I took two friends out to lunch recently. Charles came with me wearing his astronaut costume (he can't wait for Halloween). He was the apple of the waitresses eye and made everyone swoon when we went to the grocery store afterward. On actual Halloween, he'll add his Batman cape because a Batman astronaut is even better.
The friend I took out works for attorneys and she said how ridiculous they all are both in attitude and in life skills. They've got fancy degrees, but they can't even handle basic repairs around their office, home, cars, nor basic budgeting and common decency (they talk and act horribly). This furthers my belief that schools are failing kids and we need basic life skills to be taught again! Homemaking, basic home repair, shop, family relations, anger management, etc. Or just inspire families to do a better job teaching those things at home :)
Lately Charles is always grabbing a hold of walls or door frames while we're walking so he can suddenly yank me backwards since I'm either carrying him or we're holding hands while we walk. He's strong! And he thinks it's hilarious.
Before I forget, Dallas knew I liked this violin song called Gus Pike's Theme from Aunt Hetty's Ordeal, so he went online and found the piano music for it and learned to play it for me! Music is the best investment ever. I'm still trying to figure out what to do for music for Leia. Evan will be playing the organ this coming Sunday. How cool is that!? (Primary program).
About a week ago I noticed the first zit I've ever seen on Dallas. I said, "Well Dallas, you are officially a teenager and it's all downhill from here", speaking of my struggle with painful acne through high school. It cleared up in my 20's to simply a few zits all the time, and in my 30's to mostly clear (except right before my period). Pat had his share of zits too, so I felt sad that Dallas had to enter this phase of life.
Anyway, a couple days later, I noticed the zit was gone, and I said, "Wow, your face cleared up! I guess you've made it through that phase of life", and without skipping a beat, he said, "Whew- it was rough", and "I'm glad I can begin to move on", and a bunch of other stuff about the trauma of it all, with a perfectly straight face that had me laughing out loud- it was hard to drive!
At school they had spirit week and on crazy hat day he wore a HUGE three-musketeers type hat I found at a thrift store. It was black with a gold fringe and a huge white feather. His teachers even let him wear it in class, except for his History teacher, who asked him to remove it. And what was underneath? Another hat!!! Man that kid kills me. His teacher had to roll his eyes and say, "Both hats." Our other kids had Jelly Belly factory hats from a friend Sister Ettin in the ward who visited Northern California recently and brought some to our kids.
I sat down to do some planning for the month and realized Dallas should throw a Halloween party! He's old enough, we have great Halloween music, and it just feels like a party time to me! I thought we could meet at a cemetery and then drive over here or something... (though in this small town, we all know people in the cemetery so it's not so much creepy as it is sad). He was so confused about why we would have a party when it was no one's birthday.
Pat and I made a list of possible movies we could show (some using vidAngel to remove bad parts):
Halloween Town, Hocus Pocus, ET, Monster House, The Shallows, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or the last Harry Potter movie), the Birds, the Blob, Poltergeist, The Witches, The Mummy, Paranorman, Watcher in the Woods, Ghostbusters, The Haunted Mansion, Wallace and Grommit-Curse of..., Something Wicked this Way Comes, Twighlight Zone the movie, The Gate, The Burbs (with Tom Hanks) etc.
But then, facing issues of how to have a party in our small house at an age where you don't need parents and little siblings all up in your party, (there's no where for the rest of us to go unless we lock ourselves in a room for 4-5 hours, I remembered that we have a large corn maze just 15 minutes away, and they do a fantastic Haunted House and Haunted Maze at night! So we told him instead that he could invite friends and we'd do the driving. They were all 13 years old and it was the first time going for all of them! I don't even know if Dallas wanted to go, because it's really scary, but it seemed weird to take Dallas to the pumpkin patch this year during the day with all the younger kids so...
They got there and were given cards from a deck, and they had to wait for their card to be called and then line up. So rather than just wait in line for almost 2 hours, they could enjoy food, or the band or dancing, etc. Some of the actors went and terrorized people waiting in line or out in the general area. One scared D's friend Larry to death. So the waiting wasn't so bad, and was actually kind of fun.
|This is a man in a costume behind them|
They had a dance floor set up in the barn with tables, music, smoke, lights... and Pat said that it was mostly Dallas and the four girls out there dancing, but the other two boys joined in for the songs they knew. Pat said Dallas was the only one out there for the rap song which cracks me up. He probably looked ridiculous (to both rap music lovers and haters alike), but I love it when he pulls a Josh Smith. UpTown Funk, Macarena, Cupid Shuffle, it was lots of party music! Pat said he wished I could have come because they played some good Latin music. I wanted to, but we had no more seats left in our van!
Finally they got to go through the haunted corn maze as a group, and Pat walked in the back. He said they had a little bit of everything, and that it was really well done and very scary. One of the moms told me her daughter has a blood blister on her hand from another girl squeezing it so tight! Some of the actors waited until all the kids went by and then scared the dickens out of Pat which the kids thought was great. They talked all the way there and all the way home and seemed to have a great time. Dallas was sure nervous to invite the girls and all, but hopefully he'll get better. Be good friends. That's important.
Leia ready for soccer:
Of note: We went to our ward Chili Cookoff at the soccer field (look at that moon!)
and a Family History day at the church to learn about new apps and programs.
Because she has done this, she is one of the few women who still know many of these arts. Her husband goes around NM by truck and by helicopter monitoring animals for the forestry. For years and years they've been asked to help a small branch of the church out here, though it means they drive hours each week to get to and from the church for all the activities in addition to Sunday meetings, when they technically could be in our ward much closer. They are not well off, and live in a small simple house out in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, but I think they are rich in the things that are important.
Some funnies from Charles:
"Mom, lets go to the store! Can we buy my favorite snack? Can you help me, because I don't know what my favorite snack is."
After wetting his pants I said 'what a naughty boy who won't grow up' (which may have been harsh but we've been potty training for 1 1/2 years) and he said, "Well, I'm growing up slow." And then under his breath, "I wish I would hurry." (I agree, but only in the potty department!)