Halloween, the post my Mom has been looking forward to

I’ve gotten several not so subtle comments about a lack of seeing Halloween pictures, “Where’s my grandbabies?  Why haven’t you put any pictures up?”  So on and so forth………


So Mom, this post’s for you!



It’s amazing how kids change from year to year.  Last year the kids kind of willingly helped out, this year they were more willing to dig in, with the exception of Princess who was just not down wit this whole idea of getting her hands dirty…….



I tried the idea for the extra pumpkin we had of using the cookie cutter and a mallet.  I discovered: 1.  It needs a metal one to work at all and 2.  This plan destroyed my little cookie cutter, and I probably needed a better mallet.


Maybe I should have read the directions on the post instead of just looking at the picture on Pinterest…….



I made the bat wings using more or less the same plan as last year.  Sigh, it’s formatting all funny.  Fixed it by deleting the pictures and re-putting them in.


As per usual for my kids they of course changed their minds right up until the last minute, which is why I didn’t start making any costumes until last Friday……  And then spent an afternoon mumbling under my breath about tucks in little girl dresses and why don’t they cooperate?





This year the kids were really into it, and so there are fewer shots of them in action.  But, they were happy to glom onto a group of neighbors and run excitedly from house to house.  Princess is the only ones in the pictures because she was the slowest moving of them all.


There were less houses with lights on this year in our little loop, so we actually expanded beyond it to the next few streets. 


All in all they made a good haul, and I rather think our pumpkins have a lot of character, what do you think?

How to make a mummy doll

Because it’s scary, or I could claim it’s to study mummies from the Egyptians……..  But, we made the chicken mummy………  So, I guess this is just for fun.


Supplies: medical tape, fabric cut into strips (for a small doll I cut 1 inch wide strips, and for the bigger doll I made 2 inch strips), stuffed toy




  We found it was easiest to first tape the strip of cloth to the doll and then start winding around and around, and tape it at the end.  It took several strips per doll, but Batman found this to be a delightful way to spend an afternoon.






This is of course aided by a cute puppy hiding in the ball game.


Finally draw a face on your mummy with marker, because it needs one…….Maybe it’s the funeral mask.



Eventually Superman wandered up from his sick bed (he’d been sick that day) and joined in.  And we got treated to a skeleton giraffe, and with plans of a skeleton snake.


I suppose if you want a book to go with this you could read “Skeleton Meets Mummy” for the scary factor or for the educational factor “Miss Frizzle’s Adventures in Ancient Egypt.”


I present “SCARY!  Batman doll mummy!”

Science Sunday: Pumpkin and other fruit science

Science Sunday

Though now that I think about it, I’m not sure that a pumpkin is a fruit………


I got this unit from Currclick, and was going to do all of the projects, but just ran out of time between going out of town and Superman being sick this past week, we only got to the pumpkin one…….


It has 5 experiments for the price of 35 cents, that’s right less than a dollar.  This is where I start having a hard time paying a lot for things, between the freebies on blogs and deals like this………. By the by click on the picture to go to the product.


Well, the pumpkin one, was the traditional “does the pumpkin float” experiment, and measuring it with a nice little printable.  We did that a few years ago, and I was curious to see if they remembered the results.  They did, so the wow factor was kinda gone……


But, there’s a twist:


Based off what you learned from the pumpkin, will the other fruits (and vegetables if you’ve got them easily findable) float?




They had a suggested list, but I forgot to get all of the things they suggested, so instead we tried: apple, orange, and tomato as well.


We did an initial guess and they decided the orange and pumpkin would float.




Once we got to actually recording our predictions they changed their hypothesis about what would float.


They ended up predicting that all of them would float.  This was also a great opportunity for me to review the terms hypothesis, theory, and prediction with them.



No pictures of the actual floating Afterwards we drew a picture to show what actually happened.  SURPRISE they all floated!


Have you ever repeated an experiment with your kids?  Did they remember the first time you did it?

T-Rex Trick or Treats


This is a super cute book about a T-Rex who is trying to figure out a scary costume for Halloween, and tries on all manner of costume before finally deciding on the scariest (I’ll leave you to read the book to find out what).


Apparently this is part of a series of T-Rex holiday books and I plan on keeping an eye out for the others.




After reading it I had to have the kids decorate their own T-Rex deciding on a scary costume…….


I let them use whatever supplies they wanted and they happily created their scary T-Rexes.


Princess heavily applied glitter glue and dot markers to hers, and then disappeared with her “pretty” T-Rex upstairs.


The boys happily and quite proudly cut theirs out and glued them up to our Halloween mural.  Which is sadly lacking in much of additions this year, just too much going on this October…… I’m thinking to carry it over to Thanksgiving.


Can you figure out what the scary costume that both of these T-Rexes are wearing is?

