Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Night

Recognize these guys???

Mover Rich and Mover Dave wish you an Imagination Mover Halloween!

We just got back from trick-or-treating, but if it were up to Drew, we'd still be canvasing the neighborhood!  We got all dolled up in our costumes a bit before 5:30, so we could head out to snatch a few treats.  We went to a couple Trunk-or-Treat events before coming back to our neighborhood to walk our street.  It's so fun this year, now that Drew has caught on to the concept, and Reed is old enough to follow suit and do what Drew does.  As awesome as their costumes are, they aren't recognizable to many people.  A few kids the boys' age knew who they were, but no one over the age of 40 (and some younger) had a clue. :)

It was a fabulous day.  Drew had an Orange Party at school this morning, then spent the afternoon asking, "Is it dark yet? Is it time for candy?"  I have a feeling I'll be battling the "Can I have a piece of candy?" dragon until next year!  Ah well.  To me, it's just another joy of childhood!   

{Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf stopped by earlier this afternoon, too!}


So.  The costumes.  Pretty awesome, right?  Just give my mama allllllll the credit.  She is the coolest.  And can work her mad skills like nobody's business on that sewing machine!  I had been wanting to make Mover costumes for the boys since last year.  I had seen one that someone had made from a blue NASA flight suit; they had taken off the astronomy patches and attached the appropriate Mover bling instead.  I searched for flight suits but came up empty handed.  Purchasing an authentic Mover suit would've set me back $75...each.  So that was definitely out of the question.  The only option left was to attempt to make one.  And that never would've happened if we weren't currently living with my parents!  So there you go.  Another perk for our situation!  Anyway, my mom and I found a pattern for a jumpsuit, and we just happened to find some clearance fabric that was just about the right shade of blue we needed.  Mom had yellow and red fabric in her stash, and we had to purchase two zippers, elastic, a red hat, and the iron-on logos for the back.  All in all, the materials cost under $30 - for both costumes!  Thank goodness the labor was free - the time my mom put into these babies would've cost me a small fortune!  She did everything involved with the assembly of the suits - I cut the fabric and fashioned the gears, stripes and nametags, but mom did everything else.  The suits turned out great.  The boys love them, and so do we!

Oh!  And how did the boys decide which Mover they would be?  Drew chose Rich because he doesn't wear anything on his head. :)  And Reed was Dave by default because a red hat was easier to come up with than Smitty's cowboy hat or Scott's wobble goggles.  :)

I asked mom if she'd make two more suits for Brad and I, so we could complete the set.

She said no.



Sunday, October 30, 2011


Halloween isn't my favorite holiday.  Well, maybe I should be a bit more specific.  I strongly dislike scary halloween.  Skulls, guts, blood, gore -  Cute halloween, however - princesses, animals, children dressed as fruit - I can do cute.  And while my children are still young enough to do "cute," and while I still have control over what their costumes will be, we're gonna do it, baby. 

With our fall decor packed away in boxes, we didn't do anything by way of decorating for the season.  But we did pull a few things together to prepare for the big candy day tomorrow.

Prep Step 1: Pumpkin carving.
We went to Jeremy and Ashley's for a carving party... 

...and here are the kids carving their pumpkins!
Oh wait.  You don't see the kids?  
Oh that's right.  

That's cuz they

were here

 and here

and here.

It's just far too much fun to be with your cousins and have free reign of the garage, the backyard and all the toys while adults are distracted with pumpkin guts and sharp knives.  

 A quick break to pose with his pumpkin.

 When Drew saw that I had started on his McQueen pumpkin, he wanted to help.

 He did well, but those small cuts are pretty tricky, so his patience was tested as I widdled out the small pieces.

 Our end result.

 Cute, not creepy!

Prep Step 2: Craft Project.
A few days after carving pumpkins, we added to our Jack-O-Lantern collection with some Jar-O-Lanterns.  I found this idea in Family Fun magazine, and it turned out to be an absolutely perfect craft for the boys.  It was simple enough (glass jars + masking tape + orange paint), with a really fun result.

Prep Step 3: Baking.
We made the ghosts last year, and they were definitely delicious enough for a repeat this go around.  I had seen the witch hat cookies in a magazine and figured them to be a fun, and easy, alternative to anything else we might try.  And with *candy* being the end result of all of this Halloween mumbo-jumbo, I didn't figure we needed to go overboard in the sweets department.

Prep Step 4: Costumes.
This is definitely the icing on our Halloween cake!  I had an idea.  I wanted to make it happen.  The boys were in agreement, and very excited about it.

I went to the fabric store with my mom, and found the perfect pattern, to which I vaguely remember mumbling "I can do this" before promptly turning the pattern over to my mother.  My mom, my mom.  She made these costumes happen.  She put in I don't even know how many hours behind her sewing machine and at her ironing board mulling over the pattern, figuring it all out.  She used to sew clothes, but that was when I was 2.  So it has been a few years since she's attempted clothes-making.  And she had to make two!  TWO costumes, my mother made.  And let me tell ya - they.are.awesome.

The boys gave their costumes a trial run yesterday when we attended a community Halloween party as a fundraiser for the food shelf.  They played a few games to win some prizes and candy.  And again today, they got their candy on at MSU, where some of the Maverick athletes were hosting games with more candy prizes.

Step back, folks.  Sugar high to commence in 5...4...3...2...1...

Happy Halloween Eve!

Picture of the Day, Weeks 42 & 43

 Sunday {10.16.11}
We all got together for lunch to celebrate my parents' 39th wedding anniversary.

