Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Is Finally Here.......I Think

Oh wow.......I thought I was doing so good by publishing 2 blog posts in one a month ago(as you can tell by the name of this blog which doesn't exactly fit anymore considering it's closer to winter, but whatev =).

When people ask me if I'm enjoying Florida I usually give some rave response. However, I have one complaint. Where in the hell is fall? Where are the golden orange, burnt red leaves? Where is the crisp, cool air that has an underlying sent of moist soil and decomposing leaves with a hint of wood burning smoke? Where is it? I don't know and I don't like it. This place has 2 seasons. Hot as hell and hot. Not cool my friends not cool......

I didn't even put up fall decorations. We did carve a pumpkin but that thing rotted in like 2 days because of the heat and humidity. If it weren't for the fall activities, well, it wouldn't even seem as if fall were here, as if Halloween existed, and Thanksgiving would be more of a distant memory from some long forgotten time. I have had to FORCE myself to get into the fall spirit.

One way to make Halloween feel real in the land of eternal summer(yes I know Halloween was almost a month ago but I'm playing catch up here)......was to bake cookies with Matthew.

I originally planned on making the dough from scratch but with school, playdates, MNI, MNO, and craft projects I just didn't have time. Toll House.....I can always count on you. YOUR MY BOY BLUE!!

(photo by Jacob Cavanaugh)

Out of all the Halloween shapes available my son wanted to make ghosts. He has been addicted to ghosts for the past 2 years and I don't see it coming to an end anytime soon.

I rolled out the cookie dough and using the cutter we made some pretty good looking ghosts.

Or so I thought. No one told me that you should roll pre-made dough super thin or else this would happen......

Homeboys straight BLEW. UP. But that's OK. Once you slap some icing and chocolate chips on them they look fantastic. Well, at least in Matthew's eyes they do.


We also attended a fall festival at the Methodist Church on Bloomingdale Ave. It was one of the first things we did with some of the other moms at Matthew's school. Since this we have done so much more together and I've truly enjoyed getting to know these women, their families, and watching our kids become friends with one another.

Kuddos to the Methodist Church for having put together an awesome fall festival. There was face painting

He likes it? He likes it not. He likes it? He likes it not :)

Next up....

And last but not least.....I'm really proud of you Matthew. This was the first time you ever had your face painted. We tried before but you just wouldn't have it. YAY to you bud!!

After face painting it was time to pick our pumpkins. All of us moms tried to keep a rule in place. You can pick it as long as you can carry it.

And then they were off.....trying to find the biggest pumpkin they could carry.

I think it's safe to say that the Methodist Fall Festival was a success.


Being new to the area we decided to give trick-or-treating in Hyde Park a try. Look, I only have 3 pictures from this and we learned not to do it again. Kids dress up and they go to each of the stores in Hyde Park collecting candy. There was one bounce house for the hundreds of kids there, it was hot, and it took us 2 hours to get a sandwich for lunch.

Yup that's it. That's all I have to say about trick-or-treating in Hyde Park. Lesson learned and we will not be doing this next year.


However, the Fishhawk Festival was awesome. Fishhawk is a large community with their own little downtown, neighborhoods, schools, etc. The festival they put on each year is open to the public and our family had a wonderful time. We got there pretty early which was nice because there were no crowds which meant Nicholas could be free of his stroller for awhile and wander around.

Fishhawk advertises their festival as free and it is if the only thing you plan to do is walk around. They had easy kid games and activities set up but you had to have tickets and to get those tickets you had to make a donation. To this day I'm still not sure exactly what cause I donated to. Twenty bucks I think got us twenty-five tickets and they lasted awhile.

When we got there Nicholas straight took off. We thought he just wanted to run around but quickly realized that he was headed for the music stage. Oh it was too funny! He ran up to the stage, threw his hands up in the air, and started turning in circles which was clearly his version of dancing. Nicholas is totally different than his brother. We jokingly call him "a walking keg party". The world is his playground and everything in it is his toy. Mom and dad, if you're reading this I have a feeling Nicholas is going to be payback for all the hell I put you guys through=)

We had to put Nicholas in his stroller once the crowds started trickling in. There wasn't really anything for Nicholas' age but there was plenty for Matthew to do.

They had a make your own cupcake stand and were not stingy about how much stuff you could pile ontop. Matthew was content with just icing but of course I convinced him to add more. Since I'm so frugal I figured we needed to get our 3 tickets worth.

Once again Matthew surprised me by letting people spray paint his hair. I didn't think my super cautious son would go for it.

First time face painting and hair spraying in one day? I'd say he's on a roll in the adventure department. You might think I'm being sarcastic but I'm not.

Matthew played all the games, did the trick or treat street(getting candy from all the vendors promoting their businesses), played in the bounce house, and carved a pumpkin with daddy. Well daddy did most of the carving because they were using actual knives instead of the kid friendly carving kits.

Even though the Fishhawk Festival didn't start until 5pm, the pumpkin carving started at 9am and here's why. They take all of the carved pumpkins and put them on levels of scaffolding boards. When the levels are full and it's dark they have a pumpkin lighting ceremony.

While waiting for the lighting ceremony we ran into some friends. All of us had the intention of staying for the ceremony but after hours of festival fun we were tired, the kids were tired, and everyone was hungry for something other than candy.

So instead we all left and grabbed dinner together. Check out this sky as we were leaving. The photo isn't edited. It really was that beautiful.

Oh and I have to add that we did all three of those festivals in one day. Some people think we're crazy but I say it's better than going home and sitting in front of the television.


Later that week Matthew and his friends from school got together to carve the pumpkins they picked out at the Methodist Fall Festival. It started out great and the kids were all into it.

Hold up, wait a minute. Go back and tell me what's wrong with the last picture.

Mmmm hmmm. After 15 minutes we realized the boys were completely MIA and this is what we found.

Who needs pumpkins when you have a room full of Transformers. So us moms were left to finish the job.

Pats on the back ladies for a job well done.

And being the great moms that we are, I guess we'll go ahead and give the kids all the credit.


Phew! Almost done I promise. Of course fall wouldn't be complete without trick-or-treating. My girl Darcy is always listening to me complain about how no one in our neighborhood comes out of their house. So she invited my family over to grill out and go trick-or-treating in her neighborhood. Her Halloween decorations kick some serious ass.

And the nifty, thrifty thing about her decorating style? She makes them all herself. Pretty talented if you ask me. She has talked me into doing some Christmas decorations and I'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

I heard a lot of parents say their kids only lasted 30 minutes when it came to trick-or-treating. Our kids rocked it for almost an hour and a half. I think we, the parents, were ready to stop before they were.

Oh my gosh and the result of such a long trick-or-treating excursion.....

A bucket full of back fat. And I say that because you know Jacob and I hit up that candy more than the kids did. Don't lie! You know you do it too.

Let me explain our rules when it comes to junk food and candy in the house. We have it, we eat it, and I honestly don't put a limit on how much. I know many parents have rules when it comes to sugary treats. Some only allow a piece after lunch, a piece after dinner, and some even freeze the chocolate so that it lasts for months. You know what? Instead of explaining the rules let me just show you how we get down with candy after dinner.

We just dump it out and get to it. I can't even begin to justify our sugar consumption by saying that we ate some nutritious meal beforehand because by the look of the ketchip on the table I'm guessing we just finished eat either hotdogs or chicken nuggets and french fries =)

And I am totally OK with that. Happy fall ya'll!

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