Happy Halloween

Another Halloween is here.  Here are a a few snapshots of our afternoon/evening.

DSC01710Madelyn’s performing arts class at Duke School got to experiment with costume makeup today at school.

DSC01716I made a pumpkin smoothie with these ingredients plus 2 bananas.  It was delicious!

DSC01719Here I am with Julian.  We are trying to create a zombie pale face.

DSC01708Kalen feeling silly and festive.

DSC01717Brayden as Mario

DSC01731We have a Thing 1, Mario, Werewolf, and Zombie

(I might add that Maddie and Julian made their costumes this year)


Character Day

Our school had our annual literary festival last week.  On friday, our kids and staff were able to dress up as a character from a book.

Brayden chose Jack from the Magic Tree House series.

Kalen chose Peter from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  My mom had made this knight costume years ago for Julian and it worked great!


I chose the Tree from The Giving Tree.  I already had stitched a tree on one of my t-shirts and just decided to add the leaves and apple for our character day.  DSC01686

Tea for Two




Kalen and Brayden have been so cute over the break coming up with things to do during the day.  I stumbled upon this scene (up above) one afternoon.  They are true buds.

Today, they were rooting around and found their Playmobil toys.  They set up a whole story and stayed invested for a long while.  I love when our kids find things they have not played with in a long time and make use of them again.  I also love being home.  I have written about this before, but I have strong feelings about allowing kids to play, make messes and create at home.  Of course, I am totally not speaking to the fact that when they are so captivated by their imagination and creativity in our safe home environment, I can actually fold the six laundry baskets that are overflowing.  🙂

The Zoo

DSC01376The boys and I are on our 3 week break, with one week remaining.  This week we decided to meet up with my mom and Annette at the NC Zoo.  We had a blast. Here are some pictures and videos from our day.


We were able to feed a giraffe named Turbo.  I must say that I have never fed a giraffe before.  It was very exciting.  I am not one to attract giraffes though.  I had to have an extra branch hover over us just so the big guy would eat my leaf.  Oh, and I learned giraffes have big tongues!  Here is a clip:





This picture above depicts one of my favorite moments that day.  It was just before 10am and the zebras were chasing the ostriches.  These birds are oddly fast creatures.  Here is a video of these animals just before that still shot.  The ostriches crack me up.  Have a laugh:









The baboons were quite the active bunch while we were visiting their habitat. We saw many little mini shows.  I caught one on video.





Easy Brussels Sprouts Cooking How-To

We have been enjoying Brussels Sprouts lately, so I thought I would share this simple recipe for a quick powerhouse veggie side dish.


2 bags or 1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed and halved and yellow leaves removed

Olive Oil

Sea Salt



Seasoned Salt

How to:  Preheat oven to 375 or 400 degrees.  Wash Brussels Sprouts, trim ends off and cut them in half.  Then, place them in a bowl and pour olive oil over them.  Toss them to try to cover them all with the olive oil.  Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, seasoned salt and oregano on the Brussels Sprouts, again toss.  Pour the vegetables on a prepared (oiled) baking dish.  I use my french fry pan.  You can sprinkle with a tad more sea salt if you want.  Put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  After minute 7, you can move them around a bit.  They should be a little crispy, but not burnt.  Enjoy as a side or on their own!