Wow, I’m so behind! Well, I’m keeping it together in real life, just neglecting my online duties. These are the things I have to recognize but don’t have time to do right at the moment. They are on my list:
#1 – I was nominated for a blogging award. I’m always flattered when people think my blog is good 🙂 I’ll be doing a better job on receiving it and passing it on ASAP.
#2 – I was also tagged for a 7 days and 7 black and white picture (no people) challenge and I also really want to do it. It just has to wait a couple days.
#3 – I still intend to do the blog every day in November, I need to sign up officially but I again, miss blogging and even have a list now in my book of lists of topics to write about.
Here is what I have been keeping up on; The Election is under a week away, this time next week I will know if all the work went into something productive or if the people who hate taxes won. Seriously, I don’t like taxes, I do like safe streets and our town moving in the right direction. The schools need to be funded. period. When I hear someone complain in the paper about how their taxes will increase by $500 a year I do a little mental math and see that their house is APPRAISED for TAX (not what it would sell on the market for mind you) at over $500,000.00. The tax is under $10 per 100k of home value. Please don’t cry on my shoulder about how you can’t afford it as you sip your $5 latte and type letters to the editor on your brand new laptop. I digress… We pledged a positive campaign and we are sticking by it.
In this last week we have a rally on Saturday, we are doing some last minute press in the paper, and I’m increasing the volume on all our social media. I do hope it works, the alternative is really not fun.
Halloween. I don’t know if the kids noticed but this year we didn’t do as much as normal but I still pulled off a few fun things. The world also wasn’t helping, 2 events we were supposed to go to got rained out. They were all super excited heading out to school today for their Halloween adventures. 1 is going to the pumpkin patch so she had to put on cold weather gear since this week we are at freezing temps. 1 is in the costume parade and 1 is watching and I’ll be there too taking pictures. Tonight we are going to trick or treat door to door with friends and then go to the fantastic indoor party we love. I’m also making the skull-shaped pizza for dinner. Last night was mummy dogs, I’ve been sneaking spiders and eyeballs (fake) into lunches and snacks all last week, and today this is their snack.
I also gave them the once yearly treat of cereal with marshmallows. Who does not love Halloween theme cereal!
And as always we did the shirts for 2 weeks before, here is the final day and while I didn’t do my normal daily picture this outfit was too cute to ignore.
we did the pumpkin carving thing, only one did actual carving and the others painted. It looks pretty idealized in the picture but in reality, I was so tired I could hardly help so they got free reign on design.
We also did get out to two events, a trunk or treat that had a fun little ‘spooky’ music play after. Given that it was at a church they could not resist throwing in some all saints day things and that was actually pretty cool. They also let the kids do a bell song and even with no practice (they held up cards for the color bell) they were ok. Some kids just rang the entire time but they must have special church bells that work together so it was loud but not horrible.
the other event was the Highschool spooky concert. I love that they get so into it and even though the selection of Halloween style music arranged for a band, orchestra and chorus must be limited, they have been different every year.
And I think this is long enough. I have to get out and do some things before the events for today get rolling. Tomorrow we start daily blogging so I’ll put up the costumes in their completeness 🙂 Hope you all have a happy Halloween.
This year with all the extra work I’m doing I can’t handcraft each costume so step one was the thrift store for all 3 girls. We scored on 2 (Amazon took care of 3) and here is my incredibly easy Jasmine costume.
- We got lucky at the store to find a women’s skirt in the right color and with gorgeous Indian beading. I was really just looking for a skirt in the correct color and gauzy fabric so I think that even if you don’t find something beaded you can find something ‘right’ I took some ribbon and stitched it onto the top to make two straps. We were lucky that the fit was pretty good otherwise but my plan was to make a few tucks if it was too big. The extra perk is that the length lets us get away with normal leggings, not poofy pants, and, since it is so pretty she doesn’t notice that it isn’t the belly showing style that Jasmine actually wears. This works much better for a 5 year old.
2. For the iconic hair, I got a simple black wig and some foldover elastic in the right color. It was easy to tie 3 spots to make just the right hairdo for Jasmine. Foldover elastic is easier than ribbon since it won’t slip.
