Sunday, October 31, 2010

Can you say "Candy"?

We put 17 packs of popcorn on the front step before we went into town to trick or treat in case by, some far off chance, we should happen to have a trick or treater stop by.
It is amazing how many house bigger kids can go to in an hour.  When the kids were little we would go to about 15 houses and they would be tired and we would go home.  When we lived in town it took us much longer to go around our neighborhood.  The vast majority of our neighbors were over 70 and so at every house the kids would have to go in, be oohed and aahed over and have their pictures taken.  I wonder what those people ever did with all those pictures?  Many of them have died since then and I am sure their kids, most who didn't know us, looked at them and thought, why in the world do they have pictures of these kids.

Every year we go to this house.  Not only do they have more decorations than probably any one else in the free world, they give out bottles of pop and school supplies.  This year they gave out full size notebooks and folders.

 Dancer is smiling

And Spark is smiling so it must be time to go home.

They made a haul - almost 20 pounds worth!  That should keep Eeyore in candy for a year!

There were 17 packs of popcorn on the front step when we got home.  Once again no trick or treaters.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treating for Eeyore

Dancer has been firm the last few months about her decision that she wasn't going to trick or treat this year.  She is 13 and it seems to be loosing some of it's appeal.  She also can't eat most of the candy since it is loaded with food coloring so I understand where that takes away some of the fun of it.  I tend to, however, have candy snobs for kids and they don't eat the candy that they consider "duds" anyway.

I told her if she wasn't going to trick or treat she was still going to walk along with me so I didn't have to stand on the sidewalk alone while Spark ran from door to door.  Earlier in the week she said that maybe it would be too cold to trick or treat and that we should probably stay home.  No, we went every year that you were young, no matter how numb my toes got and or how blue my lips turned, so we are not going to stop now just because the fahrenheit is reading a little low.

Tonight she is sitting here watching Pirates of the Caribbean and during a commercial she turns and says that she should trick or treat for Eeyore.  Eeyore is her goat that has seizures that seem to be helped if he has a couple of pieces of candy everyday to keep his sugar up. 

So now it seems it is official.  She is trick or treating, but it is purely a sacrificial act for Eeyore.  I wonder if he will get the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

4-H Halloween Party

 First there was a little pre-party carving for the pumpkin contest.  The kids started this morning when Dad got home from work and by the time I came out to the kitchen the whole house smelled wonderfully like pumpkin.
 There was a haunted walk through the host's backyard.  When the kids weren't on the walk they colored pictures.  I went on the walk with the little girl in the lavender jacket, we were walking along with her holding my hand and she kept saying that is not real or that something was scary and was doing pretty good job holding herself together.  Near the end of the walk a very scary something with a chain saw came after us.  Her reaction was to turn around and climb right up the front of me so I carried her past the scary part.  Good thing she is just a little snippet of a girl.
 The pumpkins lined up for judging.  Spark and Dad's in in the front there gnawing on little, weaker pumpkins.  Their pumpkin won second place.  Dancer's is on the right.
 There was a Halloween quiz show - did you know there are blue pumpkins?  There was also costume contest, a spider craft and a guess the weight of the pumpkin. 

For the pot luck we brought gallstones with intestinal parasites (spaghetti and meatballs) with dandruff flakes (cheese) to put on the top.  It took a couple of years to collect enough dandruff for that size jar.

The kids and some of their friends.  The leader who put the party together one of the most fun people we know.  By day she is a nurse so Dancer dressed up as her.  Her name badge read Jan F. Super Nurse.  Jan got the biggest kick out of this and kept saying all night how cool it was the Dancer dressed up as her.  She also thought that Dancer should have won the costume contest.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rub a Dub Dub

there's a pumpkin in the tub.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Link - The Legend of Zelda

Spark requested to be Link for Halloween.  I prefer that we go to the fabric store, they pick out what they want to be from the pattern books and I sew it up for them.  There are no patterns for Link out there that we found, so I had to make one up.

