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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Individual shots

Justin wanted to be superman.  Since he already had the cape, we put together an outfit-blue t-shirt, red underwear, blue tights, and sprayed on boots.  If it looks a bit wierd it's largely becuase he's wearing a shirt and a jacket underneath his t-shirt and pants and sneakers under the tights.
I put in two pictures of the cutest cookie sheet ever!  because I couldn't decide which one to include.  I cut up a cardboard box and taped the sides of the cookiesheet.  Next I covered it with duct tape (a roll of duct tape for Jacob's costume cost $3 or $4 dollars), then I traced a cookie-cutter and decorated the "cookies" and attached a spatula with gingerbread themed ribbon I'd got from a clearance bin (who knows when) for $1.00 and used the ribbon to put it around his neck as well.  Then I added an oven mitt to complete the look. 

When I came home with the witch hat Leanna decided she wanted to be a witch for halloween.  I said but we don't have a dress for you, and she came up with this Halloween shirt that Nanny Sue gave us a few years back.  She had black boots that completed the look, along with a green face.   Since it was so cold, she wore pants under the witch dress.  (the wind kept blowing her hat off and Leanna actually carried a broomstick for part of the night, but it just got to cold to have in her hands, so I carried it part of the time too). 

The favorite costume of the night-Mr. Lego!
I've been waiting to make this one for a year now!! 
One guy even asked to have a picutre taken with him to post on his facebook account. 
Everyone LOVED this, and some commented that it must have taken a long time to make, but it was actually not complicated at all.  I saved and cut yogurt containers and attached them to the body and headpiece.  I covered the boxes in tape (because the original dollar store spray paint wasn'tshowing well on a plain box) cut out the holes for arms, head, and body then some coats of red spray paint completed it.  A can of spray paint cost $4.00, and I already had the tape I used to cover the boxes.     

Group Shot

And Your little dog, too!

I didn't realize that I didn't get a better shot of the dog than this one, but here he is.  He wore a cosutme too!  Spider dog's outfit was donated by Tony the Plumber & family (their dog got too big to wear it anymore).  I brought the umbrella stroller, in case Jacob got too tired or cold (I had blankets to pile on it).  Instead, the dog jumped up and rode in the stroller, to many people's amusement!

Last minute changes

I thought I had green face-scrub stuff that I could use on her face, but alas it turned out it was a jar of green body butter (which does not stay green when you apply it).  So we had to make due with blue eye shaddow all over her face instead.  It looked green though, so it all worked out!
  Leanna's hat was the only costume purchase-$1.00 at Target.  I actually just picked it up because it was cute and I could see all the kids playing with it, whether it was used for Halloween or not. 
Justin's red boots caused the most problems.  He's wearing them over his sneakers.  I sewed togther the bottoms of some leggins (adult female) that I've had for about 15 years, and we spray-painted the bottoms red to look like boots. The paint just wouldn't dry and the material was absorbing all the spray and with all that spray they were sticking together.   Plus they weren't sprayed high enough, so Tom had to add some duck tape and spray that red to make them look like boots. 

And Jacob crashed into Timothy's costume knocking off one of his bumps, so that had to be reattached and sprayed over last minute!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A visit with friends

Justin defends the grapes from a goat

Leanna points out some freshly laid eggs


They loved the hammock seat
even pool noodles were fun to play with
This picture shows many of the chickens, ducks, turkeys, and goats the family lives with. In addistion to dogs and cats.
Last Sunday afternoon/evening we enjoyed a visit with Tony the Plumber's family.  They don't actually live on a farm, but they live in a country enough area to be able to keep many pets.  We brought Curly (our new dog) along but he was kind of a scardy cat with the other dogs.   Tony's kids are 11 and 13, but everyone got along well and had a great time. 

Friday, October 29, 2010


Here's the new bathroom door, and a new access panel that Tom installed (easy access to the plumbing).  We can now close the bathroom door all the way, and even lock it if we desire!
He also fixed the railing that was falling off the wall (never installed properly in the first place) and repaired some of the plumbing so that it no longer leaks water from the toilet (lovely) or bathwater into our living room.  He's currently trying to find a way to move the washer/dryer into the basement.  Our washer is off balance since we moved in we think because the kitchen floor isn't able to support the weight(we've eliminated all other causes). 
Our kitchen was originally a porch and when Tom uncovered the floor to re-do it he found mold and the worst framing job he'd ever seen.  He fixed what he could given our time and financial constraints, and finished the floor.  But it's clear that either the floor needs to be re-done, or he has to affix wood supporting the washer-which would ruin the new laminate flooring he put over top-or they have to be moved into the basement.  Otherwise our washer will die soon. 
There's much more to be done, but it's slowly getting a little nicer here. 

Henry's Story

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Healthy cupcakes! Yay!

Does anyone know what icing sugar is or where you can find it?  I've never heard of it.  These Chocolate avocado cupcakes with avacado icing look interesting.  I like that the icing is green without using any dye.  (I know, avacados are healthy all on thier own, but hey, if you're gonna eat a cupcake anyway, why not a somewhat healthy one??) 

