Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Super South Bros.

Super South Bros.

This year the boys had an idea for Halloween costumes. They wanted to Mario and Luigi--which meant Justin and I were The Princess and Bowser since we do the whole family costume thing. The only trouble, it took a little convincing on who should be who. Logan wanted to be Luigi because they both started with L but that just wasn't going to work. For this to work, Kaden needed to be Luigi and Logan needed to be Mario--I mean their height could not be more perfect for this. They had such an awesome idea and were pretty proud of it, as they should be.

So on Halloween day we loaded up their backpacks with their costumes & sent them on their way to school. Kaden was probably even more excited than Logan because he missed out on last year's celebrations since he was sick but both boys weren't too thrilled that I wouldn't be making an appearance. This was literally the FIRST holiday event that I didn't have to help plan as room mom. Plus, it's always a zoo at their school and the parade was going to be inside so parents would be in the gym and cafeteria--so I bowed out but thankfully, the village came through.

The parties were a blast. Both boys had so much fun & replayed everything that happened when I got home. Their smiles were the best but they were dancing around so much. They were so eager to head out and trick or treat with their buddies. Patience isn't there strong suit so we quickly got homework done & we started dinner so we could head out for some fun. 

Halloween this year was FREEZING. We jumped in the golf cart and headed over to the Shafers and on the way, there was snow flurries. SNOW FLURRIES on Halloween. Freezing. We took off around the neighborhood and went house to house filling up buckets. The kids were running and "hot" asking to take off their coats as the parents were trying to find more clothes to put on! About 10 houses in we stopped for a quick group picture...

I love how scary clown makes it look like Logan has some crazy hair going on!

We made it for about another 30 minutes and Kaden was ready to head home. We were close enough where I almost thought I could send him on his way by himself BUT I just wasn't ready for that. He could have totally done it and I could have totally called Justin and told him to watch for him coming around the corner BUT that would just make him WAY TOO OLD & that is not what I am ready for!

So Kaden and I walked to get the golf cart and on our way back we picked up Mario & headed back to the house where they spent the next hour or so handing candy out at our house. Sadly, we didn't have many trick or treaters, they were all on the 2nd phase side & the Highlands which made for some grumpy boys but thank goodness for the candy.

Monday, October 30, 2017

3rd Annual Halloween Bash

Halloween has quickly become one of my most favorite holidays. Christmas got WAY too crazy with everything going on with our family and then take into account our friends lives & get togethers just wasn't going to happen. Thus we decided Halloween would be our go to holiday to gather with friends and family before the craziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas get in the way. 

We've done small gatherings in previous years but last year we tried taking it to the next level. We made it a costume party and not just for the kids, but for everyone. & prizes would be awarded and although dressing up isn't a MUST, you will totally feel out of place if you don't and will get called out for not dressing up too. Next year we are creating the loser award.

Last year we did a family costume -- we were a circus -- and almost as soon as Halloween was over the boys were talking about what we were going to do this time around. Kaden and Logan, with the help of Justin came up with our theme this year--Super Mario Bros. The boys were at the perfect height for it & Justin was thrilled his costume was pretty minimal & well, for me, I was going to be Princess Peach and what girl doesn't want to be a princess. I didn't have to work on our costumes, I just ordered. Two costumes for me and then used bits from each but other than ordering the wrong sizes for the boys, we were good to go. Or at least I thought we were. 5 days before the party I thought--why don't we add go karts & balloons, I can totally build/paint these. Umm, that didn't happen. For once, I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew and instead of driving Justin and the boys crazy trying to go the extra mile, I just said NO. After all, Justin had a BBQ tournament on Friday and Saturday and most all food, party prep was already falling on my shoulders. I figured feeding our guests would be more important than our go carts. I was right.

We weren't sure how many to expect when we first sent out the invites, a lot of parties are thrown the Saturday before Halloween but to our surprise, most everyone was able to make it. It got dark before we could get a group picture outside so we took to the living room and SQUEEZED everyone in--only cutting off Poppy the Troll and Happy Lego Kitty.

The most genius costumes came from the Kufeldts--they dressed up as the Souths. Bald cap and all. They nailed it and honestly, so funny!

It wouldn't be a South party without a few jello shots--they were hidden in the garage so that the kiddos couldn't find them & maybe so that I could eat more than I should have.

When it came to our annual awards we had some pretty tough competition. 

Best Man's Costume went to Mr. Lego Man - aka Jason Achatz

Scariest Costume went to this thing -- Jake Walsh.

Best Woman's Costume - the old Schumacher lady from Dirty Dancing - Kim Schumacher

Best Couple Costume - Janet and Craig as a cork and wine screw.

The kids brought their A game too. We had a scary clown, a pink lego unicorn, & of course our very own Mario and Luigi.

This evening ends up being one of my favorites of the year, even though it does go by so quickly and I feel like I hardly get to start a conversation, let alone finish one but it's so fun to see all the smiles and laughter that's happening all around us.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Pumpkin Decorating Galore

Each year we try and do some sort of pumpkin decorating. Some years we paint, some years we decoupage, some years we carve--kind of. This year we did a little bit of each because why not.

Our first go was right after family pictures. We were anticipating a huge storm & just hoping to get through pictures. We did & immediately ran to Price Chopper -- our local grocery store -- to pick up a few pumpkins for the boys to try and carve.

We had a few kits that they boys flipped through to find their designs, here's the end result, can you guess who did what?

Mom and Logan vs. Dad and Kaden 

Probably wasn't all that difficult to guess who did what--Kaden and Justin went for the flames, Logan and I went the friendlier route with the ghost. 

We may have carved them a few weeks too early so they quickly rotted and were thrown away but fun was had by everyone.

We also met up with the Walshes one weekend for some pumpkin decorating and maybe a few bloody marys--Jake makes a pretty darn good one. This time around, instead of carving, Jake purchased some pre-made kits from Target and I had some tissue paper & then we just let the boys go to town on the GIANT pumpkins that Jake had purchased. And I held Kendall.

South Family Pictures--AGAIN

For Mother's Day Justin and the boys got me a photo session with our FAV photographer, Katy Gitto. He had purchased an hour session and knowing just how much my boys love to take pictures (which is actually probably more than most) I felt an hour would be way too long. We would lose everyone's attention and what would I do with so many images from the same shoot. I am a big believer in less is more when it comes to family photos so I asked to split the session into two different sessions. One for spring/summer and one in the fall. At first we were just going to do another regular family session but then we figured we should ask the rest of the family if they wanted in on it too. We hadn't taken South family pictures since the boys were little--it was kind of time & they all agreed. 

We met Katy right before a HUGE storm blew through. We were crossing fingers and toes hoping we could get this sucker in because it was the ONLY Saturday or Sunday that worked for all of us--way too many schedules to coordinate!

When coordinating outfits I suggested that we didn't. I don't like things to look too matchy, matchy and when working with a larger group, it can easily get that way. I said what the boys would be wearing (at first it was bomber jackets and camo pants but the bomber jackets didn't fit at all--I even tried two different versions) & at the last minute, switched them to jeans. Looking back I probably should have kept one in camo but was worried if they both were in camo it would look like I was dressing them as twin...again. I kind of like doing that. This way though, they were similar but different enough. Me, I had always planned on a chambray shirt and black pants, almost wore some faux leather pants but chickened out. Justin, well, I pulled his shirt out of the closet right before we left. He's always pretty easy to dress. 

So this is us. The South Family.