Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful night for trick-or-treating! It was 65 degrees out and such a perfect night to be outdoors.

Carter was done in less than one hour, he was home by 7:15! By done, I don't mean he did the entire 'hood, I mean that he had reached his max on how long he wanted to be out in the chaos. So by the time he circled around the block, he had already dumped his pumpkin once into the bag Tom brought, and he was ready to come home, dive into his candy, and call it a night.

Olivia gladly put her costume on, even let me draw some whiskers onto her face, but then wanted nothing to do with the festivities that go along with Halloween. Like, trick-or-treating or even glancing at anyone she wasn't familiar with. We made it to one house with her, and she was not happy. So I came back home and she helped me pass out candy.

She tried her first lollipop ever tonight, and boy did she enjoy it! She kept saying "Mmmmm! Mmmm! Good candy!" It was really cute. But I was paranoid that she would somehow suck it so hard that it might come off the stick, so I watched her intently. Then of course, the inevitable happened. We went outside for a few minutes and she dropped it in the mulch. She wasn't a happy camper when she saw that it was so dirty.

Here's a couple of pictures from the evening!

Her first time with a lollipop!

Kept cool with my beverage - isn't that beer Koozie cute with the rhinestone Colts horseshoe? (thanks, Mom!)

Here's a shot of the neighborhood gang that trick-or-treats together through the 'hood. Notice the wagon - it is not for children, it is a cooler on wheels for the evening. Stocked with cold ones to keep the parents happy. They're all ready to roll!

Here's a shot of some neighbors gathering in front of our house, devising their plan of attack. It was a terrific night!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Next up...National Blog Posting Month

Ok, I'm doing it again this year.

Starting on November 1st.

I've accepted the challenge. It's hailed as NaBloPoMo (read here) which stands for National Blog Posting Month. All I have to do is write 30 posts in 30 days, without missing one. There are hundreds of writers in the world of Blogging that are participating in this personal challenge that happens annually.

I'm not guaranteeing anything too exciting will be written here on my blog, but I will post something every day through the month of November.

Read at your own risk... stay tuned!

Pumpkin Carving 2008

Another annual family pumpkin carving night has come and gone. Mom and I didn't get to our own pumpkins though, because Carter needed help with the sharp objects (yikes), and Olivia wasn't feeling 100% so she was a bit, shall we say, unimpressed by the whole thing. As in, like "Mommy hold me" (every 2 seconds), and "Someone just glanced my way so now I must scream in protest!" She eventually chilled out enough to accept a marker and scribbled on her own pumpkin.

Carter on the other hand, was extremely fascinated with the latest pumpkin carving power tools that we have. They're not quite Craftsman brand, and they are plastic, but add batteries and they become mini-chainsaws! Things like,"Carter, don't cut the table!" and "Carter, yes that will cut your finger off if you touch it while it's turned on!" and "No we will not see if it's sharp enough to cut your clothes" were said over and over.

In the end, we had yet another year of masterpieces - we are getting good at this!

From L to R - Tom, Dad, PJ & Carter's final pumpkins!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall Party in The 'Hood

Our annual neighborhood fall party was Friday night, and as usual the kids had a great time. This year, we had a cookie decorating table, pumpkin decorating table, hot dogs, hot chocolate and hayrides! The weather was rainy until mid afternoon - so those of on the planning committee were crossing our fingers tightly for it to stop in time so that we didn't have to postpone until next week. It did, and turned out to be a really nice fall evening in the 'Hood.

Here are a few pictures from the day.... first a taste of the rainy start of the day

The rain stopped, had some time to dry out a little and this is Spidey on his way! (look at the Maple tree turning color - pretty!)

Here's the Superhero and the Kitty

A couple of shots of the neighbors enjoying the hayride etc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sometimes You Just Need A Little Chocolate... NOW

We've reached the point in Olivia's life where she now wants to be included in everything. No longer can Carter ask for a treat or even something to drink without hearing squawks from Little O wanting some too.

And along with this new protesting skill she's mastered, she no longer wants any help. With anything. Which makes for some interesting battles here now. Specifically, when it comes to eating. She wants the plate on her tray. She wants no part of anyone scooping the food for her, and even throws a mini-fit if she's in a mood and spots you cutting her food up. Ugg.

So I figured I'd better capture the moment in time when it is still considered a little cute when she's being demanding. Like, when Carter already has his chocolate pudding cup open and we are obviously not being fast enough getting one to her.

I can understand though. Because to us women, sometimes you just need a little chocolate... NOW!

Emergency Chocolate Siren...

Chocolate Bliss...

The Chocolate High...

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Think I Can, I Think I Can...

I swear I can hear the maple tree in the front yard chanting, I Think I Can, I Think I Can while it's working hard to change colors.

I can tell... it really wants to... but there are only about 20 leaves that have succeeded so far. Just like a watched pot never boils... I need to quit being so pushy when I go out and talk to it. It's rebelling like a teen.

Here are two jewels it has displayed for me this week....

Worth the wait, don't you think?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We've Been Booooooo'd

A tradition in our neighborhood every October is called "Getting BOOed". Our doorbell rang this week and there it was... we've been hit.

