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Monday, October 31, 2016

Twas the Night Before Halloween


Too many irons in the fire meant that these photos are out of order, but it will still give you a good idea of what went down Sunday night before Halloween. It was Liam's last night as a 10 year old, and there was a smattering of homework that wasn't due until Wednesday but with birthday and trick or treat, The Royal We figured we better knock some of it out early. And we had a flock herd collection passel of pumpkins which needed help transforming into Jackolanterns. 








Someone was positively gleeful about having had the opportunity to touch pumpkin guts at school, so for what felt like the 1000th time this weekend this kid was ready to combust over some Halloween-related activity. He is a perfectionist in just about everything he does, so it was with great consternation that he designed his Jackolantern. He wasn't pleased with his results and it took a fair bit of cajoling to convince him that it looks like his, far left, is whispering secrets to mine, second from left, in the last photos.




Triskal is so full of leaves and seeds and sand and dirt and grit that I fail to see how a little pumpkin pulp could possibly make her any worse, but she had the good sense to stay a smart distance away from the carving while she supervised.

Here's me in my Halloweeny shirt and refreshed black hair dye- what, did you really think Carrie has enough hair to use up the entire bottle herself? Besides, I need mine dark for tonight as well!




Please pretend you didn't notice the Christmas tree in the background for the pumpkin carving. I blame Deloris.



Getting to bed a little late on his last night of ten after a busy weekend! Sweet dreams, Liam.

Meanwhile, Shenanigans were happening outside... 

Party porch!






Heads Up


Two Part Spoiler Alert:

One, this kid is going to be Poseidon for Trick or Treat. She has worked incredibly hard on her costume, which you'll see later, and requested that her hair be dyed black because Poseidon apparently did not have honey-colored hair. Who knew?

Two, don't look now. Carrie's doing something that could be considered *gasp* girly!

Take a good look at this makeup-free, body-art-free, piercing-free thirteen and a half year old face and give me a good reason why she shouldn't be allowed to dye her hair.

I'll wait.


That's what I thought. So away we go! This post is brought to you by Clairol's Natural Instincts Black, which is not permanent and will wash out by Christmas, probably. Dye's in under the shower cap and timer is set for 10 minutes. 



First rinse done, conditioner on and setting in.



Getting blown away...


Blowdryer photobomber.


The finished product. Surprisingly, it still had a lot of her natural red highlights visible and goes better with her eyebrows and eyelashes than I had anticipated. She is absolutely delighted, which makes me happy. I can't wait to see the entire Halloween getup later tonight! Stand by!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Sky's the Limit/ Mystery Adventure #2


Liam requested a trip to SkyZone for his birthday, which none of us had never been to before. He also had other ideas, and we had ideas, so there was a lot of chatter and possibilities and nothing was set in stone for his birthday weekend.

So why not turn it into a second Mystery Adventure? 

"Everybody get in the car and have on jump-around clothes."

Ohhhhhkay... 

Then we drove to Wendy's to throw them off the scent of possibilities. Dada drove as we all stuffed ourselves real quick and then when we pulled into the driveway and he read the sign, Liam's intake of breath was probably heard around the world. There he is, below, dashing to be the first one in the door.



And if Liam didn't have enough enthusiasm for a small nation, this kid was positively ready to combust. Part of it may have been that he expected a trip to Fallen Timbers to play with the giant chess set, and this did not match up to that destination, haha!



Here they are, all stickered up and listening to the Rules.


"And there they gooooooo" in my best Spike Jones imitation. They all headed into different directions to check out as much as they could. Carrie beelined for the biggest set of trampolines and started bouncing. Damon followed her and watched for a few moments before being lured into the Foam Pit with Liam.



See them racing up the ramp to dive in?



Carrie joined in and gave them some ideas...







Dada and I watched from the Comfort Zone, which was like a crow's nest where we could keep an eye on everybody zooming from one activity to another.

We paid for an hour, and Carrie checked in every 15 minutes to collapse in exhaustion for a few minutes before heading back out. How that kid can even walk today is beyond me.




There was an amazing amount of spin, flip, twist, and repeat going on. Sometimes the boys had to roll back onto the ramps of the foam pit because they couldn't summon enough energy to climb out!







Perfect pictures of a #hotmess, wouldn't you say?



The black lights came on and it was time to go. It was a super introduction to a fun venue for us, and we've promised we'll go back again for the glow time at some point. 

In the meantime, Dada and I intend to pull out our jump ropes and practice before exposing ourselves to that kind of activity and energy requirement, haha! 

Happy almost 11th birthday, Thing Two! So glad you enjoyed your birthday surprise, Liam. It was a great idea! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"I'm going...on... an adVENture!"




Anyone who has seen or read The Hobbit will recognize the title quote from Bilbo Baggins as he tears down the path after the Dwarves whom he wanted nothing to do with in the first place. Bilbo much prefers well-mannered company and his own well-stocked larder. 

Our family is very much like a community of Hobbits. We also love food and company. We've been known to host three day parties, though adding extra children and pets to that makes it a bit more challenging. Our parties may have scaled down some, but our love of sweets and sweet friends never will. 

We piled the crew into Pepe on Saturday and took off for a Mystery Adventure. They kids went hogwild guessing our destination. Dada answered, "no, and not telling" to every guess. A distinct "it had better not be Home Depot" was muttered from the backseat. Perhaps we have tried that tactic before...


At any rate, I wore the cowgirl boots I found at Goodwill for $5 because I figured we'd be chilly and I figured where we were going they would be appreciated...


The leaves are getting SO pretty. We went a back way instead of the turnpike forever, so that helped with the scenery as well. It got cloudier and cloudier as we approached our mystery destination, so the leaves got lovelier.

We arrived at an airplane hangar on the other side of Ohio. We weren't there early enough to yell, "surprise!" as we took a little longer at Panera for lunch than we maybe should have, but we DID get in line just before a busload of folks from Nebraska who were headed to New York City, so there is that. Aunt Sherri was ecstatic anyway. Sweet Tom threw her a surprise 50th birthday party, and since her birthday was the week before, she thought she'd gotten off scott free. So we brought a Scott with us, hehe.



This was adorable. The boys are under a plane that a million people had previously signed. Aunt Sherri is supervising while she eats one of the Cortland apples that Tom brought from some orchard-owning friends, and they're just all chitchatting and having a wonderful time. I love how she gets right in there with them and talks about anything and everything. She is so priceless to us!


It was so good to spend some time with Sherri's son Michael, too. He's one of Carrie's favorite people in life. We did get some quick hugs from his brother, Charlie, but Carrie really enjoyed chilling with her bud. 

"And there was far too much food." That'd be cousin Eric in the background, who was partly responsible for the three batches of homemade ice cream that were devoured while we were there. His daughter, Paige, contributed apple crisp, Tom made brownies, and we had the apples. Let's just say none of us will starve anytime soon. We are a dessert-loving clan, for sure.


Aunt Sherri in her usual state: delighted. She is such a joy-filled person and I really admire that!  

All too soon we had to head back home, through the clouds again. Never enough time with people that you love. We got plenty of hugs from Carrie's Squishy, more formally known as Aunt Evelyn, and Uncle Leon, and Pap. It had been fun to meet some of Tom's pilot friends, including a flirtatious man named Gerry who was pleased to find a fellow Pennsylvanian. 



The clouds cleared out again as we headed home. The kids didn't seem to mind being in the car longer than we were at the party. It had been a lovely day, and now we have one more possible destination in our arsenal for our next Mystery Adventure. Bilbo would approve wholeheartedly.