Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Fun, ALL day long!!

Last Friday was the big Halloween day at school, as it was the day the kids could wear their costumes to school (K3-K5) for the Halloween parade.  So, here is our little pirate all ready to go, complete with dubloons and sword.  He wouldn't wear the wig that came with it, as Jake, from Jake and the Neverland Pirates (one of his favorite shows) has short hair. 

"What's a pirate's favorite letter?"

And what a busy classroom it was!  Here Brant is chasing after N, a shark, and  his buddy Christopher (from bowling) is the "Black Cat Ninja!"

Mrs. Richardson getting kids settled and making sure they were ready for the Halloween parade

The whole school gathers in the gym and the kids get to parade around the gym, showing off costumes to the cheers and applause of the bigger kids.  It's a great time, and really fun to see how excited the big kids still get!

This was right after Brant was walking around the gym, waving both hands, like a Hollywood star  or something!  By the way, he was the only pirate!

A little hat adjustment

Back in the room for a class photo

This is something really special that the class had done.  One of Brant's classmate's dad is a professional photographer, who just opened a studio.  He does this really neat group photo, where each of the students were photographed separately, doing what their character does best.  He then put them into a great group photo!  

The class had a great party lunch that day, with pretzels with long chocolate fingernails, pizza, spooky cupcakes and chicken nuggets. Our pirate must have worked up an appetite rampaging BDS, because he ate 6 nuggets, a slice of pizza, a ton of fruit, a cookie, pretzel finger AND a cupcake!

The class voted on the pumpkin design, and "Spookville" won (Brant's choice too). One of the class moms carved it.
So, school ended, and it was back for for a bit, to rest before the big Halloween carnival.  We had a nice dinner at Village Island, err, Grill, with a pirate, and Daddy got to see him before we left.  On our way in we met up with Josh, Dana, Natalie and Cade. We tried for a photo under the black cat, but you can see, it was raining, and the kids were excited. And Cade did NOT want to get in the photo.   So this is what I got.  Dana, maybe you got better?

And he's off!  The best part about BDS is everyone knows who everyone belongs to.  The kids have almost free reign of the gym, and Brant had so much fun playing the games.

This was a fun one, tossing balls into the potty!

And picking a duck never fails to please

By now, we've shed costume parts, which are in my arms, while taking photos and holding all the other misc. items.

Now this is Brant's absolute favorite.  I mean, he asks about Spin Art every year, and if we are somewhere that has it, we HAVE to do it.  So we did, twice as a matter of fact.  Which is good, since last year's spin art was still on our fridge!

And what kid doesn't like being able to swing a hammer and slam something as hard as he can??  Our kid sure does!!
If you want to see some photos from years past, and see how Brant's grown, click here.  Just think, all this fun and we've still not gone Trick-or-Treating!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin guts and Fire Trucks

 My middle school students have been on a trip for the last three days, so I've been able to slip down to Brant's class and join in some of the seasonal fun.  Yesterday afternoon Mrs. Richardson and Mrs. Stacy took the classes outside for some good ole pumpkin science.
Weighing the pumpkins

After choosing if the 9 lb. pumpkin and the 14 lb. pumpkin will sink or float, they tested their  ideas.  Final outcome, both floated!  Why??  Well, let's see...

Cutting into the pumpkins to see that they are hollow, which is why they float.
(We learned this the hard way when our pumpkins from the front porch ended up in our neighbor's pool one year, after some Halloween tomfoolery.)

Getting a feel of the "guts"!

School buddies!

Showing off the seeds they grabbed out.

The pumpkin seeds we made the night before made an appearance, as we knew we could never eat them all.  We thought it would be a nice treat for the kids to try, not knowing that today would hold a pumpkin lesson!

Brant got to pass them out, with a little help from Mrs. Sheila
 After all the pumpkin experiments, it was time to check out the fire truck.  One of Brant's classmate's families owns this antique one, and it makes a yearly appearance around Fire Safety Week.  Always fun to climb and explore, the class had no qualms about making this one their own!
Getting ready to sit in the driver's seat!

Firemen Brant and E, off to a fire!

Of course, there's nothing like loading 22 kids up on top of the truck and trying to get a photo where you can see everyone's faces!  
Brant quite enjoyed himself, exploring the hoses on top. 
A fun afternoon, and more fun to come!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creepy crawlies and pirate pumpkins

 This past weekend was Fall Break and a welcome break it was!  We enjoyed being at home and making crafts, playing and just being a family. You've seen we kicked off Fall Break with a playdate and a trip to the fair. But this is what we else we did!

Brantley, Grandma and I made spiders (with Peppermint Patty insides) for his Kindergarten class.

Of course, we made a few to decorate the Hoosier.  I love the bats too, with Brant's hands!
The orange circles are the pumpkins that Brant designed, with goofy faces.
 So the week progressed on...Daddy had today off and it was deemed "Pumpkin Carving Night!"  Homework done, fire lit in the chimenea, we got to work!
The un-carved Delaware pumpkin,with a bit of NC dirt.

Cutting the your fingers Daddy!

Daddy doing the design work.  Little B and I had done the "guts" and Little B decided that THIS year, we were roasting the seeds.

So, after dinner, and waiting for it to be dark enough to light the pumpkin, we whipped up some cinnamon, sugar and butter to glaze the seeds.  Popped into the oven for 45 minutes and we had a yummy snack.   

