Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011 (part 2)

 Um, it was a little more work than I expected to get a good shot of the kids in their costumes.  Everytime I said, "1, 2, 3..." Poppy ran towards me, and my stupid idiot camera was never fast enough. 
 Finally Knight Hazel laid down the law with her sword and I got a shot.  Baseball bat and all.  But can we all still please agree I need a new camera?  A GOOD camera?  You know I'd use it.  This is the beginning of my Christmas hinting.  I've only done this five Christmases in a row.  Maybe one of these years it will stick.
 But back to the kids.  They were really cute, right?

 Trick-or-treating in our neighborhood is awesome.  The neighbors really deck out with decorations, scary-but-not-too-scary music, costumes, etc.  One house even had a platter of pumpkin muffins for the grown-ups, and another had a full spread on a table in their driveway - hot dogs, cookies, and big thermoses of steaming hot chocolate.  So thoughtful because it was kind of a chilly night, and it got us through the last stretch.  Several groups had fire pits going in their front yard and were making a fun night of it with friends. 

 We took Poppy with us to a few houses, then brought her home to stay with Ed while he ate dinner and carved our pumpkin - never too late!  After only a few trick-or-treaters at our door, Poppy caught on and took that duty upon herself.  First, watching out the window for people:
 Then handing them the candy when they came and calling, "Happy Halloween!"  Then her favorite part was closing the door and watching out the window again. 
 Here's the jack-o-lantern Ed carved - not bad, eh?  Love those template books!  A NICE camera could have taken an amazing shot of it in that low light.
The girls had a good haul - Hazel liked the Tootsie Rolls and Ginger discovered the wonder of Skittles - they are her new favorite treat by far.  I still go for the Reese's and Snickers myself. 
 And just for some final spooky fun, here's a picture of my brother Dave and me, circa 1981?  He just loaded a bunch of pics to his Facebook page in an album called, "Look Who Found a Scanner", and this was one of them.  Don't you miss the days when you had to make your own C3PO costume?  And you know I was working that wig!

Halloween 2011 (part 1)

This post has it all: photos.  Parades.  Parties.  Cakes.  Giant inflatables.  Videos.  Everything Halloween should be and more.  In no particular order.

First of all, thank you to FX for playing "Twilight" several times over the last few nights.  It's been real. 

Last year I mentioned an enormous, house-sized black cat our neighbor put up.  The girls called him "Scary Skip" and were scared to walk by him.  This year we were thrilled to see his return, and instead of fear, we greet him heartily each day. (And let me just say - it is SO amazing to be able to send videos straight from my phone to YouTube!)

Last week Ginger's preschool had their annual Halloween sing-along and outdoor parade, always a crowd-pleaser.  I have got to get a playlist from their music teacher, some of those songs are super cute.  Her class had a small cupcake-decorating party first.

Ginger was Olivia this year.
 We got the ears headband from an Etsy seller, the leggings at Target, and a red sailor dress from ebay that my Mom added the collar and tie to to make it look right.  She was lacking some girth but not much we could do about that.

Poppy was the same ladybug that both Hazel and Ginger were at her age.  Easy peasy.

This month my friend Sheri traveled to England to see, among other things, the Bears play an NFL UK game - see her awesome write-up here.  While galavanting and basking in kidlessness she also managed to remember I LOVE Cadbury creme eggs, and picked me up a bunch of these Halloween versions - "Screme eggs" with green in the center.  Oh, yes, they are all the Halloween candy I need.  YUM!

In preparation for our church Halloween party, a bunch of chicks-in-aprons got together one night to assemble this cake and this one, which would be prizes for the pumpkin carving and chili cook-off contests.  It was a great night of gabbing and frosting.

Last Friday night Hazel's school had a Halloween party, so we all donned our costumes and schlepped over to the school.  There was a movie, stories, crafts, a "spookhouse" (= the music room draped and darkened with a few scary things), and DANCING.  Yes, a DJ was there, and from the moment we got there to the moment we left, Hazel was cutting the rug.  She's got moves and she loves to dance.  It's kinda dark to tell, but she was a knight.