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Curtains

I no longer have the bright morning sun shining in my eyes every day!  Of course, it's only one of two windows in the room-the other window has to wait until I have $ for more material.  But the other window also has blinds, so it's not so bad.  I wish I had the money to make curtains for all the windows in the house!

School, paint, and rockets

School with the dog

Timothy built a rocket with his new pattern block magnets

Justin found his kite and finally got to paint it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Commercial Free special on drug addiction

From Katie Allison Granju:
"On Wednesday, October 27th at 7pm EST, WBIR-TV in Knoxville, TN will broadcast a 30 minute, commercial-free special on how drug addiction impacted one child and one family. You will be able to view the show on-air if you live in the WBIR television viewing area, or if you live anywhere else in the world, you can watch it in its entirety online at on the same night it airs on TV.

By sharing our family’s experience of losing Henry to drugs as honestly and openly as possible, WBIR hopes to help many, many people understand in a more personal way how deadly prescription drug abuse is, and how it is killing so many sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, friends, coworkers and neighbors.
This is only one story, my son’s, but it represents the losses that so many families are experiencing every single day, as their children and other family members die from drug addiction.
WBIR is receiving ZERO advertising revenue for this lengthy, primetime special. They are offering the special on-air and online as an amazingly generous act of community service. In a time when media companies are struggling to stay afloat, WBIR continues to truly walk the walk with their clear and powerful dedication to bringing news and information to those who need it, Straight From The Heart. I was lucky enough to work as Online Producer at WBIR between 2004 and 2008, and I can tell you that everyone who produces their shows and online content takes their commitment to meaningful community journalism very seriously.
At the end of the special, there will be clear information presented for people who decide after hearing Henry’s Story that they or a loved one needs help NOW with addiction to drugs or alcohol.
This was my son. He was a drug addict, and drugs killed him. He was only 18 years old. Please plan to watch Henry’s Story with your children - on-air or online – and talk with them afterward about what they heard."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nutella Oatmeal

I will have to try this one!  I just may be able to bring back oatmeal to our house with this!!  It's like having dessert for breakfast. 

Nutella Baked Oatmeal
3 cups rolled oats

1 cup milk

3/4 cup Nutella

2 eggs

2 tablespoons ground flax or chia seed

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sliced almonds or other nuts or seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together oats, milk, Nutella, eggs, ground flax, baking powder, vanilla and salt until incorporated. Stir in almonds. Smooth evenly in a greased 8″ baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes until center bounces back when touched.

Serve warm with cream or an extra dollop of Nutella.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kinda interesting.......

10 obsolete jobs

"If you made a joke to a young child that she was the milkman's daughter, her response would probably be something along the lines of, "What's a milkman?""

Monday, October 18, 2010

Timothy's Donut Shoppe

We didn't have much money at all, so I knew I'd have to make something special to make up for the lack of presents.  Not that I think every kid need tons of stuff, but they are used to a certain relative amount and it wouldn't be fair to give one child so much less than the others.  I do not at all think things must be perfectly even, but I try to keep things close to the same level. 

This is a shoe box, covered with layers of tissue paper (and modge podge).  The lid also becomes a serving tray for the food.  I made some felt donuts and eggs and pancakes with a pat of butter.  (I have to make the syrup to sit atop the pancakes also. It will just sit on top, not be attached).  I washed a coffee cup and lid & straw (with holders) to go with the donut shop theme.  I think I'll be making more felt food for Christmas!

PS. Thanks to Claire and my Mom for getting me out so I could get the supplies to make this (just barely) in time!!

The Mystery Machine! (cake)

Blowing Out the Candles!

It's very hard to tell from the pictures, but the other things placed on the cake are a spooky tree (made of chocolate twizzlers) and several fruit roll up ghosts.  As always, not really like I pictured it, but it could have been worse. 

Timmy's Birthday Party

Timothy's Birthday banner

Playing with Presents
Happy Partygoer
Those things are always so much fun!

Playing with presents-Thanks Nanny Sue and Pop-Pop!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Farmer's Market/Apple Fest

Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market/Apple Festival.  We arrived at the tail end though, but we were still able to watch glass blowing (she made an alien spaceship) and we stopped at a booth with wool and spinning wheels.  They were selling shawls and had spinning wheels and a few small sheep there too.  They let us have two samples of their wool, one in yarn form.  We walked around and saw lots of organic (non-certified) food booths. I stopped to talk to a man selling honey.  I had no idea there are about 200 types of honey!  He let me sample four kinds.  I bought a local one he recommended to try to get Jacob to eat, as a safe way to expose him to local pollen.  The man was impressed that all the kids stayed quiet while we waited and then while he and I talked and I sampled.  So he gave us a little mini-container of another kind of honey free. 
I discovered Justin is my big honey lover. 
We walked around for a while afterwards too.  It was a nice afternoon. 


Sunday, October 3, 2010
The afternoon Curly showed up in our backyard.
The kids were in love, instantly

You couldn't even see his eyes!

More recent picture of him napping with Leanna.

Sharing his cage with Jacob
I'll have to take some more recent pictures where you can see the difference four baths and a hair trim (by Tom) can make.