Monday, November 26, 2012

I Love a Parade!

Joseph had his friend Benjamin over for a playdate yesterday afternoon.  They were quiet yet they seemed to be busy doing something in the other room.  When I peeked in, they were fastidiously setting up a parade of toy cars, trains, trucks and planes on the race track mat.

Cute idea.  But then Benjamin asked "How do we get them all to move around in a circle?"  Slowly.  Very, very slowly.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tan Cow

Take a paper bag and scissors, a hole punch and twine, some contruction paper and a glue stick, and you can make yourself a pretty simple Native American costume for an elementary school Thanksgiving party in about 15 minutes.  Simple enough for a kid to do most of the work.

Why Tan Cow?  The kids got to choose their own Indian name and explain why.  Joseph's teacher said he originally chose Brown Cow.  Apparently a cow is his favorite animal - news to me, I would have guessed shark still.  So why brown?  He then looked at himself and said actually his skin was white....well, it used to be white, but now he is tan, so he settled on Tan Cow.

Tan Cow came to the feast bearing gifts from his daddy who had to be at work.  18 miniature pumpkin pies and a box full of fall colored chocolate cake pops with sprinkles.  Thanks was given for that, I am told.

Friday, November 23, 2012


 ...that we had a low key, stress free, delicious Thanksgiving feast with friends yesterday,

...that we saved room for dessert,

...that above all else, we are a family,

...and that only 2/3 of us have Strep Throat today.  I was spared.

Also thankful that my friend Jocelyn was free yesterday to take some cute family pictures (like the one above) for us, and that I actually have 2 minutes of time to finally blog again!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Sometimes I bake just because something sounds so delicious - like this New York style crumb cake from the BAKED: Explorations cookbook.  I made it for a brunch last month and it lived up to its expectations.

Sometimes I bake because I have an ingredient on hand - like a ton of little M&M packets.  I like to think it was a creative use of leftover Halloween candy.  Joseph just thought they were delicious.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

The east coast deserved some gorgeous weather after the wrath of hurricane Sandy recently, and it was well timed when my parents visited over the weekend from New Jersey, where Sandy hit the hardest.  My family was luckily spared any damage, but there has been such devastation to the "Jersey Shore" where I vacationed throughout my entire childhood and adolescence.  Our waterfront in DC, along the Potomac River, was also spared, and it was the perfect spot to spend the day with Grammy & Grandpa on Sunday.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Perfect 10

With the arrival of Book 10, I am now officially up to date with printing out the Alton Boys blog!  Every time a sale came around at blog2print over the past year I'd order another few volumes until I was finally caught up.  It was a New Year's resolution, after all.  (Maybe it was even a resolution the year before that.)  Each book covers a 6 month interval from July to December or January to June.  It's just amazing to me that I've been blogging about our family for over 5 years now.  Almost every step of our adventure in life as a family is chronicled here, and now it's in print!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Maybe we didn't have time to entirely comb our hair yesterday morning before school , but we did make the time to vote, and we got the sticker to prove it.

Joseph's class voted during the school day too.  I am not even remotely a politically oriented person, but it is quite apparent how things roll in the District of Columbia.

Congratulations, Mr. President!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rescuebot Training Camp

Chase, Heatwave, Blades & Boulder are on a very important mission from Optimus Prime: protect and learn about mankind.  But they need help, so Benjamin held a Rescue Bot training camp for his birthday recently.

After some warm up exercises the trainees had multiple missions, such as rescuing puppies from a burning building, crawling through a collapsed mine to bring supplies to the villagers, freeing the zoo animals trapped by an avalanche, and working as a team to build a dam and prevent a flood.

Once these tasks were completed, the trainees were rewarded with pizza and the birthday boy's choice of treat, home made chocolate popsicles.

The trainees also received a Rescue Hero certificate and their own Rescue Bot, so they can go forward and keep the peace and keep people safe.

What an incredible adventure and such a creative party!  Happy 4th birthday, Benjamin!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween 2012

I had a very enthusiastic helper when it came to gutting and carving pumpkins this year.  

Party and parade at school, which I had to miss because of work :(
Joseph's teacher dressed as hurricane Sandy/Sandy from Grease.  So timely and clever!

Five is a great age for trick-or-treating.  It's all about running around for the candy!  But Joseph was very sweet to spend time looking out for Benjamin's little sister Chloe.

Every year the kids dive into this particular pile of leaves around the corner from our house.  So glad I spent so many hours making Joseph's costume - it is so filthy it will probably never come clean or be worn again....but he sure had fun, and that was the whole point.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

To the moon and back

I'm a sucker for the "Guess How Much I Love You" book, when Big Nutbrown Hare says to his sleepy son, "I love you to the moon......and back."  Right after I kiss him goodnight I still tell Joseph I love him every night.  He always replies with "I love you more," and I always counter with "I love you the most."  Then when his little 5 year old outer space obsessed mind comes up with some variation of "I love you to the moon and back and around the sun and all the planets and stars and the whole universe and to infinity and beyond!" there is only one thing I can say when he tells me he wants me to make him an astronaut costume for Halloween, WITH. A. JET. PACK.  I say yes.

There are so many details I just love!

He looked amazing, and more importantly, he absolutely loved it!

He still loved it, even after the first time he tried on the jet pack and excitedly asked "So now I can really fly?!" and I had to say no.  He never asked for a functional jet pack.