Halloween 2016

Another Halloween…

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I tried a new recipe for breakfast; these pumpkin rolls.  They were not too sweet, and made a perfect Halloween breakfast, (except for the fact that we had a busy day and they needed to rise 90 minutes, which meant waking up far too early!)

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We had a fun-filled day at our homeschool co-op, including Halloween jokes, a round of Bean Boozled, and a fall carnival at lunch where Allison took first place for her lemon cookies.  Another fun fact — we happened to be learning about the Reformation on Reformation Day!

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Back at home, we had our traditional sloppy joes and pumpkin jello before heading out to trick-or-treat with Grandma and Grandpa.

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This year we had a hippy, a poodle skirt hippy, a pirate, and a construction worker who was really a ninja in disguise.

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Pumpkin Carving

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Traditions are so special; especially for the kids!  One of our favorite traditions is Halloween with Grandma and Grandpa, and that means carving pumpkins with Grandma!  She is such a good sport, and makes sure to save all the seeds for roasting.  Lazily, I sit back and take pictures, thankful for the break it provides me.  Then I get to “ooh and aah” over the finished creations!  This year, even my youngest carved all by himself.  His was the cute face at the end.  Next we have Allison’s puppy.  Then comes Natalie’s cat.  Finally, Sierra’s sweet face.  And those are our 2016 jack-o-lanterns!

Lil’ Baker

I’m going to do a little 3-in-1 post here, as my girl is baking so much that I can’t even keep up with her these days!  (Sorry to make you drool on your computer!)  Her first specialty were these pumpkin pie cookie butter thumbprint cookies….  Nom, nom!

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Next, she did a strawberry shortcake inspired by Malachi’s library book.  Again…. this girl is good!  I am on the verge of gaining 20 pounds if she keeps this up, I just know it!

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And… her first attempt at sugar cookies!  We’ll have some friends over to help decorate.

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Super job with the baking, my sweet girl!

Digging

The one predictable thing about the weather in Southern California in the fall is that it will be unpredictable.  I snapped a few pictures outside this last weekend of our overgrown basil and the kids digging for worms in the empty garden bed.   We had heat, and we had wind!  That was followed by clouds, cooler temps, then rain, thunder, and lightning which kept us awake with scared children and animals most of the night.  Crazy stuff.

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We even found a cool praying mantis, which proceeded to bite poor Natalie!

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Oh, the dirty little boy face; I LOVE it!

Looks like a few days of warm, then more cold and rain, which we need so desperately.  Yay!

Fall Winds

Inevitably, October brings some crazy weather.  Whenever we transition from cooler to warmer temperatures, we are also met with fierce Santa Ana winds.  While my kids love it for the bag kites, (which I’ve blogged about many times before), I am not a fan. That being said, I do love watching the kids run around with their bag kites, and every year I worry they’ve grown too old.

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This year, my oldest decided to stay inside and do work while the younger 3 did their kites.  It didn’t take long before she decided she did want to join them after all.  Hooray, she’s still my “little” girl!

Special Getaway

I really should have titled it a very special getaway.  I wan’t sure if I should even blog about it… such a special time with my oldest, but I decided it really would be worth sharing.  I’ll give you the general idea, and save those special precious moments for us to cherish in our memories!

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We took a picture with the mountains in the background before driving up into them.  My husband had the idea to go to Lake Arrowhead.  Mountains.  Lake.  Fall trees.  Beautiful mild weather.  Great idea, honey!

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We walked into our room, and I immediately snapped some pictures of our view.  The lake and a gorgeous fall tree right outside our balcony!  I also gave Allison her journal for the weekend.  You see, we were up here to do the Family Life Passport to Purity.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  Cd’s about peer pressure, body changes, and growing up… all from a godly, Christian perspective, with memorable activities, (object lessons, really) to go with them.

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We decided the fresh cold air was more inviting than a dark pizza joint, so we ate our first meal outside… and then continued to eat our subsequent meals outside!

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Despite being tired, we got cozied up in our jammies, did our cd’s and activities, ate too much chocolate, and laughed a lot.  In recounting our time with a friend, she commented that it sounded more like we were friends than mother/ daughter.  While I don’t particularly like the modern philosophies of parenting which call us to be friends, there definitely was a special bond formed and a special friendship kindled… Lots of parenting to go, but a glimpse into our future friendship!

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The next morning we were tired, but excited for a new day.  We enjoyed a walk and breakfast outside.

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After our morning session, it was time for our “activity.”  I had talked to Allison about a special activity before we left, and she said she really wanted to teach me to crochet!  I thought that sounded fun and special, so we brought our sandwiches to the beach, enjoyed lunch, and I learned to crochet.  That afternoon, we also went in the heated pool and hot tub before listening to more cd’s and going to dinner!

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For dinner, we had virgin margaritas — ha!

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We came back and did our last session as well as mud masks.  Oh, the fun!  (A bit scary, aren’t we?)  But our faces felt so smooth and clean afterward.  I think I could become a mud mask person.

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Before.

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After.

If you know you need to have “the talk” with your son or daughter, Let me highly recommend Passport to Purity.  It is more than just information — it is a special bonding time.  I am so thankful we were able to do it.  In addition to the great content, God blessed us with times of laughter, deep sharing, and joy.

The Joy of Big(ger) Kids, (or “Lemon Cookies, Take 2”)

Thursday morning I was beat.  After getting up at my usual time, going for my jog, getting breakfast made and school started, I found myself nodding off while reading to the kids.  (And that was after my cup of coffee, and before 9am!!)  We made it through devotion time before I had to excuse myself for a nap, telling them they could practice piano or work on something themselves and they could wake me up in time for our Thankful Thursday tea party…

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Fast forward a bit… Sierra runs into my room to wake me up.  The smell was amazing.  I walk into the kitchen with the timer beeping and the kids joyously asking me to take the cookies out of the oven.  With the help of her siblings, Allison recreated her incredible lemon cookies; tiny ones for our tea party, and larger ones to bring to our friends later that evening.

That was the best tea party, ever!  My heart was beaming that they all worked together, the cookies were amazing, and I was refreshed and ready to read our History.  Big(her) kids are awesome!  (Now if only I could teach them to clean the mess….)