Saturday, November 21, 2015

Halloween 2015

So Halloween in our neighborhood is no joke. Just imagine old-time Americana where everybody knows each other and the whole neighborhood is shut down because the streets are jammed with people. Our kids LOVE it! We had some big plans this year with our really great group of neighbors to have an over the top block party to accompany our Halloween events. So Super Why, a gymnast, and Luke Skywalker hit the neighborhood looking for candy.

Remember that block party I mentioned? Well, before trick or treating we all had a huge potluck dinner together. After everyone went and loaded up on candy we all met back up for a late night movie on the lawn. No joke, the chance to live around such great folks is the best part of living here.


October Fest

October begins for us a full on onslaught of celebration and excitement. Halloween is the kickoff to our season, and the kids approach this event with excitement and fervor. Our opening event is the great pumpkin selection. Let's be honest. This really looks mostly like our children running wildly in circle and picking up as many pumpkins as they can while we try to find three moderately sized pumpkins and get out.

The work of picking out pumpkins is rather demanding, so we needed to make sure the munchkins were well fed. Why not fill up on donuts?!

This year we added a new event to our season opening festivities. Each of the munchkins decorated their bedrooms doors as a monster of their liking.

And the final pre-season event of October is the night before Halloween pumpkin carving. Maybe this time next year we'll let Aidan wield his own blade and carve up his own pumpkin.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

We really don't have any words for this...

Noah leans toward the creative side. He is the kind of kid that rarely plays with toys as they are intended to be played with. This is a great example of that. He used a crane, a stuffed animal, and a Halloween bucket to create a trap. In this particular scene, the poor stuffed animal has been successfully captured by this device. We took a lot of comfort in the fact that when Noah strung up his little doggy, he did so by it's foot and not it's neck. In our book, that's a win.


This is the one year that Noah and Ryla would be eligible to be on the same soccer team. That means we pretty much had to make sure they were. They really had no idea what they were doing, to them, this was just another obligatory "act cute" photo opp. But they really nailed it!
Aidan played soccer last fall and loved it. He still plays all the time and can't wait for his turn to be on a team again. Because his wisdom and skill are vastly superior to that of his little brother and sister, Aidan got to join dad on the coaching staff for the team. His official title is Assistant to the Head Coach.
The first practice was pretty much pure chaos. Ryla is the oldest kid on the team by at least 6 months, and three of the kids didn't turn 3 until after the season had started. Noah may look like he worked hard in practice. Actually, we couldn't really get him on the field- he just played on the play set. And Ryla was happy to pose for the pic, but she spent the rest of the practice working on her cart wheels.
Keller is a little boy from our neighborhood who is on the team with Noah and Ryla. The three of them are really good influences on each other... okay, they're not, but they have a lot of fun.
We noticed that both of them have a good sense of image management. Rya knows how to present a soft and subtle presence that invites others to notice her. Noah is more of the "I'm gonna kick you in the shin type." I think he sticks out his gut to make himself look bigger to the other kids.
The kids didn't really seem to know much about soccer, but they were pretty quick at picking up the team name. Remembering that they are the Ant Eaters was about the only measurable outcome for the first two practices.

Notice that this is one of those rare moment in little kid soccer when there is not a blob around the ball. Our kids don't really seem to have that tendency to clump up. They pretty much just hand out and wait for the other team to score- why run all over the field when the ref will just bring the ball back to the middle and let you kick it again?

Watching Aidan "coach" little brother and sister is probably the most enjoyable part of the whole thing. We laugh about a lot of the actual game play, but this is a pretty cool experience. Chances are that in 10 years they won't remember much of this, but at least will have the pics to look back on, and we'll be able to tell them how they looked out for each other, learned from each other, and made each other better. Hopefully, they will remember those lessons- even if they never learn how to dribble a soccer ball.