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We have partied all weekend long. I have known for quite some time now that this last weekend would be a crazy one. It made me laugh at the time while rolling my eyes at the absurdity of the planning. Having lived through it, well let’s just say I took a kid break yesterday.

Yesterday was our Primary Program. Leading up to this special day was a final practice and pizza party on Friday afternoon, the Stake Trunk or Treat on Saturday, and then the Primary Presentation in Sacrament Meeting followed by another party. I’m not kidding. Somehow all these parties were planned in the same weekend.

The Primary kids survived the torture of going through the script on Friday. On my right was a kid who had missed the first “dress rehearsal” practice in the chapel. His family moved and we weren’t sure if the kids would still be in the Program. For a notoriously hyperactive kid, he did an awesome job. He was calm and I let him follow the script with me that I held in my lap. I think that helped.

On my left was a girl who told me over and over that it was her little sister’s birthday that day. They were going to a party after the practice. She was a little excited and had trouble sitting still. If she wasn’t telling me it was her sister’s third birthday she was asking if we were done yet.

“How many more songs?” And she’d yank the script out of my hands. I playfully bopped her in the face with it. A young woman sitting in the back of the chapel saw and started cracking up. 

“You can’t take this from me on Sunday so let’s practice having you not take it from me now!” My suggestion didn’t last long. She was so antsy! Mercifully the last song was sung. Everyone was hovering on the edge of their seats ready to bolt out of the chapel in search of pizza and rootbeer.

The kids were so funny. Regardless of age they all had pizza sauce smeared on their faces. They would swig their soda as if they were inventing new drinking games. At least one kid at every table was knocking back cupful after cupful of rootbeer. The other kids at the table would cheer him on. I felt like I was in an underage Mormon bar! Kids would take their empty cups up to the serving tables asking for refills. When their glass was full they would walk away announcing, “This is my sixth glass of soda!” The open bar proved too much a temptation for them.

I was actually told not to refill a child’s glass. Which I thought was weird. It’s rootbeer! “Sorry kid, we have to cut you off. Where are your keys? You’re not driving home like this! There’s a rocking chair in the Nursery. Go sleep it off!” Then I found out that the reason why he couldn’t have anymore was because he had built up a collection of cups at his table. The President felt like he didn’t need to have five separate cups of soda refilled at all times. That I could agree with.

Saturday was the costume debut party.

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Lifesize ballerina in a jewelry box and a mad scientist. Parker’s lab jacket says A.B. Normal.

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I love the little dance number.

We bought black hairspray for Parker and glitter hairspray for Gwen. You can hardly see the glitter in Gwen’s hair. The way I sprayed Parker’s hair just looks like he has dark hair. Heath sprayed his face a little to get the explosion on the face look. It looks more like facial hair since his goggles cover so much of his face. I will have to try again on Halloween.

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Parker didn’t believe me when I said he had hairspray in his ears too. I snapped this picture to prove it. It’s a great picture deserving of a great caption. I just can’t think of a good one right now. I love the look on his face though. He was so embarrassed to go inside Arby’s for dinner all dressed up. “I don’t want to be dressed up in public. People will think it’s weird.” We kept telling him it was October. People would think we were going to a Halloween party after dinner.

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Gwen had no problem prancing around in her ballerina costume in public.

It was fun for Heath to tell his coworkers about the kids costumes. He said that Gwen wanted to be a ballerina. Fake smiles followed as it was obvious people thought that was such a generic thing for a girl to want to dress up as. Then Heath would finish his sentence by saying she was a ballerina in a jewelry box. Eyes lit up and people thought that was a very creative idea. Thank you weird costume catalogue that was sent to my house without me asking! It is a creative idea and Grandma executed beautifully as usual.

You can see that Gavin was not dressed up. He didn’t want to and I told him he didn’t have to. The other day I asked if his friends were dressing up. He said all of them were but he didn’t seem bothered by that. Then he told me he wanted to enter the costume competition at school – wearing regular clothes. He thinks it’s funny. Sounds like classic middle school humor. Goofy kid.

