Sunday, October 15, 2017

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN, WEEK 3

Okay, it’s that time again.  Time to get your planner, and review last week’s list.  (You can see Week 2 here). 
Elliot, 2015. How fast they grow!
  
By now your calendar should be filled with fun things to do.  Especially this time of year.  In fact, you may have already done some of the activities that you booked in your planner.  So far, we have gone to the last (for the season) Kid’s Day at Schenley Plaza, visited Schram’s Farm (for apples, pumpkins are today), gone for a nature walk to gather leaves for our painted ghosts, and went to a Fall Festival. Coming up is Zoo Boo, our own Halloween Party, Elliot’s preschool Halloween parade and trick or treating. Whew!

Getting ready:
1.  Your party invites should be mailed by now.  Are they??  

Shopping and Cooking
2.  With the menu finalized, finish shopping for your nonperishables.  Also, begin making and baking any food items that can be frozen ahead of time, such as chili, casseroles, sugar cookies, etc.

Think Decorations
3.  Finish buying or making any decorations and begin adorning your home.  This year I crocheted a spider web using this Red Heart pattern.  

Think Costumes
4.  Is your costume bought (or made)?  To prevent last minute anxiety of what to dress up as, decide this week and buy/make your costume.  At the beginning of the month we picked up Elliot’s “Catboy” costume (doubles as pajamas).  Amelia has a few costumes to choose from including Tuturo or a ghost.  K has yet to fail us in the costume making arena.  She has handsewn a red tutu for her Snow White costume and last year she painstakingly hand-sewed pom poms on a tee shirt and dressed as a gumball machine.  We shall see what this year holds.  I, with Kayla’s assistance in the hair and make-up department am hoping to transform myself into Elsa Lanchester’s Bride of Frankenstein.

Think Favors
5.  Are you making or buying favors (or a little of both)?  Put together your little goodie bags and hide from the kiddies.  (But don’t forget where you’ve hid them…).  K and I found fabulous little milk bottles with straws (which we will fill with Swamp Punch) from Target’s dollar stop.  The kiddies can taken them home after the party.

Don’t Forget the Table
6. With your theme in mind, purchase the paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, plastic ware.  The Dollar Store is a great place to start.  But don’t wait too long as they tend to sell out fast of the seasonal goodies.

The Housecleaning
7. This week, begin cleaning (and decorating) the dining room and living/family rooms.  Give the foyer/entry areas a once-over.  


I apologize for no current photos – the internal battery of my phone camera died.  Makes me so sad.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN, WEEK 2

Pumpkins Galore

Grab your planner, review last week’s list.  If you missed Week 1, you can find it here
  
Have you filled your calendar with fun things to do?  Did you decide to host a monster bash?  We will be hosting our annual Halloween party on Sunday, October 29th. Have you finalized your guest list? Made or bought invites? Decided on holiday decorations? Do you still need ideas for a theme? Check out these fabulous party themes from Better Homes & Gardens.  

Getting ready:
Finalize your guest list.  With your made or store bought invitations at hand, begin addressing, stamping and stuffing those envelopes.  We will be mailing ours this week.  

Start Shopping
Finalize your menu, gather your recipes and create a master shopping list.  Begin picking up listed items whenever you visit the grocery store.  Need a list? Download our free printable here.

Think Decorations
If making your decorations, begin this week. This Bats and Leaf Ghosts project is perfect as it uses recycled and natural materials and is a great project for the kiddies.
 
Think Costumes
Decide on your costume.  Buy or make?

Don’t Forget the Table
Make a list for setting the table.  Don’t forget paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, plastic ware.  Think about what your centerpiece will be – store bought, homemade?? You may want to consider one of these fabulous Halloween tablescapes.

The Housecleaning
This week, begin cleaning (and decorating) the foyer/entry areas.  This is the area your guests see first so you want it to be tidy.  Our entry area is forever filled with shoes, paper goods, keys, mail and laundry (the basement is off the entry area).  But when it’s cleaned, it’s beautiful.

The days are going so fast! and there’s still so much to do!!  Enjoy!


Hauntingly,

trish


Saturday, October 7, 2017

OCTOBER’S BUCKET LIST



Visit the Pumpkin Farm
Go on a hayride
Get lost in a corn maze
Walk the neighborhood – admire the decorations
Pick apples
Drink cider
Watch scary movies
Celebrate Jacob’s birthday
Go to a fall festival
Collect colorful leaves – make a decoration or two
Prepare the yard for winter
Visit a haunted house
Celebrate Oktoberfest
Collect pinecones
Paint gourds
Make popcorn balls and candy apples
Host a Halloween party
Go trick or treating
Read ghost stories
Put away summer clothes – donate what’s been grown out of.
Roast pumpkin seeds
Make chili and pots of soup
Decorate the house
Carve pumpkins
Go to Boo Zoo

Sunday, October 1, 2017

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN, WEEK 1 (and a printable!)

Grab your planner or a notebook, it’s time to countdown to Halloween 2017!   

This year Halloween falls on a Tuesday. Our Borough usually celebrates on the exact day so I will be rushing home from work to help with costumes, and filling bowls with candy. 

