Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family of wizards

The next morning was Halloween and we woke up and made these cute little jack o’ lantern smoothies that were both yummy and a fun food project for the kids to make. Why are they wearing construction hats while drinking them? Who knows but they sure look cute in them. Then mom and Eden headed back to Cali and we headed over to Dad and Lisa’s. We hung out and visited for a while and once it started to get dark we headed out for trick or treating. I loved our costume choices this year. The whole family wizard thing was fun. We got some fun shots of the family all dressed up. I love the girls big eyed glitter masks and their pink bellies. Hunter really wanted Brenn to be Hermoine and Kaulin to be Ron but Kaulin had football and school so he couldn’t come out. However Aunt Brenn rose to the occasion and dressed up as Hermoine. Hunter was thrilled. Wilbur was a reindeer. At one house the couple not only had candy for the kids but treats for the dogs. I snapped this picture of him getting his first trick or treat, treat. I know I am a dork, we really are dog people. As we walked around Dad carried Emma up on his shoulders because she was so excited about all the kids and kept flapping her arms so much. Dad would hold her up in the air and she would smile and giggle. She loved it. I had flashbacks to Hunter’s first Halloween as a baby lion and my dad carrying him around the neighborhood. I remember that the neighbor two doors down from them said how cute he was and then kissed him on the face and it freaked me out. Who randomly kisses people’s babies? Halfway through the night he had crashed out on Dad’s shoulder I have the cutest picture of it. Emma however stayed wide awake the entire time. Too excited to possibly sleep. Emma is at such a playful stage. I love to watch my dad toss her up in the air or tickle her and make her laugh. Her first Halloween. Hunter, Avery and Alec raced up to every door and Avery made sure to inform us after every house exactly what kind of candy she had received. Hunter tried to keep Brenn close by his side. All night long he talked in a surprisingly good English accent with Brenn. “Hermoine,” he would call out if she had wandered off and then she would jump back into her accent and go over and chat with him. I had to laugh as I walked behind them and heard him say, “Hermoine how was the Quidditch game?” “It was quite difficult but wonderful Harry” she responded. “It was quite challenging then?” he asked. “Quite.” Brenn responded. Here is a couple of pictures of the two of them quite in character. Aunties rule. It was a great Halloween, we have partied hard all month long and now with enough sugar to last a lifetime we head into November. Happy Halloween 2010!

