Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wishing You a SUPER Halloween!

Happy Halloween from a couple of brave Super Heroes!

Fletcher has been talking about being Superman for weeks.  He jumps off everything in our house and yells "Superman, to the rescue!!" So his costume was a no brainer.  I found a cute Super woman costume to coordinate and Olive was really excited about it.  They've been busy "flying" all over the place protecting others.  It's almost too cute to handle.  Those fake muscles make us all smile :)

They were more than excited to do a Halloween photo shoot with me :)

Flexing their muscles.

Working on their flying skills.

Super woman is SUPER strong :)

Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!  Our city always does two nights of trick or treating on the 30th and 31st.  We headed out with friends last night and are expecting a ton of rain today.

It's time to link up with my favorite Welcome Wednesday ladies.
Be sure to join us with some current posts and look around to find some new friends.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Halloween Party Fun & Games

I'm one of Olive's room moms this year and I am in charge of planning the Halloween party.  I've run all the things by her and (thankfully) gotten her five year old seal of approval.  The kindergartners get to do a Halloween parade in costume and then come back to class for a party.   

I wanted to share some of the fun party ideas with you today in case you're trying to pull a party together last minute.  I'm thankful to have a team of other moms helping with food, crafts and helping run the games.  I am also SUPER thankful that Kevin has a free calendar on Wednesday morning so that he can stay home with Fletcher :)

Decorate Your Own Cupcake.
We did this with friends yesterday.  They came over to play and have a little snack.  It was easy and tons of fun!  I made the Halloween Funfetti cupcakes from Pillsbury and some homemade buttercream frosting.

Halloween Treat Bag.
We had to send home a treat bag with each kid after the party.  It was fun picking out things that kindergartners would like - slap bracelets, glitter sticky hands, tiny note pads and candy!!  Olive is going to help me assemble these tonight.

Bracelets Party,52 Pack Slap Bracelets (26 Design),Yeonha Toys Slap Bands with Colorful Hearts,Emoji,Peace,Animal Prints Toys Party Favors Birthday School Classroom Prize For Kids Boys Girls Adults

Adorox 72 Pieces Vinyl Glitter Sticky Hands Party Favor Birthday Gifts Toys Goodies (1 1/4" Long )

Hands On Halloween.
The kids will make Halloween patterns and do these monster lacing cards.  I might also bring in some fake pumpkins so the kids can toss the Halloween items into three different pumpkins.

Who can build the tallest Halloween figure??
The kids can pick candy corn, witch's hat, ghost, etc.  They'll work in teams to build with solo cups.  We may also do some Halloween bowling with these.  I think the kids can set up a little 6-8 cup tower and bowl a small pumpkin into it.

Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe.
One of the moms bought tiny pumpkins and will set up a tic tac toe station for them.

Candy Corn Letters, Fall shapes and Counting
This will be a fun station for kids to practice their letters with candy corn.

Build your own Spider.
Another mom is doing a build your own spider craft with the kids.  She's precutting everything so that assembly should go smoothly.

Pumpkin Says
A Halloween version of Simon says...
Pumpkin says... scare like ghost, howl like a werewolf, cackle like a witch, fly like a bat, meow like a black cat, ride a broom, walk like Frankenstein, make your scariest face, crawl like a spider, show your vampire teeth, etc.

Unicorn Cereal.
I'm adding this to their light snack plates.  I wouldn't usually buy cereal like this, but it was on super clearance and seemed festive for Halloween.

Should be fun!!  If we zoom through all of the activities, we will play a game like Halloween freeze dance to some Halloween tunes :)

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Sometimes Life is Hard

Hey, Friends!  Happy Monday.  Hope you had a nice weekend.  We busied ourselves with Halloween Fall Festivals, birthday parties and errands.  There were plenty of smiles to go around all weekend.

I was tempted to quickly pull together a cute Halloween post for today.

That would have been easier to just go into autopilot.

But, the truth is that sometimes life is hard.

We heard a sermon on Sunday as we work our way through Lamentations about the power of sharing our pain and struggles with each other.  At times, it feels easier to just put on a happy face instead of being honest.  I felt convicted to share a real life update with you.  While I always try hard to keep things positive and encouraging online, the reality is that life has been hard lately at our house.  It's easier to pretend that life is great all the time rather than talk about the down times.  But, I want you to know that my life is far from perfect and with plenty of highs and lows.

It has been a confusing, frustrating and uncertain week.

God's plans for us don't always make sense in the moment because we can't see the big picture.  Things have been very stressful for Kevin at work.  I know that God is using these experiences to shape our family.  We are praying for answers, guidance and trying to figuring out what is best for our family.  We look back at specific times in our life and see how God was working through our circumstances to pull together the details of His perfect plan.  I keep trying to remind myself of that truth.

We have tons of to be thankful for - healthy kids, healthy adults, good marriage, supportive family, plenty of people that care about us and a bright future.  The controlling/type A person that I am would love a glimpse at the road map ahead for our family, but that's not possible.  God has always taken good care of us and I know that he will continue to do so.

