael McLean with McKenzie Turley.  Beautiful voice!  Entertaining.
A great TOFW evening!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Here Comes the Boom

I was first interested in seeing this movie because it is rated PG.  Then I read about the movie and I liked the story.  It has a good cast, too.  I was happy to hear that Matt was interested in seeing this movie, so we went to see it this evening.  I am heading to Time Out For Women tomorrow!!!, so the weekend started a day early. :-)  I really enjoyed the movie.  It was entertaining and it had a good message.  I left the theater smiling and feeling good with a desire to help others.  I highly recommend this movie.  :-)  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fire Safety

Zach's class spent part of the day learning about fire safety with our local firefighters.  New equipment on loan from Ellsworth allowed the kids to experience a smoke filled building where they had to crawl low to get out.  The kids also took turns calling 911.  A dispatcher answered their call and talked with them.  I am so glad that Ellsworth is sharing this new equipment with neighboring towns!  We have had several house fires in our town this past week.  We need to make sure we have a plan in place with our families in case a fire does happen.  I think we will review our plan during our next Family Council.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Party

I spent the day fasting for Romney and setting up for my first Relief Society activity.  We had a pumpkin party this evening!  Everyone brought a snack, meal or dessert that had pumpkin in it. I want Linda Rich's pumpkin pudding recipe!  It was so yummy!  I also loved Kristen Speranza's pumpkin salsa.  I brought home my grandmother's leftover pumpkin cookies.  Those will be our treat tomorrow.  :-)  My treat tonight (besides all the yummy food) was holding 4 month old Finn.  He is so cute and little!  I'm so glad that Mallory & Mike are in our branch now!  I enjoyed being with the sisters this evening!  They are so much fun and I am blessed to know them.  :-)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Surrounded by good things

The sweetest sight today was watching Kate & Emily swing side by side happily before dinner.
The sweetest sounds were Zach reading to Noah and Kate giggling when she was finding match after match during our family Toy Story memory game.
Noah & I spent the day with my parents.  They got back from North Carolina early this morning.  All of the kids spent time with them after school, except for Eleanor who had cheering.
Here are the latest pictures...
Last Saturday of rec soccer.  Emily played center forward and Eleanor was goalie.

 Chelsea, Emily & Megan with their trophies for being big 6th graders and ending their rec careers!  They are looking good in their Middle School warm up jackets that their sweet mommies bought for them!
 Fun Lego Creation!
House Progress!