my favorite time of year.
Hannah turned 8 on October 26th. My first baby girl is all grown up. She's such a sweet and good girl...so helpful and such a peacemaker. Everyone loves Hannah!
We threw her a "witch party" with lots of little girls, cupcakes, candles...
and plenty of witch hats to decorate.
Then, we took her to get her ears pierced! Can you see the excitement in her eyes?
A week later, we we had our first youth book group party. We invited a bunch of friends to read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and then come to a book discussion/Halloween party at our house. The ticket in the door was to have finished reading the book...and we had about 35 youth show up!! Kids from the neighborhood and lots of our homeschool friends plowed through the creepy gothic tale and came dressed up and ready for fun (I was seriously impressed with these awesome youth...this was not an easy read!). Besides discussing the book, we ate food, visited, and played night games out in the dark.
We had a superb discussion, and almost everyone took part. We discussed timely and interesting themes, such as stewardship, creation, balance, faith, bullying, compassion, hard work, and more. I learned so much, and I hope these great youth did as well.
Our plan is to meet once a month to discuss assigned books. I'm so excited about November's book, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. If you haven't read it, do so. Whether you have teenagers or not. It will inspire you! It is written by 16-year old homeschooled twin boys, who decided to go against society's notion that only mediocrity should be expected from today's teens.
They say, "When you look around today, our culture does not expect much of us young people. We are not only expected to do very little that is wise or good, but we're expected to do the opposite. Our media-saturated youth culture is constantly reinforcing lower and lower standards and expectations. Instead of serving as the launching pad of life, the teen years are seen as a vacation from responsibility. Our battle cry is just three words, but it's an explosive concept: Do Hard Things. That's it. And "do hard things" is a mentality. It's a mentality that flies right in the face of low expectations."
These boys have it right. I think every teen should read this book. I hope to help inspire our youth book group to want to do hard things, and not settle for mediocrity. I'm so excited to meet together and discuss this fabulous book!!!
Scenes from the Frankenstein party (I completely forgot to snap photos during the party...bummer!):
Cute black and white decorations.
Awesome spiderweb cupcakes made by my talented friend Stephanie.
My floor the morning after. Yikes! I left to run errands and assigned the kids the job of cleaning the house and mopping up the mess...the entire main floor. And miraculously, I came home a few hours later to a clean, beautiful, shiny house. Thanks guys!
(speaking of beautiful houses...I've been spiffing up around here and I can't wait to post photos of the latest home improvements. Coming very soon. Promise.)
And last, but not least,
A zombie, a creepy skeleton dude, a vampire,
and three fairy princesses.
Rainy, cold trick-or-treating on Saturday night (yes...in Utah, everyone trick-or treats on Saturday when Halloween falls on a Sunday, so we can worship on the Sabbath...love it!).
Three hours of knoching doors=WAY too much candy at our house. I'm paying the kids tomorrow to hand over the rest of their spoils...yes, flat out bribery at it's finest.
And I can't end this October fun post without mentioning that we have the greatest Dad in the world at our house!!! He flew in from an exhausting trip to Hong Kong only an hour before trick-or-treat time. He walked the streets with us and pretended to have a splendid time, even though he hadn't slept in 36 hours! We celebrated his birthday on Halloween day with a yummy roasted chicken dinner, and a candle stuck into a Reese's cup (who wants cake when you have loads of candy at your disposal?) He even offered to do the dinner dishes. On his birthday. I love that man.