Monday, October 30, 2006
To catch a Thief
The man who knew too much
North by Northwest
Dial “M” for Murder
Rear Window (our best costume winners)
And somehow I missed getting a picture of Reba and Chris dressed as characters from Spellbound. I’ll have to get a picture from one of my friends to post later.
Once everyone arrived we had them mingle and match each couple’s costumes with their movie and character names. Three couples got every single one correct, which impressed me. After that we all had dinner (special thanks to those who helped, especially Katherine who helped me plan the meal and brought baked spaghetti). Once everyone was full, we split the groups into teams and sent them on an adventure around our neighborhood.
We gave each team a small notebook, a flashlight, and pictures of three homes in our neighborhood (with the addresses removed of course). We told them that Hitchcock had been kidnapped and they were assembled because they worked with him and knew him best. The pictures were the homes of three informants in the neighborhood. At each home they would have to do an activity to get a clue about Hitchcock’s kidnapper. The first team back to our house who knew who the kidnapper was, won the game.
The trickiest part was finding the homes in the dark since so many homes in our neighborhood have the same floorplan. We left a Hitchcock symbol on the back of their mailboxes with directions that couldn’t be seen from the street, but once a team guessed the right house they would know if they were in the right spot. One backyard had a message that said something like, “In the backyard you will find a pair of binoculars, use them to spy on the neighbors to find your next clue. Just be careful not to get caught spying like they are in Rear Window” So the teams had to find the binoculars and then we had some battery operated candles in our backyard lighting a message that said, “former member of Resistance” and you could just see into our backyard.
The next home had a message that said, “I hope that you’re not afraid of The Birds because you need to find them in this yard and use the letters on them to fill in the following message.” Then in the backyard we hung origami birds all over a tree. Some of them had letters on them that they had to use to unscramble the message, “You’re looking for a man.”
The message at the last home said, “Answer the following questions to get a phone number, then call that number to get your next clue. Just hope you have more success calling for help than Margot did in Dial “M” for Murder.” Then there were a bunch of questions about things around the house and the yard with numbers for answers and when they called the phone number, they got the massage, “This is not the first time this person has stolen.”
These clues hinted to the fact that Larry, AKA John Robie the Cat burgler, kidnapped Hitchcock. When the teams got back to our house with their accusations Larry was dressed as a thief. I was worried about how the game would go, but everyone ended up back at about the same time and they figured it out. He had hot cider waiting since it was so cold outside and then we played a Hitchcock version of Scene It that Larry and I made up using Hitchcock trivia and movie clips. Everything turned out so well, the thing that really made it fun was that our friends were such fun participants.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Anyway, here's what our invitation said:
GOOD EVENING . . .
May I entice you to join our company of ghoulish acquaintances in a haunting evening of mystery mingled with enjoyment? On the evening of the 29th day in the month of Halloween, you will be required to meet at my fall residence, the “City of Dublin Cemetery” on Route 33/161 by the “Washington Vault” by 6:30 p.m. and no later than 6:45 p.m. Don’t get too comfortable, but do wait for the entire ghoulish gang to arrive and therein find the further instructions necessary to arrive at our final resting place for the evening. It is most desirable that you dress appropriately for this, shall I say “odd” season.
My personal secretary, “Miss Washington,” will be anxiously awaiting your RSVP reply no later than Friday, October 21st, whether you choose to share in this memorable evening or not. Please contact her at (___)___-____ between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm.
Please bring edibles of the potluck sort (sweet, salty, salads, drinks, desserts, etc.) that could be consumed by 8 or more ghouls. It would be most advisable to keep the little ghouls at home for this event.
Trustingly yours…………………….Mr. Frank N. Stein
The hardest part was figuring out who to invite so they wouldn’t suspect that you were the host and then throwing people off so they wouldn’t think it was us. This was a little bit of a downside beacause everyone had to know each other so they couldn't connect that's another couple we've heard hang out with the Fords, but we've never met them so the Fords must be the host, etc. which meant we had to leave out a few friends we would have liked to invite.
We printed the invitation out on plain paper and cut letters out of magazines to spell out their last names on the envelopes. Then we hung them from string at their doors so they were eye level when the opened the door and we doorbell ditched while Larry stood about 50 feet away wearing all black and a skeleton mask and just watched them (some of them noticed, some of them didn’t, but it was creepy). All of our friends have a pretty good sense of humor so we knew none of them would call the police or anything, but that might not work for everyone.
