Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

We carved our pumpkin yesterday!  It was Violet's first time, and she thought the whole process was pretty cool.  Although in the days leading up to it, every time I told her we were going to carve our pumpkin, she would say, "We are going to cut it up and EAT IT?".  So she was probably kind of disappointed that that didn't happen.

I asked Violet what kind of face she wanted our pumpkin to have, and she was actually pretty decisive. She definitely wanted a "big smile, not a scary mouth" and "triangle eyes".  Also, halfway through she decided we should include sharp teeth, and fortunately it wasn't too late to oblige.

(She would absolutely not touch the pumpkin guts with her hands)


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Underwood Farms - The pumpkin patch!

There is a farm about an hour away from us called Underwood Farms that is a pretty big deal.  They have u-pick every season, like strawberries in the summer, etc.  Their biggest thing of the year, though, is the Halloween Festival, and we went this year!  It was a pretty big deal for us to go, because it is a long drive there and back, and we wanted to stay for most of the day since it takes so long to get there, so Violet didn't get a nap.  She had a great time though, and was so happy the whole time!

I took about a million pictures, so I'll just tell you a little about them as we go to give you an idea of how fun the day was.

We went with a group of moms and kids from our stake, and our group had scheduled a hay ride together.  Violet loved it.  She was completely enthralled the whole time.

These are our friends, Jenica and Ryan, who we drove up to the farm with.  Unfortunately, this is the best picture I could get of them on the hayride together.  I got some better ones later though.

The hayride dropped us off at the pumpkin patch, where we each got to pick a pumpkin!  Our admission price was $6 each, but it paid for everything, including the pumpkin.

A good one of Ryan and Violet together:

I told Violet to make a scary face when she was looking through the vampire.  This is what we got.  I'm definitely scared... more scared that she is going to mug me than that she is actually a vampire...

Violet loved climbing on this wagon, and got all the way to the top by herself!  I heard a 5 year old boy tell his dad he needed help getting up there, and then Violet displayed her impressive upper body strength and pulled herself up!

We all brought our lunches and ate them at the picnic tables, and afterwards the little girls had an impromptu dance party.

There were lots of cool animals, including this emu.  
There were also goats, cows, pigs, chickens, bunnies, turkeys, and peacocks.  It was as good at being at the zoo for Violet!  This morning I wanted Violet to tell Glenn about the animals she saw, and she said, "I saw a BEAUTIFUL peacock!".

A hay bale pyramid:

Ryan and Violet really enjoyed each other's company the whole time.  They play so well together, and I'm glad we've become friends with them recently.

I wish I could remember everything!  It was just such an amazingly fun day.  There were corn mazes we never even got to, a farmers' market where Violet and I picked out some really delicious tomatoes, and a squash stand that had every kind of edible squash I've ever heard of.  Also, there were pigmy goats that walked all over the beams above the play areas, which was hilarious.  Like this:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pony Rides

Violet got to ride the ponies at Griffith Park this morning!  Unfortunately, it ended up not being a very nice outing, because Violet was really sad/tired for most of it.  She is so good-natured almost all the time, especially when we are out doing something, so it really threw me off when she didn't behave herself today!  I guess everyone has an off day once in a while.

The morning started out great.  We were supposed to meet our friends there, three other moms and their little girls, but we were the first ones there.  The pony rides only cost $3, and Violet was SO excited when she saw the ponies, so I decided to let her ride twice: once by herself, and then again when her friends got there.  

Well, she loved it!  It was the funniest thing to watch, because they just put tiny Violet on the saddle, slapped the horse on the bum, and off they went!  The track is pretty big, and no one walks around guiding the horse or anything!  It made me a little nervous, but Violet was so happy and excited the whole time!  On the second lap around the track, the horse stopped walking for quite a while before a worker noticed and told him to get moving again, and Violet just sat up there patiently, looking around!

Then all the problems started.  When Violet got off, she wanted right back on, and I told her we had to wait for her friends.  Well, one of our friends got lost and didn't get there for about another half hour, and Violet threw a tantrum almost the whole time we were waiting.  Then, when all her friends were getting on their ponies, Violet suddenly clung to me and scream-cried that she couldn't ride the ponies.  I was so surprised that she was scared after she loved it so much the first time!   However, later she told me that she didn't want "the man in the jacket" to put her on the horse.  So I don't think she was scared of the horses, just the worker who helped her up, and I'm sure they would have let me do that if I'd asked, but I didn't realize that was the problem at the time.

