Thursday, October 31, 2013

the annual fraga halloween party

every year since i was a wee one i've looked forward my family's annual halloween party.
there's always a theme.
there's always the best decorations (which keep getting better each year as they accumulate more and more)
there's always delicious food.
there's always fun games (for the kids and adults).
there's always fun!

this year we asked mel and justin if we could borrow their little ones to take to the party.
they. loved. it.
little miss ooo'd and awe'd at every decoration. she's a very animated little girl.
little man loved making new friends.  and learning how to play bingo (which he rocked at by the way).
little man even won a prize!

i love this time of year.  holidays are my favorite.  we get to see our extended families more often.
and play dress up.

Monday, October 28, 2013

make it a competition and we'll do our best work!

i love my mother-in-law.  she makes every holiday special, making sure lasting family memories are made by all.  and she also knows how her kids and their spouses love a good competition.  easter is the egg dying contest and halloween is the pumpkin carving contest.  this year we each got our own pumpkins (littles included).  we finished dinner early and went to town carving our pumpkins!  one of my favorite parts: baby 's' and her family participated via facetime!  even though they live a couple of states away, they are still at every sunday dinner and participate in every family tradition.  i love it!

^^we had a couple of traditional jack-o-lanterns, a witch, some aliens, silly faced pumpkin, a work of art pumpkin, a red sox pumpkin, and a cruiser pumpkin (hmmm...i wonder who's that one was).  love how creative my little family is!

Monday, October 14, 2013

a safe return home

he's home!
LTJG (aka lieutenant junior grade) Justin Lafeen is home from Afghanistan!
gordon and i were so grateful we were able to be there to welcome him home.
we are so proud of you, justin.  thank you for your willingness to serve and your sacrifice.
welcome home!  we missed you.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

travel diary: jackson hole, wyoming with the littles.

annual jackson hole, wyoming trip with the whole hardcastle clan (thanks again grandma hardcastle and leeann!)
we were so excited to go on a road trip with the littles!  even though it took a bit longer to get to jackson than it has in the past (lots more pits stops with little ones), the two way radios past the time away.  little man was stoked about being able to talk to us via two way radios when he was in the other car (cell phones smell phones).
each of us had 'handles' (call names) that we only used when communicated via two way radios.  little man's was big 'h', gordon's was cattle grazer, and mine was polly pocket.  little man LOVED the radios.  so much that he wanted to use them in the vacation house too!  we obliged because #1 he's so dang cute and #2 we secretly liked them as much as he did.
we love this time of year at jackson.  we get to see all the fall colors at their brightest!  this year was a little different though.  yes, we saw all the fall colors...mixed with snow!  i'd be lying if i said the sight of the white stuff didn't make me gitty for this winter season ahead.
oh i must tell you about our vacation house.  it was unbelievable!  lots of living lots.  4 living rooms. giant kitchen. sauna. hot tub. awesomeness.  even as all of us kids grow our families, this house will fit us!  we can't wait for the future...our kids will love making memories with their cousins in a house like this.  our family is growing but having a space like this where we can all live together for a few days is pretty special.

>>this is cattle grazer to big 'h' over.

>>tough competition i tell ya.
>>our vacation house (vacation house is a term little man coined.  we all sort of loved it so it stuck)
>>with the weather being rainy/snowy, we took the opportunity to go explore town.
>>he really wanted this ninja sword.
>>so did gordon.
>>matt, jenny, kim, and i didn't want to go back to the vacation house with the others (the kids needed a nap) so we decided to stay in town, did some thrift shopping, and got some fancy grilled cheese sandwiches at dolce.
>>the family cruiser (these were everywhere up there...every time i saw one i took a photo and sent it to gordon.  he wants one of every type of landcruiser ever made.  a boy can dream right)
>>what's a vacation without glazed popcorn!
>>critters in the night. we heard them bugle and everything.  pretty spectacular.
>>the whole crew for family breakfast!
>>little man loves gordon.  and gordon does too...i promise.

>>a loop trail around jackson lake.  yes, those are our down jackets.  it was coooold.
>>i love him and our height difference.
>>little man insisted we climb this tree.  or maybe i insisted.  either way, it was an awesome tree.
>>then this happened...
>>and little man thought gordon was so strong and funny being able to pick both of us up.  perhaps there were some fart jokes being said as well.  boys.
>>what's a trip with me without finding the best place for malts and milkshakes!  jackson lodge, thank you.  we'll visit you again, no doubt.
>>hers and his
>>the tetons
>>and the snake river.

gosh, wyoming, you sure are breath taking.  see you next year.