Monday, October 27, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

We carved pumpkins with the kids tonight and we had a blast. We had one pumpkin for the boys to carve and one for the girls. The kids are the ones that designed the pumpkins and I think they did an awesome job! As is tradition in the Higham family we ate caramel apples when all was said and done. Yummy! Here the kids are getting ready to carve (or rather watch Dad and Mom carve), one of the only times they are allowed to sit on the table.
Pulling out the "guts". I was actually surprised how well they cleaned out the pumpkins and how much they enjoyed it. I remember hating the feeling on my hands, oh wait, I still hate that feeling.
Even Tanner got into it and "helped" out, although, it was more just moving the seeds onto the table.
The kids with their finished products. Spencer designed the one on the left, Natalie the one on the right.
Fun family picture. Amazing that our kitchen table can hold the weight of our entire family!
An up close view of our work.And one of my favorite pictures of our jackolanterns.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It was a WICKED night!

On Friday night Brett and I had the opportunity to go see "Wicked" at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. We have talked about seeing it for a long time now and finally found a great deal on tickets that we couldn't pass up. We went with four other couples from church (three of which the husbands work with Brett). The night started with the drive up there of course. Funny that I have lived in Southern California nearly my whole life and have never seen the Hollywood sign before. Our group all met up for dinner (we had driven two separate cars) at a little restaurant called The Velvet Margarita Cantina. It is just a couple of blocks from the theatre and you honestly have to wonder as you are walking to it if you are in the right place. The big steel door you walk through makes you feel like you are walking into a bar or something. But the atmosphere was so fun.
All the walls are covered in some kind of velvet covering. In this picture you can kind of see the the walks around us are blue velvet.
Brett and I are at the left hand side, following around are Aimee and Jason, Nick and Kim, Tiffany, Stacy, Chris and Matt. The food was yummy too! They start you out with all you can eat chips and dips including beans, salsa, and pico de gallo. Brett ordered a salmon dish and I got the chicken burrito. Only order the burrito if you are absolutely starving and haven't eaten too many chips. It is big!
Following dinner we walked back to the theatre and enjoyed an excellent performance of Wicked. It is the story of the Witches from the Wizard of Oz. Great storyline and message about how you can't judge someone by their actions.
Brett and I snuck in a picture during intermission, which is strictly prohibited I guess. We got in trouble by one of the ushers. (By the way, do you like Brett's new glasses? He got them a couple of weeks ago and I am loving them. I am a little bias though!) But anyway, overall is was a wonderful night with great food, an awesome show, and fantastic company. Maybe we will be able to save up some money to do this again in a couple of years!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Someone needs to. . .

. . .tell Southern California that it is fall. I am currently sitting in my house melting to death! Out of the last 9 days, 6 have been 92 degrees or hotter. Not supposed to happen. The average high for this time of year is 78 degrees. I keep reading peoples blogs and hearing about the wonderful weather they are having and have to wonder why we aren't having such beautiful weather. Maybe someday the weather will realize that it is the end of October.

Commendable Cub Award

Spencer recieved a special award, the "Commendable Cub Award", from his teacher, Mrs. Spensiero.  We are very proud of him and the "outstanding efforts" he has given in "citizenship".  I think he was pretty proud of himself too.
Here, the principal, Mrs. Tamaki, is handing Spencer his award, while Mrs. Spensiero is shaking his hand.
Spencer with Mrs. Spensiero
The whole gang was able to be there for the event!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Tanner

Our Tanner boy had his first birthday on October 12. 
Of course his siblings had to help him open his presents.  I don't think that they even gave him a chance to try it himself. 
This is the barn that Grandma and Grandpa Bruschke gave Tanner.
Tanner started out hesitant with eating his cake. . .
. . .but ended up piggin' out in the end. 
Grandma Bruschke helped set up the barn,
While Grandpa Bruschke tried to teach Tanner how to use the remote control car.
In the end, Grandpa failed.  Tanner decided that the control made a better phone.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I can't wait!

I am so excited for the movie Twilight to come out.  If you haven't read the book yet, find a way to get your hands on it.  I am not a huge reader, but I couldn't put this book down.  Watch this preview and you will want to see the movie as much as I do.  Thanks Nikki for posting it on your site.


