Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow Princesses!!

So, we finally got a few inches of the fluffy white stuff...... of course, it was 2 days AFTER Christmas, but- that is okay. The first snowfall is always fun no matter when it is, but after that- I long for April. Of course, the girls were aching to go outside and play in it. So, we all (boys and girls) went out to play. The boys played a few minutes and went inside because they were cold. (They probably wouldn't have been so cold if they had not lost their gloves already!)
Ellen & Meghan LOVED the snow!!!! They outlasted us all and probably would have stayed out there longer if I hadn't wimped out and had them come in because I was cold!!!

And, as always, Christmas was an absolutely wonderful day. We spent time reflecting on the best Christmas gift of all- the Savior- as well as giving each other gifts, spending time with family and each other. Santa was good to them this year! I was so busy giving out gifts and watching their joy, that I left Aaron in charge of pictures. He didn't take a whole ton, but here are a few good ones of Christmas day and the day after.

Ellen & Meghan are into dress up now. Santa was smart and visited Walmart a few days after Halloween and loaded up on "dress up" clothes for all 4 kids!
Santa also found this awesome train table used for a great deal! The boys are always setting up their train tracks around the basement- maybe this will keep them more contained! (Santa was good to me as well..... see the Wii Fit box?? I have no excuse not to exercise now, huh?)

Both girls are very into pretend play, which makes the costumes, as well as the Raggedy Ann dolls from Grandma Janet a hit. Meghan enjoyed feeding her doll breakfast!

So, once again, it was a wonderful holiday. I am truly grateful for my family and all that we have been blessed with. We are so so very fortunate.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breakfast with Santa X 2!!

What could possibly be more exciting for a kid than to have breakfast with the big guy himself?? Having breakfast with him twice!!! That is exactly what we have gotten to do this month!

First, on December 5th, at the Mothers of Twins Club Christmas breakfast, we all had a wonderful time! They had a company called "The flying pancakes" cater it. They cooked up a whole bunch of pancakes all at once and then flipped them in the air for the kids to catch on their plates! I am sure my kids have never had breakfast served to them that way before! Of course, there were pancakes all over the floor that had to be swept up often, but they all had a blast.

Here are the pictures with Santa:

As you will notice, the girls wanted NOTHING to do with Santa. Even though they have been really excited about Santa bringing presents, they didn't want to go near him. The best I could get was a picture of Aaron holding them next to Santa. By late in the morning, they would stay far back from him and wave "Hi Santa!!" but would go no closer!

Then, a couple of weeks later on December 19th, our ward at church had a Christmas breakfast where Santa paid a visit as well! Sadly, Meghan was sick (story of our lives this month.....) and had to stay home with Aaron, but Santa gave Ellie an extra candy cane to take home to Meghan. I was only able to get a shot of the back of Ellie's head because she still wouldn't sit on his lap, only walked up and talked to him for a few seconds. When I tried again to get a better shot, she was not interested and got out of there!

(if you are wondering why Kenny is in a bathrobe, read on....)

At this church breakfast, the children put on a brief nativity. Kenny got to play Joseph! He was so very excited to get to be Joseph! All of the kids dressed up as wiseman, shepards, or angels- as they desired and gathered together around Mary and Joseph. One of the wisemen read the account from Luke 2.
There was even a magician for entertainment!
Quite honestly, not the best magician I have ever seen, but the kids enjoyed him and he did work in the true meaning of Christmas into his act a little.

The night before, it had snowed with accumulation for the first time this season. Though it wasn't much- an inch or less, the boys just had to build a snowman. They did a great job with such limited snow! I thought it looked great!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Long Awaited Goal......ACHIEVED!!!!!

Last Sunday, my awesome sister, Julie, graduated from THE Ohio State University (yes, that is how you say it....). She received her Bachelors of Science in Human Ecology for Textiles and Clothing (which is a fancy way of saying interior design). I do believe this is what she was born to do.! For an example of a room she redid in her house, click on this post here and scan down.

