Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dyer Park - The Last Visit

This morning we were able to go back to Dyer Park and complete the last hike, which was around the perimeter of the park. It was a very pleasant day and we had a nice time. 
Ready to start!
As you can see, this was a flat trail.
It was kind of fun recognizing trails that we have done previously.

It's been a little dry this week; when we hiked the hill it was green. Still gorgeous though.
Time to go home. 
Visit #1, Visit #2, Visit #3. Next up: Flamango Park!

Halloween Countdown #10

Happy Halloween!
Halloween Haiku: 
We made it to another Halloween! Hope you're having a wonderful day. Here's the haiku that won the overall family favorite honors. We hope your trick-or-treating doesn't end in fleeing, screaming children!
Dad's Great Costume
The doorbell rings twice.
A father opens the door.
Children flee screaming.

Costume Idea: Dad's Eyes
Most of you will probably realize that Wayne's eyes were the inspiration for the above poem, and I thought it was time you learned the story of how that costume came to be.

When he was in high school his stake had monthly youth dances, and each one had a theme based on a movie. For example, one time they had a "South Pacific" dance and another time a "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" one. The music was played by a live band, and the ward in charge was responsible for providing a skit while the band took their break.

One year his ward was assigned the annual Halloween costume dance in October, with the movie theme "Frankenstein." They decided a lip synced version of "Monster Mash" would be perfect for their skit.

The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, 'The Crypt-Kicker Five'

They played the mash, they played the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They played the mash, it caught on in a flash
They played the mash, they played the monster mash
He recreated the look for a work Halloween party in 1983.
Wayne was assigned the part of Igor and was accompanied by some girls playing the baying hounds. Those eyes were part of his costume (the original ones were glow-in-the-dark), along with an old tuxedo (stuffed with a pillow to make him hunch-backed) and chains wrapped around his waist and ankles. 
With no chains or humpback, Igor transforms to Laser Blazer!
He absolutely loved the reaction he got - everyone at the dance thought it was the grossest thing ever - so he determined to keep the costume as long as he could. Eventually we got rid of the tuxedo and we're on the second pair of eyes, but I imagine they'll have a spot in his nightstand drawer until the end of time.
One year I was crocheting a Christmas bell ornament and Wayne decided that the shape would make an awesome nose warmer. He asked me to make one for him and he added that along with a nylon stocking mask to make his costume even better!

Pinterest Idea: Candy Bark
This just looks like fun. If you need to use up a variety of your trick-or-treating stash, here's a great option. (We normally don't have any problem with just eating it in its original form!) It's also a wonderful way to use up any extra eyeballs from yesterday's monster cookies. You can find the instructions here, but basically just melt a bunch of semi-sweet chocolate chips, pour onto a cookie sheet, and arrange candy on top. Chill, then slice.
Halloween Candy Bark Recipe from @justataste:
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Countdown #9

Halloween Haiku: Family Favorite #2

Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins sitting still
Soaking the midnight moonshine
In the autumn breeze

Costume Idea: Costumes from the Store
Sometimes you just don't want to create your own costume. Fortunately, there's an entire industry dedicated to helping us avoid that. Unfortunately, we have to pay for that privilege. There are times, though, when it's the perfect option.

Black Cat

Soccer Player
And sometimes you take the super, super, super easy route and just put on your soccer uniform and call it good! I call it cheating.

Pinterest Idea: Monster Cookies
This one we actually have tried, and we liked them. I was able to find the candy eyes in the holiday section of the grocery store, and I would suggest using the largest diameter ones you can find. Here's the link to the original recipe.
Ooey Gooey Monster Eye Cookies Recipe - so good and perfect for Halloween!:

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Countdown #8

Halloween Haiku: Family Favorite #3

Pumpkin Guts and Glory
Cut the pumpkin top.
Scoop out the seeds and damp slime.
Jack-o-lantern scowls.

Costume Idea: Double-Duty
When the boys were younger we lived near Ogden, Utah where it turned cold in the winter. Basing Halloween costumes on sweats meant that they had brand new pajamas for the winter.
It can't get much simpler than color-coordinated sweats and a paper plate mask or tin foil hat!
Unless it's a ninja headband and some strong muscles!!

