Kartwheels

Tuesday, November 27 2012

It doesn’t seem possible that life could have engulfed us like this; twisting us around and spitting us out the other side into late November!  It’s been a true whirlwind of birthdays, holidays, and travels.  Of course, the added dailiness tossed in as well; work, school   programs, practices, painting (up-date on this soon), and trying to balance it all.  I try to look back, about a month ago (when I lasted posted something), and I  am not sure where one event stopped and another started.  I have a feeling that this scenario might play out throughout our holiday season, as well.  Hopefully, I will be better at documenting it, however.

In preparation of Halloween this year, beginning to feel overwhelmed, I decided (just barely), to say ‘”No” to the expectation of throwing the best costume party EVER for a third year in a row.  Saying ‘No’ meant I didn’t have to entertain and feed 60 some people while most of them were souped up on sugar and about to run rapid in the streets.  Containing my own wild beasts ~ or, I guess, pirates and chicken ~ was all I felt up to amid the Halloween chaos.  And, I truly enjoyed the event this year, more so than I remember…well, except the year our chicken was born.  Mindful of our three-year old’s Halloween birthday, we celebrated extra hard three times that week as well.  I did not think my children could handle any more sugar without numerous meltdowns and bellyaches.  So, on November 1st, I tore down all the Halloween decorations and declared all celebrations OVER.

Detox began.

And,so did the countdown to Thanksgiving…

…as did the basement painting, which ate up all of our free time (AKA when the kids are asleep) in that three-week time span.

But we ended our whirlwind in a beautiful paradise with so much to be thankful for.  So, much to appreciate and so much life to soak up.  So much time without schedules to keep, appointments to attend, and routines to follow.  So much time to focus on the importance of smiles and being together.  So much so, that computers and blog posting were farthest from my mind.

Is this place for real?

This little man was ready to explore our magical island at 5 am every morning.

From swimming with dolphins

to hunting for sea turtles,

to enjoying the multitude of colorful sandy beaches,

we packed a lot in!

And, that’s what happened to November!

I have to admit that this vacation has given me a new sense of calm; island rejuvenation of some kind.  We came back feeling refreshed to conquer our routines and schedules again, for another quick four weeks, I suppose.

Bring on the holidaze!

I’m ready.

Laura

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

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Halloween Inspiration

Friday, October 5th 2012

I am trying to find a way to match my kids’ excitement about the upcoming Halloween celebration.  They anxiously and patiently waited until yesterday, the fourth day of October, when Daddy hauled the three huge decor boxes out of the basement and yelled, “Let’s decorate, Guys!”  (Mind you, this ritual usually happens on the 1st day of October.)  So, off they went.  Z put himself in charge of blaring the Halloween CD as he stuck ghost-puff stickers all over his face, while Jada wrapped the balusters in cob webs and fake plastic spiders, and Aris tore out all the orange lights by demand of his father and plugged them all in making sure they worked.  Borris the Spider is now greeting anyone who dares come to the front porch doorway, and Dead Bones lay glowing around the front yard gravestones.  I love watching the family work as a team, deciding where each small decoration goes…and,… I. did. nothing!  Notta!  I did not decorate one Halloween thing…yet.

I am a bit behind in my excitement, you see.  I am usually the one yanking the heavy boxes from the basement, or pleading that it be done, way before the 1st day of the month.  But this year, everything seems so fast….

Okay, so I went out searching for a little inspiration, internet style, of course.

Check it out! Chevron pumpkins!  Someone else loves chevron as much as I do?This looks like it would be easy with a little painter’s tape and spray paint.

Under the Carolina Moon via Polyvore

Country Living

Such cute little ghosts!  Are these those accordion wedding bells that you can buy at craft stores?  I think so!

Laura Lindquist / Pinterest via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

Simple decor idea.

Halloween

Cobweb mat and broom stick, Simple.  I love it!  Too bad our front porch is filled with a fog blower, Borris, and a screaming Zombie head!

Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Craft Projects - Country... via Polyvore

Martha Stewart

A bigger front porch idea.  There are so many things I love about this arrangement…#1 No Spider!…#2 The trees…#3 the black candles in the lantern with white pumpkin…I could go on and on.

