Saturday, October 30, 2010

Aven's Halloween

Halloween was a lot more fun this year since Aven was so much more interested in the whole affair. She was fascinated by the decor and has loved the few pieces of candy she has eaten. I wanted to share some pictures from the season:

We took Aven's picture in her costume at Sugarhouse Park a couple weeks ago. She was not a fan of wearing the dalmatian costume at first, but we discovered that as long as she had a sucker she was more than willing to tromp around the park in it.

My two favorite puppies.

Carving pumpkins in the backyard with Grace Dog.

Our cute pumpkin family. Ian, who normally doesn't care much for carving pumpkins, discovered that it's pretty fun if he can use power tools.

We went to Garden After Dark at Red Butte Garden. It was SO much fun. Aven is definitely not afraid of the dark- she had a blast running along the festively lit paths.

Finally, we went trick-or-treating. This was our first stop at my mom's house. We also went to a handful of houses on our street after dinner. I think Aven was just confused that I was all of the sudden encouraging her to walk up to people's doors when I usually make her stay on the sidewalk when we are on a walk. She was very shy and wouldn't take candy from the bowl herself, but she seemed to enjoy the experience. Now I'm worried that she's going to expect to walk up to our neighbor's doors to get candy every time we are out on a walk. I'm sure it will all get even more fun next year.

Finally, after all that hard work collecting candy from neighbors she got the enjoy a piece before bedtime.


Friday, October 29, 2010


I am a middle school teacher and I love my job, but nobody ever promised that a career in middle school education was going to be dignified. This is evidenced by this picture of Scott, the head custodian at my school, who was coerced into joining the teacher team in a dress-up competition today:

I think he makes a lovely witch, complete with his magic mop.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh the joys . . .

. . . of teaching middle school:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Fun

So far this year we have enjoyed a rather mild fall. Last Friday My mom, Aven and I went for a walk on the Pipeline trail to enjoy the fall colors and fabulous weather. Aven had a grand time and my mom spent a lot lot of time worrying that Aven was going to fall off the mountain.

She's so fast these days that it's hard to get a picture of her.

Looking toward Salt Lake Valley from the Pipeline.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cast of Characters

I love my neighborhood. Ian and I chose to live in this area specifically because we like the layout, the proximity to places we like to go, and because it has character. One of the things that I love so much about my neighborhood is the contrast. There are a lot of younger people buying up old houses and remodeling them. There are elderly people who are still living in homes they bought a half a century ago. There are also a lot of run down rentals and houses that have been strangely subdivided into multiple apartments. The wide variety of dwellings lends itself quite obviously to a wide variety of people. I love my neighbors and am always entertained by someone on my street. I'm sure that my tendency toward neighbor-watching came straight from my dad who, during my childhood, always had a pair of binoculars at the ready and a clever nickname for everyone within spying distance.

Our neighbor across the street, Mark, who lives in one of the worst examples of do-it-yourself remodeling in existence retired at a fairly young age from the financial industry. He then rode his bike across the United States in celebration and now spends his days tending to the neighborhood stray cats and doing odd things like walking up and down the street while brushing his teeth. Ian and Mark enjoy talking about sci-fi books. The house next door to ours is an ugly rental with an unkempt yard and is occupied by several girls that Ian and I refer to as "The Sexy Coeds". This group of girls gives us the largest variety in our neighbor-watching. My favorite is when they get all glammed up and ride their cruiser bikes a half a block to the coffee shop I can see from my driveway to get an iced mocha latte (or whatever it is they drink) and then ride back ten minutes later. Jesus, another guy across the street is also retired and spends his days working in his yard which reminds me very much of the secret garden. He likes to set up tiny scenes around an old hand-crafted doll house in his front yard. He also invites us over regularly to see new features he's added to his yard such as the river he built in his backyard. Steve a.k.a. Van Guy lives in a van in Jesus's driveway, wears the same clothes everyday and drinks a 36 pack of Natural Light a day. I really wish Van Guy would go live down by the river. He gives me the creeps.

Today a new character entered the scene. He may have just been making a cameo, but with the way Van Guy drinks I'm guessing he's going to be a regular. We were returning home from a walk to the bakery when we saw this:

I do own binoculars, but I prefer my telephoto lens.

A man I have already affectionately named Can Guy. He appeared to be homeless but he had a pretty sweet set-up with a bike that had an attached trailer and he had obviously been busting his butt collecting cans. He told us that he collected $300.00 in cans just on the Fourth of July- pretty impressive. When we arrived home Jesus was bringing out bag after bag of empty beer cans left-over from Van Guy. This guy hit the jackpot. I don't know why he is in the situation he is in, but Van Guy and Can Guy might have the start of a "beautiful" relationship.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pet Day

Today was Pet Day at Aven's daycare. As luck would have it I had the day off, so I got the opportunity to take Grace Dog to visit Aven's class. I'm pretty sure it was one of the most terrifying experiences of Grace's life.

Grace tried desperately to burrow into my chest as she was quickly surrounded by 8 toddlers, 3 babies, and 5 teachers. She's just a big 60 pound scaredy-cat.

It wasn't all bad for Grace, I took enough biscuits so that each child could feed her one. Aven got a little miffed when I gave biscuits to the other kids. She wanted to be the hot-shot dog treat feeder.

Grace's nightmare, come true. One little girl was so excited that she laughed and squealed the entire time we were there. It was a fun day for Aven, even if it was at the expense of Grace's sanity.