Saturday, October 31, 2009


Friday we went to the pumpkin patch to pick out the children's pumpkins to carve. Usually we do this earlier and make a fun trip out of it. Somehow this year we ran out of time so instead of going to our usual pumpkin patch we went to one a little more local. It was a bit of a surprise when we rounded the corner to find this:

There were no more pumpkins left! At least none that weren't rotted and gross! Fortunately, they had some they had already picked and each child was able to find the "perfect" pumpkin.

The children's creations.

Bryce's creation. He used a stencil from Martha Stewart. I love it and will probably have to have one every Halloween from now on. Really, isn't it amazing?

Bryce and I both really enjoy going with the children trick or treating. But of course that means that no one is out our house to hand out candy. So for the children who come trick or treating I made a pumpkin to hold lollipops. Now all the children have to do is grab one (or two).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boo Nilla Shakes

Grace had a friend over after school today and I made them Boo Nilla Shakes! We've made these before and they are easy, good and fun. Always a good combination I think.

I should note that while I love homemade whip cream I don't use it as it is suggested in the recipe. Honestly, whipping up whip cream would take longer, mess up one more dish and not make any difference to the children. So Reddi Whip it was.

got milk?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Harris and the hospital

Harris had an endoscopic scope yesterday to try to figure out why food keeps getting stuck in his throat. We were able to go to an amazing children's hospital and the nurses were terrific at getting Harris comfortable and involved in the whole process of getting an IV. He practiced putting the IV in a doll and when the time came for him to get the IV he didn't even cry! The whole process went great until he finally woke up, ate a popsicle and promptly brought that popsicle right back up (I know, I know... you really wanted that piece of information!). Several hours later and one anti-nausea medication and we were on our way home. We were super proud of Harris and how great he did throughout the entire day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Week Menu

In honor of Halloween I decided to have some fun with our menu for the week. It might not be the most nutritious and delicious food we've ever eaten but it will be FUN!

Halloween Week Menu

Gruel Soup with Croaked Monsieurs

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Our weekend was filled with Halloween festivities. Bryce and I went to a Halloween party on Saturday and had a great time- as usual. I was amazed at all the clever and creative costumes everyone came up with. This year I went as spring (three friends were summer, winter and fall) and Bryce went as a gardener!

On Sunday Bryce and I hosted our annual "after the parade party." We had a beautiful fall day for it!

Don't Grace and Harris look like they are about to take off in flight? She on her broom and he using his magical ways?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Costumes 2009

My Mom has been toiling away all week on the children's costumes. They are finished and they look fantastic! The children just love them. Grace is a witch (a good one) and Harris is a wizard.

It's hard to see the details from the pictures but Grace's cape has spider webs on it with purple sparkles. Her dress is simple but so cute and exactly what she wanted. She had very specific ideas this year so my Mom sort of made up the patterns as she went along. Pretty good huh?

My Mom lined Harris' robe with purple velvet and also made pants for him to wear. We used silver hairspray in his hair to try to match the beard. I doubt the beard will make it on Halloween night but we will see.

The children did not base their costumes on any specific witches and wizards but as many of you know I happen to be fond of some very specific witches and wizards so these costumes make me very happy- if a bit nostalgic for Harry Potter.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stacked pumpkins

I love our stacked pumpkins. They are so easy to do since you don't have to hollow out the insides.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Candy wreath

Years ago I tore out a a picture of a Halloween candy wreath from Martha Stewart Living. Every year I think about how much I would like to make it and yet I never seem to get to it. Well, this year was different. It took me several starts and gave me a few fits but I did it (with the help of a very patient candy holder, Bryce)! And I really like it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Very Scary Halloween Dinner

Last night we hosted a Halloween dinner and it was frightfully fun!

I thought it was a bit of a challenge to find food that fit the theme of the night and was tasty too! Fortunately, everything turned out to be pretty good!

We made a tablecloth out of cheap, plain white fabric. My favorite part of setting the table was that I didn't have to polish the silver- it looked better tarnished for this night! Right before we ate I put a olive and rosemary roach on everyone's plate.

The witch is in. One of the benefits to wearing a witch's hat was that I didn't have to fix my hair! Why is it that when I have a dinner party I always run out of time to get myself ready?

I think that the ribs deserve their own closeup. Gross huh?

Enjoying a Berry Scary Martini

The desserts were fun to make. I love the eyes peeking out of the pie!

The End

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween dinner invite

I've been fortunate to be a part of a dinner group for the last year (or has it been two?). There are four couples and we rotate to each other's homes once a season for great food, drink and fellowship! It's my turn and Saturday I will be hosting a Halloween inspired dinner. It's the perfect opportunity to make creepy, slightly gross food.

We don't normally send out invitations, we are a pretty casual crew, but for this dinner I thought it would be fun. I used the severed finger kit from Martha Stewart at Michaels. It's one of those things that Martha featured years ago in her magazine and would take hours to make, but it only took 5 minutes to put together using the kit. It's great that you can now get her things at craft stores, but I still miss Martha the Catalogue for Living!

image from here

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween Decorations

We have several new Halloween decorations this year. Here are my three favorites...

I seriously love this one. It makes me smile every time I look at it. Bryce cut a witch and wizard's hat out of construction paper and we taped it on.

