Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013!

I was never a huge fan of Halloween as a kid, but as a parent, it has been really fun.  I have to say, though, in all humility, that this year I may have outdone myself with the family costumes.
First, though, here is a little bit of what we did this Halloween day.  Benjamin woke up with some sticker that he had chewed on and then rolled in glued to his hair, and when he added a handful of oatmeal to that at breakfast, I decided to cut his hair rather than pick all of the gluey little bits out.  He was due for a haircut anyway.  Here is the before picture. . .
 . . . and after.  B was mad that I was taking his picture instead of feeding him.  His shirt says, "Don't scare me! I poop easily. . ."  B's second word (after Bottle) was "poop," and this onesie came in the mail from Grandma the day after he debuted this useful communication.  It was a very timely coincidence.
We swept up some of the leaves on the driveway.  I figured that slippery wet leaves all over the driveway and porch would be hazardous to Halloween revelers.

Eloise painted a pumpkin.  We got two pumpkins for carving, but when I started to cut into this one, I discovered that it was far from ripe.  After the pumpkin tried to break my knife, I decided that this pumpkin would be for painting.  I gave Eloise a paint brush and some paints, and she dabbed at the paints and the pumpkin for a few minutes before asking, "Can I have the paints to do with my fingers?"
 After lunch we had a video chat with Anni, Maren, and Faith.  Jared and Eloise wanted to wave their "spooky fingers" at them.
 Jared was kind enough to take about a zillion screen shots.  Eloise makes a cute kitty.
 We had nap time, and then we were off to Halloween at Daddy's office, complete with spaghetti and meatballs.  Todd got really into our costumes this year.  He even downloaded The Incredibles theme music to his phone so that we could have accompaniment.  Jared grew his hair out for a couple of months so that it would be long enough to slick back to be Dash.  He lived up to his character, cruising from candy station to candy station at top speed.
 Eloise "Violet" could not get enough of this Halloween excitement.  Of course she wanted to EAT the candy instead of just collecting it.
When we got home, B took a nap and Todd took Jared and Eloise trick or treating to three houses before they were ready to run home for dinner and to give candy to trick or treaters.  

Last Saturday our church held a Fall festival.  This was our first opportunity to wear our costumes. 
Pretty authentic, huh?  Okay.  That's not us.  Here we are: 
 It was a great party.  Todd got roped into a pie eating contest, the kids had a great time bouncing from activity to activity, there was a chili dinner, and all of it was with friends.  
  Can you tell that Jared was excited about the costume parade?
Finally, from our Benjamin inspired Jack o'lantern (note the two teeth), known affectionately as the Benjolantern, Happy Halloween!  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


This evening at dinner our conversation drifted to the odor coming from our unwashed dog.  Todd said, "She is stink-y!"  
All of a sudden, Eloise piped up with, "Are you talking about me or Shadow?"

Here is our very own Ellie-Smelly a couple of hours earlier, between the mud puddle that she fell into and the bathtub.  There was mud on her socks and in her hair, and everywhere in between.  
She couldn't decide whether or not to be devastated by slipping in the mud until I told her that I needed to take a picture.  Then, of course, she was certainly not devastated.  

Here is our princess on Saturday after she insisted on getting a haircut with Daddy.  Her hair was in her eyes, so I trimmed her some short bangs. I wish I had taken a picture that showed her whole outfit.  She was wearing leggings, a skirt with shorts built into it, and shorts over the built in shorts.  
If you are going to bother getting dressed (something that Jared has decided is not worth the effort most days), you may as well go all out, right?

Eloise figured out that she can get out of bed on her own about a week ago.  We couldn't believe that it took her so long to figure out, but the end result has been pretty disastrous.  The princess now naps only occasionally, even though her need for a nap is obvious.  Bedtime has been moved up to 6:30, but the meltdown starts at least half an hour earlier than that. Our middle of the day quiet time is really difficult to enforce when Jared is in one room moaning that he wants Eloise to come and play with him, and Eloise is in another room calling for Jared to come and play with her.  Eloise does NOT want to play with Benjamin, however.  She sees his new found ability to crawl fast and pull himself to standing as a threat to her play, and seizes every opportunity to assert her dominance with him.  B is very tolerant, but he has recently developed a special cry that alerts me that Eloise is in his vicinity and calls for intervention.  

Benjamin's first tooth broke through today.  Now he can defend himself, right? I will post pictures as soon as the tooth is more visible.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013


 This week was a canning week for us.  My favorite Eloise moment of the week happened after we had made a batch of blackberry jam.  Jared and Eloise each had a piece of bread and jam as I was cleaning up.  When they were done, Eloise came into the kitchen and said, "Jared! You have jam on your face!"
Um. . .  So do you, baby girl.
We made 12 jars of jam, I taught the young women how to can jam, and we bottled seven quarts of applesauce.  Canning season is over, now, and we get to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

Hugs for Grandpa

Grandpa had surgery a few weeks ago, so the kids put together a package for him.  They made him get well cards, we sent some pictures, and this bear was sent as an emissary of love.  
Eloise was really exciting about bear hugs for Grandpa.
 Mu. . . .
 . . . ah!
 In fact, Eloise wasn't planning to let go of the bear so that Jared could hug it.
 I told Jared to hug the bear as hard as he would hug Grandpa, if he could.  He took this very seriously.
 Benjamin didn't really understand what this bear business was about.
 He thought it was pretty funny that I kept telling him to give it a kiss.
 Eventually he decided to give it a kiss/take a bit out of it.
We hope that the bear adequately conveyed the love, Grandpa!  Feel better!  We can't wait to give you these hugs and kisses in person.