Halloween Party

Our friends had a Halloween party last weekend.  They have one almost every year.  This year it worked out perfectly.  The kids had two days off school so we could go stay with them for two whole nights.  Denise got all kinds of minute to win it games together.  And there was lots of yummy food.  Of course there was the Royals game to watch too.  Here are some of the costumes.

The Incredibles Costume

The host and hostess and their kids were The Incredibles.  We asked if this was their pregnancy announcement because they were missing the baby, Jack Jack.  They emphatically said no, but they considered borrowing Devin for the night.  Devin does act a lot like Jack Jack.  Totally sweet and then all of a sudden firey mad.

Pinochle Costume

Take a second to see if you can figure this one out on your own……………………………That’s right.  Queen of spades………………………….Yep.  Jack of diamonds……………….Got it yet???……………….Pinochle!!!  We play so much Pinochle with this group of friends and family.  This costume was perfect!

Tourist Costume

These two are tourists.  You need a little background for this one.  They went on a cruise a few weeks ago.  You know, the one with the nurse that worked at the hospital where the Ebola patient was.  And they wouldn’t let the ship dock in Mexico.  And they helicoptered out a sample of her blood to have it tested.  Negative thank goodness!  Thus the medical safety masks.

Where's Waldo Costume

This is my brother and sister-in-law.  He is Waldo and she is the person looking for Waldo.  It’s even cooler because he grew up in the town of Waldo, so whenever he tells people where he’s from they literally say, “Where’s Waldo?”  This was the funnest.  He photo bombed everyone’s pictures all night so Waldo appeared in lots of the pictures.  Here’s some where he’s hiding.  See if you can find him.

football and cheerleader

Here’s my nieces as the cutest football player and cheerleader you’ve ever seen.  The football jersey was actually her dads that he wore in high school.

Denise had so many cute snacks there.  Here are the broomsticks.

broom sticksShe also had Oreo witch legs similar to these.  Hers actually looked better.  She had a little witch hat on top and shoes on bottom.  I wish I had gotten a picture!

witch leg oreos

The pumpkin poo that she had was pretty tasty.

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My niece put together some pretty awesome treats too.  Here are some that she brought.  I think she may be a chef some day.  She loves to make stuff.  And it’s good!

frankenstein pudding

Frankenstein Pudding like this from A Turtle’s Life for Me

candy corn rice krisipies

Candy Corn Rice Krispies like these from celebrate-creativity.com

chocolate covered ghost strawberries

Chocolate covered ghost strawberries like these from Taste of Home

Then we played a partner game.  All the ladies went into a room and wrote down the first thing that came to mind when Denise said ten different words.  Then we went in with the guys and our spouses had to guess what words we wrote down.  It was entertaining to hear some of the answers and to see the reactions of the couples as they missed or guessed right.  Jeremiah and I ended up in a tie breaker with another couple.  We ended up winning though!!  It was fun and I got to know some of the couples that I didn’t know a lot better with this game.

 It was such a good time.  Halloween is a super fun holiday.  I mean, you get to dress up and act like a kid again.  I love putting our costumes together and then getting to see what everyone else does.

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Halloween Traditions

I love family traditions. I have a terrible memory so I don’t remember a lot of details of my childhood, but I do remember specific family traditions we had. Those are precious memories. Now my husband and I are trying hard to create special family traditions with our girls. I want them to have those precious memories too. I want them to think back on their childhood and smile at the fun times we had together as a family and the traditions we upheld. Maybe they will continue them with their own families some day. Most of our family traditions revolve around holidays. When it comes to Halloween we have two major ones: visit to the pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving.  Jason and I have been carving pumpkins together since high school so that was a continued tradition. Ellasyn was 6 months old at her first Halloween and that was our first year at the pumpkin patch. I know she won’t remember going to the pumpkin patch at 6 months old or carving pumpkins, but we will remember and we have pictures for her to see.

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Now that our girls are a little older these family traditions are becoming more fun and more special. This year the older two girls had a blast at the patch. They were able to really participate and enjoy all the activities more. Ellasyn had a couple days off school for conferences so Jason took off work too. It was nice to go during the week when it wasn’t quite as busy. We spent a good 4-5 hours there! It was beautiful weather and an awesome day as a family! These days are my favorite!

pumpkincarving2014

Last night was our annual pumpkin carving/pumpkin painting night. The girls wanted to carve Olaf this year. We found a stencil on Disney to use. As our tradition goes, we carved while the girls painted. Ensley wasn’t quite into the painting yet, but I am sure she will be by next year!

Royals

Jason painted a KC pumpkin since we were rooting on the Royals during the events.

Olafpumpkin

Our finished Olaf

And just for fun, here are some of our past pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving pictures. Man I wish time would slow down and these sweeties would stop growing up so fast!

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And here’s our crew at Trick or Treat Street downtown last weekend. Of course they wanted to be FROZEN characters!

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 What traditions do you and your family have?