She has worked on getting her degree for the past 7 years while working as a nurses aid at the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, which she hated but stayed on since the job paid for her school. She has seen some really tough times the last 7 years, even more so the last few months, but thanks to sheer determination, she made it! On Saturday, myself, our parents, my sister, Emily, my sister-in-law Melissa, and Julie's friend Cheryl, worked together to throw her a long awaited and much deserved graduation party.
She even had her dog, Spencer, ready for the big day (I couldn't get him to wake up for the photo opp). Our sister Emily also dressed her kids in OSU spirit.

Melissa, who is very talented at decorating cakes, made this awesome and delicious cake. (Buckeyes made by yours truly.....) See more samples of Melissa's work here.
We had one room set up with portfolio samples hanging on the walls for guests to view. I thought I got all the walls, but only found one picture, but you get the idea. I was very excited to be able to attend her graduation on Sunday afternoon with my parents! I was surprised that, even though it was autumn quarter, there was still about 2000 people graduating!! It was all in one ceremony with all PhD, Masters and Undergrads in all fields graduating together. Due to the size, only the PhD's were recognized by name. Everyone else was filed through a line to get their diplomas. Though it was an effort to stay awake during the ceremony, it was so truly good to be there and be a part of her moment. Thankfully, she attached a big yellow smiley face to the top of her cap to make herself easier to find.
(and, the guests seated around the stadium extended upwards still by two more sections! It was packed!)

There were just so many fun pictures, that I figured out finally how to do a collage and have them set up as a scrapblog. Play the image below to see them all. One interesting story: You will notice a picture at the party Saturday of Julie with her best friend since Kindergarten, Cheryl. Cheryl was expecting baby #2 in January. However, she was pre-eclamptic an would have to deliver early, though she was hoping to make it past Christmas. She kept trying to help clean up and I told her she needed to sit if she didn't want that baby to come too soon; however she kept helping. Early Sunday morning, her water broke and her baby girl, Reagan, was born healthy at 6 pounds!

Congratulations, Julie!!!! We Love You and are very very proud and excited for you!!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best and the Worst (Tag!)

This time every year, we are all bombarded with the annual onslaught of Christmas music. In the stores, in our cars, in our homes- everywhere. When some radio stations started playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, I was just not ready. However, in the last couple weeks, I have found myself with my radio tuned to Christmas music all the time. I love it! So, for your entertainment, here is my opinion on the best and the worst Christmas songs out there- with links for you to listen (I figured it would be a bit much to embed that many videos into one post-most of the videos are dumb anyway).

5 Awesome Wonderful Christmas Songs:

1) Josh Grobin- O Holy Night (I like any version of this song, but this one blows any other version out of the water!
2) Christmas Canon (This song is just beautiful! I always imagined a boy choir in a big cathedral singing this song. However, upon listening closer to the words, it occurred to me they could be singing about Santa instead of Christ like I originally thought. It tainted the song a little for me, but I still love it! The music is just beautiful!)
3) TSO- Carol of the Bells (love the strong instrumentation and the slightly darker sound....)
4) Sleigh Ride (especially this instrumental version- I like how it is fast paced and makes me want to dance, but I like all versions)
5) I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (just too funny and fun to listen too...... love it!)

A few other favorites are What Child is This, Angels we have Heard on High, Mary Did You Know, Do you Hear what I Hear, The Little Drummer Boy (most versions, see below) and many more!

And these are songs where I change the channel when they come on:
1) Santa Claus is coming to town. (Bruce Springsteen version- I don't like this song because it sounds like Mr. Springsteen is having a tough bowel movement while trying to sing the chorus.)
2) Little Drummer Boy- ( I only hate this version by the Harry Simeone Chorale- I love the song when it is sung right which is most of the time- this version just doesn't fit the song-old operatic sounding ladies. I am realizing this is possibly the original version and I feel guilty for my dislike, but I think it is much better sung with a strong male voice and a real drum)
3) Santa Claus is coming to town- I really do like this song, even though it is listed twice here- there is just some bad versions out there like this one from the Beach Boys- what is up with the circus theme between lyrics??
4) Do they know it is Christmas Time at all? (I am all for "Band-Aid" and for giving what I can at Christmas, but I hate songs that make me feel guilty for being happy at Christmas time. "There won't be snow in Africa this winter" ?? duh..... I think that's a given...)
5) Christmas shoes (A good song with a good message, but Christmas songs should never be makes me want to cry. I prefer the happier Christmas songs.)

