Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween night

The kids were all decked out for Halloween. Vickey and Dominic went to school today with Ellie to help with the Halloween party.

Even Tank got to join the party tonight and received plenty of attention during our block party. Each year we gather with the neighbors to barbeque hot dogs and have chili and corn bread.

It was a very full night.

I drove the Coglianese kids and Eliana around the neighborhood in the truck to various friends’ homes. She was a successful trick-or-treater, securing a very full bag of candy.

Here they are, in their Halloween garb.

Eliana at school.

Tank as Batman. Nice ghostly eyes, huh?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Trunk or treat

For those of you unfamiliar with the term trunk or treat, it’s an event our ward holds at our church building each Halloween. It’s usually a few days before Halloween and includes a chili cook-off (we didn’t win an award this year but have taken top honors in years past), costume contest and decorating car trunks and passing out candy to the kids from the cars. There’s even an award for best trunk.

Here’s Eliana in front of this year’s winner. They kind of cheated (Max!) by using a moving van and turning it into straw alley. But it was fun to have a walk-in trunk from which to get a treat. Right Ellie?

Here are a few photos from the festivities.

Grandma and Grandpa Snow’s highchair

We have a bushel full of photos of Eliana in the Snow’s highchair. It’s only fitting we have some of Dominic as well.

Here he is after enjoying his breakfast.

We stayed briefly with grandma and grandpa, arriving in the middle of the night last Thursday and taking off early Saturday morning. As usual, we enjoyed the time we spent there. Thanks for everything you do for us Gordon and Murriel!

It was also great to see Charley for a few minutes as well. The paintings are hanging in the family room and look great. We’ll get them framed eventually. We’ll also work on getting better photos in the daylight.

For those of you who haven’t seen Vickey’s Birthday Triptych, here you go. They got their name because they can be hung in three different variations, a clever one Charley is.

Story time with Aunt Melissa

Eliana played and played this past weekend with her cousins.

Here they are having story time before bed while we were staying at my brother’s place.

We enjoyed playing games and hanging out. Vickey and I especially enjoyed—to the point of tears we laughed so hard—watching Rat Race. That’s one of those movies that just makes us laugh out loud! (Sorry for keeping you guys up B&M.)

We also had fun celebrating AJ’s first birthday (and Melissa’s birthday the day before). It was a double whammy birthday weekend.

South Jordan pumpkin patch

Little did we know what green thumbs Brian and Melissa have. They grew a couple dozen huge pumpkins this year. How impressive!

Here are the Codella cousins (minus Vance), hanging out on a cold October afternoon on Brian and Melissa’s porch in South Jordan, Utah.

We had a fun time visiting their family and Vickey’s parents last weekend.

We attended a BYU Young Ambassadors reunion dinner and ice cream social with a performance of Homecoming Spectacular sandwiched in between.

We had an impromptu tailgate party at the Castleton’s new home in Provo and went to the BYU vs. UNLV football game (no contest, sorry Betty) on Saturday. Go Cougars!

I sang in church on Sunday.

Monday we packed up, headed to the Snow’s to load up Charley’s paintings, titled Vickey’s Birthday Triptych, dropped in at Murriel’s work for her to show off the grandkids, stopped at BYU to visit my friends at Performing Arts Management and the KMB where the musical theater program is housed, then drove to St. George where we met Vickey’s brother, Matt, and his two girls and my Aunt Betty and Uncle Art for dinner at CafĂ© Rio.

Do you think we could have done any more in four days’ time? I’m not sure.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Getting ready for Halloween

Vickey found a sucker with some fake teeth. Both Eliana and Dominic were coerced into taking them for a spin and here’s the result.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rubber chips are in

Finally, the beloved day arrived when the weed barrier ground cover wasn’t the only thing under the play set in the back yard. Yesterday I got a call mid-day that the pallets of rubber chips had arrived from California. They told me the forklift driver was there for another hour and that he could lift the entire pallet (50 bags) onto my truck if I got there in time.

I hurried to my friend’s real estate office and borrowed their moving truck (thanks Max and Jenni!), drove to Russell and I-15 to the local Rainbow Play Systems warehouse, had them load the pallet of rubber chips, then drove home.

Vickey arrived home with the kids after Eliana’s day at kindergarten shortly after I arrived. We turned it into a family affair and hauled all 50 of the 40 pound bags of rubber chips to the back yard. Ellie pushed the full wagon. Dominic was strapped to his stroller in the back yard to watch us come and go (and get upset each time he was left in the back with Tank). Tank was strapped to the picnic table in back to prevent him from roaming on the street (because he’s a bad dog and doesn’t listen when we tell him to stay in the back).

After unloading and eating lunch I returned the moving truck. I only had to add two-and-a-half gallons of gas to refill it. Not bad.

It was late last night, after dark even, before I was able to spread the rubber chips out. Vickey was at enrichment at the church so the kids and I took care of it. Eliana was a great helper and took the empty bags to the garbage can and even took her turn leveling out the chips with the rock rake. Dominic crawled everywhere and played in the new chips.

