at our new school we don’t get the usual october break.  instead we get 2 days off in october and an entire week off for thanksgiving.  great for people who have family in other states to travel to for the holidays.  not so great for those of us who love to travel but don’t love to miss holidays with our family here in az.  we decided to ditch out on thanksgiving and head up to seattle.  we were in mexico for halloween.  i don’t suggest missing both holidays.  the kids had fun while we were gone and when we got home they all said ok we are ready for halloween or thanksgiving and i felt pretty bad telling them we weren’t celebrating.  anyways we did have so much fun in seattle and decided to head up to vancouver too.  i highly suggest you go if you haven’t been.  its beautiful.  so so clean.  the air is clean the streets are clean.  and the people are just really cool.  really its one of my top favorite cities.
of course the day we landed it rained.  hard.  the next day we woke up elle was swollen and had a rash everywhere.  oh no biggie it was just scarlet fever.  what?!  who gets scarlet fever?  she got on antibiotics and they kicked in right away.  she was a new woman by the next morning.  oh and the others had strep, so antibiotics all around.
we tried japa-dog.  i do not recommend it!  now i was told it was gross but then the reviews! the reviews are sooo good i had to try it anyways.  so i did and we all regretted it.  the hot dog, especially the pork is so fatty and the dogs are thick and too meaty like a bratwurst.  the worst part is the seaweed on top.  it tastes like a fish hotdog.  $30 later and 4 un-eaten hotdogs i advise you not to go or if you really really want to get one hot dog share it, throw it out after you taste it and call me so we can laugh at how bad it is.  its that bad.  sorry for the rant.  on to the next.  these boys are the cutest.  this is probably what spread the strep throat.  weird thing about my kids and strep, they don’t show any symptoms.  no fever no soar throat no aches, pains.  nothing.  just tiny little red dots on their face and only like one or two.  its weird.
the fish and chips we ate at a small restaurant i think it was in port angeles.  you know when you bring your kids into a restaurant and they seat you next to the older couple who doesn’t have kids with them and you want to crawl under the table and hide cause your kids are noisy and your baby is trying to crawl on the table.  well that was us.  i didn’t even want to make eye contact with the people next to us in this tiny restaurant.  they finished before us and walked out, we never exchanged words.  and then when ivan went to pay they had already payed our bill and left a 50% tip.  i was so shocked and surprised i wanted to cry.  i wondered had they once been us?  the noisy kids and now some 50 years later their kids are grown and the chaos is a little remembrance of those days.  such nice people in this world, that do generous things wanting nothing in return.  no pat on the back. no thank you. nothing.  i think about those people often and how someone you don’t know can touch your life so much.
all those feet in that picture.  they’re all mine.  that puts a smile on my face.

elle’s swollen face.  that poor girl is a trooper and i mean it.  barely complains, always smiles and has a great attitude.  i think we could all learn a little something from her.  henri braided my hair while we sat at urgent care.  boredom does strange things to you.  the cobblestone streets and brownstones in vancouver are real good. funny and really really gross.  the kids rode their first ferry.
pukers in the front non pukers in the back

 there’s my city.  really there are only two cities that make my heart swell.  seattle and san fran.  those both hold so many special memories.  and lets be honest both are totally rad and i could live in either in a heart beat.

a laughable attempt at taking your own family pictures
the glamorous side of traveling.  this makes me laugh cause this is so true.  behind all the fun and great pictures for the album is this.  tired exhausted and way too much luggage.  how do we manage to get all this from the car into the airport?  i still don’t know.

and el charro.  this seems to be a running theme with us and traveling.  we land and head straight to el charro.  we typically do not eat mexican food when we travel.  unless of course we are in mexico.  then its tacos el poblano for every single meal.  anywhere else we skip it.  i know it will never be as good as what we have in arizona.  el charro after you land is always a good idea, i think i’ll keep the tradition.



