Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PuMpKiN gUtS

This last weekend was so busy with fun activities and things that I wanted to share, that I had to break up my posts in 3 parts! This is the final segmant. As part of our fun weekend with some family visiting we decided to conduct a mini simple Fall Festivus type event (just a fancy name for getting together, eating, laughing and making a mess). Sometimes we refer to these events as: FestivSKI's. Anyway........... here are a few things to share:
We told some scary (maybe more like silly) stories around the campfire (well around the little votive candle). Don't ever tell stories about the Great Humpty Dumpty or you may cause a relative to leave the room in distress. (hehe)

We decided for the evening meal to make a tour de homemade soups! I don't know if a tour de has to be 3 but we had 2 super grand soups and a salad so does that count? This is a baked potato soup and a chipolte chicken tortilla soup. Excellente and so fun!

We ran out of time and energy on Saturday night, so Sunday morning the Festivus gang got together to carve some Pumpkins! There were pumpkin seeds and guts flying everywhere! Ben kept saying: Yuk as he spooned out his little pumpkns insides! So, I decided we needed a nice photograph of the pumpkin carvers and their prize pumpkins. So here they are in take #5, still trying to get situatued.

Here they are at take #27 (jk). The offical photo.
Isabelle, AUnt MaRy, BeN, Aunt ElaiNe & Cousin StaCy.
Thank you everyone for such a great Autumn weekend!

Monday, October 27, 2008

T&T continued..

After we told Ben he could be a "duck" he decided that maybe he could put the costume on for the park event. There was a little more refusal but, tired - he finally gave in to the powers that be.
The Chicken even got to ride the merry go round one last time before it is closed for the season.
Little Red Riding hood and the Chicken joined forces for a little tractor pull ride.
The park district asked to take the kids picture, at the same time - I snapped one too...
The little chicken was such a hit at this event.
Ben's favorite part of this event was the dressed up dogs. We had to pry him away from them at one point. Isabelle's favorite part was looking at the other kids costumes. Yay and we get to do it all again this upcoming weekend! I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get red sucker off of Ben's fur, but somehow I have managed. After all this practice, we are now set to trick or treat at houses!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Downtown T&T

Best Witches! There was Trick or Treating downtown on this lovely Autumn Saturday. Great Aunt Mary, Aunt Elaine and Cousin Stacy were visiting. So we decided to kick off the Halloween season by taking the kids to go visit Grandpa Paul and Celia at their store and to go get some SwEEt LoOt!
Isabelle decided, after finding out that her Aunt Irene was going to be LiTTle rEd RiDinG HoOd, that she wanted to be as well. So sorry folks, no Annie with vampire teeth this year. She told me that she will be that next Halloween.

We had 3 costume options for Benjamin. A Chicken, A Monkey or an Astronaut, well - he refused all 3. He keep Yelling NO!!!! Coat!!! Coat!! Coat!! So we let him where his coat. Some battles, just cannot be fought.
Here are the goblins testing the goods. Next....we are off to the Dairy Union for Lunch, home for a NaP and then out again...to the Park for some more TRick oR tReatInG! Will a costumed Ben join us this round? I think so.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Parking It.

Sister & Brother - like Peas & Carrots (for the moment)
October gave a party;The leaves by hundreds came -The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,And leaves of every name.The Sunshine spread a carpet,And everything was grand,Miss Weather led the dancing,Professor Wind the band.~George Cooper, "October's Party"
Ben getting stuck in something he can't get his way out of.
A Monkey On the Monkey Bars!
A pause in the play as Isabelle decides her next move.
And finally...a very upset little boy. Why do you ask? Because, Benjamin was quite distraught over discovering that the Merry-Go-Round was CLOSED! How dare they? Empty. Gate locked. No music. No movement. No rides. This was a very traumatic experience. Ben ran around looking for an opening inside, only to discover that there was no way in. Then his little fingers grasped around the fence links. He rattled the closure and wailed a distressed cry of saddness and disappointment...and disbelief...throw some rage in there as well. I had to pry him away from the scene and redirect his thoughts to something else...perhaps the sand buckets...yes - they will do...they are no amusement horse ride, but they will serve as some kind of distraction from this current woe.
This last Saturday, the kids and I had some alone time (as Noah was Chopping Wood) so, we stopped by the park for a lovely little outing. It is nothing but smiling faces and excitement as we enter the park. It is always hard to leave the park. On this day, I lead them away like puppies, dangling a treat (cheese and pretzel Combos) in front of their noses....it worked swimingly. We were able to make a quiet and clear exit from the park. We were completly out of there before they even realized that they were tricked. Hey - a Trick and a Treat! (lame, I know).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Harvest Moon

