Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dinner at the Haunted Mansion

Every Halloween, I want to have a Halloween party with friends, and every Halloween I am just too busy! This year, I decided if I made it a small dinner party and got a couple of friends to help out, I could make it happen without too much stress. Welllllll... I made it happen, there was some stress, but I'm glad I pulled it off! Nevermind that I stayed up until 2am the night before altering my Queen of Hearts costume so it would fit better for the party... it turned out great, though! I couldn't have pulled off this party without my wonderful next door neighbor, Lisa... yes, she is wearing one of the costumes I made (and altered just for her this year... see, I'm a good friend, too).



My mom gave me a Halloween magazine with all sorts of cute Halloween themed foods, and Lisa and I went through and picked the best ones for the party. Actually, the zombie flesh was my idea after having blue cheese left over from a dinner earlier that week.



Lisa worked hard on these eyeballs.



Cindy was my other helper, and she spent a lot of time peeling these witch fingers. She made all the cute little signs, too!



This one almost didn't happen after searching store after store for jalepeno jelly with no luck. Bashas' saved the day!



Bones with bloody dipping sauce.



Leatherface!



Liz came without a costume, so guess what we made her wear? The great pumpkin! She made the perfect prop for our jack-o-lantern pot pie (the design of which was also my idea... I can have good ideas, too!).



The vampire blood was my number one choice for the dinner, but the wax fangs didn't float as well as they did in the magazine. The punch - I mean the blood was delicious, though.



The eyeball potion was also my idea (although Cindy thought of the clever name).



The whole spooky spread. Do you love my new candelabra?



Our dinner guests.









I wouldn't have made this dessert if I had realized ahead of time how much trouble it was. It was good, but it was actually better the next day.



We played a combination of charades and pictionary to round out the fun. It was a great night!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rockin' the State Fair!

Another year, another night at the fair! Russ had class and Will had to work, so we were a couple people short. Too bad, but at least Grandma and Grandpa got to join us. Our first stop was the traditional dinner at the San Tan Fry Bread trailer... yum, I had the works! Once we were full, it was time to see if we could barf it all up on some rides. The kids chose the little tugboat as their first ride. If any ride could make me sick, it would be one like that, so I let Kyle go and be the "supervising companion" for Brandon.



After a few more kiddie rides, Kyle wanted to hit one of the big boy rides... and what did he pick? INSANITY! I decided that the day I don't want to go on a ride like that is the day I die a little. Yeah, my heart was pounding and I closed my eyes half the time, but I did it! Here's a little Youtube video of the ride... fast forward to 30 seconds to really see it in action.



Meanwhile, Grandpa found the much tamer carousel to ride on with the little kids.



The high swings that freaked me out last year were on Paige's to-do list again... I figured we better get another fun picture of us on that ride. Cute!



I think we got gypped on time because as soon as I got three pictures, we were going down again. Oh well. I love to see Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in the background of my pics... oh, the concerts we've seen there... memories!



Unfortunately, Brandon and Paige wore open-toed shoes, which prevented them from going on most of the fun houses. Hello, someone really ought to put a closed-toed shoe store right next door!



As if fry bread tacos were not enough, we had to add in cotton candy, ice cream, and fried pickles. What would the fair be without calories?



We made sure to get to the petting zoo before the animals went to sleep.









Once again, Kyle was volunteered to be the supervising companion on the kiddie rollercoaster. Putting his hands up and screaming, he made it look fun.



The kids loved these massage chairs... as Kyle said, it felt like you were rollerskating over a bumpy street at like 100 mph... so refreshing!



And of course we had to take our traditional ride on the ferris wheel. A view of the fair from the top!





After that, we only had enough tickets for one more ride for one person, and we just knew what that had to be... MACH 1! I stayed grounded for this one... but I've never ridden a ride like that, so I can't say I died a little, right? Did I mention I am afraid of heights?!?!



Safely back down and all smiles.



We rocked the fair until they shut it down... 'til next year!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hey kids, a FARM!

October, my favorite month of the year! No fall season would be complete without a trip to a farm... this year, we tried Schnepf's Farms for the first time.



There were no shortage of photo ops, and the kids seemed to want to have a picture in each one.



No outside food allowed! Darng (my new accidentally made-up pseudo-swearing), that is my secret weapon for keeping family activities affordable. The admission was already pretty steep, but at least we got in half price on a Thursday.



What kid could resist the carousel? This one was built in 1912.



I think the kids would have been happy spending the rest of the day on these air pillows.



FYI, I suck at timing my pictures to get my kids mid-air. Every other kid was in the air in my pics, but my kids were mostly grounded. The ones I did get were flukes.



So happy adults could go on the bees, too. What they don't tell you is that if you weigh more than 100 pounds, your bee is going to have a heck of a time getting off the ground, and that's just gonna be embarrassing!





All the kids were excited for the coaster. Brandon barely made the height requirement, and judging by how much I had to hold on to him to keep him in his seat, he actually may have been a tad small.



All smiles!



By the third time around, Brandon was a bit concerned for his safety, but he didn't cry... until he biffed it on the way out of the ride, which made it appear to all the people in line that the ride scared him. Don't worry, kids... it's totally fun! Promise!



Then we took the hay ride out to the corn maze.



I've done lots of corn mazes in the dark, and I have to say the sun makes it WAY easier! And the kids aren't as worried... but I still like the dark better. See how I always put the children first?







Yeah, we made it in record time!!



But we didn't get far before we had to stop for another photo op (in case you were wondering... yes, I have more than what you see on my blog).



All of the kids except Mikey and Brandon were too tall for the airplane ride. We all thought that was pretty crappy until we saw that their airplane didn't work... then it didn't seem like we were missing out on anything.



Until they got to go TWICE IN A ROW... then we felt totally ripped off!



Yay for planes that fly!



Last ride of the day was the swings. Lisa had already gone home to start cooking dinner, so I was on my own, and although Brandon was technically tall enough, I felt too nervous about him riding in a swing alone. I love the swing ride, but I guess I'll have to make up for it at the fair.



Once again, my mad photography skills came in handy as I captured other people's kids more in focus than mine. Oh well, it's kinda cool to see Paige's blurry, smeared smile going around on the swings. It's like an artistic portrayal of FUN!



Okay, I can cross farm off my list... good thing, cuz my list is pretty long and I only have two more weeks left of October! I bet Annalee is way jealous... oh wait, she's probably already been to every farm within 100 miles of here. Hahaha!