Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween

Halloween!  What a great holiday! How completely amazing to be able to pretend to be someone else for a day!?  Forget your worries and your troubles and just basque in the glory of your childhood.  Share stories with your children and laugh at your memories as you make new ones.  It is fantastic!!  I love Halloween!!

  
This Halloween was a busy one!  We had two fun-filled days of events which made us very tired and very full of candy!!  On Saturday morning we met up with our friends, Frances, Henry and Benjamin and participated in the free, downtown court square Halloween festival.  The children walked through down-town, trick-or-treating at the different stores and establishments.  It was great!!

 This is Ben.  He is a friend of Henry's and Benjamin's.  Ben's costume . . . he was "two tired."
 Here we are collecting candy from a business owner.  I thought he was going to scare one of the kids, but he was really funny.  He kept making funny sounds and the kids kept laughing.  Thank goodness.

 We stopped at the Smokin' Pig to trick-or-treat and Rabia and I split an order of fried pickles and the kids split a large order of french fries.  They were yummy and warm on the chilly morning.  Benjamin could not share in the french fries so he just ate his stroller straps.

 Henry's costume was very near and dear to my heart.  Ryan wore this very same costume at that age.  Soooo cute!!
 There were games to play, silly putty to make and a costume contest.  The kids were pretty wiped out.
 Saturday night the kids and I went to Glowfest.  Glowfest is a Halloween festival that is hosted by a local community church.  It was so neat!  They had bounce houses, games, food, puppet show, Guitar Hero on a huge screen with gospel music, candy, candy and more candy.  For the games you played, candy was the prize.  It was so fun!
 Lydia sliding down the huge slide in one of the three bounce houses.
 We played some games, ran into lots of people we knew, had some dinner and had a ton of fun and it was free to the community!  In this day and age and with the current economy, it was so nice to see this alternative to the traditional Halloween celebrations, for the kids, and about the kids.

 Before our Trick-or-Treating, the kids and I attended a Halloween/Birthday party and then met up with Adella and Penny (our cousins) for some down to business trick-or-treating.  Before meeting up with them, we stopped at Nannie and Pap's and then headed to Grammy and Paw Paw's house.  We have Wonder Woman, a Blue Fairy, a Leopard, The Cat in the Hat and Batman.

 We stopped at Ann and Bill's house and then darkened the doors of some other people in Grammy and Paw Paw's neighborhood.
 Completing our trip, we made our traditional last stop at Grammy's house where she always makes a big deal about "these cute kids!" even when my brother and I were little, and then proceeded to fill every one's pumpkins with even more candy.  Thank goodness everyone had a sugar high . . . we might not have made it though the weekend!  :)

Makin some sauce

From all the stories I heard as a kid and from what I tasted, my Grandma Leftwich (Dad's Mom) has always been known for her cooking.  Each holiday we would all gather at her and my Granddaddy's house and would feast on a spread of amazing food!  One of her most famous dishes was her applesauce.  Absolutely the best applesauce, worldwide!!  Before she became so sick with Alzheimer's, and could still remember how to make her applesauce with a little bit of help, my Dad, Mom, Mike and I went to her house to make it with her.  Since then, each year we make a bushel of apples worth of applesauce.  We have now made it a tradition with our children and they love to make it!!  Unfortunately, they will never know of the amazing cook who started it all, but I have plenty of stories to share!!

 My mother has this awesome "Apple, Corer, Slicer, Peeler" from Pampered Chef.  This makes peeling and cutting the apples so much faster and easier!  First time using it, it paid for itself!  I have no idea how long it would take to do all those apples by hand.  Ryan, Lydia and Emily each had a turn using it.

 


Once all the coring, slicing, peeling and cooking was done, everyone took a turn running the apples through the sieve.  Not quite sure why Lydia has her shirt off.  I suppose it must have been a workout peeling all of those apples!
We ended up making about 31 containers of applesauce to freeze and eat.  So far, they have all been quite yummy!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our Annual Trip to Carter's Mountain Orchard

 Several weeks ago we took our (becoming) annual trip to Carter's Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville. This year we went with our good friends, the Settles. We all had such a super time!! Such a great tradition each year!