Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween 2013

We have some friends from church who are the most social family we know.  They are party planners and do it often!  So tonight we just got back from a Halloween party that was so fun for the kids, and so nice for the adults to come and mingle too.

Parties like these make me have to get my act in order, if we're making costumes.

This year Wes chose to be Harry Potter, Kate was Jack Frost (or Kate Frost, in her words), Sophie's been dying to be Cinderella for two years now (and has asked for a Cinderella dress up since last Christmas), and Joshua was supposed to be the Tin Man (Wes' costume from 2009).  He wasn't diggin' that and so was a combination of Peter Pan (Wes' costume from 2007 & 2008) and Batman.  Go figure.

 I'm noticing a trend here .. Kate's a picture poser:).
I am no seamstress.  I can make clothes, but it's best not to look too closely at the finished product:).  But it was fun this year.  The only real problems were that I didn't get Wes' Gryffindor scarf finished and Kate's head wouldn't fit through her hoodie until we tugged and tugged, pushed and pushed (with a slight rip here and there).  Matt was supposed to be Hagrid, and I, Professor McGonnagal, but that didn't happen.  So Matt went as himself and I threw on a witch hat.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


We decided to opt out of school pictures this year in favor of a photo shoot with a friend.

When we were arranging the time and details, my friend said, "just bring a couple of outfits for each child."

I kind of froze.  A couple of outfits?  This is going to sound strange, like we don't dress our children properly, but it was the end of summer, and we were living in shorts and t-shirts - we didn't have outfits.  :)   (Back to School shopping = school uniforms, socks and undies:)).  So I quickly emailed my sister-in-law for suggestions of cute and reasonably priced options.  She's the master and gave me a list in no time.  Joshua and I set off for a handful of stores and scored some great deals and outfits.

We showed up at the appointed time at my friend's house and she put us at ease.  Soon we were finished.  It wasn't a perfect photo shoot - anyone with children knows those don't exist - and we actually didn't even get any pictures in our dress-up outfits due to a major meltdown resulting in all four children crying, but I was pleased with what we had and so we called it a morning.

Thanks to Mandy for these wonderful shots!  Here are some of our favorites.

Joshua was too busy running around so his pictures are few and far between, but she caught his personality so well in the ones we did get:).

Fall Fun

A couple of weeks ago when our kids were out of school we headed north to Fifer Orchards, after Matt finished with his morning class.  It's just south of Dover and is a family-run orchard.  It's the same place where we picked peaches earlier this year.  

As we hopped on the tractor-pulled wagon, the tractor driver told us some cool facts about the farm.  
  • There are 26,000 apple trees, with 20+ different varieties (30,000 peach trees and 30+ varieties)
  • The family farm started in 1919 with 300 acres.
  • There are now many farms associated with Fifer Orchards throughout the surrounding area.

That day we picked Fuji apples.  You can either pick by the bag or box.
 They have a market with tons of produce, decorations, homemade donuts, ice cream, jams, jellies, honey sticks.  Pretty much anything and everything you can think of associated with a cool place like this.
 In the fall they have a section of the farm they turn into a festival area, complete with zip line, big slide, corn maze, games, painting, etc.  We weren't planning on going to this part, but when you see it, it's almost too much to say no to.  So we decided to bag our other plans for the day (start the Delaware History Trail), in favor of some harvest fun.  Here's Wes and Kate on the zip line.

 Joshua went down this slide at least 50 times, no exaggeration.
 We love these duck races.
 This was a cool ring game - let's see if I can describe it.  See the main wooden post with the bull horn picture on it a few feet in front of Wes?  It has a hook on it.  There's a green string connected to the the end of the wooden arm that has a heavy, metal ring on it.  The object of the game is to swing the ring and hook it on the hook. Make sense?  Matt was really good at it.  Wes kept at it for a while and finally hooked it.
 There were probably 10 of these tractor tricycles available to pedal through a hay bale maze.
 This tunnel led to the pumpkin table game area.
 Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe, Pumpkin Checkers.
 Pumpkin bowling.  The pins were big bottles that you feed baby calves with - they were weighed down with some sort of grain inside, probably corn.
 A huge corn crib where Joshua kept making corn angels.
 They had several displays cleverly made out of bales of hay.  This tractor took the cake.

 This was the small maze.  We were running out of time and figured we didn't want to get lost in the giant maze.
 This image is from Fifer's website ... we did the duck corn maze in the lower left part of the picture.  (Notice the large maze is called 'Delmarvalous', haha, we live on Delmarva ... the maze was cut to display life on the peninsula: turtle, crab, beach umbrella, dolphins).
Then of course we had to get a family picture:).  Such a fun day.