Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Trick-or-Treating, Minnesota style... you have to learn how to either layer under the costume, or accept the fact that you will be wearing a coat over the costume...

... Yes, Joshy was dressed up - just under all of the layers. It didn't take him long to figure out that he got CANDY from EVERY house we approached -
he was soon sprinting right along after the other kiddos :).

Seth as the Ninja... posing on our neighbors HUGE pumpkin yard (he grows them every year, and then puts them out every October - Our own neighborhood pumpkin patch - love it!!)

Sarah practicing her 'wizarding' spells

Ben also did the wizard theme this year,
though his wand was quickly given up to make room for the trick-or-treat bag.

At one of the houses - with four family units, we were quite the 'trick-or-treating' force!

Some of the gang in front of the big pumpkins
The kids always have a blast trick-or-treating with their good friends,
the Jacksons, Reeds, and Childs

Two out of the three preggo-amigos.
Since this is the first (and most likely ONLY) Halloween that the three of us would be pregnant on the big day, we did some last minute preggo-costume making... and then not even 24 hours after the big idea, Jolene went and foiled the plan by actually DELIVERING her baby (right ON Halloween!... 2 weeks early for her... all the while our little one is still nice and cozy... but I'm NOT bitter in the LEAST!! Really, I'm HAPPY for you Jolene... not...the...least...bit...JEALOUS!! - okay, maybe a wee bit jealous...)
(and yes, cute Marissa really IS, pregnant, she just never shows at all- just stays as cute as ever! Again... not... jealous... in...the...least!!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Easiest Halloween treats EVER!!

Thanks to yet another friend's creative talents (that's YOU, Val!!), I learned yet another fun and SUPER easy craft that is perfect for any age... so if your kids have an attention span like mine (anywhere from .5-3.0 seconds...), this treat is for you :)

This one was making spiders out of oreos, and ghosts out of nutter butters...
fun, easy, fast. My kind of craft!

To do the ghosties.... melt white chocolate chips, and dip nutter butter cookies in it, then put on some cinnamon dots for eyes. Seriously, that's IT!!

For spider-o's: open the oreo cookie, break apart some pull apart twizzlers (I couldn't find any brown or black twizzlers, so our legs are a little 'bloody'), place in the middle. Replace top of oreo. Again, that's IT. Done in 2 minutes flat!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let it Snow, Let is Snow, Let is Snow...


Yes, just as we were going in for a pampering preggo pedicure, the rain every-so-slightly turned a wee bit white...

by the time we came out an hour later... it was blizzard city!!

... it took an 1 1/2 hours to get home from what would normally have been a 20 minute drive... seriously, it's not like Rochester is any stranger to the white stuff... except for when it comes out-of-season, even for these seasoned veterans... there were so many cars off the road between the mall and home, and one happen to hit a power-line right by our block, which meant no power for us for about 3 hours.

The kids, however, didn't mind a bit (after being shocked time after time, as they realized that NONE of the light switches worked - and yes, they did try ALL of them, as well as the TV, video games, computer, etc)... they quickly dawned their snow apparel and headed outside to frolic in the most perfect snow-ball making snow fall we have ever had here in tundraland...

They started to make snowballs for snowmen, but then altered the plans a little and ended up making 'snow-seats' for themselves... which I have to admit, was pretty darn creative :).

... Did I mention it's not even HALLOWEEN yet??!!
No wonder this little one is staying put... she knows what is awaiting her once she breaks free from the perfect-temperature-controlled environment :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spiders, and pumpkins, and patches... OH MY!!!

We did our annual trip to the pumpkin patch - on one of the only sunny days we have had this fall. The kids loved the corn-bale maze, and loved picking their pumpkins out :)

Once Joshy got into the maze, he found his nervona, and spent the whole time
with this huge smile on his face.

The typical pumpkin poses :)

After the pumpkin patch, it was on to 'spider building'
(idea was blatantly stolen from creative guru, Jolene!!)

I finally captured Joshy's 'surprise' face as he was observing the spider making activity. He was excited and mesmerized by them, but stopped just short of actually touching them... :)

One of Sarah's varieties

Ben's four eyed spidy friend

Seth got a bit creative, and decided to make all of his legs different lengths
(and once again, mom took deep breaths and reminded myself that this was THEIR project, and didn't have to be completely anatomically perfect :) ).

Let the Fall Festivities roll...
and let the new little one roll on in to take part in some of it!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Happiness!!

I love this time of year - the holiday spirit starts kicking in, and the fun times roll!!