So, there is my take on it. I am sure there are those out there who like some of them I hate and hate some that I love. I would love to hear your opinions! I here by tag Emily, Sarah, Katie, Kelly, Autumn, Breezie, Laurie , Michelle & Amanda M and anyone else who feels like it to participate and do a similar post!! Yay for Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Hello. My name is Amanda and I am a hypochondriac. Okay, not really- except when the stomach flu visits my house.

This is one of those weeks. Apparently, my girls picked up the bug during nursery at church last week. It started Tuesday with Meghan who decided to throw up just as we were walking into Childrens' Hospital for a scheduled doctor's appointment for Jacob. That was not fun. The reason I suspect it was nursery is because several other kids that they play with in nursery started getting sick at the same time- right around Tuesday and Wednesday, which is the perfect amount of time for the bug to grow. Then, Ellie got sick in the wee hours of Thursday morning, all over her bed. This morning, I was woken up by Kenny at 4 am saying, "Mom! I threw up!" It was alllllllllll over his bed. I realize this is probably working as great birth control to my readers who don't have children yet....

I do not handle vomit well. You would think after being a mom for 8 1/2 years, and with the sheer volume I have dealt with over the years, I would be somewhat desensitized to it, but I am not. As soon as one of my kids start throwing up, I start to feel queasy myself, nervous that I will get it too. This continues even long after they have thrown up. I spend a lot of the day thinking I may not be feeling well, but when it is time to eat, I am hungry- proving I am fine- only to go back to feeling weird after I eat. I have come to realize my "upset stomach" is not the flu coming on, but real anxiety. I even look at others kids and if they look upset, or don't seem to acting right, I start to worry that they will suddenly throw up. Yes, when our house is in the midst of the stomach flu, I feel like the whole world is slightly off too. I feel silly admitting it. I mean, really, what is the big deal? With each of my kids with this round of the bug, they have each thrown up a few times and then are fine. It moves through quickly and is gone. So, maybe I would be down one day at most if I did get it? Big deal, right? Ya- easier said then done- I still just can't even stand the thought of the miserable stomach flu.

My kids could get bad colds, coughs, bronchitis, strep throat and even "the flu" (true influenza)- all of which take much longer to recover from- and I have no concerns about getting it. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about more serious illnesses either, such as cancer or other things. Sure, I don't want to get sick and would take precautions, but I don't stress over it either like I do with this. Strange, but I can't help it!

So, 3 people down in my house but hopefully NOT three to go. There has been times in the past when my kids have gotten sick and I haven't. We have a fun weekend ahead and I would hate for us to have to miss any of it! Aside from sicknesses, this is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A diagnosis....

Last year, while Kenny was in second grade, we became concerned when he was falling behind in reading. We could tell he was really trying but it just wasn't clicking. He is actually very good at math- it really clicks for him, except when it involves reading (like story problems). I began to pay attention to the actual areas he was having trouble in and began to suspect dyslexia. I read up about it and it seemed to hit exactly where he was having trouble in reading. So, we took him to our pediatrician for a referral to have him tested for dyslexia.

We were sent to a developmental behavioral pediatrician. He did a full evaluation to detect for fine and large motor abilities and learning disabilities. He didn't detect anything specific at that appointment, but gave us a referral to a private special needs tutor who, he says, is really good at detecting and treating dyslexia. Another thing he mentioned was the possibility of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Huh? Really? I knew he was an active kid, but hadn't really considered it. He said that would be another explanation for falling behind in school. Especially since the doctor was noticing how fidgety and busy Kenny was in his office. He gave us evaluations for Aaron and I and his teacher to fill out. They came back as not significant for attention troubles, which did actually surprise me, since that is what his teacher was always punishing him for: not paying attention, tapping his desk, talking out of turn, etc. The doctor wasn't convinced based on what we and the teacher was saying and that it was different than the evaluations came out, so he wanted to wait till the new school year and see how things were then.