We left an envelope at the cemetery with directions. Then we came and met everyone and pretended we had no clue what was going on:
Good evening . . .
The guest list has been finalized, and herein are the names of the suspects around you:
Mr. & Mrs. _____
Mr. & Mrs. _____
Mr. & Mrs. ______
I cannot reveal which of you is our secretive host, but the mystery will unravel if you dare to proceed on your mission. If everyone is present, and you all agree to commit yourselves to this cause, proceed to the next page.
Ah, you’ve decided to proceed. Don’t say you didn’t have a chance to escape! Since any of you could be our host, none of you can be trusted alone. You will be paired in alphabetical order with two couples to a team starting with the pairing of the Andersons and the Carters and so on. Watch your back as you might not know the couple that you are paired with as well as you think you do!
Once you establish your teams proceed to _____________ in Dublin.
Does the address seem familiar to you? That’s because it’s one of yours. It’s up to the resident whether or not they will reveal their identity and their involvement with tonight events. Make haste, for the first team to arrive at your final destination and correctly reveal your host will be justly rewarded.
It just worked out conveniently that we were pared with Rahcel and Eric alphabetically so we pretended to go on the scavenger with everyone else and then we skipped the last stop so we’d be at our house when everyone got there. We cut up the rest of the directions and put them at the different homes tied to bright orange pumpkin buckets with the items mentioned in them.
You’re not as clever as you may think. You may know who lives here, but you are no closer to knowing who your host is because the party will not take place here.
I fear you are being followed. In order to throw the others off of your trail, each of you must don one of the items in this bucket (fake mustaches) to help disguise yourself. Once each of you is wearing one of these items you may proceed to __________, Columbus, where further instructions await you.
You haven’t reached the party yet, and I fear you are in serious danger. It appears as though you are still being followed, and the other guests are becoming more suspicious of each other by the moment so each team member must add a pair of these plastic fangs to his or her disguise and move on quickly.
I’m afraid your host might not recognize you and your host isn’t kind to unwanted guests. Head to ___________ where you must find a tombstone with each couple’s name on it. Your tombstone will be a useful form of identification when the time is right. Hurry before you are caught.
The prize is within your grasp, and yet you have not reached your final destination. Have you discovered who your host is? Write your accusation on the back of your tombstone and then take it to the back porch of ___________where your guess will be documented.
At this point two of the homes they visited were our own so people who thought we were the hosts saw that nothing was going on there and some of them were thrown off.
I think it would be wise to take a picture of each couple with their accusation. With your accusation in hand your situation grows even more dangerous. Who knows, it may be the last picture ever taken of you so be sure to straighten your mustache, bare your fangs, look brave, and don’t forget to use the flash. After you have your picture taken, make a mad dash to _________Columbus. You don’t have time to waste!
The last address was ours again so the frst team that guessed the correct host and made it back to our house first won the game. Then we had dinner and treats and played a few other games and prizes and that was it. I wish I had some pictures with me right now because everyone went all out and there were some really great costumes.
This year our get together is a scaled down a bit and won't involve as many people, but hopefully it will be just as fun. I would give you some of the details, but that might spoil part of the surprise so you'll just have to wait for my report on how things went.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Now for the complaints, I hate being pregnant and I feel so guilty about it. Now, I’m not insane; I know pregnancy is not glamorous, but I really thought I would be so happy about being pregnant that all that other stuff wouldn’t get to me. After years of listening to others complain about their pregnancies while I sat there silently being so envious of them, I never thought I would say this, but I hate being pregnant and just saying that makes me feel like I’m somehow already a bad mother. I’m seriously sitting at my desk starting to cry because I feel so bad about it.
I think I handled the first few months of morning sickness fairly well. When my doctor said she didn’t want to put me on medication for nausea unless I wasn’t gaining weight, it didn’t bother me at all because I kept thinking that it had to end soon. Then last week happened and one evening as I found myself throwing up for the third time, I had a bit of a breakdown and cried as I told Larry that I can’t do this for five more months and if I knew my next pregnancy would be like this, I don’t think I would have anymore kids. And this morning, as I had to pull over on the freeway and make use of a ziplock bag that I have to keep my car stocked with for just such occasions, I found myself wishing for the millionth time that I could fast forward the next five months and be done with pregnancy, because as far as I’m concerned, any morning that you have to walk into work holding a ziplock bag full of your own vomit (or anyone else’s for that matter) is not a good morning.
