Halloween Night

It's Halloween night and the kids are out with Trey trick or treating. I think they were planning on hitting a few neighborhood houses before they drove over to a friend's house to hit their area. I'm holding down the fort for all the trick or treating that will come to our door.

August was a mime again tonight...he's taking his role pretty seriously and has worked out an act for saying "trick or treat"...we'll see how long that lasts.

Hazel was a day of the dead skeleton last night but has decided to just be a plain old skeleton tonight.

I'm the bearded lady...or Trey's beard...you decide.
And Trey, who has been establishing a rather nice assortment of costumes through the years, is a Sumo Wrestler this year.

This Is Halloween

August and Hazel had another successful Halloween party.
They both did so much more for the this year's party. They made party favors for the kids who came, August labeled all the fool, Hazel decorated the table. It gets better and better as they get older.
Here are their guests:
The Witch, the Magician and the Rockers.

The Soccer Dad, the Grim Reaper and a Witch.

Two dudes, a lady, a Pirate and of course, Snow White.

I Dream of Genie and a dead pilot.

Stephanie, I can't remember who you were...but you looked good! A Texan, Karate Kid and a Fairy-Princess-Ballerina.
An old man, the fortune teller, a kitty and a Ranger's Apprentice.

Death, a Witch, a Beatnik and Tink.

The Mad Hatter, a Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew.

The pictures are horrible...I was just in a hurry to snap each family before they all split up.
August and Hazel had the kids all downstairs watching Monster House, playing Rock Band and in the end they tried to watch House of Frankenstein with Francis.


Feeling Better

Hazel is feeling much better, thank you very much. She hasn't had a fever since Sunday night. Technically she could've gone back to school today but she's been coughing and sneezing all over the place so I kept her home one extra day. It was actually kind of nice having her home with energy. We went out to Ballard to pick up some paints from the craft store so the kids could finish their skulls:

She's been on this Day of the Dead kick since studying it last year. She wants to be a Day of the Dead skeleton for Halloween (can you believe Halloween is in a few days?). It really shouldn't have surprised me that she asked for bright colors while we were at the craft store.

August is going for a more realistic look to his skulls...white with black. Although he did mention that maybe we could do half and half. The skulls will be given to the kids who come to the Halloween party we're having on Friday night.

August had guitar practice at School of Rock today after school. I'm always a bit frazzled on Tuesdays as I have to pick him up and run him right up to practice. He came out of the school right on time but then had to run back in because he forgot the pumpkin he picked out from the patch today. So, I sighed and told him to please hurry. He was probably gone for ten minutes, and we really were doing fine on time, but again...it's Tuesday and I'm frazzled.
I say to Hazel, "Come on! What's taking that boy so long? I thought he just had to grab his pumpkin!!"
To which Hazel replied, "See? Don't you wish August had a cell phone? If he had a cell phone you could call him right now and tell him to hurry up. Instead we have to do the old fashioned thing. And the old fashioned thing is called....waiting!"
She's definitely feeling better. You gotta love that girl.


New Fall Favorite

I picked up some Cream of Wheat on a whim the other day...can't remember the last time I had some...
This has turned into our favorite fall breakfast. Make the Cream of Wheat with milk, stir in some vanilla and brown sugar. Chop up some almonds and dried apricots and eat up.
Both the kids gobble it up in the mornings and it leaves them feeling full and warm.
Let me know if you try it!


Cooking Skulls

Well, Hazel is sick, sick, sick.
August has a few things to do today so he'll get out of the house-
thank God Trey is home this weekend! He's been running around town
gathering things for Hazel and taking the dogs out and bringing August
to the movies.
I spent many hours last night listening to Hazel breathe while I
scoured the Internet for things to do for Halloween. Found this gem
sometime between 3:44 and 7:00am on a blog called alphamom:

We made them out of salt dough (1/2 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water) and cooked them for 2 hours at 200. We'll paint them later tonight, hopefully Hazel will be feeling a bit more energetic by then.



Fall is moving so quickly. Trey's birthday is over, the Halloween decorations are officially up, the weather has turned and darkness is upon us earlier and earlier every evening. Hazel's birthday is next for our family. Her conversations consist of wondering what she'll get for her special day. Trey and I are thinking of giving her a bass guitar and having her take some lessons. She's also very much into American Girl Dolls but is planning on asking Santa for Julie for Christmas so I'm not sure she'll ask for any AG items for her birthday.

The Bazan Family (minus one Bazan) went along with us to the annual family pumpkin patch visit. It was a preplanned event but the weather made it difficult to follow through with our original plans. We ended up going to a local patch/petting zoo/backyard farm to smell, I mean see some animals and pick some pumpkins.


Happy Birthday!

It's Trey's birthday today. Wick and Chee Chee sent him his favorite southern treats just in the nick of time, so I woke early today to warm the oven so he can wake up to the yummy smell of Sister Schubert's Blueberry Rolls. He's going to be so happy.



Hazel and I found this rocky beach while August was at soccer practice.
She stood on the rocks for a while and said, "This is a good place to
be a kid."


The witch came back...and she brought along a few of her little friends!