I especially love doing it with kids...
I finally learned to let go of my 'slightly-over-controlling-make-it-picture-perfect-at-all-costs'
crafting self, and now have more fun seeing what the kids come up with in their own great creations. This week's picks were cookie baking/decorating and spider making.
I forgot how all-encompassing sugar cookie baking can be, especially when you add 4 oh-so-helpful kiddos to the mix :). Needless to say, our kitchen ended up very 'flour-full' ;)... and dinner ended up being cereal and toast :), but it was well worth it!!

Sarah's creation (she seriously placed each individual piece of decoration... including cutting each of the color sections of the candy corn to increase the artistic content...)

Sarah takes her creating VERY seriously (yes, tears were shed when Joshy got a hold of one of the 'prized' cookies...)

My little helping hands in the baking process...

Joshy getting in on the action... he couldn't quite figure out how everyone was getting their candy corns to stick to the cookies, and rather than use the 'frosting glue', he instead tried to just dig the candy corns right into the cookie :)

Another of Sarah's creations

Seth thinking 'outside' the shape, and turning his ghost into a pumpkin smile...

Ben's whole goal was pretty much to stack as much frosting and candy as possible right in the middle of his cookie :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happiness is...

... Having a little brother who LOVES to get hit with snowballs...
... yes it's true - as we woke up to our first 'snow storm' (very wet snow, although it snowed most of the day, there was actually very little to show for it, as evidenced by the picture!), the kids went outside, and I heard Josh laughing hysterically. When I peaked out to see what was so incredibly hilarious to him, I beheld Seth literally pelting him with snowball after snow ball. Josh's whole front was white from the 'battle wounds' but he was laughing harder and harder with each new hit.

... Sarah showing her magical 'sticky hands' holding the snowball upside down :)

Seth claiming victory... Seriously?? Can you really be all that excited
when you are 5 years older and about 2 feet taller than your opponent??!

Joshy just happy to be in on the action and LOVING the snow!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The welcome party

After six LONG days without daddy - he's finally one the homestretch of his mammoth trip to Germany. The kids made some 'welcome home' posters, and once again the differences in the kiddos shines through...

After spending the whole afternoon working,
this is what Sarah's came up with (written from the bottom up)...

... once she got it up, she decided that the back also needed a little decorating...

... and this is Seth's version...
(doing it as quickly as possible before moving on to his next ninja game)
(translation - a picture of Seth and Daddy ice skating, and Seth saying
that he can't wait to go ice skating with dad again :) )

Ben drew a 'rocket ship' as a welcome party:


Monday, October 5, 2009

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better...

... this is what I left as I traveled to my aerobics convention this weekend...

... and when I came home, it had been transformed into this...

... and after a week of not sleeping in my own bed, I came upon this...

... all thanks to this...
... aka the best hubby in the world!!
(WAY better than the 'wiggle the nose powers'!!)

As I was enjoying a weekend of workouts and girl talk, Jerry did the following:
-- gave a presentation in Arizona
-- jumped on a plane (that was delayed, so called our amazing neighbor to arrange to pick up the kiddos later than planned - as in 2:30 in the morning when his plane finally came in!!)
-- got the kids home and in bed, only to get up 5 hours later to:
-- take the kids to karate
-- go from there to swimming lessons
-- came back home for general conference (and even somehow got the twins to take notes during the first session!)
-- hauled the big furniture back up stairs, enlisting the help of all of the kids, and managing Joshy at the same time
-- fixed a broken part on the washing machine and kept up on the laundry
-- re-assembled all of the beds and dressers that had been taken apart
-- took Sarah to ballet
-- came back for the 2nd session of conference
-- took the kids to McDonalds for some fun times
-- with ALL kids in tow, went shopping and picked out:

-- this darling room rug for the boys room...

... cute coordinating rugs for the kitchen...

... a bouquet of flowers to welcome me home...

... and even my favorite type of senty candle to be burning in the kitchen when I got home...

-- and stayed up until 12:30 getting all of the arranging of the furniture finalized and bedding put back on the beds
-- put the kiddos down
-- got up on Sunday, cooked eggs benedict for the kiddos
-- did the conference thing again
-- made a full-fledged Sunday dinner (complete with pork loin roast and mashed potatoes)

-- all the while finishing up his own preparations for flying out to Germany today to give yet another presentation...

All I can say is right now I am feeling like the luckiest woman alive! Thank you so much, honey, for all that you did this weekend. You are truly one AMAZING man!!