Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Dr. Seuss was our inspiration this year!  Last night we went to our fourth and final Halloween party of the year at the kids' Karate studio and each of us won a trophy in the costume contest!
 The Grinch took home 2nd place for scariest adult costume.
I won 1st place for cutest adult costume.
Hailey went as a dark angle not as Thing 1 but still managed to earn 1st place for cutest costume in the over 11 age group.
Karlie went as a Gothic princess and won 2nd place for scariest costume in youth 6-10.
Horton won 1st place for funniest costume in youth 6-10.
 The Lorax won cutest costume in 5 and under.
 It was fun to make parts of the costumes this year and we are already discussing next year!
 Have a happy Halloween with lots of tricks and treats!

Halloween Happiness

I think I enjoy the Halloween holiday season as much (more than) as the kids!  It is a whole month with fun things to do, eat and drink.
It starts with "Halloweening" the house with decorations.  Then we begin Booing friends and neighbors to get everyone in the spirit.
 The advent calendar was full of daily surprises, sometimes with a little treat and sometime with a little trick to find their treat.
Early in the month they had to go on a hunt for their Skelly Jammies.
 This is the first year I was able to use hand me downs for all 4 girls (Siri too)!  I only had to buy Hank new ones. :)  What a treat!
 So, Max got a pair of Skeleton PJ bottoms too. :)
Max's Morgue continues...
I love all the festive treats!  Nana sent these Day of the Dead treat boxes and they are to die for.
 Frozen eyeballs in milk at dinner was a ghoulish trick.
 A little Poizin treat for the two big pumpkins.
And endless fun pumpkin themed treats.  We have had scones, muffins, seeds, and cupcakes.  Packing Halloween jokes in their lunches was a fun way for me to start the day.  Here's a sample of how easily I am amused...
Where does the vampire store his money?
The blood bank!
What did Dracula say after reading my jokes??
They suck! :)
Bedtimes stories were festive and fresh with our October books.  We have had so much Halloween happiness!  I am very excited for all the treats I have planned for my little pumpkins tomorrow!

Wickedly Wild Weekend

 With last weekend being the big Halloween weekend, we managed to have a party every night!
Friday night we went to the Scottsdale Spooktacular where the kids got to trick or treat at hot air balloons.  It was quite the event!
 We took a page out of Dr. Seuss' book this year.  Max is the Grinch, I am the Cat in the Hat, Hailey is Thing 1, Karlie is Thing 2, Kaitlin is Horton, and Hank is the Lorax!
 We realized next year we have to get there earlier as some of the balloons were running out of candy! 
Saturday night one of Max's colleges had her annual Halloween party.  Hank looked like the Lorax had rolled in dirt after eating half a bag of marshmallows at the chocolate fountain.  The kids had a fun running around with other kids.  I enjoyed not having to cook dinner all weekend!
 Sunday was time to carve pumpkins!
 It is strange that pumpkin carving is a marking post for the kids growing up.  Day to day you don't notice the changes but as the years march on it seems to stand out at some points.  Pumpkin carving is one.  This year Karlie and Hailey did their pumpkins completely by their selves!  Kaitlin carved a fair amount of hers before getting tired.  Before long I will be needing to carve my own pumpkin. :(
 Times like these I realize I have totally acclimated to this crazy place.  It was 91 degrees as we carved at 2 in the afternoon.  There is a first for everything... First time carving pumpkins in my bathing suit.  And I was still sweating!
 Hank and Kaitlin wanted classic Jack O'lanterns while Karlie made a gypsy with jewels and Hailey carved a howling wolf.
Then we were off to a friends house for a pre-party before attending our church's Trunk or Treat!  The kids all tried the rock wall and only Karlie didn't make it to the top.  She has developed a fear of heights  lately and got about half way and decided she was good. :)
Hank went as a ninja to this party.  We certainly got our Halloween spirit on!  One more party to go and one night of Trick or Treat!  I think I can... I think I can...

Pumpkin Patch

While we were in beautiful California, I figured we should visit a real pumpkin patch on our way home.  We stopped at Tanaka's pumpkin patch.  While they did grow pumpkins, they had been harvested a while ago, which was a little disappointing.  Nothing can quite compare to our beloved pumpkin patched in Colorado.
 But this was better than the grocery store and anything within 3 hours of our house in Arizona. :)
 The kids love picking their pumpkins.
 Karlie had quite a difficult time deciding just which pumpkin to choose.  She wanted a tall and skinny one. 
 Hailey felt guilty not choosing the ugly and misshapen pumpkins.
 Kaitlin searched for a perfectly round one and Hank went back and forth on a little one or a white pumpkin.
 After everyone chose a pumpkin we took a few family shots.  It made me miss our pumpkin patch days with all my family.
 Max wheeled the pumpkins and the three little pumpkins down to the check out.  Pretty precious pack of pumpkins.
I sure love all my pumpkins!
Here are my pumpkins doing a little dance at the gas station as we filled up on our way home. Got to get the wiggles out! 

California Adventure

Once again we were at the gates waiting for the park to open for our day at California Adventure.
 I can't say how much Ridemax helped us plan our day and be able to use the Fast Pass system so that we never stood in a line longer than 10 minutes and were able to ride every single ride, some twice!
 But it requires serious planning and effort.  Sometimes Max would have to ditch us while we were in line to grab the next Fast Pass.  

When the park opened the line to get the Fast Pass for the Cars ride was 20 minutes (the longest line Max waited in both days!), so I took the kids on Toy Story and the carousel while he grabbed the Fast Passes.
 Then we met up for a ride on the Mickey's Ferris wheel.  You know I am going to get my kiss at the top!
 Then the littles and I did Goofy's roller coaster while Max and Hailey rode Californian Screaming, the only ride Hank was too small for and the K buddies were a little too scared to ride it.
Hailey loved it so much I did it with her later in the afternoon too.
I did the swings with the H buddies and Kaitlin while Max and Karlie grabbed Fast Passes.
 Hank got absolutely drenched on Grizzly River.  He was such a good sport.  I would not have been so happy with a wet bum for the next few hours.
 Next was Tower of Terror!  Everyone loved it but Kaitlin.  She was trembling.  The little boy behind us was screaming, "This is a nightmare!!!"  He was crying and Karlie kept checking on him.  But Hank and Max just couldn't get enough.  LOL
 We then did Monster's.
Monsters Inc holds a special place in all our hearts.
 We did Flying Over California too.  That was the favorite family ride.
Next was the Little Mermaid...
  We had some tasty sandwiches and clam chowder for dinner and took a rest to watch the parade.
 We enjoyed California Adventure much more than Disneyland.  The availability of beer might have had something to do with it. :)
The kids enjoyed the parade.
 I guess we are more of a Pixar family.
 Then we finished up with the flying tires ride that was a bust!
 We had tickets for World of Color but at sunset everyone was done and ready to go.
MKHKKH crushed it!
However, my tired warriors still had energy to climb one last mountain as we left.
 I feel almost unAmerican saying that we are not Disney people.  But the theme park scene just didn't do it for us.  While the rides are fun, the rides at Sea World were as good and some better.  It is extremely expensive and overly crowded. 
 I am sure part of it was that we have been dreaming of how great it would be for years.  We rode every ride, we spent as little as you could on food by packing water and snacks and only having one meal in the park.  Yet, we just don't get the hype.  The kids had way more fun at the beach.  Hailey summed it up for MKHKKH, "I don't ever have to go back to Disneyland until I HAVE to take my kids there."  So I guess Disney World won't be our destination for Florida on our states trip. :)