Halloween Extravaganza!

Story told by: Brody

We’ve had a fun few days with all of the Halloween festivities!

Monday morning was my first-ever preschool pumpkin party (and Henry’s second (and last!!) pumpkin party)!

Henry and I did our first few activities together.

Decorating cookies! Mrs. O’Loughlin even made Henry his very own egg-free cookies because she’s the BEST EVER!

After that, Henry wanted to move at a much faster pace, so he did his own games, while I requested that Mommy come around with me.

We did run into Henry at one point.

He was all about collecting the snap bracelet prizes!

My wonderful teacher, Mrs. King.

We joined back up with Henry at the face/hand painting booth.

Henry opted for a bat!

I asked for a purple Santa Claus (that’s season appropriate, right?). Unfortunately before it dried, I accidentally wiped it all over Henry’s crayon costume. But neither of us were too upset about it, so Mommy took that as a win.

Henry’s wonderful teacher, Mrs. O’Loughlin.

On Monday afternoon, I made some Oreo bats for my class for Nocturnal Day.

And on Tuesday morning, I got to go to Nocturnal Day! Everything was very dark, and we got to wear PJs and bring a stuffed animal, a blanket, and a flashlight.

We got to make shadow puppets on the ceiling.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lainey and Henry made treats for their classes. Bats again for Henry’s Nocturnal Day (which was happening a day later than mine).

And spiders for Lainey’s class because they’ve been learning about spiders.

Today we woke up very excited for Halloween! Lainey and Daddy got to start the day with Doughnuts with Dad at Lainey’s school.

Henry got to go to Nocturnal Day and had a blast!

Henry and I both were very proud to wear our raccoon pajamas to Nocturnal Day because raccoons are nocturnal!

And after waiting alllll day, it was finally time for trick-or-treating!!

Mommy had a friend tell her about a house that gave out big candy bars, so we went there first.

And we were not disappointed!

We took our crayon box with us to each house!

Then we met up with Rowan’s family for more trick-or-treating.

The rain held off until the last ten minutes of the night. Daddy wasn’t bothered by it, though, because he had our crayon box to use for cover.

When we got home we dug into our candy.

There were quite a few houses with full-size candy. Lainey got six big candies! Colton residents, you treated us well!

Pumpkin Carving, Wrestling, and Trunk or Treat!

Story told by: Henry

We had a great fall weekend!

On Friday, we carved pumpkins! Brody got to do his with Mommy while Lainey and I were at school.

Brody helped clean out the pumpkin for a few minutes, but then proceeded to “help” Mommy like this for the rest of the time. I’m sure this climbing and bumping helped Mommy with the fine lines on the Butch carving she was trying to do for him.

Once I got home from preschool and Brody took a nap, I got to work on my pumpkin with Mommy.

Once Lainey got home from school, we got to watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and eat candy corn M&Ms. The best!

Daddy brought home jack o’lantern pizza for dinner!

And then the last two pumpkins were carved.

I’ve been loving learning about bats in preschool, so I knew that’s what I wanted. But I couldn’t resist making it a vampire bat.

Brody wanted a Butch T. Cougar pumpkin. Go Cougs!

And Lainey chose a unicorn!

Since we all chose things we loved, Mommy wanted to do a coffee cup (because her love runs deep for coffee), but it ended up looking a bit like a genie in a bottle. Oh, well. Mommy also loves magic wishes, so this works.

Daddy wanted to only carve one hole. He was pretty proud of himself when he realized that it looked like a pumpkin birdhouse. He’s hoping to find a family of birds in it by Halloween.

On Saturday morning we were up bright and early for my wrestling tournament in Moscow. Since I have to check in early, I went first with Daddy when it was still dark outside, but Lainey captured this picture of the sunrise as everyone else came to meet us.

It was another full gym!

Unfortunately there were only two other kids in my age group/weight group, so I only had two matches. That meant a lot of waiting around. But I stayed pretty happy about it!

Brody wasn’t as happy about all of this waiting, but he hung in there.

Both of my opponents were kids I wrestled last weekend. I won this first match fairly easily.

