Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween


I cheated this year. I have to say, I still feel a little guilty about it too.
This year was the first year their costumes weren't homemade.
After a lot of research, time and a few patterns,
I realized that we couldn't make what we wanted,
cheaper then what we could buy costumes for.
So our zoo crew enjoyed themselves and I didn't worry so much about
pinning or sewing or gathering or decorating.
Admittedly, it was a guilty pleasure. And so nice not to have to work so hard, or worry about getting it all done. ( I might go back to making them next year though. Not because of guilt, but the costumes just look so much cuter and more original.)

After a little Halloween party here, we called up our favorite couple in Belgium,
Mr. James and Miss Alina,
and asked if we could drop in to wish them "Happy Halloween" and 'trick or treat' them.
They were incredibly welcoming, and it was great to have a bit of a visit.
An amazing couple, James and Alina pulled out fine Neuhaus chocolates for the kid's treat bags
and then set them on the couch for a 3-D movie.
What other kids in the world are 'treated' on Halloween to such fine specialties?
Thanks James and Alina! You're the best!
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She came, She saw, She left exhausted

Aunt Julie and her friend Mr Pete came to see us for a few days.
It was a great time, though we wish they could have stayed a little longer.
Well, a lot longer.

When I mentioned to Matt that all was lined up for her visit,
he said "oh, 3 days. Good.
Just enough time for this crew to chew them up and spit them back out"
I do think they might have left feeling a little more tired,
but hopefully with some good memories.

We managed to pack a lot into three days.
School visit, violin lesson, playground time, bike riding,
s'more making, trick or treating, sightseeing,
food (I feel like we were constantly eating!?!)
and, well, lots of good stuff.


Now, um, when are you coming back Jul?
'Cause it won't be soon enough.
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Trick or Treating

Halloween is not so popular here.
Trick or Treating doesn't happen in the widespread way that we're used to.
I caught word that there would be one neighborhood about a 15 minute drive away,
where we could sign up to go to 'trick or treat'.
The catch was that we had to bring the candy the week prior, and get a map of the houses that would participate.
The flyer for this event, still cracks me up-
encouraging people to drop off candy or they would not be welcome to trick or treat,
the final words on the poster were " no candy, no fun!"
Guess that sums Halloween up eh?
We were really lucky to have Aunt Julie and Mr Pete here for trick or treating this year.
It was great to have extra hands holding onto the kids,
watching out for cars, and hauling tired bodies home.



Must not forget to mention Mr Pete, who ended
up picking rocks out of Emory's shoes.
Thank you!
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Get me mom

Emory really takes it all in sometimes.

Though he caught me taking his photo and
said "hey mom, get me doing this!"
( I admit, there was a moment of hesitation when
I wondered what "this" exactly was going to be).


As it turns out, he remembers a lot more
from Guam than I thought he did.
And he's grown into a bit of a ham for the camera.

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There's a lot to take in

throughout Europe. It's almost overwhelming.
Julie and Pete tried to capture a few photos,

pick up a little history,


and take in the smells. Smells ranged from some nasty
areas where people made use of the sidewalk as a toilet, to
the fab foods, to this perfume stand at the open market.
Julie had not yet finished telling the perfume marketer that she didn't often
wear perfume, when Addie stepped right up to get a sample.


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Seeing Brussels

Visiting Brussels with Aunt Julie and Mr Pete was quite fun.
No trip downtown would be complete without a stroll to Manekin Pis,
and this time we found a huge chocolate statue as well.


Inside the Belgian lace shop, we decided on a few gifts.



I often look at Arleigh and wonder if he's going to ask
for money to see Europe when he turns 16.
This is it kid- I hope you enjoy your time here.
Pay attention because you may not have a chance
to do this extended vacation over again.
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Gaufres

I'm sure by the time we leave, we'll have a hundred photos of the kids
enjoying waffles. I have to say though, these are my new favorites.
Yum!



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The Food

The food in Belgium is great.
Whether it's the frites, a traditional waffle,
beer, mussels, or a great restaurant,
this place knows food.

We tried to give Aunt Julie and Mr Pete a sampling
of some of the Belgian favorites.
Waffles (above), frites (below) and they tried a little chocolate too,
fresh from the Godiva shop.
Yum!!!


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Sunday, October 25, 2009

't Goed ter Heule

The adventures never cease.
I set out searching the Internet and papers in hopes of finding a pumpkin patch.
It seems autumn in not celebrated quite the same way that we're used to.
Nevertheless, we set out to an organic farm, 't Goed ter Heule, an hour away,
to pick our pumpkins as well as an assortment of fresh organic vegetables.

The kids had a fabulous time. How fantastic to set foot on a farm, and be able to show them
that their food comes right from the ground, (not really from the supermarket shelf ).
"Zelfpluktuin" Pick your own farms- always the best.
The kiddos were each given a basket to fill with fruits and vegetables of their choice.
They filled up those baskets in no time, and would have kept picking if we'd have given them bigger baskets.
We left with a bundle of kale, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and of course,
the pumpkins.
The strawberries however, didn't make it home.

Great fun. We promised to go back.
We're all looking forward to eating our veggies,
and the return trip to 't Goed ter Heule.
(Double click anywhere on the collages for a much better view.
...I should adjust the size of the photos on the blog;
it certainly seems sometimes that they show up a bit too small.)
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Handsome

This guy is all about his shoes.
I am already panicking about what
we'll do when he outgrows his oxfords.
I told him one morning that his shoes were 'quite handsome'
and he's still soaking up the compliment.
That's ok though. I'm biased, but
he's the cutest 3 year old I know.


I think he'd sleep with them on if we'd let him.


Whatever you do in life, do it well.
Whatever you wear, wear it well.
(and pray that mom finds a pair in the next size soon!)
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Fall

I love fall. The cold crisp, and often wet air.
The colors, the instant fun of a pile of leaves, and a nice fire at night.
Sweaters. Hot chocolate. Acorns and chestnuts.
The dark mornings and early evenings, hovering over us as if to say winter is not far off.
And oh, the best of the best,
my babies bundled up.


Walks in the fall are so fun.
There's no hurry.

And so many treasures to discover!
(and then hide under your pillow
after mommy asks you to
please put those natural keepsakes
outside the front door or in the garage)
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