Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tis' the season...

We had a wonderfully busy and full holiday season! Besides having a baby shower and birthday party during December, we made our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our own tree, welcomed my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and baby Donovan who were visiting from Vermont, made our second trip to the Polar Express, went to the Oregon Zoo to see the zoo lights and of course had Christmas celebrations with both of our families and our good friends.
We usually cut down our tree the first weekend after Thanksgiving, but with the baby shower this year, I didn't want a big tree in the middle of the room all the guests would be congregating in. So, we put it off until the next weekend. We had a big football game (the Civil War which is the two rival state colleges duking it out) on Saturday, but decided to go get our tree in the morning. The kids were so excited and it was a gorgeous (albeit a little cold) day for tree cutting. After wandering around for awhile, we found the perfect tree.

Z 'helping' Colin with the tree

The kids striking a pose on the tree farm ;o)

After the dust had settled from two parties in two weeks (someone lock me up if I consider doing that in the middle of the Christmas season again!), we excitedly awaited the arrival of my sister-in-law Ceara and her son, Donovan. I'm sure you remember me talking about them before... Donovan was born in March last year, and unfortunately we couldn't make it up to see the new family. We were thrilled to find out they would be coming up for Christmas! We couldn't wait to meet our new little nephew and see Ceara and her husband, Grant (who came up later) again. And, the kids hadn't seen Auntie Ceara since right after Avalee was born, almost two years! I was so worried Donovan about Donovan not being familiar with us, and not wanting to get too close. ;o) But, he came right over with a big ol' grin! In fact, the whole time they were here, he kept wanting me to hold him, pick him up or just play with him. Yay...he loves his Aunt Peggy! And, all the kids got along so well. Avalee just loved him, and I think thought we got her her own little doll...hehe. Donovan loved Z, as well, always trying to get his attention or show off for him. It was wonderful seeing them all play together, and made me wish that we all lived closer. During the time they were here, we all made a trip to Portland (my mother-in-law and father-in-law too) to ride the OHSU tram and check out the zoo lights. It was quite the adventure to ride the tram (a shuttle to the bus station, bus to OHSU then finally the tram) but a lot of fin too. After that, we headed to the zoo to check out the famed zoo lights. I've lived in Oregon my entire life, and have never seen them (though I've always wanted to!) so was pretty excited. We arrived just before dark, and encountered a small line to get in. The lights were gorgeous and the kids had so much fun! As we were leaving, we saw a HUGE line snaking all the way down the hill from the zoo! Apparently, everyone else got there right at dusk and was stuck in the big line. Thank goodness we made it there early...whew! After that, it was off to a delicious dinner at the Claim Jumper restaurant in Tualitin. After such a long day, both kids fell asleep on the way home.

My adorable nephew!

The kids (and Colin) getting to know each other!


Me with a couple of my favorite cuties; Avalee & Donovan!

We were also thrilled to make our second annual trip to Hood River to ride the Polar Express. We did this last year, and Z had so much fun. I was looking forward to this year, because I knew Avalee would really get into it too. We were a little nervous on our drive up, because it started snowing pretty heavily, and we were worried (without chains) we might not make it! Well, luckily we did and after checking in, even decided to take advantage of the snow; we found an empty schoolyard and had an impromptu snowball fight with the kids. Z and Grandma even built a little snowman. We decided to grab a bite to eat before our train ride, and it started snowing pretty heavily again. When we came back out after eating, there was about another inch of snow on the ground! Colin safely navigated us to the train station (about 5 miles from where we were) but it was slow going, and we made it just in time to board. The kids were very excited about going to the North Pole, and Avalee kept saying, “A train? A train!” After being served hot cocoa, cookies and signing some Christmas carols, we stopped in the north Pole so Santa could come aboard. The looks on the kids faces as they saw Santa waving to them from his house, then coming aboard the train was just priceless! Z was totally prepared for Santa, even knew what he was going to ask him for Christmas. I tried preparing Avalee for Santa (whom she had only briefly seen earlier in the month at the mall, and was not so impressed with) even asking if she knew what she was going to ask Santa for. Her response? “Books!” Yay, for my literary kiddos! She even told me, “Mama, I wuuuv Santa!” However, when Santa stopped by for a visit, Avalee had a change of heart. Santa still gave her a bell, and as he walked away, she says whispers, “I wuuv you, Santa!” Haha! After our visit with Santa, it was more carols then back to the train station. And, then for us, a long drive back home...but with some pretty happy kids!