3. The key to costumes is getting some details right and for Jasmine, the headband with the jewel is the most memorable. I used Sculpey clay and got a pack of ‘gems’ that had a big one in the right blue. The only trick I did was in order of operations;
- make the round piece of clay and press the jewel into it to make an imprint. Remove jewel and poke 4 holes in the imprint like buttonholes
- bake Sculpey clay
- sew the gold onto a length of foldover elastic, just like a button
- glue gem into its spot, covering the sewing
- position the headband onto the wig and pin/sew
We tried to make the gold necklace and hoop earrings also out of Sculpey clay. The earrings worked but I’m not sure they are worth it since the hair covers her ears and the clips hurt her after 10 min. The necklace was a failure, broke in 5 min so we scratched that and just used the pretty chunky necklace in the right color (also a thrift find).
This entire thing had about 10min of hand sewing, some creative shopping, preschool level sculpting, and hot glue. I won’t be winning any cosplay prizes but I think she captures the spirit of the princess and she loves it. It cost about $15 total and I think she will actually wear the dress again and NOT look like a costume.
Yesterday was Monday, my well-documented love of Monday persists. It is the day to put things back together or start new things. The kids happily went off to school because, for them, this is a 3 day week. They have Thursday through Monday off for Minnesota’s best made up holiday – MEA (?) weekend. It is a conference, I think, maybe hunting opens? I’m not even sure but I am just glad that random school vacations don’t mean career limiting moves.
I’m cramming what I normally do all week into 3 days but I’m also plotting what we can all do together. Sometimes they are fantastic at helping, sometimes I don’t get anything done. We will have to see… I can say my goal is to get all the winter and summer stuff swapped and maybe, just maybe, make it so a car could park in our garage. Aim high you know.
The title works a little for last weekend too. While not actually a week long, Lars left for an event in way far away South Dakota (11 hours and an entire time zone away) on Friday morning. I had Friday solo and decided to take the opportunity to do one of the local hikes that I had been meaning to do for years. There was a set of difficult people on facebook (politics.. ugh) so a few hours outside taking pictures of fall leaves was just what I needed. I did try and do something responsible by replacing the lightbulbs in my laundry room fixture and I say try because while I did get them replaced I did it wrong and actually broke the fixture… oops put that problem on the shelf for Monday…
My solo weekend was well planned to NOT be particularly solo. Friday we had a long wished for sleepover with one of Zoe’s friends. It was more work than it should have been, who thinks bringing logs from the backyard into the bedroom is a good idea? Saturday morning was not up to par for sleepover fun because we all had early things to do, she had a soccer game and we had a vote yes event. The event went well, there was a great playground but don’t you know it Fiona fell and smashed her face. Not the best exit queue but gets the others going.
The kids were a bit terrible with fighting on Saturday after we got home and my nerves were on edge from dealing with yahoo trolls on the internet, so I was a bit shouty and separated them all but had a light at the end of the tunnel – we had an afternoon outing planned with our old daycare friends. They arrived after lunch and we all went out to the girlscout haunted camp event and it was really fun. The kids pulled it together and were happy and cooperative and Jon is one of those friends that it feels like no time passes. We left the camp due to rain but had been there for 4 hours already! They stayed for some pizza and it was a fun cap to the day.
Sunday everyone actually slept in, making up a bit of sleepover sleep debt. They also played together like it was their job. So well that I called a friend to watch them so I could grocery shop because they didn’t want to leave their game. I needed to tidy and shop because Lars’s cousin was coming to town and we have not seen her (in person) for 6 years or more. Vacation Mom also saved the day by whisking in and talking them all swimming so I could get in a quick workout and finish the cleaning. Everyone needs an extra mom friend on hand! Lars got home just after his cousin arrived and the visit was fantastic. We got all the family info and played a game and had a lovely dinner. She even showed us how to use snapchat, I can’t wait to totally figure it out but it really works well as a kid distractor. The kids were good and while they ducked a few of their standard Sunday chores I’ll take it for their generally great behavior.
It was a long 3 days, I needed my Monday yesterday. Instead of just getting ahead though I decided it was time to fix all the lighting issues in the house. That is a story for tomorrow where hopefully I have a happy ending to the saga but let’s just say if you want some customer service, just drop a giant fluorescent bulb in the store.
I want to wrap up all the Halloween culminating with yesterday, but, I can’t not acknowledge that we are continuing our version of dio del los muertos. Since our day of the dead is pretty low key this year I can start there. Years ago I started a family tradition of remembering our family and friends especially on this day. I have an album we look through, we talk about everyone. I try to keep the conversation to the things each person did in their life but we always end up with cautionary messages around how each person died, probably not the worst thing to discuss. I get a bouquet of flowers and plan a nice treat and that is what we do. This year we added zero people to the book and I am very glad. There are one or two people on the roof, but, they are really doing well all things considered. It is a reminder though that we need to love people in the moment because you don’t quite know when it may be over. Two people in my book were alive one day and gone the next with zero warning. Can’t be scared, can take care of yourself, can be mindful of friends and family.
