Trick or Treat in Denmark

Last night we went down to Denmark Iowa with my sister's family to her friends, the Williams', house. They had healthy snacks ready for the kids in hopes that their bellies would get full with good stuff before all of the junk. In Denmark, everyone goes door to door on hay rack rides because the little town is so spread out.

Gavin went as a dinosaur, the cutest dino I've ever seen if you ask me!
Jayden went as a fireman. Here the boys are on the hay rack ride. Jayden was so eager to go Trick or Treating that he grabbed a seat as soon as we got to their house.

Here's the crew! Jayden, Gavin, Ethan, Olivia, Landis and Kane were our Trick or Treaters for the evening.


Gavin's first time!

Gavin loved this pumpkinHere is Jayden with his loot at the end of the night. He had such a great time. When we got back to the Williams' house he looked at me and asked "We get to stay here forever?"

On a side not, Gavin has taken a liking to pumpkin cookies. If the fridge door is left open for a second longer than it should be, this is what happens:
Happy Halloween to everyone! We're going out tonight with Kim, Nate, Peyton, and Grandma (think that's it?)...so watch for another post tomorrow!

Oops! A forgotton post!

So, a few nights ago I spent all of this time uploading pictures to the blog, and then our internet went out and I was unable to post the blog! I forgot about it until just now, so now my blog is out of sequence...but oh well.
This weekend Becky and the kids came down to spend some time with family. On Sunday we all went to Fun Fest at Notre Dame. It was tons of fun, there was a jump house, games, food, and pumpkins. Jayden was a bit crabby, so we weren't able to play that many games, but we still had fun!
Here is Gavin picking out a duck in the duck pond game.

They had a very cute Slingo game shaped like a spider web.
We carved our pumpkins earlier this week, Jayden had a ball, and Gavin was just happy to be there. Here is Gavin posing with his pumpkin. Look how well he's standing now!
To keep Gavin preoccupied, we gave him a biter biscuit, as you can see, they're very very messy!
Jayden actually got right in and helped scoop out the pumpkin.
The finished product!
Spooooooky!
That's all. Sorry it's not a very exciting post, everything I had written earlier wasn't saved.

Rainy Days

For only being gone for a short bit of time, it took us a bit to get back into the groove of things this week. I started off Tuesday by working very hard to get all of our luggage unpacked and put away, and to catch up on a few more chores. Apparently, this wasn't the best way to start the week. Jayden was very irritable, and more difficult than usual. So, for the rest of the week I focused on activities. The weather was horrible, and Jayden begged to go outside from sun up to sun down every day. He already had the sniffles, so I tried to keep it fun inside. Easier said than done.
Gavin on the other hand has been as happy as can be. He wanders all of the house, and only gets cranky when he's hungry or sleepy. Plus, he's only been waking up 2 times a night this week (down from 4-10), and he's been napping great. We put a stereo in his room and have Michael Buble continuously playing...seems to work!
First thing Wednesday morning we went to get some Play-Dough. Jayden was thrilled because he plays with it all of the time at Grandma's house. We'd had Play-Dough before, but had to get it out of the house because Jayden wouldn't stop eating it when he was younger (Yuck, huh). He has played with it for hours at a time this week, definately a good investment!
I also thought it would be fun to recycle our old broken crayons. My sister gave me a Halloween muffin tin for my Birthday one year, and it made the perfect mold for new crayons! In case you haven't tried, it's very easy.
You simply grease a tin, and throw in the broken crayons. Bake until they're all melted...

And voila! Cool new crayons!
I also thought I'd introduce one of my favorite foods from childhood to Jayden, sugar sandwiches! Suprisingly, he didn't like them!We also made forts. This was a hit with Jayden, Gavin, and Jasper.

I tried to find a good mud substitute. Jayden loves digging with his tractors in the the dirt outside, and I know this is going to be one of the things he misses when the weather gets bad. I threw on his swim trunks and put shaving cream in the tub with his diggers. It was fun, but it didn't keep him entertained for quite as long as I'd hoped.
Gavin thought it was cool though!
Tonight we took the kids down to Bootiful Nauvoo. We wanted to get there in time for the Halloween Parade, but we just missed it! It was still a wonderful event, and we fully intend to go again next year.
There are hundreds of Jack O'Lanterns throughout the town. As it got dark, they really added to the atmosphere. There was a haunted house, but the line was over half a block long, so we skipped it. The whole downtown was open, with treats to be found everywhere, kids in costumes, and entertainment. I had no idea it was such a big deal, the sidewalks were absolutely packed down both sides of the street.
Nice and toasty!There were also picture boards throughout the downtown. Here is Jayden as the Headless Horseman!
And that's it for the week! I can't believe we had such a hard time with cold rainy weather already...I just hope we can survive this winter!

Hooray for Vacations!

4:21 PM by Chelsea 4 Comments
As you mostly know, Josh and I were able to go down to Cancun last Friday through Monday on a trip that Josh won through work. It seems like a short trip, but it was just right.
We stayed at an all inclusive, adults only resort about 90 minutes South of Cancun called Aventura Spa. Almost every room had an ocean view, and a balcony with a hammock. This particular resort didn't have a beach, but it did beach coves that opened up to the ocean.

