Thursday, November 26, 2009

picnics, parades and pumpkins

So it's November and I realized that I never blogged about Halloween or our other fun fall activities. Our weather in October was not very fall-like. It felt more like November. Luckily we were able to get outdoors a few times and enjoy this great time of year.

Of course with the start of fall comes yummy apples! Olivia loves apples and there are so many great kinds to choose from. Give her a big ole apple and she is a happy girl. I bought a ton of them for her and she is still chomping away!

In October we also attended the annual Three Rivers Montessori School fall picnic. This year the picnic had a Halloween theme. The food, decorations and activities all centered around the holiday. Each year the kids have a bike parade. They decorate their bikes and ride them around the parking lot while we all watch. Olivia usually slaps on as many decorations as she possible can on her bike, making it nearly impossible to ride. Once again, she really decked out her bike with Halloween stickers, streamers and balloons. They have a police escort, thanks to one of the dad's from the school. The kids love it!

The other picnic activity was a "trunk-or-treat". I had never heard of such a thing before. But instead of trick or treating door-to-door, people decorate their cars, open up their trunks and serve candy to the kids as they come around. The school was looking for parents willing to decorate their cars, and after a great suggestion from a friend I decided to volunteer. I have a black Volkswagen beetle, so you can probably guess what I choose to do. Yep...a lady bug (in reverse). It was a huge hit and I got a ton of complements from both the kids and the parents. Unfortunately I did not have Olivia's Halloween costume completed in time for the picnic, so she was one of very few children not in costume. I felt terrible, but I don't think she even noticed. Olivia had a great time and we enjoyed passing out candy to all of her little friends. It was another great event at the school.

With Halloween approaching we took Olivia on her annual trip to the local pumpkin patch. Last year was her first year picking out her own pumpkins and she had a blast. We went back again this year to choose some more. They have pumpkins of all sizes and Olivia likes picking out small pumpkins called, "spookies". They are just her size and easy for her to carry.

She picked out quite a few. It was hard for her to decide which ones she liked the best, so we just got them all! It was at this point that Olivia really started to get excited about Halloween. Each day she would say, "tomorrow is Halloween!" She would hardly contain her excitement for the big day.

Prior to Halloween we took her to the annual trick-or-treating event at our zoo. It is a great event they put on each year for the kids. They get to tour the zoo while passing candy stations. The zoo is decorated with hundreds of pumpkins and pumpkin displays. They do some pretty creative things with the pumpkins too. They make them look like animals and characters from kids movies. I was quite impressed by all of the hard work people put into this event, to make it extra fun for the kids.

Finally, Halloween arrived. This year I was adventurous and I attempted to make Olivia's costume. I am not a very crafty person, but I saw the idea in a magazine and thought I would easily be able to pull it off. It was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be, of course, but with a little bit of help from my Mom we got it figured out. So here she is...our little red crayon!

It was definitely a comfortable costume for her to wear. I was surprised by how many complements I received on it too. I thought it was cute, but nothing special. I guess it was a pretty unique idea, since we did not pass any other crayons on Halloween night. I think Olivia could have been naked and not cared, as long as she was still able to collect her candy. And that she did! We started by visiting some family, to show off her cuteness. We then came back to our house and spent time trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. She had a blast running from house to house.

You should have seen the bucket of candy she ended up with. She got tired quickly, so we headed out to see our friends, Korrie, Tom and their boys. Each year we end Halloween at their house, with some yummy chili. The kids get to go through their candy and we get to warm up with some nice comfort food. It was a great Halloween and Olivia is already excited about next year. Luckily we have Christmas coming up to distract her.

Finally, last month we had our annual family photos taken. Each year we have Olivia's pictures done right around her birthday. Last year we had just moved into our new house and we got some great shots of all of us in our new neighborhood. This year I found a new photographer, G.E.M. Photography, and we had an amazing photo shoot all around Fort Wayne. She was so good with Olivia and was able to bring out her bubbly little personality in all of the shots. There are so many great photos from our shoot it is hard to pick a few to share, but here are a few of my favorites.

You can view the photographer's blog entry, and more of the photos here. Now the hard part comes...trying to decide which ones to display on our wall. I have already chosen some for our Christmas cards, so that is one big decision out of the way. We have been very lucky each year to have such amazing photos of Olivia to look back on. She is definitely one photogenic child!

Today is Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to spending the day with family and thinking of all of the things I am thankful for. I often get wrapped up in all of life's little problems, and I should stop and remember just how blessed I am. I hope that everyone reading this has a very Happy Thanksgiving with their families as well.


Anonymous said...

I so loved seeing Olivia enjoying Halloween so much, her crayon costume was just too cute. I just love the photos from your photo shoot, wow they came out just beautiful..Love Aunt Sue Sue

Anonymous said...

Olivia sure has a busy life. Love the photo shoot. I have not enjoyed holidays so much in a long time.