Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And so it ends ...

Soccer that is. At least for now, until Spring season picks up. Ryan coached Berlin's team this year as well as Finn's. Being the ever so amazing mom that I am, I didn't get one picture of Finley playing, and barely remembered to grab the camera on our way out the door to Berlin's last game.

The last team cheer of the season ... GO RACOONS!

I have to say that Berlin may be one of the smallest players on the team, but she can run fast and swing those elbows. She's a tough cookie!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fall Harvest

Ryan's mom planted grapevines along the property line years ago. I have always felt guilty that we just throw them away every year. Last year I attempted to make grape juice and it was a disaster. Hand mashing through a sieve and yielding only a cup of liquid, that was super thick and gritty. Wasted a whole day - and after the mess I was left with, I swore I wouldn't attempt it ever again. 

But this year, we had so many grapes and they smelled so good that I decided to try my hand at it again. So I researched a few things and found a juicer steamer that was on sale. It arrived this past Saturday so I got at it and did a test batch. After the first round I knew I had made the best decision ever in buying the juicer steamer.

Sunday, we had our nephews mission farewell, but after we got home, we took advantage of the sunny day and we all got to work picking grapes and washing them. In the end we got 14 jars for our food storage and put 3 in the fridge. I never cared for grape juice as a kid - just too sweet and watery. But this stuff, it's the nectar of Gods I tell you. Or as Ryan called it - Mormon wine. Thick, fragrant, and just the right amount of sweet and tart. I am addicted.

The best part for me of all this, spending the time with the kids, side-by-side, in the kitchen. They loved helping out and Finley even said that this was his favorite yard-chore thus far. They cut the grapes from the vines, washed them in the sink, and picked them off the stems. The best conversation comes in moments like these. Berlin had us rolling with laughter, Finley had us wracking our brains trying to remember our science lessons from school eons ago. The three of us standing at the sink picking grapes of the stems, talking about the silliest things and even serious things. I hope that this will become a Fall tradition for us. Ryan remembers his mother juicing these grapes when he was a kid. He used to have to pick them off the vines and stems. I want my kids to have the same fond memories. I will take these sweet moments when I get them.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Halloween Happenings

This past Halloween was hard for me. I usually make the kids costumes, but with working full time I just didn't have the energy or desire to do it all. Luckily, Berlin wanted to be Little Red Riding Hood and was able to squeeze into her German Dirndl, so all I had to do was come up with a cape. Which I decided to make using some fabric from my stash. It turned out so beautiful and even though I was up late the night before, it was worth it. I am glad I did it. Here she is with her fearsome wolf. She was mad that I gave her the ghost treat bag because it didn't match her outfit theme. So she went back in and got this basket that we found in the barn last Summer. It used to be her Oma's. She lugged that basket around all night long. 


Finley wanted to be Finn the Human from Adventure Time. My kids LOVE this cartoon. Me, not so much. So I wasn't super thrilled about his choice. But, I knew it would be easy since I wouldn't have to make much. It was just a matter of piecing things together. We found a shirt and leggings (which I cut into shorts) at Walmart and I made the backpack. Ryan put together the BMO trick-or-treat box (probably the best part). It turned out great and he looked awesome. 

Even though I only had to make the cape and the backpack, I was pooped. The creative energy and desire just hasn't been there since working. I told Ryan that I think this is the last year I sew costumes, even accessories. It just drains me.

We never get trick-or-treaters at our house (just one of many drawbacks living on a busy street). So Ryan and I took the kids and met up with friends for some neighborhood trick or treating. Here they are in all their blurriness. It was fun night in the neighborhood.

Loved this little setup at the neighbors house.