Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It has been a CRAZY couple of weeks around here getting ready for Halloween. 

First, there were activity books to design, print, and bind.  And YES, dear, I *NEEDED* that new binding machine!  :)  And no, I still don't know where I am going to put it.  Remind me again, why it can't stay in the kitchen floor?

Then there were the pumpkin oranges for soccer snacks...

And then a few million mummy oreos to make.  It's been such a whirlwind I couldn't even tell you exactly how many I made, but I think it's probably just under 100.  I DO know that I used roughly 3 bags of oroes, 3 packages of almond bark, and 3 packages of eyes.  And they were shared with 25 preschoolers, a soccer team of 10, teachers at school, the children of my mom's club, all of our neighbors, the children of some of my coworkers, and Kevin and the boys who seem to like them rather alot...

After the mummy oreo's I turned to the second half of the treats - caramel apples.  In which I discovered that caramel + humidity don't go terribly well together.  But thankfully there are few real problems that can't be solved with a bit of chocolate.  I think they turned out both gorgeous, and delicious.

And then the gift packaging...

And then began the rounds of sharing... First to the boys' teachers, and soccer coach, and a couple of friends. 

Though with all the rushing trying to get out the door I didn't manage to take a single picture with all the gift bowls lined up.  There were Draculas, Witches, and Black Cats, too.  I loved the hand painted bowls.

There were also cauldrons for the neighbors.

And then treats for the kids' favor bags to be found, and then assembled, and reproduced in mass quantity...

A few extra treats for little friends..

Another bucket of 24 jack-o-lantern oranges...

And one, last, final tray of apples for the class party...

And now??  Now I am THANKFUL for a WHOLE MONTH of Thanksgiving before the madness of Christmas.  :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Caramel Apples

Heaven on Earth....

There is nothing that says Fall more than caramel apples.  Especially homemade caramel apples dipped in peanut butter chips and drizzled with white chocolate.  And yes, it was absolutely sinfully good. 

For round 2 I am considering dipping them in white chocolate (to keep them from sticking to everything, and because it's chocolate - need I say more??) and then drizzling with milk chocolate just to be gluttonous.  My mouth is already watering just thinking about it...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Gifts

I thought I might package up some Mummy Oreos as a little appreciation gift for the boys' soccer coach, and their teachers.  So what do you think?  Cute?  Or back to the drawing board?  :)

[Nearly] Wordless Wednesday

We got a new blowup pumpkin patch for the yard this year.  The boys love it, and "helped" me set it up.  They have also "helped" me [repeatedly] unstake and restake the thing as they must go touch it every time we come home and despite tripping 9 times out of 10 still don't remember to watch out for the stakes... :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

EEK!! Mummy Oreos

I saw a really cute idea a while back to make some mummy oreos and when I was in Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago I saw the candy eyes which reminded me.  I thought they might make a nice Halloween treat so I did a trial run last night.  Despite my pathetic dipping and drizzling abilities I LOVED how they turned out!  Tell me these aren't ADOREABLE!?!

Halloween Goodies - Sneak Peek!

I have been bitten by the Halloween bug... :)  I blame school.  And Kristin Aagard.  School because they gave me homework, again.  This time to make number flash cards for the boys.  And Kristin Aagard because she released the cutest Halloween kit ever called Jeepers Creepers.  And I didn't think she could top her kit from last year which I had started out using called Trick or Treat (along with odds and ends from Flergs and Lleila as well)  But the googly eyes totally suckered me in.  :)

So what started out as flash cards (which I haven't finished beyond number 8 yet...) turned into a full blown activity kit.  And it is AWESOME!!  Aside from a few minor binding issues that is - 2:1 pitch, 3:1 pitch.. details, details...

These mix and match pages are among my favorites!  The boys have already been enjoying making different characters by flipping the heads, bodies and feet in the sample book I was playing with.

I was also surprised by just how well they did with the pattern section.  Ryan in particular really caught on "Big, Little, Big, Little!" and has been applying it to all kinds of other things (like the pumpkins by our front door!)

We have also had some fun with the "Shadows" section.  It's amazing to see how their little minds work as they puzzle out which one is which especially the first time they came to realize that not only did they have to figure out that it was an owl, but which owl! 