All aboard & ready for an adventure!

Z checking out Santa just outside

Santa had just boarded & Avalee was pretty excited!

Christmas morning brought lots of fun surprises for everyone (new bikes for both kids!)! We always have Christmas morning just for our family to be together and open gifts. Wouldn't you know it, but this morning Z wasn't feeling well. When the kids came downstairs, Avalee went right to her bike and Z just went to the couch and lied down. After several minutes, he asked, “Is this my bike?” Poor boy! He was kind of out of it most of the morning, and ended up with a pile of presents in front of him, that had backed up! Of course, he was feeling well enough to present the first Christmas gift from him to Avalee; he had made her some homemade crayons and a coloring book. He was SO proud of his gift and couldn't wait to share it with her. It was extraordinarily sweet! And, after a dose of Tylenol, he started feeling much better and got into unwrapping all of his gifts. Of course, Avalee had to give him the gift she got him, which was a sweatshirt she found at Target and declared, "I wuuv it! Want it for Z! Buy it for Z! I wuuuuv it! Pay it, Mommy, ok?" So, like Z, she was pretty excited to give him her gift. I just love that both kids really got into the giving so well!

Z helping Avalee with her gift from him

He was SO excited to give her the crayons he made!


Z just gave me a pair of earrings (that match the necklace he game me for my birthday)

Later in the morning, my parents and sister came over to exchange gifts. After that, we all headed to breakfast, which a been a tradition with my family since I was a baby.
After breakfast, it was back home to load up some more gifts and head to my MILs. We spent sometime with everyone, exchanging gifts and having dinner before Ceara, Grant and Donovan had to leave on the red eye back home.
The next day we had our best friends, Liz, Brendan and their daughter Madi over (we have a tradition that they come over for 'Christmas' and we go to their house for New Years Eve). We had our usual make-your-own pizzas then hung out and opened presents. It was a lot of fun as usual, especially watching the kids together. Madi and Avalee are at such a fun age now, and they were playing together, tickling each other and just giggling all night. Very cute!

Giggly girlies!

Havin' fun!

Goodbye hugs!

So, that was our Christmas season. We were kept busy all month, but we wouldn't have had it any other way!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rock 'n Roll, baby!


So, you may have seen me mention that my best friend and her hubby are expecting a baby. They have an adorable little girl now, Miss Madi, who is about as girly as they come! This time around, they are expecting a boy and, befitting his name, Halen (Dad is a HUGE Van Halen fan), we settled on a rock star themed baby shower.
I was pretty excited about this shower, because it was definitely something different than what I had done before. I felt pretty confident about it, then when it came time to start putting everything together, I hit a wall. Panic set in, because I just couldn't seem to come up with what I wanted; a cool, but classy shower that was different, yet not too edgy (didn't want to scare the old people...hehe).
After a nice stroll through Target and Michaels, I got it all figured out!
Of course, I used a lot of guitars throughout the shower. I got my inspiration online (sorry, totally forgot where!) for the guitar template, and used both the Guitar Hero guitar and my son's play guitar (from Target). I was able to trace them onto foam board and use them around (a couple welcomed guests on the front door, two more were over the food table and one was for guests to sign).
I also went with a lot of glitter. This wasn't intentional, but after glittering a couple things, I really liked the feel it gave to everything. I decided to run with it, and created my own glittered candles plus some of the guitars.
And, finally to achieve that classy feel I wanted, I filled a couple big vases with some black marbles and red and white carnations. Those sat on either end of my mantle and in the middle was a large picture frame with photos taken by Halen's dad, Brendan (who is an awesome photographer!). I really loved the way it all came together and I felt satisfied that it captured the mood I was going for.
For the activities, I went with a bib/onesie decoration project for the guests. I had stamps, stencils and fabric paint for them to come up with their own creations. I have to say that I was actually surprised at how well they turned out and how much fun everyone had in creating them. This is definitely a must at future showers! Besides that, I kept it pretty simple with a bingo game the guests played while mommy-to-be was unwrapping gifts.
All-in-all, I think it turned out to be a great shower and I had a ton of fun planning it!
I hope you enjoyed it, Liz, and I'm ready for the next one, whenever you are! ;o)
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Avalee is two!