Halloween Projects! O.k. these projects are not finished yet, but I could not wait to share them! One is a jar filled with ghost peeps and candy, one is a treat bag that I made out of one 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock and the third is a binder/chipboard album I am working on to put our Halloween pictures in this year. If anyone would like the instructions/steps for the jar or bag, please email me, I would be happy to share! I am excited because I think they will make great little gifts!
This was our dinner last night: Sausage & Tomato Rigatoni. A first time recipe for me. It's from kraftfoods.com. It was easy, and good! I recommend giving it a try sometime!
Here it is the famous TOY catalog. The first in our mailbox this season. Isabelle snached it up immediately and started circling things with a big red marker. Things she didn't even know what they were! Things that were pink. Things she thought Ben might like. SHe said she X'd out things she doesn't want. WEll , I just found one x in the entire catalog. It was on a little tikes truck that Ben already has. She even has riffle guns circled....so that's interesting. Of course we already have to start up the Santa questions for the year....how does he make all the toys? does he buy some of the toys, how does he know what I want? remember when he got me the wizard of oz music? how did he know? how does he remember how to get back to my house? .....
I took this picture the other night, because I was shocked by it's yellow/orangishness. I believe it to be a HARVEST MOON.

Here Isabelle sports a spider HaT that she made at school. She wore it for two days straight, she was so happy and proud of it. She even let Ben wear it (which is amazing). Speaking of Spiders, the actual ones in my house will finally go with the season's decor. yeah.

In other news: I spoke too soon regarding Ben's potty training, we have taken a back step, as he currently has NO interest in this subject. I remember Isabelle did the same thing for awhile. So, I am not going to push it, just keep suggesting it and see if it kicks back into gear again, because honestly, he was doing so great! He really understands the concept well. He even started with a little routine of his own....book, toliet paper, etc. We made a small addition to our apple crack snack from a few days ago. We discovered that Isabelle likes peanutbutter on the cracker instead of cheese. SO theres yet another option. When recently discussing jewerly with Isabelle, I learned something new. If it is not gold jewerly, it is: "SILVERWARE". There has been a request change (or should I say addition) to Isabelle's costume this year. She is going as little orphan annie and she is super excited, but she did ask me yesterday, if she could - please, please, please get some vampire teeth to go with her costume. Annie with Vampire teeth...should be interesting. Can't say shes not my daughter, that's for sure. I am remembering back to when I was snow white with a head injury.......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kisses & Crack

These first two pictures were taken by my friend Sally. She made cookies and placed these festive gems in the middle! Now I will be on the search for these beautiful little autumish candy corn kiss chocolates! HOw fun & how YUm!

This photo is of an easy after-school snack that I recently discovered (on Kraft foods.com) and tried for the first time this afternoon. They were a total hit among the taste-testers (Isabelle, Ben and myself). They are called: Apple & Cheese Snacks but, I have renamed them: APPLE CRACKS cuz I think it sounds cooler.

You need: 24 RITZ Crackers (we made 12 so I cut ingred. requirement in 1/2)
6 KRAFT 2% Milk Singles, cut into quarters
12 thin apple slices, cut into quarters
ground cinnamon
Make It
TOP crackers with Singles and apples.
SPRINKLE with cinnamon.
Kitchens Tips
Serving Suggestion
Serve with an 8-oz. glass of fat-free milk or fruit juice.
Serve It Hot
Assemble as directed; place on microwaveable plate. Microwave on HIGH 20 sec. or until Singles are slightly melted.

Today is one of those dreary rainy days in which I wish I could have worn my pajamas all day, in fact I think I might put them on now. Today I tried to get Isabelle to wear an orange halloween shirt and she wouldn't wear it because this summer while we were doing a bonfire and she was asking about coyotes, I told her that coyotes like to eat little girls that wear orange (she was wearing orange). Today I took Ben to storytime at the library. He didnt want to sit for the stories but he did enjoy the snack and craft! Tonight I will be making Tater Topped Casserole for the evening meal. Signing off for now! Keep warm, well & dry!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Wind Whispered

The Wind Whispered to The Leaves...
COme PlAy wiTh ME!
(misc. Autmn morning photos)

"I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I do this? Henceforth will I look on all things with love and be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge. " -Og Mandino

