Saturday, November 26, 2011

Terrific Tent

With all the nice weather we've had, we set up the tent in the backyard. We did it a couple of hours before bedtime and put the sleeping bags. We told the kids they could sleep there if they wanted. They had lots of fun playing in the tent before it got dark. Once the sun went down, Sophie wasn't so keen about being outside in the dark. She wanted to sleep in her own bed, but Logan wanted to stay outside. He and I tried to sleep but it was too noisy for him (planes and cars). I'm glad we came in because it rained a little.

Pillows, blankets and flashlights...oh, my!

We left the tent up to dry out and the kids played in it for a couple more days. I think next time we'll all try to sleep in it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tyler Roses

On a recent trip to visit my sister, we took the younger kids to the Rose Gardens. I have taken Sophie each year, and had been afraid we wouldn't make it there this year. But thankfully the roses were still in bloom even though we are well into November. The gardens have this huge grassy lawn and we just let the kids loose...letting them run and roll around on the grass.

The kids were fascinated by all the water features in the garden, and even posed for us on this bridge.

Logan loved the maze-like structure of the rose plants. I did lose him and Sophie for about 10 seconds among the plants, but manage to catch just a glimpse of his head before they got too far. It was a teaching moment as we discussed what they should do if they he Mommy yelling their names. Although he wasn't actually trying to hide from me he did understand that when I can't see him it's like he is hiding and how that makes me sad.

If you look closely, you'll notice Sophie's hair is wet. They had so much fun splashing in the pool.

As soon as they saw this small pool, they took off and couldn't wait to put their hands in the very cold water.

My sister Kelly and her daughter, Kalyn.

I hope to take Sophie every year. One day we might even come during the Rose Festival.

And looking back at past years...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Traditions

Halloween is definitely not my favorite holiday, but I do love pumpkin patches and I also know that kids tend to like Halloween. To make it more enjoyable for me, I've tried to create/adopt some traditions.

1. The first, of course, is to visit many, many pumpkin patches. We didn't get to as many this year as last but we still had lots of fun.

2. We went to a few Fall Festivals and Carnivals. Some were completely free and included food, games, and rides. Others used tickets but we still had a good time since all included prizes and lollipops!

3. We watched "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" as a family. To be truthful, the kids watched it almost everyday...and if it wasn't that one then it was the Thanksgiving one.

4. We purchased something at each pumpkin patch we went. Sometimes it was just gourds, like these, which we shared with our preschool classes. Sometimes it was small pumpkins to decorate with stickers. Other times it was large ones.

5. Costumes are not my strong suit. Sophie's first Halloween yielded 2 costumes, one for preschool and one for actual trick-or-treating, plus 3 additional outfits after the costumes came off. Last year also had 2 different costumes but just one additional outfit for Boo at the Zoo. This year we had just the one costumes and an extra Halloween shirt or 2. I do think I like having a theme or at least a plan for the costumes. So as much as I don't like dressing up myself, I'll try to always put thought into the kids costumes.

6. We made it to the petting zoo again this year (we didn't make it last year, too much going on trying to prepare foe China). The kids had so much fun and I definitely want to do this every year.

7. This year I tried my hand at making homemade pumpkin pie with some of the pumpkins we got at the pumpkin patches. They were pretty easy to do and tasted great.

Happy Halloween!

We took the kids to the Trunk or Treat Carnival at church the night before Halloween (stopping by Grandma's to show off our superhero costumes).

I had bought the capes, masks and wristbands during the summer for dress-up, then decided to just use them for Halloween. Sophie's too young to really care what she dressed as and Logan has never done Halloween so I figured I had this year to do what I want. I asked my mom to create shirts to match the capes, then just added bottoms.

Super Logan!

These are some friends of ours. Their grandmother was really creative.

All the kids wanted was lollipops, so when given the chance they would search the bowls looking for them.

The kids had trick-or-treating at preschool on Monday. Since we had done the trunk or treat and Paul had to work late, we just stayed in on Halloween night and passed out candy. The kids enjoyed seeing all the costumed kids that came to the door. Well, Sophie didn't like the Scream mask that had blood flowing down it. She talked about that for days.