Trick-or-Treating

Eve and I went out trick-or-treating this evening with her friend from the old neighborhood. :) We met up with a few other friends along the way. It was a perfect night for it. Not too chilly, not rain, not too breezy. Perfect! A few pictures…

Two witches (the one on the right is Ginny Weasley)

The loved how their capes/robes blew in the breeze. :)

The house is ready for Halloween, too bad the path wasn’t. Oh well. Next year.

When dinosaurs go trick-or-treating. :) This is one of our friends we were trick-or-treating with. He definitely had the best costume of the night!

Great Halloween decorations.

A witch, a dinosaur, Harry Potter, a Ninja Turtle, and Ginny Weasley.

Unicorn met T-rex and a (fake) battle ensued!

The loot!

We got exactly 4 kids (2 families) trick-or-treating at our house this year, all of them friends. Plenty of left-over candy in this house!

Halloween and other updates

Happy Halloween! We have been pretty neglectful of this holiday (admittedly not my favorite) this year. Lex had some grand plans for cardboard costumes, all Minecraft related, which would have been awesome but none of us had the time or motivation to make it happen. Eve wanted to be Mad-Eye Moody (from Harry Potter), but we ran out of time for that as well. We ended up at the costume store Sunday where she decided on some Gryffindor robes and orange hair spray to be Ginny Weasley. Lex was not motivated to come with us to the costume store, and he was easily swayed when Alan suggested staying home and playing Minecraft together instead of trick-or-treating. Eve offered to share her candy. All was decided. Ordinarily such a milestone would make me sad, but since I don’t like Halloween anyway, I’m just fine with this decision.

I have no idea how many trick-or-treaters to expect this year. At the old house we got 150-200 most years, but I think it will be far less at this house. I bought a few small bags of candy, and by “small” I mean regular size, not the gigantic Halloween bags they sell this time of year. Eve decided to package them into goody bags, sooo…. I hope we don’t get more than 20 kids coming to the door. LOL!

My little witch making Halloween goody bags.

What else? We are settling in to the new house. Hanging blinds, rearranging things, unpacking boxes, setting up drums, building bunk beds, making messes, and generally living here. We closed on the old house on Thursday and it went off with only a minor water bill hitch. I was able to remedy that quickly and all is well. It’s nice to be able to pay off some of the debt we acquired while building this place!

Three beds?!? The world’s best fort? A room to drive mom crazy? We’ll see. :)

I am running a book fair at school this week. It’s exciting and exhausting and the kids LOVE it! The book fair made over $1200 the first day! I don’t know if that’s a lot or not, but it seemed pretty impressive to me! We’ll see how the rest of the week goes. It was fun to see kids so excited to buy books.

This whole summer/fall has been a mountain of things piling up (the house, the new house, the book fair, two grad courses, the 5K I was training for, Lego League, field hockey… other stuff….) and now things are starting to close/end/ramp down. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We moved into the new house and sold the old house. I quit the 5K training and was never so happy as on the day the race was to take place and I didn’t have to be there! Field hockey ended last week. Book fair will end after this week. My grad course end in mid-November and Lego League ends in mid-December. I’m not longer pushing the boulder up the mountain, it’s now just a gentle ride back down!

Ok, off to school now. I’ve got a book fair to run! And also library classes, a K literacy group, and a reading group! Oh, and did I mention, it’s Halloween!! LOL!

The Not-So-Halloween

Turns out Halloween is just a short few weeks away.  Who knew?!  In my house it has been a total non-event.  Both kids say they want to dress up and go trick-or-treating, but neither can decide what to be.  We haven’t done any decorating and no one seems to care.  Eve told me last week that her friend has amazing Halloween decorations, but she didn’t make any effort to get ours out.  I’m feeling claustrophobic in our cluttered house and can’t stand the thought of adding more to it.  Maybe we’ll just let this one pass us by… or make a mad scramble the day before!  :-)

Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2015.  It was a bit different this year.  The kids both chose character costumes that required money, but little creativity.  I was busy with work and did minimal decorating or planning. 

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Evie and Steve

We trick-or-treated with two of Eve’s friends and their mothers and siblings.  I went out with the kids, thinking I could socialize with the moms, while Alan stayed home with one of the dads to hand out candy.  Turns out Eve and her friends were a lot faster than Lex, so they were mostly way ahead while Lex and his big cardboard head and I lagged behind.  Lex and I ended coming home before the rest of the crowd, which was fine.  We got to socialize with Alan and the other dad a bit.  Then one of Eve’s friends and her mom and sister came back to our house and we all hung out, laughing about the evening.  That might have been my favorite part of the night.  :-)

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An excited Halloween crowd!

