Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Out of the backpack

My sister thought that my "out of the backpack" post a few weeks ago should become a regular feature on my blog. Since she is about a third of my audience (wink, wink) I decided to take her suggestion.

Remember the paper plate face that I told you Hailey made in my last post? This is NOT it. This is the paper plate face that Spencer came home with.

Here is what he wrote in case you don't have high power magnifying glasses on. And he knows his address, phone number and where he goes to school - I just choose to keep that information out of the blogosphere.

My name is Spencer. I have a pet cat.

I have 1 brother and 1 sister.

I love littl kids and cats.

I live at...

My phone number is....

I go to

My favorite food is corn on the cob.

I love books.

I like Mishagan State and Mishagan.

My favorite color is pink.

My best friend is D.J.

My favrite subject is Math.

My favrite movie is Litning Theif.

I am in 3rd grade.

I love that he wrote that he likes little kids and cats. So random. I love how he spelled Michigan. And his favorite color is pink? News to me.

Here is the paper plate face that Hailey made in school and had hanging in the hallway for all the office workers and moms and dads to see.

An amazing likeness of her huh? At least she did a little better on the glitter ghost.

I spent the day yesterday putting last minute touches on costumes and baking sugar cookies to take to Hailey's class party this morning. Last night we made our annual "graveyard cake" and carved our pumpkins. I spent the morning in Hailey's class and then dropped her off at Grama's to nap while I went into the boys' school to help with the annual pumpkin carving. Let me just say that counting pumpkin seeds is super fun! Since I have been home I have been trying to locate the popcorn popper so I can air pop a ton of corn to take into school tomorrow for the "ghostly hands" craft. I have also been making baking sheet after baking sheet of orange finger jello that still needs to be cut out with the pumpkin cookie cutter. Metal pans full of boiling water are REALLY hot and REALLY hard to move around!
It is hectic and it is a lot of work, but this is the job that I have always dreamed about. I can't imagine sitting at work behind a desk somewhere and missing all of this. I love it! And I can tell that they do too. The look on their little faces when you walk into their class to help with something is priceless and makes every burn on your finger and jello stain on the floor totally worth it. There will come a day when they will not want me anywhere near their school. And I know that day will be here in what seems like a blink. Today they ran and hugged me when I walked in the classroom. Best job EVER! You could not pay me to be anywhere else!

Monday, October 25, 2010


One of my newest hobbies is thrifting. Goodwill. Garage Sales. Consignment shops. I don't get much of an opportunity to engage in it, but when I do, I love to see what I can come home with for a bargain.

A lot of Hailey's clothes are thrifted. Which is so funny when I think back on how much money I spent on Spencer's clothes from department stores, Old Navy or the GAP. What a waste of money and creativity. I remember getting Christmas cards when Spencer was little and seeing all the cute little smiling boy faces all dressed in the same red snowflake GAP sweater that Spencer was wearing on our card. Don't get me wrong, I do still purchase clothes for my kids that have not been previously owned but they are mostly from Meijer, Walmart or TJ Maxx.

Poor Hailey is forced to model her new duds when we throw an outfit together because I always think she looks so cute.

A two dollar Goodwill find. GAP leopard print sweater. When we got home I realized it was missing a button. The buttons are sort of diamond-y looking. Click on the photo and it will make it big and then really look at the buttons. I found some at the craft store but when I got them home realized they were just a little bigger than the ones on the sweater. Because I have a sickness, I thought a big button in the middle of the sweater would look goofy. So I cut the button off of the top and moved it to the missing spot and sewed the big button as the first button of the sweater. That is my kind of crazy. Sew on two buttons instead of one. Make MORE work for yourself. It is so cute though - and a size 6/7 so it should fit her for at least another year.

Don't miss the "hands on your hip and your finger on your lip" pose. Or the shocking red fingernail polish she picked out. I love this white peasant-y blouse. One dollar at Goodwill.

Black GAP poncho. Two dollars at Goodwill. I am a sucker for a poncho. I don't know what was up with the light in that photo. If you knew how many tries it took me to get a picture where her face wasn't completely washed out you would never believe me. I must have had something set wrong on the camera. Good grief.

Finally, it takes a pretty stylish little girl to rock out her brothers outgrown camo pants. She calls them her hunting pants and claims she can wear them out geocaching with Daddy. I don't dress her like a boy very often. I already have two boys to dress - I like her to be girly. But I think the flowers on the shirt and hat accomplish that. The shoes are another story - sometimes you just have to pick your battles.
On a totally unrelated note: One of my favorite drink mix makers - The Frozen Slushie company is having a giveaway. If you have a blog and mention them on your blog - they will send you one of their yum-o drink mixes for free. They are amazingly delicious and the little dotted bags they come in are the cutest! Go check them out!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Children of the (anti) Corn (maze).

Last weekend we headed out on our annual tradition to the pumpkin patch. Although this pumpkin patch is actually becoming more of a pumpkin like Disneyland. How I long for just a regular ol' pumpkin patch where my kids can find the perfect gourd, play in some hay or cornstalks and maybe, just maybe have a cup of hot apple cider and a warm sugar donut. Why does every place we find have to get bigger and add more "attractions" and get exponentially more expensive every year?

The kids were crazy about feeding the animals. I was a good mom and let them do their thing without my own distaste for barn animals and their disgusting germy mouths hinder their enjoyment.

They jumped to their little hearts content on the giant jumping pillow.

