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October 31, 2008

Last Halloween post...

Josie had a fabulous time trick or treating this evening. She quickly got the hang of saying thank you and shoving her pumpkin bucket in the doorway of strangers homes. Emma is having a sleep over with 3 of closest friends and they graciously allowed Josie and I to attend in their trick or treating adventures this evening. Josie actually enjoyed passing out candy with Daddy just as much as receiving candy. I put together a very short video highlighting our evening and our outdoor decorations and Chris's fabulous pumpkins. I've focused so much on the indoors and the outdoors is equally wonderful.

This is my last Halloween post. It's officially over and it's always alittle bittersweet when this night comes to an end. I'll be honest, I'm dreading putting everything away. Anyone want to join me in packing up a few Halloween creatures? Pretty please?

October 30, 2008

Michael Phelps"kin"

Emma's school always hosts a pumpkin contest. Emma wanted to do something with her pumpkin to honor the Summer Olympics, so Chris and Emma decided to create a Michael Phelps"kin".

Baglady Emma

Step 1 (spray paint the pumpkin white)

Step 2 (spray paint the pumpkin blue)

Step 3 (with Daddy's help, use star stencils to paint stars on the pumpkin)

Step 4 (frantically look for swim goggles, a swim cap, Olympic medals and Mr. Potato Head pieces to decorate the pumpkin)

I'd love to find a way to send Michael Phelps a picture of his honorary pumpkin. Great job, Emma and Daddy!

October 26, 2008

Smashing Success

The Halloween party was a smashing success. Chris and I counted 126 guests in attendance. It was a packed house but it worked well.

As predicted, the face painting was the most popular activity at the party.

I've included a few party shots:

October 24, 2008

Pumpkins & Party Games

Chris is one heck of a master pumpkin carver. I'm not even going to attempt to say that I help out in the pumpkin carving festivities. I stay on the other side of the camera lens and far away from the pumpkin ooze.

Chris has a local farmer that gives him a deal on his pumpkins because he buys them in bulk. It's not uncommon for Chris to carve up to thirty pumpkins in celebration of the Halloween party. He literally pulls an all-nighter to get them all carved in time for the party.

Here are just a few of his masterpieces:

Chris's favorite tip is to carve out the bottom (instead of the top) and then use the large Christmas bulbs to light the pumpkins from underneath. Most of the pumpkins line our walkway and our graveyard during the party.

In addition to pumpkin carving, the party games are almost all unpacked and arranged throughout the house. Without giving away too many secrets, I did manage to take a few pictures this evening.

This is pin the wart on the witch. We'll be using mini green playdoh balls for the warts.

Many of the games require throwing. Those special games are in the garage (hee hee).

If you look closely at the pop, I managed to find spooky labels at our local dollar store. Too cool!

Emma filled the sucker tree last night and Josie decided to rearrange all the suckers again this evening. The sucker tree is now out of reach from a very busy toddler!!

I promise to take as many pictures as I can during the party. We have record numbers for this year's gathering. It'll be interesting to see how Josie takes in all the activity, costumes and new people in our house. Speaking of costumes, Chris and I have amazing costumes and wigs this year. I'm not quite sure how long I'll manage to stay in costume (and wig) all the while chasing a toddler, refilling a popcorn machine and managing games. I think my favorite activity this year will be the face-painter that we've hired for the party. I can't wait to see all the kiddos with their special face-painting makeup.

October 23, 2008

Bathroom Makeover

Even the bathroom gets a Halloween makeover in our house. During our adult Halloween party, we normally keep the bathroom lit with black lightening so that all our glow-n-the-dark stuff looks extra creepy. Being that this is a family-friendly party, we'll also have the overhead lights in working order Saturday night.

I shot a video of the bathroom with its black-lighting last night.

Our alien was a former child mannequin from my grandparents clothing store. He's covered in tinfoil and wearing an alien mask, hands and feet.

