...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Phobia Themed Party for my middle-schooler

This weekend Aubrey threw a party.  She loves to play hostess (and to be honest I like to plan parties so together we make a good pair) so she puts together a shindig for her friends every now and again.

This year, for Halloween, she chose to go with a "phobia" themed party.

For fun!!!!

So we decorated our living room with all sorts of things that people are afraid of (you might be surprised some of the phobias that actually exist -- we have fun sorting through them all).







She asked each of her friends to come dressed up like something they are afraid of.  We had lost of people do spider outfits (including Aubs) but some came dressed as death, a syringe for a shot, a faceless body and more (plus a couple football stragglers who came straight from practice so they were in their uniforms).


We prepped the food, the activities, the house, the other kids (have to make sure they have something fun to do so they don't end up in the middle of big sister's gig) and we were ready to rock!



The gang showed up.  We played games that helped them face their fear of worms by digging them out of jello with their faces, their fear of performing by playing reverse charades, and their fear of public embarrassment by having Josh around to tease and torment them pretty much the whole time.


We then planned to watch "Arachnophobia" to continue on our "phobia" theme, but the kids decided they would rather face their fear of the dark so they went outside to play night games.  

It was a lot of fun and I think Aubrey was pleased (which is sort of the point).  This really is a great group of kids and I feel grateful that my daughter has chosen such great friends to spend her time with.

Halloween party: CHECK!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Little Sweetie Pie

Yesterday afternoon Ellie was sad.  This happens to five year old girls sometimes (and to the rest of us as well).  

Her older brother, Logan, noticed she wasn't particularly chipper and decided he wanted to try to cheer her up.  So he drew her a picture of Elsa from Frozen.


And he wrote a little note on it too.


No wonder I love my job.  Sometimes it can be rough, but moments like this make it oh so worth it.

Love these little crazzies. 

(P.S. Ellie did cheer up.  Nice work, Logan!)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tomatoes

Lately we have been swallowed up by tomatoes around here.

I love that.

Ellie and I are the only people in the household who eat tomatoes, but everyone LOOOOVES our home made tomato sauce which we use in soups, pastas, lasagna and the like.

So that means we have been processing and cooking down and canning tomato innards over and over when we have enough to manage a batch.

Family picture.  There are many types of tomatoes here which is why there are so many shades of fruit.  All are yummy.
After a minute long bath in boiling water to loosen the skins, these babies got to run their way through our processing process. This year we added this little play mate to our canning adventure -- a lovely food strainer.  I adore this processor.  It made such an amazing difference when peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes (like a HUGE difference...I think I prefer to NOT do those jobs by hand if I have the choice, thanks anyway).


Anyway, I boil the tomato water until it reaches a thicker, sauce like consistency then add some salt and a touch of lemon juice and seal it in glass jars.  This stuff is uber tasty and waaaaay better than store bought tomato sauce.  

Thanks so my happy, little plants for furnishing us with 25+ quarts of tomato yumminess for the coming winter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Family fun at Gardner Village

This week we took a trip to Gardner Village.

We always go in October to see the witches (if you haven't been, you should go, it is super cute and free) but this time around we went with my entire extended family to take family pictures.


So, while the photographer was taking pictures of all the awesome super cute families and stuff, we (ok, mostly just Josh) were snapping shots of other moments that we wanted to remember.

You know, moments like this....


and this...


and this...


and this...




And all the girl cousins together.


And all the boy cousins.


Just kidding, here are the cutie pie boys (and also my youngest brother for good measure).  


Anyway, it was fun.  We didn't get to enjoy the witches as much as usual, but we had lots more people to goof around with so it was a good trade.  Can't wait to see the family pictures coming soon.



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