Tuesday, October 26, 2010

creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky

What a full month this has been! I've taken so many photos the past few weeks. Here are a *few*. :)

A couple more "fall colors" shots.... This locust tree in our front yard changed into it's autumn finery almost literally overnight. On the 9th, when I took Emm's Homecoming pictures, it was still totally green. This photo was taken just 2 days later!
A close-up:
The marigolds are still blooming:
Our little magnolia tree (yes, it's right up next to the house... I told George it was too close to plant it there, but that's where he put it anyway):
Our forsythia bush:
Even though he has a bike now, Ben still likes to ride a trike occasionally. The neighbors gave him this one that they were unable to sell at their garage sale:
We don't really have to rake our yard because we just don't get that many leaves in it, but on the 11th, Nick decided to rake himself a leaf pile:
He made a leaf angel:
And also jumped in it a few times... but I think it's safe to say that the tiny locust leaves don't provide much padding!
Monkey see, monkey do:

On the 14th, Emmalie had another swim meet. It was "senior night", so they had a special ceremony for all the senior girls on the swim team, and then after the meet they all went out to Portillo's. Here is Emm with her friend Alyssa:
On the 16th, the five of us drove up to Royal Oak Farm. We found out earlier that week that record crowds had cleaned out their "U-Pick" trees and that you could no longer pick your own apples from the orchard, but it is a fall tradition for us to go there, so we decided to go anyway. We looked at the pumpkins and gourds outside the restaurant there:
Nick and some "kissing" gourds:
Then we walked over to the petting zoo area:

Feeding leaves to the goats:

The boys had fun at the playground:
We checked out a building that was new to the Farm this year, and found some big gourds:

We walked out into the pumpkin patch:
Then checked out some of the apple trees:
Finally, we went back to the new building and relaxed by the fire with some cider and donuts, yum:
The fire was too warm for Ben, so he sat behind the chair, LOL:
And we bought a bag of our favorite apples (Empire) to bring home:
On our way home, we stopped at Marengo Ridge for a fall hike, another tradition. We just went on a short hike this year, but we still saw some cool things:

Nick collected acorns:

Later in the week, Chef Ben helped me make some pumpkin muffins:

On the 20th, Ben's preschool class went on a field trip to Goebbert's Pumpkin Farm. I was one of the 2 parents picked to help chaperone. :) Here the kids are admiring the stamps they got on their hands for admission:
First we toured 3 big tents that were full of animals to look at. Not just goats and other farm animals that you might expect:
But also more exotic animals like zebras:
and much, much more! Then we walked over to the giraffe enclosure, which I guess was new this year:
We got to see this mother giraffe quite close up!
And her baby, too:
Next we went to see the "pumpkin-eating dinosaur". The kids were just amazed (and a little scared) by this huge, noisy thing:

We walked through a haybale maze, and then it was time for the kids to pick out their gourds, Indian corn, and pumpkins to take home:
Ben and his buddy Jasper:
The whole class:
On the 22nd, Emm's friend Annie came over to spend the weekend with us while her parents were out of town. The girls (with a little help from Ben) prepared some goodies for the Halloween party the next day. Emm had found this skull cupcake idea online:

I thought they turned out so cute!
Emm made some black roses out of crepe paper for decoration:
The girls also made these awesome meringue bones, another idea Emmalie found on the Internet:
We spent Saturday getting ready for the party. We used the boys' costumes from last year as giant props:

We set up this doll (in Ben's clothes) and rubber knife in the bathroom:
and Emm wrote Redrum on the bathroom mirror so that it would reflect in the other mirror on the medicine cabinet:
We set up decorations outside, too. We got the idea for the ghost (a sheet over an upside-down tomato cage strung with white lights) from a FamilyFun magazine, and Emmalie painted the "Park your brooms here" sign:

I always put one of our big spiders on the trellis, and this year Emm used some rope to make a web:
Our haunted house:
Once the house and yard were ready, we put on our costumes and waited for Emm's guests to arrive. I decided to go as a vampire this year:
I even painted my nails!

Emmalie was a zombie girl, inspired by Pride and Predjudice and Zombies:
A tall Ewok and a short Darth Vader, LOL! Nick wore (for awhile, anyway) the Ewok costume that Christine made for him 5 years ago. Ben wore the black outfit that goes under his tarantula costume and a mask I bought on clearance years ago:

Finally the guests began to arrive. Emm had invited 12 kids, and only 5 showed up. It was disappointing, but we all had fun anyway.
George dressed up as V again:
We had plenty of sugary snacks on the table for everyone to enjoy, but the kids still wanted to roast some marshmallows, LOL:
We did a Mummy Wrap game (wrap your partner with a whole toll of toilet paper, trying to beat the other teams):

Nick kept changing his outfit, giving each of his former costumes equal billing. ;)
We went back outside for some Pumpkin Bocce Ball:

Then played more games inside... "Murder":
and Halloween Taboo:

Then we turned out the lights and the kids told ghost stories until the party was over. George snuck outside at one point and banged on the side of the house. It didn't get quite the reaction as last year when he turned off the power, LOL, but there were still a few screams!

Our busy October isn't over yet... lots of busy-ness and picture taking still to come later this week! :)