Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Happenings

I just got all my sugar-rushed children to sleep and thought I would post some pictures of the last few days of fall merrymaking.
This is the first year the kids have really gotten into the spirit of things, pestering me about pumpkin carving and worrying about the all important costume choice. I put the pumpkin purchase off way too late this year. I thought I would try to get some over the weekend- no biggy right? It was pouring buckets on Friday and I stopped at no fewer than six stores without any success. I couldn't find a pumpkin in this town. I found a few pathetic specimens at the local hardware store and they were charging 15 bucks per squash! At last, sopping wet and bedraggled, I found what seemed to be the last pumpkin in the city at the local Food Lion. And it only cost me 5$. The boys were a bit disappointed not to have one apiece, but we had fun carving it (or at least daddy did).

He decided on a pretty ambitious smile, with lots of little teeth. Eventually he lost patience with the carving knife and got out the drill.

Maybe he should have been a dentist, because the teeth turned out great!

The costume choice was unanimous this year. Pirates!

I hope they choose this every year because it is a super simple costume. A hankie, some boots, one of mommy's blouses and a belt just about does the trick. I always have this aversion to purchasing ready made costumes. Probably because my mom always insisted we find ours around the house. And some of the costumes we came up with when we were little were pretty creative. I like to think of it as a challenge. However, I did purchase James's hat at the dollar store. It was in the clearance bin, and I couldn't pass it up. I am sure it will get a ton of use year round.
He kept asking me if we had a peg leg around the house somewhere, but I told him that if we did, he would have to cut off his leg in order to wear it. That stopped the pestering. However, tonight he noticed a man in the crowd of trick or treaters sporting the same classy dollar store captains hat as his. When we got closer I realized he was an amputee with a real (albeit metal) 'peg leg'. I was about to point this out to James, but he had already spotted it and was horrified. He turned to me with a "Mom, he really did it mom! He cut it off!" He was totally in awe of a guy who would go that far for a costume.

It was so funny to watch as the boys had their first trick or treat outing. Unfortunately Steve couldn't make it, but we went with some dear old friends and had an evening full of trying to herd two strollers and a bunch of hyper monkeys up and down the streets.

But the kids had a blast and my boys couldn't believe that people would just give you candy for the asking. Sebastien hung back a lot at first- he was really spooked by some of the deco, but he overcame it pretty quickly when he realized that a bucket full of candy was at stake.

This little lion just went along for the ride.

After we got home, the boys had a small candy sorting pow-wow at the kitchen table, whispering all the while. When I came over to hustle them into their jammies, I found this. It was totally unprompted by me, and I thought it was about the sweetest thing I had seen in a while. (no pun intended)

(it reads- "the Candy that lays on the tabel is for DaDDy")

Hope you all had a fun evening!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just a lovely day

Not too much to write about today. I thought I would post some pictures of the fall church picnic we attended yesterday. That perfect weather I was talking about a few weeks back has decided to stick around for awhile, and we are loving just sitting around, enjoying the breeze.

I don't usually let my kids have kool-aid, but I yielded yesterday. They were all sporting those lovely red moustaches the rest of the day.

They had a great old-school playground with see-saws and even one of those merry-go-rounds that seem to be illegal in most states now.

Steve even got in a few rounds of this game. I have no idea what it is called, but he got pretty good at it by the end of the day.

And it is official. This boy looks like his daddy. (minus the facial hair)

Happy Fall everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


One of my sisters has a fascination with personality types. She had a book one summer that enabled her to fit every person she knew into a different four-lettered category. Some people were more difficult to place than others, but I have a feeling she could find a place for my oldest son without too much effort.
For instance- my son loves school. He loves the ritual, the assignments, the filling in of empty pages. And he wants to get it right. The only trouble he has ever gotten into in school is when he threw a pouting fit when his teacher put a red X on one of his papers.
When there is a new topic to learn, he drills it over and over. I usually have to stop him so we can move on to something else. Oh, and he starts his homework in the car on the way home.
He is always asking me if I am proud of his work, and makes sure I give him a star at the top of every page he finishes. He was even more ecstatic when I taught him how to draw stars himself last week, and begs me to let him put stars on his own work. If you want further help deciphering his personality type, this was the paper I found on my desk after I taught him to make the stars.

As you can see, rows and rows of practice stars. Not only rows though- a title for his work, and a thorough identification of himself at the top, including his name, and the letter his name begins with, just in case we couldn't figure it out.

But what really killed me was the check list to mark when he had finished each row, with the corresponding pencil color. This boy loves his check lists.

And when he was done, he asked me if I could put a star on the top. Sheesh.

Friday, October 7, 2011

When two (or three) lie down together........

Last year we decided to bite the bullet and make our first bunk bed purchase. Since we had four boys and only one bedroom for them, one of those bunks with the double bed on bottom and single on top seemed the best choice. We figured there would be plenty of room to stretch out, and we could even fit three boys on the bottom if we needed to. We never thought of fitting three boys on the top, but that is how they have chosen to sleep every night since we bought the thing.

The way we figure it, we could have about six girls too and they could all sleep on the bottom. Who needs a bigger house?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Second Spring (alt. title- Enough Already!)

This garden is going to be the death of me. Don't get me wrong, the produce has been great, but it just keeps coming. Sometimes I feel like the guy in that proverb-
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

I mean, it was fun planning and planting it all, but harvesting is hard work. I have canned and frozen and canned some more, and am getting weary. I suppose if we lived back in the day where whatever you grew was what you ate for the whole winter, then I wouldn't be complaining. But just knowing I can buy all this down the street makes me less and less willing to make the effort to store it all away. This was just this morning's harvest- chard, peppers, tomatoes and of course zinnias.

What's funny is that we thought the garden was done at the end of August. We had a long, dry spell that seemed to be bringing the harvest to an end. Everything was limp and going brown, and we were contemplating where to start pulling things up. I kept thinking "this will be my last bouquet of flowers," or "this will be the last bowl of fresh tomatoes", and I must admit I was a bit relieved. Then the weather changed- cooler air, more rain and a lot of sun. The garden decided it was time to start up again in earnest.

This, my friends, is the plot of tomatoes I was ready to pull up a few weeks back. You can't see it, but they are covered with buds and small green fruit.

And this is round two of the green beans, which we planted in August just to see if we could get some more. We are almost there.

My strawberries are being reborn for a third time.

Oh, and up come the dahlias again.

I mean, it's October for crying out loud! We are wondering if this will all indeed come to a second full harvest before the frost decides to kill it all. I guess we shall see.

And then there is this little weed that is growing way too fast.

Slow down, why don't ya?