Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

While the outdoor light was still good this afternoon, I convinced the girls to dress up in their costumes so I could take some pictures. Here's Dorothy and Scarecrow on the front porch with their jack-o-lanterns. Clearly, Dorothy is the ornery one.Scarecrow wanted to pose with the scarecrow in our front yard. Evelyn fits right in!
Here's Dorothy cuddling her dog, Toto. She kept saying how much she loves Toto, and how sweet he is.
We went trick-or-treating from about 6:30 until 8:00 this evening, making the usual rounds through our neighborhood. Julia...I mean...Dorothy lasted about an hour, and then she hitched a ride in the wagon. Scarecrow walked the whole way, never complaining once.
How did the girls do? Just like last year, they brought in 10 pounds of candy. 10 pounds!!! We have already sorted out half of it to donate to the troops overseas...goodness knows we don't need all that in our house!

Last Boat Ride of the Season

This afternoon we girls went on the last boat ride of the season at Black Hill Regional Park. It was a bit chilly on the lake this afternoon, but the girls were bundled up and still had a blast.While cruising around the lake, we saw grebes, geese and a blue heron. But the real catch was seeing not one, but two bald eagles! Here's a picture of the male and female, sitting on a tree in their favorite area of the park -
After seeing the bald eagles, the naturalist parked the boat in a cove (out of the wind) and read a couple of stories to the kids.
Then we headed back to the boat dock. It was another fun and gorgeous day for a boat ride at Black Hill, and we can't wait to go on more boat rides next year.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Girls and Their Pumpkins

Here are some "before" and "after" pictures with Julia, Evelyn . . . and even Rosie . . . with the pumpkins.Evelyn and Julia showing off their pumpkins and the face patterns they chose.
Here we are, scooping out the guts. Julia absolutely refused to touch the pumpkin's insides.
The finished products, complete with lit candles. Too cute, girls!

Evelyn's Pumpkin Carving

Evelyn started off today's pumpkin carving the way she has the past couple of years - I cut off the top, she started digging out the guts with her hands, and then she let me use the scoop to finish cleaning it out.
But then Evelyn wanted to do everything on her own. She punched out the pattern, and then she used the little carving knife to cut out the "el Fuego" face.
Evelyn even got the hang of re-cutting the pieces to make it easier to push them out.
Evelyn did really well on her first independent pumpkin carving - here's the finished product!

Julia's First Pumpkin Carving

This year marks the first year Julia carved her own pumpkin. She has been itchin' to make the "Goo Goo" face, which she picked out weeks ago. Troy helped the little Sunshine with her pumpkin project, by first taping her face pattern to the pumpkin . . .. . . followed by punching out the pattern onto the pumpkin . . .
. . . and then Julia tried to cut into the pumpkin with the carving tool. How did that work? Eh, not so well.
Julia had chosen a pumpkin with really thick walls, so she needed Troy to do all of the carving.
Here she is, with her finished "Goo Goo" pumpkin!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Evelyn's School Halloween Party

Our resident scarecrow had her Halloween party at school today, and guess who else was in her class?
Dorothy! These two walked in the school parade together, drawing lots of attention.So, even though Evelyn thought she left Dorothy (aka Julia) at home, Evelyn's friend from school surprised her.
Dorothy and the Scarecrow stuck together throughout the party, and they even buddied up for this wrap-the-mummy game.
The class also played "Ghost Stew" (where they used straws to put ghosts in the bowl), made a foam jack-o-lantern craft and ate snacks. All in all, I think Evelyn, er, I mean, Scarecrow had a great time!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Julia's Preschool Halloween Party

Julia's preschool had their Halloween party this morning, and Julia was thrilled to go to preschool as Dorothy (along with her sidekick, Toto).The kids from all the preschool classes had a parade in the all-purpose room . . .
. . . and then the classes stopped and posed for some pictures.
Dorothy's favorite party snacks were brownies and cookies. Who can blame her?
Done eating her treats, Julia tore into her goodie bag. After taking everything out of the bag, she had to look again, just to make sure she got everything. In Julia's opinion, her first school party was fantabulous!