Some of the verses that we have been focusing on this week:

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Proverbs 2:7-8
He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

I also LOVE the song Counting Every Blessing by Rend Collective.  Have you heard it?  I first heard it on the radio when we were feeling all the emotions of sending Olive off to kindergarten.  It applied then and it applies to us now.

All this to say, life goes on in the good times and the hard times.  There are still plenty of things to smile about and be thankful for every day.  I'm going to continue to share the happy things that make me smile with you, but just know that things aren't always easy behind those pretty pictures I post online.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

We Love Boo! Teacher Gift

Olive and I put together a cute little Halloween gift for her teachers this week.

It was really easy and affordable.  I asked Olive to help me write the cards.  I baked her favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Then, I put them in plastic food boxes from Dollar Tree.  They're not very durable, but they do the job for one time use.  I love sending teacher treats in a box vs on a plate because I feel like they transport better to school.  Nothing gets squished.

I grabbed two Halloween towels, rolled them up and added a polka-dot bow.  The towels were from Meijer last year.  I paid less than a dollar for each one on super clearance and saved them to use this year.  Be sure to scope out the holiday clearance this year to save things for the following year.  The trick is make sure that you have a gift closet or spot to keep them organized to be able to find them when you need them.

I love sending little things in like this for Olive's kindergarten teacher and her bus driver.  I want them to know they're loved, appreciated and that we are thankful for them.  I overheard someone saying the other day that they were bummed because they HAD to buy their kid's teacher a gift.  I know I'm biased being a former teacher, but I try hard to do lots of little things to encourage and love on teachers all throughout the school year.

What are your favorite teacher gifts??

** We've got a lot going on at our house right now so things will be quiet on the blog for the rest of the week.  See you next week! **

It's time to link up with my favorite Welcome Wednesday Ladies.
Be sure to join us with some of your favorite posts from the week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Orchard Adventures: Quick Caramel Apples

I love caramel apples, but they're so hard to eat. 

They are difficult to bite into and messy.  We came up with an easy way to enjoy the treat without the mess.  We slice the apples really thin, drizzle light caramel topping on them and add some salted, chopped peanuts.  Sometimes we even add chocolate chips or add m&ms.  So good!!  And it's great because you can customize the toppings however you like.  Perfect treat for a crowd.  I think we're going to have some friends over to build their own caramel apples.

We also worked in one (probably last??) trip to the orchard for the year last weekend.  We just love this orchard.  It's called Ditzler Orchard and we go there as often as we can.  We pick strawberries in the summer, apples and pumpkins in the Fall.  Each time we go, the experience is different.

The weather was gorgeous.  We picked Pink Lady, Fuji and Granny Smith apples this visit.  We got to ride a tractor and no one cried.  Remember when Fletcher was terrified of the tractor earlier in the Summer so the sweet farmer took Olive on a solo ride so she didn't have to miss out on the fun?? 

We came away with another 20+lbs of apples.  Bring on the homemade apple sauce, pies, apples for snacks and treats.  They're so much better than store bought apples.

These pink lady apple trees were gorgeous!!  I've never really thought about doing family pictures at the orchard, but seeing these pretty trees made me really tempted.

Olive and Fletcher are pros at apple picking.  They know what to avoid and are happy to help pick.  The cute farmer gave us lots of good tips and told us to enjoy snacking on the apples while we were there.  It was fun to try a few different kinds of apples.

Who knew this guy would love the orchard even more than me?  He requested this trip :)

We headed to the pumpkin patch side next.  Each kiddo picked out a pumpkin or two.

We got popcorn, strolled around admiring all the pretty fall things and got some apple cider for the road.  Can't wait to enjoy that this Fall.

Have you gotten your pumpkins yet??

Monday, October 22, 2018

Edible Pumpkin Patch

Happy Monday!!  Hope you had a nice weekend.  We enjoyed some really nice weather, great football games, chili, went to the pumpkin patch and hung out with friends.  We all seem to be fighting off Fall colds, but we didn't let that stop us from having fun.  

My friend Crystal (@hallaroundtexas) posted the cutest edible pumpkin patch last week on instagram and I knew I had to do it with my kids!  I adapted the recipe a bit to work with the items I already had in my pantry.  They turned out great and the kids loved them!!

2 bowls
2 chocolate snack packs
2 fudge stripe cookies
1 ziploc bag
Halloween sprinkles
Halloween pumpkins
2 spoons

Set up a station and get busy growing pumpkins.  Scoop the pudding into the bowls and flatten it.

Put the cookies into the ziploc bag and smash them with something heavy.  We used a mason jar, but you could easily break them up with your hands inside the bag.

Use your "shovels"/spoons to scoop out the "fertilizer"/cookies onto the dirt.  My kids thought it was hilarious to be pumpkin farmers :)

Add some "pumpkin seeds"/sprinkles.  Close your eyes. Say some silly magic growing words and top their "dirt" with candy pumpkins.  Open their eyes and voila!!  Pumpkins :)

Such a delicious, fun Halloween treat.  It would be perfect for a class party since many schools now require that all treats be store bought treats.

Would your family enjoy making these??

It really is the most wonderful time of the year!!