Saturday, October 31, 2020


 We carved pumpkins with the activity boys that I forgot to take pictures of. We also had a Halloween trunk or treat at our friends house. Outdoor games, costume contest and chili cook off. Warren, perhaps through some soliciting, won one of the two under 16 costume awards. 

When Meesa first mentioned she wanted to do it, I volunteered to help her out, I couldn't resist. It was a lot of fun. I was so glad to still have somewhere to wear our family theme costumes. I neglected to take any pictures during the actual party. I had grand ideas to make a Mario Kart race for the kids. I made a decent track that looked pretty with the hanging lights, hay bales, flags and a few pedal carts. I didn't take a photo or really even run it during the party like I imagined. I think a few kids pushed around on it, but perhaps not worth all the energy put into making it, especially since we got side tracked and didn't even take a picture of all our characters by the track. 

Donkey Kong, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, Mario and Princess Daisy

The high school usually does an indoor trick or treat as well, and this year they adapted to a drive by one in the parking lot. It worked out fairly well. I love to take the kids because all the high schoolers always recognize, compliment and dote on our themes, a little validation.

Halloween night we did trick or treating in our neighborhood with Hannah, Cecily and Colin. It was one the most pleasant fall evenings we have had for Halloween. We weren't sure what trick or treating would look like, but were pleasantly surprised not only with sufficient porch lights on, but the creativity. I love when even the older folks made adjustments and were happy to see the kids. There were such things as tables out front with pre separated cups of candy, people on their driveway or porch, but with their candy in a bucket for the kids, a ghost pulley from the door to the kids at the steps, long tube deliveries, and claw grabbers. We only had about three sets of trick or treaters come to our door, which is not far from the normal anyway.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020


Aside from school on the first day of in person school at the beginning of September, we did get a proper autumn. Every year I marvel at its beauty. October really is one of my favorite months. It's perfect temps, beautiful foliage, General conference, football (and this year we got all the sports in the fall because of covid. Lots of baseball watching around here) Calvin's birthday and Halloween. The elementary put a quote on the marquee that I really liked, "Autumn shows us how beautiful it can be to let things go."

The first full week of October was my sit down and dedicate hours and hours to making Calvin's Great to be Eight video. I still marvel at how much I put into those. But it becomes my heart in those videos in more ways than one. The child of course, then the experiences and memories, and then the time putting it all together. I really do enjoy it. I did manage an afternoon of crafting with the ladies.

On the 11th, Julianne had some short notice plans to bring her oldest up to meet up with her parents. She and her kids stayed with us a few days. I gave fair warning that my only priority that week was to clean the house properly for all our guests that weekend. We managed to have a little fun in between all the cleaning. She got to see my parents Thursday night and left Friday morning.

Friday I made a meager attempt to hike with my Dad. We then met Stoehrs at the Cottonwood Farms pumpkin patch in Erie. It was disappointing, and I don't think it's because we are growing out of them. Some of the lackluster might have been due to how Covid seems to put a dark cloud on things, but also there was no patch, it was just a bunch of pumpkins placed in the fields. The corn maze was also pitiful with stalks that weren't even to my shoulder. I don't know if that is weather related, stunting the corn early or something, but it was better a couple years ago. We brought a picnic lunch and enjoyed the sunshine. 

Saturday we had fun watching the boys at soccer and football. That evening we had soup, homemade donuts made by Hannah and helped by Calvin, and watched a backyard movie. I hadn't previously seen the movie we showed, Hubie Halloween, and perhaps should have because it was on the crude side. 

I asked my friend Lisa to be my lunch buddy to take out our friend Deanna Allred in the ward. I feel for these older friends that have felt the isolation of covid. She is married, so she has her beloved companion, but he is an introvert and happy as a clam in all this. She, on the other hand, is like Lisa and I, and no friend socializing can be damaging. We told her we would love to go on lunch dates if she was comfortable. We've done two, mask wearing and outdoor eating with her. She mentioned multiple times how much it meant to her. Deanna has been there my whole life. She hasn't aged since I was a kid. Dan, her husband, was my Bishop as a teenager, and my Dad his counselor. I love that I have gotten to now have an adult relationship with her too.

Random selfie shot one day and then coming across Jennie Dr in Denver one night with Grant.

We had a school snow day with about 6 inches of snow before Halloween, though it had melted a few days later. 

We turned in our ballots and will anxiously wait the results. Politics in the country right now is such an interesting topic. It is polarizing and heated, and yet I still took days or even weeks to finally decide and fill out my ballot. I wasn't thrilled with our presidential options yet again. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Routine Adjustments

September seemed to be all about adjusting to new routines. The kids loved being in school and Warren adjusted slightly better each week (starting at pretty low, getting to manageable). I was adjusting, figuring out my time, reading one million school emails, helping Warren cope and learn, sports practices and games and figuring out my new calling as the online seminary class teacher. Aside from our trips to Montana and Steamboat, I think I took a total of three pictures this month. 

I took Carrie out to lunch for her birthday. We ventured out downtown. It was fun to take the train and actually be able to take my time. Downtown was sparse and sad, especially the sketchy part near the capitol where we wanted to get our takeout. It still hasn't recovered from not only covid, but all the BLM riots. Windows were still boarded up.

This year we will remember covid, then riots, then wildfires, then the election. One night of Calvin's practice the fires up north gave us some great sunset clouds. We have seen and smelled the smoke and seen the ash, the fires have been bad this year.

Grant managed to help a couple teeth out.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Steamboat Springs

 We had a weekend planned back in April that got postponed until September. We recruited Levi to fly out and hang out with the kids. We went up Thursday night and came back Sunday. It was a lovely weekend with the Stamps, Laras and Larsens. We went to the Strawberry hot springs, rode our bikes into town, shopped, ate out and had lots of conversation, laughing and relaxing.

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