Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

CANDY!! They have candy!! And lots of it. Oh my goodness, the candy has to disappear fast because if I hear "Can I have....." much more, I'm going to lose my mind! I believe Halloween was a hit this year, even though we celebrated a day early on our street.

Cuteness was in abundance as we traveled our street with our neighbors and some of their friends. Even the shy kids seem to come out of their shells and be willing to knock on doors, ring door bells and take candy from (mainly not) strangers.

The girl's pumpkins turned out great, in their mother's unbiased opinion. Sarah designed the Frankenstein face and her dad did the carving. There was a lot of debate between the two artists about cleaning the guts out. The designer wanted them out and the carver felt the gave the effect of brains and wanted them in. I think they came to some sort of middle ground and then I let Sarah gut my butternut squash that was about to become soup to appease her.

Rachel drew her pumpkin's face as well, and did her own carving until it came to the mouth. By the time she got to the mouth, all the small carving tools had broken off their handles, so I was relieved when she asked me to tackle the mouth instead of watching her jab at the pumpkin with a sharp kitchen knife! We're not ready for the blood and guts kind of Halloween yet - especially when it involves our own family members!

We had a nice evening at home chilling out together with the two bags of candy that we stopped and bought today, "just in case". Aside from what we gave our little two year old neighbor, that bowl is still here. I think it will be headed to school for the second grader's treat jar in the morning - especially since I was cautious and bought candy I didn't want to eat myself!

I hope everyone had a fun holiday weekend and don't look now, but Christmas is creeping up on us. I have no plans for making gifts right now, but I think I'd better get some, and fast!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Getting Ready

Halloween is beginning to be a week long holiday around here. With all the activities going on, it's hard to find the time to get a costume together or do any of the cute, fun things one might have (had, at this point) in mind. Monday the Brownies went trick-or-treating at a local assisted living facility. We send candy ahead, they distribute it to the residents and then our Brownies and their siblings come after school to trick-or-treat. I'm so glad they do this, as the residents really enjoy seeing them come in costume - it seems like a win-win for everybody.

The girls didn't have school today, so after getting some of my chores done and making a run to the store for candy to pass out this weekend (trying to keep it out of the house as long as possible to prevent myself from eating it!), I dug a Wilton haunted house kit out. I think I picked it up at Walmart last year after Halloween for about two bucks. We got two bucks worth of entertainment out it today for sure. Hardest part is discouraging the kids from wanting to eat the year plus old candy! Ack!

And since it looks like we'll be trick-or-treating tomorrow night in our neighborhood (this date changing thing really has me confused...will the neighbors be expecting us on Saturday????) we figured we ought to do some pumpkin carving tonight! Both girls made their own designs and Jim carved Sarah's while Rachel took her first stab (you can take that literally) at carving her own. Most of the handy little carving tools were broken, but in the end we still got two great Halloween faces that we'll light up and share this weekend.

And believe it or not, there is actually a sewing project in my life. It's sat idle now for about two weeks while I've run around all loosey goosey, but as soon as I have the top finished, I'll share.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saying Goodbye

The girls had Fall Break this past week, so we took the opportunity to head North to my Grandparent's house. For the past several years we have been up at least twice during the summer. This time it had been a full year since we'd been and it was not a happy anniversary. It's been a year now since my Grandpa passed away. This trip was my last chance to say goodbye to the town and house that I spent summers growing up in.

Our first day on the road proved quite eventful when Sarah started throwing up just hours into the trip. I was sad to have to cancel our visit with friends for the weekend, but thought a detour to my parent's house with some recovery time for Sarah might prove wiser. With everyone (relatively) well on Monday we headed North. Michigan greeted us with gorgeous color and beautiful skies. And yes, I do drive with my camera in my lap....please don't tell on me.

My girls slept in the same hide-a-bed that my sister and I grew up sleeping in. It's in my Grandparent's den and I loved how cozy we were in there. When we were up for Thanksgiving, we got to watch the Macy's parade in bed - such a poignant memory for me. It's also where we slept on Christmas Eve, giddy with anticipation at what we'd find in the living room, come morning.

My Grandpa loved three things above all else: God, Family and Wood. My Grandma has been known to say that the only thing he ever showed patience with was a block of wood. He taught me how to use his jigsaw, band saw, belt sander, drill press and many other things. I thought nothing of being a young girl in his basement going to town on pieces of wood. I loved it and he loved it.

He truly amassed an amazing collection of tools, hardware and "materials" (for lack of a better term for all the random boxes of things we found). The above shot should give you some idea of what I'm talking about. Sadly, part of the mission of this trip was to pack up the house. What stays in the family has been taken and what's left will be up for auction in the spring.

I'm thankful that I got to make one last trip back while this place still belongs to my Grandparent's. Grandma is now living near my parent's in Indiana and we will have to return once more to bid her goodbye, but the house will no longer be ours to return to and there will no longer be a reason to visit this small town that has been a part of my family's life for generations.

It seemed fitting and also a blessing that we were given gorgeous weather and beautiful sunsets while we were there. Closure looks so much nicer in the glow of a sunset on the lake.