Nature Pictures

Today proved to be a good day for taking nature pictures. It was rainy and cool, which apparently is good hunting weather for red-tailed hawks . . .. . . and bald eagles. The picture of the red-tailed hawk was taken from Evelyn's window; it was in a tree in the woods near our house. I spotted the bald eagle by Little Seneca Lake, looking stoic from its lookout tree.
The trees surrounding the lake are really colorful right now, and it's neat to see their reflection in the water.

Scarecrow - Part III

Annnnnnnd...the last part of Evelyn's scarecrow costume is finished! Stay tuned for pictures of Evelyn wearing all three parts - Halloween is just around the corner!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scarecrow - Part II

Yesterday I finished Evelyn's scarecrow pants, but we were so busy that Evelyn didn't have time to try them on until today. And look - a perfect fit! Now I just need to finish making the hood and hat, and Evelyn will be transformed into Dorothy's companion, the Scarecrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scarecrow - Part I

Last night I finished sewing the top for Evelyn's scarecrow costume. Naturally, she wanted to try it on first thing this morning. she is, modelling her scarecrow shirt with her pajama bottoms!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Return to Oz

What to be for Halloween, what to be? Well, Julia fits into Evelyn's old Dorothy costume, and I was able to convince Julia to dress up in the blue gingham dress I made four years ago. Both girls then decided that Evelyn should be another character from the movie "The Wizard of Oz." It was a tough choice for Evelyn - she wanted to either be the Wicked With of the West (Dorothy's enemy) or the Scarecrow (Dorothy's friend). After lots and lots of consideration, Evelyn chose to be Dorothy's friend, the Scarecrow.I know this is the latest - by far! - that I have started making a Halloween costume...and I hope this doesn't come back to bite me...but I think making Scarecrow will be quite a bit easier than the costumes I have made the last four years. There's no tulle, no sequins, no skirt layers. Basically I need to make a pair of pajamas with a hat/hood combo. Oh, and sew raffia here and there. Fingers crossed that this costume is as easy as I think it is!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Story Time

Julia's preschool book order came in today, and the girls couldn't wait to read the new books. Julia's pick tonight was Happy Halloween, Mittens . . .. . . and Evelyn chose Scaredy-Cat Splat! Nothing like a little quiet reading time before bedtime.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Fun at Butler's Orchard

After visiting the pumpkin patch and bringing our pumpkins out to the car, we spent nearly three more hours at the Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard. Something that everyone likes is the giant slides, which we all went down several times.We spent as much time as we could in the hay barn...which is a barn literally filled with hay. Evelyn wanted to be buried in hay, and we happily obliged.
The corn maze threw us for a loop this year. We apparently took the long way around to find the middle of the maze. This became apparent to us when we left the play house - it didn't take us any time at all to get out.
After eating our picnic lunch, the girls wanted to go on the pumpkin carriage ride. This ride is only for kids, so we quizzed Julia and Evelyn about what they saw on their 10-minute ride. It sounds like the forest was filled with all sorts of festive displays, which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.
Another favorite activity for the girls is the "Mystery Maze." This is a gigantic hay maze that is covered by a gigantic tarp, which makes it very dark inside. The girls loved chasing each other and hiding from Troy. Evelyn also likes going down the combine slide, pictured below. Since adults do not fit, I can only imagine what they did to put a slide inside a piece of farm machinery...
All in all, another wonderful fall day spent at Butler's Orchard!

Butler's Orchard Pumpkin Patch

We got to Butler's Orchard right when they opened at 10:00 this morning. And, just like the past three years, our first activity of the day was going on a hay-rack ride out to the pumpkin patch.

After the tractor dropped us off at the pumpkin patch, we walked out to a section where there wasn't anyone else around. Julia and Evelyn took their time picking out two perfect pumpkins - one for each of them. Here's Julia, patting her 15-pounder.
After finding their pumpkins, we continued to wander around the pumpkin patch, stopping for photo ops here and there. There were some unusual pumpkins scattered here and there...gray/green pumpkins, bumpy pumpkins, oblong pumpkins and dark green pumpkins.
We were also looking for my perfect pumpkin. This bumpy one fit the bill - not too big but not too small.
And a trip to the pumpkin patch wouldn't be complete without Julia riding in the wheelbarrow. Here she is with both her pumpkin and Evelyn's 17-pound pick.