The Ghosts of Halloween Past

The ghosts of Halloween past,
or at least their costumes.

My kids love costumes, they love dressing up and as they have grown older we have accumulated a costume box full enough to make almost any costume.  I keep purging but some how there are more in there every time it is open they burst out like a volcano.
Since tonight is Halloween and I am supposed to be finishing costumes today, while I take O to the ortho, then the dentist, then back again to the ortho.  {She is a bit grumpy with the days plans “how am I supposed to eat candy if my mouth is going to hurt!?!}
Enjoy my cuties through the years of costumes.

2005O~witch
C~doctorR~Cowboy on his horseJ~ Baby lionAll 4 kids!

2006C~GhostR~Ghost
{These were the worst costume choices EVER.  The boys were miserable and sweaty hot.  After 1 block we ended up wrapping them like a toga…}O~Basketball playerJ~ElephantE~Baby Lion {look familiar?}

2007C~Candy giver {he decided that he was too old to go trick or treating so Keith and C gave out candy}J~BunnyO~Basket ball player {look familiar?}R~Cowboy on his horse again {Look familiar?  look how much taller he is this time, the horse wears blue crocks}E~Elephant {look familiar?}

2008
C~Jack Bower R~secret service {in a tux he wore earlier in the month for a wedding} O~Little Red riding hood
E~a pretty girl {She did NOT want to wear a costume} J eventually put on thomas the trainJ~Thomas the Train

Apparently I reached my picture limit on this blog so I will show you bore you with the last few years of our Halloween pictures.  Did you notice how many times we used the lion, bunny, elephant and horse costumes?  yeah I got the bunny and elephant at Old Navy in their 2001 after sale, I paid less than $2.00 each.  They were by far the best Halloween costumes I’ve ever purchased.

What fun it was for me looking back through the years at them!

Go hug your kids and have a candy treat out of the kids bags while they are not looking.  Me, I’m hoping they get lots of mounds or almond joys because no one but me likes them!
jen

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End of a Season {Running Season that is}

This weekend was busy for us, Friday was pumpkin centers for the boy child, the biggest one sang the national anthem with the ensemble.  Then on Saturday the biggest runner had her last race.  She had a great season and pr’d on that race.  She was 2 seconds off from continuing her season.  Not a problem she’ll be back and faster next year.  She loves to run and is trying to find someone to run the Disney Princess half marathon but so far no takers.  Although now it is too late for this year {to sign up early, for cheaper}.  So if you know anyone who wants to run a half then let me know.  She says that she’ll do it she just needs a partner.How many seeds are in a pumpkin?What do you do when someone gives you orange shoes???
Make a Candy Corn Dress!
{I ended up making 6 of this dress, so many people loved them}Singing the National Anthem
He’s the tall one in the back.O is in there somewhere I promise.
They are headed up a HUGE hill, they had to do it twice, on their second time through the kids looked like they were treading water it is a course filled with hills.It was C O L D that morning.  I know nothing like compared to the north but it was COLD for us!
The little girls huddled in the wagon under the blankets/sweatpants/hoodies right next to the snack bag!On the home stretch.  The # 11 was with her the whole way, he pushed her to sprint at the end, in turn she pushed him, neither wanted to lose to the other.  The official time at the end had them at an exact tie.  She was ticked she wanted to beat him.  {He is the kid of a good friend of mine.}Talking to her Dad after her race.She ended up placing 6th.How can I expect the kids to not race around the track at the end of the course.  J took 2 laps and while R and A took only 1.  She was mad, I made her quit, poor R he had to wrangle her back to me…J said “this is what it will look like when I come and run, I will be the winner.  In 3 years I will be racing.  I can’t wait”

How was your weekend?
We are enjoying our cold snap, the windows are open and we are blowing the summer out of our house.
Of course we know that next week it will be back up to 90 degrees but we will take the cool when we can.