What happens, is when it gets dark outside, the giver sneaks up to an unsuspecting house in the neighborhood that does not have a BOO sign displayed yet, ring their doorbell, leave a treat on the doorstep, and run into the cover of darkness while they answer the door.

The treat can come in all shapes and sizes. The preferred method around here seems to be these plastic pumpkins with handles, sprinkled inside with items determined by the giver. Candy, pencils, stickers etc. Inside the treat container is the important instructions for the "How To" of the BOOing game.

It's really fun to see these BOO ghosts in so many windows by the time Halloween comes around. It's such a fun and exciting little game for the neighborhood families to do!

Why don't you try it out in your 'hood?

Here's how....

You'll need to make copies of the BOO ghost and instructions that say:

You have been BOOED! Please keep it going by following these directions:

1. Enjoy your treat
2. Place the BOO sign on your front door or visible in a window
3. Within 2 days, make 2 copies of this note, make 2 treats & 2 BOO signs
4. Secretly deliver to 2 neighbors/friends without a BOO.
5. Keep an eye on nearby front doors to see how far and fast it spreads by Halloween.

There are several online websites that you can go to print instructions and a BOO picture. We use this one in our neighborhood. You can download the picture and poem directly from the website.

Have fun!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is It Fall or Summer?

Is it still summer? My calendar says Fall, but the temperature says Summer - sheesh! It was pretty warm out this weekend - 84 degrees. Ewww...

I am confident by the end of this week we will be out of shorts - FINALLY! Just in time to visit the pumpkin patch with my family, without bees!

This weekend, we visited a local stop in our town to get our carving pumpkins. We have an annual night that my parents and brother come over for a chili supper, and we carve pumpkins for display on Halloween night. It's usually a couple days before the holiday, but we like to get the pumpkins early to decorate the porch etc.

The place that we go to buy them is actually someones home in which they set up a stand in their driveway with veggies and pumpkins that they've grown on their farm. It is by far the most inexpensive place we've been able to find pumpkins each year - it proves how much mark-up these little Country Markets put on theirs. This coming weekend, we will make our annual trip to the very popular Stonycreek Farm with my in laws so that the kids can walk through the pumpkin patch and choose one themselves. We love that day with the grandparents, and have been doing it since Carter was a baby.

Here's some photos from the weekend activities!

This is a shot of the road in town that we take to get our pumpkins. It looked so pretty with the leaves and sunlight that I had to snap one!

Here's a little area where the pumpkins are in the driveway of this home. Pumpkins start at $2.00 for a decent carving sized one! They have some really interesting varieties of pumpkins as well. You can see Olivia in her hot pink shorts at the top. The color hot pink, shorts and short sleeve shirts just don't scream "It's Fall" to me.... The pumpkins sure did though!

This is still not something I'm quite used to, even after all these years of living in the Midwest. Where I grew up on the East Coast, you might not want to leave your bicycle on your front porch if you want it still there when you come back out to play - if you know what I'm saying. But here? The honor system... gotta love the country...

So, my kids don't like caramel apples, but 'tis the season, so I had to make some anyway!

Here's my ingredients (ohhhhh, challenging!)

And the end result....

Can't forget to show The Boy's second year in Scouting. He's a Wolf this year... here he is proudly showing off his new colors. Boy Scout Popcorn sales have begun, so we've been pounding the pavement this weekend filling up his order form. Our community set the bar pretty high - Zionsville was #1 in the nation last year for Popcorn Sales. Our little town!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Special Delivery...

Someone in my family has a sweet spot for The Boy. I bet not soon after reading last week's post about Carter getting into the memorabilia stash again, did one particular Softy begin to frantically find a solution to The Boy's scrapped football games.

Carter received a special delivery today from the Postman. The sender was incognito, and no note was attached. But we figured we could pinpoint which of the Massachusetts relatives sent the package. How you ask? Because of it's contents. There are no Colts fans in my family that would have paid money for this, even if it was for a sweet 7 year old boy who cannot keep his hands off of his Dad's autographed football. So, it had to be from our Patriots side of the family tree.

Carter was in heaven when he opened his delivery. He immediately ran outside to play with it. Before I could get my camera fired up, he rushed inside, flew upstairs touching maybe 5 steps and fumbled through his closet to find his #4 Adam Vinatieri jersey. He wanted to be a kicker. Because his new gift came with a kicking tee, and one must be in full gear when practicing right?

It was all I could do to contain my giggles, when he finally emerged from his room, wearing the complete ensemble of a Colts player. Helmet, jersey, pants - he was serious about his game. And out he went. I had fun capturing the innocence of his youth, all dressed up and ready to tackle anyone who dared to enter the yard. He spent the next hour being a quarterback, kicker, center and punter. Thankfully, he didn't feel the need to change jersey's each time.

Considering the rivalry between the Colts and Patriots as teams (and my family split down the middle), it's pretty cute to see a kid dressed in one team's gear, playing with the opposing team's ball.

Now if we could just get Peyton Manning to sign his new Patriots ball.... that'd be funny, but then Carter would have to go back to playing with Nerf.

Thanks John & Mary, you made his day!