Yesterday, as Zoe said, was the last day of Halloween. It was a fun Halloween season but I’m glad that I can put it away. After a while, the decorations turn into clutter and I’m done with them. I volunteered to help at school and I basically spent alllllll day there and it was fun but exhausting. I started in Zoe’s class working at one of the stations in the Halloween party. Ironically the other parent I was paired with was a dad, and, his daughters name is Zoey – no end of silly questions from that – but he was a great partner and we ran that marshmallow slingshot event like champs. After 60 kids routed through they all went to a little movie while I and two other moms helped them make Frankenstein hand prints and after it was obvious help was needed with the hands washing part I moved over to that job. Little kids have an amazing range of hands! You get used to your kids but looking at about 50 different hands yesterday there was just a real diversity of size and shape.
Anyway, then I went to lunch with the kids but they don’t eat together so I had 2.5 lunch periods. Fiona actually bridges the two lunch times so I didn’t have a full 3 lunches in the cafeteria. After lunch, I helped a dozen kids get their costumes in order and when Zoe’s class went to the library I thought I might check in on Niamh’s class. They said they didn’t need help earlier but when I got there I was sucked right in because they absolutely needed me to run the candy decorating buffet. Things ran really smoothly but again, its fun to see how different kids that are all basically the same demographic can be.
The 3rd grade party complete I had just enough time to stake out a spot with Fiona to watch the Halloween parade and then I collected my children and came home to collapse. And that is all BEFORE trick or treating! I took a little break and let them zone out to TV while I thanked my lucky stars I didn’t become an elementary teacher.
Back into costumes and the special Halloween makeup and I sent the kids out with Lars while I got myself ready and ate a bit of dinner (so I would not eat all the candy). Lars was semi dissapointed I didn’t have time to make him a costume so I pulled this together in about 5 minutes and it made him so happy. Half to have a costume and half because I didn’t forget about him!
We seriously had more candy than we eat in 6 months from just our block but we went out to the big party anyway. It was very festive and fun and well lit and warm, just like every year I’m glad we go. The candy is bountiful and on our way out they topped up every trick or treater with a giant scoop to fill their container. We have soooooo much candy! Back at our house, we had about 10 kids come and take from our plate and I’m happy to say that toys beat candy in the selection. We got bendy skelatons and choclate eyeballs and there is only one bendy left~ The kids fell into candy comas and I followed them not too long after.
Halloween is not quite over since I didn’t get good pictures of the costumes all together. The weather yesterday was foggy and dim and I needed that down time between school and going out to NOT be direction a photoshoot so this weekend we will get offical pictures and be finished 🙂
Oh, this weekend we had an excellent time out at a costume party where we left the kids at a friends house so I slept until 8am, undisturbed, for the first time in 8 years. We also brought this ‘winekin’ (a pumpkin that has a bag of wine inside) and it went over quite well.
And that gets us basically up to date.
For the next month I’m going to try and post daily for the November challange. It will be harder this year since I’m not in the daily posting grove anymore but I’ll give it a try. There was someone onver the weekend that was very bored and read nealry 500 of my posts so if that person is here agian, I’ll be writing more, don’t worry – the story is not over!
Some of this has been on Instagram or facebook but I’m going to collect it all here for those of you who only read “da-blog”. I miss my Thankful Thursday exercise because that was where I collected all the cool things that had been going on that didn’t totally merit a post but Thursdays have gotten crazy, however, there are no rules against Thankful Friday~ I could go with the Friday Followup to get the double letter thing… Anyway, in listy form, here it all is.
Costumes are complete! We have not worn them in their 100% glory yet because I don’t trust the blue leggings on the Poliwag until ‘real’ Halloween. Although the leggings I got for Niamh from Oriental Trading as part of my Halloween partnership have held up really well. We went to a local Trunk or Treat that had outside stuff and an indoor little craft and carnival theme.
I decided on doing a simple hood for the Dedene and Zoe wanted it to cover her eyes so I made cartoon eyes around the hole and it worked out really well. The Flarion tail is still a nemesis… I am getting pretty anti tail and wing. Love ears though, if it can go on a hat or headband I’m game.