This week will be the busiest in the planning stage, so let’s get started.

1. Begin thinking about what Halloween events you will be attending this year.  Mark them on your calendar.  We always go pumpkin picking and running through the corn maize, to Zoo Boo, and some years K and friends attend The Zombie Fest.  And of course, there is our annual Halloween Party and Trick or Treating.   Fill up that calendar for fun things to do.

2. If you are hosting a Halloween Party:

Choose your time and date: Pick your date far enough in advance so that invites can be mailed at least two weeks before the party.

Write out the Guest List:   Once you have your guest list written, decide if you are making or purchasing the invites.  If making, gather your supplies and get busy. 

Pick a Theme: This party is actually hosted by my (now) 19 year old Granddaughter, Kayla.  I just provide a little monetary donation and help with the cooking and cleaning.  This year’s theme will probably be the same as the last – a mix match of everything

Make the Menu: Now’s a good time to decide on what you will serve so that you can begin picking up ingredients and maybe even cooking and freezing a few of the dishes.  I personally love reading cookbooks and writing out menus.  However, Kayla is hosting this little shindig, so we will be collaborating.  I’ll choose the “real” food menu and she will choose all the gory edibles.

The Decoration List: Making or buying decorations? Go down to the basement or up to the attic, pull out those boxes, throw away the torn or broken (or mend them), choose those items that match your decorating theme.  Make a list of what you have, what you may need to buy or what you will make.

Let’s Play: Will you play games, tell spooky stories, have a coloring contest?? We do two things every year.  Bob for apples and have a doughnut eating contest.  The doughnuts (sugar and/or frosted – messy is more fun), are tied to crochet thread or string and hung at different lengths from the ceiling.  The players MUST keep their hands behind their backs as they try to eat these swinging doughnuts.  The first person to eat all theirs is the winner.  OMGosh! Talk about fun to watch!!!

The Treat Bags: Everyone loves a goodie.  Visit the Dollar Store, Walmart and/or Target One Dollar Stop for Halloween themed favors.  Tie them up in a treat bag or box.

3. The Housecleaning (no escaping that even if you dress as Houdini):  Spend the first two weeks cleaning the bedrooms, the front and back porches (don’t forget to wipe down windows) and the yard(s) (we’ll be raking).  This is a good time to winterize the porches and get the yards ready for the winter storms to come.

Grab your free printable checklist here.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fun Things to do in the Month of August

August is the last full month of summer (Autumn begins September 22nd), so it's time to kick it in full gear and ENJOY!  Here is a list of fun things to do this month.
1.  Go to a drive-in movie: fill a cooler with drinks and snacks, throw a couple of folding chairs and blankets in the trunk, and watch a movie under the stars;
2.  Get up a little earlier and enjoy coffee, tea or orange juice on the front porch;  
3.  Go on a picnic in the park: choose a new park you've never been to before, explore;
4.  Visit your local Zoo;
5.  Go white water rafting;
6.  Make a meal using veggies from your garden;
7.  Make S'mores and root beer floats;
8.  Go miniature golfing;
9.  Go to an amusement park;
10. Take a ride on a boat; and (every child's favorite NOT);
11. Get ready to go back to school.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Why Document Your Day, Your Week, Your Life? – A REMINDER

"but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three on them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."
— Anna Quindlen 
I was not a very good document keeper this past July.  I was truly enjoying each day, spending each evening sitting on our front porch, Elliot riding his bike or playing in his sandbox, Amelia in her ball pit or playpen, adults playing Trips & Runs, Yahtzee, Scrabble or Clue.  Or time spent in the backyard, Elliot in his little pool, me cutting the grass or pulling weeds.  Just outside – enjoying
But I, as keeper of our memories, I published no photos, I have no words written down to coincide with each day.  How will the children know? 
So here I am – back.  Back to my blog to record our days.  Our precious moments.  Our every days.

Welcome August!  How will we enjoy you?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Childrens' Bucket Lists

We are planning on my daughter and her two sons spending many summer days with us this year.  In anticipation of sharing summer with the boys, I downloaded this Summer Bucket List template from Activities for Kids website.  Along with the templates, I wrote a short note about how I wanted the boys to write down what most they would like to do this summer, i.e., places to go, crafts to make, games to play, foods to eat, just anything that would “make” their summer.  I wrote that they were to sign and date their lists, doodle in the margins, color it, just have fun.

I also let them know that while we might not be able to do everything on their bucket lists, we would most certainly try to do most of them.  I also included a self-addressed, stamped envelope.  

I received their lists in the mail over the weekend.  Here are the results: 

Elliot gave his bucket list verbally - he wants to go to the beach.

We have are looking forward to the boys and Amanda staying and have lined up a trip to Kennywood and to the Zoo for their June stay.  Along with a hike, a movie and plenty of science experiments, puzzles and games.  Bring on Summer!

What's on YOUR children's bucket lists??  

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

School's Out! Bring on the Summer Reading Challenge!