Pinterest Idea: Edible Spiders
Here are a couple of cute ideas to make spiders out of crackers or donuts with pretzels and M&M or Reese's pieces eyes. Just be careful trying to push the pretzels into the donut. When I tried something similar a few years ago, I ended up with a lot of broken pretzels! Oh, and if you want to be healthier, skip the chocolate and use raisins for the cracker spider eyes.
Ritzy Halloween Spiders.:   donut-pretzel-spiders-halloween-easy-fun-kid-craft

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Countdown #7

Halloween Haiku: Family Favorite #4
This is a silly one Michelle created before FHE as practice. She was surprised it was one of the overall favorites!

Halloween Haiku #37
Bat, bat, bat, bat, bat
Jack-o-lantern pumpkin bat,
Bat, bat, bat, bat, bat.

Costume Idea: Clowns
When toddlers go trick-or-treating, it's for the parents, not the children. Those first years we didn't go very far, and we certainly didn't have any extra money for elaborate costumes. In addition I had no desire to introduce the dark and scary side of Halloween to my babies. So, the default costume for years was a clown. That first year I made some pom-pom buttons and sewed a simple collar. After putting some of my lipstick on their cheeks and attaching a balloon to their hat, we were good to go!
Weston - 1984
David & Weston - 1985
David and Weston - 1986
Brad - 1990
Michelle - 1995

Pinterest Idea: Cake Ideas
Sometimes it's easier to make one giant cake instead of a bunch of cupcakes. You can still have fun with that. Here's an idea that used two sizes of Oreos and M&Ms to create a Monster Eye Cake

DIY Monster Eye Cake ~ The eyes are made with Oreos and Junior Mints/M&Ms. Clever!:

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Countdown #6

Halloween Haiku: Family Favorite #5
This is a silly one Michelle created before FHE as practice. She was surprised it was one of the overall favorites!

Halloween Haiku #37
Bat, bat, bat, bat, bat
Jack-o-lantern pumpkin bat,
Bat, bat, bat, bat, bat.

Costume Idea: Kid Creations
Some of my favorite costumes over the years have been ones the kids designed and made.

5 Headed Monster
Could an adult even come up with this concept? It started as a costume for a Cub Scout skit, and made a reappearance on Halloween.

Wizards were popular even before Harry Potter! Weston cut the brim off of a witch's hat and added sticker stars to it, crafted a beard out of batting, attached paper stars to the black cape and made a wand out of foil.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
It had to be Leonardo, because he had a blue headband. The shell was made out of felt, attached to the back shell by shoulder straps, and held in place with a belt. The wrist bands, made many, many years ago, were my inspiration for our wrist cuffs this year.

70's Girl
Michelle tie-dyed her own shirt, I sewed a vest and crocheted a headband for her, and we turned her regular pants into bell bottoms.

Homestar Runner and Mario
Dad's collection of hats came in handy this year. 

Pinterest Idea: Cupcake Ideas
Here's a Halloween version of our favorite Jello Poke Cake. Doesn't it look festive?
Halloween cupcakes--yellow poke cake with orange jello and chocolate icing!:
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Countdown #5

Halloween Haiku: Family Favorite #6
Halloween Haiku #13
Skeletons, candy,
Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and ghouls.
It is Halloween!

Costume Idea: Costume Evolution
As part of our "year of the fancy costumes" we made a dinosaur/alligator costume for Steven out of paper bags, a shoe box and paint. He shed everything but the hat before I had a chance to take a picture.
However, I found the original instructions with a picture in my file. Isn't that darling? Our version was even better, if I do say so myself. So, we carefully packed it away and he wore it again the next year. And once again I didn't take a picture.
However, I did get a picture the year we transformed it from an alligator into Charizard!
We also used the same concept and made a Dalmatian costume for Michelle. Basically, just cut a neck and arm holes in a paper grocery bag, with a slit down the front. It helps if you reinforce the cuts with tape. Then paint as desired!

Many, many years later, the costume made an appearance for Homecoming Week at the high school. Isn't it wonderful when you can reuse something over and over and over? We never would have thought we'd get so much use and enjoyment from a simple paper bag!
Since it matches the theme, I won't bother correcting the red-eye.