Here’s the final product. There are a few areas we’ll need to touch-up as it was difficult to see while we were spreading the chips last night. We’re so happy the playground area is finally done.

But don’t fret, there’s still plenty to do: replacing dead bushes, fixing some drip line irrigation and outdoor lighting, and installing outdoor speakers. We’re saving that for my family’s Thanksgiving visit (just kidding...kind of). There’s always something, isn’t there?

At any rate, the kids can now play to their heart’s content and if they fall from the five foot high play house floor they’ll just bounce off the rubber chips (and hopefully not break any bones).

Now the other issue is Tank. For some reason he thinks the green chips are food. Last night he kept grabbing a mouthful of chips, running to the other side of the yard, chewing for a few minutes, then coming back for more.

Since I couldn’t find any chewed up chips over there, I can only guess he’s actually eating the rubber chips. Ugh! Either he’ll get sick and learn his lesson (which is doubtful) or he’ll just keep eating the rubber chips. Are there Darwin Awards for dogs?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fresh paint

Another contractor came through for us today and finished the job they agreed to do within the time they agreed to do it. The house painters did a great job. There are some minor touch-up things I’ll be doing over the coming weeks, but all in all, the house now has a complete facelift.

We got a few photos this evening. We’ll get some more when the daylight is better.

The walls are a medium hue beige color and there are two shades of a chocolate brown used as trim, along with a sort of cranberry red on the door and shutters. We’re pleased with how the color scheme turned out with the stone.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Play set: complete

Today was a momentous day. The kids were good and the weather was outstanding.

Vickey was at a Pampered Chef training meeting all morning till
2 p.m., then she left for a Pampered Chef show at 6 p.m.

So, as I entertained the chitlins, I worked in the yard and was able to complete the installation of the play set. I had to dig a 26” hole for the metal pole in the center of the circular slide, then attach the slide in segments. With a little help from Eliana I managed to get it done. I couldn’t have done it without the six foot pick tool (a solid metal rod with a point on the end) Gordon and Charley had me purchase at Lowe’s when they were down last month.

Here’s Ellie and Dominic enjoying their play time.

I also got a few more yard projects complete and it looks like we’ve finally decided on the colors for the outside of the house. So, if all goes according to plan (and I’m pretty certain it won’t), we’ll have a newly painted home and new gate to the back yard on Wednesday, and rubber chips covering the ground around the play set on Thursday (they've been on back order). Even if it’s all in place by next weekend, that would be just fine.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Summer play

I’m sorting through photos from this year to fill some 11 by 14 frames Vickey purchased at the Pottery Barn outlet and found this one of Eliana and Dominic from back in May when we took our Memorial Day trip to St. George.

And here’s another cute one of Ellie with two of her Snow cousins.

I like the summer feel to the images, the colors, and of course I love the subjects.

EQ Fiesta and Game Night

Next weekend we’re hosting a dinner and game night for the Fountains Ward Elders Quorum (I’m the quorum president).

Our home teacher made this cool flier for the party.

Tank would love to welcome you to our home.

Rainy weather in Vegas

The past couple of days have been really rainy here, which is unusual for Las Vegas.

We love it when it rains, especially the smell of rain in the desert.

Here’s something we’ve only seen a handful of times at our home, a rainbow in the background.

School picture day

Thursday was Eliana’s first school picture day. She agreed to sleep in curlers Wednesday night and endure curling iron treatment Thursday morning before school.

The last time Vickey tried that Ellie threw a fit when the curlers came out and her hair wasn’t perfect. She did much better this time.

Vickey and Dominic were present to witness the festivities at Cox Elementary, although Vickey didn’t get a sneak peak at Ellie’s photo like Tammy did. (Tammy was Ellie’s preschool teacher and has a son, Chase, in Ellie’s class.)

Before they left for school Vickey took some photos of Ellie. Ellie’s comment: “Now dad will have some cute pictures for his blog!”

Yes, Ellie, I’m so glad to have these cute photos for my blog!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Grandma returns home

We had a fun week with Grandma Codella. Today she and Eliana painted pumpkins. It’s hard to believe it’s already October.

Grandma, Vickey and the kids did plenty of shopping these last few days. Everyone has new duds—pajamas and some school clothes. Thanks, Grandma!

We had Don and Lisa (she's my cousin) and Sarah Lynn over Thursday night for dinner and games. Here we are.

And here’s Eliana and me working as a team to fish out as many letters as possible before the timer goes off. We were playing a fun new game Eliana received for her birthday last month.

We just received Grandma’s report that she’s now back home in 40 degree New York after an uneventful plane ride (we're still running our air conditioner).

We enjoyed general conference this weekend and are reminded of our many blessings.

I’m still working on a few yard finishing touches, irrigation and lighting. And we’re looking to have the iron gate to the back yard redone (since the old one is too short now that we increased the height of the wall) as well as the house repainted. Also, I still have to dig a two foot hole for the circular slide on the play set and we're still waiting for the rubber chips for the ground cover to be shipped from California. Hopefully those things will be complete this month.