But this second match against Gabriel, I BARELY won. Neither of us pinned each other, so it came down to points, and I won by two points. My coach says I’m doing some strange things on the mat (like rolling myself on my back), so I’ve got some work to do if I want to beat Gabriel next weekend.

I loved getting to stay for the award ceremony this time. First place!

Lainey was so excited about my win that she made me a box full of presents, one of which was this note. It was kind of nice. But kind of not.

The Coug game started at 4 p.m., so we recorded it, ignored all texts/social media, and started it as soon as we got home at 5:30.

Lainey and I were keeping careful track of the score.

After a nail biter, #14 Cougs beat #24 Standford 41-38. Yes!!!! Go Cougs! (And we woke up on Sunday to find out that we’re now #10! Top ten!!!!!)

After church today we got to go to Zoe’s for a yummy lunch.

After lunch we headed back to church to start getting things ready for the trunk or treat. Here’s our Frankenstein!

We all decided we wanted to be crayons this year, so Mommy and Daddy made us a crayon box.

There were a lot of fun trunks!

Trunk or treating with friends!

Miss Kassidy snuck into the background of this picture. She’s silly!

After going around the lot, we sat down to dig into our goodies.

Otto came around dressed as the cutest giraffe.

After trunk or treating, we came inside for some fun crafts.

A Tootsie Pop ghost!

I started working on making some bats.

Here’s the example Mommy made.

Brody didn’t care about the crafts very much. He was more interested in couch climbing.

After the crafts, we got to watch the Charlie Brown movie (second time this weekend!!).

Then it was time to feed everyone with a yummy hot dog dinner!

Brody was glued to Chloe’s side tonight. He loves her!

Eating with our friends.

Two of Mommy’s closest friends.

There was a fun photo booth that we enjoyed!

It was such a fun, eventful day, that we had one very tired crayon on the way home. Time to rest after a great weekend!

The Best Day of Best Days!! (ESPN College GameDay, First Wrestling Tournament, and Beating the Ducks!!)

Story told by: Henry

For the first time ever, ESPN College GameDay announced they were coming to Pullman for the WSU vs. Oregon game! And there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY we were going to miss this!!!

Mommy and Daddy woke up at 4 a.m.

Lainey and the rest of us were up shortly after that.

Lainey announced that this was “the biggest day of our life.” Not an exaggeration.

As we got closer to campus at 5:30 a.m., we could hear the rumbling of the crowd. ESPN predicted there were close to 30,000 people there. AMAZING!!

I enjoyed waving the flag. Ol’ Crimson (the Cougar flag) has been waved for the past 15 years at every ESPN College GameDay across the country. So you’d better believe that there was hundreds upon hundreds of Cougar flags this morning.

Lainey loved waving her sign that she made.

And Brody loved whining/crying while laying face down on the ground. You can tell he especially loved this experience.

We found the Evanoffs in the midst of the crowd!

There are no words to explain what it’s like to be a Cougar fan. The crowd is the biggest College GameDay has ever had. Several of the announcers said this might be their most favorite show yet. LOVE IT!! Cougar nation is so proud.

We could only stay at GameDay until 7 a.m. because I had my first wrestling tournament in Potlatch! Go Pullman Hornets!

After I weighed in, we hung out in the bleachers until it was my turn.

I was in group one, which is the youngest group.

Lainey and Brody got in a lot of Kindle time today. There were 287 kids in this tournament, so it was a loooooong day.

Here is match one. There are typically three rounds in a match, unless you get pinned. Then you automatically win. (However in my group with the little guys, even if you get pinned, they let us go through the full three rounds so we can experience it.) I pinned my opponent in rounds two and three. I won this match!

Hanging out with Daddy in between matches.

Don’t all great wrestlers color to unwind?

Match two. You can hear my coaches helping me out. I never pinned him, but I ended up with the most points at the end of round three, so I won this round!

The cutest wrestler there ever could be. (Or at least that’s what Mommy thinks.)

My third and final match! I pinned my opponent in the third round (and also had the most points), so I won. This means I got first place in my age group!!!