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Trick-or-treating

A good night was had by all.  Now to manage the massive amount of candy they acquired!  We went to far more houses than ever before!

Halloween in preschool

Throw flies (marshmallows) onto the spider web (tape).  The kids loved it!

Throw flies (marshmallows) onto the spider web (tape). The kids loved it!

I survived my first Halloween as a preschool teacher! It was much less chaotic than I was expecting. The other two classrooms really outdid me in decorations and I felt a little lame in the morning when I saw that, but by the end of the day I thought my room was just perfect. We had five activities that the kids could rotate through as they desired. Everyone had fun and there were no major meltdowns or out of control scenes. Just kids having fun. I was quite pleased, and happy when the day was over!!

Make-a-monster

Make-a-monster

Pumpkin bowling.  It started with the "pins" like this, but the kids quickly came up with many other inventive pin configurations.

Pumpkin bowling. It started with the “pins” like this, but the kids quickly came up with many other inventive pin configurations.

Pumpkin picking

It was a beautiful day today so we decided to get carve pumpkins. I had planned to take the kids to the local farm stand and pick out a few, but Eve wanted to pick her own right from the pumpkin patch, so we turned it into a lovely fall outing. Things got a little dicey on the drive down when the skies opened up and everything got soaked, but by the time we got to the pumpkin patch it was blue skies again. Thankfully!!

When we arrived Eve saw a horse drawn wagon ride and decided we should do that first. The wagon brings people up into the apple orchard, but we weren’t much in the mood for picking apples so we just road the in the wagon for the full round trip.

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Grandpa Tom and Eve, enjoying a lovely day at the apple orchard.

Seeing dad and Eve in the wagon together reminded me of a picture from when she was a baby (I just spent ten minutes reading baby Eve posts, cracking myself up, but can’t find the picture. I think I have a hard copy I’ll try to add here later). I tried to recreate the picture, but Eve would have no part of it!

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I mostly just got a lot of this. She’s not very cooperative with the camera these days.

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I had to settle for this. Not quite the same, but the memory is there anyway. :)

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These two were happy to cooperate with the camera! :)

After our wagon ride we took a run through the corn maze. I was surprised that Eve so eagerly agreed to go, after she was so grumpy about the last corn maze we did! Fortunately this one is much smaller and only took us half an hour.

Then we passed through the pumpkin patch and Eve decided she’d rather get one from the pre-picked pile. Crazy girl! I thought it would be lovely to take a picture of them in the pumpkin patch, but we are nearing the end of the season and the pumpkin patch isn’t really very lovely anymore. Oh well. We moved on to the pumpkin pile and made our selections. The usual rule is to pick a pumpkin you can carry, but Eve chose a HUGE one and Grandpa Tom happily carried it for her. She’s a lucky girl. :)

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Weighing our pumpkins. We had 63lbs of pumpkin! I love this scale.

We also picked up some apple cider and dried corn to decorate the house.

Back at home Lex decided he was too tired to carve pumpkins right away, but Eve was raring to go. She also was eager to do it herself! She quickly decided some help with the scooping out the guts part would be ok, but she did most of the carving all on her own. I sat by, watching and hoping we would not see any blood! (Speaking of blood, while this was going on Lex was at the table and suddenly said, “Hey, I lost a tooth!” They are so much less eventful these days!)

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Ready to go!

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Scooping out the guts is hard work!

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She drew a bunch of sample faces on the white board (I should have taken a picture of that!) and eventually decided on a basic pumpkin face. There may have been a bit of persuasion in there as we all told her how tricky it is to carve curves and details. She learned pretty quickly herself once she set to work carving the face!

It is a very chilly night, but we slipped out quickly to light the candle and put Jack on display for all to see. Hopefully he’ll have a friend join him soon when Lex gets inspired to carve his pumpkin.

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Two little pumpkins sitting on a porch. She is also making a scary Halloween face, or so she told me.

Halloween 2014

Another successful Halloween on the books! The kids went easy on me this year. Eve decided to be a bear, which consisted of wearing her teddy bear PJs and a hat. It took a tiny bit of work (Etsy browsing) to find a bear hat and she made a paper mask (which she promptly lost) and voila, that was her costume. She actually spent more time dressing her teddy bear, the Princess of Eflica, then making her own costume.

Lex, on the other hand, opted for a complex costume he made himself, with just a little help from me. He worked hard on it and it came out awesome!

painting

“Spray painting is fun!”

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Checking out his handy work.

with eve p1

He took a break from the painting to help Eve build fairy houses.

with eve p2

Sibling love. Pure perfection.

robot in progress

The costume is coming along nicely.

robot cat

Daisy likes the costume.

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Daisy cat

He spray painted the boxes, attached pie tins with brass fasteners, decorated with card stock and metallic markers, and added a few pieces of bling with super glue.

