Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Ghost of Halloween Past

This Halloween season has caused me to reflect on Halloweens long ago when my father would turn the Smith residence into a fabulous haunted house. Trick-or-Treaters would wait in line for the privilege of entering. It started small and then grew year by year. I believe the witch vacuum was the first creation, followed by many additions, including the Tesla coil that shoots out purple lightning, Jacob's Ladder, the talking skeleton (who was usually dressed as Norman Bates' mother, but had at least one appearance as a cyclist on the roof with E.T.'s head in the basket), Fred the Head, who's mouth moved in time to a recorded voice, Frankenstein, who would rise up on the chiropractic table, Marie Antoinette and a bloody guillotine, The Phantom of the Opera playing the old organ, a dummy who fell out of the attic, and the list continues. Scary Halloween music would blare through the outdoor speakers to attract visitors. Needless to say, our Halloweens growing up were great fun. Sometimes we were allowed to help and bring friends to help as well. It made Halloween so much more exciting than just going Trick-or-Treating. I'm grateful for my dad's creativity, and we are the only family I know who has LITERAL "skeletons in the closet".

Here are our carving adventures this year:

Yes, for you observant ones, that is a "KISS" inspired jack-o-lantern created right out of Ray's brain, and James' shorts are on backwards.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Snippets from Fall Break

Cousins at the Zoo"Papa" with all the Grandchildren
Pumpkin Patch
Corn Maze
This is how James fell asleep on Sunday...

P.S. Notice the tangled slinky on the floor. Do those things ever last more than a few days without getting mangled beyond repair?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Saturday morning Ray and I went to the temple with my sister Amy & her husband Sam. My mom watched the kids, and when we went to get them, we walked into a room full of people, presents, and food! My mom and sisters planned a surprise baby shower for my SIL Adina and I! I had no idea! I think it's silly to have a shower for a 4th baby, but I had gotten rid of Marinne's baby stuff, so it was great to get some nice things for the baby. Thanks for all the fun gifts, everyone!!! Amy made some cute invitations...
Erica is in town for a few weeks, so it was fun to have her at the shower!

A Great Book

A group of women from my ward have a book club, and our latest read was "These is my Words" by Nancy Turner. It's about a family that settled in Arizona in the late 1800s, written from one woman's perspective. It drew me in from the beginning and I read it in a few days. Although it isn't about Mormon pioneers, the family goes through many of the same hardships and it made me appreciate those who crossed the plains and all they sacrificed. I love historical fiction because I feel like I am not only reading a good story, but learning something as well. Anyway, it's a great book and I recommend it! Now I need to get the sequel!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Marinne's Recital

Marinne had a violin recital last Saturday and did a great job. I hope she will stick with the lessons so she can develop this talent. I love the violin, it just takes a long time to get it sounding really good. We are lucky to have such an amazing teacher for her. Blake started piano lessons and loves it so far. I think it's important for music to be a part of my kids' lives. I'm hoping they got the good Hammond singing genes instead of mine!