Shibley Smiles

Ten Timid Ghosts

Or maybe I could say it’s one of the other ghost books we’ve read recently.  But, that’s the one I remember the title for.



After reading it, I forced the kids to paint their hands white and get handprints, because I’d seen a ghost handprint on Pinterest and remembered my plans to do it.  That’s right forced them because they didn’t want to get their hands dirty.  So, Superman didn’t really have one.




Well, we decorated away once the paint was dry, and in Princess’ case this meant adding large amounts of glitter glue.


In the boys, it meant making their ghosts look scary…….


Yes very scary.




And then Batman remembered the ghost he’d cut out of paper a few months ago.  He fished it out of his drawer and taped it up with a scrapbooking sticker border he’d found amongst their crafting supplies.


This would be why I never get away with getting rid of anything.  Three months later they suddenly remember their desperately wanted item and will hunt it down.  Nothing is forgotten here.



I will die with my house filled to the brim with paper scraps, because my kids will remember this “treasured” story from 50 years ago.

Book review: Rhythm of Family

I was very intrigued when I was asked to review “The Rhythm of Family.”  (sigh there are just some times that Amazon widgets are more trouble than they’re worth, and tonight is one of those) I like the idea of slowing down and enjoying our families and nature.

And then I got the book, and I saw it was broken down month by month and there were snow pictures.  Immediately I thought (before reading it), “Oh no, here’s another book that I can’t use for 6 months of the year because I’ve never heard of snow.”

And then I actually read the book.

And yes, there are pictures of snow, but instead it’s suggestions of things you can do inside when you’re trapped by bad weather.  Immediately I thought, “oh I can do this in July when it’s hotter than heck and nobody in their right mind goes outside.”

I really enjoyed the author’s layout and look forward to rereading the chapters as I come up to each month. First there’s a segment from Mom’s point of view, then the Dad’s, and then a few nature-inspired craft projects that are seasonal (but not necessarily snow related) but not limited to that season, and then a recipe to try for that month

For us the rhythm of our family as it nears October is to become insanely obsessed with Halloween and costumes. Okay, maybe that’s just my boys and somewhat the girl.  They’ve been talking about it coming for MONTHS!

So, we started setting up for it this week.


Some of you may remember this from last year, we slowly added projects to our Halloween mural as we made them.  We’ve gotten started already and made our first one yesterday.
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These are the Halloween books we plan to make projects for (with links to previous projects).

Spookley the Square Pumpkin– super cute book about how we all are helpful no matter how different we are.

Skeleton Meets Mummy- how two Halloween monsters get scared when they meet

Ten Timid Ghosts– a countdown book where the witch scares the ghosts out

Clifford’s Halloween– Clifford needs to decide on a costume.

Going on a Ghost Hunt– Kids go through the “spooky” woods to find a ghost.

Skeleton Hiccups- we read this last year, but no project.  Skeleton is trying to get rid of his hiccups and tries all of the usual cures.

The Little Old Lady who was not Afraid of Anything- I lost our copy last year, and hope to find it again this year………

Whoooo’s Haunting Tiny Ghost- Tiny Ghost learns how to be brave at school and then has to remember what he learns when he goes home to a scary house

Halloween Hats- library book about Halloween costumes, I haven’t read it yet…….

Old Devil Wind- I loved this one for choral reading as a teacher great repetition, rather like “The House that Jack built.”

So, that’s the rhythm of our family this month.  We’re going to be planning lots of fun Halloween activities.

If anyone is interested and still reading at this point, here’s my pinterest board for Halloween.

Favorite Resource This Week

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of Rhythm of Family for review, I was not paid for my review and other legal mumbo jumbo for me to write which I’m not remembering at this time of night.

more pumpkin work



To follow up on the pumpkin post from Monday, here’s an update on how it’s gone so far.


I printed off 4 copies of the little book I had made, yes you read that right 4.  One for each of the kids to write their own version of the story, and one for putting in order.


I took turns sitting down with each of the kids while the other two played and had them dictate to me what was happening in the pictures.  I’m going to share with you the boys’ stories, because Princess disappeared with hers with a mad gleam in her eyes.  It disappeared into her toy shopping cart along with about 10 My Little Ponies, 5 Strawberry Shortcakes, and a miscellany of other toys.


Here are the boys’ versions, I leave it to you to guess who wrote which one.


