boys getting ready - hangers always seem to be a favorite toy around here.

aaron - ready to go (that hat only stayed on long enough for a photo op)

introducing - POOPSIE! -
family portraits. jeremy had to work late and didnt make it for the trick-or-treating.. we missed him so much.. what are whoopsie and poopsie without an oopsie?

here is some trick or treating action... oscar is trying to get in his pocket, danielle is talking, aaron is falling asleep, oscar made friends with raggedy ann, lane is just a handsome little fellow isnt he? and raggedy ann is pick or treating. that about wraps up the evening!

chocolate spiders were harmed in the making of this photo.

so about those chocolate spiders... i took them to the meeting today and they were a big hit. who knew something that cheap and easy would get such a good reaction? next year i think i'll do some with white chocolate and mini chocolate chip eyes to make mummies. i'd also like to try marta's ghouls. and did you see these on a cup of jo?? they look so yummy! and after making this marbled pumpkin cheesecake (still chilling in the fridge), i have a bit of leftover pumpkin AND gingersnaps.


pumpkin carving night!

tonight we carved pumpkins! it's one of my favorite halloween traditions. i love picking out the perfect pumpkin, toasting pumpkin seeds and sipping hot apple cider. oscar got to participate this year (sorta). he sat at his high chair next to us and played with pumpkin goo. he tasted it a few times and then decided it was more fun to throw it in the pumpkin goo bowl. i wish i had gotten more pictures of the evening, but the pictures of the results will have to do.

here are our pumpkins.. mine, oscar & nana's, and jeremy's. i was going to carve oscar's for him, but we thought it would be fun for nana to carve with us. mine is pretty boring, but i was more interested in not burning the pumpkin seeds this year. i promise to be more creative next year.

all lit up. i sprinkle pumpkin pie spices on the lids so they smell extra yummy when the candle is burning, like mom does.

jeremy did an awesome job... i think he wins best pumpkin this year

and i think these are the best pumpkin seeds i've ever made. i used this recipe and followed some of the suggestions that other people made. i ended up using something along these lines:

2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
pumpkin seeds from 3 pumpkins

they're tasty tasty. it's fine with me that i'm the only pumpkin seed fan in the house.

i stayed up late to make this recipe. i plan to take these chocolate spiders with me to my breastfeeding meeting on friday. i'm not sure that they're all that fantastic, but they were cheap and easy. plus, i already had leftover red frosting i could use for the eyes! i'll take a picture at some point if i get a chance.


more whoopsie

whoopsie showing some bloomers.

whoopsie also had a sign so the kids could pick what they wanted painted on them. it was a bad idea to use face paint for the sign because it smudged a lot and the sign was hanging where the kids could reach it. the model for the tiger face is lane and danielle is the model for the butterfly face. i had a tough time painting those little things on little moving faces.. i'll definitely need more practice if i'm going to do this again. the tiger and butterfly were actually easier for me to do because they were bigger.

this is aaron's cousin brooklyn. she was such a sweetheart! it's a good thing she had to leave for church, otherwise she might have ended up covered head to toe in face paint!

aaron's cousin breanna and his nana ruby both got butterflies. nana ruby was the only adult brave enough to ask for something. breanna also got the unicorn on one hand and the heart on the other.

more oopsie

resting his balloon making fingers.

oopsie with the birthday boy.

i made oopsie a sign with things that he could make for the kids. he was a mostly silent clown. he said that at some point he forgot to stay in character and scolded lane for squirting someone with water.

he made whoopsie a bracelet to match her outfit. isnt he the sweetest?

oopsie and whoopsie

the creation of oopsie and whoopsie was the most time consuming part of the party planning. jeremy did a lot of work on his costume (sewing buttons, adding elastic, picking a face design, sewing up his leggings). we purchased a few clown essentials from lucky's clown supplies. the service was FANTASTIC. i recommend them for all your clowning needs. (though i dont know of anyone reading this that HAS clowning needs) so along with that and our clown loot from the thrift store, we bought a couple yards of fabric, some trim and some yarn and buttons and that was about it. oh, and a wig for jeremy.

