Friday, October 31, 2014


We don't have any candy yet, but the house sure looks scary (toys and books, dirty dishes and cheerios everywhere!)  Happy Halloween!

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Our favorite Halloween idea resource is the catalog Wishcraft.  It's full of so many fun and unique ideas and most of the costumes allow for a DIY version.  Many of our costumes in the past have been inspired by the costumes here.  As soon as it arrives in the mail in August the kids pour over its pages looking for their favorites.  This year Louisa landed upon "Skeletina"--a skeleton girl of sorts.  I probably could have guessed what she would have picked--something a little scary but girly, very girly at the same time.  And just the name "Skeletina" called to her.  She commented last week that the name was just so cool and made it the perfect costume.

Most of her costume came from things we had on hand already--a black leotard, a silver tulle skirt and a black tulle skirt that I cut and used for accent pieces.  I cut up one of my own silver shirts for the veil (I never wore it anyway).  The top black skirt I got from Savers and sewed it onto the leotard after cutting the crotch out of that.  The freezer paper method was used to put the skeleton on the leotard.  I sewed bones onto the black skirt, sewed some more tulle onto the arms and made a choker (which we forgot for the photos) from the skirt band.  She chose not to wear her black boots since they covered her really cool tights.  Red sparkly shoes totally work with the costume too I think.

I know we're missing a few details and I'm fully aware that details make the costume.  So today, in-between all my other activities, I've promised Louisa that I will paint the red belt around the leotard and sew skeleton patches on her shoulders and red bow.  I know it's not exact--but she seems pleased and that's close enough for me.  Oliver made my day when he looked a the price tag of the Skeletina costume and commented to Louisa that it would be crazy to spend all that money when mom can make something just as good.  As long as they're into homemade costumes, I'm willing and ready to oblige.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yarn Along

Okay, so I know this isn't really knitting--but weaving--kind of?  Maybe?  I don't profess to be a Charlotte, but I was pretty happy with how my extra large web made from clothes line turned out.  I made it for our parent child book club that was meeting at my house this month.  The book--Charlotte's Web.   (My kids didn't mind the addition of another Halloween decoration either).  I thought about trying to write something in the web but that was beyond my abilities.  That Charlotte sure had some talent.

I wasn't super excited when my friend/book club organizer said she wanted to read Charlotte's Web for October's book.  It just seems so overdone.  I've read it to the kids before and they've read it in school.  I just wanted to spend our family reading time on something that was new to all of us.  However, when the Library kicked off their Charlotte's Web program that started in September and goes through December I thought--well, let's run with it.

We attended an event where each of the kids got their own free copy of Charlotte's Web--that means we have four copies in the house.  I decided that it would be fun to do a read along--each of us taking turns reading a chapter.  We've never done that before since we always only have one copy of our book club book.  It went so great.  I loved hearing Oliver and Byrdie reading out loud and following along.  Byrdie was worried when I initially told her about the taking turns reading plan so she read the whole thing on her own a few weeks before we started just to make sure she could pronounce all of the words.  She's got a bit of overachiever in her.  Louisa even participated in reading a bit--just a paragraph here or there.  It was a really great experience.

For our book club snacks I made these pretzel and white chocolate spider webs--cute and yummy.  We also had popcorn and caramel apples as our Fair food--but no bacon.

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Verl the Satyr Costume

When Oliver told me he wanted to be a Satyr for Halloween I was a bit worried--just as when he begged at seven years old to be Golem.  I'm certain that even mythical creatures are required to be fully clothed for the school parade.  But to my relief Oliver informed me that Verl the satyr isn't like most satyrs.  Verl is a satyr from Fablehaven, Oliver's favorite series, and he's kind of the nerdy kind of satyr who wears clothes--turtleneck sweaters to be exact.  The costume seemed pretty simple at that point--some baggy furry pants and a sweater.  Nate and Oliver, however, decided that they wanted a more authentic look.

Those two spent some time online figuring out how to make hoofs and how to get the right shape for satyr legs.  After some elaborate stilts plans I decided to just go buy some high heels (with chunky heels) instead.  They cut and glued black vinyl onto the shoes to give it a hoof look.  For the legs they got a pair of girls leggings and glued triangles of foam onto the front and back of the lower legs.  Then in order to get a good pattern for the furry pants I had Oliver put on the leggings and I wrapped his leg in saran wrap.  It worked great.  I made a practice pair of pants out of micro fleece, made a few adjustments to the pattern and cut into the beautiful soft fur.  I splurged on the fur at Hancock Fabrics.  Even at forty percent off it cost twenty four dollars for a yard and a half.  But it looked sooo much better than the other fake furs.  It was all white but Verl has brown spots so we used a brown fabric marker to make some randomly placed spots on the fur.

And the small horns were Oliver's idea.  He used some brown construction paper, wrapped it into a horn shape and hot glued it onto a metal barrette.  They look great and stay in his hair really well.  It turned out to be a really great costume and Oliver wears it so well.  Also it's warm and comfortable--a bonus for a cold Halloween night.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall at Beus Pond

The kids had an unexpected day off of school last Friday.  Well, unexpected to me because I failed to look at the school calender.  It was no biggie--we didn't have any plans.  The problem was, we didn't have any plans.  I find that five children at home and nothing going on results in a lot of squabbling.  I considered a fall hike but I couldn't bear the thought of getting most of the way through the hike and the babies having a melt down and me having to carry both of them down the mountain by myself.  So we opted for a fall walk instead--to a nearby duck pond.  We took frozen corn to feed the ducks but the ducks and geese just turned up their beaks at the corn--picky eaters.

Nevertheless it was an enjoyable walk.  I didn't take a stroller as I was wanting the twins to be able to walk around freely and explore a little.  I almost regretted that decision when Georgia was tantruming on the ground after I told her I wouldn't carry her.  But she got over it and we found a nice spot by the pond where Byrdie caught tadpoles in water bottles and some of the kids waded in the shallow muddy water.  It was a beautiful autumn afternoon at Beus Pond.

Friday, October 24, 2014


We came home early and interrupted his "Me time," but he didn't hesitate to make it some quality "Us time."

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Byrdie's soccer

There are so many great qualities that Byrdie has and so many words I would use to describe her other than athletic.  She sees herself as a soccer player though.  I like that.