Showing posts from October, 2008

Halloween update

Did all the little ghosts, ghouls, princesses, and pirates have fun tonight? I didn't think that many kids came around, but near the end of the night I thought that perhaps I did get a lot because I was afraid I was going to run out of candy. We had several very large groups of kids come through. Not a lot of kids younger than Matt though.

Here is the lump of dirt with his good friend, Pirate. Pirate lives in a neighborhood of four houses. Knowing this, I invited Pirate to come to our neck of the woods where he had a much larger pool of candy-giving houses. And Pirate and Lump of Dirt and Kitty Cat are all very good friends, and have been since they were all very little.
Also please note that you can see the prize I won from Bessie hanging on my Halloween tree on the piano. It's the big pumpkin. Very festive!

Here we have Kitty Cat, Zombie, Kimono girl and Black Dress girl. It's hard to believe the giggling and make-up-ing and spraying of hair-ing is not Katie, but …


Day 31 of the HDSF must feature pumpkins and costumes.

All three carvers went for the classic face design, each with their own interpretation.

Paul's, on the far left, is a winking teenager pumpkin saying, "heh." (Really. That is Paul's own wordage. "heh." ) Hayley (center) did hers in anime style. It's sort of a Picasso-y anime because you can't really tell where the features are unless you stare at if for a long time. Matt went for the evil robot pumpkin look.

Here they are, all lit up with their festive orange glow.
Today (I'm typing this up a day early. I typed it on the 30th, it posts and you read it on the 31st), Oct 30th at 3:15, Jimmy asked me what he should be for Halloween. A little LATE, don't you think??? My willingness to help with costume ideas and preparation fades to practically nil after the 21st. And I know Jimmy; any suggestion I make will be treated like a dirty diaper.

Hayley knew she wanted to be a cat. It's si…

Day 30 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and going on a flashlight walk

OK, I lied. No carved pumpkins today. I never got around to taking the pictures. Besides, Paul wants to carve a pumpkin still and he hasn't done it yet. So today's HDSF is Haurel and Lardy (work that one out for 5 points), a salt and pepper shaker set. These two jolly guys like to laugh it up at the dinner table, even if they never get used. I'm not in the habit of salting or peppering anything once the food hits the table. And I discourage my children from salting anything plated. We get enough salt as it is. So I bought this set PURELY FOR LOOKS. I am that shallow.

Last night I took the younger kids on a flashlight walk. As a public service, I will provide the following advice to anyone who wants to take children on a flashlight walk.

1. Obtain a degree in Astronomy. At the very LEAST, take a descriptive Astronomy class in college. This will help when the youngest child asks what each and every star and/or costellation in the October night sky is. He will al…

Day 29 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and Hayley and Matt carved pumpkins last night

I'm cheating today. I'm posting a picture of someone else's Halloween decoration. It's not that I don't have any more of my own decorations to feature (I do. I told you, I have LOTS), but I liked this so much.
I like the idea of perhaps having a child (namely my own) do something wacky to earn a treat. It would annoy the big boys to no end (like when I have them repeat after me--good fodder for a separate post) but they would do a trick if told to by the wheel only because they know I have the authority to enforce the wheel rules.

This objet d'arte du Halloween (forgive the probably wrong French spelling) was a trunk decoration at last Saturday's church trunk or treat party. I was too busy handing out candy to see if Cathy and Bruce actually made any of the kids spin the wheel, but I would have.

Last night Hayley and Matt (who was sick yesterday, threw up, but recuperated enough in time to do pumpkin duty) carved pumpkins. Paul chose to do homework in…

Day 28 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and the room is getting cleaner

Sister Jen is amazing with the quilt skills, yes? I love how she adds a touch of purple to the Halloween decorations she makes. This was a 40th birthday present. I love candy corn.

I don't have much to write today. Matt is sick again--head and stomach aches.

The former girls' room is getting cleaner. It will likely be ready for major overhaul soon. The plan is to put a floating wood floor in here to lessen the allergy problem of carpeting for the boys. Matt and Jimmy are continually stuffed up. We will also be painting the walls tan. My goal is to start to paint on Friday. The floor is going to take months I'm sure because Jim is rarely home for more than 30 minutes at a time and I am a wuss at projects of that magnitude. I just noticed that the old sewing room clock has migrated to this room. It never made it into the garage with all the other sewing room stuff. The pink box on the right has some of Katie's keepable stuff in it and the pink box on the left …

Day 27 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and insomnia

I have many wall hangings for Halloween.
But I don't have as many as some people. So if I ever think that perhaps I go a little overboard for Halloween, I think to myself that there are several people I know that live in my area who craft and sew holiday dust-gatherers all year long and have WAY more stuff than I do. So I rationalize. I love the buttons on this wall hanging--the candy corn on the witch's hat and the spider climbing up her chin. Click on the picture for a closer look.