Larry and I used to joke that baby Ford already hates me, but at this point, it’s not funny anymore. I’m at 18 weeks people so why is this still happening?
Ok, to end on a more positive note, my ultrasound to find out what we are having is in two weeks and I cannot wait! I’m hoping that knowing what we are having will get Larry and I to start talking about names. We talked about baby names when we first got married, as many newlyweds do, and we could not agree on anything. I think we were both so traumatized by it that we haven’t really talked about it since, but more about that later. I’ll keep you posted!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
There were some really fun costumes. Since Larry and I forgot to take any pictures of ourselves I hope our friends won't mind us posting these.
The Harris family won best overall costumes. Nate is a dentist and his costume says "MolarNator" and his wife, Shannon, is dressed as the toothfairy.
The Beazers also went with a family theme, their daughter is a giraffe, Quintin is a zoo keeper and Brooke is a tree. The won the most creative costume award because who thinks to dress up as a tree?
The Roberts family won the prize for scariest costumes (pardon the fog in their picture)
And The Wallises' son won the prize for funniest costume. This isn't the best picture of his costume, but he was a body builder.
And this picture of the Blackers daughter as the gymnast Keri Strug is just cute.Thanks to everyone who participated; you made it a lot of fun!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Larry and I went to the Circleville Pumpkin Festival (or The Pumpkin Show as locals call it) our first fall in Ohio and we’ve never missed it since. My sister Candice’s family has come with us the last few years and they drove all the way up from Louisville this year just to go to the Pumpkin Show. This year was the biggest Pumpkin Show ever because it was the 100th Pumpkin Show (and it was a beautiful Saturday and the Buckeye game wasn't on normal cable to the crowd was huge). They had a lot of special events going on to celebrate the 100th anniversary. Our favorite was the 14 ft pumpkin pie. They always have “the world’s biggest pumpkin pie” but this year they really broke their record.
They even had special manhole covers to celebrate the 100th anniversary (which I wouldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t for a dad who collects rubbings on manhole covers so this picture is for you dad).
Of course our favorite things were still seeing the gigantic pumpkins and tasting all of the different kinds of pumpkin food. We weren't wearing our Buckeye gear, but most of the crowd was including our friends the Sharpes.
But don't worry, Pumpkin Man was there in his full garb. I don't think he's offically related to the Pumpkin Show at all, but he's there skating around every year and he scares me.We can't wait to go back next year.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Don't they look like Christmas decorations that you would find in Martha Stewart Magazine instead of Wal-mart? They were right in the middle of putting all of their Christmas items out, and I have to say that I was really impressed and surprised by some of them (granted you can still find their usual cheesy-smiling-bears-hugging-Santa type decorations too, but I think it's still worth checking out). I found something really cool that I'm going to alter a little bit, but it's a gift for Candice so I can't show you pictures until I give it to her. I'll keep you posted!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The most exciting thing going on in my life is that I'm on the nominating committee for middle grade fiction for the 2006 Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards (the Cybils), which you can read about here.
My sister Candice's family is coming into town tomorrow night for one of our favorite events of the year, The Circleville Pumpkin Show. Each year we go with a group of friends on a quest to find the craziest pumpkin flavored food possible. The verdicts so far? Pumpkin pizza- distgusting; pumpkin chili, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin doughnuts, and deepfried pumpkin blossoms - all delicious! This year I heard they have pumpkin cornbread which we'll have to check out to go along with our pumpkin chili (which is a must have every year). They always have the biggest pumpkin pie in the world, but this year since it's the 100th Pumpkin Show, they are making it bigger than ever. The winners have already been decided for this year's biggest pumpkin competition and you can check it out here.
I'm not a huge fan of haunted houses, but this year they have one that sounds really fun that takes place downtown in the replica of the Santa Maria. It's pirate themed!
For those of you with smaller kids, there's a Ghost Train in town designed to not be too scary and it sounds pretty fun too.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Of course we did find time to watch the OSU football game with friends on Saturday. It was our turn to cook so Larry and I made chili from a recipe Cat developed. It’s my favorite chili ever. I’m not much of a cook and this recipe has to cook for at least two hours, but it’s totally worth it (on special occasions anyway). Larry bought enough ingredients to double the recipe, but we didn’t need to so he ended up making it twice, once on Saturday for the game and again on Sunday so we could invite some friends over for a late dinner. These two lovely little ladies ended up being part of the party. Aren’t they adorable?
