My sister called me yesterday as they were getting 6 plus inches of snow in Michigan and asked me if I was getting my neighbor gifts ready yet. It's been in the low to mid 60's here and sunshine here ( I was actually outside in a short sleeved shirt yesterday ) so I have NOT been thinking of Christmas at all. But I was looking at last years posts and realized that I had requests to do a refresher post this year of some neighbor gift ideas I've had so that others could use them. (hopefully our blog is still private enough, Hol)

I've gotten some really cute and easy ideas over the years that I liked. ( ok only like two...this is not a very useful post is it?)

Well to start I'll remind you what I did last year.

Thin Mint snowmen and little bags of "Puppy chow/ Muddy buddies" ( whatever you want to call it depending on your spunky note. )

This year I'm not telling what I'm doing because I don't want to ruin the surprise and I may or may not have decided yet... :)

These first two ideas were courtesy of my darling step garden hostess. I post them with her permission. :)

This adorable tag was attached to a bag of Lays potato chips. :)

I don't know if you can see what the tag says so I'll tell you what it says. "The weather outside is frightful a cup of hot cocoa would be delightful! But if it's too hot you know... Better blow, Better blow, Better blow."

And this idea is for all you ladies out there who have a lot of time and are pretty handy as well.

Our bishops wife made these for neighbor gifts one year ( frame and all ) and I can't tell you how many I've seen around the ward. She probably made upwards of 50 of these babies. Wow! She's amazing!

So there you go. That's all I got...not to creative or spunky but it works, right?

Have a great day. Promise the next post will be on the holiday on hand. :) Instead of being super late on one holiday and super early on the next!

So it's halfway through November and we've yet to post pictures of Halloween. Sorry but I don't think the Omniture Halloween Party video is going to happen this year so if you want to see what it's like you should go to last years post to get a flavor. But really it was even more insane than last years. This year they had TWO buildings of total madness and you had to have a bracelet to get in ( given only to immediate family members of employees ).

Derek had planned to take a few days off work when my parents were here but as the time got closer he knew it wasn't going to happen. There was just too much regular work to be done not to mention Halloween preparations. He worried that he wasn't going to get it all done but I promised that my dad would probably like to help with Halloween preparations. As it turned out he was more than happy to help out...
Creating a dry ice fog machine out of a regular fog machine and a cooler...
The finished product...

They spent most of the day and night before Halloween putting everything up. Customer services (the department that Derek is in ) did a Superhero theme with sections of Teenage mutant ninja turtles, Ghostbusters, Men in Black ( they were taking this super hero theme rather loosely ) The Dark Knight ( Derek's section) Super Mario Bros and early Batman. And Customer services won for best decorations.
( Derek: Batman and their two "Joker"s )
Our Superfamily Derek and I ( Batman and Catwoman) and our little Jack Jack Incredible
The complete Superfamily! Including Papa Fett and Mema jedi! ( we had to borrow a lightsaber because we couldn't find Derek's last minute )
They had a BYU/Utah room where they'd actually brought a tail end of a truck for tailgating and had laid sod on the floor to create a field. I won earrings because I could name four members of the BYU coaching staff. :)
The executives had a theme of The Wizard of Oz and the CEO flew in little people to be the Munchkins this year. ( he does this every year)
Dorthy and the Cowardly lion and our little Cowardly Hy.

The stages of over stimulation coupled with sugar withdrawal

I was convinced he was about to burst into flames at any second.

After all that excitement we went home had a quick dinner and we were off to go trick or treating. REAL trick or treating. We didn't have a trunk or treat this year so we headed out around the neighborhood. It was so fun.
We dressed him in a Micky Mouse costume for that night because it was cooler and a little drizzly.
It was the most photographed trick or treating I've ever seen but it was fun and he got a lot of candy. He was a very friendly trick or treater. He walked into every house we went to. Good thing we knew most of them.

Derek carved Hy's pumpkin alone this year; all he was interested in was the sharp knives. We have high hopes for next year.
Just one more picture of my parents dressed up. Get a good look because this is probably the last time it will happen...
I still can't believe we got them to dress up!!

It's my Big sisters birthday today. I decided to do something a little different for her birthday. Something a little retro. :)

N - Neat ( in both senses )
I - Inspiring
C - Creative Cake maker
O - Only 36
L - Late ( Nik, It's true, you know it, and it's ok)
E - Everyone loves her

N - Never sleeps
O - Overly critical of herself
E - Everyday hero
L - Loves my son :)

W - Wouldn't be the mother I am with out her influence
A - Always patient ( has the patience of a saint :)
D - Domestic Goddess
S - Skinny :)
W - Wonderful Mother ( Mother earth incarnate )
O - Only the best sister EVER
R - Rode the city bus into downtown Grand Rapids when she was only in seventh grade
T - Took two lines for her name in her college graduation program
H - HOME maker

G - Gorgeous
A - Always puts FAMILY first
R - Rock ( as in she is immovable in what she knows is right and true )
R - Really wanted to be a full time missionary
I - I drive her crazy with my indecisiveness and insane caution and frugality
C - Can't believe she does so much
K - Keeper :)

We love you Nik! Happy Birthday!

I've had some requests to see the Family Pictures my Dad took when they were here. Trust me I will get to Halloween someday soon. I don't want to post many of the family pictures because we are going to use them for our Christmas cards so we don't want it to be old news when you get a darling picture in the mail come December.

Those of you that live in American Fork or have ever lived in there will know where this is. It is by far our favorite park in American Fork.

This is what happens when the photographer has to look at too many things at once. My dad was trying to make sure that cars were not in the background and my mom was out of the picture and make sure Hyrum wasn't trying to throw himself out of the tree. Can you tell who my Dad was focused on in this one?

And these are a few examples of why...

That's right he'd completely taken off his shoe in that last one. He was a trooper but after awhile...all together too soon as far as we were concerned...he was DONE!

But at the end of the day we got some really good ones. We really owe you Dad!! I wish I could have taken a picture of the other side of the camera. My mom is really good at getting little ones to smile. She'd be a great photographers assistant. She even got good smiles out of us. :)

My wonderful parents came to visit us. They bought us lunch, fixed our broken things, babysat, took our family pictures, they helped in every way they could and how did we treat them? I'll let you judge for yourself...

We introduced them to the Wii and filmed them boxing

We insisted they wear dark blue sweatshirts and took them to a football game on reflective stands in 70 plus degree weather.

Then we dressed them up like Star Wars characters and took them out in public!

We embarrassed them so much while they were here but they were such good sports about it all. You may not call it "elder abuse" but I think I hear the sirens coming closer. If for no other reason than for calling them "elders". :) We miss you! Come back soon!