What's not to love about gummy teeth? His eyes are malted milk balls and his nose is licorice. We used pins to stick them in.

If we could only get the kittens to leave them alone....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pasta x-rays

(click on picture to see up close)

Yesterday, the children and I made such a fun craft! The idea came from an old Martha Stewart Kids and was a great way to discuss the skeletal system (which Grace is about to study in school) and was perfect for the season of Halloween!

We begin by reading You Can't See Your Bones with Binoculars by Harriet Ziefert. Then using the book and the page from Martha Kids we started constructing our skeletons. It was helpful to have lots of different types of pasta (fortunately the pasta was on sale $5 for 5) and next time I might use heavier weight construction paper. Using alphabet pasta we spelled out (this was great for Harris who is just learning his alphabet!) the names of the bones. They look fantastic displayed on our bulletin board!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day

Happy Columbus Day! Grace had the day off from school although Harris did not. As Grace and I walked to pick up Harris I discovered that Grace had no idea who Christopher Columbus was... indeed she thought he was a biblical character! I realize that Christopher Columbus' voyage to America and his "claim" of the land for Spain can be controversial but I find it a bit sad that she doesn't even know why Columbus day is a federal holiday. Naturally, I turned toward a book to help me explain and discuss who Columbus was and what he did. The illustrations of this book by Peter Sis are really not to be missed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Does it get any better?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sidewalk Paint

Yesterday the children and I made sidewalk paint. It was super easy and turned out to be a great way for Grace to practice her spelling words!

Sidewalk Paint
Mix 1/4 cup of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and add drops of desired color. Use a paintbrush to brush on!

Next time I think that I might work up to 1/4 of a cup of water because it was easier for Harris if the mixture was a bit thicker. Also, we used paste brushes that I found at Michaels for 39 cents apiece. I didn't want the rough blacktop to destroy our good paintbrushes!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Meals for new Moms

When Harris was born my neighborhood friends created a schedule of meals to be delivered to us and it was wonderful! Having homemade food delivered to your door is not only a relief but comforting in a time that can be unsettled.

I've been happy to deliver food to friends who have had babies but it is always a logistics challenge to get everyone signed up and accounted for. Reply all emails go back and forth and can be confusing. Also, the person who puts together the list is left to remind people and keep track of it all.

Recently, a dear friend had a baby and friends and I wanted to set up a schedule of meal delivery for her. I had heard of Food Tidings and thought we should give it a try! I am so glad we did, it made things infinitely easier. This free service helps you to make a schedule and send out a link to the site to everyone who might want to be involved. Everyone can sign up at their convenience. You even receive an email to remind you of when it is your time to bring dinner. It literally took me 5 minutes to set up an account and couldn't have been easier. I highly recommend it!

P.S. This would also be a great site to use for families in a crisis- health or otherwise.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Family Costume

Yesterday, I forgot to share one of my favorite Halloween costume memories. The year that Grace was a chicken I was pregnant with Harris and due any day (he was born Nov. 6th). I thought it was oh so clever to dress up as the egg to Grace's chicken! My Mom took some white fabric and gathered it up into a simple tunic. If you look closely you can see where we wrote, "Egg-land's Best, All Natural."

P.S. Bryce was a farmer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween Costumes... through the years

Over the weekend we began decorating our home for Halloween. That means we pulled out and decorated the Halloween tree! Oh, how I love the miniature costumes. Almost as much as I love the children's actual costumes. You see I love our Halloween costumes more than a person is supposed to love Halloween costumes. My Mom has lovingly made each one for the children and they are really special to them and me. I really appreciate the many hours that she has toiled stitching, measuring and creating!

This was Grace's first ever costume and our first Halloween as parents. She looked so adorable and Mom made beautiful butterfly wings for me as well. If I recall I made my Mom and sister come to our Halloween dinner dressed up. They were awfully good sports about it!

This strawberry costume was so cute but a bear to make. After Mom made the body of the strawberry I had to stitch on each individual "seed."

The chicken is probably my favorite costume yet. Love it.

This year we had just made the big move and my Mom made the costume long distance! Fortunately, she was able to bring them up herself.

For sentimental reasons the princess and the frog were also my favorite costumes.

This was the year of Grace's mouse obsession.

Last year's woodland creatures.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I was a lady of leisure yesterday because I had the privelage of attending two birthday celebrations! I went to lunch with Kristin, Sonja and Emily (and baby Shona!) to celebrate Sonja's birthday. We had a lovely lunch outside.

For dinner I went out with Rachel, Gretchen and Marci to celebrate Marci's birthday! We went to a new to me restaurant that was fabulous (food and atmosphere).

It was wonderful to spend the day with friends. How lucky am I to have such true friends?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book Print

As I'm sure you realize, I love children's books. I truly believe that I could teach my children most of what they need to know in life through children's books. So when I spotted this print I just knew that I had to have one. It speaks to me. It reminds me of the time that we have spent reading to our children every single night and lots of times during the day. It reminds me of the classic children's books that line our shelves and some that we no longer read because the children have outgrown them. It reminds me how important stories are.

We hung the print in the hallway outside the children's bedrooms. It makes me smile.

P.S. The print also called out to me because we have read, loved and own all of the books except for three.

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