I can't believe that we're already at birthday number two for my baby girl, but here it is!
We (okay, me) decided on a mermaid theme this year, and I think it turned out really well. I had hoped Miss A would wear her mermaid costume from Halloween during her party, but she turned into quite the rebel and decided she didn't want to. Actually, she started just stripping it off during the party until we finally relented and got her something else to wear (to be fair to her, she did tell us several times she didn't want it on...). It would've have been SO cute, but oh well.
So, we had lots of fun decorating sugar cookies (starfish for the boys and mermaids for the girls), playing dress-up, doing sand art, and 'fishing (thanks for being our fishy, Mom!).' Of course, we also had some yummy food and cake too!
I decided to turn the living room into an under the sea scene; we hung blue streamer across the ceiling to look like waves, then added strips of green streamers to look like seaweed to the entryways. I also added mermaids here and there with some bubbles, to really give the feel that we we in the ocean. I was really happy with how all the decorations (thanks to Liz and her Cricut again!) turned out and that it pretty much all came together how I wanted.
And, Avalee's favorite part of the day, of course, was unwrapping presents. I wasn't sure how well she would get into it, since last year she wasn't so interested in opening her presents. But she started tearing them open right away! I think she truly loved everything she got, but the highlights were definitely the magnetic Tinkerbell dress up doll, mermaid Mrs Potato Head, a new baby that moves and makes sounds and her own stroller (she loves her bff Madi's strollers!).
After the party was over, and most of our guests had left, we realized we had forgotten to turn on the bubble machine...oops! So, we cranked it up and the kids (Z, Avalee and Madi) had a blast dancing, playing and trying to catch bubbles. It was the perfect end to the day!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monster Party; It's in the details...

As I mentioned in my previous post, this year's party theme was chosen by Zavion himself, and was 'Monster Bash.' Also, as I mentioned earlier, I made pretty much everything myself. I had so much response from what I did from so many people, that I thought I would go though what I did here to show everyone a little of the 'magic' behind how I did some (and, hey, maybe someone just might be inspired by something I did...maybe)!
So, without further ado, here are some pictures of my boy's special day...

Some of the decorations...

I always try to make a sign for the guests as they come in the front door. This was one of my easiest, since I was able to use a piece of scrapbook paper the base of the sign. Add some letters (courtesy of my bff's Cricut) and some monster eyeballs, and my favorite a mini feather boa to look like monster fur (from Micheal's) & voila!

I wasn't super-thrilled with how this turned out. I think I took too much time cutting out those darn 5s & the Z from the foam board (turns out foam board is not so easy to cut through) and lost focus of the 'big picture.' I realized a few days later why it seemed so...blah...I was going to make some monsters to kind of go between the pic frames & totally forgot...oops!
So, what I did do: the frames are holding pics from each of Z's birthdays then #5 is on the wall behind. At the last minute, I realized I had some extra 'fur' (more of those mini boas from Micheal's) so added that to the bottom of my candles than taped an eye to each of them. Funny because I think I got more compliments on those than anything else!

