Monday, October 25, 2010


There are actually 4 ninjas in this photo. Can you see the other 3? (Yes, they really are that good). I think it will be a very sad day when Clint and his friends no longer get excited about Halloween.
For now, I sit back and watch and soak all of the moments in. Grateful for another year of silliness and imagination that becomes ever more sophisticated, but is still, nevertheless, there.
Rushing ever forward, with each year bringing new and unexpected twists. Occasionally I get glimpses of my life, and realize that in spite of everything that is wrong in the world, there are still little boys who believe they can overcome evil and save the world. And who am I, or any other adult, for that matter to tell them that they can't?

When in all reality, the only difference between big boys, and little boys, is the SIZE of their superhero costumes, and the AMOUNTS of the food they eat.
I am just happy that they still come around.
And even if it means spending an entire day sewing 5 ninja costumes and seeing the contents of the fridge emptying before my eyes, I will do everything I can to make sure that they always do.
* The guys originally wanted to be Power Rangers, but since I didn't want to make paper mache' helmets, I convinced them to be the Might Morphin Power Rangers in their Ninja Form. They went for it, luckily. And are happy with the costumes.
To make the costumes: I bought inexpensive over-sized T-shirts. 2 for each. One is used for the ninja mask. You can see how to tie it here:
With the other shirt, I cut off the neck and sleeves, and slit it down the middle to make a robe- type shirt. I bought an inexpensive black bed sheet and cut it up into strips for the belt. Just because it was 4 dollars for about 5 yards of fabric as opposed to 5 dollars a yard if I had just bought black material. (I also use sheets for all of the curtains in my house. Such a great way to buy fabric! So much cheaper!) I sewed the edges of all of the shirts around the neck, arms, and up the middle. I also sewed the edges of all the belts. The belt strips I left all long, just like a real black belt.
The finial costumes are a cross between Mighty Morphin Ninjas, and Power Rangers Ninja Storm. The Power Rangers Ninja Storm wear gray armor under their Ranger Tunics...Hence, the gray long-johns.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Scarecrow necklaces

Hot Glue, Raffia, Candy.... We cut the sucker sticks in half and glued them onto the nerds boxes. Hot glued all of the other candy right on to the box, and then tied the raffia around the necks of the suckers. Candace wanted to use beads instead of googly eyes for the eyes...definately much more Scarecrowey
Make sure to tie a raffia bow around the neck to make sure it looks cute instead of like a noose.
Maybe they do look a little like Blair Witch Voodoo dolls...
But they definately taste good!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jeff"s 40th Birthday

Jeff's 40th birthday went like this: I got pizza from Papa Murphys. I called Derek from Target and he told me to get the Harry Potter Cake. I bought party hats, giant balloons with the rubber bands on them so you can bob them back and forth, I got oreo cookie ice cream.

Garrett, Preston, Kooyman, Clint, and Derek looked around the house for Harry Potter stuff. The broomstick, and the Quidditch snitch. We sang happy birthday while Jeff tried to blow out the trick candles. Perfect magic candles for the Harry Potter theme.

I secretely took the boys into the living room and handed them each a cold Bundeberg Ginger beer and told them to think of something they liked about Jeff. Each one said what they liked while they handed them his bottle. Derek: Your really Fun, Garrett : You're nice, Preston: you're funny, Kooy: Deer Hunting (?) Clint: Glad you're my Dad.
Then we ate Pizza and the kids told Jeff about letterboxing at Wheeler Farm earlier today and not being able to find any but one letterbox...Then Jeff said something about leaving the gold plates on the farm alone but looking under the golden plates for the letterbox and I realized again how much I love him.
He had all the little boys laughing so hard rootbeer was coming out their noses.

I spun the cake around and had the boys close their eyes and grab a ring from the top of the cake where ever it stopped. Jeff and Derek cheated and got Griffindor.
I think I ended up with Ravenclaw. Clint wasn't happy at all about getting Slytherin. But we all know he is a real Griffindor boy. Jeff got all the Bunderberg Ginger Beer he could drink for about 2 weeks. Not a bad birthday at all.
The next night we went to Jeff's favorite restaurant with the grown-ups at The Gateway downtown. It was a lovely evening...but I didn't laugh even half as much. I love my family, and I love being home. And I love Jeff. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A New View

Last week was bad. One of those weeks where absolutely nothing goes right. I felt completely alone and so depressed. So many things in my life were wrong and beyond my control. I have always struggled with depression. I have hang-ups about medication and have never taken anti-depressants, but was thinking last week that it may be my only option for survival this winter. Of course I haven't been exercising. My schedule has changed again this year, and getting up at 5:30 am every morning again is just too hard. It was hard last year. amidst my feelings of self-pity and self-loathing, I gathered my wits about me to ask for a blessing. It helped. Then my sweet sister suggested we fast and pray. I felt guilty having her fast for me. It has been a long time since I have done a 24 hour fast. By Sunday afternoon I felt better. My calling in our ward right now is compassionate service leader. A sweet older man in our neighborhood passed away and I was in charge of the Funeral. I went through the motions of calling the neighbors and ward members to make food assignments for the lunch. I was touched by each persons response when I asked them to help. Not the slightest hesitation to help and do whatever was necessary to serve this family in some small way. By the time I called the 6th person, I think I was just so overwhelmed by the kindness of my community that when Kathy saw my name on her caller ID and answered the phone by saying "Rachel...what do you need?" I just started crying. I was so filled with the spirit of love that comes from service and felt so grateful to have the opportunity to do something useful and not in any way for myself. Service in itself is it's own reward. The best anti-depressant there is. After the funeral preparations yesterday I was driving home and just caught a glimpse of the mountains right behind me in my rear view mirror in my car. I have seen those mountains a million times. But for some reason, the way the sun was shining, and the view from my mirror was so much more beautiful than usual, I just started crying again. Out of gratitude, love, feeling close to Heavenly Father, all of it. Sometimes it just takes looking at things in a new way to re-discover the beauty and greatness of it all. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to find peace in this life. Gods laws are not open for discussion or interpretation. He is the truth, the light, and the way. We need to love everyone, serve everyone, stand for what is right, be unmovable in the gospel. Be committed when we need to get through the hard times. Pray about things we are unsure of. We can't know and understand everything now. But we need to just focus on the positive aspects of life and look for ways to serve. It is funny how in the new book/movie/mantra of Eat, Pray, Love she goes through this journey of self-discovery that no real life person could ever possibly experience for themselves to find out what we already know. Through service and a love of others is the only way to deep, profound and true happiness. So I am temporarily on a spiritual high. I know it won't last. And I am not discounting in anyway medication for fact if my winter this year is as bad as last year, it is one of my options for myself. I just needed to write all of this down before I forgot so I can help myself to try to remember how I am feeling right now. I am so grateful for my life. I wouldn't change a thing.