we headed back down to mexico for halloween.  we were on the fence about going or not.  we are going to be out of town for thanksgiving and i don’t want them to miss every holiday.  of course it sounded fun but would the kids be bummed to not trick or treat?  ultimately we all decided a weekend of fun was worth missing out on a night of candy.  plus i always take the candy away and throw it out the next day so they weren’t missing much.  we don’t need any cavities around here.  i brought down a box of full sized candy bars and assured them our candy was better than anything they would get trick or treating anyways.  i hid the candy around the condo and we did a scavenger hunt a few times.  they had a lot of fun with it.  elle has asked a few times when we are going trick or treating.  i do feel bad for her, she was sick last halloween so she didn’t go out then either.  next year we will stay home but i am happy with the memories we made this year.

oh tacos el poblano i could eat you everyday and not get sick of you.  thats exactly what we did.

have you heard of kinder eggs?  my kids are fascinated with the girl on you tube who opens egg after egg showing you the toy thats inside.  apparently they’re too dangerous for the good ole u.s. of a but not for mexico.  we stocked up.  and yes they are a choking hazard, jack tried to put the little hamster that came inside his in his mouth.  no worries i got it from him before her devoured it.  oh and that sleeping picture of jack has nothing to do with kinder eggs i just love his fat face!
these four are really mine!  all mine.  well ivans too.  but they don’t think so.  they think they’re biologically mine since they came from my belly and ivans just some nice guys who came in and was like sure i’ll take care of you and your four kids.  what a guy. but really he is a great guy.
halloween was super crazy windy.  like what i would have thought hurricane winds were made of.  but what do i know i live in arizona, no natural disasters here.  then poor jack got stung by a bee.  3 of my kids have been stung by a bee in the last 4 months.  i thought bees were on the decline or something.  apparently not, most of them hang out at our house.  i was a little nervous wondering if he might possible be allergy.  checks out that he’s not.  now we just need ava to get stung and we’ll have the whole bunch.  I’ve always seen kids screaming and crying and flipping out over bee stings.  i guess they’re not as painful as i thought or i just have super human kids.  none of them have really cried.  jack started scratching his arm, as you can see.  henri didn’t shed a tear he just came in the house said i was stung by a bee and i pulled out the stinger.  he really is a freak of nature. like can give 8 vials of blood without flinching.  the phlebotomist are always impressed when they ask if we want two people to hold him down and we say no.  now i think he might actually cry if two strangers came in and pinned him down.  (he has all sorts of allergies thats why he’s constantly giving blood) and elle got stung when she touched a bee on the ground.  i wasn’t home but when i got home she didn’t say much.  anyways enough rambling about bees.  mexican breakfast is the best breakfast and a massage on the beach trumps all other massages anywhere ever!




i took jack to the park for the first time and actually let him play. unless you count the one time we were on vacation and i let him swing then disinfected him.  that time doesn’t really count so yeah this was his first time.  and guess what… he loved it!!  i loved watching him play.  we went to the park in our old neighborhood and no one else was there.  score!  i love that park.  we have so many good memories there.  now we are all sick with the worst head cold ever and we’re trying to recover.  guess that’s the side effects of the germ infested park.



we had our first halloween party.  it was so much fun, i think i’ll do it again next year.  elle’s chubby little lipstick face makes me soooo happy.  now that its cooling off i’m cooking dinner every night again.  this bruschetta was amazing.  sweetcakes got a new sandwich and its so dang good i eat it at least twice a week.  its called the hail ya (created by hailey) get yourself one.  i was an old man for halloween and ivan was my old lady.  ava wanted to try on his wig.  lunch date with these two, ivan surprised us so it was the four of us.  ivan in his old lady wig.  jack wasn’t sure about it.  this trail mix from tj’s is heaven.  i ate it all and haven’t stopped thinking about it.  i love to match my babies.
 jack loves dancing.  i do too.  he hates the car wash, that face quickly turns into tears.  jack waves at himself when i face the camera at us.  he doesn’t know that baby is actually him.  cupcakes are my favorite dessert, i made these for our neighbor girl who got baptized.  we got out the big boy potty.  fall is happening here even if the weather is still in the 90’s.  i love one on one time.  henri and i went for a walk and then raced our scooters up and down the street.  we both wanted each other to win.  a new truck book is better than anything else in jacks world.




we took the kids camping friday night.  can i even call it camping if we drove home in the middle of the night?  i guess i should say we attempted to take the kids camping friday night.  it was going really well until around 10:30.  then jack woke up and it all went down hill, fast!  we ended up driving home around 11:30.

