Monday, November 3, 2008

Hello November!

Well, as usual, I have had every intention of sitting down and updating my blog, but haven't found the time to do it! I've had plenty of photos, plenty of activities to report on, although no truly inspiring thoughts, but no time to get anything down on the proverbial paper. Well, this will be brief and to the point, but it's something!

First of all, we went to the Shriner Circus with Mary Jo in Fort Worth. She and Jerry Sr. got tickets and invited us, but then Jerry Sr.'s skin lesion removal got rescheduled for the day before the circus, so he didn't get to go with us. He was with us in spirit though!

The Shriner's, of course, do this to raise money for their charitable causes, and they have ways of parting you from your money down to an art form! We did our part - Gracie chose an elephant ride, and Maggie a pony ride, and of course, we got the required cotton candy. Watching the circus through an adults eyes is very different than through a child's eyes. I never even considered the dangers of the acts as a child, but as an adult that was all I could think of! We did see a tightrope artist fall off the rope, but he caught it on the way down, thank goodness, as there was no net! Very thrilling, to say the least!

Towards the end of October the girls wanted to go and get some pumpkins. We found a local pumpkin patch that had some activities and headed out for a fun weekend day of family fun. They had a corn maze that was truly a maze - not too big, but very winding - and a nice hayride, animals to pet, and a pony to ride. I think the girls favorite part was petting the bunnies. They were very, very soft.

We also went to a campfire and hay ride with our young adult Sunday School group. The kids had a great time playing in the woods with all their friends. We cooked hot dogs and s'mores over the campfire, and enjoyed a nice hayride complete with a field of grazing cattle and a horse who liked to nibble the riders as they went by.

As the end of October approached, we got some large pumpkins from the store and carved them up. Maggie wanted hers to be a cat, and Gracie opted for a friendly pumpkin this year. Jerry and I never quite got around to carving ours - they are still taking up valuable counter space in my kitchen. We'll open them up, roast the seeds, but the rest of the pumpkin will probably go straight to the compost pile.

Now we were almost ready for Halloween. The only thing left was costumes. The girl's school has a 'storybook parade' for Halloween. Each child dresses up as their favorite character from a book, and then as they parade through the school, they carry the book along with them. Last year the girls picked their costumes first, and then we found an appropriate book. This year, however, they picked their books first. Gracie picked a book about Tinkerbell, so her costume was easy - there are a lot of Tinkerbell costumes out there right now - in fact, our neighbor already had one that we borrowed, I just needed to get her wings! Maggie, however, picked the book "Goldie the Sunshine Fairy" and informed me that (as per the book's description) she needed a fairy outfit that was "fiery reds, golds and oranges." Well, they didn't have any of those at the store, so with a large amount of trepidation, I bought satin fabric and a pattern at the store and pulled out the sewing machine.

This was the first time I had used the machine for sewing since I had it tuned up, and what a pleasant surprise I had in store for me. I managed to sew the costume with only three calls to my grandmother for further instructions than were given in the pattern, and I didn't cuss at the machine at all! There were a few minutes that I was in great frustration with my sewing abilities, but as far as thread breaking, jamming, or machine malfunction, there was none. A few minor modifications to the pattern, and we had a successful costume. I think we were all pleased with the results. We were ready for Trick-or-Treating. We met up with our neighbors, the Pinkstons, and headed out for candy nirvana.

We wrapped up our candy exploits and headed to bed pretty early, because the next morning the girls and I headed to Camp Cookieland for a Brownie Fun In Nature Day. Maggie's whole troop was there, but the other girl from Gracie's troop didn't show up, so she stayed with the older girls the rest of the day. We earned a try-it, and did a lot of walking. We took a hike through the beautiful woods - the leaf colors this year are outstanding - made s'mores, learned about and wrote haikus, played games, learned new songs, silk screened a bandana, and during an activity about the sense of touch the girls were led to walk through buckets of cornmeal, cotton balls, uncooked rice, cooked oatmeal, gravy, jello, spaghetti and dry dog food. They declared that part, "GROSS!" and "DISGUSTING!" and in the same breath, asked to do it again.

Anyway, that is our October and first day of November, in a nutshell!

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