With the costumes complete I really wanted to take them out and show them off. I was thinking of my elementary school and the community Halloween party each year. I posted about it on FB and apparently lots of other communities in our area still do such a thing, but not our school. Oh well. Instead we decided to go to our little local mall. Each year they do trick-or-treating. We went once or twice in the past (2009, 2010, 2012), but it’s always packed and not my favorite place to go. This year we needed to buy a birthday present for a party today, so I thought it would be fun to go trick-or-treating and present shopping at the same time. It ended up being a lot of fun!

car

Have robot, will travel.

bear and robot

A bear and a robot go to the mall.

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Trick-or-treating at the mall.

Back home we had the usual over-stimulated Halloween dinner interrupted by trick-or-treaters, then they got back in costumes and headed out! As usual I stayed home to hand out candy and Alan took them out.

ghosts

My last minute Halloween decorations.

a ghost

A water bottle, sharpie, and a glow stick. Easy peasy.

all done

Last stop, our house. I let them take three pieces each from the candy bowl!

candy

“Mom, I got six Reese’s for you!” He takes good care of his momma!

lots of candy

The loot! We munched on candy, watched the Simpson’s Halloween episode, then passed out!

A good night was had by all! Happy Halloween.

Today they spent some time sorting and organizing their candy. They traded candy (“How about my Mars bar for your Mars bar?”) and building candy towers. It was really sweet to hear and reminded me of being a kid. Siblings. Sweets. Holidays. Happiness.

Halloween Gingerbread

Last week we went to visit a friend who had, in the past (2012), helped us make gingerbread houses. We don’t see her often and when I mentioned our plans to visit, Eve immediately asked if we would be making a gingerbread house. I told her no, just visiting, but the idea stuck and she insisted. Sooo…. behold the Halloween Haunted Gingerbread House!

completed house

Our Haunted Halloween House

The process took a few days. On the first day we made the dough.

eve baking p1

Eve in the kitchen. I love it!

eve baking p2

She doesn’t even need a chair, just a little stool. :)

Then we rolled it out, cut it, and baked it.

eve baking p3

She was eager to help cut out the pieces and ended up doing most of them all by herself.

baked pieces

Here are all the pieces.

On Saturday we built the house! Sadly my royal icing was not strong enough and did not “set” quick enough, so, alas, we had an unstable house on our hands.

construction p1

Off to a messy start already! I think I need to use a smaller icing tip next time.

decorating extras

While we waited for the walls to dry we decorated the trick-or-treaters and house accessories.

construction p2

The roof is on. We decided to add an M&M border to the wet icing, on the assumption that it would dry quickly!

construction p2

After a wall and roof panel fell twice I decided it was time to bring out the reinforcements!

inside

The second collapse also gave us a chance to put the gingerbread people and ghost inside, which we had forgotten the first two times we put the roof on!

I stuck the house in the fridge for awhile and we all went out to play. You have to take a break from the sugar fumes sometimes and it was a beautiful day!

cookies

These look good enough to eat!

house decorating

When Aunt Rosy arrived we decorated the gingerbread house and added the accessories.

house p1

Ta-da! I took away the glass in hopes that the roof would stay. We propped it up with some gingerbread trees. :)

house p2

In this picture you can see the gingerbread dog house, the dog (white with red spots), and the trick-or-treater dressed as a pencil. I love that costume idea! I told Eve she should be a pencil next year and she decided Lex could be an eraser to go with her. :)

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A rickety old house needs a rickety old fence in the backyard.

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Happy bakers! (Eve has her bunny ears under her chin and it looks like some weird neck scarf.)

The house was lovely, kind of, and I stuck it back in the fridge for a little more firming up. It stayed there all day Sunday while we were busy with the CHaD (another post on that will follow soon). This afternoon I cleared off the table (not a small feat!) and set up a nice Halloween display. The kids were super excited when they came home from school.

on display

I tidied up the table and set up a nice Halloween display this afternoon before the kids got home. They were excited to see it all setup. (Notice the glass behind the house? It started sagging after all the decorations were one, so we figured the glass was a required structural support. Lex added some candy to the top to make it look better.)

Sadly, we got back from karate to discover this:

caved in

Oh no! It lasted for a few hours before it caved in. Not even a nice roof slide like the first few times, this was just a complete cave-in.

Eve did a dramatic cry for awhile and then moved on. We agreed it was now a super spooky fallen down Halloween house. There were two casualties of the roof collapse, but the kids were consoled when I promised they could have the casualties for snack tomorrow. I claimed the third causality, a ghosts, for myself!

The house might not be perfect, but we had tons of fun so I’m going to call it a success!! (and try my friend’s royal icing recipe next time!)