Ghoulish breakfasts, scaredy owls and pumpkin prints

We woke up this morning and of course in our true Burch household tradition we made ghost pancakes for breakfast. The kids look forward to this every year. I love Ave’s bed head, the kid seriously has the craziest hairdo's when she wakes up in the morning. Cracks us up. Look at Eden making her pancakes with those glasses on. She also wore them while she ate her breakfast. She is so cute. Then it was off to Brenn’s graduation. After Brenn’s graduation we headed back home to get dressed for the trunk or treat. We had the usual chili cook off which is always delicious and Grandma and Grandpa met us there. I love these pictures of GG holding Emma and snuggling. GG held Emma while the rest of us went through the haunted house. Hunter and Eden loved it and Ave... well she liked it initially. We were halfway through when some kids started screaming for fun but it scared Avery and I spent the next five minutes trying to crawl through the cardboard maze dragging her as she clung to my cape and scarf practically choking me. Crawling through a cardboard maze is tricky anyway let alone complicate it with packing a four year old child in an owl costume. Grandpa was crawling around in there with us laughing at the sight of me pulling Avery along on my cape trying to convince her to settle down. Finally we found the exit, calmness for Avery, oxygen for me. Hunter and Deke took another five plus minutes to come out as they had stayed inside and lapped around the maze for a bit. Then it was on to fun games like throw wet sponges at the bishop which was the hit of the night and race to eat a powdered donut off of a string. Mom and Eden looked great as Snow White and the wicked queen. Hunter was of course in full character all night providing us with much comedic relief, he made such an awesome Harry Potter he seriously looked a lot like him. Avery and Emma were adorable in their little owl costumes. I was really happy with the way they turned out. It was so cute because a group of kids would go running by and Emma would move her arms up and down excitedly and her wings would flap just like a baby bird getting ready to take flight. She loved her costume and wore it all night without a problem. It was so funny because everytime we would put it on her and show her herself in the mirror she would start cracking up, it was the cutest thing. This year was so fun for Deke and I to dress up with the kids. It definitely beat last years nausea and throwing up as I finished my first trimester. Then we did the trunk or treating which is always fun. After trunk or treat we headed home to carve pumpkins. Yeah we were a little behind the power curve this year. We let Hunter design, draw, clean out and carve his own pumpkin on his own this year. He did an awesome job carving a vampire with only a little assistance from Dad. Avery would actually touch the seeds this year but got bored after two seconds so mom who had been chomping at the bit dug in and cleaned it out for her. Seriously it is my favorite part, don’t care for the carving but love cleaning out the seeds. Slimy, stringy, awesome. I made Emma put her hands inside the pumpkin and feel the seeds. She loved it and of course thought it was something to eat. Papa grew her a little pumpkin in his garden which melted my heart and so I traced her hand on it and carved it out. The pinky looked a little funky because I missed a cut but it still is a sweet reminder of her tiny little handprint. Avery decided she wanted a crown and stars carved into her pumpkin this year instead of a face so we did our best. Eden drew her own pumpkin face this year too. I love the little pointy teeth. She also cleaned her pumpkin seeds out this year without a problem and did quite a bit of carving as well. Then we took them out on the back porch and lit them. They looked so cute. Emma was mesmerized by them, her eyes as wide as she could open them. Kicking her legs, moving her arms and smiling huge. She would look at the pumpkins, then look at us smiling and then look back at them as if to say, “wow look at those things they are so pretty.” Even after the other kids were asleep mom and I spent another twenty minutes or so sitting on the porch with her letting her just stare at them. I can only imagine her reaction to seeing a Christmas tree for the first time. I love all the firsts. First pumpkins, first costumes first jack o’lantern. So much fun. Then Mom, Deke and I all watched Hocus Pocus and crashed for the night. .

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chef Brenn

Ever since Brenn was about four or five I remember her loving to cook. She would spend hours playing with our play kitchen pretending to be a chef. The kitchen had burners that lit up bright red and if you put a pot or pan on them they would bubble like they were boiling water or sizzle like they were cooking bacon. The faucet would make the sound of running water. Other kids were watching cartoons in the morning, not Brenn. We would peek in and she would be in the living room by herself lying in front of the TV watching a cooking show totally entranced. She watched cooking shows a lot. Not only did she love to cook but she loved and still loves food. She always had a weak spot for vegetables. All the time she would sneak into tomatoes and eat a whole tomato plain. Even after mom told her no more she would still sneak into them somehow. She also went through a phase of eating a lot of pickles. We were all so thrilled for her when she decided now as an adult to go to culinary school. Even though she had almost finished her Bachelor’s Degree at Cal Poly as an art major she decided to put it on hold, move to Arizona and pursue one of her dreams. She attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute, which is very renown. Her school was only about twenty minutes from our house and for the nine months she was here we got to see her about every two to three weeks. She would come over after school have dinner with us, play with the kids, eat Bahama Bucks with us, snuggle on the couch with Em and stay up late talking with Deke and I. We have all been so homesick for her since she is gone. After her coursework was done she headed to Berkeley for her internship and now is living with a whole bunch of girls in a cool old house. She is also living close by Kaulin now, which is great. A couple of weeks ago she had her graduation and we were lucky to get to be there. It was really nice and most of all great to watch her accomplish another one of her goals. We are so proud of her and we love her so much. Yes I did go up to the second floor during the ceremony and try to get better pictures of her and the whole group. When we showed the pictures to Hunter he was ecstatic that she had finally received her chef hat. I seriously love this picture of her wearing Grandpa’s cowboy hat and him wearing her hat. As soon as Emma saw her she started kicking her legs and smiling from ear to ear. Brenn has seen her a lot since she has been born and they have really bonded, it melts my heart. Way to go sis, we love you!!!!