What breakfast isn't complete without a good Franken Berry serving of cereal? Don't worry, she also had a banana with this lovely sugar-filled cereal.

The party countdown continues...

October 21, 2008

Popcorn Machine & Party Games Preview

The popcorn machine that we are borrowing for the Halloween party arrived this evening. Of course we had to test it out to make sure it tastes as good as theater popcorn.

Rest assured, it passed our taste test with flying colors.

After popping a batch, we certainly had enough popcorn to share with our neighbors. This was Josie's first time with popcorn and as you can see by the pictures, she LOVED it.

With this year's party being completely 100% family-friendly, we are utilizing every inch of our living area. The games will be scattered throughout the house and garage. We'll leave it up to our guests to decide where they want to go and what they want to do during the party.

Enjoy a sneak peek at our the party games. Be sure to click on the image to read the various activities.

I can't believe it's only a few days away from the big event!!

October 20, 2008

Josie's Hand Surgery

We met with Josie's hand surgeon Monday. We've scheduled her surgery for December 18th. It's a 2.5 hour procedure. They'll do it at the Devos Children's Hospital (our local hospital). She should be able to go home that same day. It'll all depend on her heart (which should be fine since her repair back in April) and how she comes out of surgery.

During our required medical exam in Guangzhou, the Chinese doctor insisted she didn't have bone or nerves in her extra thumb (WRONG) and was quite harsh about getting it removed right away. Considering how serious her heart condition was, we were surprised at how much he focused on her extra thumb and not over the fact that her heart murmur was severe or that she had blue lips, toes or fingers. I'd like to give him a piece of my mind right about now. Oh well.

The doctor will need to borrow some ligaments and tendons from the thumb they are removing. Her good thumb is missing a few important things so he can recycle some of the parts of her bad thumb. After her surgery, she'll be in a full cast (complete hand all the way up to the shoulder for five weeks and in a sling). She have two pins in her thumb that will eventually come out. She'll have to learn how to use her new hand correctly, but he thinks she'll pick it up really quickly.

Chris and I decided to schedule the surgery right before Christmas break so that we could take time off and be with her during the hardest part of the adjustment period. Considering everything this little girl has gone through in her seven months home, this ought to be fairly easy...right?

Emma will just have to help Josie unwrap Christmas presents this year. I'm guessing she won't mind ONE single bit!

October 19, 2008

Garage Makeover

Even the garage has undergone a makeover for the Halloween party. A great trick for covering up garage walls, tools, and other junk is to hang black plastic from the ceiling. Being a Kenward, we take it a step further and sponge paint blocks on the black plastic to give it a bit of dimension. In the past, Chris has used a car washing sponge to paint blocks. This year, he and Emma went at the painting with a cheap mop. The sponge on the mop was the perfect size and the handle made it easy for stamping paint.

While Chris and Emma were stamping paint in the garage, Josie and I had to do our own painting in the kitchen. She didn't quite understand why she couldn't join in the garage painting festivities.

Without giving away all the garage decorating secrets (we've got to save a little suspense for the party guests) here's a tiny glimpse...

Living Room Halloween Decorations

We're officially done with decorating the living room for the Halloween party. Chris dug out the ladders, the lights, and the battery-operated pumpkins last night. After the girls were in bed, he put the final touches on everything.

Here's a video of Chris stringing lights.
It drives me nuts to see him on the ladders, but the effect is worth it.

I'm also including some close-up shots of the living room below.

A few years ago, we scored several horror movie posters at the dollar store.
We love those kind of deals!!

A shot of the piano with our skull collection.

Mr. Ceiling Spider

A few other things...

When Emma was three, she nicknamed this creature "kiki".
He stands guard underneath our Halloween tree.

A shot of the living room from the front porch.

We're still not done with our decorating. The garage and the downstairs family room still need to be transformed for the party. The weather predictions aren't looking too dry for Saturday night (drat). We'll be utilizing every inch of our house for the party festivities. More pictures to come throughout the week!!!