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Barbies & Trains Oh My

Fun Project: Paper Photo Wallet - Halloween Style! - I used to make these in my Etsy Store. They sold well. Funny, how many I made - I never made one for myself! Now that I have put Etsy on hold (or cease), I want to try and catch up a little on my own projects. This is such a fun item to make! And now that I got to use my own pics/journaling with it , I love the concept even more! These pictures are from last halloween since I have to wait a few more weeks before I can take new ones! hehe

In other news: There are barbies and trains spread throughout this place as far as the eye can see. I don't remember what the carpet looks like (well that's a good thing actually). I was lucky to survive a dinner out with my clan of savages the other night. As the young boy child was postioned in the seat right next to me with a flying fork, wild chopsticks and a heavy and painful etch-a-sketch....oh yes, and we can't forget the cold ice water. The girl child had to go to the bathroom two times while we were there. Once just as the food arrived at the table and then again not too long after. Fun Stuff let me tell you. Especially since she wanted help (sorry if this is too graphic for people who are not currently dealing with child bathroom issues) wiping her butt. Yeah, I want to finish my dinner now kid! Speaking of Butts as long as I am on the grand subject...Ben is doing SUPER on the POTTY. He and We are quite excited about his recent success in that department. I think he'll be a pro in no time, he is excelling wonderfully. Isabelle is quite fasinated with the man in the moon. She wants to know why he is always looking at her and following her and why he has an uh-oh type shape to his mouth. Once I told her that fairies kick the moon to wake him up (and she just won't forget it). Ben at lunch today: "I PILLED OUP!!!!" - translation: I spilled my soup. Tonight we had frozen (pizza kitchen) pizza. This was the easiest dinner that I have made in a long time. It was so nice. So freeing. So simple...and actually not half bad! The kids are currently holding on to eachother and Isabelle told me they are a choo choo train. They are repeating choo choo choo choo and circling the living room. I am tired, is it their bedtime yet? They both woke me up very early this morning and it's pretty much been go go go since. My back hurts, I just want to grab my book and lay in bed and read. Is that really so much to ask? Just a little longer, I can make it, I know I can. I just need to hold on for a little longer, host and direct the bed time rituals and then proceed with my simple dream of reading a little bit with...comfort and peace. Yes, a little peace would be a nice way to end this day. Goodnight Y'all.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's your name? & CARS

Our view from the parking lot before we pick Isabelle up from school.
Enjoying a beautiful park day with friends as these nice weather days are fleeting.
Recent Ben funny:
Yesterday we were in the grocery store and this small exchange of conversation took place:
Grocery Cashier Clerk to Ben: "Hi cutie, what's your name?"
Ben: "dog"
Clerk: "doug?"
Ben: " DOG!"
Then a few moments later: Ben: "ruff ruff meeeoooow"
Another Ben Episode that took place yesterday:
Location: Library
Ben and I are looking at dvd's to pick out a few. I show Ben the CARS pixar movie. He yells "CARS", grabs it like a football clutch and runs , runs , runs out of the children's area, out the front area of the library....the alarms go off! I run after him, grab him and bring him back. I explain to him that we will get the movie, but he has to wait a few minutes, while we pick other stuff and check out. So while surfing the isles, everyone we came across, he would show his CARS movie to. He would point at the box and announce "CARS" until they acknowledged, yes that is a great movie. So now it's time for checking out....and Ben will not give up the movie for the process, he puts a total bear hold on it and screams NO! to me when I tell him that he needs to give it to the nice lady so she can check it out for him, ,and that she will give it right back. Well, he wasn't going to go anywhere near the checkout area with his movie, so I had to aprehend this suspect once again, we wrestled and I freed the movie from his tiny little hands...and we brought it to the desk, I gave it to the clerk, in which Ben had a short little meltdown until it was back in his arms again, in which at that point - he showed the box to the librarian and told her (just in case she did not know) that it was : CARS!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Happy Apple

This is a project that Isabelle brought home from school. She made it during their "apple series" (now they are on to pumpkins). I absolutley love it! I think this giant puffy apple is just so adorable.
Here is my little Ben NOT taking his nap, like he is supposed to be.
,,,and here is my lovely daughter and what she looked like for school this morning. Today I let Isabelle wear this GiaNorMouS holidayish package wrapping type bow in her hair. WHy? Because she wanted to. Her heart was set on wearing a bow this morning. I was in the process of making her a tiny cute little bow that matched her outfit, that we could fasten to a barette, well - she wanted nothing like that at all. She wanted a BIG bow. I told her that I had no BIG ribbon, and then she spotted this one. This glimmery wide piece of material that was calling her like a beacon from my ribbon basket. I tied it around her head and said, there you go. She ran to the mirror and told herself how beautiful that she looked! She was thrilled beyond the moon. Noah saw her and asked, are you going to let her go to school like that?...and I said: Yes. If this child wants to be a little different and wants to enjoy something "special" in her hair, well I am not going to stop her. (I am just glad that I didn't have to walk in to school with her).

