Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

This year Halloween dawned rainy, and the rain didn't completely stop until about 5PM.  But the ghouls smiled and the rain quit, and we Lowes got down to some real Halloween fun.  I picked Alli up and we set up our pumpkins by our front door.

Did you guess what our green pumpkins became?  If not, you haven't been paying attention!  Our sweet Aunt Titi came over to go with us, and we were able to get shots of the whole family.

We went over to our neighbors' house to have some chili and wait on it to get dark.  Fortunately, Brady is a boy after our own heart, and I had a little competition in the Raphael department.  And sweet little Victoria as Snow White - stop it.

This was our first year to trick or treat in the new 'hood (we went back to our old one last year because there weren't hardly any houses) and it was so much fun.  Most of the houses were lit up, and we got to stop and visit and meet new people along the way.  Ryan even commented that it was like the movie E.T. - kids running around everywhere.  One of our neighbors set the bar high for decorating.  Alli had been talking about going to this house all week, and it sure lived up to the hype.

Alli, Brady, and Victoria had an awesome time, and Riley was a great sport.  It was a little cold outside, so she spent most of the night bundled up in her stroller.  She even took a (black) cat nap.  See what I did there?

We hit every house in the neighborhood by around 8:30, and then came in to do inventory.  That's right, you're talking about a lineage of engineers here.  We organize.  Or as my dad said - catalogue, inventory, and distribute!  But stingy Alli wasn't doing much distributing.  It's a good thing she's asleep now, because these Reese's pumpkins are amazing.  Alli let me know that this was most definitely the best Halloween ever, and Riley agreed.  Hope you and yours had an amazing holiday.  Happy Halloween!!

Pumpkin Prepping

Happy Halloween!  Check back later for an update on our trick or treating!!

After we spent the day at the pumpkin patch this Sunday, we had our neighbors over that evening for pizza and to make Halloween cookies.  We used my mom's secret cookie recipe and the brand new cookie cutters Ryan bought.

Ryan, who isn't much of a sweet tooth, really got into decorating.  He should probably open a bakery.  Except then I'd weigh 50 lbs more than I do now.

They taste as good as they look!  And then Tuesday night, the same neighbors came over to carve pumpkins.  However, that process ended up looking like this...

Not a kid in sight.  I don't think the dads were complaining though.  Here's Ryan's finished product:

And then I started working on my own pumpkin project.  Any guesses what these little guys are going to end up being?

You'll have to check back to find out!!  Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Picking

This past weekend I had visions of perfection.  I was going to squeeze all of our fall fun into one weekend, and it was going to be awesome.  And then Alli threw up on the soccer field first thing Saturday.  And I thought my plans were ruined.

However, Alli felt much better Sunday, so we forged ahead to salvage the weekend and fall itself.  First we went to Dickey Farms, a local pumpkin patch, to pick up some more pumpkins and create some fall photo ops.  We haven't visited the pumpkin patch as a family since Alli was younger, and with Riley around I'm hyper aware of exposing her to similar experiences.  So we went a few miles down a gravel road, which opened up to a gorgeous farm.

And then I thought I died and went to pumpkin heaven.  This farm not only had carving pumpkins still on the vine...they had white pumpkins.  Be still my heart.

After I oohed and ahhed over the beautiful white punkins (and only walked away with one, that's called self-control people!), we hopped on the hayride.

After the hayride, it was time for the corn maze.  Alli and I had done a corn maze twice at her previous pumpkin patch field trips, but it was Lindsey, Ryan and Riley's first time.

We let Alli lead for a little while...

But then we got lost, lost, and more lost.  Fear and confusion was starting to set in.

Ryan's army instincts finally led us to the exit.  But not before we got lost one more time...

We were so lucky to have such a beautiful day and to stumble upon such a pretty little farm.  I think I detect a new Lowe family tradition.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Alli's Anecdotes

Alli spent yesterday with a stomach virus, totally ruining my grand plans of cookie decorating, pumpkin carving, and pumpkin patching.  So instead, we engaged in my favorite fall pastime - football watching.  We watched the Tennesee-Alabama game, and this happened:

Alli:  "Mama, who are you rooting for?"

Me:  "Oh, gosh, I don't know if I care.  I'll root for whoever you want me to."

Alli:  "I'm rooting for Alabama."

Me:  "I think that's a good idea.  It's hard for me to cheer for Tennessee."

Alli:  "Yeah, they stink.  Oh man, pick six Alabama!!!"

I'll never be sorry I taught this little lady about football.  It's a life skill.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Festival

This Friday was the annual Fall Festival at Alli's school.  Alli lives for this event - she loves Halloween, she loves dressing up, and she loves candy.  I think on the 1-10 scale of Halloween carnivals I've ever attended, it gets a four.  But the eyes of a child see things differently and maybe more clearly.  So I grin, bear it, and act over the top excited about the bean bag toss, putt putt course, and the dreaded cake walk.

This year however things are a little different.  This year we have Riley, and this year we are a family of four.  Do you think it's coincidence that there are four Ninja Turtles and four members of our family?    Well, Alli didn't either.

So poor defenseless Riley became a pawn in Alli's master plan, spending her first Halloween not as a pumpkin, a cat, or a fairy but as Leonardo master of the katana swords.  She looks really torn up about it too.

Alli realized her dream of being a real life Michelangelo in public setting, complete with her hot nunchuck fury.

So off to the carnival we went, a motley crew of Turtles.  And we were asked three times by three different people if they could take our picture.  I was a little self-conscious at first.  I mean, events at Alli's school (including dances, field trips, and yes, the Fall Festival) are often opportunities for the moms to out style each other.  Heels, hair, and Louis Vuitton bags reign supreme.  And here I was in a t-shirt with a shell on it and a mask around my head.  But as the night went on I tuned out their superior smiles and their huge diamond rings, and that's when I started hearing the opinions that mattered most - "Wow, is Alli's whole family the Ninja Turtles?"  "Is that Alli's mom as Raphael?"  "Look at Alli's little sister - she's a baby Turtle!"  Alli was bursting with pride, and I think it was her best carnival yet.  Little Riley was an angel too - she could make or break the event, and she totally made it.  She even slept through some of it.  It's hard being the leader in blue.

I'm happy to report that Alli won the cake walk a few times, ring tossed herself a Sprite, and accurately guessed what the gross body parts were in the cans (guts, brains, eyeballs, a tongue).  She came home with a bucket full of candy and a smile on her face.  And the eight year old little girl from twenty years ago would have been really proud to know that she was still dressing up as Raphael.