Happy Halloween! Grandma’s Halloween Festival!

Happy Halloween greetings! www.mytributejournal.com

Happy Halloween!

In typical Utah fashion, the weather has gotten much colder and rainy for Halloween night!  The weather definitely puts a bit of a damper on things for all the kids and their parents who are going trick or treating tonight!  I can remember having to make costume adjustments for my children when winter would set in early on Halloween occasionaly!  One particularly warm, balmy year, my oldest daughter dressed up as a Hawaiian hula girl for her school parade, complete with grass skirt and pretty flower lei that her grandparents had recently brought back to her from Hawaii.  Later that Halloween afternoon, a huge blizzard ended up dumping well over a foot of snow and turned our neighborhood into a winter wonderland!  When it was time to go trick or treating, we had to do some quick thinking and do a major revamp on her costume; she ended up going as a member of the Olympic ski team!

Grandma’s Halloween Festival!

When my kids got older and were well past trick or treating age, we still tried to enjoy a warm Halloween supper together!  Now, with my cute granddaughters, the Monday evening before Halloween has evolved into my annual “Grandma Halloween Festival!”     

Halloween costumes! www.mytributejournal.com

I reversed roles with my husband and dressed as a hunter a few years ago–he came as a reluctant deer!

Halloween costumes! www.mytributejournal.com

I think I increased my credibility as a grandma when my “Pinkalicious” costume made its debut!    

Halloween Party October 2013 141

My “Despicable Me” minion costume definitely qualified me for the crazy grandma title this year!  I’m not sure my granddaughters knew quite what to think when they saw me!  Since taking both the girls to this movie on our recent sleep over weekend, and seeing how much they adored these funny, little characters, I knew I wanted to re-create one for my Halloween costume.  Ha!  (Dressing up as a cowboy is about as far as my husband tends to go with the whole costume thing!  Knowing that his dad is a cowboy at heart, my son texted him to ask if he was really wearing a costume!?!)

At my Grandma Festival, I just arrange a few fun activities and games to do together with Makena and Marli throughout my house that are all easy to do and inexpensive to make–but they’ve created many treasured memories!

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.com

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.com

I spooked things up just a bit by keeping the room dim and placing a flicker light by each golf hole!  (It’s a croquet type golf–but a lot of fun all the same!)  

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.com

Marli was especially tickled with her hole in one!

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.com

Halloween games! Fishing pond. www.mytributejournal.com

The fishing pond is always a favorite spot!  I try to make it a little different each year.  I buy a few of the treats that Makena and Marli love best, along with some little toys they’ll like.  (I glue a big magnet to each item so that the fishing poles grandpa makes with a metal bolt attached to the end of the string will guarantee plentiful fishing!)  

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.com

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.com

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.comHalloween games! www.mytributejournal.com

Having a pumpkin container makes it easy for them to take their “catch” home!  

Halloween games! www.mytributejournal.comHalloween spooky stories! www.mytributejournal.com

I try to end the Halloween festivities with a quiet activity so that Makena and Marli aren’t too wound up for their parents when they go home!  This year we set up our tent and read “spooky” stories!  I usually get the girls pajamas for Halloween instead of Christmas, and they put them on before the stories.  This year I even found some that coordinated with their costumes!  I know, lucky find!

Halloween stories! www.mytributejournal.com

The girls loved that there was room for everyone, including their mom and dad, to pile inside the tent while Grandpa reads the stories by the light of the lantern!  Makena suggested we all stay and sleep in the tent too–much to her parent’s relief, we promised her we’d do it this summer when we could go outside! 


I’d love to know some of the fun activities you do at Halloween time!



Laboring On Labor Day…Or Not!

Laboring On Labor Day…Or Not!

