Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pumpkin Carving 2013

Our entire family LOVES carving pumpkins! We have done it every single year since Adam and I met. Not only have we taught our children how to do it, but we also taught our exchange students how to years ago.

We have each of the kids draw a few options on paper before they get going on the actual pumpkin. Once they have the design they like best, they draw them on the pumpkin using a black Sharpie marker (or as the kids call them "Mommy markers").

Adam and I are made to cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the "guts". Honestly for scooping we have found that a metal soup spoon works the best. All the innards go into a big bowl where we can later roast the seeds. (We like leaving a little of the flesh on the seeds while roasting, they turn out the best that way!)

We then give the kids the Pampered Chef kid safe knives to carve out the face shapes. These are the best for the job! We don't have to worry about the kids accidentally cutting themselves and they saw through the pumpkin with ease.

D's pumpkin

My pumpkin

L's pumpkin

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall Library Fun! October

This month at the library was another fun filled one! Lego Club, Magic Tree House Club, Science Club, Halloween craft day that I put on, and trick or treating at the library!!

L is picking up on our Dr. Who fandom and created what he thinks the Tardis should look like.

This month, the book we read for the Magic Tree House was Dolphins At Daybreak. The kids had a blast doing fun activities, one of which was making deep sea diving masks. Here they showed them off for me.

This month for Science Club we learned about bats! They had this neat experiment showing us a little about echo location. Using paper towel tubes and a pie pan, each friend takes turns whispering into the tube angled at the pan while the other friend listened. They also made little paper bats to hang up at home. Both of my kids kept them in their science notebooks.

Our annual Halloween craft day! We had toss a dice monster drawings...

Thumbprint spider webs...

foam mummy ghost bookmarks, along with potato stamp ghosts, and spider play dough.

And lastly one of the libraries had a great Halloween afternoon. The kids got to come in costume, make crafts, listen to stories, see a puppet show, and go trick or treating to stations from local companies. A great time was had by all!!!

Trunk or Treat 2013

Every year we would participate in a trunk or treat with the mom's group we were a part of. This year, a few of us close friends are no longer part of the group (aged out), and still wanted to carry on this fun tradition! So we used what we did in the past and invited friends from everywhere. All of our kids go to different schools, so we invited school friends, and any of our remaining friends from the old group. We had a fantastic turn out!!! There were all kinds of goodies that were handed out. We started with a costume parade, the kids then went car to car, then we all headed to a picnic shelter for a pot luck lunch. After lunch the kids were able to go a run all that sugar energy out on the play ground!

D's 1st grade zoo field trip

Every year the 1st grade class gets to go on a fall field trip to our local zoo. D was really bummed last year when she was in kindergarten that she couldn't go with big brother. I reminded her that she would get to go this year with her own friends. So the time came for the permission slips to come home for this year's trip and she insisted that I had to go with, like I wouldn't anyway. It turned out to be the perfect day for the trip. In October, you never really know what the weather will bring here in Northern Indiana. Last year for their trip to the pumpkin patch it was rainy, muddy, and bitter cold. As you can see from the pictures, some of the kids were wearing shorts!! Summer just didn't want to give up this year. D's teacher has not lived in this area for years now, and is finally back. Well she was unfamiliar with the changes to the zoo, so D, another mom, and I helped her out with our knowledge of the zoo. We have been here so many times over the years that we really have learned things that most people have not heard before. 

We started out by meeting up with the classes, and finding our children and their partner. Each buddy gets a clipboard, highlighter, and a sheet with different types of animals. They are to color in a square every time they see an animal.

Trying to get the class together for a picture.

Take number 2! Like a friend has said, "It's like herding cats!"

After the walk around the zoo, everyone heads to a large picnic shelter for a picnic lunch. After lunch, all the kids head over to a fenced in playground area. They were super lucky too, because when they got back to school they had the privilege of going to a bounce house party in the gym as a reward for the fundraising sale we had this year.

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 Rain Gutter Regatta

We are well underway of our 2nd year of Cub Scouts, and we have learned a few tricks for our second rain gutter regatta. Adam and L took some time looking at pontoon boats on the web and studying the way they are shaped. They then got to work shaping and sanding the wood. L then picked out the color and got to work painting. He insisted it had to have a spider on the sail, and luckily enough, after digging through our sticker bin, found the perfect spider sticker. We also learned that it works best if the sail if hot glued into place. That way it doesn't spin while the boy is blowing on it during the race. (We also learned this year that having the sail the closest to the bottom of the boat causing it not to tip over during the race as well.)

A very happy boy to place 2nd in his den. Last year he was 5th!

He was then able to race in the finals. They took the top 2 from each den. He didn't win any of the top places, but did get a finalist medal.

He was over the moon to have a medal this year!

Halloween crafts Part 1 2013

We have been really inspired by some great crafts this year. Here is a taste of what we have been up to!

Fall Leaves

Origami Spiderwebs

Yearly Candy Corn Hand prints

Sponge painted Bats

Glue and Chalk Spider webs

Princess Leia buns

Princess Leia belt

Boo S'mores
Inspiration found from these wonderful blogs for all these crafts!
Fall Leaves
Spider Web Origami
Candy Corn Hand prints
Pastel Spider webs
Princess Leia buns
Boo Smores

Fall Library Fun! September

As many of you know, either by talking to me in real life or reading the blog over the years, we LOVE the library!!!! We are so very lucky to have 2 amazing library systems. They are always hosting free functions for the entire family, monthly book sales, free meeting rooms, and a huge selection of books, movies, music, and magazines. We did tons of fun activities over the summer through the summer reading program, and now they have some amazing fall age appropriate events as well. This year, since the kids are older, we have been able to sign up for the Magic Tree House Reading Club, a Science Club, and L gets to go to a Lego Club. All these are free and occur just 1 per month!

The month of September we read Midnight On the Moon. They got to watch the youtube video of the first man on the moon, and then they made craters. The librarians had 2 tubs full of flour. The kids each got to pick a ball of various sizes and materials, and drop straight down into the flour.

What they were left with looked just like craters on the moon!!

L had his first Lego club in September. He was very excited to see some old friends, and meet some new friends. They were split into groups, and allowed to build whatever it was they wanted. They also had some Lego themed books out for check out, and taught them the rules to follow that spelled out the word LEGO.

We also have signed up for a fun Science Club. In September we explored how and why leaves change colors. The librarians had tons of different leaves laid out on the table. They started out by having each kid tear up a leaf into tiny pieces and then grind it up in a mortar and pestle. They added it to some rubbing alcohol and put it in a water bath. Later they added some litmus paper to see the colors make their way up.

They also had a microscope set up with various leaves on slides for them to explore. They also did a fun craft that we had done in the past. They painted a tree with a brush, and then using a q-tip, painted leaves in fall colors on the trees.

And last but not least, a Fancy Nancy Tea Party!

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