Friday, October 31, 2008

Fabulous Fabric Giveaway!

For all of you fabric lovers out there (I know I can't be the only one!) Sew Katie Sew is doing a fabric giveaway in celebration of her two year blogiversary. Go here to enter. And just so you know, if you enter and win I expect some commission! :)

Thankful Things Swap

I just discovered this Thankful Things swap. A member of the Apronista group I belong to is hosting it. It's such a great idea! Check it out. You have until TODAY (Oct 31) to sign up, if you are interested. Click on the photo to go to the swap details.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We Need to Have a Costume Meeting

This is from one of our favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory.

Days 27 & 28 - Pumpkin Carving!

Pumpkin carving...the pinnacle event of Halloween. Well, that and trick or treating. Nevertheless, in the McMillan house carving pumpkins is considered an art. Kevin could spend hours, no days, on carving a pumpkin. He gets all artistic with shading and such. But for the sake of time and short attention spans (mine) we let the kids choose a simple design.

A cute, simple face to carve. I found this one online.
While Kevin carved, the kids watched him and colored pictures of Dora.

The carving master hard at work.Our lil' pumpkins! Sorry for the underwear's almost impossible to keep these kids in pants these days.

The adorable final product.
As I type this Kevin is busily drawing out his next pumpkin masterpiece, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Days 20-26

Did we drop off the face of the earth? It feels like it! Sorry for my inconsistency in keeping up with the 31 Days of October. I'll admit that I haven't been totally keeping up with my schedule, but we have been busy doing some fun Halloween stuff. Here's what we've been up to the past week or so:
We made candy corn sugar cookies. I saw the recipe on The Recipe Girl blog. I love this blog! She's got the greatest ideas! Go here for the recipe. These were really fun to make. The kids devoured them. It was great.

We finally got around to doing the Spooky Laboratory activity that I had planned a couple of weeks ago. Cade loved mixing and matching the monsters and costumes. He played at it for quite some time.
Myla...not so much. She just wanted to watch Dora.

The ward Halloween block party was so much fun! The Haws family and my mom joined us this year.

Myla got her face painted.
Where else can you see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Spiderman and a dinosaur peacefully hanging out?
(Cade, Jared, Connor)
James the Pirate and Cade the TMNT

Rachel the Cutest Ladybug Ever! and Nicki

Grandma Cat with Gavin (who is supposed to be Tigger but it was way too hot)

Who needs fun booths and cotton candy when there is a dirty puddle to splash in?

Cade and Jared

Myla the Ballerina Princess Why are his sad faces so stinkin' cute??
There is one more week of Halloween fun! We will definitely be more diligent as we count down to Halloween. Tonight....pumpkin carving!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Days 18 & 19

Need I say more?
Poor Gavin has the stomach flu and wasn't keeping anything down. I took him to urgent care yesterday when it had been over 24 hours of vomiting and diarrhea. I was really worried about dehydration. The doctor said he was dehydrated but not severe enough for an IV. Thank goodness! She told me to put him on a Pedialyte-only diet and only an ounce every 2 hours. Although he is certainly not a happy camper, he is doing better.
Hopefully today we can get back to our regularly scheduled program.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 17 - Not Happening

The McMillans are calling in sick today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 16 - Pumpkin Butter & Pepitas

Does anyone doubt that the McMillan family loves pumpkin? I wish there were some fat burning qualities to pumpkin. We eat it so much I could be 20 pounds lighter! Oh well. Today we made pumpkin butter and pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds) from scratch! I've always wanted to make my own pumpkin puree to use in cookies and pie, and it was much easier than I imagined.

These pictures belong to The Pioneer Woman; my pictures just don't turn out as pretty! She's awesome! Check out her website sometime. Her cooking tutorials are very complete and witty. You can find directions on how to make your own pumpkin puree here. Like I said, it's so much easier than I thought it would be. And fun! From that pumpkin puree (I did 2 small pie pumpkins and got about 4 cups of puree) I made pumpkin butter. This is also a pretty simple recipe - vanilla or plain yogurt, pumpkin, powdered sugar and spices. Kevin didn't really dig the texture, but he did like the taste. I like the texture of pumpkin, so I thought it was great (although I do like homemade pear butter a lot better!). I will play around a little more with the spices next time I try it.
Cooking in the oven right now are some pepitas. The kids LOVE pumpkin seeds. Cade has asked me every 5 minutes if they are done yet.