I found a pattern for a tunic.  It is Simplicity 3647, a Grecian Toga Pattern.  This was so so simple.  The whole thing can be cut out and sewn in about an hour.  I made it out of heavy drapery fabric that my mother, I think for our wedding, made new drapes for their house. 

I made it a size larger than he is because here it is not unusual to have to wear your coat under your costume.  Actually, it would be unusual not to have to wear a winter coat.  If your costume isn't big enough, kids end up wearing their coat over their costumes where only the bottom of them show.  That is fine but since I always make their costumes I want them to show.  It's a proud mom thing. 

For the hat I measured around Spark's head and added an inch to the measurement.  I folded the fabric over (right sides facing), measured out half the size of his head along the bottom, went up about 30 inches and drew a line diagonally from the edge of the fabric where I marked half the size of his head and up to the 30 inch mark.   Sewed the edges together and voila! a perfect Link hat. I thought I would have to put elastic in it to stay on his head but that wasn't necessary, it fit find without the elastic. 

The two belts were ones that we had, one Dancer's and one Dad's.  The shield and the sword were a souvenir from the Renaissance festival a few years back.  He is going to wear gray sweatpants for the leggings tucked into his snow boots that conveniently are brown. 

The best part of the whole costume is that it cost $.99 cents for the pattern on sale.  Everything else we had on hand.  When my mom brought up the drapery fabric I thought, oh good grief, what will I ever do with this, your just trying to get it out of your house and clog mine up with it.  Little did I know years later it would come in handy.  

Actually the price isn't the best part, the best part is that Spark loves it and was all smiles when he tried it on.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

News travels fast

I grew up in a town where if you were doing something you shouldn't be, your mom knew about before you even got home.  It's the nature of the beast in a small community.  We live in such a community now but I thought we would be immune to the gossip since we are transplants and our kids don't go to school so I didn't think that many people knew who we were. 

The kids are going to AWANA for the first time this year but not at our church.  They are going at a church in a different town but it is the same denomination.  We never said anything at our church that they were going to attend this other church's program and we don't really know anyone who goes to the AWANA church. 

About the third week, when I was waiting for the kids to get done, I started talking to one of the ladies in the entry way.  I told her my name and she said "Oh sure, my sister-in-law told me your kids were coming here for AWANA."  Really?  How in the world had news traveled down one town and back up again in three weeks?  With us saying nothing or knowing no one at this church?   We may not know them but they know us and the grapevine is alive and well around here.

As I talked with her more I found out that her sister-in-law's husband is cousins with someone else at our church who's husband's sister is our neighbor.  Obviously we aren't going to able to talk about anyone either, they are all related!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We're not claiming to be Michelangelo

But we are painting our ceilings.  This summer I opened a cupboard door and a jar of V-8 juice fell out on to the counter, the cap cracked, it did another bounce on the counter and about a quarter of a cup splashed up and hit the ceiling.  You wouldn't think a quarter cup could cover to much space but it sure did.  The only way to clean it was to paint.  Since our kitchen, dining room, living room and hall ceiling are all connected we are committed to painting the whole thing. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Spark!!!

A marble cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate glaze.  We made it a la mode with Cookies and Cream ice cream.

 We had  cake at midnight, actually about 11:50 because he just couldn't wait anymore.  I said, "Let's have the cake then, there isn't any birthday laws about when to eat the cake and it isn't getting any fresher sitting on the counter."  I loved these candles, we got them at Dairy Queen.  Spark thought of his sister when he picked his cake and didn't get one with any color on it.
 Made him wait the morning to open his presents.  He was hopeful but we drew the line at eating the cake early.

 Jeffery and Patterson.  These two go everywhere with Spark.

