Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's Alive!!

When did Halloween become more about us than the kids? It's hard to say, exactly, but it happened... I think it started with the zombie bride and groom theme, but Russ says it started much earlier. We've got a reputation to uphold now, and we did it again with Frankenstein's laboratory! My favorite quote came from the kid in the van parked next to us, "Dad, can we try really hard next year?" I have to say, there were several great trunks this year. I love our ward!!

It was obvious that Russ would be the monster, but the question remained... what would I be? Bride of Frankenstein? The doctor? He was a man, though! I thought and thought ('til my thinker was sore), and after seeing a lot of steampunk costumes in the pattern magazines, I decided to tell the real story.

See, back in the 1800's, it was not socially acceptable to have a woman doctor, so Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, opted to change the story and make Dr. Frankenstein a man so that her book could be published. Presenting the real Dr. Frankenstein!!

Sampling the goods.

We were the first to arrive at the church that day (only because we left our car parked in a primo spot at about 2pm so that we would have electricity), and we were the last to leave.

Another picture of Dr. Frankenstein with slightly better lighting.

The monster didn't stay in his costume long enough for me to get a picture of the whole look, but here's his stitched up face.

The next day was Halloween, and somehow we hadn't carved a jack-o-lantern yet! I was hosting some friends that night, so I was rushing around a lot, but somehow... by some MIRACLE... I bought one and helped the kids carve it.

I think I'm the fastest knife slinger in the west!

I also managed to make ghost pizzas, eyeball meatball subs, and mini meat mummies. Everyone else brought the rest of the fun. Love it!

We set up the lab again out front.

This is the part you didn't see in the earlier pictures at the trunk or treat... the creepy table where the monster was brought to life!

After the little kids got back from trick-or-treating, I had some carnival games for them. Still can't believe I threw all of this together in time. First I set up some paper towel rolls that were decorated like ghosts and let the kids knock them over with a fake pumpkin.

My trusty jack-o-lantern bean bag toss game has been enjoyed by children for years and years now.

One of the prizes was balloons, so Russ delighted the kids with some balloon animals.

I ran out of prizes, but then I remembered the fangs with fake blood that I bought at the dollar store. All the kids seemed to want some, so I was set for the "fang walk."

We threw together Kyle's costume a couple of days before. He's supposed to be Grimm Jow, an anime character. (I'm not responsible for this decision!)

Got enough candy there? I confiscated a whole bunch for the gingerbread town I am dreaming of making this year. Yes, a town. I'm nuts.

Getting the kids ready before sundown on Halloween so that we can get pictures is usually impossible. In the past, it has totally stressed me out, but this year I told myself I can have them dress up later. And I did. Such a great plan!!

Before the pictures, though, I have to tell this story... so, Kallie told me she wanted to be Pikachu, but all the patterns were out of print. So, I got on eBay and found this one:

Well, I bid $20 and was outbid by someone who paid $25. Sheesh! Down but not out, I used a combination of two costume patterns I already had, plus my own design for the ears and tail. Suck it, lady who outbid me!! This Pikachu is the cutest I've seen!

Luckily, Brandon saw the costume pattern I was using for the Pikachu hood and decided to be the dog he saw on the front. Yes, kid! Great idea! His dinosaur costume last year was made from that pattern as well... 99 cents well spent!

Then there was Wyld Style from the Lego Movie. I couldn't even find any Wyld Style costumes, so again I had to improvise. Found a black wig on sale and sewed in two colored strands. Then I bought a black hoodie (which was harder to find than you might think), removed the gray hood lining, replaced it with a pink hood lining, and carefully pieced the blue and pink design on the front. Paige LOVED it! She still wears that sweater to school every day.

Cuteness x 3.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Birthday Story

Kallie, my little October baby. Amid all the rush for Halloween, I didn't want her birthday to be forgotten. She wanted a dragon party. She wanted a party at As You Wish. She wanted her dad to be there. Being that I didn't plan far enough ahead, I was worried I wouldn't be able to give her all three, but the stars aligned for that little October baby, and it ended up being everything she wished for. We special ordered ceramic dragons, they arrived on time, and there was one time slot left for her party on a date before Russ left town.

After the dragons were glazed, craziness ensued. The kids somehow thought it was okay to pour out as much glaze as they wanted for their table painting.

Enough of that... pizza time!

It's not like you can get a dragon cake anywhere, so I had to improvise. She loved it!

Last but not least, the gifts.

Glad her party worked out because by the time her actual birthday rolled around, she was sick. I took her to lunch anyway because she wanted to go, but she looked so sad. I felt bad because I had to run several errands, and since Russ was out of town, she had to tag along. She was so tired, and I just pushed her around in the stroller.

Thankfully, she perked up in time to celebrate at Bahama Buck's that night!

A few more gifts made her day complete. Love this bright little spirit.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Fun

Here we go again. Seems I'm always posting the same stories every fall. We might be in need of a new tradition! So, here goes... Vertuccio Farms and the horrible cell phone photos I always get there! As usual, we started out with a trip through the corn maze.

This time, with a little help from the picture of the map I always snap before we go in, we found all six stations! Hey, we only used the map for three... and even then, we just looked at the general direction and then wandered around until we found them.

Kallie was the big winner!! And I was the big loser... because I was pulling my cell phone out of my pocket repeatedly, I accidentally dropped my credit card somewhere in the corn maze. Yeah, that wasn't ever going to be found!

Next was the ever popular air pillow.

Since we went on a weeknight, we had the barrel train to ourselves.

Yeah... he tried to wield that giant hammer as best he could, but the little metal thing that rings the bell went nowhere.

This is how city slickers milk cows.

Knock the crows over with bean bags.

Super slide. I always like a good slide, too... beats the swings (barf).

Right before closing time, we ran to try the pedal cars. Brandon was bummed he wasn't big enough to reach the pedals.

Not to worry, we found him the perfect size pony! Which he rode for like a minute... cuz the lights were going out.

Time to go home, but not before the most traditional picture of all!

A couple of nights later was the stake rodeo. (Can I just say I liked it better when it was in November, which is not one of my busiest months of the year?) Kallie was sporting my glasses and the wax lips Grandpa got her from Joe's BBQ.

When given the choice between the pony ride and the barrel train, they picked the train even though they had been on one just days before. I guess they loved it!

We were late to the foot rodeo, but luckily Brandon didn't miss his chance to be in the chicken run. Hurry chickens!! Run!!

Brandon was too afraid that a chicken would claw him to really try. There he is with Russ (by the white truck), standing back and watching the other kids. None of the other kids really wanted to try, so there was no point in us staying. We left early so that Russ and I could try to catch a movie... we needed a date before he left for San Francisco the next day.

Which makes me realize my pictures must be out of order because Russ was home on the day I skipped the gym to hike Camelback Mountain. The hike was harder than I remembered it being, so I pretended to stop for pictures, when actually I was catching my breath. The 1/4 mile rock climb near the end is brutal!!

I saw this bionic woman going down when I was just about a quarter way into my hike. Then she passed me going up when I was almost to the summit. Then on the way down, I saw her coming up again! I'm guessing she didn't go all the way to the bottom that time... I mean, who could do that? I was amazed. As for myself, I was satisfied just to reach the summit once...

October. I love fall.