Signing my paper with one of my coaches after my last match. Mommy had to leave at 2:15 to get Brody back home to the babysitter. Daddy waited with me until 3:45 with the hopes I’d get to claim my first place medal at the award ceremony, but the tournament still wasn’t over, and the Cougar game was starting soon. So my coach said he’d grab it for me, and we jetted off to meet Mommy and Lainey in Pullman. This was a GREAT first tournament!!

We were hustling, and managed to only miss the first minute of the Cougar game. (Mommy and Daddy gave each other big high fives when we made it to our seats. Phew!)

The Oregon Ducks were ranked #12 and the Cougs were #25. This game got INTENSE, so we helped by making lots of noise.

We were up 27-0 at halftime, but we really thought about letting the Ducks win in the third quarter. So by the fourth quarter, the Cougs needed us!

My intense yelling face. I mean business.

And guess what?!?! We did it!!!! Cougs win!!!!!

Everyone rushed the field, so we didn’t want to miss out!!

We even got a picture with running back, Max Borghi, who is one of the most talented true freshman we’ve had in a long time! We woke up today to find out that we’re now #14. GO COUGS!!!!

This was easily one of the most exciting days Pullman has ever seen. And one of our favorite days. ESPN College GameDay, winning my wrestling tournament, and watching the Cougs beat the Ducks for the fourth year in a row! Doesn’t get much better than this!!!!

Fall! Fall! Fun, Fun Fall!

Story told by: Lainey

As much as we miss summer, we really love fall! So many great things happen in these fall months!

This past week was spirit week at my school. Friday was blue and white day, so I went all out!

After school on Friday, we got to make festive perler bead crafts.

On Friday night, Mommy had a bunch of friends over for Bunco. Boy, oh boy, did they have fun!

When you got a bunco, you had to wear these wolf ears.

Most of the women are from Pullman, but here’s the fantastic Colton crew.

Mommy and Christy tried multiple times for pictures, but there was just too much to laugh about.

The next morning I said to Mommy, “Mom, you guys were SO loud last night. You should never play Bunco in a restaurant because that would be very embarrassing for you.” Mommy laughed, but I mean it. Don’t take that show on the road.

On Saturday morning (after Henry got back from wrestling), we headed over to the Colton pumpkin patch. The money earned from the pumpkin patch goes to buy new lights each year for the Colton Christmas display.

On the hunt!

Henry just had to have the biggest one!

I heard at school that they were going to have something called a blue pumpkin, so I just knew I had to have one of those. Here is my blue pumpkin!

Brody’s pumpkin!

Pumpkin patch was a success!

We had to work together to get this heavy load home. (Mommy and Daddy strolled casually behind us while holding hands. And not even breaking a sweat. Not cool.)

This hill was the hardest part.

But we made it home! We’ll carve these pumpkins in a couple of weeks!

We had time for coloring some Halloween masks on Saturday evening.

Scary! (Notice Brody’s missing stick. He managed to break his mask in the five minutes since we stopped coloring.)

We’ve had a blast BOOing people this year. The basic idea is that you anonymously leave treats at someone’s door, ring the door bell, and run away. Saturday night was our seventh (and final) BOO. We filled this bucket with supplies to make Halloween cupcakes, kid activities/art projects, fall hand soap, and lots of candy.

This one was extra fun because Daddy was home to do it with us. He could be our getaway driver, while Mommy came with us. We didn’t get caught (which we can’t say for every BOO we’ve tried)!

One of the big highlights of the weekend for Mommy and Daddy is that after Oregon beat UW (which is already great), ESPN College GameDay announced that for the FIRST TIME EVER!!!!!!!!!!, they’re coming to Pullman for the WSU vs. Oregon game next weekend. You better believe that we will be there bright and early (even though we can’t stay for long because of Henry’s first wrestling tournament)!!

After church today, we headed down to Wilson Banner Ranch in Clarkston for a fun fall festival.

We loved climbing the giant hay bales.

Henry especially loved this obstacle course.

Brody’s favorite part was this giant bear, but insisted on hiding in the shadows for the picture. Can you find him?

My favorite part was this hay maze! (Notice my dance pose and Henry’s wrestling pose in this picture.)