A closer shot of the 5s & Z...I think they turned out pretty cute!
Oh, I grabbed these adorable monster buckets (and the matching picture frames) from the Target dollar I said, I love a bargain! ;o)

I decided I wanted a pennant style birthday banner this year, and love how it turned out! This was a pretty basic design:
I cut out the triangles (green textured scrapbook paper with the patterned scrapbook on top) by hand, but used the Cricut again to cut out the letters. The monsters were a bit more time consuming. The monsters I got from a birthday card (just scanned onto the computer) and tile printed. Then I taped the pieces together and had to fill in the colors with Sharpies (the time consuming part!).

Just a piece of 'fur' with some googly eyes thrown on. I would have liked to have had more fur, but at $10/yd (yikes!) and my really long table, it just wasn't very feasible.

The food...

My favorite thing from the party! I made these paper cones (using direction from over at Hostess With The Mostest) and filled them with green caramel corn (just added some green food coloring to the caramel as it was cooking). Then I put them in a candy corn filled shadow box (bought from Micheals) that I had covered with more 'fur.'

Another shot of the caramel corn cones. The kids loved being able to just grab these & walk around munching on caramel corn!

I thought I had a genius idea to make mini caramel apples, but it turned out there are several sources out there that had already done it (including Family Fun) I foll wed the advice from some of the commenters who suggested using caramel apple wrappers to make it stick better to the apple. That seemed to work pretty well...the only problem was keeping them cool enough for the caramel to not melt. I put mine in the freezer, but then the apples got a little soggy after they thawed. So, I'd say it's best to make these right before you're going to serve them.

And...the FUN!

Zavion requested apple bobbing as a party game...
Oh, and I bought these adorable (and perfectly sized!) tins in the Target dollar sections for $2.50/ea.

It was lots of fun!

Monster bingo! I bought this bingo pack at Target during last year's ('09) Halloween clearance).

The kids got to color & decorate their own monster masks. They had these adorable books of masks (all different themes too; Wild animals, pirates, etc) at Joanne's Fabric for only $1!

And, 'monster mash', which was basically musical chairs. We let the kids dance to some monster themed music (Monster Mash, Purple People Eater...) then stopped the music for the traditional musical chairs. The kids enjoyed really getting to bust some moves!

I was watching Oprah the day before Z's party, and who was on but Martha Stewart herself. Well, she was showing off her fancy shredding scissors & inspiration struck! I thought it would be a cute way to jazz up the plain loot bags for the kids. So, I used my plain (non-fancy) scissors to 'shred' the bags, than added monster faces (using scraps of paper from the other projects). I was very happy with how they turned out!

So, there you have it! That's how I made the monster party happen! Hope you enjoyed looking through my pics and ideas! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Zavion is FIVE!