Today is the boys' (BB & JJ) last day of school for the season. I've been on a mission to find the neatest ideas to keep them busy (while making fabulous memories) while they are off.  
I absolutely loved this idea found at Wife Mommy Me – A Summer Reading Bingo Board, and while a lovely free printable is offered, I wanted a more personalized board to fit each boys’ interests.  We have one hooked on dinosaurs, one on wrestling and one on trains.  
As the boys’ ages range from 9 to 4 I also googled “summer reading challenges” for more ideas and ended up on this Pinterest board. Oh! the creativity and inspiration! A super special thank you to all of you who share your inspiration and creativity. I appreciate you.
After spending an obscene amount of time (I can browse all day) looking through all these fabulous ideas, this is the Bingo Board I made for the boys (they will each have their own).  Note: the finished board is much larger.

2017 Summer Reading
BINGO Board


read
about
trains

browse through a kid’s cookbook
then è
ê
make a snack from the book

read a book about plants, then è
ê
plant a flower in a pot, watch it grow

read
in
bed

read
about
trucks and cars,
then è
ê
draw a town on poster board, drive toy cars over the roads

read
about
animals,
then è
ê
visit
the
zoo

visit
the library,
then è
ê
get a
library
card

FREE
SPACE


read a scary story,
then è
ê
make a scary mask

write
and illustrate a mini book,
then è
ê
have a book party and read your book
out loud

read
about
dinosaurs,
then è
ê
visit
the
museum

make a
bookmark;
use it in your book

visit
the
bookstore,
then è
ê
buy a new book, to add to your collection

read under a starry sky

watch a
movie based on a book,
then è
ê
read
the
book
Instructions: read a book, complete an activity.  Put a X through the square as you complete each challenge.
NOTE: Supplies for all activities will be provided by Grammy.


My bet is Brendan will try to fill his in the first week, so I made sure to add things that would need to be done in a group, and places we would need to travel to.  I also want this challenge to last over the three vacation months.  

For the “write and illustrate a mini book,” I used the Mini Book Template found at Teacher Idea Factory.  

I am loving this idea!!  I am so looking forward to this summer with the boys.

I would love to hear YOUR ideas for summer fun for the kiddies! Please share.

Enjoying every day,

Trish

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Welcome June!

Summer has Arrived!
Welcome June!  Home to Flag Day, Father’s Day, Summer Solstice, Picnics, Pool Parties, Grilling and BBQ, Weddings, Graduations and Traveling.
The last day of school for BB and JJ is June 9th and then the party begins!  In May, I sent the boys “bucket lists” to fill out with activities and trips they’d be interested in this summer.  I received them back over the weekend and will share them here later this week.  Looks like we are going to be super busy this summer!!
I am so excited for this month.  Although I work away from home, I want to make so many good memories with the Kiddies before they go back to school. 
In other news that has absolutely nothing to do with the first day of June, I watched the last three episodes of Big Little Lies.  WOWSA!  That’s all I’m saying.  I also watched The Wizard of Lies starring Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfieffer, which was very good.  I am just finishing up reading Asylum by Jeannette De Beauvoir and eager to begin Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson.  I also need to crochet about three dozen stars. 

What plans do you have for this summer?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This Past Weekend. . .

This past weekend – Memorial Day weekend – was fantabulous!  Yes, it rained a lot.  BUT, the weather was GOOD and the sun did eventually shine.  Starting Friday (we were permitted to leave the office at 3:00!), I couldn’t wait to get home and begin the weekend.  Kayla and Amelia set off to Doug’s house and Elliot and I played trains, cleaned the living room and went to bed early. 
Ms. Amelia


Saturday morning, Mom joined us and we had breakfast at our favorite: Eat N Park – what else?? Elliot was good as gold again this weekend.  We took him to Barnes & Noble (Waterworks). They finally replaced their Thomas the Train table, which had an all NEW track and playsets.  E had a wonderful time.  After picking up a few things at the grocery store, we headed home to get started on cleaning out the room that is now Elliot’s.  It still needs painted because it is currently Barbie pink and purple (Kayla’s childhood bedroom).  Elliot wants blue with green stripes.  Oh my.

Sunday was busier than Saturday, with Mom and I cleaning out all the leaves that accumulated under the back porch.  Then we cleaned the front porch and yard and even though it was so overcast I cut the grass in back.  And then the sun came out.  We ate dinner on the porch.  Mom left for home and Elliot went into the tub. 

Monday, Elliot’s Dad and Gramma came and took them to their home for a cookout.  I did laundry and Mom came in for lunch.  Later, the Mister brought dinner.  Elliot came home. The Pens won (we didn’t see this as we turned in early). 

Elliot and his masterpiece

There is something to be said for three day weekends.  They’re heavenly!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spring Cleaning and Treasure Hunting, The Entry Way

Spring cleaning has been underway.  If you read Friday's post, you will know we are viewing spring cleaning as a treasure hunt.  You can read that post here.  We began with the entryway and although mostly pennies were found (under $1.00), I love how it turned out.





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day to All!

Here’s wishing you a Mother’s Day 
That’s filled with every pleasure, 
And a future that’s as happy 
As the memories you treasure!
~ Anon

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!!!
and to all you other dear Mommies.


Enjoy YOUR day!!!!