Go hug your kids and if you are in the eye of the storm
“hunker down” as they say in the south.
Be safe people!
jen

Butterfly Time in First Grade

I did not know it was coming already, I was surprised and excited all at once.
It is Monarch Butterfly time, again.
I knew E was looking forward to the whole experience.
I knew instantly as I drove up to car line and saw the first grade classes holding deli containers upside down that each child was taking home a chrysalis.
Each child would get to watch the beautiful green chrysalis develop jewel like gold dots, then begin to become translucent, soon seeing the orange markings of a Monarch butterfly.  Ideally each child would get to watch it hatch {is that even what they do?} and push out of the tiny outer shell.  Each child would get to watch the sad wrinkled and weirdly shaped butterfly stretch it’s wings pumping blood into the edges of the wings enabling the butterfly to flutter all around the house in vain attempts to catch it, tag it and set it loose.
Each child was given strict warnings on when to handle the butterfly.  Everyone knows to let the thing struggle its way out, with out the struggle the blood never pumps properly and the thing will never fly. {Hum is it now the time for parental advice, about letting our kids work things out, struggle a little with decisions, and working through hard problems?  You get the idea we can learn something from the butterfly.  Although I think stepping in letting your child know you are available for assistance would not be harmful but we all know if we do everything for them they will never do for themselves, thus crippling their future.}
E brought the chrysalis home last week Friday.  She was full of excitement and could not wait for it to hatch.  {I”ll just keep saying ‘hatch’ until someone corrects me if I am wrong.}  After a few pictures the butterfly to~be was put on a table in the diningroom left to do his own thing.  On Thursday I went into the diningroom to sew for a craft fair I am participating in, and I noticed the butterfly was translucent, that I could see the orange markings.  I snapped a picture and hoped that it would wait to come out when E was home.  Nope I turned around 30 minutes later he had hatched and was already working his wings.  I took another picture, to show E when she got home after school.  She was excited to see the butterfly working his wings and watched it flap for a few minutes before going off to play.  We set out a mason jar with flowers and left for dinner.  When we arrived home it was hanging on the flowers still stretching and hanging.  I figured that was a good sign.  Right before bedtime, the butterfly took flight.  We caught it and took a few pictures, it flew off, we caught it again, taking a few last pictures, it flew away one more time.  R caught it passed it off to E who took him outside and placed him on a flower vine on our fence.  We left him there and went to bed.  Or actually E went to bed.  I was thankful that E was soundly sleeping during the rain that came shortly after depositing the butterfly on the vine, I did not want to go stand out side with an umbrella covering the butterfly waiting for the rains to stop.The first night home,  all green and pretty.Becoming translucentHatchedStretched out and dryingE and her butterflyButterfly excitementReady to goThe hand off.R taking a turnThe release

I do have a tragic and funny butterfly story.  Each of my children have brought home butterflies.  In the beginning it was both kindergarten and first grade, I am not sure which child it changed with but now it is only first grade.  When C was in kindergarten, he was so excited to bring home his first butterfly.  His eyes sparkled in excitement.  We placed the deli container on the kitchen counter where he would check the progress for a full week.  After a week we could tell the butterfly would hatch soon, he wanted to stay home from school to see the butterfly being hatched but I sent him with the promise that as soon as I noticed any movement I would come get him from school.  {we lived 4 minutes away then, now we are 2 minutes away} Sure enough he started moving so I checked C out of school, so he could watch him hatch.  It really was cool to see.  After the butterfly emerged, and hung for a few minutes C wanted to go back to school.  After school the butterfly was becoming more active.  We sat around the table watching the butterfly while eating our snack.  C was 5 so O was 3 and R was about 16 months.  After snack we went back to the bedroom to play.  R toddled away, soon he came back with orange dust all over his face and hands.  I jumped up and ran to the butterfly.  It was too late R ate/mangled the thing to death.  C was so sad/mad he cried and yelled at R, who was too young to even know what he did was wrong.  Although that boy is still to this day my pickest eater I have no idea what ever gave him the idea to eat the thing.  I thought they were supposed to taste bad that is why birds don’t eat them?  C was so upset that I was going to throw it in to the trash, he was sure if we just set it outside that it would be healed.  So I set the thing outside and we prayed about it.  The next morning C ran out to check and the butterfly was gone {well most of it} he was sure it flew away.  I was confident that a neighborhood cat ate most of it.  So now when we bring a butterfly home C makes sure that the baby of the house does not get their hands on the butterfly.
What about you?  Have you ever ‘hatched’ a butterfly before?
Go hug your kids and check out the butterflies headed south for the winter.
jen

Wednesday Fun and a Pinterest Fail

How cute is J?
Yesterday night we let him stay up a bit past bedtime to watch some of the baseball game.  I ran upstairs to pray with E and pick up some of her dirty laundry.  As I came down the stairs I heard the National Anthem being played on tv.  I looked around the corner J was standing all alone in the family room with his hand on his heart.  It made my heart melt a little.  I love that my children stand for the flags during the parades and ball games, and I am saddened at the children and adults who walk around, talking, with no respect.  I am proud of my son and the respect he has for the flag and our freedom.

