Sunday, November 02, 2014

Halloween, SoCal Style

Traditionally, October has been one of our favorite months in Michigan, so we have missed many wonderful aspects of the season, from watching the leaves turn to feeling the chill in the air, to getting apple cider and donuts at Westview Orchards or Blake Farms. That said, we have found ways to make the last month fun and meaningful, each with a uniquely SoCal flair.

We started the week with treats at church on Sunday.

On Monday, the kids showed how they are making progress in their studies.

While Mike was out tutoring, the rest of the clan hung out in front and rode bikes. Grandpa B. fixed and tested out Landon’s bike. The chain keeps coming loose, despite repeated attempts to tighten the chain. Grr.

On Tuesday, we really started getting into the Halloween “spirit” when Eliza started wearing her holiday-themed clothes and school-made crafts.

She also helped clean up around the house.

While Mike tutored, Hallie and the kids celebrated Cru’s birthday at Grandma and Grandpa M’s.

Eliza had her class party on Wednesday. She went dressed as a Renaissance princess. Her school schedule overlaps Landon’s, so he was able to come join the fun.

That night, our ward had its annual Trunk or Treat. Eliza had her hair braided by Sarah and changed into her Dorothy costume.
Notice the sorry Jack O'Lanterns in the background? They didn't last a week in the California sun. They'd've lasted all winter in Michigan. That is, unless the squirrels got to them. 

She happened upon the Wicked Witch of the West!

Landon had his Halloween party on Thursday because he had no school Friday for teacher staff development. The morning started with a parade.

The kids then had a party organized by Hallie. Hallie was so thankful for all of the parents that came to help. For her first time being room mom, Hallie had an hour-long set of activities that went off without a hitch.

Mike went up to work in the late morning and learned new things about life in California. While many things have remained the same these last few years, there are always new things to learn and new perspectives to be had. Sometimes it’s fun being a stranger in your own backyard.

That night, we watched the Westlake High School Warriors trample the St. Bonaventure Seraphs. Westlake is a top 25 ranked team in the state, so we saw some great playmaking (plus a beautiful sunset).

The kids liked watching the cheerleaders and the marching band more, though.

The phone app on Mike’s camera has been giving him grief for a while now, but things are getting worse. Sorry for the blurry pics.

Halloween Friday started off busy and a bit chilly by California standards, with rain threatening all day. We went to Simi for Landon’s first official doctor appointment and school physical. We couldn’t use the information we had from his last physical, and we have 90 days from his enrollment to get him one out here. Mike and Eliza visited Grandma and Grandpa O. while Hallie and Landon waited at the doctor’s. We then ran errands, prepared food, and got the back yard ready for guests.

In the late afternoon, we had some neighbors, our friends the Taylors, and Grandma and Grandpa O. and Ali for chili dogs and cider before the kids went out Trick-or-Treating. We wanted cake donuts to go along, but Rolling Pin had sold theirs all out.

In our neighborhood, we had a pretty good turnout. Many kids dropped by the house, and our kids filled their candy buckets. As Justin Roberts sings in Trick or Treat, we have enough candy to last us until May or June (or maybe April).  
This kid came in a homemade Optimus Prime Transformer costume that actually transformed, complete with sound effects!

The public safety officers even came to see us and pass out candy!

The kids ended their evening with “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

In the late evening, we got a very rare downpour. The heavy rain didn’t last long, but it did cause a small mudslide on the other end of town.

Saturday began with Hallie going to Target to get leftover Halloween-themed school snacks. It all tastes the same, right?

We then went to cousin Cru’s house for his birthday party, which had a reptile theme. Alligator Al’s Traveling Reptile Pals came by, and Al showed off several snakes, a bearded dragon, a skink, and an African bullfrog.

The reptile theme continued into the activities, decorations, food, and party favors. The kids had a blast!

We returned home to do a little cleaning up after last night’s party and then drove to Altadena for Mike’s sister Emily’s wedding reception. We miscalculated how long we would have to battle LA traffic and finally had to take surface streets to get through the snarl. As a result, we did get to see some interesting and picturesque parts of LA, Burbank, and Glendale as we crested the San Rafael Hills along Chevy Chase and Highland Drives (even the names are picturesque) before getting into Altadena.

We celebrated with family and friends and look forward to Emily and Michael sharing a lifetime of happiness together.  

A little update on Diamond: Last month she started a two-semester internship that she works at two days a week. A lot of the work she is doing is along the lines of the profession she would like to go into, and it has been a great eye-opening experience for her. Diamond currently works for BYU-Idaho 3 to 4 days a week and does great at her job. This semester she has off, and is she looking forward to going to Detroit to visit family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Diamond has made a lot of friends at BYU-Idaho and continues to be involved in many school and ward activities. Recently she was able to attend a Piano Guys Concert. For a small town, Rexburg is not short of culture. Our family is counting down the days until Diamond is able to come and see us for Christmas.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Congratulations to your sister and brother-in-law. I loved how positively you worded your journey to their reception. :)