Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twas the Night before Halloween

I have been all about Halloween this year! I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Maddie loves this holiday SO much and secondly that her school is not really celebrating Halloween this year.  She did however get to attend a "Fall Family Night" where they got to craft pumpkins. That's hers above with the cool shades.
I've been trying to instill as many Halloween traditions as I possibly can. Including doughnuts, which I think are intrinsically characteristic of Halloween -- maybe that's just me. So we made these, my absolute favorite: Caramel Filled Chocolate Doughnuts.

And this lovely craft was born of an attempt to keep Maddie busy during the recent Bills-Saints game. (Daddy gets one televised Saints game a year -- don't mess with him!) I cut out some white fabric and pinked it a little bit. Then Maddie and I put a little wooden ball in the center and used washi tape like a scarf. Maddie did all of the faces. And of course, now she says she's scared of them, but I think they're cute.

Then for a nice new tradition, we decided to add this:
Apple Pie Caramel Apples. Delicious! It's just an apple dunked in caramel and cooled, then dunked in white chocolate and rolled in cinnamon sugar. My favorite from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory but surprisingly easy to make.

I also came up with this little Halloween edu-craft. One of the big benefits of a glass top table is that it's super easy to do stuff like this (not so easy to photograph though!). Maddie has been working on her shapes, so I thought it might be fun to make a cobweb. I used washi tape to create an octagon. Then I helped Maddie tear off pieces to make the inside of the web. 

My hope was that we could then point out different shapes that we had made. Of course, my child is just a little bit compulsive. Her plan is to completely fill the octagon. It's still a work in progress.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Now that Maddie has gotten a little older, I've been trying to let her get bored a little bit more. Less structure, more opportunities to get creative.  And sometimes the most interesting things happen.

Tonight, when bored, Maddie headed to the watercolors. My little artist is quite the minimalist.
 She proceeded to paint page after page in a single color. After each one was finished, she would announce, "Yea! We got to the next level!"

 But my favorite part is the way that she is such a little lady when painting. Such a class act.

Yup, that's my girl! As a side note, she later had me bind these pages into a book and then proceeded to cut out princesses from a coloring book to affix to each page. Maybe she's more of an illustrator. Hard to tell really.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall at the Farm

Every year, we go to a place in Somerset, New York called the Cobblestone House for their heritage field days. We've been going since I was a little girl when my grandmother used to work the pie stand and my grandpa used to work the Lion's Club chicken barbecue (Sooo much better than Chiavetta's!)

There really isn't anything quite like running down a hill. Fifty thousand times.

It's rather low key -- the afore mentioned chicken dinner, hay rides through the fields, a petting farm, some craft stands and some veggie stands. But oh, do we love it!

This year, there was an amazing large amount of animals to pet, including (surprisingly) a turkey -- very friendly, approximately 20 ponies, goats, bunnies, kitties and more. 

But my absolute favorite was this beautiful (ok, his buckteeth were even crooked) Alpaca.  He just stood there and mooed mournfully. Finally his owner said to me, "He's missing his brother. He's in Olcott." 

I've always loved it. And now that we have Maddie I must say I love it even more.
It always makes me think of the simplicity of days gone bay and desperately want to be a part of that country dwelling. Sadly, it also marks the end of summer for us. And the end of our days at Kopeka.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lucky Ladybugs

A few weeks ago, our family headed up to our cottage on Lake Ontario. Maddie and I headed down to the beach and were shocked to see this:

More ladybugs than I have ever seen in my life. Apparently September is prime ladybug season because their food is plentiful and this year must have been the most plentiful harvest ever. We seriously killed a lot of ladybugs just by moving.

My little girl does not shy away from a ladybug. She loved them! She would get right up close and observe them. We could see some many variations (mostly yellows and oranges, which are apparently perfectly normal. I always though yellow ones were dying, but I guess that's not true). We could see some with lots of dots and some with none.

Maddie could guide ladybugs onto rocks.

Or (fatally) pick them up and move them where she wanted. (Oops!)

She even built one a fort so it could stay warm.

They happily crawled all over us. And by the time we went inside we were still finding them on our backs and in our hair. Good thing ladybugs are lucky!