Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween! (and a little bit of other fun)

We're going to start this Halloween post with a few more shots from pumpkin carving, from Grandma's camera. She captured some of the sweater and hat (but sans shirt) action that we missed yesterday:

Then we're going to deviate for just a moment for some of Grandma's shots from our time at the Children's Museum:

Grandma captions this one: "Mom forgot her wallet." The girls are sweeping up in case I didn't have the money for admission. :)
Last night we went to a volleyball game on campus - we played on the playground there before going in:

The girls LOVED the volleyball players and cheerleaders, and were so excited to do trick or treating right there at the gym.

Sadly, the mascot (Monte) scared them to death and we had to leave about five minutes after he came over to say hi and they both dissolved into tears. Clara wept: "I go home, I go to my home" and there was no way we could deny her. We'll try again on that.

Then, on Halloween day, Grandma gave the girls a present - a ball she had strung onto a length of string. We tacked it to the doorframe, and they could throw the ball all they wanted without it going all over the house (and hitting anything dangerous). They LOVED this!

Blurry, blurry fun!
Then, it was time for trick or treating! Here are the girls, dressed up at our house before heading out to a party:

Steve and Elena:

Christina and Clara:

Clara, inspecting her pop. For several houses, all she could do was tell us that she had "Two pops, two pops!" no matter what else anyone gave her. She saw a dog that was HUGE and so much taller than she was, and she stood right up to him and said "No dog take my candy!" No way, nobody was going to mess with this kitty:

Elena really took off after this, and charged from house to house. She was very good at saying "Trick or treat!" and then "Thank you" before she moved on to the next house on the street.

Cutie three girls - this is their friend Annie, who dressed as Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street. In the back, we have a Milo Spiderman and a Charlie Cat in the Hat:

We trick or treated with friends, then came and did it in our own neighborhood, then came back to our house to eat candy and give out rubber sticky hands to everyone who came to our house. A MUCH more active Halloween than we've had in the past, and we loved it all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The holidays keep on coming...

Today we celebrated Grandma's birthday (a bit early) and also got ready for Halloween by finally carving our pumpkins. It was a full day!

Grandma picked dark chocolate cupcakes, which we baked up this morning:
Clara got up close and personal with the chocolate:
Then we made mint frosting, and called them Andes Candies cupcakes. The girls helped Grandma blow out her candle.
Then, they wanted to do "cheers" with her:

Clara really wanted to help Grandma with the frosting - so cute!
At dinnertime, the girls were first "too hot!" and had to take their shirts off, then were "too cold!" and needed sweaters (nothing underneath) and hats - it was such a funny look!
Then we carved pumpkins. Clara directed the pumpkin on the right - she got hooked on triangles and kept pointing to areas all around the pumpkin that needed triangles. Christina took charge on the one on the left so that the girls could see a pumpkin face.
All in all, a good day given that Elena is getting two teeth and has a rash, and Clara seems to be having stomach troubles. They didn't feel well, but we still managed to get in a lot of fun.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

It's not officially even November yet, so it's not really Thanksgiving. But we have so much to be thankful for. One thing recently has been how much the girls are starting to identify with one another. They talk directly to each other more often, and want more togetherness than they have in the past. One day this week, they told Christina that they wanted to "go sleepy in bed" together! We just pretended at it, since it was morning time, but it was delightful to see, especially when Elena started patting Clara:

Another thing we're thankful for this week is the fact that GRANDMA came for a visit! The girls can't quite get over Christina's mom, and constantly say "Gama, look a me!," "Gama, come!!" It's so much fun. Since we won't see each other for "real" Thanksgiving we decided to celebrate together today. We've been cooking since yesterday, and the girls were in the thick of it all the time. Here they are first thing this morning, rolling out the roll dough we made last night:
Here they help Grandma tear up the sourdough bread to use in our mushroom and leek stuffing:

Elena's "smile for the camera" face is getting a little out of control!!

It's not exactly like we shy away from bragging about the girls here, but we're going to be unabashed at it right now. THEY ARE TERRIFIC COOKS. Seriously. They have not only the enthusiasm, but also the skill, even at their young age. They really get involved. And both of them can crack an egg into a bowl by themselves - Clara even does it without a bit of shell!

Grandma was endlessly entertaining to the girls - here they figured out that her sweatshirt pocket was open on each side, and they could put their hands through and touch in the middle, or put their arm all the way through!
Here we are putting the finishing touches on Thanksgiving dinner. We went with a chicken instead of turkey, roasted with oranges and rosemary. We had mashed potatoes and broccoli gratin and the mushroom and leek stuffing, and cranberry sauce and rolls and (of course) pumpkin pie.

It was great!
The girls were unexpectedly very enthralled with the chicken wings - they ate them right up. Such little carnivores here:

After eating all that food, we definitely needed to get moving. We went out to play in the leaves, and had a great time together in the twilight, chasing each other and jumping in the leaf piles.

Gosh, life is good! We have so much to be thankful for.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Party

Today we had some friends over to celebrate the coming of Halloween and to decorate/carve pumpkins. Clara and Elena were very helpful in cooking and cleaning to get ready, and before everyone came they helped set out all the food:

Then, promptly started eating it, and drinking the apple juice. Christina encouraged them to wait for others to arrive, but it was not a persuasive point, evidently:
When people did arrive, they chose to either go to a 'carving station' or go to a 'decorating' spot on the floor with washable markers and glow-in-the-dark pumpkin face stickers. Clara got a good amount of stickers on her pumpkin - Elena wasn't really into it this year.

Come to think of it, neither was the other little one, Sylvie. Perhaps it just can't compare to moving around, which is all they want to do these days.

Plenty of others were into the pumpkins, though - here's a look at one of the carving stations:

Elena took a pumpkin break and pretended to be a kitty at the door:
Other finished up their pumpkins and started a huge leaf fight:
A gaggle of little girls - two sets of twins here out of the three that were at the party.
Elena going for one of the cake pops - Bakerella makes them look so easy, but these were a little less glamorous than anticipated. Thank goodness they still tasted good.

Gwynn and Peyton go for a pop, too:

Some of the pumpkins - we ended up having 13 to vote from. The winners got Pez dispensers.
Everyone else got sticky hands - they were a big hit!