Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015 - The Caped Crusaders

This year we went back and forth on costume ideas and landed on Batman and Robin for the boys. Dillon and I loved dressing up with Roman last year but decided not to go all out this year. I'm really glad we didn't spend the money on costumes, because we didn't end up trick or treating. The forecast predicted 100% chance of thunderstorms on Halloween, so we decided not to go out and to instead meet at IHOP again with friends. All of the kids were wild, but its IHOP, so no one really cares. They are used to being overrun with college kids.

To backtrack - on Saturday the 30th, we spent the day at the Schaefers and Collins Pumpkin Patch in Mayflower, AR, which we have gone to every year of Roman's life as one of our family fall traditions. We got our annual corn picture and took Nolan's first corn picture! It was such a contrast from last year when it was 80 degrees and swamped with people. This year it was in the 60's, windy, cloudy, and very calm since we had to wait so late in the season.

The whole day was pretty uneventful and pleasant. We even made a silly memory of running out the door without any of Nolan's diapers, so I had to put him in a size 5 disposable that we had in the bag. It was a full-body diaper.

On Halloween, we went out in costume to my doula office to what they called 'Doula Boola' for a treat and picture. Roman was not being very kind while playing and I had to take him away from his fun, so he was not happy to be in the picture.

That afternoon as we were debating whether we should take Roman trick or treating before meeting at IHOP, we heard a ring on our doorbell - at 3:45 someone was trying to trick or treat!! I'm not sure when that became ok. We didn't have any candy since we hadn't planned on being home to hand it out, so we pretended we weren't home. Sorry, but who is trick or treating in the middle of the afternoon?

It took about 30 minutes to get 1 decent picture of both of the boys (the one at the top of the post) and then we gave up and hit the road to IHOP.

Next year, I would love to decorate a little bit with harvest decor that could last through November and minister to the neighborhood by handing out candy. I would especially like to provide allergy-free treats because I know trick or treat can be disappointing and even dangerous for some.
If you would like to minister to kids with allergies by giving them something special on Halloween, check out The Teal Pumpkin Project for ideas.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Five Fall Traditions

This week I am linking up with some other great bloggers to share five fall traditions that my family keeps! My husband and I have only been married for 3 years and we are just building our family, so some of these traditions are new and some have been brought into our family from our childhoods.

I will say that Fall is my most favorite season! Even though I live in the South where it's still in the 70's through most of October and the leaves take a while to change, I love everything about this time. This year I started feeling that faint nostalgia around the end of September. The air got a little crisper, a few trees here and there are turning red and orange, and it's finally appropriate for Roman and I to watch Curious George Boofest (although I'll admit we have been watching it all year - it's so cute!).

One of my #FTL friends Aundi has written a perfect article on that Autumn Longing I feel every year. I couldn't have said it better myself! Fall just makes my heart full.

Visit A Pumpkin Patch
During our oldest son Roman's first October, we took him to a local, country pumpkin patch. He was only 10 months old, but he could walk, so it was fun to let him loose among the pumpkins on the vine. We also enjoyed posing with giant wooden cut-outs and hopping up in a trailer for a hayride. The next October, we brought him back at almost 2 years old and posed for some of the same pictures. He especially loved the barnyard animals and the playground. This year, he is almost 3 and loves Halloween and pumpkins, so I absolutely cannot wait to see his reaction to the pumpkin patch!

Dress Up for Halloween
One topic of debate has been should Christians celebrate Halloween? For my family, the answer is yes! I take great joy in putting together costumes that are fun for the whole family. On Roman's first Halloween, he was Yoda from Star Wars. We were able to help a friend who owns a crochet business by buying his costume hat from her! His second Halloween, he was going through a major Scooby Doo phase, so I was in luck when I found a Scooby costume just his size from a consignment sale. Dad and I dressed as Fred and Daphne while our friends were troopers and came along as Velma and Shaggy.

Carve Pumpkins
I grew up carving pumpkins every year with my family, so of course I want to pass that down to my children! Last year I shared with you Roman's Scooby Doo pumpkin and how I carved it! In the past, my husband has carved a pumpkin with a snake on it, I carved Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and in a pinch you can always go for the traditional snaggle-tooth smile.

Eat Fall Favorite Foods
One of my favorite meals of all time is your traditional Thanksgiving food! Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, veggies, pumpkin pie...YUM! I look forward to the multiple family meals we will share during the season. I also look forward to crisp apples, seasonal Starbucks coffee, and a savory vegetable dish I make from a few combined recipes (red potatoes, bell peppers, onions, yellow squash, and tons of spices tossed in olive oil). I'm getting hungry typing this!
Football Games
In high school, I was part of the drumline, so I attended every football game - home and away! Don't ask me the rules of the game though, because I was always distracted playing music and joking around with my friends. Drumline is the only thing from high school that I would go back and relive, so its safe to say the whole atmosphere of attending the games as the season changes was a fond memory. My husband was a football player in his high school days, so he loves to get nostalgic about fall football as well. Now, we watch our siblings and friends play, and of course the TV is turned to ESPN every Saturday as my husband and the boys are decked out in Razorback gear.

Be sure to read all the other great #FridayFive posts and link up your own post! Leave me a comment on Facebook sharing a few of your favorite fall traditions so that others can be inspired to make the most of the season.
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