Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beggar's Night and Halloween

In Des Moines we have this thing called Beggars' Night, where trick-or-treating happens the evening before Halloween. I in high school before I realized that Halloween wasn't actually on October 30th, but on October 31st because of this little Des Moines tradition. To be honest, I actually hated it since nothing seems to really happen around here on Halloween.

In the past we've made the best of celebrating Halloween on Beggars Night by having Pre-Trick Or Treat Parties, but this is the first year I truly loved everything Halloween. The minis had a great time trick or treating in our neighborhood last night despite the sleet/snow coming down. They even filled up their giant bucket (their goal for the night)!

Our neighbor so kindly had treats for the adults too!

Halloween night drew us to a special event in a neighborhood in Des Moines. We loaded up needed food pantry items (a requirement for the event), had the kids drop off the donations, and got a map of the Sherman Hill neighborhood. Nothing special you're thinking, right?? Well, on that map was where to go to see houses decorated for Halloween. And not just houses, but people dressed up as zombies, goblins, ghosts, Frankenstein, and more!

A box full of canned goods, diapers, formula, baby food, and beans. So proud of these three!

Frankenstein walking down the middle of the street! Surprisingly the minis did just fine with all of the monsters around!

Monsters reaching through the fence and an monsters in the yard.

 Zombie pirates

It was the perfect way to give and enjoy Halloween without getting gobs of candy that will never get eaten!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fabulously Fall Weekends

We had one relaxing weekend at home and one very busy, albeit very fun weekend. We spent one weekend picking out flooring, staying in from all of the rain, and I took some me time (which I wrote about here). The following weekend found us at two Halloween events, hiking, watching scary movies after the minis were in bed, volunteering, and even reading. It was one of those weekends that made Monday seem relaxing! Of course, those are some of my favorite weekends.

Flooring choices. We decided to get a start on our kitchen remodel (we're doing it ourselves) and our first task was choosing flooring, as need to tile the breezeway and entry way first.

The minis (mostly) entertained themselves.

Out with the old flooring and, well, we haven't quite gotten around to putting the new flooring in yet (shocker). Painting needs to happen first.

I started last weekend with a giant cup of tea Friday evening before heading to our first Halloween event at Living History Farms. The minis had a great time getting candy and various treats, hearing spooky stories, and playing a few games.

Flash, Kylo Ren, and Poppy were excited for their first trick or treating of the season!

Family Halloween at Living History Farms was great! I loved going on Friday night because it was hardly busy.

The Flynn Mansion looking spooky.

Can't beat the autumn views from the top of Walnut Hill.

Waiting for our black bean burgers from Smash Burger and these two did something GROSS! Read about that gem of a moment here.

I began serving on the board of the Des Moines Children's Museum and so far it's been really exciting. The two littlest minis helped me volunteer at an event we held at Barnes and Noble (the oldest was at a friend's birthday party). The plan was for them to spend Saturday morning with dad, but they were more interested in what I was doing and why. They did a great job and I thoroughly enjoyed having them there with me. Our morning unexpectedly became a family volunteer time.

After the book fair and picking up the oldest mini, the plan was to go home and begin painting and laying flooring. Of course, we made a change of plans. While rain was still in the forecast, the afternoon was warm and sunny, so we headed up to Ledges State Park for hiking. It was so wonderful! We hiked well over 3 miles in the beautiful fall woods.

I found a picture from a year and a half ago similar to the one above (see it here). I can't believe how much the minis have changed! I love this trial in Ledges State Park, minus the fact that I was huffing and puffing climbing those stairs. The minis didn't seem to have an issue!

Fall colors all around!

Canyon Road is still closed but you can walk on it! We parked at one end of the park (near the flood pole, for those familiar with the park), walked the trail to the top of the canyon, and walked the road back. Wonderful walk through the woods.

Reminiscing about that time he fell into the stream (from the road) and nearly drowned. Never a dull moment with this one.

More trails. This one is the mini's favorite trail to hike.

Sunday morning was relaxing for us all. The minis watched a movie, I did some writing, and we read some of our new books we bought in support of the book fair. These are my two new reads.

Sunday afternoon we went to Night Eyes. We have come to love this event, although we're a tad partial because it's an event my sister organizes each year. We had a great time trick or treating through the zoo and seeing the animals. Bonus that parents get candy too!

Flash met Flash.

We heard the lion roar.

Our annual photo in front of the Night Eyes pumpkin.

With Aunt Jenny, who spoiled them a bit while we were there!

Great fall weekends and more in store in the coming weeks!