Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Halloween Party Time

We started out Halloween morning with Lily's preschool halloween parade. She decided to go as Rapunzel since she was not allowed to wear the mask from her other costume to school. I think it was the perfect chance to spend the morning as princesses. Gemma was not to be left out and donned her Snow White costume.
 I even did my best attempt at Rapunzel hair.
 She was so proud to march with her classmates. She actually skipped and hopped most of the way.
 The teachers are so wonderful and all dressed up as well. They led the troops around the parking lot for the crazy parents to take 1000 photos.
 I think after three laps she could have kept going. Princesses never tire of adoration from their subjects.
 Then they all lined up and sang a few halloween songs. Melt my heart. I will spare you the videos but it was just adorable.
 After the parade and songs they proceeded to trick or treat around the school campus and then have a party with all sorts of yummy treats. A pretty good way to start and sweet filled day.

Eeeeek! I should warn you, one look at these photos may leave you very frightened. For the evenings festivities we had one spooky girl and one snuggly girl. 
Gemma is into all things "woof woof" so she chose to be a puppy. Lily decided to go classic spooky halloween as a skeleton.
Showing off her loot after Halloween. I didn't get any good shots that night so bribed them to pose again in daylight.
This puppy enjoyed her treat. She really had a great time with it all and caught on quickly to what it all was about....candy!
Trick! I told her I was going to take all her candy away! Look at that face. I actually did put it up the night after Halloween and they NEVER asked about it again. Ha ha! My plan succeeds two years in a row. When will they catch on?
None for you even though this hound is the scariest of all.
Look at that snuggly little puppy. I think she is my treat for the night.
We were lucky that Eric and Rach were brave enough to host a pot luck party even though little Ben was only three weeks old! He was the football to their Bears team!
After a quick supper (did these kids eat at all?) we headed out to hit the trick or treat route. Eric's neighborhood really goes all out and it is so fun.
One house in particular is out of control, so spooky!
They spend weeks putting it all together. It was even more involved this year.
I loved the line up of jack'o lanterns.
They also had a projector that made these three pumpkins look like they were singing.
We even got into the spirit this year. I was a hillbilly, inspired by some seriously jacked up false teeth. Alex was cowboy Dan, inspired by none other than Steve Martin in parenthood. We even cut our bathroom mat to use as chaps.
Alex's parents came all decked out as well and brought some friends who were visiting from France. They didn't speak a lick of English (when they were sober anyway) but they all had a blast! I missed out on a picture of Grampy as a crocodile hunter. He carried around the three foot long stuffed crocodile!
It was so  much fun and we anticipated it for weeks ahead. It is one of Lily's top two favorite holidays (the other being Easter). We were sort of worried they would change their minds about their costume choice since we bought them in the beginning of October. Au contraire (said the French) they wore them over and over throughout the month and couldn't have had more fun. They are already planning next years costumes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall for fun!

We have been waiting for Fall. Waiting, and waiting....well we got tired of waiting and decided to just start enjoying fall activities, in the heat. Good thing too, because it looks like Fall is not coming, not at all. So in the spirit of not going the whole way this Fall, I couldn't bring myself to the mess and work of carving a pumpkin. I think when the kids are old enough to safely yield a knife we may revisit the situation. For now, we did stick on felt decorations. On a store bought pumpkin no less.
Ah, no mess, and the kids actually got to help instead of direct.
We had some outdoor fun with pumpkin pie play-doh and cookie cutters.
Gemma was chief director in this situation.
We did cave two days before Halloween and go to the pumpkin patch. Lily had already been with Granny and Grampy and got to do the whole experience so we debated whether we could get away without going. I just couldn't stand to miss out on the cute photo ops. 
Somebody was in serious cheeser mode. She has this hands up to the cheeks sweet heart thing going.
I loved the piles of lumpy, bumpy, odd balls.  We tried to steal this giant tractor, but it didn't move.
Lily had a go in the childrens maze. It was fun and pretty much no chance of getting lost, although they had an emergency exit. 
Lily led the way with confidence.
No trip to a pumpkin patch is complete without a family cut out photo.
Did I mention it was warm and sunny out?
Grandpa checking out his dream rig. I guess the camaro doesn't have enough muscle for him. This one only costs $250K.
The farmer family. You can take the farmer out of Iowa but you can't take the Iowa out of the farmer.
So after the disappointment of the day when we realized the hay wagon ride was not included in the admission fee it was also finished for the day. Wah-wah. Luckily Grandpa offered a free wheel barrow ride which was just as good.
We fed the goats, or llamas, or whatever animal was in that cage. We also took turns going down the super speedy tube slide. It was a blast and best of all...free!
We even made time to bake up some spooky treats for the trick or treat party. I have two little helpers in the kitchen, so I have ten extra little fingers to keep track of. 
Might I dare say the spiders were delicious. Peanut butter cookies with mini peanut butter cups!

Daddy's big day

You know you are getting old when it takes two of us and a calculator to decide how old you are this year. I am pleased to report we finally deduced that Alex turned 37 this year which is FANTASTIC because I was under the impression he was turning 38 (he is a year older so therefore any younger he gets means I get younger too!)

Alex decided for his birthday he wanted to go on a hike, to the hollywood sign. I got him a hike guide for Christmas and this seemed like a fun one to do. We woke Sat AM and packed up our gear and drove to Hollllywooooood as the girls like to call it.

At the parking lot we followed the sign to our hike. You can also rent horses to ride all the Griffith park trails. It looked pretty fun but then of course there are lots of horse poopies on the trail.
 Lily must have thought it was pretty funny to pose with Smokey the bear. We got to the trail head at about 9:30 am and it was already hot! I think it was 75-80 degrees.
 Gemma looks less than thrilled about Daddy's birthday choice.
This is the view from the starting point. Just so you get an idea of the elevation of our hike. The guide book said it was easy to moderate. Perhaps that was because the trail was pretty wide and very well kept. The elevation climb was not exactly moderate.
 This is where you end up! At the top (behind) the Hollywood sign. The views were fantastic.
 Overlooking LA, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, all the way to the ocean.

 It had been really windy the day before so the sky was pretty clear and you could see all the way out to the ocean. Daddy and his girls.
 Gemma ended up on my back for most of the hike since Lily ended up on daddy's shoulders. It was too steep for little legs and very hot. They were troopers though and we had snacks at the top. All the other hikers at the top were cheering us on and amazed we made it up with two little kids. Not another kid in sight the whole time.
 On the back side of the hill you had great views of burbank and the movie studios. Lily was on top of the world!
 Did I  mention it was hot? We were worn out by the time we made it back down. We survived with the promise of brunch afterward and a relaxing afternoon at home.
 Alex got his California birthday celebration a few nights later  with a sombrero and a flan at the mexican restaurant. Feliz Cumpleanoz!