it was fun while it lasted.  we set up camp and the kids played in the stream.  we had hot dogs for dinner.  we ate all sorts of junk food.  funny thing, i don’t usually buy junk food to have at the house. so while i was at the grocery store loading up on hot dogs + chips + candy and all other things junk, i actually felt like i was doing something really bad.  hoping no one would see me.  we roasted marshmallows and sat around the fire.  i decided if all else fails in this life i know one thing for certain, i am good at roasting marshmallows.  like really good.  i can make your marshmallow perfectly toasted on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside.  i’ve also decided that poking at the fire with a stick is therapeutic and addicting.  so i did that most of the night.

last week i was helping ava with some papers she’s supposed to fill out for church and i asked her what her fondest childhood  memory is.  she said that jack lived.  i asked again.  i said no like whats something that was really fun or sticks out in your mind.  she said that jack lived.  that was it, that was the one.  i know their memories aren’t like a lot of children’s.  we’ve spent a lot of time in survival mode.  but these memories are ours and they’re good.

i also realized something that i already knew but didn’t really really realize it until friday night.  these kids love each other so so much and they look out for each other so much.  they’ve got each others backs like nobodies business.  every single one of them looks out for jack.  they’ve had an experience few have to go through but that experience, though the hardest in our lives, i now realize has been a blessing greater than we could have ever imagined.  these kids know what its like to watch someone die. they know the pain.  its very real to them.  they prayed and begged and pleaded the way i did for jack.  they also know what it feels like to have your prayers answered.



jack found this hat from last winter.  its a tad too small but he still looks cute.  elle and henri both had a doctor’s appointment.  hen’s still allergic to peanuts.  as the years go on the odds aren’t looking good.  i’m pretty bummed but what can you do.
the rain this weekend was out of control, again.  this year the monsoons have been epic.  jack loves the bath.  its my go to when he’s crabby.  he somehow managed to get chocolate milk on his face in the form of a uni brow.
the chop choo that you can hear from our house scares him every time.  its a mix of excitement and terror.  sweetcakes got a makeover and i can say it looks pretty darn good.  this weather is so good we can now take walks outside and not melt.
  jacks becoming more independent and elle not so much.  jack needs a haircut but will not be getting one.
october is my very favorite month.  the cool weather.  the holidays right around the corner.  i really love it all.  i’ve got two more sessions with my trainer.  then what?  i don’t know.  hopefully i can stick with working out on my own.
i really need to take more pictures of the the older kids.  i guess life is just a little crazy when all four are home and taking pictures isn’t first priority.  it needs to move up on the list.


we went to carolinas for dinner friday night.  man i love that place, the machaca and buttered tortillas are worth the drive.  we ended up stopping by one of ivans worker turned friends house who lives over there.  as we pulled up the ice-cream man was driving by.  haven’t seen one of those in a while.  needless to say we had to stop him and get some dessert.  jacks getting good and pointing out animals in his books when i say their name.  he’s also starting to say a few himself.  i love this outdoor floor.  we are going back and forth with what to do in the front.  i don’t like the idea of cement in the u shaped drive, this might just be my answer.  jack helping me find a cover for my new iphone.  gno with my best girls.  jacks smile kills me every time.
these two have become best friends.  jack loves to be pushed around in this little stroller.  jack started running, leading to lots of collisions and lots of laughs.  when people try to tell me the weather is only bad for three months in az i’ll show them this picture.  its the end of september and we are still sweating bullets.  we’ve had lots of playdates these last few weeks.  these friends are moving to utah.  these three and my three match up perfectly in age and gender.  that never happens.  we are sad to see them go.  breathing treatments have started in the huntington household.


friday night was a daddy + daughter camp out for our old ward and since ivans friends/business partners are in the ward he decided to take the girls.
i got a chance to be with my boys.  so we went to the mall and ate a gourmet dinner at the golden arches.  per henri’s request.  then took jack hat shopping which he thoroughly loved and we found very entertaining.  its still 105, you know perfect weather for a warm hat.

we then made our way over to the lego store.  kid heaven.  henri convinced me he needed the guardian’s of the galaxy set.  I’m not even sure how he knew what that was.  but we got it and i quickly became mother of the year.

