Halloween 2015: The Animaniacs!

Last year, I explained why I opt to take the DIY route when it comes to my children’s Halloween costumes. Despite being (what feels like) eight billion weeks pregnant, I still chose to make their costumes.  I am glad that baby #4 didn’t decide to make an early appearance, or I would have been wracking my brains for an acceptable costume to go with this year’s theme.  So far our themes have been favorite characters (Linus from The Peanuts and Alice in Wonderland), decades (60’s hippie and 20’s flapper), Peter Pan (Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Tick Tock Crock), The Incredibles, and The Muppets.  A few months ago, my little ones put in their request for this year’s theme: The Animaniacs!

When I first thought about it, the idea of making their costumes seemed too complicated.  It became much more manageable when I broke it down and realized I would only need to make their tails and hats.  I was able to make forms for their tails and ears using layers of floral wire wrapped in tulle and covered in black felt.  The floral wire gave me the option to shorten their tails when they became too distracting.  (I can’t tell you how many times I caught Abram chasing his tail.)

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Here they are before they went trick or treating.  They were ready to let everyone in the neighborhood know who they were dressed as.

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I have less than a year to scout out a sibling costume theme fit for four, so I will have Halloween on my mind months before it arrives next year.  Hopefully their costumes match their personalities just as perfectly as they did this year.

Maeby’s First American Girl Doll

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Maeby has been asking for an American Girl doll for over a year.  Santa brought her an Our Generation doll for Christmas last year so she could practice taking care of an 18 inch doll.  Months passed and she became even more interested in American Girl.  We watched the movies for McKenna, Kit, and Chrissa.  She would flip through old catalogs and make lists of everything she liked.  Initially we were planning on making a trip to the American Girl store in New York City, but our recent travels landed us right near the store in Natick, Massachusetts.

ag1When we arrived, Maeby insisted on admiring the display windows.  Little did she know that the store was filled with displays she could play with.  We were greeted by the Girl of the Year and her accessories as soon as we walked in the door.  Maeby loved playing with Grace’s mixer that comes with her baking set.  Eventually we made it to the displays for the newest BeForever doll, Maryellen.ag3 ag4I was starting to suspect that Maeby had changed her mind about what doll she wanted.  Maryellen had such cool accessories and furniture, so I wasn’t surprised by the magnetism.  ag5 ag6We went upstairs to check out the Truly Me dolls and the Bistro.  We knew that we weren’t going to partake in the dining experience because of the limited amount of vegan options, but it was fun to check out the restaurant and decor.  I like that they will allow girls to borrow a doll for their meal, so that girls that don’t have dolls or forgot their dolls can still join in on the experience.  ag7Eventually we made our way back downstairs and Maeby informed us that her choice of doll was still the same.  She chose Girl of the Year: Grace Thomas.  Maeby loves helping out in the kitchen, especially when baked goods are involved.  I guess it was an easy choice for her.  Since Grace has come home with us, we have watched An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success a few times.  Maeby brings Grace with her practically everywhere, and she keeps talking about Paris and the Eiffel Tower.  I know that she won’t soon forget about her first visit to the American Girl store, and that the American Girl characters will be part of our conversations for many years to come.  ag8

First Day of Dance Class 2015

After a two month break, Micah and Maeby are back to dance class.  Micah’s classes have been extended by half an hour, as he is picking up intro to jazz.  We are currently in the waiting room while Micah has class, and I have already heard him ask his teacher if they are doing jazz this week.  He is definitely excited about learning a new style of dance.  They will each be performing tap and ballet routines in this year’s recital, so we will have four songs to listen to nonstop starting in January.  I get asked if Abram will be taking dance soon, since he is now three years old.  He loves dancing and singing, but since he doesn’t always love listening we will be reevaluating in January (when the midyear class starts) or next September.  Last year I wrote about the skills my kids have been learning since they started dance classes.  You can read it here (and see how much they have grown compared to this year).

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Summer Squeeze List

I have no idea how I have made it through three summer pregnancies, because this autumn pregnancy has been taking its toll on me.  I have been trying my hardest to rest frequently and drink plenty of water, but that hasn’t done much to keep the contractions at bay.

Now that the dog days of summer are coming to an end we can plan more outdoor activities without fear of jeopardizing the baby’s or my health.  I came up with a list of our favorite summer pastimes so we can make sure to squeeze as much fun as possible out of the rest of the season.  I also threw in a couple new activities, like messy Twister, that I know the kids will love.  Our list is ambitious for the short amount of time we have left, but we are determined to check everything off before we start up with school again.

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Early Start on New Year’s Resolutions with Craftsy

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December 20th.

Yikes.

I feel like this has been the slowest and quickest year of my life. I only set one goal for myself this year, and it will be the same personal goal I set for next year as well. That goal is to be a blessing to other people. Part of being able to provide love and support to others, is making sure I am equipped to do so. As simple as my goal sounds, I am constantly working on self improvement to be able to benefit others the best that I can.

That’s where Craftsy comes in! Craftsy is a website where you can enroll in craft related courses to learn a new skill or build upon one you already have. The classes are all online and you can log in anytime to access the material. You can ask questions and receive feedback from your instructor. The best part is that once you purchase a course, it is yours forever. I am enrolling in a photography course now, attending, and then revisiting after I purchase my next lens.

I already know how I can use my skills in photography to help others, so now I am looking through the other courses to find a) what interests me b) what new skills could help me serve others. Perhaps I can knit beanies for the NICU, or up the ante on my gardening skills and share my bounty with others. I am not taking my goal lightly for 2015, so you should expect great things to come.

For now I will be working on building my skills up with the help of Craftsy! If you want to join in, click the image below to see all the courses they have to offer. Some courses are available for free, while all of the rest are on sale for $19.99 until December 25th!

This post contains affiliate links, which may result in compensation for me.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Craftsy