Thursday, November 1, 2012

Just in case

Just in case your blog reader isn't already bursting with posts about pumpkins and other October festivities, we thought we better put up a few pictures.  Just in case.  After all, we'd hate for anyone to be deprived of their annual fall-photos fix.  (Besides, I promised certain grandparents I really would finally update the blog!)

A few weeks ago Bryan's folks were able to drive up here for a last-minute weekend.  Even though it was a quick trip, we really enjoyed being able to see them and the girls were glad to have grandparents along for a trip to our favorite pumpkin patch.

Getting to ride in the wheel barrow out to the patch was probably one of the girls' favorite parts of the day.

They miiiiiiiight be getting a little old for the whole wheel barrow thing though.  Good thing Daddy's strong!

Grandma sneaking some snuggles while keeping baby warm.  (We are fiercely in denial here that winter is actually going to come.)

Family photo.  Everyone say, "Apple Cider Donuts!"
 Although we bought the pumpkins early in the month, we waited until Family Home Evening just a few days before Halloween to carve them, thinking they would last longer that way.  Katie was pretty traumatized by the whole thing once she realized we were going to actually start cutting up her beloved little pumpkin.  I could almost here Charlie Brown's little friend Linus wailing, "You didn't tell me you were gonna kill it!  Auuughhh!"  when she started crying.  Poor Katie!

Robyn had no qualms about gutting her little guy.

You might notice Amber's pumpkin is a little teeensy bit larger than the others.  This is not (necessarily) because we love her more than the other kids.  On the Saturday before Halloween Amber brought her cute little pumpkin from the patch upstairs to our room, which also happens to be pretty much the only carpeted room in the house.  She walked in, announced, "I think my pumpkin is getting mushy," then accidentally dropped it on the floor.  Shplatt.  The next comment was Amber calming saying something like, "It looks like throw-up," followed by Bryan going, "AAAAAhhh!  AAAAAAhhh!  AAAAAhhh!" At that point I leaped out of the shower in the master bathroom expecting to find burglars or dead bodies.  Discovering Amber's pumpkin reduced to the consistency of oatmeal in a pile on our carpet wasn't that far off.

Since we were then effectively down a pumpkin, Amber and I made a quick run to the grocery store Monday morning, just in time to gawk in amazement at all the empty shelves as shoppers frantically bought bread, milk, batteries, and water ahead of Hurricane Sandy.  Thankfully, most people apparently don't consider giant pumpkins emergency essentials, so there were still piles of gargantuan, grocery-store-style, pumpkins waiting for us.  Rather than race off to a farm to find something smaller before the storm hit, we coughed up the cash for this big fellow and called it a day.

Pumpkins beware!

Matthew slept through most of the carving activity. 

He probably wishes he'd slept through all of it.

 Really, though, with a pumpkin that big we just HAD to know if it was big enough for him to fit. :)

I suppose wearing a pumpkin was good practice for Baby's Halloween costume.  I remember buying our little pumpkin outfit on clearance Halloween afternoon when Robyn was about eight months old so we could go to a party with Bryan's sisters that evening.  It never occurred to me that someday we'd be on baby number four and still using it.

Our sweet little pumpkin. 

Not having to make Matthew a costume also freed up time to have a lot of fun with the girls' clothes. 

Amber really wanted to be a fairy this year.  While we were brainstorming how to do it (we didn't want to necessarily be a Tinker Bell-esque fairy) we came across the book Flower Fairies by Cicily Mary Barker at the library and loved the old-fashioned illustrations.


It didn't take long before we were smitten with the beautiful pictures and decided Amber would be a flower fairy instead of a Disney fairy.  I especially like how the vest turned out with all of it's bright pink petals.  

On the other hand, Robyn has wanted to specifically be Disney's Rapunzel for a good year now (seriously: since last November 1!).  I had a really good time putting her costume together.  I think I look forward to doing costumes so much each year because you can do so much more in terms of trims, colors, and styles than you could ever get away with on a Sunday dress.  I think I probably have as much fun making them (most of the time...there are definitely moments--most of them involving my dear friend Mr. Seamripper--when I want to skip the whole business :) as they do getting to dress up.  The striped sleeves and long yellow yarn hair were my favorite parts of this one.

