We packed a ton into this Halloween day and evening. Heather went back to school this week for bits and pieces, but we're glad she's able to go to some of the school day. We've been off our schedule the past six weeks, so today we played catch up.
First up was visiting a pumpkin patch. The girls care not about this, but since it's an annual tradition, we popped onto the lot at our local fruit and vegetable stand for a picture. I wish their pumpkins weren't so pricey! We found our pumpkins at Walmart one day when Heather was home. Super affordable and not bad looking. We carved them in the late afternoon. Kelly was the master carver and oversaw the carving. The girls, and Kelly, too, did an outstanding job on their jack-o-lanterns!
I did some last minute decorating for our neighborhood Trick-or-Treaters, and the girls got decked out again in their costumes. Madi and Kenzie joined Heather in our neighborhood while Jenna went with friends in the Greenbrook neighborhood. Ironically, our neighborhood was the place to be. The older girls collected about six pounds of candy each, some candy being full size bars! There isn't much activity in our neighborhood, but the neighbors still hand out candy. The result is handfuls of candy being distributed. After traditional candy trading, Heather did share a lot of her candy with Jenna which made Jenna's not-so-great stash a little more tolerable. What a nice big sister she has!
p.s. - Girls, will you still come home to Trick-or-Treat when you're in college? I'm going to miss this terribly!
We updated at the end of the month as Heather went back to school. We continue to be so thankful for all the support. Our Father in Heaven truly blesses us through our friends and family. We still have no answers, but we are moving forward with faith.
Just have to give Jenna another shout-out. She has been amazing us with her interest in hair and nail design. She practices braiding on me and other hair curling and twisting on herself, and she is collecting more and more polish and tools for nails. She has paid for a lot of her nail supplies and polish with her own money, and she spends a lot of time practicing nail design each week. It's not unusual for me to find selfies on our camera roll when Jenna has tried a new hair style. Of course the selfies are there anyway because her other love is hanging with her friends, and friend time is always selfie time. We love this girl. Stay creative Jenna!
Trunk-or-Treat was still on the "must-do" Halloween list for the teens and pre-teens. Jenna invited school friends, and Heather recreated her scary make up. I decorated our car and passed out candy. Candy trading was a traditional end to the evening. Poor Heather still has a headache, but she is trying to ignore it to participate in these fun, seasonal traditions. I'm glad she did; we're not sure how much longer the girls will want to do all these fun things.
This momma was secretly tickled that her middle schooler wanted to participate in crazy hair day. I miss those days when we dressed up for school spirit days with crazy hair, crazy socks, backwards day, pajama day, etc. Jenna wanted a mohawk, but because her hair is so long, we hand to improvise. She liked what I constructed, and we were good to go. My heart is going to miss these days as they get older. It signals a change of season, and my heart breaks just a little to see this time pass. #staylittle
Tonight was our annual Monster Mash for our church youth groups. Heather and Jenna both invited friends from school, and everyone had a great time dressing up. Heather bought her Alcatraz pajamas this past summer and had always planned to make a crazy, psycho ward, escapee, zombie-ish costume out of them. We bought a white shirt at the Goodwill, and two belts for $1 each at Target on clearance to complete the straightjacket part of the costume. Heather did all her own make up with gory tattoos and other makeup purchased in Walmart's Halloween section. She did a great job! The poor girl had a headache, but she was not going to miss this annual event.
This was Jenna's first ever church dance, and she was really excited. She and her friend, Hannah, got together to pull off some cat burglar attire. The fun part of this costume were the false eyelashes and extra makeup.
All the friends had a great time, and Heather even won the prize for most creative costume! A friend of ours who is a professional photographer was on hand to take photos of all the party-goers. We love our crazy family group shot!
After reaching out on Facebook and letting friends know that Heather was sick, we received some thoughtful gifts (pictured from Sister Snow) and visits. Heather's friends each came to visit and see how she was doing. Some came in groups, and some individually. It was a great boost for Heather to see her friends after being out of touch for a few weeks. Not all the friends who visited are pictured here, and we appreciate each and everyone who visited.
At the beginning of October, after three weeks of Heather being home with a headache and no answers in sight, I reached out on Facebook. I wanted to let friends and family know what was going on, but I was also in desperate need of support. For someone who likes to have a little control over her schedule and her life, I was beginning to unravel. The love we received was overwhelming. Responses continued to come in all month. In the midst of this trial, these comments from friends helped buoy us up. I read them all to Heather as many came from her friends and other adults she knows and loves.
I woke up this morning to breakfast, all made and presented by Jenna. She had been feeling the stress of Heather being down with the weird headache, and she decided to do something nice for me. Tender mercies and what a lift to my heart!
Yesterday, Jenna and Kenzie worked on baking their cake for their science class cell model. The requirement was that it had to be edible. This afternoon they decorated their cake with all the yummy goods Kenzie and her mom had shopped for. I was so grateful that they were willing to shop since Heather was down and out, and they were grateful that we could make the cake at our house and decorate it here as well. The cell model turned out spectacularly! I loved how self-directed these two were, and their hard work and effort paid off with a very nice grade!
My neighbor's puppy was born four days before Sariah, and we were invited to celebrate their first birthdays together. My neighbor splurged on some yummy cupcakes for the humans as well as the pups. I don't know if the puppies enjoyed themselves, but the cupcakes for the humans were sure yummy!
The heatwave has FINALLY caused our Plumeria bush to bloom. It only blooms in the heat, and so far the summer hasn't gotten quite balmy enough to cause the bloom. It's nice to see the flowers although I wish they had come in the summertime. We took the Young Women to the temple tonight to do baptisms. Always a great time.
I'm a wife and mother of two of the sweetest girls ever. In my former life, I was an elementary school teacher. I love learning and sharing experiences, and the chance to journal for posterity. I wish I knew as much about my ancestors as my posterity is going to know about me!