Made it to the end of the hay maze. And then we did it ten more times!

We had a lot of fun in this hay jump.

We found Mater from “Cars.”

Our last activity was a wagon ride pulled by mules. They took us all around the ranch!

On our way out, I took this nice picture of Mommy and Daddy.

We had a woman offer to take our family picture. But where’s Henry you ask? Oh just throwing a massive temper tantrum. It wouldn’t be a true family outing without a fit. Overall, though, still a fun and perfect fall weekend!!

My First Football Game!

Story told by: Brody

In our house, a very exciting thing happens once you’re three years old – you get to go to your first Cougar football game!! That means it was time for my first game this past Saturday!!

I started the day out with a bang by waking up at 5:15. Never a good sign. Lainey started the day out with a bang by making a sign for the Cougs.

Once we got to campus that afternoon, we checked out some cool virtual reality. (And by “we,” I mean Lainey and Henry. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.)

We next went to Cougville for the fun kid activities.

My favorite was this Butch bouncy house.

I loved it so much that when it was time to leave (and snag this quick family picture), I wouldn’t even put on my shoes because I. WASN’T. DONE.

The temper tantrum continued into the stadium. But quickly morphed into me being mad about passing the regular popcorn stands (when Mommy and Daddy were really try to get to the caramel corn stand…but I wasn’t in the mood for listening to logic).

I begged for these glasses, but then didn’t want them anywhere near me!

Lainey and Henry rocked them, though.

While waiting for the game to start, I went on a walk with Daddy and Lainey while Mommy and Henry held down the fort.

Almost game time!

Before the game even started, I was asking when we could leave. Great start.

Mommy and Daddy initially hoped to wait to open the popcorn in the second quarter, but they made it two minutes into the first quarter before I wore them down.

Lainey was an excellent football watcher. (A bit of a showoff if you ask me.)

I was all over the place. My favorite spot was to be in between Mommy’s or Daddy’s legs kicking the people in front of us. (They must have loved my footprints on their back.) A close second favorite was to be whining and crying while kicking my siblings.

Lainey’s “Go Cougs” signs.

Literally THE ONLY smiling picture of me from the entire game. (And I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s half time and I knew hot dogs were coming.)

A blessed quiet five minutes for Mommy and Daddy.

Henry took a little break in the third quarter to do some coloring.

I did some coloring as well, but I mostly just enjoyed throwing my markers. And crying.

The last five minutes of the game were intense! We were all yelling. (Okay, full disclosure, Mommy, Lainey, Henry, and Daddy were yelling to make the stadium loud for Utah. I was yelling because I was mad and done. But Mommy and Daddy congratulated me on yelling for Utah. Whatever.) The positive…Cougs won in a come-from-behind victory!!

Big shocker…I was asleep within two minutes of driving away from campus. When I got home I said, “That was so much fun. I loved it.” The adults didn’t seem to believe me. Not one bit.

Once we were in bed, this is what Mommy and Daddy opened. They also vowed that I will not be going to any football games in the near future. Or maybe ever.

And just in case they weren’t clear about how fun I was at sporting events, we tried a Cougar volleyball game after church today. And yep, sure enough…it’s confirmed that I’m THE WORST at any and all sporting events. But, once we’re home, I tell everyone how much fun I had, so at least that’s something.

Grandma and Grandpa Visit!

Story told by: Henry

We got to spend the past ten days with Grandma and Grandpa! It was a great visit.

On their first morning here, my request was to eat bananas in my cereal just like Grandpa.

I went to preschool, and everyone else walked Lainey to school. On their way, Brody found a giant dandelion.

In honor of their first day here, us kids insisted that everyone match in their Cardinals shirts.

We loved playing “Alligator” with Grandpa.

Brody loved having a reading buddy.

And Mommy loved having a puzzle buddy.

On day two, Grandpa took Lainey on a breakfast date to Old European.

And then a Wal-Mart stop to pick out a new toy.

And Grandpa was the Saturday morning hero when he returned with coffee for everyone.

Lainey and her new toy.

We tried Shrinky Dinks for the first time.

They got so small! We loved them!

