Halloween was great this year. About two weeks before T* and I went with a friend of her's from school to get pumpkins. It was a great time for all of us, nice to spend some time with friends (for both T* and I) and also to see people that I haven't seen in a while. We went to Snyders Family Farm on the Saturday ( it was either two weeks before Halloween or the weekend before, still can't totally remember) with some friends as I said. It's a great place to take the kids. They are only open for a short time every year, mainly for October, and only on the weekends, but it's totally worth it. I think we adults have just as much fun as the kids, or that has been my experience anyways. It doesn't cost a whole lot to get in and once you pay the entry fee you have use of everything inside, the only other things you have to pay for are the food you eat and the pumpkins you want. There's all kinds of things to do, a small petting zoo, a hay castle, a bouncy castle, "tractor" races, a haunted hay ride, mainly things for the kids but isn't that the point anyways? We were there for most of the afternoon (about 3 or 4 hours). The kids were able to do all the things that they wanted, and we all went on the haunted hay ride. It was the first time for T* and I and I must say that it was a lot of fun. Seeing the kids faces light up and how "scared" they were about what was going to jump out at us. The hay ride during the day is pretty tame, it's day light and they don't actually have anything that jumps out at you. The scariest part of the whole ride was when we entered the "witches forest", although this year there were no witches, only pirates. We went through the corn maze, I pretty sure we missed most of it but when you have 2 adults and 3 kids 5 and under you don't want to go through the whole thing, maybe next year. The second last thing we did was get the girls a pony ride, they loved it of course, what little girl doesn't? And then we went to pick out our pumpkins, again a lot of fun. They pumpkin patch is huge and you can pretty much find any size pumpkin. We got a few small ones, not really for carving, more for decorating. A great day had by all. The following weeked I went to another pumpkin patch with T*, my sister-in-law and my neice, to pick out carving pumpkins and then we had a family get together. On the Wednesday before Halloween T* and I did our pumpkins. I gave T* some markers and paint to decorate her's, and then I found these really neat stencils for pumpkin carving on the Better Homes and Gardens web-site. It was really cool and I was totally happy with the results as it was the first time I had ever tried to do something intricate with a pumpkin. T* had school on the Friday and was able to wear her Bee costume, after school was a Halloween party put on by one of the other mothers from T*'s class. That was a great time, the kids had a blast running around in their costumes playing games, we parents had a nice time chatting as well. During the day I had made some Jack-o-lantern cookies for all the kids. Halloween finally came on the Saturday and the 3 of us went out as a family with some close friends that we have gone with since T* was 2. T* was a ladybug for trick-or-treating this year, she had 2 costumes last year as well. It was so cold out that night that the kids run to each house and we were only out for about 45 min. A first for us, usually we are out for at least an hour and a half. Then we went back to our friends house for a drink to end the night. It was a busy Halloween but still a lot of fun.
There have been a few more birthdays between my last blog and this one though no where near as many as there were before. Most were just at friends houses but the one this past Saturday was a bowling party, fun to watch the kiddies bowling, they did pretty good too, I was impressed.
Now Christmas is almost here, it's starting to snow a bit every few days though none of it has stayed yet. I am almost finished all my Christmas shopping and look forward to the family party coming up this Sunday. I love Christmas time, the heat inside, watching the snow fall, drinking hot chocolate, spending time with family. My family likes to have fun at Christmas and so instead of doing secret Santa's for all the adults (we all buy gifts for the kids) we all get one non-gender specific gift, wrap it and put it in a pile. We only spend about $30 on the gift and you can either get one as a couple or get one from each of you. We don't put names on any of the gifts, so no one knows who gave what. Then each of us draws a number for however many presents there are and whoever has the number 1 picks a gift and opens it, the next person can either steal that gift or open a new one and so on, till all the gifts are open and everyone has one. It's always a lot of fun with everyone fighting over gifts, we have a blast with it every year. Home made gift baskets are pretty popular.
Some of the parents from T*'s class have found an indoor play ground that is free to use in the mornings, you can usually find a few of us there on Wednesday mornings. It's nice to have somewhere to take the kids where you don't really have to worry about them. It's especially nice this time of year when it's cold outside and you don't know what else to do with the kids. They all have a great time running off some energy and we wnjoy the time to chat and have a coffee.
I had my parent observations at the school last week, it was nice to have a chance to talk to T*'s teacher about how she is doing. It was great to hear that T* is doing well and the teacher enjoys having her in the class. T* is unbelievably well behaved at school, sometimes funny to see because she is so different from home.
I took T* to get her new Christmas out-fit ( she gets a new one every year) and then to get pictures with Santa (also something I do every year). She's not really crazy about getting the picture done and always looks more upset than happy, but I kind of like that better, it's funny to see the pictures. School photos also came back and they make me a little sad because she looks so much older than she did last year, my baby is growing up........
It's been a busy winter so far and I'm sure that it's just the begining. Christmas parties, Christmas, New Years, and of course more birthdays to go to. I'm looking forward to it though, I love having things to do.