Monday, October 31, 2011


The girls were so excited about the spooky fog on Halloween morning that they had to have their before school photo with the foggy background. Our modified Tigger (orange and black day at the middle school, no costume pieces allowed) and un-dead soccer player were excited to be back at school for the day's festivities. Jenna's school was still in full costume mode with their costume contest, and she had fun participating and checking out all the fun costumes.

Evening plans were all over the place, but finally settled just before the spooktacular trick-or-treating hour. Kelly took the girls and their friends, Grace and Sarah, over to the Nobel's neighborhood which goes all out with the decor on the street. This year was Twisted Fairytales, and the point of going was to see the grandeur, not necessarily to stock up on candy. There are hundreds of kids that go through, so it was pretty much a zoo, but they had fun checking it out.

After that visit, they all returned to go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. It was just like old times with our former neighbor, Sarah, along, and it was very fun for Heather and Grace to get to trick-or-treat together. We even ran into the older girls' friend, Mary Barbara. The girls all scored big with handfuls of candy being passed out as it got later into the evening and things quieted down in the neighborhood. The girls came back to our place to do some traditional candy trading before saying goodnight.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

Each year I am amazed at my husband's carving skills. He has the girls draw or find an image they can sketch, and he gets the image translated to the jack-o-lantern. He has the girls think about the how the light will come through so that they get a good image for him, and then he works his magic. He did another awesome job this year. Grandpa was here for the festivities.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Tour

Saturday evening was the Los Angeles performance for the So You Think You Can Dance? tour at the Nokia Theater. This year I went with my friends, Michelle, Kim, and Trish. The evening was so exciting. There is something about going in person to see our favorite dancers that is really amazing. I ran into Joshua who was the winner a couple of seasons ago, and he stopped for a picture. The high points of the night included watching Melanie and Marco dance their statue routine, Melanie dance her solo, Tad dance his solo, and seeing the two tappers tap it out live. Tad was hilarious and his B-Boy tricks were phenomenal, and Jess, who specialized in Broadway as well as tap, was amazing; it was a real treat to watch them perform. We had fantastic seats and had a blast being there together to watch our favorite dance show performers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Skating and Monster Mash

Heather and her besties had a super-fun afternoon Wednesday. First, they went to the FV Skate Rink free skate hosted by MacKenzie's orthodontist, Dr. Harris. They had a blast.

Next came dinner at the Peterson's. After dinner, they freshened up the costumes and headed to the HB Stake youth activity, the annual Monster Mash. More super-fun silliness was had before they were all delivered back home exhausted, but happy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pre-Halloween Fun

The candy is purchased, the pumpkins ready to carve and the decorating complete. There are so many activities planned this week that we just had to squeeze in one last trip to Disneyland before Ghost Galaxy went away. Tonight was the only night it would fit, and Kelly got home just as school let out which ended up being perfect! We loaded kids and backpacks in the car and spent a couple of hours at the Magic Kingdom. Yes there was homework, but what were we to do? We needed our fix of Disney magic. We rode Space Mountain/Ghost Galaxy three times (thank you FastPass), Splash Mountain once and made plans to return next week to get in our Haunted Mansion time. Have you been to Jack's house? It's awesome.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Snapshot-Our Week 10/17/11

Tuesday: Photo shoot at South Coast Plaza included trip to Claire's to purchase dangly earrings and a braided headband.

Wednesday: Found a gift left by my very thought friend, LeAnn and took Winston to the groomers.

Thursday: Trip to the dentist for girls' cleanings.

Friday: Home teacher stopped by with homemade goodies from his wife, my uber talented friend, Shea. Took picture as cookies did not survive the evening.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Choosing Colors for Family Pictures

While reading a blogger's tutorial on dressing for holiday card photographs, I realized that although I'm not a "professional," I could offer some tips to take the stress out of getting ready for family photos. Although I'm not an expert, I have experienced emotions from completely stressed out to completely survivable, so I may be able to offer some useable advice. Here are my rules to live by:

1. Don't stress - Use what you have

You don't have to buy all new clothes for the family. Most of us have neutral colors, and if your kids are young, you've probably purchased in a color palate without thinking about it because of your personal taste.

2. Blend - Use colors and fabrics that compliment

Again, it's not necessary to match. I usually do a basic bottom of bare feet or neutral shoe color, then jeans for everyone. Khakis work well also. Keeping the bottom half of us more uniform keeps the eye away from this least important part of the picture. The color palate on the top can be a mix of a color like blue, for example, with neutral beige/tan/white mixed in. Or you can do everyone in the same color, but not the same shirt with the texture and style of each shirt adding the interest. Try to keep the fabrics complimentary also. If everyone is in a light cotton and one person is in a sweater, it looks funny. So balance those different fabrics like you would the pops of color putting at least two of four or three of five in the same weight of fabric.

3. No bold colors or prints that clash

The eye is drawn to whatever pops, and your clothes are not the focus of the picture. If you are going to use colors, make sure they compliment the photo. If one person wears a bright color, another person should have it to balance the photo. Too much bold color or mixing prints makes the photo visually busy and detracts from the subjects.

4. Fancy hair isn't necessary

We've done blow-dryed hair, flat ironed, pony tails, you name it. It's stressful to worry about hair! As long as it's brushed and neat, I'm happy. The girls are happier too.

Here is our gallery of the last few years. The first two are poorer wardrobe choices, the first having too many colors going on, and the second having only one family member in a pop of color.

In the rest of these photos, I tried to think neutral and complimentary. You'll see that not all the photos are professional, nor are all of the outfits perfect. But there is something that works in each one and that is that we tried to keep the focus on us and not our clothes. Most of the time it works.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jenna del Fuego

Our girl was quite on fire at her game Saturday. We knew she was a gifted defensive player, however, we didn't know what she had in her at the goal. Several shots came at her fast and high, and she deflected them all. No one scored on her. She even dove on top of a ball while her opponent was still trying to kick it. What? Yeah, she was on fire. We were so proud of her, and of all her teammates who took what their fabulous coach taught them the day before and put it to the test. They did not let these taller, faster, harder kicking girls intimidated them, and although Jenna's team lost 3-2, this was the best our girls have played. We told Jenna that when you play like her team did, no one loses. She agreed.