Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

And just because every family picture needs a least on Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This spring I went a little crazy and bought a family pass to the zoo in our area.  Since buying the family pass (including the visit during which we bought the pass) we have gone to the zoo twice.  And we haven't participated in a single "members only" activity yet.

And then the Spooktacular invite came in the mail. From 6:30 to 9:00 every night for almost two weeks the zoo would be hosting some kind of Halloween thing. I'd never really heard of it. I hesitated to go because I'm not so great at putting myself in new situations...

...and then I took the plunge.  Friday afternoon I loaded my boys up in the car and drove the 45 minutes to the zoo to find out what this Spooktacular thing was all about.

Turns out it's a big Trick-or-Treating party.  Needless to say I caught hell from Logan for not having brought his costume.  I was saved by the fact that his stocking cap looks like I shark head.  I pulled it on his head and said, "There!  You're in costume!  You're a shark!"  At five years old he didn't really buy it, but mentally must have decided to just go with it.  Gavin, at two, didn't care.  Honestly, he probably would have been ticked if I tried to put him in costume (he's Yoda this year, and it turns out he's not a fan of the costume at all.  May be he's just not a fan of clothes in general right now and not anything personal against Yoda).

It just so happens despite the crowds (ICK!) and the dark (UGH!) and the trying to keep track of a five year old in the dark in the crowds (YIKES!), I managed to have a really good time - and so did my boys!  Sure, it took awhile to convince Logan that no matter how hard he looked in the monkey cages they weren't there at the moment (smart monkeys went into their house for the cold night), but once we passed the first person handing out CANDY all thoughts of getting to see animals were abandoned.  Ahhh...the power of sugar!

The zoo had some pretty amazing decorations.  There were the traditional spiders and black cats, and there were lots and lots of carved pumpkins.

But, there were also things like the Flinstones, Angry Birds, and a giant Candy Land board!

Turns out we still got to see some animals, too.  The petting zoo was open for one.

Plus, the path led us through the giant turtle house!

And then there was the lion.  Didn't seem like he cared much for all the people traipsing around at night because we could HEAR him before we could see him.  I can honestly say that I would not want to be out in the middle of nowhere with an angry lion!

And, if Trick-or-Treating, cool decorations, and animals weren't enough, there were games!  Games you could win prizes and treats from!  My boys were partial to the "Pick the Duck and Win Stuff" game and the "Spin the Wheel and Win Stuff" game.  They're a lot like me:  why work hard for prizes when you can find the booths that basically hand them out for nothing? 

Oh, and there was a bounce house, too.  Logan wanted INSIDE where the action was at while Gavin was content to lay on the "step" outside.

It was an awesome night.  I'm actually excited to take the boys back next year - especially now that I know what I'm getting myself into!  And, I'll be sure to bring costumes....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gifts ~ The People Edition

People are pretty awesome gifts.  They bring all kinds of experiences and blessings to one's life.  These people - my family - have had some of the biggest impacts on my life...probably because I've known them so long!  So, here they are, mostly in the order I met them!

31. Mom (Barbara)
32. Dad (John)
33. Adam (brother)
34. Dannielle (sister)
35. Justin
36.  Katie (sister-in-law)
That's her behind the camera.  Clearly I need to get more pictures of my family members!
37.  Nicholas (nephew)
38.  Lilly (niece)
39.  April (mother-in-law)
40.  Phil (father-in-law)
You know the only sad thing about doing a people edition?  It's learning that I rarely take pictures of people besides my boys!  Seriously, for some of these pictures I had to go back to folders from last year!  There's a goal for the next few months:  take more pictures of my family!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Carving Good Time!

This past weekend my parents and sister were here visiting.  We did all kinds of fun things like go the pumpkin farm and decorate pumpkins.  But, the fun didn't stop there.  If one buys pumpkins, one must carve pumpkins.  I'm sure it is some unwritten rule somewhere in a language only small children can read, because let me tell you, Logan insisted we carve pumpkins, too.  Didn't matter that we had Mr. Potato Head-ed a couple.  It wasn't carving, and therefore, it didn't count.  So, carve pumpkins we did.

At least my sister and I did...I'm pretty sure with the exception of scooping out a few handfuls of goo we got no help from any other member of the family.  And, this being the first time I've ever carved a pumpkin myself, I must say it is hard work, and now I know why I have avoided it for so many years by making some one else (Dad, Justin, etc) do it for me!

Didn't help that we bought GIGANTIC pumpkins which means THICK pumpkins which means REALLY, REALLY HARD to carve through pumpkins!

But, Dannielle and I did it, and here's what we ended up with:

The boys were very happy with the work Dannielle and I did, too!

P.S.  The cat carved into the pumpkin is the result of my very own handiwork!

Mr. Potato Head Meets the Pumpkin

What's better than carving pumpkins? 

Answer:  Making them look like Mr. Potato Heads.  Or should I say Mr. Pumpkin Heads?

All you need is a kit (thanks, Mom/Grandma) and an electric drill (thanks, Dad/Grandpa) and two kids, one mom, and one aunt to make it all work!

And voila! 

Awesome, right?  I think so, too!

Okay, lesson over.  No go and do!