Jim and I have a problem. We fall asleep on the downstairs couch too often. The couch is too comfortable (although we have fallen asleep on less comfortable furniture so the problem is maybe not the couch). I usually wake up in the middle of the night and trudge upstairs to get into bed, but I tend to have a hard time going back to sleep. Such is the case today. I've been up since 3:30 and I finally gave up trying to sleep at four. I already cleaned out the junk drawer in the kitchen a…

Day 26 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and trunk or treat picture dump

We are winding down the HDSF, folks! Less than a week remains! What will you do without a bit of Halloween decoration cheer? Anyone wanna come over and help me put all away? No? I offer brownies.

Every Halloween, I get out the Halloween magazines. I have saved these four because Matt and Hayley like to look at them. I want you to know that the only time these magazines have EVER been fanned out is for this picture. Seriously, my coffee table is NEVER this clean and the magazines are usually piled underneath fake child's toys.

This picture is for Bessie. See? I made them! I let fake child take some home.

Step Two in the Great Room Switch: Clean out the room formerly inhabited by the girls. See the mess? It is truly awful. I have hauled out four boxes full of trash and I'm making Hayley go through all the stuff to keep and she is putting it all away. There is 18 years worth of Katie's leftovers in that room. I found two long lost items--Katie'…

Day 25 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and yes it's a little late in coming today

I have a good excuse (not that I need one. I can post or not post whenever I want, right?) I was busy making Christmas decorations at church all morning. It was Super Saturday and I spent several hours making mixes in a jar to give to neighbors (or to keep for myself) and painting wooden blocks and sitting around eating and making outraged faces at a friend who was telling me all about her woes. I'm good at making indignantly outrage faces and saying, "That is just not right!" and "How can they do that?" and "pfffft! Away with them!" Well, not actually that last one, although I'd LIKE to say it. Wouldn't that cause a weird look or two! As would "A pox on their foreheads, the mangy dogs!" And "May dragons roast their left feet with flames of red and orange, rendering them crippled!"

OK, enough of that nonsense. I know you want to see what other Halloween goodness I have lurking in the corners of my house. This I keep…

Day 24 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and I'm ready for it to be the weekend

Sister Jen doesn't paint much anymore she says, but for a while, she did a lot of it. And I was lucky enough to be presented with a few things she painted. This, for example.I've had this for a long time (longer than I've had either Matt or Hayley) and every year it gets put out on my curio shelf. I remember when Hayley finally got the joke. She laughed herself silly for a good five minutes. She was probably 6 or 7. She tried to explain it to Matt, who wondered what was so funny. It took him another year or two to get it.

I just love the purplish blue guy behind the pumpkin.

Paul is now done with cross country for a year. No more after school practices (until track starts). He wanted to do a winter sport, but I am tired from picking him up at 5 every day and I need a break! His body also needs a break since his hip hasn't fully healed from a bicycle crash that happened even before the school year started. (He collided with Jimmy. Kids, don't listen to m…

Day 23 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and Paul

I like playing with blocks.
These are new this year. I spent a fine morning painting blocks black and sanding them down to prep them for the vinyl letters. I stacked the blocks for space purposes in this picture, as opposed to lining all eleven blocks in a row, but it doesn't look too bad this way.

Paul's news is that he is running in the conference finals cross country race this afternoon (go Paul! Sadly I can't be there. I babysit until 5 which is when the starter gun goes off for his race) and also he auditioned for the top band at school and got second chair French Horn! Yes it's official. He first told me, "I heard from a kid that I made Wind Ensemble and he said I got 2nd chair." I said, "Well, didn't you check the list yourself?" "No." I made him check it himself to be sure. This is so not what I'm used to. Katie would practically glue herself to the band room wall until the seating for Wind Ensemble was posted. She c…

Day 22 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and Lego instructions

Spiders. They cause my heart to palpitate, my hands to get clammy, my vision to go swimmy, and I squeal like a little girl.
All except for Ned here. I can deal with Neddy, even though he's probably the biggest spider in my house. Fortunately, Neddy doesn't creep up on me unawares, he doesn't scuttle towards my feet when I enter the bathroom and he doesn't walk around on the ceiling just over my head. He doesn't hide in the piles of laundry and wait for me to dig through, only to scare me half to death when I uncover him. He doesn't hide in the folds of my sweater. Neddy is a good guest. He stays in one place (where Matt hangs him, from underneath the dining room cupboards) he never moves unless acted upon by one of us or by the breeze. Matt is Neddy's creator, and insists on bringing him out every year for Halloween.

Speaking of Matt and creating things, Matt used birthday money to by (yet another) Lego set. And this is the very first page of the i…

Day 21 of the Halloween Special Feature and I've been tagged AGAIN.

I made this wall hanging and every year I hang it on a little wall that overlooks the entry way.
That way, Pumpkin lady can meet everyone that enters my home. I saw this pattern in a book and fell in love immediately. It's got fall leaves, pumpkins, and a cool grape button (sewed on in the stuff pumpkin lady is holding), as well as a few other buttons. Matt likes it because there are two squirrels on it. He loves squirrels. Normally, I have a hard time finishing crafts, but I loved this so much that I was able to finish, even the writing on the side and top of the hanging. The lady who thinks up wall hangings like this one (she has whole line of them) apparently doesn't like hair on women. All the male seasonal icons (Santa, leprechauns, uncle Sam etc) are given hair, but the women in her designs are usually bald except for a little twiddly backstitched head-wreath. Go figure. Oh well, I can deal with a bald pumpkin lady. She's ok with herself. She still manages…

2 things I've found in the last 24 hours that need explanation in someone needs to explain TO ME why I found things in the situations they were in.