Our Pastor is short in stature, during a recent baptism service he was baptizing a taller man, E leaned over to my sister and quietly whispered “what happens if Pastor drops him?”  He did not drop him so we did not find out.

On our way home from the musical with C, he was singing “I’ve got a golden ticket” when Keith looked at him and asked, aren’t you getting tired of singing that song.  C replied, “No, Dad I’m Wonka I don’t sing that song.”

This past winter one Saturday night I laid out J’s clothes for church the following morning.  It was only in the van on our way to church that I noticed he was not wearing what I had picked out, I did not give it a second thought.  The following week it was even chillier and again I noticed he was not wearing what I laid out.  That evening my sister was over, we heard her laughing in the boy’s room.  Upon investigation I learned that J does not like sweater vests, in fact he HATES them.  Poor kid he was crying to my sister “doesn’t mom know I hate to wear these”  I felt terrible but no I did not know he hated them, I did not even think he had an opinion on them.  I got laughing this week about the whole hate of sweater vests.  I am going through the outgrown clothing bin for fall and winter clothes for him, the other boys wore sweater vests and loved them.  I found 5 that would fit him perfectly, I even teased him throwing them at him with a pile of clothes for him to try.  No tears just nervous laughter from him.  He was a little worried that I was going to make him wear them.  So if you know any little boys in a size 7-8 that wants a few sweater vests send me a message I’ve got a package for them!

Recently I was told my blog contains a lot of run~on sentences, please feel free to pause when you choose while reading, even inserting your own punctuation.  I said on my first blog, that while my mother is possibly the best English teacher ever, she could not manage to make me not write like I talk.  So actually you should read it FAST since people complain I talk too fast for a girl from the south.

Another Pinterest Fail…  I like to waste my time on Pinterest every few days.  A while back I saw a pin for easy toilet bowl cleaning.  I was hooked and this time I read the directions.  Super easy, cut up a magic eraser and toss into the toilet bowl, leave it overnight, in the morning flush and your toilet will sparkle.  Now I honestly don’t care if my toilet sparkles I just don’t want it to be dirty.  So last night after baby A’s bath I grabbed a magic eraser and went to work on the tub/shower in my bathroom.  Once it sparkled I remembered the toilet pin, so I tore the eraser into smallish strips and dropped it into the toilet.  Some time in the night I used the bathroom, the next morning when I used it again it would not flush.  Before we left for school a kid or two used it. {In our defense we mostly close the lid when we flush so no one looked.} I came home and used it again not looking into the toilet to see if it was sparkling yet.  {I’ve had 6 kids when you’ve got to go, you’ve go!}  After I flushed I was washing my hands and I noticed that it sounded ‘off’.  Sure enough the toilet clogged right up.  I have a few things I just hate doing, taking the trash to the can outside, and plunging the toilet are ranked up there with killing bugs and removing dead rodents.  I am grossed out by the little ‘splashes’ that come out.  Ughhh.  So that is one more pinterest fail!
What about you?  have you tried that before?  What did I do wrong?

Go hug your kids and enjoy the funniness of your daily life
jen

Beauty Tips

I must confess, my make up bag is a small zipper pouch from THIRTY ONE,  I only apply make up on Sunday mornings, and when I have a meeting to go to, a wedding, an important event.  Which means about 2x a week I quickly put some on, usually in the car while Keith is driving, or I pray for stop lights to apply it while sitting at the red lights.
I have had the same hairstyle forever,  no matter the cut it always does the same thing but it does the same thing fast, I can go from shower to out the door {with out kids in my way} in less than twenty minutes.  I keep it just short enough to not go in a pony tail or that is how I’d wear it every day.