“…but let’s not work all Labor Day weekend!”  I probably sounded a little like a whiny child when I uttered those words (and a few others) to my husband as we once again worked in our yard to slowly restore some semblance of order after the summer long construction mess!  Yes, I will admit I was feeling a bit of the martyr syndrome, since we really hadn’t been able to get away on a vacation this summer due to all the “projects” going on around our home!  (Lounging by the infinity pools in Puerto Vallarta seemed like eons ago!)  Besides, I grew up with a father who among other things, taught me to live my life with “moderation in all things” and it seemed that these outdoor jobs, although necessary and desired, were taking up much more than their fair share of our time and energy!

The unseasonably hot, end of summer heat even started to get to my husband, (along with my woeful bantering, I’m sure…) so today, Labor Day, we shirked the million and one things we could have done to “labor” around our home and headed up to the much cooler, beautiful mountain resort town of Park City, a short drive from our home!

At lunch, when we stopped to get a bite to eat at one of our favorite spots, the clever phrase on the t-shirt of one of the servers caught my eye!  The simple yet profound message, not only made me chuckle to myself, but jarred my senses a little!  I live nearby some of the most beautiful places in our country, and many people travel a from a long ways away sometimes to come and vacation here!

My Life Is Your Vacation t-shirt!Here’s a glimpse into my Labor Day epiphany!

A beautiful morning sky!  www.mytributejournal.com

Even before my insightful lunch, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the cotton candy skies during an early morning walk! 

Park City!  www.mytributejournal.com

Park City Historic Main Street!  www.mytributejournal.comWe enjoyed a short honeymoon in Park City on a long President’s Day weekend during college!  The eclectic quaintness of the Historic Main Street in Park City is still pretty much the same as it was years ago, despite the fact that homes and businesses heavily populate the areas all around it.  It’s always such a treat to go back and wander through the fun shops there!

Historic Park City Barn  www.mytributejournal.com

The historic Park City barn was once a dairy farm, but later the citizens of Park City purchased it to maintain the integrity of the entry corridor into Park City.  It’s one of my most favorite sites! Vintage gardens  www.mytributejournal.com

Vintage garden  www.mytributejournal.com

Barn wood fence  www.mytributejournal.comMany of the small, vintage homes and lovely gardens are like taking a step back in time!

Black-eyed Susan flowers  www.mytributejournal.com

Natural foliage. Www.mytributejournal.com

The flowers and foliage are so vibrant in the mountain air! 

Park City Mountains  www.mytributejournal.com

The amazing mountainside views almost leave you breathless!

What I’m learning now is…

My father stated in his history that he always loved to travel and see what was on the other side of the hill or mountain, so to speak, but he loved the beautiful mountain range that encompassed the valley where he lived and raised his family the most!  What I’m learning now is that although I love to travel like my dad did, I do find I am the most happy when I’m at home surrounded by loved ones–even when there is work to be done!       

The beautiful view of the trees and mountains I see when I look out my back door…

Utah Mountians!  www.mytributejournal.com

…and yes, the tools and yard work are still there waiting!

Yard tools  www.mytributejournal.com

Do you have any Labor Day traditions?  What are some of the neat things you do around your hometown?   I’d also love to hear how you best balance your time at home between work and play!


America’s Birthday Celebration!

America’s Birthday Celebration!

America's birthday!

With every holiday, there seems to be certain foods and activities that define each celebration!  For our family, celebrating America’s birthday usually means a yummy Dutch Oven BBQ prepared by my husband.  (That’s the best part of the celebration for me!)  Sometimes we’ll go to a canyon picnic spot, or we’ll all gather in our backyard.  This year, due to unseasonably hot temperatures outside, as well as some construction being done in our yard, we brought our birthday celebration inside.

Dutch Oven BBQ Spare Ribs!

Dutch Oven BBQ Spare Ribs!

These are lip smacking, finger licking good spare ribs!!  

Dutch oven BBQ Spare Ribs dinner!Add your favorite side dishes for the perfect meal to celebrate any special summertime occasion!  

Happy Birthday America!America's Birthday Celebration

I hope every one had a very happy 4th of July celebration!

I’d love to hear what you do for America’s birthday celebration…what are your 4th of July traditions?