There were pool bars at each end of the resort. Many of the restaurants had the grass type roofs, they were cool!

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and basically settled in and took advantage of some of the restaurants. On Saturday we'd signed up to go snorkeling. We left the hotel at 7:40am on an hour and a half bus ride ride to Cancun. From there, we hopped on a boat to take us the the Isla Mujeres, the island that we would be snorkeling off of. I was very nervous, because the waters were choppy and I'd forgotten to take my Dramamine. But pretty much immediately we discovered that we were on a party boat, and all of the guys that worked on board immediately took our attention away rocking boat. They started with one of the guys dressed up in Titanic costume, looking all over for "Rose." Admittedly, I was pretty confused, until one of the other guys popped out in drag dressed as Rose from Titanic. They did a quick reenactment of the movie, here's a snapshot:

The boat ride had to have been over an hour long but it flew by, and before we knew it we were at the island!So, we get to the island and promptly jump on another boat. This one was much smaller, but not nearly as fun! We traveled to the world's second largest coral reaf system, where we jumped out and got a quick guide to snorkeling from our instructor. It was very easy and relaxing. There were tons of really neat fish, some looked like 20 pound goldfish, only a rainbow of colors instead.

After snorkeling, we stopped by a place that was offering "Swimming with the Sharks." It was free, the guy just worked for tips. The tour guys on our boat called him Tarzan, and it was easy to see why. When someone came up to swim with the sharks, he would stand on the edge of the large cage and peer into the water then he would dive into the water and disappear until he came up holding a shark. Here is Josh with the shark, this one was named Monica Lewinski ("Don't worry, she won't bite!" we were told).

And here I am. It was very cool, the shark didn't feel at all like I thought it would, it was rough like sandpaper.
Once we showered off and grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant on the island we headed over to a group of palm trees and grabbed a short nap in the hammocks. Here is a view up from the hammocks:
This is the beach on the island. The resort we stayed at is one of seven resorts owned by Palace Resorts. They also had a resort on the island, so we were able to take advantage of all of the amenities because it was part of our all inclusive package.

Then, we hopped back on the boat and they took us to the other end of the island to go shopping. I really enjoyed this because it was a chance to see a bit of real Mexico, away from the resort. There were children everywhere, guys gambling on the sidewalks with bottle caps, street vendors, and some really great shops. I'm not very good at haggling, but it wasn't all that difficult. Josh and I were looking at some hammocks similar to the ones on the beach but we weren't sure if we actually wanted one. The sales guy followed us around the store constantly dropping the price as we looked at other goods. So, we bought one for $20, down from $30. I'm sure more haggling could have been done, but we were happy enough.
This is the beach by the town on the island.

After shopping, we got back on the boat. I think that the boat rides were probably my favorite part of the entire trip, they were so entertaining! The guides always had music cranked up that they'd sing or dance to. Here, they all donned mariachi outfits and did some synchronized dancing. They put on YMCA, and did a few different styles of the dance. First, they did the regular style, then the Macho Mexican style, and then the Sexy Ricky Martin style.


Drinks were provided!

On Sunday, we decided to take it easy. The weather wasn't all that sunny, but it was nice enough.
The water was very clear, and had tons of fish. We decided to get our snorkels and head out into the cove. I didn't enjoy it as much, I really don't like fish, they totally ick me out. On the reef, we were in deeper water so the fish weren't as close. Here in the cove it was pretty shallow and the fish were all around us. I finally headed in after I heard a weird crunching sound and looked over to see a huge fish with big teeth eat up three other fish in one mouthful.
Our last night was spent at a banquet for Josh's work. They gave out tons of cool prizes, and had really good food. Of course, Josh and I didn't win anything but we still had a great time.Phew! That's it! Overall, we had a wonderful time! I loved Mexico. All of the people were so wonderful, and I've never seen a more helpful, friendly staff.
And of course, the kids were well taken care of! Gavin stayed at Josh's parents house, and Jayden stayed there the first night, and the rest at my mom's house. And Jasper stayed at my sisters house. I think we pretty much wore our entire extended family out. As nice as it was for Josh and I to have some time together (and sleep!), we were very happy to get back home to our boys.

Typical Male

I asked Jayden to play with Gavin for a few minutes today so I could get some chores done. Apparently playing with Gavin means surrounding him with toys, barricading him, and going off to play in his own room.

Pumpkins!!!

Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and head the pumpkin patch. It happened to be Family Fun Day at Rogers Pumpkin Farm, so there were a few extra activities going on, such as a real tee pee and a jump house.



As soon as we hopped out of the car, Jayden said "I want to see the kitties!" Apparently he remembered from last year that the place was crawling with kittens. Needless to say, he cared more about playing with the cats than he did about picking out a pumpkin.

Jayden trying to pick up one of the monster pumpkins.

They have five or six corn husk tee pees up all of the time, it's the perfect hiding spot for a 3 year old.

Our quickly snapped photo of Gavin before he started picking things up off of the ground and shoving them in his mouth.

Gavin was so enthralled with the pumpkins, that we could never get him to look at us for a picture.
We had a great time, I hope to get back again this fall season. I love pumpkin patches, and I keep telling Josh that we're going to have our own someday. He thinks I'm crazy.