We took him to the tutor he recommended and she did not detect dyslexia, but that he does need extra help with reading, so we signed on with her and he was been seeing her once a week. It has been hard financially, but I feel we are making an investment in our child and that, in the future when he is successful, we will not regret a dime of it. So, we scrape it together a month at a time as we can.

At the beginning of this school year, we had him re-evaluated. Surprisingly, he is reading at a normal reading level now, which we are so proud of him!! The hard work with homework, summer reading and the tutor has paid off! However, I was still concerned because it takes constant attention to keep him caught up. Homework is really tough for him to get through- if I don't stay right with him, it would often be done wrong and needs redone. He gets way to easily distracted and doesn't stay focused. Third graders are supposed to be pretty independent with school work, but he is not yet. His handwriting is awful, despite efforts to get him to write neat and he doesn't focus well at school during work, causing him to not complete his work, or not follow directions and then scores low and making impulsive noises or humming during quiet time. So, his new teachers and us again had to do another evaluation. This one also came back as non-significant, but again, with the symptoms he is showing, the doctor wasn't convinced. He told us about a computer test that is about 80-90% accurate in detecting ADHD.

On one hand, I really did not want to diagnose him with ADHD. But, I also wanted to be able to help him and understand why school work seemed to be so much harder for him than other kids. So, we did the test. He was given a task to do on the computer while a head gear he wore tracked his movement and how well he stayed focused. The test came back strongly ADHD! His head was all over the place the entire time and after about 5 minutes (of 15 total for the test) , he checked out completely and didn't follow directions the rest of the time. So, the doctor diagnosed him based on the test and the many other observations over the course of 6 months. As much as I feared this diagnosis, I have to admit I am a little relieved to have an answer. Again, here were the symptoms we saw:

1) falling behind in schoolwork
2) not focusing on work well-constantly needing reminded to pay attention
3) very fidgety
4) needing constant attention to get through homework- homework takes a large amount of time
5) at home, moves quickly from one activity to the next- rarely focuses on one activity for a long time
6) impulsive with words and noises- doesn't always think before acting. Hums and sings during quiet time, despite constant reminders to stop.
7) Fast and sloppy- often illegible- handwriting
8) Trouble making friends

I was hesitant to do medication. I was hoping for maybe just behavior therapy. I think I fear the stigma of a kid on ADHD meds- as if I am choosing to medicate rather than good parenting. Also, I fear side affects, such as turning my happy go lucky kid into a slug. However the doctor explained that ADHD is often from a chemical reaction in the brain (much like depression) and that behavior therapy alone may work, but usually it takes medication to get a significant response. So, based on what he said, we are giving the medication a try- starting with the lowest dose and working up as needed. Plus, he said it wouldn't turn him into a slug unless the dose was way too high. I am still nervous about the medication, but I feel the doctor is right about giving it a try (so, negative comments wouldn't be helpful....). I feel if we do whatever we can to make school a little easier now, it will pay off with less frustration as school gets even harder. I have actually noticed a little difference already!

I have been curious as to why the teachers evaluations came back as his troubles being non-significant, while at the same time I do have to admit many of his symptoms are obvious and those are the things they complain about (not focused, doesn't follow directions, trouble finishing tasks, poor handwriting). I think maybe it is two things. First, as teachers, I think they build up a tolerance after seeing kid after kid day after day. I also think that because Kenny (though busy) is not overly hyperactive, maybe it made it a little more confusing. One thing I have learned is ADHD isn't just a hyperactive kid bouncing off the walls- Kenny is not like that. He is able to stay in his chair when needed and he doesn't just run crazy all the time. But, he does have trouble as listed above.