the makeup was a first attempt at clown grease paint makeup for me. i was so happy with the outcome of my eyes and mouth that i almost forgot the red nose! i did both of our faces and by the time we finished we had to run around like mad to get dressed and get to the party on time. when we got home there were clothes everywhere and baby powder all over the bathroom.

a lot of oopsie's clothes were almost straight off the rack. a few buttons here, some elastic there, a bow tie.. tada! we found his hat in the bin and glued a belt around it. he also has suspenders made of miss-match belts, but they dont show much in these pictures. and of course he has his balloon apron for holding all of his ballooning accessories. a pocket for his pump, two pockets for balloons and one pocket for little toys to give to the kids. he sure is a handsome clown!

whoopsie's costume required a bit more construction. the hat was made and the wig made out of yarn was attached to the inside. the shirt was made of various other articles of clothing. the pink polka dot skirt was made, along with part of the fluffy under layers. the red ruffly skirt was in the clown loot and only needed the waistband removed and some elastic (it was for a small girl). my bloomers were made out of a costume dress of belle from beauty and the beast with some trim around the legs. i also added some ruffles to a pair of socks. then i made some flowers and sewed them on top.

we had so much fun that we've been talking about doing some clowning for other events. jeremy's mom already requested us to come to her sunday school class. i was surprised by how much fun jeremy had and how quickly he agreed to do it again.


yummy yummy in my tummy

the birthday cake making was a late night event, as usual. we were getting a bit silly by the time 3am rolled around. i found the idea for the cake and directions here. we used food dye to color white chocolate for the ears, stars and tail. i made a mold for the ears by folding strips of foil and hot gluing them to a piece of wax paper. for the stars i glued my star shaped cookie cutter to the wax paper. the cake was two 9" x 13" cakes stacked, cut in half and rounded with a serrated knife. sculpting the cake was lots of fun.. i think danielle was worried that i would get carried away and there wouldnt be any cake left. we thought the elephant should be laying in hay, but by the time we got to that step we were REALLY silly. we decided that it looked nothing like hay.. but more like spaghetti, mustard, ramen or cat poo. so if you look closely, you can see where danielle wrote 'cat poo' and 'ramen' in the hay. also, danielle's mom found those clown figurines at the thrift store, isnt that perfect?

we had some yummy circus foods for the party. hot dogs, nachos, circus peanuts, popcorn and fruit with fruit dip. danielle made the fruit tray into a clown's face.

and of course we need a picture of the birthday boy enjoying his cake! he thought it was delicious.

the ice cream, on the other hand, was a bit too cold and the cake eating ended very abruptly.
aaron is sporting a spaghettio bib by the awesomest mom ever. (that would be my mom)

party time!

i think i'll do this in a few different posts.. this first one will be decorations. most of my contribution to the party decorations took place before the day of the party.. the last few hours of decorating time had to be spent decorating myself instead. also, i didnt get any nice looking photos.. i got there about 40 minutes early, but was already getting a line for face paintings..

in these photos we have the big top streamers, the 'happy first birthday aaron' sign, a bit of bunting. i usually spend hours and hours cutting letters and gluing and whatnot for birthday signs, but decided to just print this one. i'm sure it could have been cuter, but not faster. we had hoped to do some sort of fabric for the tent, but streamers were a lot cheaper.

all i did for this one was find the plastic popcorn box at target and add ribbons. danielle used part of the tablecloth (which was way too big for the table) and covered the front of the microwave cart. she cut out the one from some red sticker paper. the tablecloth and plates/napkins/cups/stuff was all found at super discount prices at hudson's. we <3 class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_6">hudson's.

danielle added some more big top streamers over on the other side of the room. we put up balloon streamers that she already had to add more color to that side of the room.

i made a clown out of construction paper to go next to the door. it was up in my apartment for awhile before the party until oscar and aaron ripped it down. the damage wasnt too noticeable.. and there is the pin the nose on the clown. the magnets i glued on the noses werent strong enough, so the night before i had to glue more magnets on. i need to get those back, all my stuff is falling off my fridge!

