To help everybody get into the Halloween spirit, we decided to have a Spooky-ooky dinner. The kids had heard me mention this back at the very beginning of October and started pestering me about it every day, wondering when it was time for our "Pooky-pooky" dinner, as Isaac called it. So, we had it a little early. On the menu: Bones and Blood Monster Eyeballs Monster Toes Dirt cups with worms And everyone's favorite, Witches Brew Sareny and Isaac got to add the secret last ingredient to the brew, eyeballs. The kids totally thought it was the best thing ever, so we pretty much repeated the menu last weekend when we were hosting the babysitting club at our house. Everybody had to have a turn stirring the witches brew and cackling, "Boil, boil!" We also decorated Halloween sugar cookies, and made these really cool "Witch's Finger" pens. I'll have to post some pictures from the cool Halloween crafts we have been keeping busy with lately.
I mentioned in an earlier post how we are trying to help our children (and ourselves) be more active. Two weekends ago, we took the kids on a little family hike out at Estrella Mountain. It wasn't super long, but was a good distance for our family. Isaac said he was tired about 100 yards into the hike, and I was a little concerned, but that was actually the last he mentioned it until we were almost back at the van. I was so proud! He wanted to hold my hand the entire time. And apparently, while I took a ton of adorable pictures of Finley, I didn't get any of just him. Guess it's part of the whole middle child thing. :( Finley really enjoyed the hike, and was happy to be able to walk. I think it was partly she was excited about her new shoes, and partly just being together outdoors. She walked probably half of the hike, which tells you a) it really wasn't that long of a hike and b) it was mostly pretty easy terrain. She spent the other half of the hike like this. Sareny had to make sure she was the leader. If anyone started to pass her, she would race ahead so she could make sure to still be the leader (an oldest kid thing?) She also had a great time and asked when we could go back. We really had such a nice time, we are going to start going on hikes more often. I think I've been assuming the kids weren't able to do things like that, and they went and proved me wrong and had a great time doing it.
Okay, so clear back at the beginning of August, we met my sister Lexi at my mom and dad's house with the sole purpose of going to Build-a-Bear together in Las Vegas. As a side benefit, it was nice to see everyone, of course, but really, the trip was planned around the bears. You may be thinking how sweet that we wanted to take the kids to make bears, but let's be real here. I wanted to make a bear. So did Lexi. I decided the kids had enough unused Birthday and Christmas money to make bears too, so they got to tag along. :) Choosing the bear was harder for some than others. Isaac saw the Panda bear and immediately grabbed it. Decision over. Sareny tried to pick the Hello Kitty with a humungous head, but mean parent that I am, I vetoed it. She considered a unicorn, but finally settled on the limited edition Hannah Montana bear.
Lexi and I were the slowest to choose our bears. These important decisions take time. I chose curly bear, because it was so cute and soft, and Lexi chose Read Bear, which was also cute. Then you help fill your bear with fluff.
Putting the heart in your bear is an essential and long-revered experience. They have a whole process you have to go through, like kissing the heart, rubbing it on your tummy, jumping up and down with it, and they make adults do it too. Fortunately, they can't also force adults to post pictures of themselves doing these things on their blogs though.
Then you have to carefully bathe your bear. And finally, it's time to choose your bear's outfit and accessories, a process that can take hours. Unless you're Isaac, and knew before you even got there that you wanted the batman costume. He also opted for the tighty-whitey underclothing instead of the camo boxers.
Sareny picked the flamboyant gold lame dress first thing for her bear, although she ended up changing her accessories before the afternoon was through. Oh, all right, probably before I had even selected any part of my bear's outfit. I'm telling you, it was difficult to choose!
Somehow, despite all odds and predictions made by Keith, we did actually choose outfits and accessories for our new furry friends.
Even though she did not get a bear, Finley was pretty happy. I had carefully explained to her beforehand that she simply had not saved up enough allowance money for this excursion, and perhaps next time when she wants to spend her hard-earned money on junk, she'll think twice. I think it did the trick.
The final step is choosing a name for your bear that they print out on an adoption sheet for you.
Below is me with Mitchie, Lexi with Primrose Hannah Montana, Isaac with Bruce Wayne, and Sareny with Selena Gomez. We had a great time!
Finley likes playing in the rocks while we wait outside in the morning for Sareny's ride to school. Makes me wonder both how she gets into this position, and how she manages to balance in it. It is really difficult to tear Isaac away from the computer. But I'm trying. It is not easy. This day we got out his bike, twist car, and trike. He remarked that he was tired after riding his bike only 2 garage lengths, so I was surprised that I was able to keep him busy outside for an entire hour. I was proud.
It's nice that it's finally cooling off!
Love the tongue sticking out.
A few weeks ago we went somewhere that Sareny had the chance to "ice skate." It wasn't actually real ice, it was some weird plastic stuff, but it felt quite a bit like ice skating. (I know, because I got out there to help her. Turns out she didn't really need my help. Also turns out, ice skating is very tiring on the ankles!)
She did so good!
The instructors told them to keep their arms out to the side, and she was very diligent about this. Maybe that's why she never fell down! And in case you're wondering, I didn't fall down either. Thank goodness!
I love how well the kids play together sometimes. Finley loves to get down and do whatever her big sister is doing. They sat and colored together for quite a while.
Such good friends!
And then for something you'll never believe...we opened up the Cars! All 120+ of them. The kids arranged them into a long line.
We all picked out our favorite(s).
Some of our Lightning McQueens.
One benefit of opening them up--it is now far less important to me that we have every single one. In fact, the other day at the store we saw Burnt McQueen, and did we buy it? No we did not. Baby steps.
Here's what the kiddos look like these days. I thought I got some decent ones of them--no easy feat. Isaac usually does a kind of silly, faky smile, but I caught him right as he was telling me he saw a bee and he seemed to have a natural smile on his cute little face.
I love this guy! I'm not even kidding, my hair looks so much better when styled with my new Chi. Go get yourself one, they're $60 at Coscto, and while that is outrageously expensive if you're cheap like me, I must say it is worth it. Many of you probably have owned one of these for years and are now wondering where I've been, since I just heard about them. I don't know. You'll just have to excuse my dowdiness and lack of fashion all these years. I mean, really, I didn't even know about plucking my eyebrows until after I was married. What do you expect?
I stay at home with 4 beautiful children--3 girls and 1 boy. Sareny is 9, Isaac is 6, Finley is 4, and baby Keeley is one! I've been married to my best friend for 15 years now, and we're still happy. Life is beautiful!