Friday, October 30, 2015

Crazy Week!

Halloween may come close to outranking Christmas as the favorite holiday in the life of a child.  The build-up to the main event at preschool this week has been fun.  Monday and Tuesday were costume days, then Wednesday was Halloween shirt day, Thursday was crazy sock day, and Friday was crazy hat day.

Before and between those days, Tommy and Ellie had an already busy schedule: Primary Sacrament program on Sunday with a follow-up scripture costume party, a friend's costume birthday party on Monday, a church potluck and trunk-or-treat on Wednesday, and Trick-or-Treating last night.  My camera did a lot of clicking this week!

Monday costume was Spiderman.  He was one of three Spidermen in his class.

Ellie was one of several kitties, but the only one with full hat and fur.
The costume was so warm that it only lasted about a half hour.


The trimmed down cat costume.
We went for a walk in the beautiful woods after school.
Tommy's looking a bit chunky here, but it's just his
Spiderman super muscles under the coat.
The birthday party was lots of fun, and they
 saw several friends from preschool and church there.
Ellie debuted her day 2 costume at the birthday party.
She was Princess Sophia, complete with magical amulet.
Tommy's day 2 costume was Captain Hook.
He's been calling himself that for months now!
He had already decorated his hat in anticipation of Friday's Crazy Hat Day,
but we used it anyway, because I never got around to making his Hook hat.
The kids decorated these graveyard dirty dessert cupcakes for the party at church.
They won the "best decorated" award.
Tommy met up with a few more pirates at the party.
and Ellie found herself with a few more princesses.

Trick-or-Treat was a bit cold and blustery.  Captain Hook lost
his hat after the first house, and I carried it the rest of the way.
My crazy kiddo would NOT wear his hat for even one second on crazy hat day!
Ellie labored for hours last weekend to make this hat, but didn't want to wear
it at school.  She had it stuffed in her backpack.  But I pulled it out and swapped
hats with her.  She wore my buffalo hat, and I modeled this hat.  She took
some pictures of me, and there were soon other kids wanting to wear her hat.
Once it was popular with them, she was okay with wearing it too.
She's an awfully cute buffalo!
But even better in the hat of her own creation!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Apple Picking

Our second preschool field trip was fruit picking at Mitchell's Orchard.
We got some apples, pears, and grapes.

Tomorrow's job will be making a pie from the fruit of our labors.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Wedding Weekend

Rachel and John got married last Friday at the Nauvoo Temple.  Their ring ceremony and reception followed on Saturday at Sandy's home.

Pam, Emily, and Lauren flew in from Washington for the big event.  The kids and I went down to Sandy's on Friday and met up with them and my mom to get in a visit and help get some last minute details prepared for the evening while Sandy's family was traveling.

About 150 guests were expected, and I was to make cupcakes for the crowd.  My plan was for 8 cake mixes, which would require 2 dozen eggs.  I had alerted my sister of the ingredients I would need. When I came up short, she said, "but there were 16 there".  Math.  Argggh!

Sandy lives about 20 minutes from the nearest store that carries eggs.  Seriously! Who knew these places exist!  Multiply that by 2 ways, add a few children in carseats, plus time to shop, and I would easily be looking at over an hour travel to get the 8 eggs I still needed.

As you may recall from this cute picture in the early spring, my sister raises chickens.

My kids LOVE the chickens.  They feed them leaves and try to pet them every chance they get.  I HATE the chickens.  But expedience won, so I decided that I would take my kids out to the coop to collect a few eggs.  Emily tagged along in case we needed to send for help and to take pictures.

We had an impromptu hunt for loose eggs on the ground, but no luck.  I sent them up inside the coop, but all we found was one duck egg laying in the poop on the ground.  There was one chicken sitting on a nest box, looking at us with beady eyes.

So in the name of love for Rachel and love of cupcakes, I approached the coop myself.  I checked three boxes for eggs with no luck.  Behind door number four sat Henrietta.  She fluffed her butt feathers at me, but did not move off the nest.  "Excuse me," I said, in my best egg thief voice, "could you please move?"  Nothing.  Again.  Still nothing.  So I poked her in the butt.  She ruffled, and sat.  "Please?".  Fluff.  Nudge. Fluff.  Poke.  Fluff.  Finally, after several rounds, she glared at me and hopped off the nest.  She had been guarding a full dozen eggs.  Big and small, she had them all.  Even with the deluxe accommodations, all of the hens lay their eggs in one nest.  Warm from the hen, and slimy fresh, I pulled out the eggs.  Poor bird.  Poor me.

Can you tell from the close-up how much I enjoyed this?
So, we went back and finished our work.  Cupcakes were baked, s'mores were packaged and labeled, silverware was tied, and bulletins were bowed.  A port-a-pottie was even delivered in the middle of our fun.
Pam packaging s'mores for the campfire.
The next morning, the real last minute work began.  Setting up tables and chairs, arranging the games, stringing up the lights that couldn't be done ahead.  The sky was overcast, and the spot that Rachel had picked in the woods to have the ring ceremony was very dim, and I didn't think there would be enough light to get good pictures in the evening.  So we rearranged, and everything looked beautiful.
Drip, drip, "did you feel that?" drop.  Less of a drizzle than a mist, but we did have precipitation in the air.  We ignored it and forged ahead with setup.