Saturday was the church party.  But before that, we got the season's first SNOW!  The girls were beside themselves and talk of Christmas immediately ensued.

But we did still go to the party.   From the decorations to the activities, to the astounding "Thriller" dance performance at the end, the whole event left me speechless.  Games, cupcake walk, Pirate's Cove, live music (yes, a BAND).  It rocked.
It was also fun that I got to be a chili judge, tasting 19 different concoctions, and realizing there is a very wide berth when to comes to interpreting "chili."   Another thing I always love about the church party is that the adults dress up.  Ed and I were salt and pepper shakers.  Unfortunately my costume snagged on a door and fell apart before we could get a picture together, but here is Ed with Poppy.  I looked like him but with black pom-poms and balled up newspaper in my shaker.
 Here were some of my other favorite adult costumes -

Alex Trebek and Jeaopardy contestant - nice winnings, Ashley!
 Mr. & Mrs. Pacman

Facebook page and National Geographic cover - this NG fellow had the most rocking homemade robot costume last year, he is one to keep an eye on!
I never did get a proper shot of all the girls together, but maybe tonight I can take one.  We're all looking forward to trick-or-treating since we skipped last year (Halloween being on a Sunday.)  Speaking of candy, both Hazel's school and a local scout troop are collecting leftovers for Treats 4 Our Troops, do you know about this?  Genius everyone-wins program.  Or there's this feature on candy-filled treats (but like I said here, does anyone really have Reese's left over?!)  Let's take Halloween candy and ADD MORE SUGAR!  Who's with me?  You couldn't pay me enough to make or eat the Taffy Ice Cream Bomb (who gives out taffy for Halloween?) but I could be persuaded to try the Kit Kat Crescents...

Finally, I got this "tasteful" black wreath for door, what do you think?  I went out to get the paper one morning, and when I turned around this was what I saw.  What on earth could be more welcoming?
So there's our Halloween except for our actual Halloween.  What are you doing and being this spookiest day of 2011?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Art Tuesday: Collaborative Outdoor Mural

 We've been waiting, and rescheduling, and waiting some more for a good weather day to do this project.  Collaborative art is so amazing because everyone brings their styles and points of view together to make something none of them could make on their own.  And October is the best month to be outdoors.

Our art friends have a great four-square cement patio, and had a box of charcoals just waiting to be used up.  First we had to sweep the leaves off.

Then we talked about design and patterns and the kids were asked to choose a design from this page to use as a model.  (The designs come from Orb Magnetic Color Cubes.)

 They chose this one:

So we mapped out a big circle (really an oval), lined it with squares, then filled it in with circles, triangles and other shapes.  Once the plan was in place, we went to work filling the shapes with our own art.

Here are some close-ups of some of the kids' favorites -


A person standing on a bridge bouncing a ball

Smiley face with a blue sun nose

Angels, the sun, and two whales

Alphabet (I did it, thank you, thank you)

All our knees, hands, and some of our butts looked like this:

But it was all worth it for this finished masterpiece!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


 When we lived here:

And looked like this:

We had this:

And used to do this:
And this:

With friends like these:

Then we went all corporate and suburban, put the tent in storage, and hunkered down into our 30's.  But this year, we said enough is enough.  It's time to go camping again.  

In September our church had a campout, so it was a perfect opportunity to update our gear - a family tent, a few more sleeping bags, an LED lantern.

 We still froze our butts off but it was a good first run.

A few weeks later we went car camping at a regional park about an hour away.  Ed scoffed it as not-real-camping but I asked him what he expects when he's a slave to The Man and can't take a day off work to go real camping.  We gotta take what we can get and really, the whole point (at least for me) is to give the kids memories.  And they don't care if we're in a regional park, not a national one.  We got pizza for dinner on the way down.

 It had a playground.

Poppy loved the headlamp...
 And sleeping in this, in this.

I loved staying cozy in my new sleeping bag and waking up to this canopy:

Ed loved making biscuits in the dutch oven, and hot chocolate on the camping stove:

And the kids, as we'd hoped, just loved it all:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...