So the beauty tips I have are not how to put on eyeshadow or how to have a fabulous up~do.
My tips are more practical.

I have made some observations about people and their beauty regimes…

Showering is not an option.  Some of my kids all dread them, dragging their feet and trying to get by without taking one.  Why?  I do not understand, why stay smelly, dirty or have yesterdays sweat build up on your skin?  If you are sitting on the toilet in the morning wondering if you can get by without taking a shower, the answer is NO.  Get up, get in scrub up and rinse.  Seriously people YUCK.

Along the lines of showering hair washing is not really an option, yes I know there are people with super thick hair that can get by without washing every single day.  But you know who you are and you know who you are not.  If you are standing at the sink hopefully brushing your teeth because THAT IS NOT AN OPTION!  and you are looking at your hair wondering if you skip will anyone notice?  YES we notice, and we are grossed out.

As for hair coloring.  I color my hair I admit it.  And I admit that I sometimes have roots showing.  I know it looks bad and as soon as I begin thinking, “hummm maybe another day before I color” I realize that I am pushing it, I stop my plans and color my hair.  I have hair that grows ridiculously fast {over an inch a month}  So I color every 3 weeks, those of you who have slow-growing hair enjoy a longer space between coloring!

One more hair issue that needs to be resolved.  Ombre hair is not a fashion statement.  It is a sign you should have grabbed a box of color at  Wal~ mart or made an appointment to see someone. It looks like you don’t have a mirror in your home or you are too lazy to fix it your self.  Do something!  Having 6 inches of one color and 4 inches of another color is not ombre, it is tacky.  Ombre fades gently from one color to the next, it is for fashion, clothing, walls, and furniture.  It is not for hair.  If you have decided to go back to your original color, then go buy a box that looks like your roots, and finish the whole thing off once and for all.  Your friends who are telling you it looks amazing are lying!

I know that fancy shampoo, soap and coloring jobs are expensive.  You can buy great shampoo for a really low price, so use it every day.  Soap is cheap we use ivory it is about $.33 a bar.  That is even cheaper than the no name brand.  I know getting a color job can really be costly so plan ahead, if this is not a beauty regimen that you are going to be able to upkeep than don’t start it.  Or go with an inexpensive brand.  There are some great ones out there.

Here is a fashion tip as a bonus.  Lounge pants are pajamas and we all know it.  We all think you are lazy to sleep in those pants than run to Wal~mart in them, you don’t look cute you look underdressed.  Grab a pair of pants or shorts and take a minute to finish dressing!

So those are some of my beauty tips.  What else should I have put on the list?
Go hug your kids and make them get clean, your childs teacher will thank you!
jen

A Warning for my Son

This weekend I was taking the biggest kid, and E to run a few errands, nothing was out of the ordinary for our ride, we were singing along to the radio, chatting together, and calling love bugs.  {okay, listen to the sound of a record come to a screeching halt.  Over the love~bugs, do you hear that scratching sound… it was not pretty}  C felt we were bombarding him, we had called him 2x in a row before we went into Sam’s Club, and on our way out E called another one on him.  Thus began the bombarding fight.  I swear I get exhausted with game play and that boy.  He has never been able to tolerate a gray area, that child lives his life BLACK and WHITE only!  The world is full of color.  I know there are things that are clearly wrong, and clearly right but there are many things that are just personal preference.  I explained {again} what we all meant by bombarding, then he wanted a time frame.  It was so frustrating!  I wanted to cry!

I informed him that we were teaching him how to fill his wife’s love cup.  Because if he does not, than someone else will.  And when someone else fills her love cup, she will not need him anymore.

I explained that if  he does not compliment her for simple and big things, sometime someone will.  Soon she will begin looking to someone else to compliment her.  She will stop trying to please him, he does not notice, someone else notices.  Which is another reason why we play the love bug game, so they can learn how to compliment their future families.

I explained that his Dad is showing him how to serve his wife, by the things he does for me without asking.  {Keith does his own ironing, always.  He washes dishes when they pile up, folding piles of laundry while watching tv, the list goes on, when I am consumed with some project he steps in and get the things I have let pile up.}
I explained that by not noticing that she could use a hand, he is missing out on a chance to love on her.  Someone else will help her, at some point, and she will notice.

