Saturday, October 31, 2015

Top golf and Trick or Treating

Mark took the boys over to Top Golf to practice and get a little energy out. This is one of the reason Dad's are so important. If they were stuck with me, we would probably be sitting down with a nice book. 

Yay dads!

After dinner we put on the fox costumes one more time and headed out in the neighborhood.

Stopping at the Brady's.

Megan's friend, Kayli, asked if she could come over and trick or treat with us. Her mom said she wanted to see what it was like to trick or treat with a big family. lol..

I hope she got the fun side and not the "these guys are totally nuts" side.

This year was kind of fun because all the neighbors were outside watching a Royals game and handing out candy. The adults would chat about the score and watch for a few minutes before heading to the next house.

Mathew helped Everly out when she was tired.

I love big kids!

Then it was back home for the great candy sort and swap.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Today I decided I had better get out to the gardens and take down all my wire, fencing, stakes and trellises. Leaving it out during the winter months makes it fall apart twice as fast...and these veggies are already too expensive. 

One of my favorite things about my kids is the way they can fully immerse themselves in an imaginary game.

Today they were zoo animals on exhibit. Chicken wire is the only way to go when displaying ferocious hyenas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mark smile progression

Every time I get a really great picture of Mark, there is a whole process that I go through before I can get it.

Here it is:

And I hope he never changes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Carving pumpkins 2016

This is the moment when I start feeling pretty pleased with my decision to go with small pumpkins. 

So pop on "Christmas Through the Years" and let's get started.

I'm so excited that I decided to buy those heavy-duty carving kits on clearance last year. I had forgotten all about it and got a nice surprise when I opened up the Halloween totes. Sweet!

Look at that! Everybody is working on their own pumpkins!! This is great! The years of cleaning and carving everyone's pumpkins are coming to a close.

Mini jack o' lantern!

I love it so much.

2nd Grade Pumpkin Carving...with Dad!

I love Laney's joy for life. She is 100% "in" and she loves being a part of....everything! She has been rehearsing her Halloween songs for weeks in preparation for the 2nd grade Pumpkin Carving night.

Special time with dad!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Olathe 3rd Ward Chili Cook-off and Carnival

I'm always grateful for the Ward Chili Cookoff and Carnival. Because it forces me to get the kids costumes ready a week before Halloween and that saves us a lot of last minute stress and tears. 

This year we decided on foxes!!

So we found various soft clothing items at the thrift store and dyed them all orange. We dyed some white furry material orange as well and used it (along with some black and white fur) to make some lovely fox ears and tails. 

Eat was pretty easy! And I was so glad that they all agreed on the same thing...I was able to do a bit of assembly line construction.

I ran the fishing booth again this year. But Ethan, Mat and Megan took it over after a while, so I was able to get out and explore a little more. 

Everly was pampered with her face painted by the talented Rachel John. It doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous as well...Everly was mesmerized!

She come out as a doggy with a tootsie roll bone.

Anna chose a monarch butterfly...I think....or maybe an transformer?

But the Megan brought home the best memory of the night. She entered the chili cookoff (she really made it herself!) She was chattering on the way to the church about wouldn't that be amazing if she won and I was trying to talk her down a little bit so she would realize that there were 20-30 other people entering the cookoff, most likely all adults, so don't worry if you don't win! It was fun to cook and enter and be able to try all the different chilis....yada yada....

So what do you know?

SHE WON!! And I'm still smiling about it. What a great thing!

And here is my pre-halloween photo shoot. I got wise and had them come stand outside and show me their stuff. I can't lie. I think they are seriously cute.

Mathew went for the muscly Batman this year.  Ethan decided he was too old to participate this year, but I'm sure he was running around the halls getting into mischief.

And just a few more:

I couldn't resist! I had to be a fox too! 

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pendletons Pumpkin Patch

I really like the idea of going to a pumpkin patch. I want the kids to be able to pick out a pumpkin and if possible, see where it was growing. It's the slowness of it that attracts me. I just want to mosey around and look for one that speaks to me. 

I don't want to pay 27.50 for a pumpkin. I really don't. And I don't want to feel like I cruddy mother for taking my kids out to fancy pants pumpkin patch and then leaving empty handed because the price of admission+cider+a smallish pumpkin+a hayride+"momma, I gotta ride the moo-moo train!" = a week's worth of groceries and a stress ulcer, to boot. 

So, after eliminating all the commercial (boo! hiss!) patches and the ones that gave me a Walmart vibe, we settled on Pendleton's.  It's a working farm. They raise all sorts of veggies all year and sell them to the locals and Mari Guenther. It's the kind of place I fantasize about owning someday. 

And it was free. No cost for admission or any of the activities. Just ride out and pick a pumpkin. 

That was easy.

I did request that they look for some on the smallish size. We'd still need to pay for them and eight pumpkins can really add up.

It went pretty well and we were soon headed back out of the fields.

Everly was mostly exited about the bank sucker I found in my purse.

We reached the front and weighed all the pumpkins. Then we set them aside with our name and wandered over to the activity area. It was deserted...which is my favorite kind of crowd.....

When I stand in line for things that grow in nature, I feel like a total sucker.

Ethan found a corn cob sling shot and tried his hand at it. No lines. No fancy booth...just a bucket of corn cobs.

There was a picket fence maze that you could solve if you made it out using only right hand turns.

Mathew was feeling confident.

I think he got distracted with a game of pumpkin ball.

Eventually we moved on to other things, but Ethan stuck with it and eventually found his way out. I made him walk me through the turns, just to prove he really did it.

And he did!

We spent some time at the water pump station...

And then we found the best thing... a huge tub of dry corn kernels.

We must have spent an hour in there.

We did corn angels. Face down corn angels.

We buried each other.

And soaked up the autumn sun. It was definitely our favorite.

Mathew accidentally brought back more than memories.

We will definitely make Pendletons our #1 place for pumpkins and fall fun. It's just our style.