Friday, October 13, 2006
I stopped by to drop one off to my friend Jason who manages a car wash and he gave me a free wash (which I hate to admit how much my car desperately needed). Then right before I left work, I had an aha moment when I was thinking about a writing project that I’ve been wanting to start, but I couldn’t quite fit together. Then I headed home to host the grown-up book club I also attend. The book that I chose was I Capture the Castle (thanks to a recommendation from my sister Candice) and I was happy to hear that everyone loved it. Yesterday was really cold with a few snow flurries so I decided to make a dessert that would be good served warm and I settled on Jeaneane’s Pumpkin Cake. The recipe is posted on the Children’s Literature Book Club site, but I’ll post it at the end of this post for those of you who are interested. I recommend serving it warm with a little Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream.
Book club was great, but I had plenty of dessert leftover so Larry and I decided we had just enough time to make a few deliveries. I got to see that Lisa is over her strep-throat, I got to find out the sex of the baby my friend Katherine is having (and I’m not telling, you’ll have to talk to her to find out), and I got to see Rebekah’s new baby Moira (Yes, Rebekah who was just apple picking with me on Saturday had her baby on Monday and they are both doing well).
Here is the recipe for Jeaneane's pumkin cake (which is a little bit more like a cobbler than a cake)...
For the "crust"
1 yellow cake mix (minus 1 cup--for later)
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted margarine/butter
Mix and place in 9x13
Then mix together--
2 cups pumpkin (I usually just use one small can which is 15oz.--close enough!!)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teas. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teas salt
3/4 cup evap milk
1 teas. vanilla
Pour this over the "crust"
Then "cut" and crumble over top--
1 cup cake mix
1 teas. cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold margarine/butter
Bake 45-50 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
You can't really see Larry's cemetary so here's a closeup, but it was a little dark when I took this picture so it didn't turn out very well.
Monday, October 09, 2006
We stopped at the farmers market and picked up some fun pumpkins and some fudge for Larry. Larry said that the fudge alone was worth the trip.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The other fun project that I've seen lately is this cool All About Me Album from Creating Keepsakes. I'm totally NOT a scrapbooker, but it looks like it's laid out for you with easy directions so it would be simple to put together and it's a great price for that amount of stuff. Plus $3 from the purchase of every album goes to support breast cancer initiatives so you really can't go wrong.
You can see some fun examples of some of the finished albums on Lisa Bearson's site and Ali Edward's blog.
I waited until about 15 minutes after the storm cleared up and the hail melted a lot, but it was still huge.
And yes, there was damage. There are holes in the siding on the west side of our house. I knew it could dent, but I didn't know hail could punch right through it! I think we're going to have to have someone check out our roof too. Oh the joys of homeownership! It's a good thing we have insurance.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Larry turned 31 on Friday. We both had to spend the day at work (it was Larry’s last day on his GI rotation, yay! I’m really looking forward to his rotation this month in the student health clinic. Who knows, we might actually have time to do something fun!) I’m afraid that I didn’t make his birthday as exciting as I could have because I’ve been feeling so sick, but hopefully that will end now that I’ve been on antibiotics for a few days. We were able to go out to dinner with our friends Donny and Jessica. Larry wanted good seafood and in Columbus, Ohio that leaves us with about one option so we headed to Cameron Mitchell’s Fishmarket. The food was good and Larry even got a free birthday dessert.
And in answer to your question, “Does he ever make a normal face in pictures?” here’s another picture.
I think Larry loves having his birthday around Halloween, his favorite holiday which also happens to include huge amounts of sugar. Keri and Matt sent him a Halloween card in place of a birthday card and I don’t think he could have been happier with it.
We spent most of our weekend watching General Conference and enjoying the wonderful fall weather. Larry watched the Priesthood session and then headed over to Jeremiah’s to watch the OSU game, which was Tivoed. I thought he would be too busy to continue a tradition that he started after we got married, but he still remembered. After every Priesthood session he comes home with flowers. This orchid is beautiful, but I’m not too confident in my ability to keep it alive.