He is such a good kid and never gets in real trouble. His behavior is great! He is kind and loving and one of the most compassionate kids I know. I have so much faith in him and have no doubt that he will be an amazing adult. He has the spunk, the friendliness, the love and compassion it takes to be a truly good person. He is always so willing to help me and others. That is part of the reason I chose to get over the fear and stigma I felt. I don't want his school frustrations to take him over, as it does many kids, to where he becomes overly frustrated and wants to give up. The one thing we have noticed is that he really is very smart and when things do connect, his knowledge soars. I am hoping that by treating him, we can get him over the hump and help him achieve what we know he can. He is such a fun part of our family!

I know this has been long and for my readers who actually hung in there, I am way impressed. I wrote this mostly for myself anyway, just to make sure I documented the journey we have been on the last 6 months.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It Only Took 8 Years.....

for the famous and inevitable question of "Is Santa real?" And, it wasn't our 8 year old that asked but our 6 year old, Jacob. I had just picked them up from school and this is how the conversation went....

J: Mom, is Santa Real?

Me: (thinking, here we go....) Why would you ask that?

J: James P said Santa isn't real! (James P is quite the trouble maker- Jacob is constantly talking about this kid getting in trouble.... I find myself not liking him much at this point too....)

Me: Well, if Santa isn't real, then who puts presents under the tree?

J: (Laughing...) Oh, that is good! I will tell James P that!! (I can tell he is thinking for a few moments then says:) Oh, I bet it is Daddy!!!! (and then laughs hysterically at the idea- as if, how crazy would THAT be...of course that can't be true!)

Kenny: (joins in the conversation, laughing hysterically too) I know- Mommy and Daddy get up in the middle of the night and put presents under the tree! (again, both laugh hysterically at this crazy idea....)

(laughter slowly dies down)

Me: Do you believe Santa is real?

Kenny & Jacob: Yes!!!

Me: Then there is your answer...

And the magic lives on at least a little longer.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Guess What I Did Last Night (This Morning)???

Yep- this one of those other things I said I would never do. I went to the midnight showing of New Moon!! When my sister, Emily, first mentioned... about 1 1/2 months ago.... how badly she wanted to go to the midnight showing and that I should go with her, I thought she was nuts. It would certainly be fine to wait a few days to see the movie- at a more normal time! But, as she kept talking about it, I figured why not? It would be a fun adventure- especially since I had someone fun to go with. So, she bought the tickets about a month ago and it was already close to being sold out! Stephanie Meyer could NEVER have imagined where things would go when she first started writing Twilight.

Last night, we met at Steak N Shake at 10 pm, right next to the theater and enjoyed eating and chatting. We headed to the theater just before 11 and- not only was there already a HUGE line for the ultrascreen theater where we were assigned- but EVERY SINGLE SCREEN IN THE ENTIRE THEATER was sold out!!! We were in the first showing at 12:01, but the other screens were all full too, starting at 12:02,12:03, 12:04, etc. And, that was just this one theater. I am sure every theater in the country was like this! At least I am not the only one crazy enough to do that! So, we got our seats just before 11 and had more than an hour to kill. How does one pass an hour while waiting for the movie? It was so funny to see a sea of cell phone lights across the theater! Everyone was playing games, texting and (in our case) taking turns playing sudoku on Emily's phone! The time went quickly. I was very tired and not sure I would make it through the movie, but when it was over, I was more awake then before!
(not a flattering picture of me, but the best of the 3 she took and a good one of her. Almost didn't post it, but I guess it is good to document the good times and at least there is a good picture of me up top now. The flash on her camera was incredibly bright and this wasn't the first pic she took. I think the girl in the back covering her eyes in hilarious!!)