Halloween!

Loving the white pumpkin look, of course.  These even look a little sparkly, too.

halloween centerpiece halloween-decor

This simple wreath looks like a spray painted craft wreath; silvery-white, ghosts and ribbon.

#halloween decor

And, for the little monsters…

I was considering this, but I know it would get ripped down way before Halloween! However, I still might do this for Trick-or-Treat night.  Too cool! Glowing eyeballs, perhaps?

Totally doing this

Ha Ha!

My daughter would LOVE this.

And, of course, some yummy treats…

Boo! I’d serve these with a Witches Stew!

Fun idea for Halloween

I must admit, after a good three hours of searching and pinning and searching some more,  I am getting a bit more motivated and excited about Halloween.  I found a lot of yummy recipes to try, along with some fun-looking crafts to tackle, if time.

 Who knows, we just might happen to cross paths with a pumpkin patch this weekend?

Halloween decor garden

~Laura

Images 1) Countryliving.com, 2-3) Martha Stewart blog, Halloween section, All others searched key words Halloween Decor on Pinterest, origional sources unknown.

Digging Out

I feel like I haven’t posted anything in a while.  My mind feels like a hazy cloud has set in.  We are still ‘digging out’ of our Halloween.  If you remember from here, Halloween lasts about a month for us since our little guy was born on the very day two years ago.  We throw in lots of cute monsters, spiders, and of course a big Halloween bash.

Sharing just a few of our Open House Pictures to ‘relive‘ the fun:

It included some of our favorite eats;

 of course a little something delish for the little ones before the candy splurge,

and a few excellent costumes.

What a spooky crew!

But tearing down the spider webs and spooky signs is never as exciting as hanging them up.  I’ll post again soon…after we are done digging out of our post-party chaos.

‘Til next year, Halloween!

Images: Laura @ Monkeysonmyback

Getting Crafty

It’s very Halloween around here these days.  October first brings out the excitement of, “Finally a holiday!”  And, so arrives our Halloween boxes.  This time they were hurled out of the dark space in which they live at 8:30am on non-other-than October 1st.  I think even a few spiders, dead and alive, emerged with the boxes this time around.

Can you picture three kids, with sticky, syrupy fingers, tearing through two boxes of Halloween decorations, flailing fake spider webs and smearing window ‘stick-‘ems’ in an oh-so-slimy circular motion on the nearest (clean) pane of glass?  Yeah. Not impeccable timing, but we will leave that thought alone right there…

On to more fond memories of the day;  Halloween Craft Time.  Found the idea of these spooky bat pumpkins and wanted to give it a try…

Bat-o'-Lanterns

~ Spooky Bat Supplies ~

  • Black Spray paint (primer and paint in one otherwise it will flake off). We used Rust-Oleum Universal.
  • Toothpicks
  • Long wooden Ka-bob spears (which look like gigantic wooden toothpicks).
  • Black craft foam
  • White craft foam (with peel and stick back)
  • scissors
  • black duct tape
I could tell by, “O ooh! That’s so cool!”,  as soon as the first pumpkin was spray painted black, that the kids were hooked.  We also had much discussion about bats versus unicorns, the kids and I, and decided finally to tape off the stems before painting.   Taping off the stem is not necessary,  however, we didn’t want our little bats to take on some kind of  ‘unicorn-effect.’  
 Jada drew the ears and cut them out all by herself.    We did not use any  pre-drawn templates but found it very easy to copy the first ear, wing, and eye that we liked.
The toothpicks and Ka-bobs are taped with the black duct tape to the back of the ears and wings, leaving a bit of the ka-bob end exposed so that the foam is secured tightly into the pumpkin.  Our first attempt at this led to a sad little boy and a broken toothpick or two.   Perhaps a mom’s job…
Aren’t they just batty!?  
(I believe that these pumpkins have also received names, which escape me at the moment, and a birth order.  They may have even been included in the latest game of ‘Baby Dragons’?)
And, so our months upon months of holiday excitement are in full swing.  
Happy Halloween…