 Corn beef hash was his breakfast request.  We hate canned hash, it is disgusting, so the day before Dad bake the corned beef and had it all cut up and ready to go in the morning.
 We went bowling.  We bowl every Monday afternoon so this wasn't a birthday treat but they did play the birthday song and everyone sang to him.  One of the moms said that she was going to tell the guy at the bowling alley so that they could embarrass him with the singing.  You won't I told her, he doesn't get embarrassed.  I was right, he loved everyone singing to him and was ultra excited about it.

The actual birthday celebration was at Space Aliens.  We only go here on birthdays as it is insanely expensive. 

Since it was a birthday we were pretty liberal, for us anyway, with the money they got to spend at the arcade.  They were so surprised by that so it was worth it just to see their faces.  I think they wouldn't have been more shocked if we had thrown a surprise party.

 Spark ordered sausage pizza, it was awesome. 
 After dinner they cashed in their tickets and then proceeded to pick out what prizes they wanted to get.  There is way to many choices, there must be a couple hundred different items in the little store and they go back and forth on what to pick.
 Spark got a whole arm load of prizes, even after giving a bunch to Dancer to get a stuffed frog.  They both must have been satisfied as they were all smiles.  I think it is much more exciting to win the prizes instead of just being given them.
 Normally we would have gone to a movie of the birthday persons choice but there wasn't a movie that Spark wanted to see.  A few days ago we went to Target to get "Toy Story 3" only to find out that it isn't coming out until November 2nd.  Instead he chose a game we would play on his birthday night and he chose "Life."  I think it was more fun than watching a movie.  Maybe we will have to change the movie tradition and switch to a game tradition.
We wrapped up the birthday with a couple of rounds of Mario Kart and everyone went to bed with smiles on their faces. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Polynesian Potatoes

We had a bonfire but did not have marshmallows to toast for a snack.  When the fire had burned down, Dancer wrapped up some potatoes in aluminum foil, two layers, and we threw them in the fire.  Dad shoveled some hot coals on top of them and we sat for another half hour longer.  We kept inching towards the fire as it was really cold out and without a blaze it was non to warm sitting in our plastic lawn chairs.

After a half hour, we pulled them out of the coals with tongs and went in the house to unwrap them to see what we got. 

What we got was two perfectly done baked potatoes that we enjoyed with butter, sour cream and a sprinkle of Bacon Bacon by Tastefully Simple.  The only thing we wish we had done different was make more than two of them.  These will beat a marshmallow any day!

Those big headed dogs

 Spark woke Nikki up from a snuggly nap and as she turned to look at him she got a camera in her face.  He must have been snapping quick to get one with her tounge sticking out.  He took a bunch more photos in what looked like about a 12 second window but I just choose two of them.
These pictures of her remind me of those dogs with the little bodies in the box and the big head is sticking out the side of it.  I don't know what they are called but we always laugh at them when we go through the toy department.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Homemade Water Filter

Spark tried this to show how water gets cleaned as it gets filtered through layers of the earth.  This filter is not to make drinking water.  

First he took a pop bottle and cut the bottom off.  Into the top part of the bottle he put a layer of fiberfill batting.

Next he put a layer of charcoal.  He used smashed charcoal that would be used for grilling.  We thought that maybe fish tank charcoal would have worked better but this was the frugal route. 

Next into the bottle went a few scoops of sand.

On top of the sand a handful of rocks.

First he tried water colored with red food coloring.  Since I never color frosting, or anything with food coloring, all we had was some very old red paste food coloring that wasn't in it's prime. 

The second time he put through a glass of blue water colored with a large amount of tempera paint. 

Lastly, he tried muddy water from the garden.  Yes, he has a different shirt on, he changes clothes an insane amount of times a day.

The one that worked the best was the blue tempera paint.  While it didn't get it clear it did take a lot of the color out of it, it had a rather purple hue to it. 

Dad pointed out though that if you eat something blue, like an raspberry icy, it does sometimes come out of you rather green the next day.  If our bodies aren't able to filter blue perhaps we were asking to much of our little contraption here.  By the time he tried the mud from the garden I think the filter had to much other color in it so while it did filter the dirt, the water came out the same purple color.