Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkins, Ladybugs, and One Reindeer

Happy Halloween!  It's been a busy week preparing for this fun holiday...and Ava's new favorite word is SCARY!  We got a lot of use out of that word tonight as we went out trick or treating - there were some great house decorations!

Earlier this week, I carved pumpkins.  Ava was supposed to help out, but she got one look at the pumpkin guts and decided she wanted nothing to do with it.  Note to self: whoever picks out the pumpkin pattern must be the one to carve the pumpkin.  For the record, I picked out the face, Scott picked out the spooky house.  Guess which one took twice as long to carve?  That's right, time, YOU get to carve the more detailed one!

I thought it would be fun to roast pumpkins seeds for the first time, too - but I think I cooked them a little too long...they were extra crunchy and a little darker than they should be.  Oh well, my domestic goddess-ness had pretty much been maxed out for the evening!

Today was a pretty good day.  Like most Sundays, it was full of all sorts of activities, and before we knew it, it was time to hand out candy and then head out to Great-Grandma's house to celebrate her birthday, and also do a little candy begging ourselves.

Practicing to be a SCARY monster!

Somehow she managed to lock herself in her room with Spanky and Darla.  Notice the real happy expression on all of their faces...  the dogs are looking at each other, like "Oh crap..."

Our first stop was at Grandma and Grandpa Goers' house.

And then off to Great Grandma's...

Happy Birthday, Great Grandma!

Stocking up on candy...

Playing well with cousin Calleigh

Twin ladybugs!  (Cousins Jenna and Ava)

Intrigued by a game on my phone...

By the time we left there, our nap-free ladybug was melting down.  We were already an hour past bedtime, and boy, she let us know!

Now that Halloween's done, we're getting ready for Christmas...check out the reindeer antlers!

Oh, FYI, there won't be a post for a few weeks...I'm heading to Europe this Friday.  Hungary and Austria, here I come!  I'm sure I'll have some great pics to post from that trip.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Sprinkles & Smiles

Last weekend Ava and I attempted to make Halloween cookies. After the cookies were baked and frosted, I thought it would be fun to let Ava help with the sprinkles.  I didn't think that idea through very well...she grabbed the container of sprinkles, and proceeded to dump a ton on one cookie.  Since the sprinkles were round, they scattered everywhere...out on the table, onto the floor, into the living room...everywhere!  What could I do but laugh?!  We cleaned it all up, and decided to leave the sprinkles to Mommy (even I managed to get some on the floor...ha!) 

I have now decided that I am not the greatest cookie decorator - they looked like a 5 year old had done them!  Ah, but they taste great, and really, that's all I care about!  Maybe we'll take another stab at cookie decorating for Christmas - Ava really enjoys hanging out with me when I bake.  Definitely good Mommy-Daughter bonding time!

Is there a cookie under all of those sprinkles?

I have so much fun dressing Ava up and I thought this little outfit was just too darn cute.

Practicing to be a scary monster...!

Ava finally decided to let us finally put the ladybug antennae and wings on her, so we might be successful in having a little ladybug on our hands for Halloween.  However, she needed to make sure that Darla was cool with the idea first...

"Why me...?"

Darla the ladybug-horse!

This week we are going to carve our pumpkins and make roasted pumpkin seeds.  Hopefully the pumpkins turn out better looking than the cookies...!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Even though this has been an unseasonably warm fall, we decided to get into the fall spirit.  I finally pulled out our fall decor yesterday, and now we have a festive feel to the house!  I made up Halloween treat bags for all the kids at daycare for their party, and have been trying to convince Ava that being a ladybug is CUTE and not scary.  She wanted nothing to do with the wings and antennae - in fact, she ran away, screaming, "NO, Mommy!" when I tried to put them on her.  Of course, she liked seeing me wear them. :)  Ava has been running around telling us that she's Cinderella, though, so maybe we'll have to go the princess route.

I made a yummy apple crisp last weekend, and I think today, we're going to make some Halloween cookies.  To add to the fun, Scott thought it would be fun to have Miss Ava jump in a pile of leaves he made for her.  Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling the best when we tried, so there wasn't a lot of enthusiasm, and even some tears.  I thought it was supposed to be fun...!

Hm.  Not really sure.

She somehow managed to fall out of the pile of leaves...

Here's what gets me - it's mid-October...and our roses are still beautiful and blooming!

One tired baby...she decided to curl up in the kitchen to go to sleep.  You can barely see it, but Scooter is her pillow.

Time to get moving and be productive...after 48 hours of running a high fever, it appears that Ava is finally getting back to being her silly self.  She is one funny ball of energy this morning!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What a Week

The weather has been unseasonably warm this fall, so we've been able to extend our outdoor projects just a bit.  This past week Scott's been working in the garden, cleaning everything out, and repairing the back wall of our garage.  Ava was such a good little helper, scooping up dirt, but still trying to keep her hands clean while doing it!

I swear, a box is all she needs to make her happy.

Princess Darla.

Princess Darla has had enough.  I personally like how she and Ava have the same expressions in this picture.
Apparently Spanky was bored - check out that yawn in the background!

We went down to Grand Meadow this weekend, and as always, it was so fun to see Ava and Isabel play together.  They actually had several little conversations with each other - and they were so polite while doing so! 

We even had them share a room last night...boy, that was a challenge.  I think they finally fell asleep around 10:00pm.  And of course, Ava was still up this morning around 7am.  When Scott went to get her up, she and Isabel were each laying in their own beds, chatting.  I had to wonder what they were talking about...

Running around the track - we were hoping to tire them out!  It didn't work.

It was gorgeous today!  So, instead of doing all of the things that we should be doing, we decided to spend the afternoon outside.  Ava decided to take a flying leap into her house...check it out!

And then she was bored.

Funny Ava moment for the weekend:  I started to change her diaper, and right as I was talking it off, she looked at me and said, "Surprise!"  That is never something you want to hear right as the diaper is about to come off!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apple Junction

We had beautiful weather last weekend...perfect for going to an apple orchard!  The orchard that we usually go to (Afton) didn't have apples available due to hail damage, so we decided to try a different one - Apple Junction in Hastings.  It was quite a bit smaller than Afton, but the kids still had fun playing with the animals and picking the apples.  The only thing we were a little disappointed in was the hayride to the pumpkin patch - we were thinking we could get out and pick pumpkins...but no.  It was literally just a ride TO the pumpkin patch, and then the ride back to the main part of the orchard.  Other than that, it was fun!

We met Darren, Tiffany, and Isabel there, and were hoping to meet Megan and Charlie there, as well...but things seemed to be working against Megan joining us that day.  We missed you, Megan!  Next year...

She kept yelling whenever we tried to take her picture, hence the open mouth.

We saw the Videens out there (Christie is Scott's cousin), so we were able to get a picture of Ava with Jack, Izzy, and Brett.  Fun!

Ava was so happy when Isabel (Winfield) showed up!

Ava seemed to really like the goats.  She kept trying to kiss this one.

That's Jack on the left, with Ava and Scott.

This girl is NUTS about apples...she ate so many while we were filling our bag!

Isabel and Ava were fascinated with a squashed apple.

Heading towards the pumpkin patch...

Ava also enjoyed this little one...

She was pooped and ready for her nap once we left.

A few non-orchard pics from the past week...she loves her pillow!

I was going to try to make an apple pie, or apple crisp or something, but honestly, these apples are so good, we're enjoying eating them just by themselves.  Yum!  One of the many joys of fall!