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Heath was scheduled to run Clown Alley for the first hour of the Trunk or Treat. Originally he told me he would take Parker and Gwen just for the Trunk or Treat part of the Stake activity and I could stay home with Gavin. After he was put in as Executive Secretary he came home and said, “You’re going to be mad at me but you have to go the activity after all. I’m in charge of one of the carnival games.” The signup sheet had been around many times and the slots weren’t filling up. Heath felt guilty.

We tried to figure out how he could fulfill his responsibility and take the kids around for candy later without me having to participate. The timing wasn’t going to work out and I figured it would be easier if we all just went together. I don’t know if it was the rain, the Giant’s game (which was projected at the church party), or the fact that this activity has grown out of control over the years and more people are frustrated by it, but it didn’t seem as crowded this year. This was the best year we have ever had!

IMGWe got there early so Heath could be at his station. The assignment times were a little off because we ended up getting there about 30 minutes early. It worked out perfectly because there wasn’t much of a line for pictures. I swore I wouldn’t bother with pictures this year after waiting in line an hour or more last year. I decided to take the kids out to see if the photographer was set up and willing to take our picture. A couple families beat me to it! We were third in line. Not too shabby!

 

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After pictures we went to carnival games that were open for business that the kids were interested in. They got a decent little haul of candy just in the gym. Everyone knew right away that Gwen was a ballerina in a jewelry box and Parker was a mad scientist. We got tons of compliments!

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Gwen wanted her face painted. Every picture I took came out so blurry. I think my camera settings are off or something. It didn’t help that there was so much action behind her while I tried to get the picture.

She also wanted to do the Cake Walk. Parker wasn’t interested so he stayed behind to help his dad and brother with Clown Alley. Gwen walked around a few times before she finally won a cupcake. I convinced her to get one with pink frosting that was covered in plastic wrap. That way she could make a mess eating it at home! Gavin went to the Cake Walk later because he was hungry. He was in there for a really long time. Every time I poked my head in I could see him walking around. He was earning that cupcake!

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He came out with three cupcakes. What? I thought they took pity on him or something or they decided it was getting close enough to the end that they wanted to get rid of their inventory. No, he said he just kept winning! He proceeded to eat all three cupcakes.

The gym was getting a little more crowded at that point and there wasn’t too much time left before the trunk or treat part in the parking lot. So we walked outside in the misty sheets of rain to our van to wait. Gwen’s feet were soaked. Gavin stayed in the van with me while Heath took the other two out for candy. The rain fell heavier as soon as they got out but they still had fun.

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Gavin climbed into the driver’s seat and practiced his driving skills in the wet and crowded parking lot. No one was seriously injured. I think next time we should move the seat up for him. He’s getting tall but he has some room to grow yet. I’m totally kidding! He just sat in front talking to me while we listened to the radio.

The kids have been binging on candy ever since we got home. They act like they haven’t been fed for days and have never enjoyed the sinful pleasures of refined sugar.

On Sunday morning we performed our Primary Program for the ward. I’m so glad it’s finished! The kids did a great job. I just have some piquant opinions about how the rest of the day went for the kids. The facts are that we made them sit reverently through Sacrament Meeting. Then we sent them to class to attempt to sit through a lesson. The class I was asked to sit with were literally falling off their chairs. At least one girl was.

Then they went to the Primary room where they were promised a party. I was as surprised as the kids to find out they had to sit through Singing Time and Sharing Time before they were asked to line up for their “lunch” 10 minutes before church ends. We finally cleared out kids and started cleaning up 20 minutes before the other ward started church. Too much was crammed into not enough time. That’s all I will say about that.

By the time I got home I had had my fill of people. I hugged my kids and told them I loved them. I thanked them for behaving well at church. Then I told them I needed a kid break. They watched a movie while I went into a catatonic trance in my room.

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