Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Last Days

The last days of October have gone in a blur and now we find ourselves in November. Wow. How did that happen? 

Well, it happened in a rush. 

I finally got all the kids to the pumpkin farm last weekend, although we didn't get our typical family picture because Todd was up north for the weekend. Instead, I just snuck a quick shot of the kids. Nothing too exciting this time but at least I got the picture. I was happy we even made it to the pumpkin farm that day since both Joey and Tommy had their last football games of the year that morning. 
Ben had just finished his undefeated season on Wednesday, Saturday morning Tommy's team tied the toughest team in his league to end with a winning season, and Joey had the breakout game of his last two years. The kid was a tackling machine. I've honestly never seen anything like it from him. Joey has always been so much in his head, thinking, thinking, thinking, and worried about getting injured. We've told him over and over again that he doesn't have to play football but every year when football season rolls around he signs up again. Joey's coaches were always very sensitive to his timidity and put him in positions where he could build up his confidence without having to worry. Well, Joey used the last game of the season to come out of his shell. On kickoff Joey ran down the field at top speed and tackled the receiver way in the backfield. It was a perfect tackle. Then a few plays later Joey stopped a huge running back on third down. He made a few other tackles as well and always put himself in the middle of the plays. It was crazy. I was astounded. Go figure that Joey goes football crazy on the ONE game that his dad couldn't make it to. It was quite a football morning. When I asked Joey after the game where the change had come from he told me that he was wearing his scapular that I gave him for 1st communion and it made him feel stronger and safer. Awesome. 

To celebrate the last football games of the season (and Ben's and Grace's tireless support running to their brothers' games the last few months) I was more than happy to treat the kids to the pumpkin farm and even more fun later on.  
The pumpkin farm was a little sad compared to last years. The remaining pumpkins weren't in the best shape and the weather was iffy. It was a drizzly, windy day so we didn't even get much time to play with the animals or climb in the hay maze. But, we did get plenty of apples, cider, honey, and pumpkins. Luckily, the kids were plenty happy with that. Afterwards I decided to treat them to Goosebumps at the movie theater and then to dinner. It was a fun day. 

The next day after church we had to hand in all the boys' football uniforms and then they attended their award ceremonies. It was a gorgeous day and the boys had fun playing catch with all of their football friends one last time while Grace and I sat and read before the ceremonies began. When all of that was over we went down to the lake to take our fall Packer picture. Sure the above picture could have been used but it was such a gorgeous day and the lake was so blue and beautiful that I thought we'd get a snazzier one. I'm glad we did. This pic is one of my favorites. 
That was last weekend. 

This weekend was just as busy, of course. 

The whole week was filled with craziness. From finding last minute costumes and props to getting treats and prizes for class parties, to helping with the Halloween party at school. It was busy! I thought I had just signed up to help set up decorations for the party but apparently I got signed up to head up the decorations. When Friday rolled around and it was time to decorate I discovered that I was the ONLY person signed up for decorations so I had to decorate the entire cafeteria by myself. That was interesting. Add to that the fact that the maintenance man has been out for weeks (he broke his arm? shoulder? something like that) and the principal and I were the ones hauling all the tables around and setting everything up. It was madness. Luckily, I finished the decorations in time and everyone loved it. I fear I will now be stuck with this job until the end of time.  Ah well.

I had just enough time to rush home and help the kids into their costumes. Joey was the wizard from Clash of Clans, Tommy was a whiny Bears fan, Ben was Minecraft Steve, and Grace was Anna from Frozen. I just threw together some clothes and went as a vampire. 
It was a great party and fun was had by all.

That brings us to Halloween, of course!

The day didn't start out well as I began it with a migraine. Not great. But I haven't had a migraine in a long time and it wasn't very bad so I won't complain. I'm chalking it up to the crazy weather (big rain storm) and too much stress. Regardless, the day ticked on with shopping for basketball shoes and errands we had to run. When we finally got back from the stores I realized we hadn't carved pumpkins yet. Egad!!!!  Why do we always forget to carve pumpkins!
Last minute pumpkin carving ensued (though Grace just used our stick on faces) and the kids were happy with the results. Job done. And just in the nick of time. Trick or treating was about to begin.

We decided to go with different costumes than the Halloween party costumes we wore because it was cold and rainy outside. The boys all went as football players and Grace was a bumblebee. Joey's friend was bacon. Everybody loves bacon!!!
Of course Molly had to get right in the middle of the pic again. I even tried to call her out of the pic but she wouldn't listen. Little camera hog.

The kids went around the neighborhood and then we drove them to our old neighborhood. I think I have just as much (if not more) fun than they do and when Grace decided she was done I was sad to take her home and let the boys trick or treat on their own. I could have stayed out there all night!
Todd and Grace stayed back at home and made a fire while I hopped back in the car to go check on the boys, all incognito like. I searched the area and found them less than a mile from our house. They were looking pretty tired so I pulled over to ask if they wanted to rest for a while and they said they were done. Their buckets were too full for any more candy and they were ready to go home. They loaded into the car and I drove them to a really cool house that had set up a corn maze in their yard and then I drove them over to a amazingly decorated house as well. After that I drove them home where they proceeded to gorge themselves on pizza and candy. Success!

I even got to watch a few scary movies. Tommy watched Poltergeist with me while the other kids watched Beetlejuice in the basement. I definitely don't have scary movie loving kids. By the time I was Joey's age I had seen every awful scary movie there was. It probably wasn't wise. I much prefer my kids' innocent brains to my warped and creeped out kid brain.
It was a late night and we were happy to use the extra hour from Daylight Savings Time for sleep. After this past week we can definitely use the extra hour. 

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson