October 31, 2012

Trick or treat

Allison loved trick or treating and visiting people. We sat on our front porch for an hour an a half. Allison ran around the yard and when she got fussy we would go see a couple houses. We ended up hitting all the houses on our stretch of street that had people out front. Allison would start yelling "Happy Halloween" as soon as she could see someone. She's managed to unwrap several treats, take one bite then hand it to us so she can try the next one.

Halloween Crafts

She's so focused - love it!
Allison loves craft time at her preschool so I've been inspired to start doing crafts at home with her - trying for a couple times a week. Previously we had just been coloring together but Allison is really enjoying the diversity. I've also noticed it's great for her dexterity and hand-eye coordination as she handles the little pieces. Here are the projects that we've done since mid-October.  If you have ideas for more projects I would love to hear them.

Cotton Ball Ghost:
needed: glue stick, cotton balls, crayons, computer & printer, cardstock
link to my ghost: http://www.coloringbookshop.com/colorpages/halloween/ghost-coloring-page.html
Allison did something similar at preschool which was my inspiration.  I googled "ghost silhouette" images and grabbed a free one (link above).  I copied it into PowerPoint and enlarged the image, then printed it on cardstock.  Allison drew on it a little with an orange crayon, then I rubbed a glue  stick over the ghost and gave her a pile of cotton balls.  It took her a minute to figure out the sticky area, but she had lots of fun.  I wasn't sure if this would last, but the cotton balls are still holding on, and we did this one two weeks ago.

Fall Sticker Art
needed: paper, foam stickers, crayons
This is so versatile and easy.  You could use colored paper or cardstock if you want it to be more durable or go with a theme.  What's shown is just printer paper we had.  I encouraged Allison to color with some 'fall' colored crayons - oranges, browns, yellows, then let her decorate with foam stickers.  I found the fall-themed stickers at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.  It had enough stickers to make 3 of these sheets.  The other two went home with Gigi and Stacey for their fridge collection - theirs had more variety of stickers.  We used the leftovers to make one for us another day.

Decorating a Pumpkin
needed: pumpkin, stickers (we used foam stickers)
We decorated a small pumpkin with foam stickers yesterday for our craft project.  You can use regular stickers too, we had the foam ones on hand.  I really like foam ones for little hands because they don't tear easily and a have more heft for her little fingers.  Allison normally needs me to pull the backing off, so that way mommy is participating too.  She picks out a sticker, hands it to me, I peel, and then she places it.  She gets to do all the creative parts, but I'm still involved with her.  I love when we can do things together.  Afterwards we talked about the colors of the stickers and counted the different shapes (how many stars, how many crosses, etc).

October 30, 2012

Trunk or Treat

This is one of my favorite photos
Sunday our church hosted their annual Trunk or Treat carnival. I coordinated the event for our bible study class.  We hosted a trunk, and had so much fun seeing all the kids come trick or treat.  Before trick or treating there was a carnival with bounce houses, face painting and crafts for the kids, and food trucks for the adults (though most of those were late).  I volunteered and ran a craft table for the first hour, then joined Kevin and Allison in the activities.  Allison dressed up as a purple fairy, she loved her wings ($5 Walmart - I need to go back and get more colors).  Last year Allison was just starting to talk and couldn't say 'trick or treat' so she gave high fives for candy.  This year she ran up to everyone to say 'trick or treat' and mostly remembered to say 'thank you' as well.  This is such a fun event, I hope you can join us next year.
Allison with our friend Jamie - she promised to teach me to make her skirt.  I'm thinking matching costumes next year.
Allison asked for some of her pumpkin to be pink so the girl painted her pumpkin with a pink stem, so precious

Trick or Treat

Impromptu balance beam with daddy

Already got into the chocolate

Allison was fascinated with this trunk

October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Despite the cold we bundled up this morning and drive out to the Flower Mound pumpkin patch (the original one).  Allison wore her panda suit - she calls the pants her 'lamby' pants, so cute.  We got there at 9:30 and it was fantastic - almost no crowd.  I think most people were waiting for it to warm up a little, it was about 40 degrees.  We explored the pumpkins and Allison would not sit still for a picture!  Kevin and Allison climbed the big hay pile - Allison fell and was very distressed that hay stuck to her outfit.  Allison got to bounce in a bounce house, and went down a bouncy slide at least half a dozen times since there was no line. We rode a little train around part of the property and ran into Allison's pediatrician picking out a pumpkin with her husband.  One of the things we really enjoyed was all the cardboard cut-outs.  Allison loved the 101 Dalmations, Little Mermaid, Elmo, and Winnie the Pooh.  She hugged several of them, which was just too precious.  Scroll all the way to the bottom for Star Wars photos.  We are already making plans to go back to this location for their Christmas tree farm and activities.
Posing in the Pumpkin Field
Family photo on the hay pile
Allison would not cooperate for this photo
She hugged Elmo
Allison found the Little Mermaid
My first pumpkin patch
Me and Allison in the pumpkin house

So much fun sliding, and a couple wipe-outs at the bottom
For the Star Wars fans (especially my husband) - heartwarming photos of Allison hugging Yoda

October 25, 2012

Preschool Fall Festival

Allison in front of the ark
Allison's preschool doesn't celebrate Halloween, but they do have a fall festival every year at the end of October. This year's theme was Noah's Ark and all the kids were encouraged to dress up as animals. This would have been a better idea if it wasn't 80 degrees out today and 100% humidity, but that's Texas.