The finished product, we've got lots of pirates around this Halloween
The no flash jiggly but necessary photo of the lit pumpkin!

There are a few more Halloween events coming up, so stay tuned!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

State Fair Fun!

A day off from school meant that we had a chance to hit the State Fair!  I was flipping back through photos to see if I could find the one other time Brant had been to the fair, and I've decided it must have been when he was only 2. So of course, he told us several times that he'd not been before.  This time we were sure to hit all the highlights for him.  But, let me get this out beforehand.  The Carolina O'Day's don't ride rights that can be dismantled and put up again in a day.  Yes, we know the inspections. But there is so much other stuff to do there, who has time for rides?

Today dawned cold and sunny.  There are several things that are synonymous with State Fair to me.  First, roasting. Starting off in jean and long-sleeves and needing shorts by the end.  Second, yellow jackets.  Ugh. But at a brisk 50 degrees, we were layered up, and a bit on the chilly side.  

First place we headed was across the bridge to the NC Forest Service area. On the way there though, we stopped to watch the blacksmiths make a hook, and the John Deere ice cream machines make ice cream (we partook of that on the way out!)  The pride of the Forest Service is Smoky the Bear.  Not just a little one.  One BIG Smoky!

This was our second time seeing Smoky, who addresses the kids personally.  He's huge. But I have to say, the Forest Service guys are great. Fantastic!  They get on the kid's level and actually seem to enjoy what they are doing!
 A quick jaunt through the flower section (Grandma and I could have stayed here all day), but we at least got a few silly photos.

Brantley has been asking quite a bit about how things are made.  Not machines and things, but how things USED to be made. So we were quite excited to guide him through the Village of Yesteryear.  Here, artisans craft their wares, and we were able to show him the three main questions he asks about, pottery, a loom and candle-making.

Watching the potter. If you noticed all these photos are from's because he was NOT in a photo mood today.
 Off we headed to antique farm equipment and animals!!

Now, let's just pause here for a moment and consider one thing. FAIR FOOD!  We had a list (err, I in particular, had a list) of food we (ahem, I) needed to eat.  First on this list is directly outside the Village of Yesteryear...roasting ears.  Sigh. I could eat another now.  So could little B, for he was quite taken with them as well.  Big Brant could live with out them. Grandma could go either way.  I want another one. Right now!

Yummo!  Grilled corn drenched in butter.  Greasy goodness!
 So there is a break in photos here, as we got engrossed in animals and navigating the more crowded part of the fair. But a quick stop at the UNC-TV (PBS) tent is always fun.
"When Pigs Fly" demo, with levers and hammers and flying pigs.  Always  good fun!

Of course, cutouts of favorite characters liven it up.  Here, a guy from Dinosaur Train. Side note, Brant passed up a photo op with both a Transformer and Scooby-Doo.  Still not quite a fan of live characters. But Mickey and gang, he's all over!

"Calling all Super Readers!"
 We spent a bit of time with the State Troopers, local police departments and the National Guard.
Exploring the Humvee

Popping out the top, unexpectedly. So this is not the best photo, but he was too busy to stop for a photo.
 We walked through the exhibition halls, picking up stickers, buying our Mt. Olive pickles, getting Lions club peanuts and seeing the award winning cakes, quilts,veggies and clothes. And best of show dress...Scarlett O'Hara's green dress from the "bahr-bah-que!"

So back to food, it was officially lunch time by now, and look what one of the newcomer's was!  But no, we didn't eat here.
Bellies full, feet sore and loaded with all the free stuff little B picked up, it was time to head home, for Daddy had to work.  All in all, a great day. There's nothing like a day at the fair!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Scramble!

Let the Halloween festivities begin!  Tonight was the Halloween Egg Scramble!  Our town's Parks and Rec sponsors it each year, but this is the first year we've gone. It was quite fun, and along with a costume contest and some friends from soccer, it was a great evening.  

Brant usually has two Halloween costumes. I know, absurd. But let me tell you what we do, and why.  The first thing is, there is always something Brant HAS to be. Like Batman, Spiderman, or this year, a Pirate.  So that is saved for Trick or treating.  Why? Because a. they are usually one piece deals (you'll understand that in a minute) or b. I'm scared something will happen to them before the actual event.  That's because the kids get it wear their costumes to school on the day of the Halloween Carnival (thus, the one piece nixed. Can you imagine getting out of Spiderman when you REALLY have to go pee?)  So, we usually create an outfit, or use something we have for dress-up that is more comfy for all day wear.   

This year, Brant chose to be a Marine.  Hmmm, I think he misses his family in Japan, he's been talking about you lots lately! 

"Do Marines do this Mommy?"

The judging for the contest.  Beat out by a UPS guy.  Seriously. 

Oh yeah. He's ready to scramble!

So we had a plan.  Usually we get bogged down at the start, picking up all the eggs he could see.  But this year, he ran almost to the end and worked his way back.  Good plan Daddy!

Picking up as fast as he could!  See, he even has his own dog tags!

"I'm so tired I can't walk!"

Checking out the loot!  Didn't get one of the gift cards, but if you need a spider ring, we have about 10 !
We had a great time, loved seeing all the cute (and sometimes a bit scary) costumes the kids wore.  We love living in our small town!