Sunday, January 03, 2016


We had some really beautiful fall weather. Paul went out to rake the leaves and the two younger ones decided to join in on the fun.

Matthew was very intrigued by the leaf blower - he thought it was hilarious!
Paul was a good sport about it, but Matthew kept grabbing handfuls of leaves from the pile and putting them back onto the clean grass!  I guess he wanted to see Daddy blow more leaves.
Matthew and Juliette had such a great time playing in the leaves and I could not stop taking pictures of them because they were so happy and cute!

What a great fall afternoon!

Halloween and All Saints Day

Halloween is one of the kids favorite times of year, or so they tell me. Halloween was never a favorite of mine, but I am glad they enjoy it. This year, the girls dressed up as Mal and Evie from "The Descendants" movie. Here they are in costume ready to go to the Cub Scout Halloween Party, which is a favorite event every year.
This year Ben wanted to go as the grim reaper.  I was not a fan of this idea (or costume), but I have been told by many people that this is something most boys go through as they get older, so I let up and decided to let him wear this for Halloween.  It did make me sad though.  Last year Ben went as a football player, so he really stopped with the cute costumes last year, but this was the first year of a big kid type costume.  I did tell him he could not wear this to school though, so on the school party day he wore his football costume from last year.  
Pretty eyes.
Matthew had a few costume options, so for the Cub Scout party, he wore this skeleton outfit, just like Daddy.

So cute!

With the girls.
We put on Matthew's tiger costume over the skeleton outfit.  I figured he would get hot in the tiger outfit, so he needed something Halloween-ish underneath too.  Here are the 4 kiddos.  Look at Juliette trying to get away from Ben's scythe.
This picture cracked me up because Juliette decided to squat down next to Matthew to get away from Ben's scythe.  Then Abbey decided to bend down too to be next to Matthew.  Well, monkey see, monkey do....Matthew bent down too!  Sisters are doing it, it might be what we are supposed to do!
What a cute tiger!

At the party, Ben's pumpkin was awesome.  He used his lego robotics to add hands that moved and then they (of course) added dry ice to make it smokey.  It was pretty cool.
They had some older girls at the party doing face painting.
Matthew found a ball and ran around with that.  He cracked me up because with all the big kids running around, he was not the least bit intimidated.  He just ran right around with them.
He did get hot from all the running around, so then he became a skeleton.  I love this shirt - it has candy corn in the tummy!
There was a coloring table.
Abbey's face paint.
After the awesome party, awards were given for the pumpkin carving contest.  Ben won 2nd place in the scary pumpkin category!
The week of Halloween Matthew got to dress up in costume for his mom and me tot class.  This time we went with his Curious George costume (that he wore last year).  He just barely fit into it, but he looked cute.

He wouldn't stay still long enough for a good picture - away he goes!  Things to do, Mom!
This was after his last swimming class.  He enjoyed it, but as the weather started to get colder, I decided swimming should be replaced with a music class.

I realize most people don't really know what my girls were for Halloween.  "The Descendants" is a Disney movie, but it didn't come out in the theater and was only available on the Disney Channel, so a lot of people without kids this age don't know about it.  But, as you can see below, it was a very popular costume among second graders. In Abbey's class of 17 kids, 4 of the girls were Mal!
Ben in his costume for school.

And after much anticipation, Halloween day finally arrived.  Matthew went as a turtle, which is what Ben went as at this age and I have always loved this costume, so I couldn't wait for Matthew to wear it.
He wasn't quite so sure of it all.
Now for the girls costumes, the characters actually have blue and purple hair.  They couldn't color their hair for school, but I did buy some hair color spray for them to use on Halloween.  Juliette's came out great.
Matthew got into the spirit as soon as someone gave him a lollipop.
I was surprised that Abbey's purple hair didn't show up more.  I would have thought with her blond hair that it would have showed easily.  But she also didn't want to put a ton in, so maybe there wasn't enough.  But here are the girls all ready to go.
Matthew was much more cooperative now that he had TWO lollipops!
This is Juliette's pumpkin creation.  She spray painted some lint blue with the hair spray paint and glued it to her pumpkin.  It was very creative.
These are Ben's and Abbey's pumpkins.
It rained quite heavily for a while, so as soon as it let up, we ventured out.
Here's the crew!

Matthew enjoyed going from house to house.

He made it all the way down our block.

He lagged behind a little, so Abbey came back to help him out.
Juliette getting candy.
Scary....who is this kid's mother that let him wear that?  ;)
Unfortunately it was pretty wet out and Matthew kept walking through the grass.  At the end of the street, I walked back to our house (while Paul continued on with the others) and got some warmer stuff for everyone.
By the time I rejoined the group, Matthew was in his stroller.  He stayed in his stroller for the next hour while we went from house to house.  He was quite content watching everyone and enjoying his lollipops.  He did great.

We came home to some warm chili in the crock pot and changed into dry clothes to relax a little before bed.  It was a great Halloween, as evidenced by the mass amounts of candy received!

The next day was All Saints Day.  Each year the first graders do a report on their name saint (or their favorite saint) and then they get to dress up like the saint for a school parade.  Juliette was anxious to learn about her saint and what she was the patron saint of (like Saint Abigail is the patron saint of beekeepers we learned last year).  Unfortunately, Saint Juliette is not a patron saint of anything, but she was a nun in a group of 16 that were killed during the Reign of Terror in France for practicing their faith.  Juliette wrote up the whole report, learned what a Carmelite nun was and learned a little about France too.  I thought she did great in her borrowed nun costume too.

In her classroom, excited to see Matthew.
At school getting ready for the parade of saints.

The parade took place during the all school prayer (each first Monday of the month they gather in the gym to do morning prayer together as a school, as opposed to doing it in their classrooms over the loud speaker).  I was doubly lucky in that Ben happened to be chosen to lead morning prayer on this day.  Here is our amazing principal gathering everyone together and Ben getting ready.
She was so excited to parade in and walk around.  So cute!

And here he is leading prayers.
After the parade getting pictures taken with her class.
She learned a lot and really enjoyed the project.  A few days later though, she came up and asked me to please explain to her what the big storm was like that Saint Juliette died in.  I didn't understand what she meant by big storm so I told her again that she was killed in the Reign of Terror and then I understood.  Juliette thought she was killed in a "Rain" of Terror!!  Sounds quite scary!  I laughed and then explained what "Reign" meant.  Love that girl!!