Here are my thoughts:
-It was definitely better done than Twilight.
-Edward didn't seem as hot in this one. But, maybe it is because he was overshadowed by Jacob's hotness once the werewolf gene kicks in. Wow..... I think I have moved over to team Jacob!
-images were vivid enough to give me nightmares. :)

It was a really fun night and am glad we went- I enjoyed hanging with my sister and it is kind of fun knowing I was among the first to see it. Though, I went to bed at 3 am and had to get up at 7:30. Ugh..... I am very tired. I got the boys off to school, but otherwise just don't have energy left for much more than blogging about it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rebels without a Clue

So, last Friday night, I went on- by far- the most creative date night I have EVER been on- thanks to my friends Autumn and Katie. It was so different than anything I am ever done and I am so grateful to have creative friends. I forgot my camera that night, but they took a couple good pictures. So, instead of writing the whole post, I am going to cheat and send you to Katie's Blog to read all about it. Seriously- I am quite sure none of you have ever thought of anything like this before. And, when the cop showed up at the end, it truly made the night..... (now I really have you curious, don't I? Go read it!!!! )

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No Band-Aids!!!!

Has anyone ever heard of a child being afraid of or disliking band-aids?!?! Most kids I know insist on band-aids for boo-boos so small they don't even leave a mark. Well.... THIS sweet , adorable, spunky child hates them.This child had developed a fear of doctors offices and band-aids- as previously mentioned in this post and this post. She used to call them "gickers,"(the way she pronounced "stickers") though her developing speech as progressed to calling them band-aids. The fear came from getting her 2-year shots and the nurse putting "gickers" on after the shot. So, she associated band-aids with pain versus making the pain better. Ever since then- no matter how badly she needed band-aids, I could NEVER get her to keep one one. If I did successfully get one on, she would cry until she got it off herself.

So, I gave up in a sense. If it was a particularly bad boo-boo, I would wait until she fell asleep and sneak in her room and put one on. Of course, it would come off as soon as she woke and found it, but at least we were able to keep the boo-boo covered over night with a little Neosporin on it.

Last week, for some odd reason, she got quite a blister on her little toe that popped open. Again, she threw a fit at the thought of a band-aid despite promises it would help it feel better. So, again, my plan was to put it on after she fell asleep. Well, "mother of the year" forgot. The next day, I noticed a little blood on her sock. I tried again to put a band-aid on but she pitched a fit, so I didn't push since the bleeding had stopped by then anyway. I was sure it was painful, but unsure what to do. Cute little band-aids such as these didn't help her to waiver one little bit:

The next night, I put one on when she fell asleep. But, she woke to potty at 1:30 and cried and took it off. The next day, it busted open again and her sock was SOAKED with blood. That was the final straw for me. If I had to hold her down, she would wear a band-aid! I did NOT want it to get infected. That is exactly what I did. I held her down and put on a band-aid despite her fit. Once I had it on I told her she could absolutely NOT take it off. Surprisingly, though unhappy, she did not take it off! Her maturity must have progressed enough to understand I was serious! Plus, no doubt it had been quite painful and the neosporin was probably helping with the pain. She kept it on till the next day when it fell off.

And, guess what she did..... asked for another band-aid! I am so proud of her for conquering her fear!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hadoween!!!

(nope...not a typo...will get to that in a minute!)

We have really had a ton of fun this month! I have put off posting the individual activities, so instead, I will just post one big update with a few pictures for each. This has really been a pretty active month for getting out and enjoying the season. Sorry- this is pretty long... Here is a sampling:

1) Mothers of Twins Club Family Fall Harvest Party

This took place at a nearby farm. What a blast! So much to do- the kids never stopped running from one activity to the next. From the pumpkin patch, the hay ride, the bounce houses, the straw maze, the corn box.... they never got bored!

(inside the bounce house...hence the pink tone...)

(we thought this sign was funny. This was in the straw maze. But, there was also a slide for the kids to slide down and you had to climb the straw to go down! )
(happy perfect children pose...)

(normal silly us pose...)

2) Gourd Maracas...

Okay, we learned some things from this and I know how to do them better now, but the kids thought this was cool anyway....

They got gourds from the above farm for free. To make maracas- you are supposed to hallow them out and then let them dry (we didn't get enough of the rind out, I don't think)

Then you fill them with rice or beans and seal them shut. I recommend beans. We did rice and they didn't make much noise- especially against the walls that still had too much rind on them. Plus, a hole cut to fit a dowel rod and then the dowel rod glued in would work better. We tried to use the piece we cut out- forgetting it would shrink as it dried... But, like I said- it was fun anyway! A good experience!

