Saturday, October 31, 2009


Here are the girls, all dressed and ready for an evening of trick-or-treating. Evelyn went as Glinda, and Julia was Raggedy Ann. Don't they look gorgeous and cute?
"Is it time to leave, yet? Can we go trick-or-treating now?" The girls were itching to get out of the house and start the quest for candy.

The weather wasn't exactly favorable for trick-or-treating this evening. Even though we dodged raindrops from time to time, nobody melted and fun was had by all. Julia did amazingly well riding in the stroller for an hour and a half.
In the end, Evelyn ended up with 100 pieces of candy - pretty good for an evening out in the neighborhood.

Carving Pumpkins

It's pumpkin carving time! We finally cut into the pumpkin that Evelyn picked out at the pumpkin patch several weeks ago. Scooping out the pumpkin guts was the "funnest" part for Evelyn, even though I did most of the work.
You get a little goofy when carving pumpkins. Well, you do when you're a 5-year-old.

Even though Evelyn wasn't ready to use the pumpkin cutter, she was able to help pull the cut pieces out of the pumpkin.
Using a computer program, Evelyn was able to design her own jack-o-lantern face. Here are the results of her creativity: big googly eyes, a crooked nose and pouty lips. It looks like an Evelyn creation, doesn't it?
Our friends, Kat and Ross, came down today to join in on the Halloween festivities. Kat cut out a spider, Evelyn's funny face is in the middle, and Ross carved Shaun the Sheep. I think all of our pumpkins turned out pretty well.

Halloween Cookies

It was brought to my attention that we needed to make sugar cookies for Halloween. I had almost forgotten about our bat, cat, ghost and pumpkin cookie cutters until Evelyn discovered them a couple days ago. With our busy schedule this past week, we didn't have time to bake and frost the cookies until today.

At first, Julia wanted in on the action. Once she realized that we weren't going to let her play with the flour or cookie dough, she took off.
Evelyn was a pro when it came to cutting out the cookies. She cut the shapes and placed them onto the cookie sheets without much help.

We frosted most of the sugar cookies . . . with the exception of Julia's cookie. She didn't seem to mind at all. Julia devoured that cookies like nobody's business in a matter of minutes. Evelyn frosted one of the pumpkin-shaped cookies, added sprinkles, and promptly polished it off.

Friday, October 30, 2009

School Halloween Party

Evelyn (also Glinda) had her school Halloween party this afternoon. I got Julia all dressed up in her costume, and off we went to join the festivities. A party at school wouldn't be complete without the traditional parade. The parade at Evelyn's school took the kids through a haunted house (the gym underwent a transformation), around the playground, and down the halls to the classroom.

Back in the classroom, Julia and I helped the Kindergarteners make ghost lollipops at one of the party stations. As you can see, Julia did more eating than helping, but as long as she wasn't wandering around the room, snitching snacks from the kids' plates, I was happy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


To borrow a word from Ross's vocabulary, Julia has been really punchy at night lately. When the clock hits 7:00, Julia turns into a wild one. She runs around the house like a lunatic, tries to do somersaults, climbs on the couches, and giggles uncontrollably. This makes for great entertainment for the whole family.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Julia's Motor Skills

In the last week, Julia has fine-tuned some motor skills that are worth noting: throwing a ball, feeding herself with a spoon and coloring.

Troy, Evelyn and I have been trying to get Julia to throw a ball over-handed for about a month. She got the hang of it Saturday night, and she was pleased as punch to discover that new skill. After she would throw the ball, she would smile and clap and dance.

I'm not brave enough to let Julia feed herself sloppy food with a spoon. But she is very successful when eating Cheerios or Goldfish from a spoon. One of these days, when I'm prepared for a mess, I'll let her have a go at a cup of yogurt or applesauce.

