Thursday, November 19, 2015


I'm always curious what my kids will want to dress up as for Halloween, so I start asking them a couple months in advance.  This year, Amelia decided right off the bat that she wanted to be Kiersten the American Girl, who lived on the prairie around the same time as Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Amelia picked out the fabric for her costume herself; she decided that she didn't want her dress to be exactly like Kiersten's (because Kiersten's is dark red and has no ruffles) so she went with purple instead (I'm sure you are all surprised to hear that.)

Megan kept changing her mind about what she wanted to dress up as; various ideas included a cat, Jessie from Toy Story, and ice Elsa.  About two weeks before Halloween, she settled on Princess Aurora, which was perfect because we had that costume in our dress up box already.

I took photos of the girls the weekend before Halloween when they were dressed up for our church's trunk-or-treat, because the weather was lovely, and I figured it would probably be cold and rainy on Halloween (and I was right!)

I chose Nathaniel's costume for him - he loves minions even though he doesn't really know what they are.  And while he would probably have been thrilled to be a backhoe or a train, those seemed like complicated costumes to create, and a minion costume was EASY.  Especially since Becky dyed the shirt for us.  Anyway, he was very excited to be a minion!

Halloween didn't turn out how we planned, but we still had a fun evening.  The Weidners were supposed to come visit us over the Halloween weekend, but Amelia had been struggling all week with an on-again off-again fever, and it came back Friday evening, so they ended up not coming.  We were all so sad.  :(  Randomly, though, my friend Lori from Kraft called up to see if they could come trick-or-treating with us, because they were up in Beaver Dam at a hotel while her husband went goose hunting.  So we had fun company for trick-or-treating anyway!  Amelia was feeling fine most of Saturday, but by the time we got back home in the evening, her fever was back.  It was cold and rainy most of the day, but the rain stopped around 5:15, and by the time we headed out around 5:30, it was actually reasonably nice outside.  So here are our kids with Michaela and Kasey:

You might notice that Megan is wearing her Halloween costume from last year.  She decided it was too cold to wear her thin Princess Aurora costume, and she was really happy to dress as Coronation Elsa again.  And I was happy that the costume got used again after all the time I spent making it!

We had also met up with a few friends on Thursday to go trick-or-treating around downtown Sun Prairie.  Here's our group of friends, along with the only photo I have of my three kids together in their costumes:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What have we been up to all fall?

It's been a long time since I've posted; I got tired of sorting through photos and journaling about our lives.  But the kids and I really enjoy looking back at posts I've written in years past, so I decided that I should try to keep it up.  So here goes.

Amelia got a tie-dye kit for her birthday, and I was a little nervous about how it would go, so I delayed and delayed and delayed actually using it.  Finally I decided that if we were still going to try it out this fall, we needed to do it before freezing weather arrived, so we picked a warmish fall day and gave it a try.  I was surprised at how easy and fun and minimally-messy it was!  Megan needed help getting the rubber bands or zip-ties tight around her shirts, but Amelia could do it almost entirely by herself.  We did the actual tie-dyeing outside on the deck, which was a good idea because some definitely got squirted on the picnic table and the floor, and it was much easier to clean up outside.  We also put the clothes we were dyeing on cooling racks so that they wouldn't soak up other colored puddles.  The girls did shirts, leggings and socks.  Coincidentally, the next Thursday was a spirit day at school - Tie Dye Day!  The girls decided to wear all their tie-dyed clothes at the same time.  I'm sure they were the most colorful kids at school:

The girls had to look at every single pumpkin at our nearby farm before they would choose one to take home (they really remind me of me and Becky when we were little!).  Thankfully I had procrastinated long enough that there weren't too many pumpkins left.

The farm has a little petting area with some goats and chickens and ponies.  The kids tried to feed the animals, but the goats weren't interested in the grass, the chickens tried to peck their fingers, and they were afraid of the ponies.  They did, however, LOVE the barn cat, who was very tolerant of children.

When we went to the pumpkin patch, Nathaniel wanted to choose small white pumpkins (they're actually a kind of gourd, I guess) instead of a big orange pumpkin.  When we got home, he wanted to sleep with them.  That was three weeks ago, and they are still in his bed!  He calls them "baby" and refuses to lay down unless he knows they are in his bed with him.  Sometimes he even says "bank" and tucks them in with his blanket.  He is wearing his "reer reer" jammies (or firetruck jammies, for those who don't speak toddler.)

I signed both girls up for Lego Club at the library last month, since Megan is finally old enough to go.  They sat next to each other and cooperatively built a castle.  I asked Amelia if she would have wanted to sit by someone else, and she said "No, I always want to sit by Megan because she's my sister!"  The library has some really interesting building pieces.

The little maple tree in our front yard dropped half of its leaves all at one time, and they didn't blow away immediately. So for the first time ever, we had enough leaves to rake up a little pile.  The kids were ecstatic!  The girls took turns burying each other, and they did such a good job that you can barely see them in the following photos.  Even Nathaniel got in on the fun by throwing leaves in the air and running through the pile.

We decorated our trunk for our church's Trunk or Treat.  I showed the girls a few examples of decorated trunks on Pinterest, and they quickly decided that they wanted to do an under the sea themed trunk because they wanted to play the fishing game.  So I asked them if they would make some sea creatures to live under the sea, while I taped three sheets of foamboard together to make our fishing area.  Their friend Aiden was over, so she helped with the shark.  This was a great project for them - it kept them busy for ages and they were so proud of their decorations.  Everyone at the trunk or treat loved the fishing game, too, and thought it was clever that their "fish" were actually little bags of goldfish crackers.