It is SO hard for me to believe that my little man has turned five. Luckily, being on vacation on his actual birthday helped distract me from it a little, but I still find myself feeling wistful thinking of him as a little baby coming home from the hospital.
And, of course this milestone birthday required a big ol' birthday bash (well, that's pretty much how we do things around here anyway!), so as soon as we got back from our trip, I got to work on his party. Since, I'm a bit of a bargainer, I try to create as many of my own party things as possible. I also love the satisfaction I feel when I've created a party from scratch. And, I'm pretty confident in my craftiness that I usually accomplish what I set out to do. ;o) Luckily I had made most of the decorations before we left on vacation, so I just had a few things left to finish when we got back.
This year's party theme, as chosen by Mr. Zavion himself, was 'Monster Bash.' He's now old enough where he, not only, got to pick out a theme (before you go thinking I was brave letting him decide, you should know that he was given several to choose but even made some suggestions about activities. He was very set on having apple bobbing, and I thought that sounded liker a perfect Fall birthday party activity. He also wanted to know if there would be dancing... Dancing? What, is he five or 15? Haha! But, I decided if my boy wanted to dance, there would be dancing! So, I kind of restructured the musical chairs, aka 'Monster Mash' game I had planned, so the kids could dance until the music stopped (instead of the traditional walking in a circle around the chairs) than sit down.
So, the day of the party came and Z was very excited. He made sure to wear his new monster shirt that Grandma bought him and planted himself in front of the window to wait for the guests.
Once everyone arrived, he truly was the king of the party! He loves any kind of social gathering anyway, but anything where the focus is all on his, is just heaven in his book!
After everyone had eaten, we started on the activities. Z turned out to be surprisingly good at apple bobbing and was very proud of himself at how well he did. Then we moved onto monster bingo, which the kids loved (especially since Colin decided they could use candy corn as markers, which meant big piles of candy just sitting there in front of them...). We played a few games of that, than let the kids get crafty by making their own monster masks.
After that, it was Z's favorite party activity of all; blowing out his birthday candles! In fact, he was so excited that he didn't even let us finish signing 'Happy Birthday' to him before he blew out his candles. Silly guy!
After all the kids finished their cupcakes and were sufficiently tinted green (gotta love those store-bought cupcakes!) it was on to presents!
This is probably Z's second favorite birthday party activity, not so much because of the gifts, but because he gets everyone's full attention on him for a lengthy period of time...hahaha! He got some pretty awesome gifts, including some cool Hot Wheels cars and tracks, the pair of overalls he had been begging for for a month, a Bop It and a microscope. He was very happy with everything and was very happy with the day in general. He went to sleep very quickly that night too, exhausted after a long day of birthday fun!
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Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving all!
I just wanted to take a moment to mention some of the things I'm thankful for...
My wonderful hubby, who works hard so I can stay home with our kiddos! He is also the most thoughtful, sensitive caring partner I could ask for and the kids could dream of!
My amazing kids! They give me SO much happiness every single day I'm with them, and I feel incredibly blessed to spend my days with the two most awesome people in the world!
My family, especially my parents who have and will do anything for us (to watching the kids at a moments notice to giving me a ride when I lock myself out of the car to cutting a million paper strips for me when I was sick and had a crafty playdate coming!). They really are the best! My siblings for being hip and cool and just fun to talk to and hang out with. And, of course for being awesome Aunts & uncles for my kids!
My friends especially my best friend who I've known since 7th grade! I know not everyone is fortunate enough to live within 15 minutes of their best friend, and I'm incredibly grateful for that; being able to hang out whenever we want and raise our kids together is so special to me!
Being in good health and that my family is in good health.
Having a gorgeous house in the best neighborhood ever with some pretty cool neighbors!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We had such an amazing time on our trip to California!! And, after 10 days of traveling (including 42 hours just in the car!) we made it back home.
Our trip started the morning of October 16th. The kiddos had already been told of the upcoming trip, but didn't really have many expectations. So, along with my parents and little sister, we all piled in our car and headed off. After almost nine hours, we made our first destination; Sacramento, where we were staying the night. The next morning it was onto our final destination; Anaheim!
We arrived at our resort and were pleasantly surprised by how gorgeous it was (I've mentioned before that we are Worldmark owners)! They told us at the front desk the fireworks would be starting soon, and we could watch them from the roof deck or from our room. Sweet!
And, sure enough, once the fireworks started, we had a perfect view from our room. It was amazing and the kids were in total awe!
The next day was our first Disneyland day, and we headed over with my brother and his girlfriend, who live in the area. Zavion had gotten all worked up about going and was clearly very excited. Once he stepped through the gates, you could just see the wonder in his eyes! After a trip to City Hall for 'First Time Visitor' buttons for the kids, we headed off the Fantasy Land to start riding! Not only was Z having a great time, but Avalee was also having a blast. We did lots of fun rides, including Avalee's favorite, the teacups (“Spin faster! Faster!!”) and Z's favorite, Alice in Wonderland.
