Life as we know told by Heather

Monday, September 29, 2008

Our trip to the pumpkin patch

Typically we don't go to the pumpkin patch until October, because I like it to be chilly out and for the leaves to have changed. But last Saturday was the opening day, where all activities were free to families with children who have autism, so we decided to go and check it out early this year.

Xander remembered the big area full of corn kernels from last year and ran to that first. Jordis didn't get to do it last year so he convinced her to get in as well. She took to it quickly, pelting her brother in the face with corn while giving him one of her ornery looks.

After that we went to some slides and to play in the barn. The slides were a big hit! The barn full of hay, not so much. I think they just didn't like how it felt. But they did like climbing on the tractor.

Then we went on a hayride and I went with the kids on the banana train. I barely fit in that thing with Jordis so I don't know how Jason did it last year with Xan. It was Jordis' first time to ride and Xander got to ride by himself. They got to pick out their own cart and really had fun. Xander sang the whole time.

After some snacks Xander rode the zip cord and we fed some goats. The kids also got to pet some donkeys. They were so friendly!

Then we got Jason to ride the big-kid zip cord. I used the camera to take a video, so I only got pictures of him after he was making his way back to get down.

The kids each got a free pie pumpkin and they look great sitting on our kitchen table.

Thanks to Leeds Farm for a great day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm in love...

....shhhh, don't tell Jason. But I've found two new things that I can't live without.

I was with Xander (and Jordis, since Jason had to work) at our bi-weekly trip to Trader Joe's when I came across two items I had never seen before. The cereal is definitely new, given it's placement on an endcap by the free coffee and the sign that said "new" above it. I knew right away that I had to have it. Milk and I are not the best of friends so I wasn't planning to eat it in the traditional sense, but I thought it might make for a good snack, and it definitely does. As only a tasty snack can it has 250 calories, 9 grams of fat and 39 grams of carbs per 3/4 cup serving. But, it also has 23 grams of whole grains, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. That has to count for something, right?

The hot chocolate I found on the very bottom shelf next to Xander's rice milk. I was down there hiding from the rather large, masculine-looking woman stocking shelves next to me, who Xander had just proclaimed (in his loudest voice) "looks like a ball." Anyone who knows me is well aware of my love for dark chocolate and peppermint. If you can combine the two than all the better. I've had some the past two nights since I brought it home. It's not the creamiest hot chocolate I've ever consumed, but the flavor is wonderful. Just the smell of it makes me feel good.

It's amazing what can make you happy for just $6.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My great bargain!

I need some black socks to make a Halloween project, so yesterday I thought I'd head over to the Goodwill store to see if they had any. I didn't want to spend much money on them since they are to be used outside, but I knew they'd also probably be new because I don't think they sell used socks. So Goodwill was the perfect place to look.

I did find a nice new pair of thick black socks for .59-cents, so that will do for now.

But I also found this....

It was only $2 so I snatched it up. The kids weren't deserving of a new toy yesterday so I left it in the garage. But they've been really good today, so I went outside with them earlier, hosed it down, and cleaned it up. Now they're sitting in it as they watch Miss Spider.

The real question is how long we'll have it before they decide to turn it into something more suitable for their needs, like a stool.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

There's a traitor in my midst!

I thought Jordis was with me. She used to say "Go Bucks!" and get excited about wearing matching shirts. I was counting on her to carry on the Ohio State tradition since Jason already brainwashed Xander into favoring the SEC, which is a no-no here in Buckeye Nation.

But this is what I got on Saturday...

And then yesterday she wanted to wear this.....

....and she enjoyed it. Even wore purple barettes and picked out purple and white socks.

OSU lost one game and she's already jumping ship. Little does she know that LSU pulled off that win against Auburn at the last minute Saturday night. She's such a daddy's girl.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kids in the Kitchen

The kids and I have been busy lately, because around here there is a lot of truth to the saying "idle hands make for devil's tools." If the kids don't have something structured to do around here, more than likely they are getting in trouble.

Last Friday we made some yarn pumpkins. The kids got a kick out of wrapping me up with yarn and then Xander took my remnants and made his own art.

Today we were supposed to be making trees, using the side of our hand as the trunk and our fingerprints as leaves. Jordis started out as a willing participant, then decided the leaves needed to be smeared all over. Xander decided to paint a bug. I like my trees though.

We also made a new snack. I found a recipe in the September issue of Wondertime magazine for Powerballs.

It's a fairly healthy snack and Xander had lots of fun dumping the ingredients into the mixer.

The kids enjoy eating them and I had plenty to freeze, too.

Cops and Kids

This past Sunday was the annual Cops and Kids event at Hoff Woods Park in Westerville. We thought the kids might like it, so we loaded them up and off we went to see cruisers, SWAT vehicles, mobile command centers, fire trucks, med flight, you name it.

To say it was a little windy would be an understatement. I've never really considered the fact that a hurricane could disrupt my plans here in Ohio. That's something more up Jason's alley. It was hot and muggy so the "breeze" felt nice, but we made sure we saw what we wanted to see and then got out of dodge, because we had the feeling we weren't going to be safe for much longer.

This better be the only time our kids are in the BACK of a cruiser.

Some of the more interesting vehicles we came across.

Jordis was clearly channeling a message to this firefighter that he had best remove her from the tiny space he hoisted her on to.

We got home and finished dinner just in time before the power went off and the neighbors starting losing vegetation. Luckily our swing set is still standing, which is more than I can say for the people 3 houses down.

Monday, September 8, 2008

September's here!

I'm so excited it's September. It's the beginning of my favorite time of year. I think mostly because it's my birthday month (barely), so my enjoyment of it goes back as far as I can remember. But it's also when I'd get new school clothes, start thinking about my Halloween costume, and it wasn't so hot anymore. And it meant Thanksgiving and Christmas were on the way.

I still get excited about my birthday since it's always nice to know you've made it another year. And I look forward to Halloween so I can eat candy corn and cider and take my kids to the pumpkin patch and trick-or-treating. But I also love the turning of the leaves and now that I'm an adult I know the new season of my favorite shows is about to start.

Here where we live, September means it's time to talk about horses. The Little Brown Jug takes place here at the local fairgrounds, and runs simultaneously with the county fair. They shut down school for it and people even hang flags on their houses commemorating the event. As if more excitement is needed there is also an annual horse parade, so we decided to take the kids.

I was shocked at the number of people who turned out for this event. It was more pepole than we saw at the July 4th parade or the Christmas parade, so we thought it must be a pretty big deal. It wasn't. Xander soon realized we weren't lying when we said no one was going to throw candy. Jordis had more fun collecting leaves. We sat with one of my friend's whose husband is in the same line of work as Jason, so they talked shop. And I'm pretty sure all 4 kids ignored each other. But I did take a few pictures.

There was a 5k before the parade and Jordis watched intently, joining in with the adults in clapping for the runners as they came by.

Mounted patrol

These little guys were my favorite.

Something about the day made the kids really tired. We went to run an errand and they were both asleep before we got there.

The kids also helped me in the kitchen this weekend. My friend Jen has pear trees and when she came to visit the other day she brought me a bag full of pears.

I thought we'd make a pie or bread with them, but Xander said we needed pears with chocolate. So I found a recipe for a chocolate pear tart. It was actually called something fancier, but for the sake of the kids I called it chocolate pear tart. The kids cooperated better than usual and I didn't have to make either of them leave the table, so that was a plus.

They each picked what they wanted to pour into the bowl and grudgingly took turns stirring.

As excited as they were about it they didn't care for it too much when I let them try some.

But they had a good time and Jason and I have a sweet treat.