Last week I talked about the distinct lack of kid-sized halloween shirts. I got 2 black and 2 white shirts, a roll of white lace and a remnant of black lace (all from Walmart so you can do this too). I made a template of the ghost from paper and then just laid the lace over it to cut them in rows. Started from the bottom row on the shirt and went up. I used the stretch stitch and only sewed along the top edge of each row except for the top row I sewed down the sides. For the witch hat I used a stretch stitch around the whole edge and then sewed on the ribbon. On Niamh’s I actually cut in an arch to make it look 3D but I’m not sure you can tell. The real win is that both girls loved them.
I actually posted a different picture of the ghost shirt first that has a Fiona in a grump photobomb and a friend commented “What I see is that is stinks to be youngest”. Fiona has about 15 different shirts but don’t worry, I took a picture of todays outfit too…
This is an “I dress myself” because that is a halloween shirt over a summer dress and you can’t see the watermelon seed leggings because they are covered by octopus leg warmers. Oh, and don’t miss the spider in her hair, thats why she is making that face, she is trying to show the spider.
Speaking of spiders in hair, here is a good and super easy hair accessory.
I did a normal pony tail and then put the spider on top and used a single clear tiny hair binder and it will stay on no problem. Zoe had one too but she was out the door already.
I’m low on spooky food this year. I’ve done popcorn ghosts and mummy dogs but mornings are too busy for crazy food every day. I might do more for real halloween…
And that is the week of halloween! We are carving pumpkins with vacation Mom this weekend and a few other little crafts.
Time for me to go collect the kids so sorry about the minimilally editited post!
This past weekend we had an important local event that drew friends from all over. The best part about a local event is that we get the opportunity to have houseguests and this time we went one step further and did a dinner party at a local restaurant post event where the kids were all left at my house. All 17 kids….
It started smaller, at first the teen daughter of the family staying with us volunteered to babysit her siblings and my three so we could go out. That grew to include another family with 4 kids and then another and you see where this is going. Fortunately, all the additional kids were 8 or older so not too much of a babysitting issue, and, of the 16 three were ‘responsible teens’ for the supervision side of the equation. They also all know eachother so that helped too.
What also helped was 8 pizzas and 10 packs of ramen. And Netflix and by a turn of fortune, a cool little craft.
The craft is courtesy of Oriental Trading who contacted me two weeks ago to offer me store credit in return for a post (and here is that post!). My love of oriental trading is well documented, just look at my puppy party, but don’t worry – my views are my own and that is what you get here!
When I got my store credit, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Literally… I actually got candy because who can resist eyeball candy? I also got bendy skeletons and both are safely hidden for Halloween night treats for the trick or treat kids. (I’ll let you know who wins this year; candy or toy). I also got what I thought was a single foam Halloween house but in what turns out to be a trend in me not reading the fine print, it was 12 sets of Halloween houses. That was a happy accident for me because of the incoming hoard of children!
So, we left the kids, the pizza, and the house kits and took our 25 person party off to Stella’s on 97. When we got back 3 hours later there was no pizza, no ramen and unfortunately no houses… on the positive all the kids supposed to be asleep were.
This apparent tornado zone was initially blamed on kids just being tired after a long day but then we reviewed the directions and saw that you need glue to make it work. I thought these were sticky pieces like other kits I’ve gotten, but, they do actually say it needs glue (sold separately) however in my excitement I just didn’t read that bit. To their credit, the kids did find glue and had made some progress but the littlest kids (under 5) lost interest.
I’m glad I am able to end this with a positive, the next morning Niamh went directly to the pile of parts and she and her glue and her relative peace of only 6 other kids in the house produced this picture perfect specimen. Zoe finished hers later in the day.
Moral of the story is I was right that my kids would like this craft, it definitely needs some concentration and mastery of glue. It would have been much easier if they were peel n stick but they did manage in the end.
The other goodies I got from Oriental Trading will pop up in posts over the next month including some leggings I got for their costumes from the costume center but I wanted to get this one up in case YOU want to order before Halloween. Put aside about 3 hours to jump down the rabbit hole of great ideas and fun projects, and, read the fine print…
ps. I was very tempted to get this because Zoe has been begging for a dog but I decided it was a tad too morbid for a 6 year old.
pps. Our house party grew and we crushed our sleepover record. We had our 5, another family of 5, 2 more teens, another couple and we had to actually look and make sure anther guy was not crashed under a table because nobody was sure if he left or not.