I almost titled this post "The day I should have attempted my Christmas card photo". I took a lot of pictures of the three kids together at the pumpkin patch and I swear that in almost every photo they ALL look good. I am in genuine awe over the happy faces and the normal (dare I say cute?) looks on their faces. Too bad that I would never be able to live with myself if I even attempted to turn a photo with a pumpkin or some cornstalks into a Christmas card. It will never happen.

But seriously - just look at them!

All three rode on the pedal bikes. This picture makes me laugh. My three road hogs in brown.

Spencer is becoming quite the little photog. I decided that I should at least show up at the pumpkin patch since I never made it to Art Prize. Ha!

You see what I mean?

Evan getting ready for a spin on the Boo train.

Spencer looking like he just realized that he is probably way too old for the Boo train.

Bunky on the Boo train. She LOVED it!

Chili dog and Cheeto faces. Maybe that is why they are so happy.

Ah...the corn maze. Spencer and Trent really wanted to do the corn maze. We all had tickets since the kids had wristbands for the whole park (I mean PATCH!). We finally convinced Evan and Hailey that it would be fun. It wasn't fun. Hailey begged to be carried the whole time. It was crowded so we basically just followed the same people through the maze. Last year it was a little haven of refuge from the wind. This year it was HOT. We came to the conclusion that next year we are NOT going to do the corn maze. We will give it a couple more years to grow on them.

You call it corn. We call it MAZE! (Get it?)

My children of the corn are super cute though.

After emerging from the dreaded maze and getting something to drink, we headed to the pumpkin patch to finish up the day.

The boys each picked out their pumpkin. Hailey already had a pumpkin at home that I begrudgingly bought her at Meijer for three dollars and ninety nine cents. I thought the price seemed high. Had I known how much the pumpkins the boys picked out were going to cost, they all would have been getting pumpkins from Meijer. Over thirteen bucks for two pumpkins! If some teenagers come by and smash those things I am going to hunt them down!

While in the patch, Hailey hit a wall of exhaustion and the fleeting few hours of perfect photos came to an end. Can you see Hailey's face in this picture? It is scary - she looks like she wants to kill me.

So we headed home with a bag full of apples, a gallon of cider, a half dozen donuts and our two gold filled pumpkins. All in all a pretty great day at Pumpkinland.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Art Prize

We let the kids play hooky from school for a couple of hours last Friday and headed to Grand Rapids to see some of the Art Prize entries. It was a gorgeous day. Almost hot. The kids were mostly bored and whined about having to walk all over the city. We came to the conclusion that they are maybe on the young side to appreciate how awesome this event really is.

One of the top ten finalists.

They never amaze me with their ability to sniff out a park nearby or any kind of ride in the vicinity. The museum has a carousel and they wasted no time telling us that was where they wanted to be.

This is not a great photo, but I wanted to document Hailey in her "waving to us wherever she is" phase. She always waves to us lately. At gymnastics after she does her trick. At school when she is in line walking back from the gym. At the pumpkin patch while jumping on the giant pillow. She is a waver - and it is totally cute.

This was also in the top ten and it was Evan's favorite entry. A giant penny made out of tons of regular size pennies. Very, very cool.

A close up of the penny.

While we were walking around downtown we saw a bridal party getting photos taken in front of some of the buildings. Hailey was mesmerized by the bride and the girls in their fancy dresses. She kept saying "Mom! I never saw a real live married girl before!" Then went on to repeat for the rest of the night, "You may kiss the bride!".

The kids LOVED this car filled with rubber duckies. I don't know if it was an art entry or a chance to win the car or what. They didn't care. They thought it was awesome. I think the building and the sky reflected in the car window is kind of awesome.

Self portrait. The only picture of me from the whole day.

Ladies face made out of corks. So cool.

The giant pig in the back ground was also a top ten finalist. I heard a rumor that it is staying where it is in front of the BOB in downtown GR. This one was one Spencer's favorites. He really liked the coffin made out of cigarettes - well actually signing the guest book next to the coffin made out of cigarettes.

While we were walking back to our car we came across this guy playing the didgeridoo. Apparently my kids inherited their father's love of street performers because my kids were enthralled with him - especially Hailey and Evan. They were on the ground in front of this didgeridoo hitting the cement to the music and dancing around. They are such characters.

And now I know how Hailey got the tops of her BRAND NEW shoes scuffed up on the first day she wore them!

Art Prize is amazing! But I think next year we will get a sitter and see a lot more of the entries without the constant whine fest we had dragging along with us. They were good for the ages they are - we just forget sometimes that they are the ages they are.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Say cheese!

Hailey got her school pictures taken last week. I had to get a picture of her before her school pictures because she looked so cute I couldn't even stand it.

She wasn't a very willing subject which made me a little nervous for what was to come at school.

I seriously wish I could fit in her clothes. How cute is this dress?

It turns out I didn't have to worry at all because her pictures turned out perfect. I normally don't like school pictures AT ALL. But I loved these.

Now for a much less cute photo. I got my hair cut this week. One word for you. Bangs. The jury is still out on whether they are staying or not. Every time I walk by a mirror and catch a glimpse of myself I feel like I am seeing Rachel from Glee.

It is hard to take a picture of yourself in a mirror. You feel stupid smiling, but if you don't smile you just look mean. And my eyes are weird. Seriously, you are lucky I am posting this.

I went to the doctor yesterday and she told me I should lose twenty pounds. It is not like I didn't know that, it just kinda stinks to actually hear it. Better than thirty I guess.