On Saturday afternoon, we hung out with Taylor while the adults went to cheer on the Cougs as they played Eastern Washington.

The Cougs had a convincing win, so everyone was happy!

On Sunday, Brody convinced Grandpa to come up front for the children’s message. (Brody may have Grandpa wrapped around his finger.)

After church we went to cheer on the Cougar soccer team as they played Cal Poly.

Brody is getting pretty good at the WSU fight song.

Brody’s favorite mascot was there!

Halftime entertainment. The Cougs won!

We are all loving games right now, so Grandma and Grandpa were constantly playing them with us.

While Lainey and I were at school on Monday, Grandpa took Brody on a date. Their first stop was at Wal-Mart, and instead of a toy, Brody wanted a new game.

And next they went to Southfork for lunch.

Grandma and Mommy completed their puzzle on Monday afternoon!

But before it was done, Grandma caused some problems.

After we picked Lainey up from school, we went to Ferdinand’s to see Taylor one last time before she heads off to college.

We are really going to miss her!! But we’re also so excited for her!

Playing Brody’s new game!

While all of us were at school on Tuesday, the adults went thrift store hunting to find this table to make into a LEGO table. They started by sanding it, and then painting it white.

Grandma introduced Lainey to paper fortune tellers.

Mommy didn’t like her results.

On Tuesday night, I got to start wrestling!! I’ve been asking to do this for a year, and I’m finally old enough.

Daddy took me on the first night, and sent Mommy some pictures.

On Wednesday morning, the adults got to go watch Brody at gymnastics.

Grandpa briefly left for a quick coffee run. Hurray for Grandpa!

Then it was finally turn for my date after school!

Pizza for lunch!

Then Wal-Mart for a toy.

I knew right away that I had to have this remote control race car.

On Wednesday night, Grandma and Grandpa got to come check out what we do at AWANA. Here is a video of the song portion of our night.

On Thursday afternoon, the girls all went to get coffee and pedicures.

While the girls were having fun, we were having even more fun at the playground with Grandpa.

That night, Mommy, Grandma, and Grandpa took me to wrestling. I’m the youngest out there, but it doesn’t phase me one bit.

I have a lot to learn about wrestling (so do Mommy and Daddy), but I am so focused and excited about it. Mommy and Daddy are super proud of how hard I’m working.

On Friday morning, Brody got in some games with the adults.

On Friday afternoon, Grandpa and I played tons of games.

Snack on the play structure.

Lainey in her silly fake glasses moments before doing her 20 minutes of daily reading with Grandma.

Grandma helped Lainey figure out her Spirograph.

Mommy and Grandma managed to do two 1,000-piece puzzles in a week. Puzzling champs!

The Cougs had an away game against USC on Friday night. (Lainey got to stay up for the first quarter.) It did not end well (and it may have taken Mommy and Daddy 24 hours to get over it), but we’re ready to watch them win at home this Saturday!

There is a yummy new bakery in Uniontown, so Grandpa went over there on Saturday morning to get some treats.

Grandma’s good friend, Gina, came to visit on Saturday, so we stayed busy with other things. We started by going to Costco with Mommy, and then came home to pick the apples off our trees.

Can you spy the Brody nibbles on the apples?

On Saturday afternoon, we went to celebrate Ashley (one of our sweet babysitters) and Elias getting married. Ashley looked beautiful!

The Smarts were also there, so we got in lots of fun playground time with them.

We even had our very own kids’ table!

After the wedding, it was a group effort for the adults to get the lego base plates precisely glued on.

After church on Sunday, one last favorite stop before leaving town – Sella’s!

Brody and I had our own special table.

We got up to Spokane with some time to play in River Park Square.

We are so grateful for the time we got to spend with Grandma and Grandpa!!

Their flight was leaving at 6 a.m. today, so after a Red Robin dinner, we had to drop them off at their hotel last night. And we were very, very sad. Brody couldn’t stop crying, which was breaking Mommy’s heart, so she stopped and bought us candy to cheer all of us up. It worked.

And after letting the base plates dry for 24 hours, the LEGO table is complete!

We love it! (Oh, and also note the fun wall hangings Grandma helped to hang in our room!)