The little ones were all just so cute. They lined up and 'paraded' into the main building. They had story time, snack time and a music class. We decided to go back to the classroom to decorate pumpkins - that way we could get the kids out of their costumes first.

So far I really enjoy being a room mom and love spending time with the kids. It's so sweet when the little ones want to hold my hand or come to me for help. I expect it from Allison, but it melts my heart when the others reach out to me too.

Allison and Abby playing catch
My pretty girl
Allison and Abby playing hockey
Allison and Jesse at storytime

October 22, 2012

Washing machine clean out

Kevin's favorite green shirt just came out of the wash with a mysterious black stain on it so I decided it's time to clean out the washing machine and dryer.

I found this website from Pinterest:

Before starting - be warned, this is a long process.  You have to run 2 complete cycles, plus two hours soaking.  Aside from that all it requires is a quart of bleach and quart of vinegar.

I followed the steps, but I'm not sure it did anything. My water stayed clear the whole time - don't know if something didn't work or just that my machine wasn't that dirty. I cleaned late last night then this morning did a good scrub with a magic eraser to get buildup off the agitator and up at the very top and under the rim. The eraser needed some hard scrubbing to work, but made a huge difference. I then ran an empty cycle through to wash out any residue before I put clothes in.
Close up of under the rim - yuck (before magic eraser)

Next up - cleaning out the dryer. I have no idea how, guess it's time to google.

October 19, 2012

Rodeo practice

Allison likes her Aunt Stacey's dog, Bailey, better than our own dogs. Our dogs like her (because she feeds them her snacks), but even with that they are not this tolerant. Bailey deserves all the treats she can out of this - and she will get a lot.

October 18, 2012

Road Trip

Allison received a cozy car for her birthday and it's become one of her favorite toys. Today she 'taught' bunny how to drive. Then she begged to play in my car - another new favorite activity. I don't remember it, but know I used to sit in the car for hours with my grandma and play road trip. Allison decided we were going to see Aunt Stacey and Bailey. Allison put keys in the ignition, tried to open the garage door, change gears and steer. She tried to use the pedals too but gave up pretty quickly when she realized she couldn't reach them and stay in the drivers seat.

A good deed

Allison decided that Sophie needed a pillow for her nap. This is what she did:

October 17, 2012


We are having a sick day today (again). While Allison and I are both tired of being sick we have managed to have some 'quiet fun'. Stickers on noses was not my idea, just in case you were wondering.

October 15, 2012

In the drivers seat

Allison couldn't wait for her turn and just squished in next to Abby at playgroup. They are just too cute.

Chicken fried steak fingers

cooked 90 seconds per side
Both Allison and Kevin loved this Pioneer Woman recipe. I was looking for a quick dinner and had some cube steak in the freezer. Allison ate almost 3 whole ones, she thought they were chicken nuggets and gobbled them up with lots of ketchup.

I cut the recipe in half, but was generous with the spices in the flour mixture.  I also added some our favorite steak seasoning for extra flavor.  They turned out so yummy, we didn't even need gravy or dipping sauce.

I love that it was something rich and a special treat, but took less than 20 minutes start to finish.

Here is the link to the recipe on Pioneer Woman's websites:

My assembly line

October 14, 2012

New Playground

The elementary school in our subdivision just had some major renovations and additions, including a new playground. We took Allison over before dinner and she loved the big slide.

October 11, 2012


Today's artwork from preschool is candy corn handprints. I've photographed it in front of our fall pumpkins that Allison picked out at Central Market yesterday. We are so excited for cooler weather and the upcoming holidays - my favorite time of year!

October 9, 2012

Happy Anniversary

On October 3 Kevin and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Tonight we went out for a nice dinner at the Classic Cafe in Roanoke to celebrate. It's a farm to market type restaurant with its own garden to grow their own vegetables. The food was wonderful, especially the okra shrimp fritters (appetizer) and our peach pecan bread pudding.

My dad was really nice and watched Allison for us. They had their own special night with pizza and cookies.
Peach Pecan Bread Pudding

October 7, 2012

Allison climbing

Here is Allison on a 5 foot climbing wall at Little Gym. When I tried to help her she would tell me "no mommy, no help"

October 3, 2012

Allison's Artwork

Here are photos of all the art projects Allison brought home from preschool in September.  Arts and Crafts is one of her favorite activities at school.  
Allison got all the stickers in the window - first day of school project
First week of school - handprints

Cinnamon bear - we will do this at home!
Allison loves to paint
homemade tambourine