Enjoying Our Journey

Living, Loving and Learning Together

Book Buddies

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My middle read my youngest a few bedtime stories tonight. It was so sweet to watch them enjoying the time together. I love reading to my kids and it warms my heart to know that they enjoy reading to each other as well. There is nothing like a good story to bring a family together.

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And of course, there must be tackle hugs after story time. 😉

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M&Ms and LEGOs

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We celebrated the 100th day of school a little over a month ago with some favorites. First, the kids filled up a 100 chart with M&Ms.

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Then, they sorted them by color and displayed their results on a bar graph. They calculated which color had the most, which had the least, the differences between the amounts of each color, etc.

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My oldest had some fun rearranging the M&Ms into numbers representing how much of each color he had.

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I gave each of the boys a bag filled with 100 random LEGOs. Their task was to build something using just what was in their bag. I enjoyed watching their creativity bloom while they worked.

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This was an enjoyable way to mark our 100th day of school. I will have to start planning something for next year. 🙂

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Half-Blood Heroes

I was thrilled that my older boys each chose to be a character from a favorite book series for Halloween. My middle son decided on Percy Jackson. We are reading the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series as a family read-aloud and he is loving it. My oldest chose to be Jason Grace from the Heroes of Olympus series, also by Rick Riordan.

Both Percy and Jason dress like regular boys their age, so deciding on what to have my boys wear as a costume was challenging. We wanted them to look like the characters and not just boys wearing their usual clothes but carrying swords. After discussing it, we settled on making shirts to reflect the camp that each boy attended in the books. Unfortunately, we did not have any luck finding solid colored t-shirts in orange and purple, so we improvised.

I had several white t-shirts on hand for crafting purposes already. I painted a rectangle on each shirt in the correct color and added the camp logo. I used a free hat pattern for the logo for Percy’s shirt. And Google had several images for the logo for Jason’s shirt. Of course, now both boys want me to knit them one of the hats too. Maybe after I finish their Gryffindor House Sweaters…

I was pleased with how the shirts came out, and more importantly, so were the boys.

Percy’s shirt:

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Jason’s shirt:

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My husband made swords for the boys. I will need to get a good picture of them to add to this post.

My oldest was especially excited when someone recognized him and knew the character from the books. She expressed how much she loved the books and they talked for a minute. It made his night!

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Halloween Feast

Halloween falls in the middle of the week again this year. As a result, dinner that night is usually something quick on the way out the door for Trick-or-Treating. We all love a fun, Halloween-themed dinner, so we decided to have it on the weekend before the holiday to allow enough time both to prepare and to enjoy it. The kids’ favorite Halloween meal is Mummy Meatloaf. I can’t remember if this is the second or third year in a row that we had it on the menu. Here is a picture of ours. (The picture on the link to the recipe is nicer since they used a platter to serve it. I will try to remember to do that next year.)

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And the perfect side dish for Mummy Meatloaf is of course mashed potatoes served to look like ghosts.

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As always, our Halloween feast was a big hit.

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Pumpkin Carving Party

One favorite family tradition is to get together with friends and carve pumpkins before Halloween. We always have a blast! This year included a spooky dinner of Swamp Creatures and Hot Dog Mummies.

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Then we had cupcakes decorated especially for the occasion, apples with caramel dip, and some sugar cookies. After our feast, it was time to get our pumpkins going. We cut and scooped, drew, poked and cut some more.

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Hard at work…

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And posing with the finished products…

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We had a wonderful time with our friends and got to cross another item off of our Fall To-Do list. : )

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Pumpkins!

We crossed another item off of our fall to-do list. The kids picked out their pumpkins. They are just a little excited. : )

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I love this picture. I was trying to get a smile, but this is better.

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In addition to picking out pumpkins, we made Halloween crafts, listened to Halloween music on Pandora, and then had pumpkin cookies and hot chocolate. It was a perfect family night. : )

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Fall To-do List

Inspired by an idea on Pinterest, our family made a wish list of things we would like to do this fall. Here is our list:

  • make apple crisp
  • bake a pumpkin pie
  • make a leaf rubbing
  • go on a walk and collect leaves
  • go apple picking
  • visit a corn maze
  • carve a pumpkin
  • rake the leaves and then jump in
  • make a scarecrow
  • pick out pumpkins
  • bake pumpkin bread
  • bake applesauce bread
  • bake apple pie
  • paint a fall tree
  • go trick or treating
  • make apple prints
  • go to the Common Ground Fair
  • take a hike
  • make chicken and squash soup

Some of the items on our list have been fall traditions in the past and the rest we are excited to add this year. So far we have attended the Common Ground Fair on the first official day of fall, visited a corn maze, made chicken and squash soup twice (a favorite recipe from Taste of Home), baked pumpkin spice bread a few times, raked leaves and jumped in them, and made a scarecrow. This upcoming week, we plan on baking a pumpkin pie with a fresh-from-the-farm pie pumpkin and also a few craft projects.

Here is a photo of our scarecrow, Steve. Our children named him after a dear family friend.

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Does your family have a fall to-do list? What are your favorite fall traditions?

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