After a long, and very exciting day, we headed to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (YUMM!) then back to our resort for some rest.
The next day was Zavion;s fifth birthday! Although he didn't know it, we had a very fun morning planned; we were going to breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen! Unfortunately, Z was a little grumpy (he's like his mama and SO not a morning person) when we arrived but all it took was a visit from Goofy himself to turn Z around. He was so amazed with Goofy and the following parade of characters (including Pluto, Baloo, Chip & Dale, Belle & Alice) and even the yummy food (Mickey shaped waffles!). And, the cherry on the cake was when they came out to sing 'Happy Birthday' to him. He was so excited to be presented with his own cake (in a little treasure chest) and be the center of attention. Haha!
After breakfast we headed into Disneyland for some more fun. However, we were greeted by some terrible weather including torrential rain (bad enough to make even these native Oregonians take cover), thunder and lightening. Ick! So, after a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, we headed over to California Adventure to get in some indoor rides. We still managed to have a great (if not soggy!) time and headed back to our resort that evening for Z's favorite dinner (pizza soup), more cake and, of course, presents! We were even treated to another showing of fireworks, even tough they don't normally show during the week. Zavion definitely had a wonderful birthday, and of course we still had the rest of the week left on our trip!
The next day took us to Seaworld, where the kids had a blast watching dolphins and whales jump high in the air, petting manta rays and even riding some more rides. And, Zavion's highlight? He got to feed the dolphins with Grandma. Seeing the look on his face when they told him he could pet the dolphin was great!
Day four was a trip to Universal Studios, and we were happy to be joined by Uncle and Aunt Lindsey this time (since they just live a couple blocks away!). For me, Universal is a blast; it's definitely always been one of my favorite theme parks. I wasn't sure how well the kids would enjoy it, since there aren;t as many rides (or flying dolphons!) to keep their attention. But, Avalee was instantly smitten when Curious George came up to her and tried 'stealing' her banana. And, Zavion loved the Shrek 3D 'ride.' Of course we enjoyed lots more during our visit there, including my favorite, the studio tour. It was a fun day and afterward we got to go have a delicious dinner at John and Lindsey's apartment (prepared by Lindsey). The kids were SO excited to be spending time at Uncle and Lindsey's, since they had only hung out with them at our house before. In fact, we had to remind them that Uncle and Aunt Lindsey had neighbors much closer than us (apartment? What's an apartment?), so we needed to not be quite so loud. ;o)
Than it was our last day in Disneyland. We were hoping for better luck with the weather than we had the last time. We even let Zavion wear his 'It's my birthday' button since he didn't get a chance on his actual birthday, and was very happy to get lots of birthday greetings from the cast members in Disneyland. We took a more relaxed approach to our last day, and even got to ride a couple rides for the second time. And, we capped off the evening by watching the parade. During the parade characters and cast members kept coming over to wish Z a 'Happy Birthday' (yay for the button), and Z even got to join the conga line and dance with one of the cast members. Seeing the joy and utter amazement on my kids' faces was one of those memories I will carry with me forever. That was my magical Disneyland moment. :)
It was a long and full day, but the kiddos were very happy when the day was over. And, Grandma was even nice enough to take the kids back to the resort while Colin and I stayed and hung out just the two of us. It was a nice break, and for a couple hours even felt like we were on vacation, just the two of us. Haha! We decided to head back a little early and hit the hot tub for a little while, which was very welcome after a long day of walking.
On our last day, we headed back to San Diego, this time for the Wild Animal Park. We hard heard some good things about this place, so were pretty excited to have the day there. Both of the kids have always been really into animals, so they were enjoying themselves from the moment we got into the park. Some of the highlights included the walk-though bird sanctuary, where Z was got to feed the birds and a sing-a-long where the kids got to dress as butterflies, than go on a 'parade' through the park, and finally release ladybugs at the end. And, of course along the way we got up close with elephants, lions and Zavion's favorite, the Condors.
The next morning, we bid a bittersweet farewell to Anaheim, but still had a little more fun planned on the way home. We headed to San Fransisco, and after checking into our hotel that evening went over to Fishermen's Wharf to have dinner at Rainforest Cafe. The kids had so much fun there! Afterward, we took a stroll over to Pier 39 where the kids checked out the sea lions and we got some great night-time views of Alcatraz. The next morning, we decided to go back to Fishermen's Wharf, since everything had been closed the night before. We made a stop by the Bourdin bread factory so I could pick up some of my favorite sourdough (yumm!) then back to Pier 39. Zavion had a couple dollars of his money left (he had a couple lemonade stands during the Summer and had saved his money) just burning a whole in his pocket, and decided he wanted to take a spin on the carousel. He was generous enough to even offer up some of his hard-earned money, so his little sister could ride with him...aww!
After leaving the pier, we hit the road to home. We had a pretty easy trip back home, and although we arrived a little later than expected, we did so with some very happy memories!

