Monday, November 7, 2011

Swing Into Fall

The weather over the weekend was really lovely, and I think the foliage is about at its peak right now.  It's a great time to be outside, even if the temps are a little brisk.  Keith took Em to church on Sunday, and then they went out to lunch with some buddies.  Liam and I stayed home to chill out, and Liam took a mega-nap that morning.  We were able to take a 2 mile walk once he woke up, and everyone wanted to be outside together in the afternoon.  It was a great day to enjoy the backyard playset, and we pulled out the baby swing for Liam.  I'm not sure he knew what to make of it, but Emerson sure enjoyed having her brother swing next to her.  She's finally mastered the art of pumping on the swings within the past 6 months, and loves to take that swing as high as it will go!

The Child of the Week

Emerson's class has 2 big things going on all year.  Each week, a different kid is designated "the child of the week", and last week was Em's turn.  Families are encouraged to bring in photos for the bulletin board, and the kiddos fill out a little info sheet to share tidbits about themselves with the class.  They can bring in their favorite book & toy to share, and parents are invited to come in to read to the class.  Keith got to go on Wednesday to read Harold & the Purple Crayon, which Em specifically requested.  She took her My Little Pony in on Friday to share.  We snapped a few photos of the bulletin board while we attended the class Halloween party on Monday.  Em realllllllly enjoyed being the center of attention all week, and pointed out to us that she got to sit in the chair of honor, right next to the teacher's rocking chair all week long.

The other event that goes on all year is Brody.  Brody is the class mascot, and is a stuffed dog who gets to go home for a week with each child.  There's a journal that accompanies him on the home visit, and the families are encouraged to document "what he does" while he visits you.  You can include photos, journal entries, and art to tell the story.  Em's turn for Brody is mid-January, and we'll have to see what kind of fun stuff we can cook up while he's our houseguest!


This year, it was cold & rainy on Halloween, so we decided to try something new.  Instead of walking around our cold, wet, dark neighborhood (which by the way has no sidewalks or streetlights, so trick-or-treating is a little challenging even in the best of weather conditions), we headed over to University Mall in Chapel Hill for indoor trick-or-treating.  It was actually kinda nice!  Shop owners were all dressed up, lots of families were there, it was fun to people-watch & check out the creative costumes some kids wore. Liam was super stimulated by all the noise & commotion, but stayed calm.  This was definitely a nice alternative, and something we'll keep in mind in the future if the weather doesn't cooperate on 10/31.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween 2011

This year, we decided to throw a neighborhood Halloween party.  We held it on the 29th, and ended up with about 30 people running around our backyard!  The weather was rainy in the morning, which sent a little panic through my spine, as I envisioned all those people holed up in our house.  The rain tapered off & the deck dried out enough that we could still hold it outside.  It was a little chilly, but we had hot cider to keep tummys warm.  Em & I had been busy making cut-out cookies & cupcakes all week, and they were very much appreciated by all the parents & kids.  You can never go wrong with Gram's butter cookie recipe.  We also did candy corn rice krispie treats, witch's brew punch, a carmel apple station with all sorts of toppings, and cupcakes decorated like mummies & skeletons.  We decorated the deck, and played games.  The party was really fun, and we've been nominated to make this an annual event.

Fall Fun

We tried a new place this year for pumpkins, and it had a corn maze.  Em had fun leading us through by following the alphabet, tied in various spots in the maze to stalks of corn.  There were a few farm animals for petting/feeding, a hayride and lots of photo ops.  Em picked a pumpkin, and then she & Dad did the carving honors this year.  Em wanted nuttin' to do with pumpkin guts.  

Full of Hot Air

We finally made it to the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Statesville NC in October.  We've tried to go to this with our friends, Fred/Lennie/Joanne, for years, but either the weather didn't cooperate or something came up that prevented us from going.  Not this year, by gum!  It was a beautiful Fall day in NC, and we got there just in time to see scores of balloons lifting into the sky for the mass afternoon ascent.  It was so cool!  We got to watch several balloons inflate, including one called the Purple People-eater.  What a hoot!