Monday, October 27, 2008

Hallelujah Festival...a.k.a...Redneck Halloween

Our friends the W's invited us to their church's "Hallelujah Festival" this past Sunday night. It was a fun, family evening of carnival games, hotdogs, costumes and candy. Let me back up a little bit though...

Remember this picture of loveliness???

When Sophie arrived home from Grandma & Grandpa's house, upon entering our living room, she honed in on Greg's mullet wig and exclaimed, "Mom, look! It's Belle hair!!" And she then proceeded to put on Greg's mullet wig and twirl about, tossing the hair over her shoulders. She wanted to sleep in that mullet wig. And when she woke up, she insisted on wearing it to the "Hallelujah Festival." She wanted to go as Belle instead of as Snow White as we'd been planning on. I'm all for picking my battles, and that wasn't a fit I was up for, so here is the result...a redneck princess.

(That's the Beast's magic mirror she's holding, by the way)
She's been wearing the mullet wig ever since. Really. She wore it to her doctor's appointment on Monday. She would have worn it to church today if I'd let her.
Getting her face painted

Lydia & Sophie, two Disney princesses

Getting a tattoo

Owen was a very snuggly skeleton (in a hand-me-down costume)

The Pumpkin Walk game--Sophie won! But she didn't know it until the lady handed her the prize. Sophie was still trying to figure out what number she was standing on.
Owen wanted to "play" all the games too. He settled for digging through the treat buckets to pick out candy that he can't even eat.
We did every game there was to do and came home with tons of candy. Our family had a great time! Thanks for inviting us, W's!!

Drew, Lydia, Owen & Sophie

Eleventh Annual Halloween Party

Greg and I hosted our 11th Halloween party this past weekend. We invited highschool and college friends (plus a few new friends) over to have some good, clean Halloween fun. If our house was bigger, we'd extend our guest list...and buy another Connect 4 game...more on that in a moment.

Prior to its 7 p.m. start time, we left our house at 9:30 a.m. to rendezvous with Greg's parents to send the kids with them for the night. After that we did some car shopping, got a flat tire that took 2+ hours to deal with, did some more car shopping, bought a new (used) car, and returned home at 6:45 p.m. Um, yeah...15 minutes before guests were to arrive. I was having all kinds of panic attacks and was ready to call Laura to give her the garage code to open the house to my guests. What happened instead was that we got in the door, swooped all the debris from the front table, along with all the coats/hats/bags/umbrellas from the coat rack, and dumped it on my bed. I forgot to change the towel in the bathroom. I had dirty dishes in the sink and no time to put my costume on. Remember that we'd left the house at 9:30 and had planned to return with plenty of time to leisurely prepare the house for partying. My lovely friends Lisi and Tara arrived a bit early (aaaack!!) and helped me out by preparing the food table and doing my dishes (I'm so ashamed!) and loading my dishwasher. I'm sure their husbands were being helpful too, but I was running around like a lunatic and didn't notice. Thanks Lisi and Tara and Dan and Mike, too!

After the initial freak-out was over, and we turned the lights down low (to set the Halloween mood...and so no one could see the filth), I actually had a really great time! Lots of friends arrived with a few kids and great food in tow. We did a lot of chatting and a lot of snacking, and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Here are some pictures of all the fun. In all my freaking-out lunacy, I neglected to take everyone's picture. Sorry for that!! It wasn't until I finally ate something and chilled out a little that I thought to take photos, and by then some people had already left.

Our very littlest guest, Brinna, and her mom Kris

My sister Cassie (Angelina Jolie) and her husband Gerrit (McGyver)

The W's: Laura (Sarah Palin), Todd (McCain), Drew (Dopey) & Lydia (Snow White)

A pirate family: Jeremiah, Kelly, Brayden & Nadia

There were non-costumed folks too...Tara & Dan
Jodie & Bryan

We had our usual Connect 4 tournament, with two game boards going simultaneously to keep things moving along. Nadia helped out her mom Kelly.
Husbands and wives battled it out...Ben & Elaine
Ultimately, it came down to Elaine and Bryan. Way to represent the women, Lainer!
Greg and Tim battled it out for 3rd place, with Tim taking the title. Remember that wig on Greg... you'll be seeing it in a future post.
Elaine took 2nd place, and Bryan was the Connect 4 champion! Well done, everyone!
We also gave out prizes for best costumes, which were voted on by all in attendance. Cassie (Angelina) took 2nd prize.
And Laura (Sarah Palin) took first!! Could this be a foreshadowing of next week??!! Only time will tell... Thanks for being good sports, all you who dressed up!! Next year I promise I won't go car shopping and neglect to leave time to dress up for my own party.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I got tagged...

