Yesterday was John's 10th birthday. Happy Birthday John. We love you and think you are great. We will be celebrating again tonight with a special dinner featuring ham puffs with the his older siblings here as guests.
Here are TEN Reasons that we think John is great.
1. He has a good name 2. Fun personality 3. Loves to laugh 4. Learning to play the Bass in the orchestra 5. Loves football 6. Beautiful blue eyes 7. Has a mind for facts and figures 8. Thoughtful of others 9. Loves animals 10. Super Cub Scout
Our Gardner family tradition is to have a Halloween Dinner sometime the week of Halloween. We started this fun tradition about 10 years ago. We find recipes for spooky and gross food that is fit for a Halloween gathering. Some years we have invited another family to join us and we give them the challenge to bring some Halloween fare. Here is a collage of pictures from this years feast and some of our dinners from years past.
Halloween Dinner - October 2009
Our family at the table, John, LeeAnn, Chris & Alli
Alli, Amy, & Seth dish up
LeeAnn and Alli
A sample plate
Tape Worm Sandwiches
Spookghetti and Meatballs
Creepy Insect Cakes
* * * * * * * * * * * * * Halloween 2006
Our guests, the Musgraves brought this witches hair and goblin guts
Can you believe that we drank that?
Yes, somethings are plain disgusting
Some disgusting salad - sorry I forgot the name. (It tasted great actually)
Chocolate Covered Mice on Cake
* * * * * * * * Halloween 2004
We don't have pictures from all the years to show you. Nor all the dishes we made. I remember the first year though we served witches fingers (baked chicken tenders with slivered black olives for fingernails.) We have also served Chucky's Upchuck stew, and a platter of Dead Doughboy. It has been fun to watch everyone's creativity as we have thought and planned our Halloween feast. Some of the food looked disgusting or gross and tasted disgusting. But most of the dishes were quite delicious. So we Gardners may be a bit "goofy" at times, but we have a lot of fun.
This year the kids got a whole week off for October break. We decided it was time to take them on a trip to see Arizona, specifically , the Grand Canyon.
We decided to see a bit of our beautiful Arizona on our trip to Flagstaff, so we made a detour and stopped in Sedona for a picnic and a hike. Sedona has beautiful red rocks and formations.
We hiked along a trail through the trees and along the river. There was one tree that I felt was a picture taking tree so we just had to get a few shots of it.
Sedona has many beautiful panoramic shots. The city is fun too with lots of tourist shops, but we avoided that diversion. Next it was up a beautiful canyon were the fall colors were just starting to come out. We saw beautiful shades of yellow with an occasional red leafed tree. The road up the canyon climbs up some switch backs until we are at the top and we stopped at the lookout point and saw this scene.
The we drove on to Flagstaff and spent the night there in a motel. Here we are chilling after a long day at the Galaxy Diner. The food there was out of this world.
The next day we drove up to the Grand Canyon.
After we returned home I started reminiscing about my first trip to the Grand Canyon over 36 years ago. My family lived in Montana, and we were headed to Mesa, Arizona for the wedding of my older brother Harold to his bride Verla. My dad loaded the whole family in our our Chevy and we drove to Arizona. But along the way we made several stops, including Zion's National park in Utah and the Grand Canyon. We stopped at the North Rim on our way down and the South Rim on our way home from Mesa. We saw lots of other beautiful parts of Arizona and southern Utah too. Anyway, I started digging through my old photos and found this.
Grand Canyon Then - first trip April 1973 (Yes, that really is the Grand Canyon, although the photo is kinda old to tell.
Compare that to our most recent trip photo. Grand Canyon Now - 5th trip October 2009