Trey's birthday is tomorrow! We're going to take him to see Where the Wild Things Are after dinner...I've already bought our tickets as I'm sure it's going to be a sold out show.
We were talking about how birthdays become less and less an event during the ages of 31-49. You know, you have a big party to make yourself feel better when you turn 30, but then each year just comes and goes until you turn another big milestone, like 50. It's not depressing, it's just another day with the hopes of something special like dinner at your favorite place.
But we'll make Trey feel special. The kids picked out the gift they wanted to give him about a month ago...it's been sitting in my closet since then. August wants to take him out to get a skateboard so they can go to the skate parks together...so sweet. I think they're going to do that at some point on Sunday.
Saturday we have plans for August's soccer game and then a trip with Ann, El and Nils to the pumpkin patch. We might even go to the school's fall carnival if we're not too water logged from the earlier events.
It's a big weekend here at the Many House.


Jobs Revisited

About a year ago I posted this post about family life and the responsibilities that were given to the kids in my family growing up. I found myself thinking about it after dinner and thought I would revisit the ideas that were written.

We had pot roast tonight for dinner. It was perfect. Trey brought August home from a cold night of soccer ready to eat a warm, hardy meal. Conversation was flowing, we talked about our days, about the good and the bad. August is still struggling with finding the good in his day but honestly, it's so much better than it was this time last year. It was so encouraging to re-read the old post and realize that things are shifting in our family. The kids are getting along much better these days, August is sticking up for his little sister on a regular basis...things are good.
After dinner, much like the post from last year, I cleared my plate and allowed Trey and the kids to clean the kitchen.
While I can't say that it went as smoothly as I think it went when I was growing up, each of my kids tackled a part of cleaning. Hazel is great at clearing the table and wiping it down. August is a master of rinsing off the plates and putting them in the dishwasher.
I vividly remember being given the task of washing the dishes and thinking I had completed my task once the sink was empty of dishes...only to be called back into the kitchen by my dad. He explained (again and again) that I am only done with this task when the sink is CLEAN, not just clear.
I had to chuckle as I sat in the living room uploading photo evidence of the cleaning of the kitchen when I heard Trey call August back into the kitchen only to explain the same thing to my son. Remind me to inform Trey that he too will probably have to revisit this idea with the boy again and again.


The weather has turned. We're now dressing in layers and wearing mittens on our walks to and from school. The dogs seek out the warmest place in the house and are very sad about not being able to sit on our couch to cuddle in the evening.
I'm not a fan of cold weather, and believe me, Seattle doesn't really get cold, not when you compare it to Michigan cold! The weather isn't my favorite but what comes with it is...lighting candles in the evening, hot dinners, blankets wrapped around our cold bodies while we read to each other.
Tonight we're having pot roast. The house smells warm and delicious. Tuesday is one of those busy days I've mentioned, but pot roast is perfect for a day like this. I prepared it at lunch and it will simmer in the oven while I pick the kids up and shuffle them to August's guitar practice and then over to soccer. Trey's going to pick August up from soccer so I'll be able to get back here and get the table set and pull the roast out before the boys get home.


Two Things I Love

Trey and I were lucky enough to go to a wedding in September. I'm always worried that we'll be going to less and less weddings as we get older but thankfully, they keep on coming.
This particular wedding had a photo booth at the reception...can I just say that I love this idea?
There was a consistent line of people wanting to get in the booth, often allowing the bride and groom to cut the line so that they could get more silly pictures of themselves on their big day.
Trey and I made it in the booth twice and we spent the rest of the reception on the dance floor.



August has his first band practice at School of Rock. He'll be playing
CCR music on stage in a few months. His practice lasts 3 hours each
Sunday so Hazel and I took the dogs to the park and then had lunch at
Top Pot. Let's hope this doesn't become a habit!



It can be so hard!!


August has a Blog

Well, August started his own blog as well.


I'm not gonna lie, it took him 1/2 hour to type his first entry so I'm hoping he'll master the art of scanning real soon!


Hazel has a blog

Hazel worked on a blog of her own tonight.
Here's her address

Please be patient as I transcribe her words...I'll do my best to keep things going in her voice.



It always takes me a while to adjust to a new schedule...and this school year is just proving that point.
I'm noticing that as the kids get older, they get busier. August is helping the school out 3x a week by doing crossing guard action which means that he needs to be there before 9:00 on those days. Both kids are involved with the choir that takes place the other 2 mornings so they have to be there by 8:50 on those days. And that's just the before school activities!
Between School of Rock and soccer after school I have a hard time keeping my days straight. I've been happy with the cool breeze that's been creeping across Seattle these days because it means that I can prepare stew and chili in the middle of the day. Coming home to a hot meal at the end of a day full of running from this end of town to the next has been very nice.
I do spend too many hours trying to find the easiest dinners for Tuesday nights though. We don't get home until after 7:00pm on these nights. Tonight? We're having bean and cheese burritos, Hazel's favorite. Quick and easy.
But because it's a semi-hot meal I decided to make a dessert while the kids are in school. I look at this gal's website pretty regularly and have tried a few of her recipes...but I couldn't pass this one up: YUM!

I'll let you know how they turn out...but right now? My house smells like warm peanut butter and chocolate!



Our weekend is almost over...today was filled with rain, BBQ, a movie
and some good old Chuy's.
We go home tomorrow night. These qiuck trips are so wonderful.