“If you want to be happy, BE” Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We are holding on to autumn as long as we can.

Some of our Autumn-time adventures.

This is along the ride out to Picnic Point. Such a beautiful view across the lake. 

Ye olde capitol building.

Just a hint of color change. 

The girls took off their jackets and socks and shoes. Up went the pants and right into the water for the last time this season.

UW's marching band. When I say marching, I mean military-style marching. They are extremely fit. Their practice field is along the bike path, so we are treated to their practices regularly. 

A nice little shot of the neighborhood around Kate's school.

Lisa and the girls are making quilts for some girls at the Children's Hospital. 

One down, two to go. 

Jess is such a funny kid. Lisa caught her making faces in our reflective microwave door. 

Working out in jammies and velcro shoes. 

Protecting Hello Kitty movies from rain?

Playing Go Fish. Kate is really good and wins a lot. 

Lisa decided to take Jess on a bus ride. The bus that runs past our apartments is free and goes around campus. Why not? 

Jess was so excited! This is one of her more normal faces. 

They stopped off at Babcock Hall, UW-Madison's dairy store. Ice cream and cheese. Hard to go wrong there. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

5 Days of Halloween

Halloween has to be one of the best holidays. It's the time of the harvest, with pumpkins, apples, and all sorts of the earth's wonders. Yum. The weather turns a bit colder, the leaves let go of their chlorophyll--then fall, wassail and hot chocolate are especially welcome, as are warm pies and treats. Cuddling is more necessary, and, of course, we get to imagine and dress up in whatever bizarre way seems the most fun and/or clever. With Jess' birthday about one week before Halloween, we do our best to start the celebrations early. Here's a taste of what we did this year:

Can you tell from this what the girls are dressed up as? They chose the same costume this year. 
Fun fingernail polish. The yellow glows in the dark. 


No stinger, but darn cute. 

Our neighborhood had a Halloween party at the community center, where kids and parents gathered for good times.

Coloring midget pumpkins. 

This is our Halloween "Tree." We'll have a full-sized one once we have the space. 

  Our ward also had a Halloween party at the church, with trick-or-treating and games and such. 

We just love this picture. 

Trick-or-treating in the Bishop's office.

The Elders in the library. I think they may sleep on cots in there.  It is a down economy after all.

Middleton, Madison's "Orem," hosted a Halloween extravaganza in a shopping center. They had hay rides, face painting, balloons, caricatures, pumpkins, and trick-or-treating to local businesses, among other things. 

Kate's photography work. Decent. 
Jess in character as a bee. She should wait until Spring to pollinate more effectively. 

After about 1 hr wait, it was their turn. Their drawing turned out so cute. It's cause they are cute. 

You probably can't tell that Kate was trying to run away and there were like 50 people behind Lisa waiting for their own photo op. We do what we can. 

 Skyping Grandma Jean and Granpa Bob and Grandma Di and Grandpa Morse to show them the girls costumes
What exactly is Jess doing?

How cool it is for our kids to SEE their grandparents as they live across the country!

Cute little bees!

Trick or Treating around Eagle Heights

Trick-or-treating around the apartments. 

The "haul." We tried to keep their sugar intake to a minimum. 

Kate likes to take pictures of her movies. This is Wizard of Oz. 

Rosy red cheeks from the aforementioned chilliness. Cuddling is indeed necessary.
We had a great Halloween, and Jess had a great birthday. Hard to believe she is three already. She was born during Spencer's last semester at BYU,  and here we are in our first semester at Wisconsin. How was your Halloween?

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Autumn Time

Living at the foot of beautiful mountain ranges for decades, we are used to absorbing the palette of fall colors from the valley floor. Scrub oak changes quickly and, before we knew it, the colors were gone. Here in Madison, the experience is quite different. We're surrounded by a variety of mature trees, changing at different times from green to the trees' choice of yellow, red, orange, or a combination thereof. Leaves fall in droves from the huge trees, until most are suddenly bare. The preparations for winter have begun. The geese, however, are optimistic in their migration, as many still float in chilly Lake Mendota.

The girls have loved playing in the leaves, finding pumpkins, and watching their favorite trees undress their coats of leaves.


This time of year is Beebs' birthday, so we drag out Halloween and birthday time for a good 10+ days. Jess wanted a princess cake, as usual, so Lisa got creative and constructed this:

She still doesn't know how to blow. Mostly moisture. 

 And these witch fingers:

Those lasted, oh, 5 minutes. They're basically an excuse to buy Swedish Fish, a fat-free food. 

Almost 1 week later, we're still eating this cake. Yum.

For her birthday celebration, we went to Ella's Deli here in Madison. Absolutely fun for the kids. The ceiling and walls are covered in motorized gizmos and gadgets, the favorites of which were a yellow submarine, juggling clowns, trapeze artists, Spiderman, and countless others. Jess loved her sundae, and couldn't wait to go on the yellow horse on the merry-go-round.

A view of some of the motorized goodies. 

Such a nerd. She loves to make weird faces. Hmmm. 

Such a cute back of the head. 

We carved one of our little pumpkins, but its face only lasted 1 night outside. We suspect crows or chipmunks. Little fetchers.

Pumpkin head Harvey. 

This was Kate's drawing for the above Jack-O-Lantern.

Our community center sponsored a "Wisconsin Day," featuring the best the state has to offer. We saw owls, snakes, cows, and ate yummy bratwurst, pumpkin ice cream, and a selection of Wisconsin cheeses and wild rice. We also had a surprise visit from this guy:

Woody the owl. 

Monty the Python. No, for real. 

Lots of people w/o personal space requirements.