1: Title: A Bat found Pumpkin and he named it George Bob


The bat found a pumpkin.  The bat carved the pumpkin.  And then he went to do Halloween.  He left him home.  His Mom and Dad stayed home and he scared the kids with his bat pumpkin.  Then they baked a pumpkin pie.  Princess got some water in her tea pot.  They are making the pumpkin pie by pouring water in with the pumpkin.  The Boogeyball family said, “Trick or treat,” to the bat family.  They baked two sets of pumpkin pie because the kids really like pumpkin pie.  The kids are scooping the pumpkin pie.  One kid tasted the pumpkin pie, but he didn’t like it that way.  Someone is pouring water in there.  Mac ate pumpkin pie when we dropped it on the floor.  One guy scooped a part of the pumpkin.  Someone mixed it, but it wasn’t a girl, it was a boy (It was a picture of Princess he was looking at).  Me mixed it until his Mom said, “stop!”  I ate a seed, but I didn’t like it.


2: Title:  ________ carving a pumpking


We are carving the pumpkin.  We are taking the icky stuff out of it.  We’re using spoons to get the icky stuff out.  Batman is putting the pumpkin piece in there.  Princess is getting water for a tea party.  Batman is pouring water on the pumpkin pieces.  We put foil on to make it cook good.  The pumpkin pieces are getting cooked.  I am scooping out the part we eat of the inside.  Batman is pouring water.  Mac eat a piece of pumpkin.  I think he liked it.  Princess is scooping more pumpkin pieces.  She is pouring water I think.  Princess is stirring it.  Batman is eating a pumpkin seed.


It was really interesting to see how they each approached it.  You could also tell the difference in age and personality.  Princess didn’t use as many descriptive words even when I tried to coax them out of her.  My more creative and original thinker of a boy went in a totally different direction than I was thinking and then added his own bat illustrations.  My thinker was able to add more details as I coaxed him through it.


All in all it was a great writing experience I look forward to them being able to write it themselves, but they all had fun.

Pumpkin lessons

So, this is a multi-step process we went through.  I saw a couple of different posts from some blogs I read, mainly Household Ways and Blessings Overflowing talking about homemade pumpkin puree, and pumpkin seeds, and it got me thinking of the wonderful lessons that can come from that.
020So, I decided to do it.

We carved it out, and worked on using descriptive words of what the inside felt like and what did the outside feel like.  We all agreed it felt slimy, and the inside walls of the skeleton felt slimy.

026We counted how many ribs it had.  I’m planning on next year having them do a whole math unit about pumpkins, but that wasn’t for this year.

Then I quartered it so we could more easily get the stringies out and because that would fit in my pan best.

We cooked it for almost two hours to get it nice and soft, and learned about patience and why we cooked it the way we did.

Then we learned about how the pumpkin had changed after cooking it, now it felt soft and squishy.
And of course we cooked with it.  We made this yummy pumpkin scone recipe I found here.

Actually, I’ve made that recipe twice.  And both times I think they might have lasted an hour.  Maybe………


And finally we roasted them.  Which was not the wildly popular snack I was hoping for.  Unfortunately I didn’t let them all dry correctly, so I didn’t get to try out the various different recipes I was going to for pumpkin seeds.  Oh well.


But wait there’s more!  Coming soon to a home near you, or more accurately, my home.  I’ve been slowly transferring the pictures of the step by step process into a table (to maintain uniform page size), and I’m printing them off as we speak to have them tell me what happened in the pictures.

It’s going to be exciting!  There will be untold mysteries of what they will decide to tell me is happening.  Stay tuned for the update.

Happy Halloween!

A little bit late, but aren’t the little guys cute?


Halloween 2010 002Halloween 2010 003

And I found the perfect costume to go with Mac:

Halloween 2010 004Halloween 2010 009

Now I just need some ruby slippers.

Halloween 2010 010Halloween 2010 011

They happily collected their massive haul, and went through deciding what was the best candy.


And a few captured by my phone.  Many thanks to my Mom for bringing her camera, since mine is AWOL.  I swear it was right here at my computer on Thursday, and now it’s gone.  I’m beginning to wonder if someone ate it.

Round Rock Fall Festival


019One of the cool things about our town is it’s still small enough that it has cool festivals and events from time to time.


Like this chalk art festival designed to raise money for a local foster home.



Of course the down side of that one was it led to hands like this……  And very dirty clothes.



But, back to the Fall Festival.  We headed down there a little early to help set up the diaper changing station for our MOPS group.  Actually we got there later than intended and it was mostly set up.  But, the kids had fun helping me put up the signs.




It’s run by the local parks and recreation department, so you get a lot of “tough” looking guys who are in charge of the games.


I think it’s kind of fun to see these guys interacting with the kids, and you can tell they love doing this.




I have a lot of fun looking at the different games and thinking about how I might make it at home.


I know, that’s shocking, shocking I say.




The kids have fun collecting an inordinately large amount of candy and random little toys.  They spend the next few days on a sugar high as they slowly eat their way through the candy.


It was super duper fun, and we had a blast as you can imagine!


I’m linking this up to Geography/History linky over at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn because in a way this is about geography, it’s about finding cool things going on at the place you live.