So I have about 3 cups of pumpkin puree left. I'm contemplating making a pumpkin pie. I really want to see if there is a difference between canned and fresh pumpkin. We'll see!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 15 - Pumpkin Magnets

Today we made pumpkin magnets from a kit that I bought at Joann's. The kids have been asking me to make them since they saw me put them away in the craft closet. They didn't quite understand that we had to wait until the day I had planned for it on 31 Days of October; I guess I could've been a little more flexible about that. :) I was a little bummed with the kit because I figured the foam stickies that you put on the foam pumpkins would be stickers. They weren't, so we had to get the dreaded glue out to stick them on. I'm not really a fan of glue right ends up everywhere! Myla's hair, the carpet, the table, the walls, clothes...all victims of glue-smearing from the Glue Monster (aka Myla). But it was fun and the kids are loving that their little creations can join the unorganized mess that is our refrigerator door. They love moving the magnets and pictures and announcements around. Check it out:

Day 14 - The Spooky Laboratory

I totally dropped the ball today. I planned to do The Spooky Laboratory from the Wondertime website. It's a fun activity where you mix and match monsters to make new monsters. I went to print it out and found that the ink in my printer is gone! Bummer! As soon as we get more ink for the printer we will definitely do this activity. In the meantime, if any of you do it let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NKOTB Concert

Last night Maren and I went to The New Kids on the Block concert at the arena. My mom gave me tickets to the concert for my upcoming very nice of her! I was never able to see them in concert back in the day, so she made it up to me 18 years later.

I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive about going to this concert. It turned out to be a lot of fun! I'm really glad I went. I was reading the article on about the concert and I had to laugh at this: "The arena was not sold out. The top tier was blacked out with curtains and stretches of empty seats dotted the lower levels. But it felt, and sounded, plenty full. When men are almost totally removed from an audience, the full deafening capacity of women's lungs can truly be appreciated." No kidding! My ears still feel like there is cotton in them--it was so loud--not so much from the music, but from the screaming women. I'm sure there are many voiceless women out there today.

It was fun watching people in the audience. There were some who dressed up like they were from the 80's, some wore their old NKOTB shirts and buttons (no, I did not wear my huge Jon button) and a lot of people made their own shirts. There was even a woman there with her young son who had a shirt on that said, "Joey's love child." We got a kick out of watching the crowd.

So the show opened with a cute blond singer from Jamaica, I don't remember her name. Then Natasha Bedingfield took the stage. She was okay. Then the New Kids finally started. Wow. The arena went crazy. They sang some of their new songs and a lot of their old hits. I was surprised by how many songs they performed. Here are some pics of the show:

Check out Jon wearing an Obama shirt. I had to laugh.

It was a great evening. There was a lot of energy, and it was pretty fun going back in time. I almost felt like I hadn't aged at all. I decided that even after all these years I think Jon is still the cutest--yes, that is the 12 year old coming out in me. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 13 - Happy Jell-oween

Christie loves Jell-o. Did I just refer to myself in the third person? Really, I love Jell-o. We do lots of fun stuff with Jell-o in this house. Jell-o popcorn is my favorite. I'll have to show you sometime. Anyway, so today we are making Jell-o Halloween molds with bats and ghosts and witches and cats and pumpkins. I'm usually pretty ambitious and do lots of different flavors...but since I'm busy sewing and getting ready for the New Kids on the Block concert tonight [don't worry, I'll tell you all about it--I'm sure you all wish you were going too. :)] we are only making orange right now. Just for fun, this is what I want to try next:
Doesn't that look cool?

Day 12 - The Great Pumpkin Cake

Today I made the pumpkin cake for our Webb family dinner. This is the Martha Stewart version, although I used a better Anne Baker version. And no, my cake didn't end up looking like this although I really wanted it to. It looked like a really sad, deflated pumpkin. It tasted really good though, and Kevin said I should keep making it until I get it to look like a real pumpkin, that he wouldn't mind eating them all. He's so kind. :)

Day 11 - Train Park Fun

I have the bravest, most wonderful husband ever. I work on Saturday afternoons and usually spend the morning preparing my lesson, grading papers and working on the I'm not really around on Saturdays. Kevin decided to take the kids, all THREE of them, to the train park. They were having some kind of train festival, so it was pretty busy there. They were there for about 4 hours and had a great time. An extra bonus was that they ran into the Buchanans there too! When I got home from work everybody was pretty tired, but happy.

Can you tell Cade loves trains?
He REALLY love them.
Cade and Paige on the slide

Day 10 - Halloween Cut-out Sandwiches

Today was a very busy day, so we didn't get around to our Halloween craft until late afternoon. I had Bunko tonight and needed to bring a side dish and decided to bring Halloween-inspired sandwiches. I made a sandwich (egg salad, ham and cheese, and PB&J) and then cut it out with a cookie cutter. The kids loved helping me cut them out. I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't. We had tons of scrap sandwiches left, which the kids found fascinating and quickly abandoned me to eat the scraps.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day 9 - Tie Dye T-Shirts

This was my favorite project so far...tie dye shirts! Braden and Landon and Beka came over to join us in the fun. It turned out to be a project more for the mommies, but we think the kids loved the outcome. These shirts were ridiculously easy to make; I'm surprised I haven't done it before. I got the directions from the Family Fun magazine I receive every month (I love it!). You can also find the directions here. We didn't draw the pumpkin faces on the shirts because we want them to be able to wear them past Halloween.

All the sweet kids posing.
Look at the airplane!
Cade and The Gavman
Braden and Landon (sorry Beka if I got the names mixed up!)