jack decided to attempt climbing the bunk beds.  this is as far as he could get.  we’ve got to work on that upper body strength.

the boys clobbered me.  i got a finger up the nose a few times and maybe one in the eye.

then we attempted some shots of us playing.  you know the “sit and act natural, no stop jumping in front of the camera, c’mon just give me one good shot” kind of pictures.

we got this picture of papa and the girls sent to us.
i thought donuts for breakfast sounded perfect.  henri thought pancakes.  he won.  pancakes it is.

jack likes to eat crayons.  why is it that i can barely get him to eat real food but he’ll eat gross things like crayons toilet paper, dirt, markers?  all the things you shouldn’t eat.

we stayed up late working on our legos and got right back to it in the morning.  jack had to get his little boy legos out.
i had a really great time with the boys.  its nice to separate them into groups or only take one.  i get so much more time getting to talk and really see their personalities.  when they’re all together it sometimes feels like more damage control than anything else.




i saw these little tassel door hangers online and have been wanting to make them.  they’re a great project to work on with the kids.  these might be taking over my house soon.


i sewed a million pillows.  alright not a million but 12.  once i started i couldn’t stop until every pillow had a new cover on it.  guess i was feeling extra crafty today.
ivan made some jalapeño cheese bread.  dang it, is that stuff good!  we gave a loaf to the neighbors so we didn’t eat it all.
look at all that cheese!!  i love cheese.tacos for dinner because we eat tacos for dinner at least once a week.  i told you we eat too much mexican food.

and then we played in the backyard because we could.  because the weather wasn’t too awful and the kids especially jack loves being outside.  look at jacks pink big toe.  i painted elle’s nails and he wanted some too.  so he got one toenail.  the big toe no less.

and this right here is why sundays are so good.  our church time is good right now too.  so im enjoying it until they switch us.  i can’t wait for the weather to change and the holidays to come.  please tell me i’m not the only one planing halloween costumes.



i am so claustrophobic.  i hated every minute of the subway and the elevators but i rode them and i think maybe just maybe i’m getting over this fear.

this crowd goes nuts for jeter.  his song big poppa by notorious b.i.g. comes on and they all stand up and start cheering.  every single time.  their love runs deep.

our tickets came with access to the audi club.  you can eat at a ridiculous buffet of lobster and steak and enjoy complete silence. there is no noise from the game whatsoever.  sounds like no fun to me.  gimme a hotdog and a pepsi and i wanna hear the crowd go wild.  my night wouldn’t have been complete without hearing notorious sing in his hometown.

on our way to the yankees vs red sox game.  in our yankees attire naturally.  i actually love boston and would normally cheer for the red sox but i thought id spare myself this time.
we looove a good dumpling.  joes shanghai did not disappoint.  i’d say its a close runner up to din tai fung.

central park and john lennon.  lots of people with their sad face on and a singer on a bench doing his best rendition of strawberry fields.

oh levain bakery i live for your cookies.  they really are the best.  we only made one visit this trip.  the last time we were there i think i got a cookie after every meal.  worth the trip to the uws.

man the front camera on the iPhone is crap.  but ya gotta get a pic with your better half when its 10 at night and you aren’t asleep or have 4 kids with you.  it felt good to chat on a park bench with not a single thing to do or place to be.

look at her all lit up like that.

eataly was good.  we sat at the bar which is basically the kitchen and it was pretty hot.  if you ask ivan he would say really really hot.  he doesn’t love humidity i on the other hand didn’t mind it one bit.

oh brooklyn you stole my heart.  i’d live in brooklyn any day of the week.

russ and daughters because my dad’s russ and he only has daughters and because their belly lox was so salty i didn’t even have to add salt.  that never ever happens.

st. patricks under major renovation but just as beautiful as always.

anybody else remember 9 by design.  loved that show.  why isn’t it still on??

i declare joes pizza the best in new york.  i bet a lot of people would agree with me.

georgetown cupcakes.  i got the vanilla.  i always get the vanilla.  it was pretty good, small but good.  the service on the other hand not so good.  the girl ringing up looked like she just crawled out of a bad bender and was no help at all.

i discovered city bakery this trip.  the pretzel croissant… don’t even get me started and that chocolate chip is up there with levain.  see, i told you all we did was eat.


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