side note - i thought it was funny that i was reading this post while writing this. another child's birthday party sunday with help from another sister-in-law also named melissa. maybe melissa and i are party planning soul mates?


fall festival

while danielle and i worked on aaron's birthday cake on saturday, jeremy took oscar and lane to the fall festival at the church. i guess they announced during the service that the kids should dress up, but oscar and lane were the only ones with costumes.

we fashioned oscar a hobo costume with things we already had around the house because his clown costume isnt ready yet. (i will be starting on it in the morning) he's terribly upset in the second picture because i got him all ready to go and excited and then jeremy left without him to go get the laundry. he kept his hat on and carried his bag around until daddy returned to take him away.

lane was a ninja. he's got great ninja posing skills.

i hear they rode on a lawn mower, played in a bouncy thing and did 'trunk or treat' out of peoples car trunks. jeremy and oscar participated in the cake walk but didnt win..

aaron hung out with us and we played a bit of peek-a-boo under the table.


something to keep you occupied until party/halloween pictures

oh to walk a mile in oscar's shoes.... wait.. those are MY shoes! socks with sandals... he should fit right in with this family...

i caught aaron practicing his surprised face for when he unwraps his presents on sunday. i think with this one he was going for 'oh my! you shouldn't have!' also, he's been working on a second tooth.. i voiced my concerns to him about only having one tooth to eat birthday cake with, so he popped another one out. someone really needs to clean that mirror.


i'm not dead yet

sorry for the lack of posting. tonight was wig assembly.. there is still some sewing to do and probably a hair cut, but the main part is done. apologies to all those who sent msgs that i havent replied to.. i havent been on the computer long enough to do much lately. i feel like i should put a picture on here...

oscar still loves the phones.. and still calls them congs (long o sound) sometimes he'll say 'fff fff fff cong!'


pin the nose on the clown

i'm almost finished with the pin the nose on the clown game. i'm a big fan of pin the something on the something else games. they're easy to make and usually lots of fun. i even whipped up an impromptu pin the butterfly on the flower game for danielle's birthday. i've also done pin the pants on spongebob and pin the wheel on the tractor for a couple of lane's birthday parties. the doors here at the apartments are magnetic, so i can just glue a magnet on the back of each nose and i'll be done.

pin the butterfly on the flower

pin the wheel on the tractor

pin the pants on spongebob

a memory game

i found this memory game when i was looking for stickers to print out for the invitations. we thought it would be cute in the favor boxes for the kids. i cut out the cards and folded up the instructions and tied them together with some jute twine. i'm a big fan of the jute twine. possibly because i'm cheap.


i guess it's because we're sisters....

robyn posted about her wreath refurbishing the very same day i went and bought a few things to refurbish my own wreath. mine only cost me $4 and about 20 minutes, but i'd rather have the one robyn made. if i didnt live so far away i'd sneak over to her house in the middle of the night and trade with her.

camping - yummy food

after fun fun fun at the playground we walked back to the campsite for lunch. we made some pizza hobo pies with pepperoni and/or canadian bacon (or as we call it - ham). for some reason we had stressed over the fact that we didnt have a grill brush to clean the grill with. we even stood in the grilling aisle at walmart and tried to decide which one do buy. a place to set our hot hobo pie irons was the only thing we actually used the grill for, but we'll have a grill brush for next time.

after lunch, we headed to the beach for a little dip in the lake. we didnt stay long and i didnt get any pictures...

we made pizza hobo pies again for dinner and then afterwards we made banana smiles. normally we would have waited until it was dark, but we wanted to make them while oscar was still awake.

we usually use peanut butter in our banana smiles, but thought the peanut butter cups would kill two birds AND be easier than spreading peanut butter in a banana. they were extra yummy. here is my banana smile assembly.

and jeremy making his banana smile masterpiece...

banana smiling (oscar's banana is peanut butterless)

after banana smiles and cleanup and oscar pooping EVERYWHERE and more cleanup, we turned in early. it was a perfect camping trip!