We're going to Disneyland!

Mickey Mouse fireworks (seen from our room) over Disneyland!

Just before heading into Disneyland

First time visitor!

Grandma & Miss Avalee on the Dumbo ride

The whole group of us

Meeting Mickey was quite the thrill!

Meeting Goofy

Happy Birthday, Mr. Zavion!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Well, we arrived back from our vacation just six days before Halloween (and five days before Z's birthday party), and needed to get into the Halloween spirit quick. So, we headed off to the Pumpkin patch a couple days later.
We've been going to the same Pumpkin patch, Baumans Farms, since before Colin and I were even together. We just love it and we try to make it an even every year (it helps that we pick up some of their famous cider donuts and apple cider too...I don;t even like cider and donuts, but I'll take this stuff any day!). Over the years, word has gotten out about this particular farm, and it's gotten quite popular. So, we were quite surprised to find that there was almost noone there on the day we went! Of course, it was only a few days before Halloween too. We were also surprised to fine the pumpkin patch almost completely under water! Apparently a big storm had come through the area (while we were on vacation) and really wreaked some havoc on the poor pumpkin patch. That combined with the fact that everyone else had already picked out their pumpkin, meant pretty slim pickings for us. But, we were only getting a couple of pumpkins this year (as opposed to the several, 30lbs worth, we got last year!), so let each of the kids pick one out. Then it was onto the shop to get our goodies and back home to start carving!
Then, before we knew it Halloween was here! Z was very excited for his costume and trick-or-treating. He came up with his own costume this year; Vampire rock star. He's such a creative person and I was very proud of him for thinking 'outside the box.' Plus, we were able to use most of what we already had, so that saved some money on buying a costume...hahaha! Miss Avalee was a mermaid; I found her costume online for only $3.99 and just could not pass it up!
So, Grandma came over a little early to help us get the kiddos ready. As I was giving Z a vampire 'look' Avalee decided she wanted makeup too, so Grandma added some pretty purple to her eyes and some pink to her cheeks. She was so excited she ran to look at herself in the mirror right away.
The kids were also lucky to be joined by their cousin, Aly (who is only four months older than Z) this year for trick-or-treating.
After taking a million pictures of all the kids, we told them it was time to go, and boy were they ready to hit those! Zavion has always been pretty low-key about trick-or-treating, and doesn't really go to many house before announcing he's “done.” But, Aly was go, go, go! She definitely had a different approach to the whole thing! And, Avalee was just happy to get to be with the 'big kids.' Last year, she was still too young to actually trick-or-treat, but we took her with us and just carried her (of course, she was in costume!). So, it was pretty cute watching her tag behind her big brother and cousin. And, some of the houses in our area have lots of steep stairs just to get to the front door, so she still had to be carried up a few of those. But, otherwise she did great even remembering her 'please' and 'thank you' most of the time.
And, true to form, Zavion pooped out on about the second street, so we finished up and headed up. The kids still had a ton of candy though, so it was a successful night!

Avalee was saying, "Daddy, get back here, NOW!" Lol!

Z found one!

My vampire rockstar!

Pretty girl

Z vamping it!

Avalee would only pose if I help her hand. Silly girl!

Look how excited she is!
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