In other news: I was up at 5ish this a.m. I even managed to take a shower today. Yet we somehow managed to be a smidge late for school. It's raining today, so I blame it on the rain (although it wasn't raining at the time). I was rejected by our local co-signment shop today when I tried to go peddle my wares. This shop takes housewares, clothes, etc. I was really looking forward to unloading some loot that did not sell at our garage sale. I do plan to give and donate, but first, I really wanted to make a few more glorious bucks if I could manage to do so. ANyway, they are all filled up with merchandise and I need to check back in a few weeks. So, I know the invention of the sliding cutting blade on the plastic wrap box is supposed to be a benefit and greatly appreciated by users, but I for one, hate this type box/device with a passion. It just doesnt work properly for me, I always have to wind up getting my scissors out to cut that damn plastic wrap from the box. What happened to the good old little saw edge of the box that they used to have instead of this complicated slicer thing. Ok, sorry had to vent - now i'm done. So, I think that I have come the conclusion that I can never talk properly on the telephone again. Unless both of my kids are locked in a closet on the other side of the house. I totally give up. I don't even attempt to make phone calls anymore. I just can't seem to manage simple tasks such as this. Why talk on the phone when you can't hear a darn thing and you have little people pulling at you the whole time? Email...now that's good. I can manage that for the most part. Tonight for dinner I will either make: Tried and True Spaghetti or Chicken Crescent Squares. Not sure yet. I am proud to announce that I have offically started the "halloween" season in my home...I have bought a bag of candy corn. Better go...I hear Ben throwing dog food into Lance's water bowl.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ode to Library, etc.

My Library Loot Today
Ben and I are sharing a bowl of leftover chili for lunch. I love that the cooler weather is here and we can start making "comfort" and "warming" foods. On Sundays, we usually try to make a really nice dinner (one in which we put the food in bowls instead of leaving them in pots is part of the "nice" process...along with cloth napkins....and other grand simple gestures of "special". This Sunday we made a small turkey with sides. It was excellent...and tonight we are having...leftover turkey! Win, Win in my book. hehe Speaking of books...Ben and I visited the library this morning. I just love the library (I love it much better when I am alone). Sometimes I wish I lived in a library. It's always hard for me to leave, If I could wander the isles all day, I would. Little facto of info: I used to be a library board member in my past life (pre-children). It was so exciting to be part of the process and decision making for such an important and wonderful establishment! I did not know much, but I learned alot! I am always thankful for that opportunity. How exciting it must be to be a librarian to be surrounded by books everywhere - all the time. I recently re-saw the episode of Seinfield in which he had a "very overdue" library book. funny stuff. SO anyway, I hope Isabelle likes the choices I made for her today. My selection process was quick as there was a Ben with a bus on the loose knocking all the books over in his path. Today my brother is going to be an audience member of the Jerry Springer show. He is on his way there right now. My throat hurts as of this morning, I hope it goes away, I am so not in the mood to be ill in any way. I have decided to have Ben be a dog for Halloween. He loves dogs (tries to befriend every one that he encounters). He barks a lot. Also, it's potentially a nice warm costume. So now, I will be on the search for the perfect Dog costume. I dont like the ones that have faces on them already. I like when his face is the ony face if you know what I mean. Like the hood is just floppy ears. Anyway that is part of my challenge so wish me luck! Isabelle's newest allergy is: Strawberries. She could not use stawberry shampoo the other day...because she is allergic. Good to know I will add that to the list kid. I have an overwhelming amount of dishes and laundry to do, so I better get to it, so maybe I can get to some of the fun stuff on my to do list! Happy Monday Everyone!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Autumn Festival

This Saturday we celebrated the harvest season at a local Fall event - An Autumn Festival at the park district nature preserve! Grandma Barb (my mom) was visiting with us, which made it all that more special. There were farmers market booths (Yum, apple cider!), live music, childrens activities, heritage craft demonstrations (grandma and Isabelle made a corn husk doll together) and we even took a horse drawn hayride through the prairie.
Here is Isabelle with her friend Sam! They are always so excited to see each other and so adorable together. We were so blessed to see lots of our friends during this event! What a grand day!
Our tour guides.
Face Painting & Pumpkin Painting.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My little SONshine

My little SONshine.
I cannot think of this little boy without smiling.
What a mixture of Wonderful and Wonderment that he brings to my life.