Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's Halloween Time!

A perfect Halloween treat - Ooey Gooey Monster Eye Cookies { lilluna.com }
A while ago I saw these cookies on Pinterest and thought they would be fun to make this year. Here's the recipe if you want to try them yourself.  Made with a cake mix and cream cheese, the texture is a little different than your normal chocolate chip cookie, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
It's a fairly straight forward recipe - mix the dough, chill it (much longer than the suggested 30 minutes), bake and plop in the eyes. I wonder if they make these candy eyeballs in different sizes, or if my cookie dough balls were too big, because the eyes seemed out of proportion. I tried doing more than one eye on a few of them, but wasn't satisfied with that either. Although they didn't turn out quite like the original, it was a delicious experiment.
Here's the next pin I thought I'd try this year:
Halloween treats..Witches Broomsticks.....so easy and cute!
You can't go wrong with Reese's peanut butter cups, right?
Since they've invented these cute little mini ones, I thought I'd save myself the trouble of unwrapping candies and go that route. I figured the ratio of pretzel to candy would look more like a real broom as well.
Unfortunately, they were too small, and sticking in the pretzel caused them to collapse. So, I went back to the store and got the regular sized ones.
I probably could have just persevered with the mini ones, because the larger ones also had "collapsing" problems. I had the greatest success with the ones that you could tell had thin bottoms.
I think they turned out okay, and even the rejects were delicious!
However, I didn't avoid the mess of wrappers that needed cleaning up at the end.
Simple and Sweet - with just the right amount of salt!
Here are a couple of things I'm going to try tomorrow when we get ready for the trick-or-treaters. We'll see if they turn out successfully!
Just a trash bag! Spooky!
Cut strips out of a black garbage bag and hang across the entry.
balloons + glow sticks + cheesecloth = awesome
Stick a glow-stick in a balloon and drape cheese cloth over before hanging.
Googly Eyes Halloween Wreath made from ping pong balls.
I came across this wreath made out of ping pong balls and googly eyes and it gave me the idea to try creating some sort of scripture mastery game out of googly-eye ping pong balls. However, ping pong (or table tennis) balls are more expensive than I imagined, and while looking for them I saw these orange practice golf balls. They look just like pumpkins, don't they? So I bought them instead.
At home I printed off some "leaves" with our scripture mastery key words, threaded the curling ribbon through a couple of holes in the ball, and tied them on. Tomorrow in seminary we'll have a little relay - go get a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, bring it back to your team, look up the scripture, and when everyone's found it, go get another pumpkin. Hopefully the activity turns out well! At least the little "pumpkins" are cute.
We discovered that Trunk-or-Treat isn't quite as fun when your own kids aren't around to share it with them, but we still had a good time. It's always fun seeing the creative costumes, and the chili was yummy, too.
I actually wore a costume this year - a non-politically correct Indian dress left over from Cub Scout Day Camp days - but didn't think about taking a picture of myself. I did get one of Wayne, wearing his traditional "googly eyes" and scaring unsuspecting minions.
Enjoy your holiday traditions and celebrations!
Happy Halloween!
Photo: It's amazing, but the Pinterest ideas actually worked (although I didn't have any white balloons in the house, so yellow has to do the job). Happy Halloween!
The ideas worked!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Gorgeous Day in Paradise

There's a reason we picked Florida when we were choosing between the job here and the job in Philadelphia! The temperatures dipped a few degrees (I know, nothing like what you're experiencing!) but that actually made our scheduled trip to the beach more pleasant. It wasn't too hot and muggy, yet still plenty warm enough to enjoy the water. And the scenery was gorgeous.
MacArthur State Park surrounds this beautiful estuary. Someday we'll return and try kayaking the perimeter.
After taking the trek across the boardwalk, which continues over the dune, you reach the beach.
Isn't that a gorgeous view?
We arrived just in time to see a flock of birds fly overhead.
See, Grandpa went swimming. (I just waded at the edge and took pictures.)
Although we chose to go here because it was next on the "beach" list, it's also a state park, so we'll be returning. Next time we'll read all the exhibits in the visitor's center and take the Dunes Nature Trail. Doesn't that look like it will be fun?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finishers Wanted - Today's Version

It's been a while since I've done one of these "Finishers Wanted" posts, but I know Michelle, at least, will be happy to know that the pictures we bought at SunFest in May (see here) are now framed and hanging on the wall!

And the first rock in Wayne's rock collection has an official home.

Plus the computer room closet remodel is finished, at least it's been painted, had new shelves installed, and the door is rehung. (We started the project in June.)
I'm still in the process of refilling it in a logical, organized fashion. That's harder to do than you might think, but we're making progress.
Hope you're all having a great Friday!