|One of our best fall days so far....|
|Mom--it's ok, you can stay here. I have things to do.|
Fall is almost over! I can't believe it. It really shook me up when my kids told me yesterday that they felt like time is passing 'so fast mom--it feels like Dallin was just born!'. I thought adults were the only one who could sense that fast pace of time. Since we are looking forward to Thanksgiving now, I wanted to share a bit about this fall. There was one day when David was going to be gone most of the day and so I decided that rather than waste the bizarrely beautiful, warm fall weather, that the boys and I would turn it into a Fall Surprise Party. I love surprising others with things I know they will love and so I relished teasing them a bit to hurry and finish their chores cause they don't want to miss the awesome surprise I had in store for them. We left close to lunch time so for a fun treat I took the boys to pick up something to eat at Wendies. I rarely to a fast food run so they knew this was part of the fun surprise. They were happily munching away as I drove them across town and over toward the opposite side of the valley. They hounded me about where we were going but I just smiled and shook my head---nope! Not telling. As I got closer to our destination the boys started yelling that they knew what the surprise was...the Pumpkin Patch! There are some wonderful people who put together a fun straw maze for kids, hay rides and a pumpkin patch to pick out of. They also have this cute old fashioned 'Mercantile' type store that sells mostly cutesy things like candles, soaps, and figurines. So we paid the admittance fee (just $2 for the older two boys and Dallin and I were free) and went to play in the straw maze. The boys ran ahead, leaving me and Dallin in their dust and were having a blast as they found hidden scary surprises in the maze. I had to laugh when I cam across a skeletal deer carcass in the maze with some pretend people party (arms, legs) in the rib cavity....so Eastern Oregon! I loved watching Dallin charge ahead, so bravely going around every corner with purpose. He almost seemed to resent that I was following him.Once I even had to ask Eli to help cause he crawled through a hole in the straw bales and I couldn't reach him. Eli and Preston are such good big brothers. When we were done with the maze we found that the mercantile store sold salt water taffy and suckers. The boys wanted the suckers (they were those big fun flavored ones) and I wanted the taffy so we got our treats and headed out very content. We all shared 'tastes' with Dallin and Preston decided as his suckers was almost gone that he would let Dallin have the rest. I had to stop for some gas and when I looked back at Dallin sucking away he gave me a huge grin. What a life.
After they pumpkin patch the boys were thanking me for the day, what a great surprise etc., but I told them we weren't done! I wouldn't tell them where we were going but we drove and drove back toward our side of town. They were speculating about what we else we could possibly do and then I slowed down as we got to Riverside Park. I got out some rakes I had stowed in the back of the suburban and we had a ball raking up the huge drifts of leaves (the park has some wonderful big maple trees) and pushed all of them into a big pile. Then we began to play! We burried eachother in the leaves, have leaf fights etc. The big boys were having a great wild time with it. Dallin would throw a couple handfuls and then try to run off toward the playground. I would let him go several yards before I would scoop him up and bring him back. Once though I let him get closer and I noticed two of Eli's boy classmates in the park. I invited them (and their Moms) to come play in the leaves with us. They ran over and gleefully dove in. This is where it got a little funny. When Preston realized that their were other people (and not his own particular friends) being crazy about the leaves, he all of sudden became very possessive. "You guys are messing up our pile, don't throw the leaves etc. etc." I tried to reason with him that we are all playing, and it's fin to throw them...I demonstrated how easy it was to rake the leaves back into a pile. Instead of calming down Preston became angry and anxious, scooping up big piles of leaves from the main pile to 'go make my own stack--and you guys can't play with it!'. It was too funny! Poor kid.
David surprises the boys that same weekend with three huge pumpkins that a friend gave the family. They are really enormous kinds of pumpkins so the boys were thrilled. David, who usually lets me take on the pumpkin carving duties, realized that he had an electric saw that might be perfect for carving this large thick-walled pumpkin! We went online and as a family picked out a face we liked. Eli and David wanted scary faces, Preston wanted a 'not scary face' or at least a smile and I was indifferent. We ended up with a smiling scary face. Then my job was to sketch it onto the pumpkin (mean while the boys are scooping out the 'guts'). At last David brought in the knife looking electric saw and began carving. It was so impressive how nice and quick the carving went! At lsat we found a candle put it inside and lit up the jack-o-lantern. The boys raced to turn off the lights and then we all gazed admiringly at the family handy work.
Halloween was last week. Eli knew who wanted to be a scary chef with the chef costume his Aunt Ana had gotten him the previous Christmas. I had bought Dallin a cute Dragon costume that I picked because it was a warm and had a hood. and Preston had been planning to be another transformer. Halloween landed on a Thursday this year and the boys still have school the next day, so we didn't have any huge plans for Halloween beyond the classic trick-or-treating. Suffice it to say, I wasn't really into the idea of building Preston another Transformer costume. Last year we had made an Optimus Prime costume out of boxes and spray paint. I love making it with him--and was so happy that he loved the final product so much, but this year he was at a school that doesn't celebrate Halloween and except for the dark door to door trick-or-treating he would have no where to where his costume. I kept putting things off until the day before Halloween and finally we went to look for stuff to make his costume. I tried to convince him to pick something else as we didn't have the time or money to make a costume he was gonna where in the dark and cold for an hour. He stubbornly refused every idea as I took him (and his two brothers) to four different stores. At last I said, ok, I'm done you are going to have to figure something out with what we have at home. The next day after school we got the kids ready. Eli was fun---he wanted a scary face which was easy! Dallin, I put in his costume and he flipped out. Absolutely hated his costume (the hood annoyed him) and he was hysterical by the time I pulled the costume off him. Preston was sullen and said he just wouldn't go, but at least decided to be Ironman with an Ironman mask and a large red sweater. I planned to stay with the still sobbing Dallin at home (although I was disappointed--I wanted to go join the fun too!). But then I remembered a pair of superman pajamas he had gotten from his cousin. It even had a little cape! So we got him in his pj costume and voila....at least we got out the door to collect bags of candy!
My favorite moment from that evening was when I was walking with the big boys up the street (David was hanging with Dallin at his parents house for a bit) and Eli suddenly said, "Mom, you know what I love most about Halloween?" I assumed he was going to talk about the plentiful treats but he surprised me with, "I love how we get to go say hi to all these people we have never met!" I laughed cause it was so like his Grandpa Westenskow and so opposite of his dad.
All in all, it's been a pretty good fall! Even thought I don't' love the cold of winter, I am looking forward to the cozy days of reading to the kids in front of the fire, or watching a movie with some hot cocoa in hand. I know that before long I am going to look back and say, "Where did the time go?"