Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Countdown

It's time! The Halloween countdown has begun. We are all actively engaged in our Halloween preparations. Halloween is a big event at our home. Our Halloween decorations are up and at night our home is transformed to a Halloween wonder land with orange twinkle lights, apple spiced potpourri simmering on the stove, and Jerusha's costume from last year - a blood spattered white apron with a human liver in the pocket - prominently displayed on the front door. We've even discussed what Puck and Loki, our guinea pigs, should be for Halloween.

At school Jerusha is working on her paper mache horns with Angel, a staff member at Sego Lily. These will  be the crowning glory of her Tiefling costume (yes, a Tiefling. A Tiefling is a mythical creature from D&D. D&D is short for Dungeons and Dragons). Angel and Jerusha worked on the horns for hours and hours - forming, pasting, and then drying.

While at home, Eli and I worked on a Halloween art project - cheesecloth ghosts.

First, you blow up balloons and then you hand the slobbery balloons to your mom to tie the end into a knot.

Then you place the blown up balloons onto a tall platform in preparation of draping the starch soaked cheesecloth over the balloons to create the long wispy ghost form - we used mason jars.
Mom demonstrating how to tie the slobbery balloon end into a knot.

Next, you take a break and play balloon volleyball in your living room. If you are a 10 year old boy then you will enjoy balloon volleyball more than getting your hands sticky with starch in a craft project with your mom.
Now the starch - if it looks like this, lumpy and congealed - you have a problem.
So you will need to do some quick problem solving, make a huge mess, and pour the starch into the blender while your 10 year old son asks, "Mom, how much longer is this going to take." Because he has a very important date with his DSI.
After the starch is blended to a smooth consistency, you are prepared for the next step. Dip the cheesecloth into the starch and form over the balloons. Now, this is very messy, so don't be surprised if your child says, "Mom, I don't like this. My hands feel disgusting. Mom, I'll take the pictures and Jerusha (his older sister, the one earlier in the blog with the paper mache dripping on her shoulders from her Tiefling horns) can help you."

So Mom finishes the project by herself, while Jerusha and Eli play balloon volleyball. When the project is complete Mom takes pictures for her blog and then calls her son to the table and says, "Pose by the balloon ghosts!"

And don't be surprised that while you and your son are cleaning up the starch spattered on the kitchen floor and all you can think about is the starch dripping off the ceiling because you took the lid of the blender too soon, your son looks up at you, genuinely smiles and says, "Mom, that was fun! I really like hanging out with you."  

Hee-Haw! Yee-Haw!

Welcome to Hee-haw farms! 
This is Leroy - I didn't know that until I read Teri's blog at:
He's part of the welcome wagon at Hee-haw farms, and behind him is the Mrs. with a litter of pink piglets.

 Here's a closer view. The piglets were adorable.

 Right next to Leroy and Mrs. Leroy and their piglets was a small petting zoo with baby goats and a cow. When I tried to enter the gated petting zoo, a goat escaped to the delight of many small children, and the race to capture the goat began as I quietly slipped away.

No visit is complete without posing as cartoon farm animals.

 Time for a snack. I think I'm going to order a Newborn piglet for $2.00. Hannah was disgusted especially considering we just cooed over Mrs. Leroy's babies.
 This is the baby goat I may have set free. All's well that ends well. Nice goatee!
 We shuffled all the kids into the corn husk tee-pee for a photo opportunity, after they snubbed out their corn-cob pipes.
 Teri really does make the most adorable farmer. We all got into the spirit of Hee-haw farms. Plus, Teri and I are preparing for the day when it's just her and I on Thursday Adventures.

If in the following pictures my children appear disgruntled, well, that is because they are. None of them wanted to measure their height in front of the great pumpkin for my blog. Come on children, it's fun!

 Corn maze time. We were under strict instructions to stay in phase 1. "You are not allowed in phase 2," we were told. So we did our best to follow the instructions and soon found phase 1. We split up into groups - the teenage horde moving quickly away from us (the adults and younger children) -and entered the corn maze.

Teri and Catie lost in the corn maze. Will they ever find their way out.

Good idea Catie, eat the corn. She won't starve thanks to her resourcefulness. We'd only bee in the corn maze for 10 minutes, but it was a very long 10 minutes and she had already scouted the area for sustenance.

 Katie, Teri, and I were on the hunt for the exit when I spotted a side path. So we headed through the corn to find our way out. Don't worry Teri and Catie, follow me and I will guide us safely home. I did - via phase 2!!!! Oh no!

 So we made it out of the corn maze relying on our keen resourcefulness and now it was time to wait for the teenagers to make it out...alive.
Just enough time for a tractor ride.
 Time to take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch. I think Jerusha loves Hee-Haw farms. 
Teri, Georgie Porgie, and Misty (from Hiking Without Happy Meals)
 So we rode the tractor in a large loop and it soon became evident that we were not riding to the pumpkin patch. In fact there was no destination, this ride was all about the journey. Oh no! The teenagers are revolting. They want their pumpkins and their darn sure going to get them or there's going to be hell to pay. We spotted a Hee-Haw farm gal in a red Hee-Haw farm t-shirt and she pointed us in the right direction. We had to walk to the pumpkin patch. More strong language - this pumpkin patch better not be too far! And it wasn't. It was down a rutted muddy path adjacent to the corn maze. Then the great pumpkin harvest began...

 Finally time to eat. The teenagers crammed together on a little picnic bench.
Teri slicing her delicious pumpkin bread that was ravenously devoured!

 Eli had low blood sugar and so after a juice box he took a ride on the horse swing to pass the next 15 minutes. YEE-HAW! HEE-HAW!

Okay, now for the highlight of  our Thursday Adventure - the corn box. Eli had been looking forward to this moment all day. I was able to capture his delight of this most anticipated event on video.

 Corn, Corn, CORN!!!

Eli loves the corn box because the corn makes his skin soft.

We had until 2:00pm at the farm before we would be kicked out. After lunch, and the corn, we had just enough time for the slide.

It was a Hee-Haw of a Fall day at Hee-Haw farms!