Posing on the stairs.  I hadn't finished the hair yet in this picture, but you can see it in some of the other ones.

This must be the year of the yarn over here, because Katie also got to wear a woolly wig.  I was so excited to have Katie be a Raggedy Ann!  She didn't know who Raggedy Ann was going into it, but she loves baby dolls and she loves the color blue, so she was game after I explained it and showed her some pictures.  I've always had a soft spot for Raggedy Ann and it was fun to turn our sweet little Katie into a living doll.

Our very own "RaggeggyAnn" as Katie calls herself.
Plus it was a great excuse to play with a retro pattern my mother gave me a while ago. I added an apron to the bib to make it a pinafore and I figure, minus the striped pants and wig, it can also work as a Sunday dress.  (And if it still looks too Raggedy Ann-ish we can replace the pinafore with a red ribbon around the waist.)

Ahh...children of the 80's!

I also decided to make Katie a Raggedy Ann doll of her own.  Decades ago my mom made me a blonde Raggedy Ann that I loved and I really liked the idea of being able to give Katie something like that from me.  I figured it would be an afternoon project.  HA!!!  Turns out the darn little doll was by far (by FAR!) the most difficult Halloween sewing of the year.  I got my first clue that we were in trouble when I had to cut out THIRTY pattern pieces.  Thankfully, Katie loves her dolly (she's gone everywhere with her: bus stop, grocery store, etc.), so all the muttering under my breath at itsy-bitsy three-dimensional seams was, as dorky as it sounds, totally worth it. 

Our Raggedy Ann's own Raggedy Ann doll.
 And, as a bonus, Bryan likes it because it means Katie's costume is now fractal.  Cool.

With costumes and pumpkins done we were ready to face all the fun of Halloween itself.  Below are a few pictures from our various holiday activities this week.

The Church's Fall Festival:

Amber giddy with excitement at the ward Fall Festival that was scheduled, canceled, and then un-canceled following Sandy's fickleness.
Robyn trying to catch a donut without using hands.  Imagine a dog trying to chase it's tail and you'd get the general idea.  She didn't actually get it until it finally fell off on it's own.  She was also the first child to try it at the Fall Festival and no one else wanted to try after they saw how hard she had to work for her donut!

The Fall Festival was the only time Katie let me put make up on her to go with her costume, and even then she only let me do her cheeks.  While my dreams of drawing a triangle nose and cute little lower lashes just like a Raggedy Ann were dashed, we all still survived. :)

 Being a "Room Mother" for Robyn's Kindergarten Halloween Party.

Robyn's teacher said it was ok if Katie tagged along for the fun, which was great!  She seemed to fit right in with the Kindergarteners.

Katie even walked in the parade costume parade with Robyn.

This is a picture of Robyn's classroom during the party.  She has the greatest teacher and is loving Kindergarten!

And, finally, Trick-or-Treating.  It was a cold, wet, Halloween, so we did the whole coats-over-costumes thing.  <Nostalgic Sigh>  It reminds me of Minnesota where you were lucky if your pumpkin wasn't buried under a foot of snow.

Had to take a picture at this house for all of my apple-loving in laws.

The last stop: one final piece of candy from mom to round out a week full of sweets and treats.
 Happy Halloween!!


  1. so impressed with your sewing talents!!! cute kids.

  2. Wow! They all turned out sooo cute! I'm not surprised though! I did love little Matthew's owl blanket at the pumpkin patch. :)
    I want to make a Raggedy Andy doll like that... someday. I think it might kill me now. You did great!

  3. I totally laughed out loud at the baby in the pumpkin. So cute!

  4. Loved loved loved all the pictures and the written commentary to go along =D. I think you can't out do yourself and you keep proving me wrong! (now you know why I never make dolls!!)

  5. Oh...I meant to comment on the apple's lines are very clean I can tell it is easy to use :o)

  6. We have that exact pumpkin sleeper. (: They are all too cute. When are we getting together?