Keeping Up With the Jameses

Adventures in Modern Day Motherhood

Spicy Halloween Ketchup October 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 7:28 pm

Last week, my mom called.  “Have you changed your blog address?  You haven’t been blogging lately.”

Nope, still the same old, incorrect (one day I’ll change it to mommyofsix…) blog address.  I’ve just been busy.  I had a month-long subbing gig with the world’s most fabulous sixth-grade class, and between that, fall sports for the munchkins, all important BYU football games, and having to provide food and clean clothing for the family, blogging fell by the wayside.

Luckily for you (stop rolling your eyes), the gig was up last week and now I’m happily back to part-time subbing.  Also luckily for you (and this time I mean it), I have *just enough* self-awareness to realize that attempting to catch up on all of the happenings of the past month at Casa de James might be just the tiniest bit boring.

Let’s just recap the past week instead.  Tuesday – Monday, ‘cuz that’s how I roll.


I spent the morning facing two of my biggest fears – doctors and sick children.  One of my cute neighbors has a new baby who was born with some serious medical conditions.  Because of this, she needs help driving him to his weekly doctor appointments in Salt Lake.  Since I have a large vehicle, I put on my big girl panties and picked up Mom, Baby, and Big Sister, and then prayed like crazy all the way to Salt Lake and back that the baby wouldn’t die while I was driving (which was an actual possibility).  I am happy to report that the trip went very smoothly, and in fact his monitors only went off once, just as we were pulling into the parking lot.  I was expecting him to be tiny and frail, but he was actually extraordinarily adorable, with blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and a head full of soft black curls.  Unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse a few days later and he was readmitted to the hospital.  I’m keeping him and his sweet family in my prayers.

That night, Sarah and I attended the world’s coldest soccer game.  I had tickets for the rest of the family, too, but for some strange reason they didn’t think spending three hours in freezing sleet was a good idea, even if it was to watch RSL awesomeness.   I see a definite career in sports broadcasting for Sarah.  Her commentary can’t be beat, especially when she is giving voice to the players’ thoughts as they are faking injury writhing in pain on the field.

Here we are at half time.  (Thus all of the people behind us who are frantically running for shelter.)  Sarah’s coat had a hood, but she refused to wear it, as she claimed it was “blocking her view.”  I’m not sure it would have helped anyway.  Our big, fluffy coats were soaked all the way through by the end of the game and I could wring water out of the sweater I was wearing underneath.  But hey, we stuck it out to the bitter end.   Are we tough or what?


Book Club!!!!!!  We read Cutting for Stone this month.  I was riveted for the first third of the book, bored/disgusted by the middle third, and bawling my eyes out for the final third.  Still trying to decide whether to give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.  My awesome book club friends ALWAYS get a thumbs-up, though.


This was a big day for me.  For years, I have eschewed evil warehouse membership stores.  Really, they want you to PAY for the PRIVILEGE of shopping in their big ugly store?  I. Don’t. Think. So.  AndthenCostcocametotown.

At first, I was angry.  What if they drive my beloved Macey’s out of business?  I will never shop there.  Never, never, never. 

Then, I was intrigued.  Friends and neighbors of seemingly good sense seemed genuinely excited by the prospect of Costco being so close by.   Hmm…maybe I’ll get the smallest membership, just to check it out. 

And now?  Costco has brought a renewed sense of joy and meaning into my life!  Best.  Store.  Evar!

Bizzie and I were there bright and early on Grand Opening Day.  I was on the lookout for bargains, while she scouted for samples.  “Mom look, there’s a sample over there!”  “Hurry Mom, more samples!”  “I need a drink, go back to the juice samples!”

In that first morning we sampled:  pumpkin muffins, croissants, three different types of juice, blackberries, maple sausage, veggie sausage, scrambled eggs, apple slices, mangoes, pancakes, waffles, cheese, Greek yogurt (bleck, blah, blecky bleck, gaaaag), chicken, streak, pork, wontons, egg rolls, chicken nuggets, cookies, tortilla chips, churros, and a seriously yummy smoothie.  All before 9:00 AM.  And that’s just what I can remember.  I thought I had a stomach of steel.  I was wrong.

I am sure that eventually Costco will save me money.  But first, I have to buy one of everything.



The munchkins and I went to Brandon Mull’s latest book launch party!  (If you look really carefully, you will see Joshua for about 1/10th of a millisecond in that news clip.)  Mr. Mull was an incredibly good sport about the whole thing, because it was INSANE!  And PAINFUL!  (Cold marshmallows hurt when they hit you on the side of the head!) And STICKY!  We arrived home with sticky shoes, sticky fingers (free cotton candy), sticky stickers, sticky root beer (Josh and Bizzie each won a two-liter), sticky faces, and one un-signed book, because Bizzie had a ginormous sticky meltdown in the book-signing line.  So much for my matched set of autographed CSW books…



Bizzie had been looking forward to this day for WEEKS!  We were going on the Dinosaur Train!  It was actually the Pumpkin Festival train, but don’t tell Bizzie that.  We had a great time picking out and decorating pumpkins (bringing the total James family pumpkin count up to thirteen), getting faces painted, going through the haunted box car, and of course – riding the train!

We also checked out the pumpkin walk at the Riverwoods, where the Headless Horseman threw a piece of candy to Josh.  Being the incredibly gifted football player that he is, Joshua immediately fumbled the candy into a pile of horse poop.  It’s a good thing that the rest of us were way too mature to laugh at his misfortune.  Oh, wait…

(This is Jakob’s attempt at “Pin the Face on the Jack-O-Lantern.”)

Earlier that morning, I went for a run in actual daylight (I usually run in the dark during the school year) and found myself smack dab in the middle of a Halloween 5k.  It was awesome – random strangers kept popping out of the woods and offering me candy.  Luckily for me, I always look like I’m wearing a costume while I’m running, so I fit right in.  On this particular day, I was wearing a bright orange shirt and had my hair braided Pippi Longstocking-style over my ears to keep them warm (major fail – I’m going with Princess Leia buns next time).  I also managed to join the race right at the perfect time to make it look like I was in first place.  I felt so victorious as I crossed the finish line!  Unfortunately, I still had four more miles to go.

By the way, this is what my running trail looks like right now:

(Pictures courtesy of my friends Jen and Crystal, because we all know that I am not capable of taking pictures that are actually focused and framed properly.)


Ahhh….blessed day of rest.  Except that I was subbing in the nursery during church and then I bribed my two oldest into attending a fireside by offering them delicious ice cream and while eating the ice cream Sarah and I joined forces to help Daniel see the error of his ways in selecting to go to a horrible loser school like the University of Utah while the gleaming pillar of truth and justice known as BYU is just right around the corner and then we played several rounds of a zombie game that is impossible to win and for the first time ever we considered simplifying the rules to a game instead of making it harder.


The families of Spanish Fork take their Halloween festivities seriously.  For instance, we have this guy living on our street right now:

And tonight, we made our yearly pilgrimage clear over to the other side of town, where a super awesome family hosts a free haunted house.  It’s scary, it’s punny, it’s what lets us know that Halloween really is just around the corner.

And there you have it – my week in review.  Aren’t you glad I didn’t do the whole month?  🙂


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