We only have a little over a week, but I think we'll pull something together.
Just as a recap of Halloweens past, here are some of our former Halloween costume links for you to enjoy:
That time I made the boys into ceiling fans
When they were astronauts
The epic dinosaur costumes
Here are some other fall-ish things we've been up to around here.
Our fall baseball team this year is the Cubs! It's perfect because the real Chicago Cubs are in the playoffs right now. In fact, they are currently in the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets (who I am still mad at for beating the Nationals), and last weekend our Little Cubs played the Little Mets, which was cute.
|Teddy preps the field|
|Good game, Cubs and Mets!|
|Snack time: the highlight of the experience|
We've had marvelous fall weather and have been able to spend quite a bit of time outside, doing predictably fall activities like collecting leaves and acorns, and the less common feeding of Sun Chips to fish, and casting spells on everyone with our Harry Potter wands that we made from chopsticks and hot glue.
My grand plan was to have the boys paint acorns and put them in a glass vase and use them to decorate the mantle. We didn't quite get to the painting phase, but we did have a spirited acorn-collecting competition and I put the best ones in a vase on the mantle. I'm sure it is just a matter of hours before they are blasted off the mantle and scattered all over the living room, but for now they feel festive to me.
We've been to our favorite local spot to enjoy nature, Popcorn Ponds. It's just down our street. We collected leaves, saw a giant toad, turtles, and spiders, threw countless seedpods into the water, and fed chips to an exuberant school of fish.
|Tree ate Ted's shoe|
Cal and Clark have been biking. We'd always felt deficient as parents when we watched them try to pedal bikes of any sort. We just don't have the space to store bikes and we don't live in a place that is conducive to learning to ride a bike. But my sister is a bike gal, having worked at a bike shop for quite awhile, and she helped us find good quality second hand bikes, and my in-laws generously are letting us store them in their garage a few miles away. The boys are already riding them! Instead of training wheels they rode around on bikes that were too small for them for a few days and then tackled the big ones. No sweat. Bikers. Bam. Just like that.
More outside fun...
|This is probably the first selfie I've pulled off with all of our faces in it.|
Our fall would not be complete without a visit to Hartland Orchards, our favorite farm ever, to get pumpkins and eat caramel apples and kettle corn. We went last weekend.
|Out of the whole pumpkin field, Teddy found the one little|
green one, and that's what he wanted more than anything else.
|We got some normal ones too.|
|Watching the caramel apples being made...|
|Just add nuts|
|We got to bring Aunt Bean this year!|
|Teddy was not into the whole caramel apple idea.|
|Cal gets Clark's feet in his face when he tries to catch him going down the|
|Teddy went down as many times as we let him and all by himself.|
|A good day for us all|
On Brian's birthday I made caramel apple martinis as well as butter beer, which, I trust all of you know, is from Harry Potter. I found various recipes on Pinterest and sort of combined them. Both drinks were extremely sweet, but amazing. I made a version of the martini not so sweet by using half regular vodka and half caramel vodka.
Here's the butter beer.
Butter beer: I didn't exactly measure it, but I put a bunch of ice cream in the blender with a bunch of cream soda, a couple squirts of butterscotch topping, and some ice. Put it in a cold glass from the freezer to make it seem especially Hogsmeade-ish.
Tip: Make sure you don't fill the blender too full and be sure to give the mixture air as it mixes so the cream soda doesn't explode the lid off. I have good reason to believe it will. To give it some over-21-kick add a couple ounces of butterscotch schnapps.
|The boys drank all the butter beer they could get their hands on.|
Caramel Apple Martini: 2 oz. apple cider, 2 oz. caramel vodka,
1 oz butterscotch schnapps, shake with ice, pour glass rimmed
with caramel sauce, garnish with apple slice.
Today I made apple pie granola bars. I have a recipe that I've used for straight-up granola bars with brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. But, being inspired by fall flavors and such, this time I decreased the sugar and honey and added applesauce, caramel dip, all-spice, nutmeg, and finely chopped and peeled apples. They turned out well, though I doubt anyone would call them apple pie flavored unless they knew the ingredients. They also didn't harden as well as I hoped, but they will be a staple of the lunch boxes this week.
|Cutting straight and/or even lines: not in my skill set|
Brian has been reading Harry Potter to the boys and they are beyond obsessed with the books. They are always talking about the books or acting out scenes from the books and their own scenes, loosely based on the books. We have to draw a line and cut them off from Harry Potter talk occasionally. The boys have started real homework! So they're reading even more than usual these days, which is great.
We've read a bunch of fall and Halloween-inspired books as well, but as this post is getting long and tedious already, I'll save my book reviews for the next entry-- which I promise will be soon.
Until then...go play in the leaves or something.
|Clark, in full hockey gear, reading to Teddy|