I am showing him that a thoughtful gift is a way to love on his future wife.  Often while shopping for the necessities, or groceries, I will pick up something for a child.  It can be as simple as a pack of hair bands, their favorite cereal, new socks, or the new pumpkin flavored poptarts.  {They LOVED them, a 12 pack meant everyone (but me) had one for dessert then the 5 school kids all had one in their lunch the next day.  Did you know that 1 pop tart is about 200 calories YIKES}  I will come home from the store pull out the new box of strawberry short-cake band aids, new can of shaving cream, new kind of curly hair anti frizz product and call out to the child.  Look what I got for you.  Not a big gift but something to show that child I was thinking of them.  He needs to learn now to gift his future wife, showing her that while he was out he thought of her.

I would love to run errands alone, it is a luxury for me to have a little quiet time.  But I take a child with me every time, giving up my alone time to have some together time.  We are showing him that spending time together is important.  And if he chooses to not spend some quiet times alone with his wife, she will find someone else that is willing to spend time with her.

I explained that I am trying to teach him how to meet his future wife’s needs.  She has a love cup that needs filling and if he does not fill it, she will find someone else who will. It could be a friend or another man.  {A friend who may or may encourage her to seek better results for her relationship, or a friend who encourages her to find a better option.}  It happens quite by surprise, a softly spoken word, a kind compliment, gentle conversation, a helping hand,  And soon she is hooked, she is dressing for the other person’s compliments, the other person’s smile, and a connection is made.

So my warning is to my son is to learn now the simple ways to meet his future wife’s needs.  Because not doing so can have tragic results.

Go hug your kids and look to see how you can fill up someones love cup.
jen

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! How I spent my weekend!

Yesterday I promised that I would post pictures of the actual play, not just the set but after I spent too much time putting them all on here, WordPress ate my post.  It threw out some things, it shifted other things, and made a mess of the whole thing.  I had to start over.

The play was so well put together, the actors did a great job and from the clips I’ve watched on YouTube I think we did a lot better!  Of course I say that I’m the mom.  C did exceptional as Wonka.  His expressions cracked us up and the pink candy boat song had people holding their breath and jumping when he did the final creepy laugh!  I am sad the musical is over.
I cried every time he came out and held my breath every time he sang.
I love watching my kids do things they love!

The Bucket Shack.
Charlie has a clear, strong voice it never wavered the entire 4 shows.
And the grandparents were FUNNY.  Mrs Bucket making cabbage soup.
Check out that stove!
All cardboard,  built on a push cart so it can be easily moved.The Candy Man.Trout at the gates right before Wonka arrived to let in the ticket holders.
C said he was not going to somersault in he’d break his neck, we asked him to.  I know this is not the best picture but the special effects of the glowing paint was really neat to see!
And a shout out to my mother in law who had hand cramps for painting all the doors with primer.
She’s the best!The chocolate river was perfect, Augustus went into the chocolate river, then up that orange pipe, peeked out the window and was swallowed up by chocolate.
The Gloops were so very funny.Goodness their facial expressions were super!The gum makers.  They were one of E’s favorite things to watch.  The gum maker farthest to the left picked up a big ball out of her bucket, lifted it up and down, worker #2 held the green box low so the ball could bd dropped into it.  The green box went up and down a few times finally passing to #3.  Who reached in and pulled out a smaller ball, she gave it to tube girl who dropped it into the tube gave it a good wiggle.  End of tube worker pulled out a smaller ball gave it to red box worker who shook it.  Wonka reached in and pulled out a piece of gum.  Violet was fabulous but moved FAST so I do not actually have any clear pictures of her.Again not the best picture but you can see Charlie and Grandpa Joe “flying” they did a great job
With the glow in the dark paint on the fan and structure it looked super in the dark! Check out our giant tv.
Notice Mike Tv is missing and our screen turned to static instead of the test stripes.Wonka and a shrunken Mike tv.
“Good news is little boys are surprisingly stretchy and springy.”Veruka Salt, before she was judged a Bad Nut.Here is the JR class cast members.
They are a great group of kids who are quite talented.  I’m especially fond of Wonka!

What about you?  Did you participate in any plays or musicals while in high school?
Go hug your kids and share a school drama story with someone you love!
jen