Ironically enough it took me far longer to work out the printing and binding details than it did to make the pages.  :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Drawing on Fruit

For the record, oranges aren't the only fruit that I have been drawing on... :)

The boys enjoyed their "place card bananas" at our breakfast picnic on Saturday, too.  I had taken over the kitchen table with some crafting supplies so I enthusically procliamed it a special picnic breakfast day on the patio!  :)

Pumpkin Oranges

There were a billion things I should have been doing... but I had an epiphany.  :)

I had this great idea to take oranges as snacks for the boys' soccer team game this weekend.  I thought I might try my hand with a sharpie and see if I could turn them into little pumpkins since it is officially fall, and Halloween is just right around the corner.  That is until I remembered that I can't draw.  At all.  Seriously - I am banned from pictionary.  :)

So I picked up some oranges and drew 4 really pitiful jack-o-lantern faces on one I took to work for lunch as practice.  I then proceeded to peel the orange to eat it and was immediately covered in sharpie.  Apparently if you need to get sharpie stains out of anything you should try juice from fresh oranges.  :) 

I had all but given up on the idea when it hit me that I should try some sort of sticker.  Luckily I found a whole package of address label stickers and started drawing, cutting, and coloring with a sharpie.  The first one I made looked a little evil (right middle on the back row).  But as I tried different eyes, mouths, teeth, moustaches, etc. they all took on their own personalities.   I had a blast, and it became a challenge to create a whole collection of different characters.  Kevin stopped by a time or two to mock the fact that it was almost midnight and I was sitting in the kitchen making pumpkin oranges instead of being like any other "normal" person and just throwing the plain oranges in a bag and calling it done. 

Since Kevin and the boys had helped themselves to some of the oranges I had to run by the store early and pick up a few more oranges to make sure I would have enough for everyone.  I had planned to just scatter the extras in with the decorated ones - the early bird get the worm or you get what you get,  but I couldn't help myself.  I had to decorate the baby ones, too.

As soon as the boys saw them they began picking out their favorites and calling dibbs.

I decided I had better put them up before they decided to help themselves to any more before the game.  I started looking for a bowl to put them all in when I saw one of my big tupperware bowls that would be perfect to show them off.  So I arranged the the oranges around the outside facing out and then stuffed the fruit by the foot (or paper chewies as the boys like to call them) packages in the middle.  That's what the slivers of metallic green that you can see are.

When it was all said and done I was exceedingly proud of my little creations.  So much so that I feel fairly certain that some similar ones may be making an appearance at the school Halloween party, too.  Shhhh!  Don't tell!

And speaking of the soccer game, Connor enthusiastically chased the ball around and even managed to send it in the right direction and Ryan scored his first ever goal - our only one of the game!  He did a great job several times on some fast breaks down the field.  He's really turning out to be a pretty good little soccer player.  He's pretty agressive.  He locks on the ball, kicks it and runs as fast as his little feet will take him.  Over, and over, and over again.  He's like the energizer bunny.  He's not even worn out after running up and down the field all game long.  He still wants to play with us "just a little more" after the game is over.

Monday, October 10, 2011

SeaWorld Halloween

The other big surprise was just how much Halloween theming and special events they had planned for their Halloween celebration.

There were plenty of kid friendly events like trick or treating -

Thoughout the park there were also a number of skeleton vignettes and skeletons worked into the typical attractions like the wetsuit the divers wore, and the skull and crossbones sitting in the aquarium tanks.

There was also an interesting section of the park filled with a variety of acts from witch doctors, to snake charmers.

We stopped by the Count's Un-Haunted Castle -

The boys were particularly intersted in the talking television.  The pumpkin head asked their name and talked to them for several minutes.

We manged to get the boys to "pose" by the Count at each phase by  telling them that we had to measure them to see if they were tall enough to go on.  They were eager to see if they passed the height requirement.  Luckily they were tall enough for every part though they weren't so lucky on the bigger roller coasters, and the biggest disappointment the river ride Rio Loco.

Some of the scarier attractions offered a family friendly hour - like Jack's Frighmare Forest.

It was definately not for the faint of heart.  Or the clausterphobic as the first building you had to squeeze your way through two air pillows to pop out the other side.  You then wandered from one black building to the next past all manner of creatures along the way.

Connor wasn't the least bit scared by creepy critters.  He even reached out and touched several of them.

Ryan on the other hand was NOT a fan of any of the darker places.

While I would have loved to have come back at night to see the grove of glow in the dark pumpkins I am not sure I would have enjoyed seeing what else lurked in Jack's forest in the middle of the night.

Because the darker it got the more the creepy creatures ventured out.

Though some were scarier than others.

The boys particularly enjoyed the signing skeletons and their rendition of a song similiar to the 12 Days of Christmas.

The skeleton vignettes were well lit at night really making them stand out.

The other thing that really stood out was the Monster Stomp show.  We sat towards the back at the edge in the event that we needed to sneak out as I wasn't sure how appropriate it would be for 3 year olds.

Luckily the boys didn't pay terribly much attention to the plot and simply enjoyed the music, dancing, and brightly colored costumes.

I asked the boys several times if they wanted to leave, and they adamantly insisted on staying.

The drum part was one of their favorites.

Though without a doubt my favorite was the glow in the dark skeletons.

After the Monster Stop show we caught a small part of the Grave Diggers Funeral Procession before heading back to the hotel to put the boys to bed after a long day spent enjoying all the Halloween activities the park had to offer.


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