I've been tagged. I don't totally know what that means, but I'm trying to play along. The object of the game is to tell 10 random facts about myself, link to the blogger who tagged me, and then tag other blog friends to do the same. I'm fine with the random facts, but I haven't any idea how to create links! So, the person who tagged me can be found at this blog. (OK, I just discovered I can create links!! Woohoo!). Cassie and Brenda, it's your turn!

10 random facts about me:

1. I grew up in Canada, but I'm an American

2. I've studied 4 languages other than English (German, French, Spanish, Greek). I can count in 3 of the 4 now, but that's about it.

3. I love, love, love those little chocolate waxy donuts you can get at a gas station.

4. I prefer Coke over Pepsi, but I can handle Pepsi (now) if I need to.

5. I do not enjoy talking on the phone. I do it. But not typically just for fun. I usually have a purpose for calling, and then I'm done.

6. Blogging is my scrapbooking. I can not deal with all the stickers and cute paper. I admire those who do, but it would make me insane.

7. I love Christmas music.

8. I have never been pulled over by a cop (but that doesn't mean I don't speed).

9. I was a crew chief on my college paint crew one summer.

10. I still have (and use) the hairbrush my mom gave me when I was in sixth grade. It's neon yellow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Visiting the Great Grandmas

Last weekend, we went to visit Greg's Grandmas. It had been a while since we'd been there last, so it was fun for the kids, and the grandmas too, to spend some time together. Sophie and Owen enjoyed playing in Grandma E's porch. They kept going in and out of the screen door.

After a bath night, they enjoyed watching a movie on our little DVD player for a while. Owen kept trying to touch the buttons, which was highly upsetting to Sophie.

Greg read them their bedtime books. This is how they began...calmly enjoying the books together...

Then this happened...

And this...

Twenty pictures later, this is how they ended. Notice that Owen's got ahold of Sophie's pjs still. Reading is never simple now that Owen wants in on the action.
Unless the kids each have their own book and there are no parents' laps involved. Then they read very nicely. Owen particularly enjoys books with real animal pictures in them right now.
Sophie got to help Grandpa mow the lawn. She thought this was great fun, especially the trying to mow over Daddy part.

We got to celebrate Great Grandma E's birthday while we were there--it was her 93rd! (Is that right?? Ninety-something anyway.) Sophie likes to call her Great Grandmas by their last names. As in, last names only. So, if the last name was Smith, Sophie would refer to her as "Smith." So, Grandma's cake said "Happy Birthday 'Smith'" on it.
I do not recall why Owen was naked. But I do know why Sophie's refusing to look at the camera. I made her sit for one more picture. What a beast I am!

Owen loves to be tickled.
Owen also got to try out the lawn mower. He did not try to run over Daddy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apple Orchard to end all Apple Orchards

(Life's been a bit hectic lately. So sorry for the long delay in posting)

We visited an apple orchard on the way to visiting the great grandmas this past weekend. This place had it all...a wagon ride through the orchard...a kiddie train ride, which Sophie loved...

...tractors, and lots of other things to climb on and ride...

Owen must do everything that Sophie does. Today he refused his own sippy cup and would only drink out of one that looked like Sophie's.

Yes, this is Sophie getting onto a camel. A real camel. Greg talked her into it. Yes...Greg.
This was a very clever "horse" tire swing.

The petting zoo was a bit hit, as always.

Then we had a "special" lunch inside.

One of Owen's latest tricks is asking for a high-five. He raises his hand and says, "Da!" And then he waits with his arm/hand raised until you respond appropriately....which can sometimes be a while because not everyone (ie. strangers, Daddy, Great-Grandma) knows what "Da!" means.

I think these are the closest thing we're getting to "pumpkin pictures" this year. You should see the 40+ I took just to get these few cute ones. Our children will not simultaneously sit still and pose nicely.