One of Julia's favorite activities at the gym day care is coloring. When she first gets to the gym, she usually asks one of the teachers "Color?" Then she heads over to the table, sits on a chair, and waits for some paper and crayons. She does a nice job of scribbling on the paper (not the table), and she likes to use a variety of colors.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Party 2009

Tonight we hosted (what seems to have become) our annual kids' Halloween party. We originally had eight families RSVP, but we lost three to illness. Evelyn was disappointed that six of her friends weren't able to come to the party, but she still had fun with the kids that were able to make it.
The first activity of the evening was decorating paper bags - a good thing to have to stash loot as the kids won candy and prizes from the various games.

The games that the kids played were Mummy Wrap, Bone Hunt, Pin the Nose on the Ghost and Cupcake Walk. There was also a costume contest, and our host-with-the-most, Evelyn, won for the Prettiest Costume.
At the end of the party, everyone got goodie bags, which were filled with all sorts of Halloween silliness. Here is one of my favorite pictures of the evening - princesses with vampire teeth.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nearly There

The sewing machine is packed away in the utility room. That said, I am finished sewing Halloween costumes!

If you ask me, Julia looks pretty darn cute in her Raggedy Ann outfit. The way she toddles around the house in her old-fashioned dress, pants and pinafore is simply adorable.

Kat helped out a TON with Evelyn's Glinda costume. Without her, I don't think I would have started, let alone finished, embellishing the gown with the sequins and appliques. But all those extras on the dress complete the costume. Without them, it would just be a nice-looking dress.

What's left? Ah, yes, the crown. I have all the materials to make the Glinda crown. However, I'm trying to decide if I should tackle that project or go with a simple $3 crown/tiara I've seen at the party store. I'm leaning toward making the crown. The saying, "Go big, or go home," keeps popping into my head. I have less than 24 hours to make my decision - our kids' Halloween party is tomorrow evening...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Raggedy Ann Costume - Part III

Mission accomplished! The pants for Julia's costume are finished. The final step is sewing the pinafore. After a few accessories, Julia will be transformed into Raggedy Ann.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Raggedy Ann Costume - Part II

Last night, I finished sewing the dress for Julia's Raggedy Ann costume. However, I couldn't take a picture of the finished product until this morning (my model was asleep at the time I finished the dress). Here's Julia in her new dress:

Next up: the pants.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Raggedy Ann Costume - Part I

For several weeks, I have been thinking about what Julia's Halloween costume should be, and nothing was coming to me. Evelyn wanted Julia to be a fairy, but I couldn't find any costumes that looked comfortable. Like Evelyn, Julia will attend three separate Halloween parties this month, and it is absolutely essential that Julia's costume is wearable. I had almost given up on a costume for her, conceding defeat to Julia's festive Halloween shirt.

Then I had an epiphany. She has red hair, so if she dresses up as Raggedy Ann, a wig wouldn't be necessary. Since Julia wears shirts or dresses with pants/leggings all the time, a costume with a dress and pants should fit the bill with comfort. I found a toddler's size pattern at the closest Joann's Fabric store, picked up the needed material, and now we can get Julia all dolled up for Halloween.
This is it for Julia's costume - the dress will be blue flower material, and both the pinafore and pants will be white. Elastic bands around the waist, ankles and wrists. A tie in the back of the pinafore. Only a hook-and-eye closure for the dress (not even a zipper!). Knock on wood, but this should be a quick and easy costume to sew. And it's very practical for a toddler.

