Monday, October 26, 2009

Days 23-25: Field trips and birthdays

This weekend was a lot of fun. On Friday, Cade went on his first field trip. I was excited that I was able to attend. We walked to the park as a group.
We observed nature.
The kids drew pictures of the ducks they saw on the lake.Then they were set free to play on the playground.

Friday was my birthday, and it's also my Mom Webb's birthday! The kids and I went over to take her some cake and sing her happy birthday.
The birthday girls.
Kevin really surprised me this year. I just have to brag about him for a minute. Look at this! Can you tell what it is? It's a bouquet made out of tracings of the kids hands. In the middle of each flower is written a special thing the kids will do for me. The poem is so sweet. The flowers are stuck into Junior Mint dirt (one of my favorite candies). Oh, and the spatulas are just what I needed. My other ones rotted. Yes, they rotted. :)
I don't know if you can read the poem he wrote. Here it is:
Mommy dear we love you so
And think you are so sweet.
You are so nice and kind to us
And everyone you meet.
We wanted to say thank you
For everything you do.
And want to give you a helping hand
So this is what we'll do.
Just pull a flower from the vase
And tell us what it reads.
our little hands will jump to the task
To help you when you need.
So sweet. My birthday was a fun day! Later that night we went over to Nicki's house and rocked out to some Rock Band. I love Rock Band! On the way home Kevin gave me his other gifts which are a new iron and a new ironing board cover. I am so excited! I know, it's weird I'm getting excited about an iron. But a good iron makes such a difference in sewing and my old iron was pretty bad. It had a crack down it. And my ironing board cover is all stained and has a huge hole in it. So I was pretty happy! A big thanks to my friends and family who made it so special for me.

Days 18-22

Pathetic, I know. I only have one picture to show you. But it's cute, right? This is Spooky Shepherds pie that I made for dinner swap. I got the idea from Gourmet Mom, but I used Maren's shepherds pie recipe. I piped the mashed potato ghosts using a disposable frosting bag and cutting a big tip. Then I used peppercorns as the eyes. Just warn your kids about not chewing up the peppercorn. It just may ruin the whole dinner for them. Not that I know from experience or anything...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 14-17 - Life Goes On!

This week has been fun! We got a little off track with my plan. But that's life...right?? I've learned to be flexible. :)

Some fun Halloween-y things we've done:
* Read Halloween books
* Attempted to create a Jack-o-lantern pizza out of Hungry Howie pizzas. Later I learned that Papa Murphy's is selling Jack-o-lantern pizzas right now for $6.99! Papa Murphy's is always good.
* Played outside A LOT. Yay for cooler weather!
* Made a pumpkin cheesecake that turned out pretty good. It was my first cheesecake, so I was a little nervous. I found the recipe here, but made a few changes using the readers' comments. So if you are in the mood for some pumpkin cheesecake try this recipe. It was pretty easy.

Today we have a family dinner at my grandma's house. We are having soup in pumpkin-shaped bread bowls (pictures to come later...these breadbowls are adorable!) and will play some good ol' Halloween bingo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 13 - Candy Corn Mania

Everything is so much better when candy corn is involved. Agree? (I hear a resounding "YES" from all of you!) Today was a fun-filled candy-corn-filled day. We went to the library this morning to check out some Halloween books. (Yes, we were supposed to go yesterday, but we didn't even get out of our jammies yesterday.) I looked for the book Julius's Candy Corn but they didn't have it. We did get some other fun Halloween books though. We stopped by Walmart to grab some candy corn and headed home for our activity. I printed off some candy corn worksheets here and we got started.
First, we counted candy corn as we put it the bowl. Then we talked about the colors of candy corn and which colors were in the top, middle, and bottom.
Then we colored our sheets and practiced the letter "C".

And, of course, ate candy corn as we worked.

Myla decided to put all the candy corn on the candy corn she colored. She was quite proud.

And Cade wanted to make a funny face for the camera. Funny kid!
Check out these other yummy candy corn treats:
Candy Corn Cookies We made these last year and they are adorable! I am thinking about making some today.

Days 8-12 - Family, Fireworks, Pumpkin Carving and New Mexico

This weekend we went to New Mexico to visit Uncle Jay and his girlfriend Anna, and meet up there with Grandma Pat and Aunt Wendy. We had a great time. We carved pumpkins, saw fireworks at the Hot Air Balloon Festival, visited, laughed, ate good food and had so much fun!

Carving pumpkins:

Myla said her favorite part of the trip was carving a 'pider pumpkin with Uncle Jay.
Watching fireworks:

Gavin wasn't very happy about the loud bangs.

The drive home:
Oreo-face Gav

Some Halloween theme activities we did on the trip: color Halloween pictures, carve pumpkins, eat lots and lots and LOTS of Halloween Oreos.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 7 - Let Them Eat Pumpkin!

