Sunday, November 30, 2014

Halloween activities

Halloween was busy yet fun for us this year. The day before Halloween (the same day as Layla's school hoe down) we took the kids to the Children's Museum to trick or treat and play. All the kids went dressed up and the staff at the museum was also dressed up. The kids got to run around the museum and play while the staff walked around and handed out candy.

I know Sanaa loves most of the Children's Museum, but she is almost always drawn to the area where she can draw (or paint) her face. She's been asking me to buy face paint for the past few months ever since she got her face painted at my mom's work party. The face paint may show up in her Christmas stocking... we'll see. 

Currently, the Children's Museum has a Wizard of Oz area. It is great. I love it! And it's most likely because I've seen the movie numerous times while living in Kansas.

On Friday, Halloween, we spent the morning and early afternoon with the girls' good friends Marcus and Naomi. Layla and Naomi had a blast dressing up as Elsa and Anna from the movie Frozen. Layla will almost always choose to be Anna, while all her friends want to be Elsa.

After spending time with Marcus and Naomi we drove home, had a costume change and then headed to my parents house for dinner. My brother, sister-in-law, and niece met us there for dinner. Karen got  a few pictures of our kiddos all dressed and ready for trick or treating. After dinner, I took my kids to downtown Newberg to trick or treat along the Main Street stores. My brother and his family headed back to their town to trick or treat in their neighborhood.

The kids came away with a lot of candy! I sent at least half of it with Nate to work so he share it with his co-workers. As we drove home, Sanaa and Layla asked when we could trick or treat in our neighborhood. They've never asked to do that before, so maybe next year we'll end up doing that instead.

Malakai would not cooperate for pictures. Most of the time he is the first one to smile and pose but this time he was not going to listen. But I love the way that Layla posed with Ariana!

Finally, I thought I'd share some treats that we made during the week prior to Halloween.  We made ghost bananas and pumpkin oranges. The kids thought they were awesome and Malakai would walk around the house making ghost sounds. The ghosts were just bananas cut in half with chocolate chips (mini and regular size) for the eyes and mouth. The pumpkins were small oranges with celery for a stem.

Layla's preschool hoe down

Layla's preschool does not celebrate Halloween. Instead the last day of school before Halloween they have a hoe down. The kids wear western type clothes, sing some fun songs, and have a special treat. Layla wore the same outfit Sanaa did when Sanaa was 4. At first Layla did not want to wear her western style clothes. But then I showed Layla a picture of Sanaa and Layla got all excited and wanted to look just like Sanaa did. Which meant I also had to braid her hair the same way. 

I showed up at Layla's preschool in time to watch the kids sing a few songs and enjoy their special snack.

It is hard to get a serious picture of Layla. She is almost always doing something goofy or making a silly face for the camera.

Sanaa did not have school on the day that Layla had her hoe down (there were parent-teacher conferences at Sanaa's school that day), so Sanaa got to come along and watch Layla. Sanaa was also excited that she got to see her old teacher (Mrs. Marek) who is Layla's current teacher. Since they had extra snacks after serving all the kids in Layla's class, Sanaa got to enjoy some as well. They had plain rice cakes with orange frosting and skittles to decorate with.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pumpkin decorating

In October, Layla's preschool had an all school field trip to a pumpkin patch. I took Layla and Malakai on the field trip and they had a blast. The very next day, we went back and took Sanaa since she also wanted to go to the pumpkin patch but had been in school. The kids picked out a small pumpkin and they decided they wanted to paint them. .

The first two pictures are Sanaa's finished pumpkin.

Layla also painted circles for eyes and then painted the back white.

Malakai painted a very abstract pumpkin. He had a lot of fun mixing colors.

Then a week or so after we went to the pumpkin patch, all the kids at church were given pumpkins and stickers to decorate their pumpkins. Layla choose to put the stickers on the van window and carve her pumpkin. She really enjoyed scooping everything out of her pumpkin.

Sanaa and Malakai chose to use the stickers to decorate their pumpkins.

Sanaa made it a point at church to pick the least perfect pumpkin. Her pumpkin had a crooked stem and was lop-sided, yet she proudly showed everyone as we left church and told them that she had the perfect pumpkin!

Layla making a scary face with her pumpkin that I carved for her.

Nate helped Malakai with his pumpkin. Malakai pointed out where he wanted the stickers to go and had Nate put them on the pumpkin for him. We now have 6 pumpkins around the house for decorations this year!

Sanaa's school jog-a-thon

Back in September, Sanaa's school had a jog-a-thon to raise money. They were challenged to raise $25,000 and if they met that goal, the principle would a get a pie in the face. A couple of weeks after the jog-a-thon they had a special assembly where different classes and individuals were awarded prizes. The kids at Sanaa's school met their and surpassed their goal! They raised just over $30,000! Sanaa's class got recognized as the class that had the highest average amount of money collected with about $174 per kid. Each kid in Sanaa's class got a special school pin.

Sanaa ran/walked 19 laps. She also told me that at one pointed she stopped because she noticed a dead caterpillar in the grass that someone had stepped on while they were running. So I'm sure she could have done another lap or two, but got distracted by the poor dead caterpillar.

The kids all started jumping up and down when the amount was unveiled. Their principle was a very good sport and took a whipped cream pie to the face.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Apple picking and cider making

This year we did our apple picking and cider making earlier than past years. It was kind of nice doing it earlier. Normally we make apple cider at the end of October or beginning of November. But this year we bumped it up to the beginning of October. The last Saturday in September, the girls and I went apple picking with my dad. We filled four 5-gallon buckets with apples. We picked enough to fill those buckets about 25 times. 

Sanaa and Layla began apple picked with lots of energy, but eventually fizzled out. So they spent the last hour or two (we were there for almost 4 hours) sitting in my dad's truck and watching PBS kids on my phone. We also had nice warm weather for picking apples. I'm use to cold and rainy weather, so having the sun out was a very nice change.

Two weeks after we picked the apples, my brother and his family, my parents, and Nate and I with our kids met at my parents house to make the apples cider. We had another really nice day. It started out cloudy but then the sun came out and it got quite warm. But I'd rather make apple cider on warm day than a rainy and cool day like past years.

Malakai has started calling the apple cider "papa's juju" (grandpa's juice). Every time we pull some apple cider out, he points at it and tells us it's grandpa's juice.

Sanaa, Layla, and Ariana having some kind of meeting. I'm not sure what they were discussing, but it sure was cute.

This picture of my brother scooping out more apples from the back of the truck while my kids are standing their eating apples makes me chuckle. I guess they had worked too long and too hard and needed a break.

Malakai was very curious about the process and just how all that juice came out. The past couple years he's been too young to understand or really notice what was going on. It was fun watch him with his curiosity.

The rest of the pictures below are ones that Karen took. She's a much better photographer than I am!

We ended up with just under 29 gallons of apple cider. That should last us for a few months! I know we've been enjoying it out our house.