Monday, October 31, 2011


 The kids had fun making these milk jug ghost lanterns for trick-or-treat this year. 

Wash and dry milk jugs, draw a face on, cut the bottom, and add Christmas lights.  
Plug in and enjoy!


Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Clementine Clove-ed Jack 'o Lanterns

 Clementines that were too sour

+ cloves 

= sweet smelling jack o' lanterns!

Looking forward to carving pumpkins this weekend!

Some of my favorites from past Halloweens...



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kindergarten Pumpkin Patch

Last week I tagged along for Clare's first kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch.  
(A big thank you to my mother-in-law for watching the other 2 kiddos for me!) 

The pumpkin patch had a petting zoo.

Very informative sign in very festive colors!

She had to get a picture with the statue that looked a lot like The Night at the Museum's "Dum Dum want gum gum."

Corn to play in...
"I guess having stitches can be fun!"

Tractors to ride.  So much fun!

And a pumpkin to take home!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Favorite Pumpkin Bread

Ryan's favorite desserts are of the pumpkin kind.  Pumpkin pie is his all-time favorite dessert.  I've tried different pumpkin bread recipes for him (OK, all of us), but it's no surprise that the one we all love the most is from the good old Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

Better Homes and Gardens Pumpkin Bread
recipe found here

3 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 cup water
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree

Grease two 9x5x3 inch (or three 8x4x2 inch, or four 7.5×3.5×2 inch loaf pans); set aside.

In a very large mixing bowl beat sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add eggs and beat well; set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Alternately add flour miture and water to sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.  Beat in pumpkin.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of the loaves comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Wrap and store overnight before slicing.  (Ummm...we always immediately enjoy!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cheesecloth Ghosts

A friend originally pinned this Halloween craft and shared this idea (and all of the materials - thank you, Tina!) with me.

These are so easy and turn out really neat.  All you need is a 2 liter pop/soda bottle, a foam ball, wire (from a hanger), cheesecloth, starch, and black felt.

Stick the foam ball on an empty pop bottle.  Twist the wire into the shape of arms and twist around pop bottle.  Lay cheesecloth over the frame and spray with starch.  Spray a second coat when the first coat is dry.  Dry completely or use a hair dryer.  

Remove cheesecloth from frame and add a face for your ghost.  The ghost will stand on its own!  

So neat!  My kids think I can do magic after they saw the end product!

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Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Clare!

Can't believe our baby girl is turning 6 today!  She is such a sweet girl...mommy's helper, a great big sister, an eager kindergartener, and an "imaginative friend" (quoted by her friend and neighbor).  

Last night I asked Clare what her was the best and worst part about being 5.  She said the best part was going to the zoo with her cousins the day before starting kindergarten.  

And that the worst part was when my brother Joseph didn't ride the train with them at the winter village they went ice-skating at over Christmas.  (Life is rough when you're 5.)  

Happy Birthday Clare!  We love you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Easy Angry Birds Costume

We love Angry Birds around here.  And that was my inspiration for my Halloween costume for the party I went to last night.  And for about 50 cents and about 10 minutes of my time it turned out pretty well.

I simply took a red piece of poster board and cut out the shape of the bird freehand.  Added some angry eyes and angry eyebrows (I think those were key here) and an angry beak.  Added some tail feathers and stapled some red ribbon to the top so I could "wear" it easily.  Then I posed with my best guy for Clare to snap a picture of me all "dressed up."  (And this is why my head is cut off...)  

"Dora the Explorer" took home the "Best Costume" award.  She looked great!  (Which of course means I have no picture of her!)  A fun party with a fun group of ladies!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall at My House...

We've had our first burst of cold temperatures this week and we finally had to turn the heat on.  It's definitely fall around here outside...

...and inside!


And downstairs.

Now time to get under my down comforter and watch "Modern Family" (another sign it's fall!). 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Candleholders

A friend told me about this simple craft idea and it was the perfect activity for Jude yesterday.

Clean and dry a glass jar.  Cut the face of a jack-o-lantern out of masking tape or painters tape and place on the jar.  Paint the entire jar orange.  (He did a great job covering the whole jar...I was actually impressed!  I think we need to use a larger jar next time to occupy more time!) 

Let dry completely.  Peel the tape off the jar.  Light a candle and stick inside.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Not as Scheduled...

We can now check "stitches" off our family bucket list.  We almost made it 6 years with kids without them. This weekend that changed.  In a game of "ghost tag" on Saturday evening, Clare ran right into a tree she didn't see (I'm blaming her father's genes on that one).  And as she later told the nurse in the ER, "My whole life flashed before my eyes!"  

Giving 2 thumbs up...she's going to be OK!

The bracelet was pretty much a huge hit.  She wore it to bed Saturday night and last night...might even make it into her baby book.

Getting ready for stitches around midnight.  Between the "happy juice" and being up waaay past her bedtime (and mine, too!), she did great!  She got 6 stitches in her face and then some glue on her neck as well.  

Feeling much better after sleeping until 10:30 AM...with her souvenir stickers!  Hoping for a lot less excitement this week!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Plate

We made these birthday plates (found on Pinterest by our Coordinator) at our MOPS meeting on Wednesday.  They were very easy to make and I know our birthday plate will be a fun tradition for my kids for many years to come!

All you need is a glass dinner plate and paint that can be used on glass and ceramics.  

First, draw your picture on the front of the plate with a dry erase marker.  (We traced birthday-themed pictures, like the one found here.)  Next, turn the plate over and paint as you wish.  Let the paint dry for at least 1 hour.  Then, set the plate in a cold oven and let the oven warm to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let the plate cool in the oven.  Hand wash or wash on the top rack in the dishwasher.   

Clare will be the first one to use our new plate on her birthday in a few weeks!

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