3) Ward Halloween Party

Our ward does an amazing Halloween party every year. No, not a "harvest party" as some PC churches call it. We call it a Halloween party because, well, what is wrong with it?? It is just a fun holiday- nothing sinister or evil about it! Nothing wrong with just having fun now and then. Anyway, it was a Pizza Potluck- such a great idea and more kid friendly then a soup cook offs and such. Like I said, ours is the best! Aaron went as Frankenstein, Kenny as a Ghostbuster, Jacob as Anakin Skywalker, and Ellen & Meghan as Princesses. (which, BTW- I got their dresses for $1 each at the awesome twin sale!!!!) I went as myself wearing a $5 Walmart T-shirt. That is as dressed up as I get!

(I seriously could not find Kenny and get him to stand still for more than 5 seconds to take a picture...)

4) Pumpkin Carving

Nothing much more fun to a kid then spooning pumpkin guts out of the pumpkin we picked in the above picture.....

And the end result..... (taken a few days later because I forgot that night so it isn't at its "best" anymore....)

5) Trick or Treat!

I was babysitting my nephews Kurtis and Joey (Sarah's kids) on trick or treat night, so they came along! Thanks to my sister Julie for coming along and helping! I could not have done it without her! I usually go to the local nursing home because they have awesome trick or treating and the residents love it! So, we went there- went through all the trouble to put car seats in and load everyone. We got up there and there was 5 residents sitting outside passing out candy and that was it because they were not allowing people in due to fears of the flu.... Anyway, we wouldn't have gone if we had known that, but it was still fun and we went back home and did trick or treat around the block.

As we went from house to house, many people said "Happy Halloween!" Ellie picked up on this and thought it was great and ran from house to house saying "Happy Hadoween!!" Soooo cute. Here is a video trying to capture it with her sweet little voice:


6) Boo at the Zoo.

We also have an awesome zoo here that does a lot of neat things around Halloween time. We went last night- though I didn't take my camera. That is okay though because there is enough pictures here! It was one of those Ohio indian summer nights with temperatures in the 70's and a breeze going.

7) School Parties

Jacob's class:

(The rules for Jacob's class costumes was "nothing scary or evil".... don't you love it how some parents listen so well???)

Kenny's class:

The rules for Kenny's class was it had to be a career. I thought...."Well, Ghostbusters is a career, isn't it?!?!" But, I didn't want to push the rules, so we went with the doctor outfit we had left over from before. As did the kid sitting next to him and about 3 others in the class! With how well the parents in Jacob's class listened, I probably could have gotten away with the Ghostbuster costume, but that is okay- he looks good as a doctor too!

8) Boat Club Halloween party:

And finally, last but not least, was a Halloween party at the Boat Club on a nearby river that my in-laws are members of. It was a really fun night! We got to hang out with Sarah, Jeff, Kurtis and Joey again as well as Grandpa Chuck, Grandma Debbie and Cousin Dominic! We got to Trick or Treat again!
(The trailors in the back are not permanent residences.... the members all live elsewhere and come here to stay on weekends frequently in the summer) Kenny is not pictured because I think the poor kid was honestly just kind of done with trick or treating and dressing up, so he hung out at the boat club. He just didn't feel like going! At this point, including all the above activities and the play group halloween party the girls went to (which was also a blast and I forgot my camera then too...again, not that it matters at this point- I have a TON of pictures in their costumes obviously!) they got to wear their costumes 4 times each!

They got a TON of candy- I think twice as much from a dozen or so people as they did going around the block the other night!

There were also lots of fun games to play like cookie decorating, bowling, musical chairs and pass the present! The kids had a blast!

And, here is a couple of pictures of my nephew Dominic. Grandpa Chuck helps him bowl and dressed him up as a skeleton for his first ever trick or treating!

So, there is our October in a nutshell. So so much fun- but I am tired and thankful Halloween is done! Now....what to do with all this candy hanging around..... I have it hidden on top of the refrigerator but it isn't working because I still know it is there....

Happy Hadoween!!!