Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspired Craftiness!

I am an avid blog reader. I read all types of blogs. My faves tend to be about home decor and crafty ventures. I don't really consider myself a very crafty individual so many of the ideas I see will never be attempted by me. However, I do occasionally run across an idea that looks like it would be possible for me to do.

Melissa, over at Huckleberry Prairie blogged about the most adorable Halloween Hoedown Wreath and then was nice enough to provide a tutorial. My Mom and I decided to give it a go. Check out our end product!

Isn't it gorgeous? We were thrilled with how they came out. We opted not to go with a Halloween theme so that we could leave it up until after Thanksgiving. We each made one as well as one for my Grandmother and her friend. They were so easy to make and a lot of fun. If you love the look then you should try it for yourself! I promise you will love the results.

I have also seen a lot of bloggers out there grabbing a can of black spray paint and going to town on Halloween decor. I decided to try this trend as well. What do you think?

I scavenged through the woods behind my house to find the perfect sticks, which I then spray painted black. I stuffed them into a vase full of candy corn, tied some ribbons on the branches and covered the whole thing in cobwebs. I also painted "BOO" on my little pumpkins. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I think that next year I will add some more items to my mantle, but for now it's just fine.

I also painted our street number on a pumpkin in front of our house.

I even tied little black and white gingham ribbon onto all my pumpkin stems and tucked some gourds into my flower box.

I have been having fun! I am already gathering my supply list to tackle some crafty Christmas projects too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Soggy witches

My Mom and I capped off Fall Break 2009 by taking the kids to trick-or-treat at the Louisville Zoo on Friday. This is an annual tradition. The Louisville Zoo puts on quite a show for the children. The zoo is transformed into The Kingdom of Far Far Away, Oz, Hogwarts Castle, Jurassic Park, Candyland, The Jungle Book, Wonderland, the Carribean and a Fairytale Village. It's very magical and my kids love it! Every September they start asking when we are going to go trick-or-treating at the zoo. I normally try to take them when my Mom is visiting and this year was no exception. I wish I could say we had a marvelous time but then I wouldn't be telling the entire truth. You see, it began to drizzle on our way to the zoo. By the time we arrived it was drizzling a bit harder. I had checked the weather and a steady drizzle was nowhere in the forecast. Sure, they mentioned an occasional shower but that wasn't supposed to occur until later in the evening. So, I made the choice to go ahead with our zoo adventure. I made the wrong choice.

The kids were upset that they had to wear coats over their costumes. As if wearing a coat wasn't bad enough, they had to have their hoods up to keep their heads dry as well. So, basically you could see their legs and that was about it. Certainly makes the money and time spent on their costumes well worth it, huh? Noah didn't even get to wear a costume. He spent the evening riding around in the stroller in a snowsuit with an umbrella held over him or being carried around by me. Yes, it was chilly enough for Noah to need to wear a little fleece snowsuit! In October!

So, we rambled through the zoo gathering candy and trying to stay semi-dry. Lily wasn't so sure about the people in costume but she was digging the candy. I have never seen her walk so fast. She is normally a dawdler but, with the promise of candy at the next stop, she became an Olympic speed walker! We were through all the magical lands and back in the car in forty five minutes flat. I believe that is a new personal record.

We scrambled into the van and took off our soggy outer layers. I blasted the heat and we all patted ourselves on the back for surviving the zoo in the rain. I assumed all would be well. I was, once again, wrong. Megan managed to spill Fun Dip all over her hands, her pants and the backseat about five minutes after leaving the zoo. If you don't already know, Meg has a flair for the dramatic. The way she was carrying on, I assumed she had spilled something horrific all over the place. Candy powder? Seriously? Did that really necessitate ear splitting screams? Apparently it did. I managed to get her calmed down while driving down the interstate but she started up once again when she realized she had to pee. I am a mean Mom. I made her wait until we got home. I was cold. I was wet. I was hungry and I was not stopping to drag my five year old daughter into a gas station bathroom. She could hold it and she did.

All in all it was a memorable experience. I will certainly remember to never go trick-or-treating at the zoo in the rain ever again.

By the way, check out these photos! My Mom is the most awesome Grammy in the world. Each year she dresses up and this year was no exception. She really outdid herself. Lily was a bit freaked out by her costume and kept asking "Gigi (what she calls my Mom)?" over and over again. I guess she was just making sure.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

By the way....

I am sure you are looking for adorable photos of Noah at the pumpkin patch and I am sorry to report that he didn't get to join us. The original plan had been for him to come along, however, he and Carlos spent the day at home resting and trying to get over nasty head colds. Oh well. There is always next year.

Here is an adorable photo of how he spent his day though...

Fall Break

I have been waiting for Fall Break since mid-August and it's finally here! I knew ,that after two months of homeschooling, I would be ready for a bit of a break....the kids too. Traditionally, my Mom always comes to spend Fall Break with us and this year would be no different. Mom arrived on Sunday and we have been on the go ever since.