After the ponies, we went to another part of the park where there are a bunch of old train cars you can play in and around.  Violet loved them, but by that time she was ready for lunch and a nap, so we headed home after just a few minutes of playing at the trains.  But not before getting this cute pic of the four girls together!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin painter

I bought a tiny pumpkin for a dollar at the grocery store the other day because I thought Violet might like to paint it.  I was right!  She painted it this morning and enjoyed every second of it.

The masterpiece!

It was even a learning experience for her, because she kept requesting purple paint, which we didn't have, and learned really quickly that when I mixed red and blue for her it made purple.  She though it was very cool.  Now it is out on our front step, and she has mentioned several times how excited she is for everyone to see it as they walk by.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Little Mermaid at El Capitan!

Violet and I had such a fun morning!  A couple of friends of mine had planned to take their daughters to see The Little Mermaid at El Capitan theater in Hollywood, and they invited us to come!  El Capitan is owned by Disney, and it is right on Hollywood Blvd in one of the busiest areas of Hollywood.  We actually had to cross a couple of red carpets and walk by a few film crews to make it from our parking structure to the theater.  
(This is the face Violet makes now when I tell her to smile.  What follows is the face she makes when I say, "Make a really sweet, normal face."  Trying to get good pictures is a lost cause.)


The inside of the theater was beautiful, and before the movie started, there was a live performance by "Princess Sophia" who I guess is a character from a tv show.  Anyway, Violet thought it was cool, and there was a burst of confetti from the ceiling at the end of the song.  And all of this before the movie even started!

My friend only bought one ticket because she swore her daughter would want to to sit in her lap the whole time.  I bought two tickets, because I KNEW there was NO WAY Violet would sit in my lap.  Well... Veronica sat in her own chair the whole time, and Violet never left my lap for the whole movie.  Don't we know our daughters well?? (not.)

Since the showing was meant for toddlers, they were allowed to get out of their seats to dance or play in the aisles if they wanted, which made it pretty un-stressful since I didn't have to worry about what I would do if Violet got restless.  Then I didn't even end up having to deal with that since Violet relaxed on my lap the whole time!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A froyo date

I hope the rest of you ladies did something amazing during priesthood session.  Have I mentioned that all my friends moved away from me??  At least all my friends from my ward have, so last night during priesthood session, Violet and I had a ladies' night all to ourselves.  We just had dinner at home, but then we walked over to the frozen yogurt place near us for a date!

We had fun, and the most amusing part for me was watching Violet pick out her froyo and toppings.  Here is her awful concoction:  apricot yogurt with m&ms, gummy bears, gummy worms, and frosted animal crackers.  She asked for fruity pebbles too, but I drew the line there.  I was afraid it was going to be so disgusting she wouldn't eat it!  Of course, she loved it.

Conference weekend is definitely one of the times I miss living around my family.  All the girls in my family and Aunt Judy's went out to dinner, and it looked sooooooo fun.  Only three more conferences til we live in AZ again though!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Food lately...

Remember how I went on a food-picture-posting-binge right after we got our new camera?  After laying off the food pictures for a few months, I'm ready for another round.  And I hope you are too :). Here are some things we've been eating lately:

(Let's call it "margherita pizza" instead of "cheese pizza")

more pizza
(this one we can call "the best pizza ever".  It is technically called the "walk-in-the-woods pizza" and the recipe is from the book Fresh and Green Table.  The mushrooms are marinated and sauteed, the cheese is gouda, it is drizzled with maple syrup.  soooooooooo good.)

caprese salad for me for lunch (while I fight off Violet.  I need to start making her her own!  Tomatoes and cheese, two of our favorite foods.  She is definitely my daughter.)
Those yellow tomatoes were so sweet they tasted like dessert.  I still think about them longingly from time to time.

potato-sausage-kale soup 
I've made this two weeks in a row because it is so good, and this week the breadsticks I made were the best I've ever made!  I kind of made up this recipe/combined a few different recipes, but let me know if you want it, because I wrote it down.

popovers - tonight
I wish I had taken a side view picture of these because they rose up so high and beautifully!  We ate them with butternut squash and apple soup.  One of the best things that has happened to me lately was when we all sat around the dinner table eating this meal, because Violet LOVED it.  She kept saying, "I like the soup, mom!  I'm filling up my tummy!  I like popovers!".