Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fog and a Fall Festival

I—as in me (yes, me), I—drove 41.7 miles today.

Not that I'm looking for a medal or anything but, like, this is me we're talking about.

First I had to take Miriam to orchestra this fine, foggy morning. Driving her to orchestra is on my list of Top Things I'd Rather Not Being Doing Right This Very Minute (right up there with child birth and root canals) already. Throw in fog and, well, it was a spooktacular drive.

Here's the view from our deck:

And here are a couple of pictures Rachel sent me from her bus stop:

Little did I know when I set out for orchestra, the fog in our neighbourhood was rather light. It got thicker once I hit the highway (yes, I just used "I" and "highway" in the same sentence, but it's just a little highway, don't you worry). I was glad I had my GPS on so that it could tell me when to turn because we couldn't see the street signs until after she told me to be ready to turn (which I super appreciated; I love GPS).

The fog wasn't so bad once we were off the highway again and once we were at the church where orchestra is held, I let the little ones run around for some "recess" before trapping them inside to do quiet-time things like math and reading and drawing. We found this maple tree with very fun roots and played a few games of hide-and-seek. I love how Zoë's counting right into the tree trunk:

I think they were mostly just running around this tree, to be honest, trying to catch each other on one side or another:

Unfortunately, this little recess did not promote better behaviour once inside. For some reason the kids are always want to scream and yell and run around in the little classroom we use while Miriam's in orchestra. And today was no different. And it drives me crazy because I know we're being super loud and obnoxious but I really feel we need to use the time effectively since orchestra eats up such a huge part of our day (and because we usually stop at a playground on the way home for more run around time, otherwise I would consider letting them just run around during this hour as well; although I believe it's healthy for kids to have ample time to run and play they can't just run and play (I'm not sure the state would smile on that were they to ever "audit" my homeschool records, so rest assured we're also very into book learning)).

Mostly I would love it if they could just get the message that some times are wild and crazy times and other times are quiet and solemn times. But my kids are always getting those two behaviours mixed up and employing them at the wrong time.

Take, for example, this shot of my little unicorn, homesteader, and owlet at our church Fall Festival this evening (which I also drove to because Andrew had to work late):

See how quiet and reserved they seem here?

Why can't they pull that behaviour out when I want them to literally go nuts on the bounce houses designed for children to go nuts on? Why can't they be shy and serene when I want them to sit nicely in a church classroom to work on their schoolwork? It's a mystery that I will likely spend my entire lifetime trying to solve.

Anyway, this evening we had our ward Fall Festival (complete with a chili cook-off and a trunk-or-treat). It was supposed to be held on Saturday but a tropical storm came through and rained us out so it was moved to Monday and I was a little bit sad about this because that meant that I would be the driver. So on Saturday I made Andrew take me out driving along the route so I could be sure to know which lanes to be in when (I am not a spur-of-the-moment lane shifter; I am a super-calculated-never-deviating-from-my-predecided-route lane shifter). We had to go to Home Depot anyway, so it worked out just fine.

Driving there during afternoon rush hour was a little more stressful than a calm Saturday morning drive, but we managed to make it there in one piece. And then I spent the next couple of hours trying to keep track of Zoë and Alexander while I let Benjamin, Miriam, and Rachel do whatever they wanted (in truth I wanted them to hang out with me and help me with the babies, but they abandoned me to care for the babies all on my own while also carrying around whatever costume bits they decided to shed—a sword, a hat, a vest, a mask, and, when Zoë decided she wasn't a baby and could go off to do her own thing, a unicorn horn and a set of wings (for she was actually an alicorn or pegacorn or whatever you want to call it (Benjamin was actually Cap Garland from the Little House on the Prairie series but he soon learned that not a lot of people recognized that character so he began to introduce himself simply as "a homesteader")).

I think they all had fun. And Alexander and I had fun standing around and trying not to be too freaked out by all the strange costumes. Alexander was particularly worried about Rachel's friend who dressed up as a person riding a rooster (it was a big inflatable thing). He spent his whole evening tracking this strange creature and muttering, "Don't come here. Scare me. Stay away. Scary. Scary. So scary me. Don't scare me. Don't come here."

I'm not sure that he loves Halloween (though he sure does love his owl costume).

Here are the older girls—The Phantom of the Opera and Eowyn:

The backdrop is cool, but the actual autumn scene around us was pretty great as well so I'm not sure we needed the backdrop. The kids were hoping some fog would roll in this evening during the party as well to make it extra spooky, but nothing like that happened so I suppose we'll have to make do with this spooky foggy background:


I'm not a huge trunk-or-treat fan, but it went fairly well, I guess. I wasn't going to set anything up for it because I was flying solo this evening but at the last minute I decided I should probably participate in some form since I hadn't made chili or dessert or anything and I grabbed our little pop-up tent and some camping chairs and set up a Halloween camp out. It wasn't great and there are no pictures because, honestly, this was a very overwhelming day for me and I didn't think about pictures much.

The kids all had fun tromping up and down the row of cars, collecting candy from our friends. But not Alexander. He wouldn't leave my side for anything.

"Why don't you go with the kids?" I asked him. "Go get some candy. It's fun."

"No," he said, and then pointed out, "You has candy."

"That's an excellent point," I told him, so he hung around with me and occasionally grabbed a treat for himself to eat. It's probably better this way because although he ate a package of M&Ms and a package of Swedish Fish and a package of pretzels that he stole from Benjamin's basket and a lollipop...that's it for him. He has no other loot to take from.

At the end of the party I, of course, had to drive home in the dark and it was basically the worst.

And I'm so glad today is over and that tomorrow I don't have to drive anywhere (though we have a few optional places to go, if we should desire to leave the house, which, I'll be honest, isn't looking likely)!


  1. Go Brave Nancy! I am proud of you! All that driving!

  2. I am so happy that someone else loves Cap Garland!

  3. You are breaking all out of your comfort zone with all that driving - good job! I love that Benjamin was "a homesteader"!