You may or may not know this, but Krispy Kreme gives out free donuts once a year if you dress like a pirate.

You also may or may not know that I love donuts.  But if you know me, you probably do know that.  It has been a longstanding love in my life.  I do believe in eating nourishing foods most of the time.  But seriously, an occasional donut is essential in one's path to fulfillment.

I did not know about Krispy Kreme's pirate day until (not kidding) 6:30pm on the day of said promotion.  The reasonable thing to do would have been to just put the kids to bed like any other night.  Bedtime was quickly looming.  I also was babysitting a friend's son.  And Paul was gone at a kickball game (yes, he is on a kickball league).  So really, it was insane to even consider dressing four children and myself up as pirates for free donuts.  But such is the lure of those golden fried pastries that I whipped up costumes for everyone and loaded us in the car and drove forty-five minutes to the nearest Krispy Kreme for free donuts. 

It was actually a really fun night.


Halloween: A History

Five years ago we celebrated our family's inaugural Halloween by dressing our tiny little baby up in a banana costume.  She made an awesome banana. And we were basically as proud as parents can get.  I think we went to the trunk or treat, and, naturally, ate all of the candy we received ourselves.

The next year I bought Ella a cat costume, and forced her to wear it weeks before Halloween so she could practice meow-ing.  True story.

We also ate the vast majority of her candy that year.

Halloween of 2010 was marked by hours of sewing our own coordinating costumes.  I think it was in an effort to save money, since we were in grad school at the time.  I'm pretty sure that the saving money part was a major fail.  Major.  But we looked pretty cute as bugs and a bug-catcher.  (Ella-butterfly, Charlotte-bee, Jess-Ladybug, Paul-bug catcher... he's not big on dressing up, and walking around wearing khaki and carrying a net was the limit of his holiday spirit.)

The next year was really the low point of our Halloween careers. We accepted an adults only dinner invitation for the same night as the ward Trunk or Treat.  I was so overcome with guilt and inability to emotionally commit to the party that I failed to find a babysitter until the day of the party.  Our friends were kind enough to not only take our kids to the Trunk or Treat, but also to their (kids allowed) Halloween party.  The girls were dressed as matching ballerinas.  I don't remember why.  Probably because I already owned tutus.  That was a stellar year.

Last year was the first year our family actually went trick or treating.  (Ella was a dragon, Charlotte was a bear, Max was a dinosaur.)  When we got home, we let the girls eat as much of the candy as they wanted, and then put the rest in the trick or treating bowl, and stuck it on the porch with a sign that said, "Please take the candy".  Even though basically all that was left was the dregs (you know, colored tootsie rolls and bit o honeys) it was all gone by morning.  That was actually a pretty good strategy.  I think we will probably repeat it, or do some variation of it this year.

As you can see, we have a giraffe (Max) and a dancing pig (Charlotte) on the docket for this year.  Ella insisted on being a fairy.  Which is okay, I guess.  I was hoping for one more year of gender neutral costumes, which, in my opinion, are way more interesting (in general, at least).

So we're ready for the mountains of candy that will arrive beginning this weekend.  Bring it on.


Sometimes we get sick.

Runny noses don'y bring us down too much.  We usually just hunker down at home, but otherwise live fairly normal lives.  But vomit is another story.  Our family was recently visited by just such a bug.  As can be expected, it took its time infecting us all, Charlotte started the whole affair by throwing up on Sunday morning, Max's projectile vomiting on Sunday night confirmed that it wasn't "just something she ate".  When Ella got sick on Monday night, I began to lose all hope that I would be spared.  Sure enough, I woke up queasy on Tuesday, but by the grace of God was spared the indignity of actually throwing up.  As flu bugs go, it was pretty mild, and I am grateful for that.  Paul was sick on Tuesday, too, luckily it was relatively mild for him, as well.

The media consumption during such an illness is truly mind-numbing, however.

Ella: "Mom, the show is over!"
Me: "Well, what do you want to do now?"
Ella: "Watch another one?"
Me: "Sure."

Imagine this conversation about twenty times a day.

At one point on Tuesday I insisted that we go outside for some fresh air.  The sun was shining, the weather was beautiful, and I embarked on the walk with high expectations.  I made it all the way to the sidewalk in front of our next door neighbor's house, where I slumped down on the ground for about ten minutes.  After which I announced it was time to go back inside and watch another show.

And so, for a couple of days, we mostly subsisted on the bushel of apples I have sitting in the front entryway waiting to be made into applesauce.  The kids would just wander in there and eat one when they were hungry.  And I would just sit and watch thinking, "I should eat something, but everything sounds gross," never leaving the couch.

Good times.


Bluegrass Festival and Chili Competition

You are looking at an official judge for the Farmers Branch Chili competition this year.  It was really a fun experience, and I was lucky to have two friends join me (not pictured) to help out with the kids while I was judging.

Speaking of judging, please don't judge us for fair food :) I really planned on feeding the kids chili from the competition, but they were out of samples before I finished my judging (judges are not allowed to eat chili before they judge). So... corndogs it was.