On the schedule today we were supposed to make Halloween Jello Jigglers. It didn't happen. But we did have a very Halloween/Fall themed dinner: pumpkin chili, pumpkin cornbread with pumpkin fudge for dessert. Um, YUM! I got the chili and cornbread recipes from The Recipe Girl.
You can find the pumpkin chili recipe here. I added cinnamon to the chili, which I think made the pumpkin flavor pop a little and a little more salt.
You can find the pumkin cornbread here. These complement each other very well. If you make one you have to make the other.
The pumpkin fudge was very tasty. I followed this recipe. I doubled spices and added a little more pumpkin because I really wanted it to be flavorful. It was a little dry, but I suspect it was because I didn't have a candy thermometer so I followed my gut feeling, which isn't very accurate. I'm in the market for a new candy thermometer. My last one exploded. There were no casualties, except for the divinity candy I was trying to make. Oh well. I can never get that one right even when I have a candy thermometer.
Tomorrow we will be making milk jug jack-o-lanterns. I've been saving my milk jugs for this. It should be fun!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 6 - Pumpkin Candy Necklaces

Today we created cool pumpkin candy necklaces. I grabbed this kit from Walmart. It makes 8 necklaces.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 5 - Caramel Apple Monsters

Today we made caramel apple monsters. It was so much fun! Kevin got off of school early today and was here to do this with us. Even Gavin got in on the action.
Here are the apples, already "carameled" and the candy patiently waiting to be turned into monsters.
There goes Cade! He really got into it.
Kevin, Myla and Cade going to town. Cade's finished product.
Gavin enjoying the stickiness. I put candy on his tray and he knew right where to put it. Child genius. :)

My finished product. Like the sprinkle hair?

A most attractive picture of Myla. Nothing says glamour like a mouth full of candy corns.

Kevin striking a cheesy pose.

The hard part was eating it.
This one was a winner. They taste awesome and were so fun to do!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 3 & 4 - General Conference

I love General Conference weekend. It's so nice to relax and listen to Church leaders. I am always inspired to be better, to love and serve more, and to do what I need to to be happy.

That being said, trying to listen with three kids presents it's challenges. So to help everyone stay calmer we are trying a few things this time. We set up a special table to do puzzles. They love puzzles. I also printed out some great General Conference coloring sheets from Sugardoodle for them to color. So far it's been okay.

Have a great weekend! Tomorrow we will be doing Caramel Apple Monsters. So fun!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 2 - Gluey Ghosts (or not)

Wow, it's only the second day and I'm already slacking on my plans! It was just one of those days where we couldn't fit it in. I'm not going to stress about it, because this is supposed to be fun! We'll probably do it some other time, though, because I think the kids will really enjoy being able to use glue "legally." :)

I printed out General Conference coloring pages for the Saturday session here.
And for Sunday I want to do this General Conference file folder activity you can find here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 1 - Glitter Pumpkins

October has arrived and with it begins our 2009 edition of 31 Days of October! I was really excited to try this with the kids. I know, usually glue, glitter and pre-schoolers do not equate a good time. But I thought they would really enjoy this. And they did! I've seen these glittery pumpkins around, but officially got the instructions from Martha Stewart.

To start off with, gather some glue, glitter, paint brushes, small pumpkins, newspaper, a couple of cute little kids and put the baby down for a nap. (Not like that mattered here, because, as fate (or motherhood) would have it, 15 minutes into the project Gavin started screaming in his crib. I ran in and he had thrown up everywhere. Poor baby! So I had two preschoolers alone with glitter and glue and a crying baby with throw up everywhere. What to do? Thankfully, Kevin came home from school early. He took care of the pukey baby while I finished the pumpkins with Cade and Myla. Life is never boring!) Moving on... Next, paint a small section of the pumpkin with glue, then sprinkle some glitter over the section. " 'Prinkling" was their favorite part of the craft (I love Myla's little lisp).

Keep going until you have the whole pumpkin covered with glitter. Cade ended up running out of blue glitter, and if I was going for mom-of-the-year I probably would have scooped it all up off the newspaper and put it back in the sprinkling container. But I'm not, so I offered another color, which was even better in his book.

And wahlah! The final products. Cade has a nice dinosaur/Thomas inspired green and blue pumpkin and Myla went with the red. I chose gold. I looked for some orange glitter, but couldn't find any that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I like these colors though. They show the kids' personalities. What a fun craft!

On the schedule tomorrow are gluey ghosts. It's a good thing I picked up a few of the $0.25 bottles of glue when school started. We're gonna need it!
FYI - I found this ghost template online that I'm going to print out and put under the wax paper for the ghosts, to give them a template to glue on.

A Dino-Mite Birthday!

Cade is officially five years old! He has been talking about this day since he turned four. Cade loves all things dinosaur and wanted a dinosaur party. This was so much fun to put on!

Cade helped get ready for the party by coloring dinosaur pictures that we hung on the wall. He also got all of his dinosaur toys out to put up all over the front room as decorations.Each friend that came got to choose a dinosaur mask and we gave him a dinosaur name. Cade was Cadeceratops.

And here is Gavinosaurus.
Dino Cupcakes (I got this really cute digital dinosaur scrapbook kit from here that I made the invites and cupcake picks from. After everyone chose their mask and dino name, we gave them a sticker sheet to create their own dinosaur scene! They all did a great job and were so proud of their scenes.

Then it was time for some fun dinosaur races. Here is the Prehistoric Dad telling them the rules.

I wish I got some shots of them racing. (I had a little one year old running toward the street.)They did each race acting like a different type of dinosaur: a walking dino, a flying dino, a four-legged dino. It was so fun to watch.

Then came the highlight of the party: The Dino Dig. We buried a bunch of dinosaur bone toys in the dirt, gave the kids their own shovel and rake, and let them be little paleontologists. Dirt was flying everywhere, up noses, in eyes, down shirts. It was great fun. And a great way to end the party!

Cade is such a blessing to our family. He is such a compassionate boy and always wants to help. He loves on his brother and takes great effort to include him. Myla and Cade share a room and spend hours laughing, playing and, lets be honest, fighting. It warms my heart to watch their bond. He is blossoming in his Pre-K program. He loves his teachers and talks about his new friends all the time. We are so proud of Cade and love him very much!