Thursday, October 31, 2013

Classroom Halloween Parties

Much of my week has been helping out at classroom Halloween parties (or Harvest Parties if you feel like being politically correct... which I don't).  It was really fun to be able to go and help out and see my kids in their environment with their friends.  The first party was at Garrett and Paige's preschool.  Garrett got on his fruit bat costume and Paige was a pink butterfly.  Garrett was VERY specific that he was a fruit bat because he didn't eat bugs or blood.  Their party consisted of trick-or-treating at the various staff offices, decorating cookies, playing games and hearing stories.  All this went on while the teachers and parents were desperately trying to make sure they didn't get TOO sugared up.  I don't think we were very successful.

After my children begged me to dress up this Halloween, I found a fabulous "queen" dress at Goodwill for a whooping $10.  I threw on some costume jewellery left over from my wedding... and viola!  I was the queen I always knew I was meant to be!

The next day it was off to Molly's Halloween party.  The twins had to come with me, which I was a little concerned about.  But they did a FABULOUS job helping me with the craft and participating in the various stations themselves. 

Molly wore her peacock costume and we both loved seeing all her friends' outfits!  I continue to be SO impressed with the children in her class and found them all to be such nice, kind kids with great manners.  Obviously that's a reflection of their wonderful and involved parents... and considering there were SEVENTEEN parents that showed up to help with the party, it's obvious how involved those parents are!

After the party, they had a costume parade.  This was SO much fun, as they piped dance music through the entire school and the kids danced through the various classes while the parents watched from the rails around the compound.  I heard from several parents that the parade and allowing the kids to wear their costumes was almost cancelled this year on behalf of being "politically correct".  I'm so glad they didn't cancel it because it was obvious the children sincerely enjoyed themselves... even the ones that didn't dress up!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Preparations

The last week of October was a busy one for our family, as there were many preparations to be made for Halloween.  While I was busy finalizing costumes, Steve was busy decorating the exterior of our house.  I think his sister's house inspired him, and he felt a little 'positive' peer pressure.  Needless to say... his aspirations to turn our house into a 'Monster House' were reached, don't you think?

Paige also used the opportunity to make some creations of her own while Daddy was busy building.  A future engineer perhaps?  Or maybe a future artist?  We were impressed!

Molly also had her friend Annabelle over to visit and the kids decorated Halloween cookies.  They REALLY wanted to eat their entire creation in one sitting and were sorely disappointed when I only let them have a piece.

Later it was time to carve the pumpkins!  Molly was feeling very creative and decided that she was going to make a peacock pumpkin with the real peacock feathers left over from her Halloween costume.  She designed and carved it all by herself EXCEPT for cleaning out the inside, which she decided was too messy of a job.  Steve helped her out with that...

Paige and Garrett used a template, which they traced onto their pumpkin and then let Steve and I cut it out for them.  I think they turned out pretty fabulous!

Now we were ready and set for Halloween to arrive! But that's a whole other post!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Baggenstos Pumpkin Farm

Fall has come to Portland. The air is brisk and the leaves are turning all kinds of colors.  It is SO nice to be living in a place with more defined seasons... and autumn is my favorite.  And with the fall comes all kinds of autumn events.  So today I joined Garrett and Paige's preschool on their pumpkin patch trip.  We couldn't have had a better day for it... cool and sunny!  First they loaded the kids onto a tractor hay ride to the pumpkin patch.

Each child got to pick a pumpkin.  And these weren't small pie pumpkins... they were HUGE (much bigger than the ones they're holding in the first photo below).  They were so big that the kids couldn't carry them, which meant this twin Mama was hauling two around.  Garrett picked one of the only green ones in the area.  I kinda like that he had to have the one pumpkin that was different.

After they picked their pumpkins, they gave the kids a talk about potato farming which is their next biggest crop.  You can see the wall of potatoes behind them in that first picture.  Each child got a whole BAG of potatoes at the end.  So for us... TWO bags!  Then the we enjoyed some of the amenities of their play area.  This included some farm animals, water pumping races, a playground, a straw bale maze, and tractors to climb on!

After we picked Molly up from school, she was EXTREMELY disappointed that she missed out on the farm trip.  But Baggenstos is only about five minutes from our house, so I piled them into the car and let Molly pick out her very own pumpkin (the BIGGEST one she could find).  Needless to say, we will have quite a selection of pumpkins to carve this year!

Monday, October 14, 2013

OMSI and the Izukas

Last weekend we enjoyed a visit from Michelle and Todd!  It was such a treat to be able to spend some quality time with them and the kids LOVED having them here.  Garrett found out that his Uncle Todd knows a thing or two about Superheros and that made him the best uncle EVER!  It also happened to be the weekend of "Canadian Thanksgiving" and we enjoyed their awesome cooking for our HUGE turkey feast!

We also used their visit as excuse to go check out OMSI.  It is such a fabulous science museum and the kids love it every time we go, so we decided to get an annual membership.  Needless to say, it was as fun as we remembered!

Since we were already downtown we used the opportunity to check out some other Portland icons.  So we had lunch at a food truck pod and shopped for books at Powell's.  It was nice to get out of our Beaverton suburbia and enjoy some of the highlights of Portland!

We have definitely enjoyed the benefit of family visits since moving to Portland.  In the three months we've been here, we've thoroughly enjoyed our time with Christie's family, but have also seen my parents (twice), both my sisters, and my cousin Cameron.  We are blessed.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Scholls Heights Fun Run

Today was Molly's Fun Run Fundraiser at her school.  The kids ran laps to raise money.  Our extended family supported Molly is a HUGE way and she was able to raise $260, which was amazing.  This really motivated her to do her best!  You can see her determination in the photos!

Molly ran a total of 7 laps... which I believe was almost 2 miles.  Here's her class after the run... their class color was orange.

After it was all said and done, there were otter pops and drinks for everyone!  Even Garrett and Paige got an otter pop for their awesome cheer leading from the side lines!