1. A plastic cup cemented to my dining room floor by dried spilled milk. (I think I can come up with a reasonably believable scenario that led to this. Someone spilled some milk and instead of cleaning up after themselves, they just plopped the cup upright in the puddle of spilled milk and left it there)

2. A Young Women's recognition medallion INSIDE the base of a lava lamp. This one I have no explanation for. Neither does the person who lost her medallion.

Day 20 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and it's Monday morning, but you knew that already

Today's feature is the oddity of a snowman made not out of snow, but out of pumpkins; a pumpkin man, if you will (and you will). Although I don't think this creature is male. I believe it is a she. She has glitter on her cheeks and there is just something warm and friendly and "Come on in, I just baked cookies" about her smile. Not that I don't believe men and boys can't be warm and friendly or bake cookies (my boys used to bake cookies all the time). Maybe it's just the glitter on her cheeks. And the raffia bow on her head. This is Grandma Pumpkin. She just looks so grandma-like. She would have Honeycomb cereal in her pantry and full candy dishes scattered around her parlor--yes, she would have a parlor. And she would serve bread and honey and three kinds of meat with every meal. And she would pay you a quarter to straighten out all the rugs in her house. And she would have gum in her purse to give you whenever you went somewhere (even to CHU…

Day 19 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and I got tagged by Courtney

This Halloween ornament reminds me of New Year's Day 2003. Jenni got it for me to commemorate our trip to visit the Smiths in Florida (and go to Disney World) the week when 2002 switched over to 2003. Why did she choose to commemorate New Year's with Pumpkin Mickey? Because I love pumpkins,DUH.
Some other pictures from that trip? Sorry. I wasn't digital back then and I'm not about to try to dig up all my old photos just to spend half an hour to scan them, then another 15 minutes editing and uploading and another HOUR to caption them. Neener. If you really want to see pictures of our trip to FL, come to my house and I'll get out the one and only scrapbook I ever did and you can see for yourself. Take all the time to peruse the album that you want. I will serve you dinner and lemonade, but you'll have to get yourself here and then back to your own house.

I was tagged by Courtney to go to my picture files, pick the fourth file and upload the fourth picture …

Day 18 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and more room switch

I'm not completely pumpkin-ated at Halloween; I do like other images. Cats, for instance. I've had this cat as long as I've had Statler and Waldorf. They were born on the same craft day in Oregon. I'm particularly proud of how well I painted the eyes. The whiskers, however, are too gray. I wanted a more whitish whisker that would stand out against the black. Live and learn, I guess. (winky emoticon goes here) I never know where to put the cat (mostly I never know where to put anything), so she has migrated around the house from year to year. This year she stands on one of the stereo speakers with Cubey and Flat Stanley (Stanley has since been transmogrified into a more Picasso-like interpretation of a pumpkin, courtesy of the fake child) and some plastic pumkin treat containers. Her younger brothers, Servo and Magic, ignore her but she is ever optimistic and pleasant of demeanor. She has had no name yet, so maybe another contest is in order. Suggestions? A…

Day 17 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and I don't know what else

I like cloth napkins. They are durable and they get more foody goo off my hands than paper ones. They are easy to make and allow me the opportunity to express myself better than pressed paper fibers. And I can make the napkins really big to cover the vast acreage that needs covering when I eat.
My napkin basket is in on the festivity of the Halloween season. I have pumpkin napkins, trick-or-treat napkins (which you can't see very well in this picture) and if I'm feeling a bit more grown-up than usual, I have the "plain" autumn leaf napkins in the back.

I learned last night while at the craft store with Hayley that I need to NOT take Hayley to craft stores. She wanted everything. She loves creating art, so being in a large room full of paint, wood, doodads, felt, how-to books, foam sheet stickers, etc. was heaven for her. She saw glow-in-the-dark yarn and she turned on the puppy-dog eyes full bore. "It's on SALE, mom!" Anyone know of an easy knitt…

Day 16 of the Halloween Decoration Special Feature and pictures of Katie

Halloween decorating isn't complete without ghostly lighting. I got these LED lights at in the post-Halloween discount bin. They really aren't good for anything. But I do like the blue light. They blink in three different rhythms or they can be set to emit like continuously.
Remember that needlepunch witch's hat I showed off yesterday? I finished it! Needlepunch is so fast. The instructions for this pattern also provide a pattern for a cat and a pumpkin, which I will do eventually (as soon as I procure some more black embroidery floss. I am almost out of black--how unprepared am I?)
As I promised (and then subsequently didn't follow through yesterday) I have pictures of Katie. She is in the gold dress. As maid of honor, she got the special color. The young woman (I cannot yet call her a woman because I've known her all her life and I kinda still think of her as a little girl) who got married is the daughter of good friends of ours, Doug and Stacey. Laure…