Squirmy Worm

Julia went to toddler story time at the library this morning. All throughout the 30-minute presentation of songs, stories and finger plays, it took a lot of work to keep Julia near me. You could tell she wanted to wander around the room, investigating every nook and cranny. Thankfully, the librarian quickly moved from one activity to the next, which helped to keep Julia's attention. This is not to say that Julia didn't enjoy herself - she had a great time. It's just that Julia usually runs full-throttle, and that's a little tricky to corral in a story time setting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Glinda Costume - Part VI

We're on the home stretch, now. The gown for Evelyn's Glinda costume is completely sewn. Next up - sequins, appliques and the crown. Crafts are not my thing, so I'm crossing my fingers that all will go well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love Elmo

Julia loves a new toy - Elmo. This stuffed Elmo is a hand-me-down from Evelyn, who never really took to the guy. Julia carries him around the house, giving him hugs, and she likes to have him for naps and bed-time. And she can also say his name very clearly.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Glinda Costume - Part V

Evelyn's Halloween costume involves lots and lots of gathering. The tulle sections of her sleeves are gathered, and (naturally) the skirt is gathered. In order to make the fullness of the sleeves and skirt look even, I have spent quite a bit of time pinning the gathered material so when I sew it, it looks fabulous. It's a time-consuming process, but well worth the effort.Here's a picture of the latest installment of Evelyn's Glinda costume . . . can you guess what major piece is missing?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shop 'Til You Drop

One of Julia's favorite things to do right now is carry bags around the house. She goes to the kitchen cupboard where I keep handled paper bags from various stores, fishes around until she finds the ones she needs, and then she carries them around the house. Here's a picture of our happy little shopper -

Monday, October 5, 2009

Glinda Costume - Part IV

The bodice of Evelyn's costume is mostly complete. I won't be able to finish the neckline until after the back zipper is put in, and I can't put in the zipper until the skirt is attached. So the next step is sewing the two-layered skirt . . . stay tuned for updates and pictures!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Butler's Orchard 2009

For the second year in a row, we headed to Butler's Orchard for their Pumpkin Festival. "Festival" is the right word to describe all of the autumn activities - there is so much to do! We arrived at the orchard right when it opened at 10:00, which meant a great parking space right next to the entrance.

Our first stop was the tractor-pulled hay rack ride that took us out to the pumpkin patch. Evelyn loved the ride, and Julia didn't quite know what to think of it, but she was content. Once we got to the pumpkin patch, we tossed Julia into a wheelbarrow and headed off in search of the perfect pumpkins. We found a little pumpkin for Julia, and Evelyn found a bigger pumpkin for herself, which she plans to carve into a jack-o-lantern.
Julia didn't want to sit in the wheelbarrow the entire time we were at the pumpkin patch - she wanted to walk around the field like the rest of us. However! Pumpkin patches are tricky places for little ones to wander around. She had to rely on either Troy or myself to hold her hand and guide her around the pumpkin vines.Here's Evelyn with her prized pumpkin.

The ride back to the main activities area was just as much fun, maybe even better since we had our pumpkins with us.
After the hay rack rides and pumpkin patch, Troy and Evelyn took our pumpkins back to the car, and then we wandered around to find more fun things to do. I think we spent about half an hour going down the big slides - all three of us girls even went down together! Evelyn was brave enough to go down the slide several times on her own.

After the slides, Troy and Evelyn chased each other around a hay bale maze, Julia snacked on crackers, Evelyn went on a moon bounce, Julia snacked on crackers, Evelyn played on a wooden train, and Julia snacked on crackers. Everyone was perfectly (and happily) exhausted after spending two and a half hours at the pumpkin festival.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Husker Birthday

Evelyn and I had the same idea for Troy's birthday cake: Husker football. Evelyn wanted me to cut a cake into the shape of a letter "N," but that's a little too ambitious for me. What I had in mind is what's pictured below - a 9x13 cake, transformed into a football field.

Evelyn and I kept this a secret from Troy until after supper tonight. That's when we surprised him with his cake, sang "Happy Birthday," and ate cake. Or, as Julia calls it, pancake. And Evelyn insists that today was Happy Husker Birthday for Daddy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Whirling Dervish

Julia's funny-of-the-week is something we like to call the Whirling Dervish. While holding onto toys (Sir Topham Hatt and a stuffed lamb in this video), Julia goes around in circles a couple of times, and then giggles. Probably because she's a bit dizzy! And then she does it all over again.