We went pumpkin picking at Huber's on Monday. The weather was perfect and we had the pumpkin patch all to ourselves. We didn't get to go last year because I was fairly pregnant and large so this was the first year that Lily was able to go and participate. We did take her when she was about eight months old but she was too little to remember.

This year she was old enough to enjoy the entire experience. She wasn't quite sure about the wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch but ended up loving it. She also managed to trip over every pumpkin vine in the patch. Annie and Megan have been pumpkin picking before but this year they were old enough to really enjoy themselves.

The farm where we pick pumpkins, Hubers, has a whole mess of fun activities for the kids. There are tunnel slides, mazes, animals to feed, yummy things to eat and so much more. The girls had such a great time!

We were all pretty worn out by the time we got home. I kept expecting Lily to fall asleep in the car but she never did. Although, she did sleep very well that night....we all did.

Yesterday was a day spent running from place to place. We hit Barnes & Noble first. I was in desperate need of a new planner. I am such an organizer and I couldn't stand that I had things I needed to write in for 2010 but had no place to do it! I always buy the same type of planner because it works perfectly for me and the only place that sells them is Barnes & Noble. I normally avoid going into any bookstore with all of my children in tow because it is always a nightmare. I end up leaving with way more than I intended to purchase and a major headache. My Mom was fantastic and waited in the car with the kids while I ran in to get what I needed! It was wonderful!

We also went to Joann Fabric because we are planning to tackle a little craft project while my Mom is visiting. I will post photos when we are all done. I think the plan is to start work on it tonight! We stopped off at the mall to let the kids play a bit and to grab up a Steelers tee for Noah. The day was finished off with a stop at a brand new Target where my children acted like hooligans. I left there swearing that I never wanted to return. Of course we all know that I couldn't really be serious!

I really wanted to fall into bed at the end of the day but instead I had dinner with some girlfriends and my Mom. We ate at Baxter Station Bar & Grill, which is a funky little place in Louisville. I had seen it written up in Southern Living magazine and really wanted to try it. I was not dissapointed. The food was delish! I had an amazing blackened chicken cobb salad with an avocado dressing...YUM! The best part was the phenomenal peanut butter cake I had for dessert. I brought a bit home with me and finished it off today. I seriously wanted to lick the was that good!

Today has been spent making potato soup, doing laundry and resting a bit. The weather is so terrible...cold and rainy. We have plans to do the same thing tomorrow.

One last photo...note to self: don't expect a great photo when everyone has to stare into the sun!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This last month....

I have been MIA for most of the month of September. I was so busy that I hardly had time to update my Facebook status, which as most of you know, is a rare occurance. There were several reasons that I did not have an overabundance of free time on my hands....
One reason is that my inlaws were visiting for the month. Yes, a whole month! They live in Colombia (yep, in South America) so when they visit they usually stay for awhile. The norm for their visits is usually two weeks, but this time I was feeling adventurous. Plus, they had not yet met Noah and I wanted them to have time to spend with him. They are only young once (the kids, not the inlaws, although it's true of them too). So, they arrived at the end of August and stayed until the end of September. I wish I could say that we did a bunch of amazing fun things with them, but that's not the case. Mainly, Carlos and his Dad did a zillion and one projects around the house that were way overdue. I now have freshly painted shutters on my house and new screens in all the windows! I also have a tidy and well organized garage with new shelving. We have a new firepit in our backyard and a new lid for our septic tank (gag). The grass has also been well loved and various other items on our "To Do" list are checked off. We also put Carlos's Mom to slackers at our house! She is a fantastic seamstress and we took full advantage of her skills! Carlos has newly hemmed pants and we have various home items that have been repaired. She also made a custom fitted Dorothy costume for Megan to wear this Halloween! All three girls have newly knitted hats, doll clothes, pillows, etc... The list is endless! So, I have been off the computer for most of the month because I was busy making sure our guests/workers were well taken care of. :)

I have also been quite busy with homeschooling. We have a full load each day and it doesn't leave a lot of time for relaxing. I think a lot of it was just getting all the wrinkles ironed out. I am hoping to have a bit more free time now that I am fully familiar with our curriculum and we have gotten into a rhythm. We added a new Bible curriculum this week and I love it! It's more time consuming but it has lots of activities and crafts for the girls to do...they love it too!

I feel we spent a large portion of September running from place to place as well. The girls started American Heritage Girls for the year so we had a bit of work involved with that. Mostly gathering the various bits and pieces for their uniforms and trying to decide what badges we needed to order/work on this year. This year is Megan's first year in the organization and she was pretty excited about that. Annie participated last year but has moved to a new squad this year with other girls in the second grade (last year's squad was full of girls who were a year older than she was). I also had my monthly Bunco fun to attend as well as a yummy Tastefully Simple party.

So, if you throw all that stuff together and mix well, it means you don't have much time to update your blog, respond to emails or even update your Facebook status! Here are some photos of our busy month. Enjoy!

My inlaws relaxing by the firepit.

Carlos cooking hotdogs over our newly built firepit.

Three generations of Herrera men!

Our only, slightly decent, family photo.