Life took over.

So life can throw you a bowl of cherries and it can throw you lemons and sometimes you can get both!

Since the kids started school in August my life has been super crazy! And then a week after school started the family and I decided to go to Wild Island Water Park. We had never been before so it was a lot of fun to experience something new and exciting.

 

Back in September I even went as far as becoming a substitute teacher as well as a substitute teachers aide for my kid’s school district. It is part-time, but it keeps my pocket book a tad bit happier since I became a stay-at-home mom three years ago.

Unfortunately in the middle of all my craziness in September, my mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. She was only 61 and extremely active so it was a shock to say the least. But life is a gift and you never know when you’ll be called back no matter how old you are.

The day after my mother-in-law passed away my husband, kids and I attended the Hot Air Balloon Races the next morning. We got up at 3am and drove to Reno to be at the Races opening at 4:30am. We were totally crazy, but had this planned for a long while and wanted to give the kids a bit of normalcy especially since their grandmother passed away the day before. While watching the Hot Air Balloons I saw a white owl fly over us… it made me think that my mother-in-law was with us in that brief moment.

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School Activities, PTO, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Volunteering and now work has been consuming my life to where I have been neglecting my blog, terribly and I so apologize.

October was fun for the kids since they LOVE Halloween. They decided it was a Star Wars dress up year, again! And awesomely so… I didn’t have to make a costume this year to my surprise!!

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Also, my husband decided to help carve pumpkins this year. This is Josh’s first EVER pumpkin that he has carved for Halloween. It only took him 41 years! My husband grew up  Jehovah’s Witness and never participated in Holidays like Halloween or Christmas until he met me almost 19 years ago. Surprisingly in 10 years of having children this was the first time my husband has ever  carved a pumpkin and I have to say it was pretty dang impressive!

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November was busy with Girl Scout and Cub Scout stuff of course, but my daughter had to start going through allergy testing and that was awful to watch her go through that.

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She ended up being VERY allergic to Horses. My poor mother-in-law is probably rolling over in her grave over that one since her life revolved around her 3 horses. Anyhow, Alex came up sensitive to cats as well (oh yay, we have 2) and is allergic to trees, grass, sagebrush and a bunch of different fishes. My poor girl now has to take allergy medicine to get her through the day.

A week later my daughter,Alex, turned double digits, the big 10! I threw her a birthday party on the Friday before her birthday since it was Veteran’s Day and there wasn’t school that day. I can’t believe my baby us 10!!

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My parents decided that because turning 10 is a HUGE milestone, that they were taking the family and I to Disneyland on Alex’s birthday!! It was crazy fun! My husband had to rent a scooter to get around the parks because he needs back surgery again and his back was killing him the whole time there. But the scooter was a God send and he was able to enjoy himself while in the Happiest Place on Earth, regardless.

We took my daughter to Goofy’s Kitchen for her birthday dinner and I was able to order her a Gluten Free Birthday Cake to keep the celebration going.

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We had a ton of fun at Disneyland, but this will probably be our last trip there for a couple of years, unfortunately.

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And then of course you have Thanksgiving at the end of our extremely already busy November. Over the last year I had saved over 2 loaves of gluten free bread heals and stuck them in the freezer! When it came time, I cubed them up and toasted them in the oven with some olive oil so I could make my  late Grandma Josie’s turkey stuffing gluten free that Turkey Day. And yes the stuffing came out very tasty!

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A couple of days after Thanksgiving we were graced with our first snow of the season.

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But of course in a couple of days the snow melted and we haven’t seen any snow since, sadly.

Then December finally sneaked up on us and we are still riding the crazy train, LOL. My parents came up so we can celebrate my Father’s birthday come Monday. But needless to say tonight I walked our town’s Parade of Lights with my Daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. I trekked 1.9 miles and was glad I had on a good pair of tennis shoes. My older son also participated in the parade with his Cub Scouts tonight as well. This was my 3rd year participating in the Parade of Lights – I love it and hope I can participate for many years to come. I had to make my daughter a tutu and dress her up as a Reindeer for the parade. I hope I got it right!

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Aden’s Cub Scouts built a Pine Wood Derby Car as their float and he road with them for the Parade.

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My December will be consumed by Caroling, 3 Birthdays, Subbing, Winter School Concerts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Christmas, Winter School Break, my 19th anniversary of when I first started dating my husband and New Years Eve.

Yeah… 186 days til summer break and counting, LOL!!

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Kids Halloween Party

Having fun | Small Town Living in Nevada


Last week I hosted a kids Halloween Party at my house and have to say I was a little stressed over it even though it was Potluck. The reason is I have a small home and a large backyard. In Nevada where I live, the weather can be hit or miss… the saying is “Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change.”

Nevertheless, I wanted to host an outdoor party and was stressing on how the weather would fair that Saturday. Luckily, the weather turned out perfect. However, the next day was horrible, cold and windy. So I truly lucked out.

Since we were going to be outside, I went the minimalist route for decorating. And the dollar store AND Walmart were my main stops for decorations, my true friends for the event.

A year ago June, I made an outdoor buffet table from pallets laying around the backyard. I have to say it is one of the best things I have ever made. I can’t tell you how many times I have used it for BBQ’s, birthdays and now I can say for a Halloween Party.

I decked it out with cobweb, a festive plastic tablecloth and then waited for all the guests to start arriving with their food they were contributing.

Pallet Buffet Table | Small Town Living in Nevada


Since the weather was nice the kids enjoyed playing on the Trampoline and the swingset… as well as playing with the cornhole board that I borrowed, and a bowling sent. I even put together a craft table so the kids could make cut-outs and just have another level of fun. But they thought the tire swing was THE BEST thing since sliced bread, LOL!

Tire Swing | Small Town Living in Nevada

But it made me happy at how much fun all the kiddos had… and was thrilled with all the food the parents contributed even though I supplied the main dish of ghoulish hot dogs and condiments. AND one of my friends made Gluten Free Cake Pops cause she didn’t want the kids and I to miss out on the desserts!! Now how cool is she!?

Kids & Food | Small Town Living in Nevada

Crafts Table | Small Town Living in Nevada

Crafts made at the craft table…

Kids & Food | Small Town Living in Nevada

I placed an extension cord outside and placed all the hot dogs in the crockpot with hot water so no one had cold dogs.

All in all it was a great turn out and the kids and adults alike had fun. I call that a success!

Having fun | Small Town Living in Nevada

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Halloween Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I always have issues with making chocolate chip cookies because of the altitude. Now the challenge is gluten free. But I think I hit on a winning combination that is to please all.

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla
2 eggs
2-3/4 cups Gluten Free Flour
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounce bag of Hersey’s Halloween Chocolate Chips

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375°F.

Cookies62. In a bowl – Stir together flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt – set aside. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball with a fork.

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3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.