Pinterest Idea: Cupcake Ideas
You can't go wrong with M&Ms, can you? I imagine these are also sprinkled with Oreo crumbs. Nope, it's black sugar, but I'm sure Oreo crumbs would work as well.
Scary cupcakes with m & m eyes. Cute!:
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween Countdown #4

Halloween Haikus:
And a few more:
Cool Breeze
Chill breeze blowing through
Freezing me and freezing you
Now your face is blue

Halloween Joy
Christmas trees are up,
Children playing in the snow.
Oops . . . wrong holiday!

Ode to Edgar Allen Poe
Halloween’s dark night,
Razor blade in apple’s bite,
Ends in ghoulish fright.

Costume Idea: Planning and Effort Required!
One year I decided it would be fun to try some of the costume ideas I found in a Parents magazine. If you ever decide to do that, know that it's not something you can wait until October 30th to do! 

This was also before the days of the internet, so I can't give you a link to the original instructions, but here's one for the knight costume that looks similar. Basically we took a length of bubble wrap, cut a slit for the head, made a tie for the waist, and crafted a helmet from a paper paint bucket and cardboard. We also made a shield from an aluminum foil pizza pan.
I had my very first experience buying tubing by the foot at Home Depot for this costume! It was crafted from a plastic bucket, a utensil tray, the tubing, canning jar lids and star stickers. (Similar directions found here.) I know he chose this costume, so something else must have made him unhappy for the picture!

Black Wolf
At least he was smiling in this picture. Maybe he recognized that I feel much more comfortable creating costumes that just require fabric!

Sparkly fabric makes an ordinary dress special!
Link from Zelda
A fabric tunic is just as easy to make as one from bubble wrap!

One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater
Sometimes school projects take so much effort, that you just have to use them more than once. We created this costume for Weston's 1st grade Spring Program and kept it around for Halloween that year. First we made a piñata (balloon covered with newspaper and starch, then tissue squares glued on using the erase end of a pencil); however, there's a head inside instead of candy. Next we attached crêpe paper streamers to purple coveralls. This is another one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects!

Pinterest Idea: Cupcake Ideas
Polka Dot Cupcakes! Can decorating a cupcake get any easier than this? This would be the perfect treat if you spent all your free time making one of the costumes above!
Halloween Polka Dot Cupcakes - super easy choc frosting w/ orange reeses pieces and orange frosting with the brown pieces, adorable:
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Countdown #3

Halloween Haikus:
After that family night, we sent our haiku creations to the "not living at home" siblings and had them choose their favorites. For the next week we'll do a real countdown leading up to the family favorite on Halloween. Here are a few of the "practice" ones that didn't receive as many votes. Feel free to add your own poems to the comments!
Halloween Haiku #2
Laughter in the night
Getting candy; no true fright
What a joyful sight

Halloween Haiku #5
Spookiness at night
Getting candy with much fright
Fleeing out of sight

Halloween Haiku #17
Oh, what a delight!
How I love Halloween night!
Though it is a fright!

Halloween Haiku #54
Down the road walking,
To each door knock, knock, knocking.
“Trick-or-treat!” “Thank you!”

Costume Idea: Capes
Over the years we've made several capes for costumes, so I was kind of disappointed I had to sew two new ones this year! We had one with red lining, but there is a difference between a vampire cloak and a super hero cape.
That cape was lined and had a collar, but all of the rest of our capes were quite simple. This green one was just a serged square of cloth with a button and button hole carefully positioned. The first year it debuted as some sort of monster.
And the next year it adorned a friendly pirate.
Instead of a button and button hole, our blue cape has a couple of ties in that same position. Here's our green pirate's buddy, the blue pirate!
We also have a plain black cape. One year it completed a Darth Vader costume.
Several years later it was the perfect magician's cape.
The wonderful thing about a cape is you don't need anything else to create a Halloween costume, although brandishing a light saber in addition to the cape can't hurt!

Pinterest Idea: Cupcake Ideas
Just drizzle white icing on your cupcake and add some candy eyes. That's pretty simple, and cute, too!
Not sure about the cupcake recipe itself, but this is a cute decorating idea.:
Happy Halloween!