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3 Easy DIY Costumes

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I ended up making three of our costumes this year.  Thank goodness for Devin who simply wanted to be a Ninja Turtle.  I was happy to go to the store and pick that up.  Here are the costumes I had to make.

school crossing

Here is Jeremiah and I as a school crossing sign.  It was really simple to put together and could be pretty last minute.  You need cardboard and black duct tape for the background, black clothes to wear, and black posterboard for the faces and lunch boxes.

things 1

Here is Porsha as Thing 1.  Her friend is dressing up as Thing 2 for their school party.  This was simple to put together too.  I just downloaded a file for the Thing 1 graphic, printed it on iron on transfer paper, and ironed it on a red shirt.  Then I bought tulle and made the skirt.  I found the red and white striped socks online.  The hair clip is a cut up feather boa.

maleficent

Alexa wanted to be Maleficent, but not the dark, scary Maleficent.  She wanted to be the young, impish Maleficent.  Great idea, but there are no costumes for that, so we brainstormed.  I bought the brown dress online.  I did have to cut out the tulle underneath so it wouldn’t poof out so much.  I made the horns by shaping aluminum foil, wrapping in electrical tape, and hot gluing to a headband.  I found the wings for $8.00 at Joann Fabrics.  Steal of the month right there people!  She wanted a necklace and bracelet just like Maleficent’s, so I bought some leather and beads and put those together.  I bought a sheet of leather and sewed it together to make the pouch and then added some twine, beads, and feathers to finish it off.  She was happy with the way it turned out and I think she looks so adorable.

I love Halloween.  Not the dark, creepy Halloween, but the fun “let’s dress up and eat candy” Halloween.  On Thursday, look for a post on the Halloween party that we went to.  It was epic!  Here is that cute Ninja Turtle I was telling you about.

Ninja Turtle

 

Fall Decorating

I don’t like to decorate for Halloween. It may be because it isn’t one of my favorite holidays or it may just be that I am too lazy to decorate for Halloween for October and then have to redecorate Thanksgiving for November (and then redecorate Christmas in December). So in my house I just decorate for fall in general. For me it works because I can keep the decorations up for a good 2 1/2 months or so from the middle of September-November. I love fall. I would even venture to say that is is my favorite season. I love the colors, the smells, the weather, the festivities, the return of a schedule, and the anticipation of the coming holidays. My birthday is in the fall which helps too.

porch


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Decorating the front porch is a fun way to add some curb appeal and welcome people into your home. I use simple things that are easy to change out like bunting and pumpkins. My mom made the pumpkins by spray painting store bought plastic pumpkins and adding fun metal flowers. She is awesome like that! The wooden pumpkin is made from old barn wood (Salvage Sisters).

fallentryway

This fall wreath is extra special because my mom made it for me. I love the “Blessings” sign on it. I added some fall to the entryway with a fall candle in a burlap wrapped jar, some fun pumpkins, a fall sign (Junk Generation), a twine wreath (Primitive Poppy), and some glittery gold leaf bunting (Cottage Collective). All awesome vendors for you locals to check out!

falldecorThe “fall” pumpkin was a fun craft night project. I love how it turned out and how it matches my regular decor while also adding a fall look. The set up behind it has some Indian corn in it. On the other end of the table is some fall potpourri and a fun fall banner (Cottage Collective).

fallmantle

fallshelves

My mantle is complete with the adorable fall bunting from Sami and the built ins have random decorative pumpkins added in here and there. Just enough to be a touch of fall.

fallkitchen

I added a wooden fall pumpkin (Salvage Sisters) above my cabinets and some more decorative pumpkins and turkey (Hobby Lobby) to the countertop to complete my kitchen.

And that is how I decorate for fall. Minimal but still enough to create the fall feeling around the house. I have to complete it with the smells of fall in my Scentsy burner too.

How do you decorate for fall?

Do you do Halloween and Thanksgiving separate?

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Long distance family

How far do you live from your extended family? In the same town? Hours away? States away? Across the country? We live hours away from both our families. In fact, as I write this we are on a 4 1/2 hour journey to Grandma’s house.

I’m not gonna lie. It is hard. Those of you that are farther apart, I don’t know how you do it. There is this balancing act of spending time with family but still managing to build your life at home. We want our kids to be in sports but that means tying ourselves down on the weekends. We want our kids to love their grandparents and enjoy spending time with them but that means giving up some of those precious days when they don’t have school so they can be with them.

My parents are migraters. They come here for the summer and then head south for the winter. What that means for us is that we have to fight the urge to spend all our free time with them when they’re here because we know they’ll be gone for a good chunk of the year.

And don’t even get me started on holidays. Trying to fit a celebration in with everyone leaves only crummy leftovers for our immediate family. The last few years we have made it a priority to carve out special time to be with our family for Christmas. We realized that time was slipping away and we weren’t making any memories of our own. I hope our kids remember the huge extended family Christmases but also the precious ones we spent at home just the 5 of us.

There’s no one to grab the kids after school or watch the kids so we can go on a date. There’s no mom to rescue me when I have a bad day or dad to help with house repairs. Because when we do see them we want to do fun stuff. Not work or be grumpy.

And before you start feeling sorry for me, it’s also a blessing. Jeremiah and I have built a family together. Just the two of us. Leaning on each other for support and knowing that we will always be there for each other.

I remember growing up we would spend vacations with out cousins. They would visit us. We would visit them. All throughout the year we’d see each other. And then we got older. And we’d see each other less and less. And now I never get to see those precious cousins that I love so much. It makes me sad.

And I remember five years ago thinking “that will never be us. We will always see our brothers and sisters. All the time.” But it’s hard now. They have all those same things going on that tie them down too. We still see them but not as much as we’d like.

Family is important to us. Our precious family of five and also our extended families. No matter how far apart we are!

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