Despite the drizzle, plans went forward, and the photographer came before the ceremony to get pictures of the bridal party.  My kiddos had been too excited to settle down for a nap until about 20 minutes before she arrived.  They were in no mood to cooperate.

Even the coaxing of cousins can't pull Ellie out of her funk.
Phoebe and Emma were bridesmaids.

About an hour after wake-up and with a dose of sugar from a cupcake and a dinner roll, Princess Ellie was now ready to be seen by her public. The photographer had been finished, but tacked on a few more pictures for us.

Tommy absolutely refused to come out dressed in his ring-bearer outfit, so he came as a super hero instead.

Pam's stepdaughter Holly and her two kids were also there.  It's been years since I've seen her, and it was awesome to have her there.  Lauren and Emily came in from the west.
The father of the groom did a wonderful job of entertaining my kids all afternoon and evening while I chased people around with a camera.  He taught them how to throw the bolas and played cornhole with them in the rain.

Giant Kerplunk! was my favorite game.  I didn't get a chance to play, but I did get to watch.
As the rain increased and guests started arriving with umbrellas, the groomsmen rushed to move the tables to Sandy's porch.  Thank goodness it wraps all the way around the house.  Three sides of the porch are covered, and although it was a tight squeeze, we managed to seat all the guests that braved the rain.

The ring ceremony got a last minute switch back to the original planned location in the woods.  The rain was coming down steadily, but the trees provided a little bit of protection.  It was a beautiful ceremony despite the damp.
The bride was kissed...
The lemon wedding cake packed quite a punch!
Okay, the punch was Rachel's, but it looks like John still loved her.  Even after she got him again with two additional cupcakes.
en garde... Tommy takes on one of the groomsmen with a Kerplunk stick.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Preschool is Cool!

The moment my kids have been waiting for has finally arrived... they are now officially preschool students.  They started preschool at the Y on Tuesday

Tommy is in the purple room.

and Ellie is in the green room.  Which caused more than a small meltdown
on open house night because go ahead, guess what Ellie's favorite color is? 

They are having fun, meeting lots of kids, and starting to keep secrets already.  When I went to pick them up one day, I got there just as the kids were all returning from the playground to the classrooms.  I had to park my car and wait for them to cross, and I watched Tommy walk all the way back holding hands with a pretty little girl.  When I asked him about it, he denied all knowledge of the event, and proclaimed, "Mama, I'm not saying you!" (I'm not telling you about it!)

And so, what am I doing with my newfound freedom?
Well, the first day, I went home and cleaned.  I didn't manage to sit down even once in the whole time I was home alone.  The second day I got smarter.  I took a shower.  By myself.  Nobody pounding on the door.  I managed to get all the way dry before I got dressed, and didn't have to wipe anyone's poopy butt before I even got my own covered.  Sweet Freedom!  I could get used to that!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Rest of My Summer Vacation

In preparation for the post I should be writing this week, I thought maybe I should finish out the highlights of the rest of our summer.

On our way to pick up my mom for a visit, we stopped at the Columbus Zoo.  We spent $70 to get in, just to spend a little over an hour walking around in the rain.  Many of the animals were smarter than we were and were hiding from the rain, so most of the animals that we spent time with were of the metallic variety...

The next day, we attended Ethan and Tera's wedding.  Ellie was just enthralled by "Princess Tera".

 Our next adventure was a sleepover at Grandma's house when we took her back home.

One of this summer's new skills is swinging.  Ellie got the pumping action down, and now she loves to fly on the swings at home or a the park.

Tommy enjoys swinging too, but he's still working on self propulsion. I'm sure his super powers will kick in soon.

He certainly has mastered racing the horses!

August brought an annual favorite, the library's "Touch-a-Truck" event.  This year, they added a silent hour, with a ban on horns.  That's when Tom took the kids.

As the summer came to a close, we decided to take another field trip.  This time we headed north, to Cleveland, and went to visit the aquarium.  Lots of fun, but no flash photography allowed, so we had a bit of trouble getting clear shots.

 The kids really loved the hand puppet section, and put on a little show for us.

Then we headed out on the lake for a late afternoon cruise.


somebody refused to keep her hair in a ponytail

no pictures, mama!

 Most of our days though, were spent at home.  Frequently, climbing the walls...

or just hanging around...

The playground at the school across the street also got some good use this summer.  It will be sad when school starts this week to have to limit our hours again.

We were invited to a traveling zoo visit at the Jeromesville Christian Church.

 Their pastor was looking for some new recruits for their youth program.

All in all, a nice summer.  :)