 Monday {10.17.11}
Brad "hired" a work crew to help rake the leaves.  They look like they're hard at work, don't they?  Don't let them fool you...they did more jumping than they did raking! But then again, so did Brad! :)

Tuesday {10.18.11}
This table is old, unstable, and probably dangerous for small children to play at.  But it is also very special, and holds many memories.  It's the "kids table" from my grandparents house, and it's so fun to see the great-grandkids sitting at it.

Wednesday {10.19.11}
When traveling, we frequent the drive-thrus, and now that Reed is a tish older, we're able to eat in the car.  I do squeeze myself onto the floor behind the passenger seat to assist the young man; who wants to clean ketchup and mustard out of the van upholstery?

Thursday {10.20.11}
The boys got some serious Grandma and Grandpa bonding time when we visited them for a few days this week.

Friday {10.21.11}
We headed to Des Moines this afternoon to spend a bit of time with Brad's sister and brother and their families, wherein Drew got some serious s'more pointers from Aunt Glenda!

Saturday {10.22.11}
The Des Moines Race for the Cure with the Gushee's!

Sunday {10.23.11}
One of Brad's favorite things is to attend his nieces' and nephews' sporting events, but since moving to Illinois, we weren't able to see them play very often.  We took the opportunity to watch our niece, Alison (left), play soccer before leaving town this afternoon.

Monday {10.24.11}
Halloween preparations are under way!  Pumpkin carving tonight at Jeremy and Ashley's resulted in these fine creations: Lightening McQueen, a funny face, a scary face, a football, and another Lightening McQueen.

Tuesday {10.25.11}
Reed wasn't quite ready to wake up from his nap this afternoon, and I guess Addy thought it looked mighty comfortable!

Wednesday {10.26.11}
We hadn't done any art projects at home since, well, since moving, and it was time to get our craft on.  Painting Jack-O-Lanterns onto glass jars was just the fix we needed.

Thursday {10.28.11}
I would like the entire retail industry to know that if they had carts just like the one's CVS does, it would make every mother's shopping-with-children dreams come true.  

 Friday {10.29.11}
Ghosts and witch hats are our homemade Halloween sweets this year.  Make that multi-eyed monster ghost cookies (thank you, Reed).

Saturday {10.30.11}
A poptart picnic breakfast in Grammy's room.  Drew's been asking to do this for weeks!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Party in Pink

It has been an annual tradition for my mom's family to gather in late October in remembrance of my celebrate her life, and to give back to those who are fighting the same battle that she lost.  Grandma Gushee died in 1995 from breast cancer.   Last Saturday, we walked for her, for each other, and for the women (and men) who will live with breast cancer and survive it, and for those that won't.

We gathered on October 22 for the Des Moines Race for the Cure.  It was a chilly morning, but with the sun shining among a sea of pink, it was a beautiful day for a walk!

Papa was the main attraction for the littles as the rest of the gang headed to the booths to gather all the freebies they could get.

Seven of Grandma's great-grandchildren.
I think she would be proud.

Our posse seems to grow bigger each year.  This year, 19 walked - or strolled.

Reed was tuckered out before the walk even began!

But he perked up when we got started!

Let's race!  Errr... walk! 

And we're off!

It literally was a sea of pink.  
I tried to get a photo of all of the people - thousands upon thousands upon thousands.  It's crazy...but so so cool.

My phantom baby. :)
But really, the backup stroller should one of the kids need to ride.  Or bag holder.  Whatever.

We finished together, 3.2 miles later.
We gathered at my aunt and uncle's house to eat (because that's what the Gushee's do) and chat and just be together.  

Pink is a great color, no?

{Our day in Des Moines was actually day 4 of a little vacation time for us to spend with Brad's family.  Drew didn't have school on Friday due to MEA break, so we took off for Pella after school on Wednesday to spend a few days with Grandma and Grandpa.  Of course the boys had a blast.  There were no special trips or visits, but there never has to be.  Just being with their grandparents is enough for the boys.  The highlights were doing puzzles, playing PacMan and Mappy, feeding the squirrels, and spending a little time with Great-Grandma Vander Waal.  After the race, the fun continued the remainder of the weekend with Brad's sister and brother and their families.  The boys got doted on by their aunts, uncles and cousins, and were exhausted be weekend's end!  All in all, a really great *extended* weekend.}

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Picture of the Day, Week 41

Sunday {10.9.11}
Luci, Luci, Luci...

Monday {10.10.11}
I finally - finally - finished my end table re-do.  I gotta say, I impress myself sometimes. :)  It was a project that took far too long, but one that was worth it in the end.  I love the darker color, and it looks great with the other pieces for our living room.  Onto the next project... 

Tuesday {10.11.11}
Soaking up the last little bit of our Indian summer with hopscotch on the driveway.

Wednesday {10.12.11}
School Picture Day today!  I'll use one of Drew's photos for today's POTD.

Thursday {10.13.11}
My dad's post retirement job has been driving buses for various school and sporting events.  He's been so busy this week with driving and his other seasonal job, that we've barely seen him all week.  He made a quick pit stop at home this afternoon between drives to say 'hello' and have a bite to eat.

Friday {10.14.11}
I put Drew to task separating the yellow, orange, and brown M&Ms for the Halloween monster cookies I made this afternoon.  I don't think he minded helping me out. :)

Saturday {10.15.11}
One of the things I love to see as the boys' relationship with each other grows is when they make each other laugh.  This morning they were rolling on the floor, hugging and giggling.  Such a sweet picture - until one of them screams or tattles.  But whatever.