Installing a ceiling fan

On Saturday we went out to Doug and Liz's new place so that Brett could help them install a ceiling fan.  It was fun to see their beautiful home.  The ceiling fan turned out to be a little harder to put in than Brett expected and we learned some lessons along the way.
1.  Try to find a ladder taller than 8 feet when you are installing a fan in a 14 foot ceiling.
2.  When you come down the ladder, make sure to bring all tools down with you or they might fall on someones head.
3.  Shaking uncontrollably when you are trying to  fit three small holes over three small screws doesn't make things easy.
4.  If you are going to take pictures with a flash as someone is trying to install anything electrical, make sure to tell them in advance so that they don't think that live wires have just hit one another.
5.  The blades and light have to be attached before the fan will spin.
6.  Taking directions from a 11 month old is probably not the best idea.
And finally,
7.  Trying to fit two big boys on an eight foot ladder doesn't work too well.  I will spare you any more details!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Learning About Life Through Soccer

What follows is an entry that Brett wrote in our family journal.  I thought it was so cute I wanted to share it with you.  I don't know what is more cute, what Spencer did or how proud Brett is that he did it.  Enjoy!
"Yesterday, I got to Spencer's soccer game about 10 minutes late. I had been asked to clean the church at 8:00 AM but since that was the time of Spencer's game I went to the church at 6:45 and cleaned until someone else showed up and I could tell them what I had already done so that it did not get repeated.

When I got to the game Spencer was just going in for the first time. Rachel informed me that his team had already scored 6 or 7 goals. It was exciting to see him play. After 5 games he was finally figuring it out. He was able to move into the mob, kick the ball out, and then move it down the field. After a couple of missed attempts, he finally made a goal which was his 3rd on the season. He was very proud of himself and I was proud as well.

After his goal his coach pulled him back to play defense. Again, I was impressed with how much he had learned. He stayed back around mid-field and if the other team began to break away toward our goal he would step forward and kick the ball away.

At half time the coach called our three best players out to midfield for a chat. I over heard him explain that he was going to have them sit out the 2nd half. He told them that there were still 2 players on our team of 8 that had never scored in any of our games. He wanted to keep them in to give them the opportunity to score. Following up on this thoughtful move by our coach I called Spencer over to me so that I could talk to him.

I told Spencer that I wanted him to help his teammate Luke to score a goal. His first response was, "But Dad, I want to score more goals." I replied that Luke had never scored a goal in any of the games and that I wanted him to help Luke to score so that he would know how good it felt to score. Spencer agreed and added, "After I help him score, then I will score more goals too." I said that would be fine.

As the 2nd half began, it was Tyler, another of the boys who hadn't scored yet this season, who stole the show right off the bat and scored a quick goal of his own.

At the next kick off Spencer took over. He seemed to dominate the field. He would move into the mob, get the ball, dribble out of the mob and when far enough away from others trying to take it he would stop, look for Luke and dribble straight to him. He would place the ball in front of Luke and then gently encourage him to take it down the field toward the goal.

At the first attempt, Luke seemed unsure of what to do. He dribbled a short distance and lost the ball. Spencer took off after it, got it away from everyone else and brought it back to Luke for another attempt. This occurred a couple more times. However, each time Luke seemed to figure out more and more how to move with the ball. Finally, after what was probably 5 minutes of this and 2 fast break misses on goal Luke was able to score his first goal. He was elated and our sideline went crazy. Spencer looked at me with a smile on his face and his classic thumbs up and mouthed to me, "I helped him score Dad".

I don't know if I have ever been a more proud father. Life is not about soccer, nor is it about winning. Life is all about service and love. Watching Spencer choose to be selfless and finding joy in his selfless service is the greatest experience that a father could enjoy. Having such a positive experience with selfless service at such an early age I am sure will be a significant building block in his foundation to a life a of service and love."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Date Night

On Friday night Brett and I were able to go to a Hockey game for our date night. It was the first time that either of us has been to a hockey game.  I have to admit that I was lost almost the entire game.  I didn't realize there were so many rules.  All the sudden the whistles would blow and the puck would stop.  I swear I didn't see anything, but obviously more happens than my eyes can catch.  By the end I was understanding a little and actually enjoying watching the game.  If it weren't for being out with Brett (kids free I might add), I don't know if I would have enjoyed it because of my frustration of being lost in the game, but all in all, it was a great night, with great companion and best of all, it was free!

To brighten your day

These flowers have been sitting on my kitchen table the last few day and everytime I look at them they make me smile. Just wanted to share the warmth!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I've found a babysitter. . .

. . .if being a babysitter only involves changing the diaper of an object that doesn't move. Here is Bailey doing what she sees mom doing all too often.Getting everything ready, teddy on back, diaper in place, wipes easily accessible.
Only one wipe is necessary Bailey. Maybe she goes with the philosophy that too much is better than too little? Making sure to get everything nice and clean.
After cleaning, put dirty wipe into dirty diaper.
Pull the tabs out and put diaper on. And there you have it, a nice clean diaper. Anyone want Bailey to watch their child?