Happy Halloween

Edgar Allan Poe “The Raven”

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Happy Halloween all you ghosts and goblins! I hope you get more treats than tricks.


Isabella and I spent this evening working on her book project.  October’s book had to be a mystery so she picked the Boxcar Children’s Mystery of the Hidden Painting.  We made a “skeleton” of the book using index cards and popsicle sticks.  Tomorrow she just has to present it to the class and point out portions of the body that highlight sections of the story.

A Surprise Box

When we came home today there was a box on our porch from Ben’s Aunt Kathy in New Mexico.  It was like an early Christmas present.  Inside were tons of awesome books.  There were paperback books: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Frank Herbert’s The Santaroga Barrier, Edgar Rice Burroughs At The Earth’s Core and Tarzan of the Apes, and Treasure Island.

There were also some hardback books: A Kim Aldrich Mystery: Silent Partner by Jinny McDonnell (I have never heard of these series and am excited to read this), Cemetery World by Clifford D. Simak, and Walt Disney’s Zorro (which is going on Blackburn’s shelf in his bedroom.)

Inside the box were also some National Geographic Society books: The Emerald Realm, Mysteries of the Ancient World, Secret Corners of the World, Yosemite, and Pathways to Discovery.  I have only glanced through these books but the photography is amazing.

The best part were the Hardy Boy Books.  I just recently decided to start gathering these books up at thrift stores and yard sales, along with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books.  I have one Hardy Boy book so far, it is The  Sinister Signpost.  Aunt Kathy has added the following to our collection: Mystery of the Desert Giant, Footprints Under the Window, The Tower Treasure, and The Secret of the Caves.  

Receiving this box was such a great way to brighten up a dreary Monday.

Makeup mania

We had a lot of fun tonight at a friend’s Halloween Party.  The kids painted pumpkins, listened to spooky music, roasted marshmallows, snacked on good food and we all dressed up for the occasion.  We busted out the Halloween makeup.  Isabella was a zombie, Ben was her unfortunate victim, Blackburn had a skeleton face, Vita Rose was a rainbow fairy (her own creation), and I painted my face like the Day of the Dead skulls.

Blood just applied.

Family portrait for 2012

We got this Japanese Lantern awhile ago and finally lit it. It was really cool to see it float off into the air.

My favorite picture of the night!

The best part is that the party started at 5:00, was great for the kids, was close to our house and now it is a little after 9:00 pm and all of our kids are cleaned up and asleep in their beds.  Happy (early) Halloween!

Indian Summer

The past few days have been warm and breezy with highs in the upper 70’s and sunny.  When not at work or at school,  we soaked up the sun and spent hours outside.  After being cooped up and sick, this was just what I needed.  We picked flowers, had many fires, roasted marshmallows, dug in the dirt, worked on the clubhouse, watched the sun go down and the moon rise.

Barefoot weather, the boots did not stay on long.

Wildflower mix still blooming sporadically in the backyard.

Scrambled eggs over the fire.

Feeling Better

not completely out of the woods, but feeling better.  Ben is very compassionate when I am sick. Saturday night he told me, “Stop breathing on me and don’t use my pillow, I don’t want to get sick.”

Since I can’t sleep very well, I started watching the Vampire Diaries Saturday night on Netflix.  I am now on Season 2.  My plans for tonight after dinner – help Isabella with her math homework, get kids to bed, eat popcorn and watch Stefan and Damon fight with each other vampire-style.

A quick note:

My throat has been on fire and my fever finally broke in the middle of the night. So we have stayed in most of this weekend and not much new to report.  Soccer game at 3 today, last game of the outdoor season.  Hope to have a longer post tomorrow.

A quick note:

Tonight was the last soccer practice for the fall season and a Parents vs. Kids game ensued.  Parents lost by one goal.  There was a lot of trash talking going on from the kids.  Their team cheer was “Kids rule and parents drool”.  Our last game is Sunday.  The girls start on an indoor soccer team in November at Soccer City.  This will be Isabella, Vita and six other girls.  They seem really excited about extending the soccer season further, even if it is indoors.

Studying German Together

Ben and I do not know German, however, our kids do.  Even Blackburn has picked up on the songs the girls are constantly singing and is able to repeat them.  This week starts Isabella’s first set of German spelling words.  Her test is on Thursday. Do you know how creative you have to be when teaching spelling words that you don’t know how to pronounce, let alone spell? This week her German words are:

die Insel (island), das Iglu (igloo), das Insekt (insect), der Igel (hedgehog), der Pinsel (paintbrush), sitzen (to sit), beginnen (to begin), das Kissen (pillow)…extra credit is interessant (interesting) and der Imbiss (snack/snack bar)

This is as much as a lesson for her as it is for me…except she already has the pronunciation down.  So far flashcards and writing over and over is our plan of attack-hopefully we will be successful.

Isabella’s desk at home- studying for 2nd grade German spelling test