Friday, October 31, 2008

Easy Halloween Decor

Here's how it's done. Ignore the fact that the plants in your pots have long since died. Let them sit on your porch tired and ugly for several weeks. Stick a pumpkin on top of the dead plants. Presto - Halloween decor!

Wacky Gorgeous Weather!

We had one of those rare beautiful, sunny unseasonably warm days yesterday. According to the weather channel, the high was 71!!!! They are forecasting low 50's for trick or treating tonight. Here in the frozen North, that means there will be kids out in shorts. I'm not breaking out the popsicles just yet, but we are walking over to school again today for the parade - with no coats!

The warm weather has brought out the orange ladybugs - they call them Japanese Beetles here. To me, Japanese beetles are those shiny bugs mom made us pick off the rose bushes and drown in a jar of water every summer in Vermont. The orange ladybugs are all over the house.

It was so warm that Sophie wore a garden in her hair to school.

Koo played outside with Calvin and his new toy she brought which is already broken and headed to the trash. Natalie, Johnny and Calvin spent hours outside in the sandbox with no coats!

We walked over to the school to pick up Max and Sophie - I carried the coats I sent them to school with that morning.

Max read on the walk home, but he does that every day.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
What I am doing this morning:

1. Wrapping up more of these guys for the kids teachers and the neighborhood friends. I spent all afternoon yesterday making dozens of them with Carrie for her daughter's Halloween party today. Do you like the new versions, the mummies and the little green witches?

2. I have to find the kids costumes for the Harvest Parade at school.
3. I am volunteering for Sophie's Harvest Party with Calvin, Natalie and Johnny.
4. It is supposed to be really warm tonight (for Minnesota) - I am debating if I will have enough candy. Maybe I can just start handing out whatever my kids bring home.
5. At some point I need to clean up the disaster that is my kitchen. The Halloween cakey-pop things are messy! I also need to blog about my sisters brief visit and how we almost burned down the house. I'll be back!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thrifty Girl - Last of the Garage Sales

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I love a good garage sale. Here is my find from this morning at the one sale I hit coming back from preschool. It is a full set, still in packaging of the Jim Shore nativity ornaments. They retail online for about $70.00 for the set.

I paid $4.00. My happy for the day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Frightfully Fun Bowling

Yesterday we:

crafted . . .

. . . made soda pop bowling pins . . .

. . . played outside in the crisp fall weather . . .

. . . turning the cul-de-sac into our own spooky bowling alley . . .

. . . and enjoyed every minute!

And the award for the most entertaining bowler goes to . . . . SOPHIE!

School Photos

I'm having one of those "feeling old" kind of mornings. When did Max become a handsome young man - and why didn't anyone warn me!?

Views from my window - Sunday Edition

That's not rain - it's snow!! We had blowing snowflakes most of the day on Sunday. Brrrrrr! It is warming up though and it looks like it will be about 60 degrees on Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cut off

I was writing the check for the basic cable bill the other night when it dawned on me that I could not remember the last time any of us had actually watched TV. When Bryan was unable to remember either, I decided it was time to cancel the cable. The guy at customer service seemed shocked as he exclaimed "What are you gonna do?! Use bunny ears?!"

We do use the DVD (we are on our fourth thanks to Calvin) and even the VCR. The kids love movies and Bryan and I have been enjoying laughing our way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Netflicks late at night. But TV, an actual show as it is aired - we never seem to have the time.

I can give up our 10 year old TV without a thought, but try and take away my computer . . .

Angst-ridden Vampire?

Bryan chose to dress up as Angel for the Halloween Party. What do you think? Can he pull off the tall, dark, brooding vampire with a soul who knows that at any time one moment of true happiness could turn him back into a blood-sucking soulless demon?!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Party!

Saturday afternoon was spent at the Quick's home for their annual Halloween Party. Susan has a ton of Halloween decorations and crafts and the house looked great! There were a lot of guests, a lot of food, a lot of treats and a lot of games for the kids. We all had a great time and ate way too much!

Susan's lovely home

The beverages in the dog bath. Susan does not have a dog.

The treats - not shown, the chili cook-off and lots of kid's foods

The vegis - this masterpiece was lovingly hand crafted by Bryan and Sophie - all by themselves!

Cutest Costume

The revelers

The Haloweeny Pops were a hit!

Vampire Calvin

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Cakey-Pop Things

More Halloween Fun around here. These may be the single most un-homemade thing I have ever made. Does that make sense? I found the idea here. If you make these, prepare to get seriously messy.

Here we go:
1. Bake a red velvet cake - from a mix. Marvel at the amount of red food coloring that must be in the package.
2. Let it cool.
3. Take the entire cake and crumble it into a large bowl with your hands.
4. Add almost an entire can of cream cheese frosting - from a can (photos courtesy of Sophie).

5. Using your hands, mush it all together.

6. Roll into balls - I used a med. cookie scoop for size.
7. Pop them into the freezer for an hour or so. I left mine in overnight, but I also added a whole can of frosting, so they were still pretty soft in the morning.

8. Melt some candy melts in the microwave.
9. Dip your lollipop stick into the candy coating, then insert 1/2 way into one of the cake balls.
10. Submerge the ball into the coating and tap, tap, tap while turning.
11. Stick into styrofoam to dry.

12. Decorate! I love the eyeballs.

This is a great baking project for me because I had absolutely no interest in eating them. The kids however, thought they were hysterical!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Web Lust

I know there are a lot of adorable hair clips out there right now, but these may be my new favorites. I am going to try and figure out how to make them.

How amazing are these grocery totes? They are made from recycled vinyl posters (sturdy!) and I want every one in this photo. One of my goals for the upcoming year - phase out all plastic bags from our life. These are the ones I want to have in my car for groceries and all shopping trips.

LOVE, love , love and adore these dresses. I would never pay this much for a dress and every one violates a cardinal rule of being a real mom - no dry clean only clothing for kids. But I love every whimsical ruffle anyway. Even with their laughable prices.

Spooky Cupcakes

Want to have some spooky, messy Halloween fun with your kids today? Here's what you do.

1. Buy a lot of candy
2. Bake a bunch of cupcakes
3. Set everything out on the kitchen table. Say a prayer for patience.
4. Gather the troops and let them loose.

5. Praise them for their creative little works of art.

6. Dive in!

7. Send the kids off to wash their hands, faces, arms and clothes etc. while you frost the slightly more appetizing cupcakes for the Halloween Party tomorrow.