Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Dynamic Duo!

Credit for this year's idea actually goes to Darrin's sister, who pointed out back in the spring that they should be Batman and Robin for Halloween. Wouldn't you know it, over the summer, Batman was their favorite cartoon to watch. By the time Halloween rolled around, it wasn't very hard to convince them to be the dynamic duo... as long as I promised Robin would have a skirt.

I pulled together different ideas around the web, but most of the inspiration for Ian's costume came from here (though the mask was from here), and Annaliese's was mainly inspired by this one (tutorial for the tutu from here). I couldn't find the material they used for a shirt, but a tank top worked just as well.  She's actually wearing a pair of Ian's old pj's underneath. Those would be the same pants he wore under his Peter Pan costume two years ago. Glad I don't clean out drawers very often... Thanks to the tulle on her skirt, I think I'll be finding gold glitter around the house for the next year.

These were by far the easiest costumes for me to assemble over any previous year. It could have something to do with the fact there wasn't any satin involved. Knit is so much more forgiving.  Either way, they're both sleeping in them tonight because they're that comfortable (minus the cape, mask, and skirt).

A bit of fun in the backyard before trick-or-treating began.

 Practicing on each other in preparation for the bad guys.

Our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. Several houses are all decked out. These were just two I could get decent pictures of.  The first house they've been calling it the "Haunted House" every time we've driven past this week.  The second one had mannequins all over the yard, and the kids were apprehensive to go to the door. They weren't sure if they would move and be a real person or not (they had real people hiding amongst the them last year).

Annaliese would call before they'd get to the house, "I want to press the ding dong!"  Eventually we had to take turns with every house, but I loved that she called the doorbell a ding dong. 

Ian really enunciated his "Trick or Treat" phrase, putting a crisp /k/ sound at the end of trick and then pausing for a second before saying or. It actually sounded like three words instead of one- trickrtreat.

We left our bowl of candy sitting on our front steps, and all 100 pieces were gone in the hour we were out.  I'll have to buy more for next year.  I doubt kids took too much. There were lots of houses with bowls set out, and there were just lots and lots of kids out.  Our kids didn't do too bad.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Annual Pumpkin Patch Visit

Darrin's parents came to visit this weekend and brought along our nephew- whom Ian calls his "bestest-buddy".  We ventured to the pumpkin patch Friday afternoon (the kids were out of school thanks to conferences) and had a blast.  We went to Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Patch- the same place we went last year.  Given that it didn't rain before we went, I thought it was a much more enjoyable experience this year. The kids were a lot more adventurous... or perhaps a better word is courageous, this year.  They went into buildings and explored places that they were too wary of last year.  I think those were some of there favorite experiences from this year.  Here's a few of my favorite shots picked out from the 128 I shot today...

This netting led to the top of the large, metal slide. Annaliese was a champ at this, though a little fearful about the slide.

The boys were champs, too.

One of the several times Ian went down this, he may have forgotten to plant his feet and he went flying off and landed on his butt. The picture doesn't capture the speed at which the kids were going down the slide.

She used her feet to really slow herself down, and once was enough for her.

Yes, Grandpa, the big kid, loved going down the slides, too.

This one wasn't really a slide, more like a steep shoot. You didn't really have time to plant your feet, you just arrived at the bottom. That look on Ian's face isn't from the sun- it's from the shock of being at the bottom already.

These zip lines were another thing the kids didn't do last year. They LOVED it this year. We were all surprised at how well Annaliese and Owen were able to hang on.

Ian was a bit tall and had to bend his knees.

Ahoy there Ian and Owen!

Both boys said this was their favorite part- the hay rack ride to the pumpkin patch.  There were many skeletons, zombies, aliens, etc along the route, and the boys utilized their bow and arrows, complete with sound effects, to protect us.  Annaliese probably would have joined in, but she was more concerned about her Teddy Grahams.

She found her perfect pumpkin right away, and didn't really want it out of her reach... except for finish eating her Teddy Grahams.

I think he might be getting too used to posing for the camera...

The kiddos and their choices.

As we were leaving the patch, we spotted the corn maze, so we headed there for one last adventure before we left.
The slide in the corn maze.

Annaliese chose to go down face first... she is the daredevil of the group.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Another Cousin Wedding

At the beginning of October, my cousin Bridget got married at a beautiful outside location in Iowa City.  The night before, as Darrin and I were setting clothes out to pack, I noticed a theme in our clothing: Darrin black pants and gray shirt, Annaliese white dress with black polka-dots, and me with a black dress. Ian, however, had navy pants and a yellow shirt, so it wasn't surprising when I was at Kohl's at 8:00 the following morning to find something black/gray/white he could wear to the wedding. I think it was a stellar plan.  

Given that we had an extended family picture an hour before the wedding with all 75 of us, we had some time to kill before the ceremony actually started. Thank goodness the location had enough to engage the kids that we didn't to figure out things to do... though to entertain myself I tried to get the kids to pose for me since they were looking so awesome. Ian was a willing participant- he was SOOOOO excited to be in a "suit" as he called it. He said he felt so grown up :) 

As always, the favorite part of the wedding is actually the reception. Ian was a dancing machine! He was showing moves I've never seen before- nothing could stop him. He even willingly danced with Annaliese :)

This little boy kept following Annaliese around (he's not related, so I have no idea who he is...).  While by us, Darrin suggested they go out and dance. First he had to go ask his mom, so they both walked across the hall together to get permission to go out and dance- so stinkin' cute!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall Soccer Season

The fall soccer season has ended for Ian. It was a bit of a rough season- only one win. He generally played defense and goalie during games. This last one, he was placed on offense and had a bit more trouble knowing what to do. Teaching 12 first and second graders how to stay in their positions on the field, when they can't really "see" what spots those positions are on the field, was challenging for his coaches.  But Ian grew in his skills nonetheless, especially at goalie... even if the first picture doesn't look like it.

His final play at goalie was sooooo close

but ultimately he didn't deflect it high enough and it ended up in the net. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Layout | It's a Bird... It's a Plane...

No... it's LEGOS!

The kids and I spent one morning of spring break earlier this year at our botanical gardens. They had 14 Lego sculptures on display.  It was amazing how they created such realistic looking figures out of squares and rectangles.  I was able to get a picture of every sculpture on this layout, plus the brochure that went into detail about each sculpture and how many Legos were used it the creation of each.  Because the pictures are so busy, I kept everything else pretty simple.

I was inspired to create this layout based on the challenge at Child's Play Challenges. This week it's Pete's Dragon. Pete is an cartoon dragon in a real world, which reminded me of these "cartoon" sculptures trying to appear real in the real world. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple Orchard

Saturday was the annual trip to the apple orchard. We ventured to Martin's Hillside Orchard again this year and had a great time.  We came home with less than a pound shy of fifty pounds of apples. We picked four varieties: harralson, empire, melrose, and jonathan. Most I intend to turn into applesauce. Have you seen my kids eat applesauce, they can really pack it away.

Ian was super excited for the corn maze. We ended up going through it two times.

The large hay mountain was fun climbing...

But the tire mountain was even more fun.

Ian loved running from tire to tire. Annaliese tried, but wasn't quite coordinated enough yet.

This is the first year Darrin didn't have to lift a kid to reach the apples. There were plenty low enough on the tree.

Annaliese was a big help this year, too. In years past, she was too little, or wasn't really into it.

The apples of my eye. Ian was really proud of himself for striking a pose.

Before we headed home, we stopped by the play yard for some fun.

We all had lots of fun!