Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Decor

I feel like fall just arrived and yet most of the leaves are gone, we've had several hard frosts and all of the stores are full of Christmas Decorations! Slow down please.

Trunk or Treat

On Wednesday evening the children donned their Halloween costumes
(cowboy, American girl doll Kit and army dude) for the Trunk or Treat at the Stake Center. There were indoor games and activities and then they trick or treated (indoors as it was nippy outside) around the church to all of the parents in attendance.

I'm so grateful the church provided this venue this year as Halloween fell on a Sunday. I decided the let the children make the decision whether or not to go trick or treating on the Sabbath this year. Max quickly decided no (he has a very black and white vision of right and wrong), Calvin said yes and Sophie deliberated. She made a chart, took a poll, prayed and read articles in the children's Friend magazine to help her make her decision. It was not an easy one, but in the end, we stayed home together and skipped the trick or treating.

The afternoon was spent making a meal for a friend who just had a new baby boy and then we worked on homework and scouts and played games until the trick or treaters began to arrive. The kids had plenty of candy from Wednesday which they consumed too much of and they loved seeing the neighborhood kids at the door. We had fewer trick or treaters this year and Sophie greeting them all by yelling "It's your lucky day! You've hit the jackpot!" because we were giving out the super sized pixie sticks.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Como Zoo Boo

I do not remember ever going up to the Como Zoo in St. Paul during the fall, but it made for a great Halloween destination. I took the kids up last Friday and the whole zoo - inside and out - is decorated for Halloween. My favorite spot was inside the arboreum. The gardens are planted with mums, sunflowers and red pepper plants and the tropical garden had blooms that I have never seen there in the summer. The kids had a great time - we did forget to bring the stroller which meant I either had to carry the baby or chase him constantly. That was not so fun.

These photos are with the point and shoot.

Pancake Shortcut

Here is a little shortcut trick for super busy mornings. When complete pancake mixes (as in just add milk or water) go on sale at the grocery store ($1.99 around here) I pick up several to have on hand. Make the mix according to directions and then add a can of pumpkin and a teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and nutmeg. These are great with homemade buttermilk syrup (which you can store in your fridge for weeks) or warm homemade applesauce.

I always make the entire box because I set the leftover pancakes out on a plate and the kids wolf them down cold after school. I usually use this if I have more than 10 kids to feed at breakfast and morning is insane.

Before and After

Little Sophie-Loo wanted hair as long as her friend Reagan. Reagan has very long hair. For years Sophie refused to get hers cut even though, like her Mother, her hair is very fine and very straight. Finally, with Halloween approaching, Sophie decided she needed to cut her hair for her Halloween costume. Now that's dedication.

Her hair does not usually look this cute. This was a Sunday morning and I curled her hair - which she hates.

Good-bye long hair!

I should also mention that I love having a little girl to dress. The darling red wool coat was a yard sale find at $1.00. The skirt is from Old Navy - on sale for $3.00. The shirt and socks are both from Gap (thank you Grandma Erickson!) and the boots, which I want in my size, are from Marshalls.

By Monday night, Sophie had a new look. I took her out for a Mommy/daughter date for the cut and dinner at Chipotle's. Sophie shares my love of guacamole which makes her the perfect date. She was soooo excited to show her new haircut to her classmates on Tuesday.

Little girls are awesome.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For You Shan

Goodbye peep toe season. I will miss you. Temperatures are dropping into the 40's this week.

I Can't Take Her Anywhere

Two thirds of the way through my run on Saturday (do you like how I make it sound like that is a regular occurrence?) Sophie stopped her bike to examine this freakishly enormous salamander. Even though it is clearly a mutant of some sort, she insisted on bringing it home. She tied her coat around her waist with the hood facing forward and tucked the creature in there for the ride. Luckily it escaped after a day and no, I did not let it in the house despite the puppy dog eyes.

You should know that on Saturday while visiting the Arboretum, she found a dead cockroach on the ground and tucked it into her pocket to bring home for her bug lab. Just think about that the next time you are doing laundry.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Fun

On Saturday we went to the Art Park for the photography awards. I won $75 which I'm going to spend on some photography classes. After the awards, we stayed a while and played in a truly impressive leaf pile. Sophie and Calvin both manged to lose shoes while playing in the leaves.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yesterday (pretend I posted this on Friday)

Yesterday there was no school.

Yesterday I had 8 children here all day and another 2 who arrived in the afternoon.

Yesterday we made skulls out of pasta.

Yesterday Sophie discovered 101 tiny tadpoles in a puddle in the backyard.

The tadpoles may have come from this frog.

Yesterday I took 8 kids to the dentist for 2 hours. Only two of my own kids managed to get their teeth clean in that amount of time - which means I have to go back.

Yesterday my visiting teacher who is about to give birth at any second brought four pumpkin chip muffins to me. I did not share.

Yesterday there was dancing - and witchy hats.

Yesterday I realized that Sophie knows every word to Womanizer by Britney Spears.

Yesterday Calvin stayed in his Christmas pajamas all day. He also wore a juice pouch purse on his head for several hours.

Yesterday Calvin was invited to dinner by his primary teacher and his wife (I made him put on normal clothes before leaving). They went to Noodles and Calvin felt very special. They also brought back a pizza for Max who was babysitting for me.

Yesterday Max ate 3/4 of a cheese pizza all by himself!

Yesterday evening I was invited to a fall favorites swap by another single Mom. I made hot mushroom dip to share. I had the hot mushroom dip for dinner and came home with a homemade whole wheat garlic/rosemary foccacia. I want the recipe.

Today I'd like a nap.