Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Minute Costumes For Some Trick-or-Treating Fun

Today was just as busy and hectic as yesterday was. This morning Charlie, the kids and I headed over the bridge to go to the church Charlie's sister, Faye, attends. She was getting re-baptized to show (outwardly) her rededication to the Lord. After service we went back to Faye's house for lunch and let the kids play with their cousin, Shelby, for a little while.

We got home a little after 4pm. Charlie's buddy, Harold, came by a few minutes after we got home and brought new headlights for Charlie's little pickup truck he's been borrowing lately. They went outside to get the headlights replaced and check the fluids in my van.

With today being Halloween, I called a friend to find out what time trick-or-treating was suppose to "start" in their neighborhood so I could let Charlie know what time he and Tabytha needed to head out. The plan was for Charlie to take Tabytha trick-or-treating because she had a costume from her mommom and I was going to stay home with John and Jessi because we didn't have costumes for them.

The time rolls around for Charlie and Tabytha (who was dressed up like Gisel from the movie 'Enchanted') to get going and John decided he wanted to go with them. Well, we didn't have a costume for him. So, we scoured through his dresser trying to come up with some kind of plan or idea of what he could be. No luck in his room. Charlie and I check in the girls closet, hoping for inspiration to hit and Charlie sees his dirt bike helmet and gets a flash of genius. I hand him the helmet and goggles and John sees it and says he wants to be a 'motorcycle dude'. Awesome! John got his boots and jacket on and Charlie helped him put on the helmet and he was all set, and he was happy with it. He thought he looked like a real 'motorcycle dude'.

I noticed a Cinderella dress Tabytha used to play dress-up with when she was smaller and then I got my own flash of genius (so to speak). Jessi could be Cinderella and wear Tabytha's old dress! The dress was made from a thin material, so I put a long sleeved shirt and sweat pants on Jessi first and then put the dress on over top and she was all set.

At first she was against putting on the dress and started fighting to get it off, but once she heard mention of candy she stopped fighting the dress and ran to the front door to go. Harold came with us so we took my van because it can fit the 6 of us, unlike my camry which only seats 5.

Everyone was buckled in and we were off to Greensboro. I parked in the parking lot of Tabytha's school and we walked around the neighborhood next to it. I was so pleased with how well the kids did walking around. Today was the 2nd day of busy/hectic and no naps. John never cried to get the helmet off and Tabytha didn't complain about her feet hurting in the heels she was wearing (as part of the costume). Even Jessi was good and didn't fuss. This was actually her first time trick-or-treating. All the kids said 'Trick-or-Treat' when they got to the doors of the people handing out candy and said 'Thank You' after receiving candy in their pumpkin buckets.

One person was so charmed by Jessi saying 'trick-or-treat' and 'Thank you', he said "You're so cute you get 2 pieces of candy". Jessi was so excited to see them put more candy in her bucket, she must have thought she won the lottery.

All in all, the weekend was hectic and busy, but it was also filled with a lot of friends, family and fun. When we got home Charlie and I got the kids ready for bed and gave them a couple pieces of candy from their buckets. When they finished their candy they brushed their teeth and went to bed and Charlie and I plopped on the couch and watched a cheesy 'horror' movie to top off "Halloween" night.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Festival

Earlier in the day my kids had fun playing with their friends and after they left we were invited by our neighbor, Nick, to go to his church for a 'Fall Festival'. I asked him what time it started and he didn't remember at first and told me he'd find out and call me right back.

At first I tried to think of an excuse for us not to go. I thought I could just tell him Jessi didn't get a nap this afternoon and would probably be miserable and I was going to try to get the kids to bed early to make up for the hectic fun filled day of playing. But, that wasn't really the truth. Jessi didn't get a nap, that part was true, but, in reality, I was the one who was tired from trying to keep after 8 kids while Charlie and Brian were working in the garage. Nick called back and told me what time the fall festival was and I told him it sounded like fun and we'd probably see him there after Charlie got cleaned up.

Charlie and Brian finished up in the garage and then Brian got his kids all packed up in their Hummer and headed back home. Charlie got cleaned up and we all packed in the car and went to the fall festival at Nick's church.

There was a lot going on when we got there. We noticed a small bon fire where people were roasting marshmallow's to make S'mores, a huge moon bounce for the kids, hot dogs and chips for everyone to eat and several people had the trunks of their cars/suv's decorated and had games for kids to play, like at a carnival, and would be rewarded with candy.

After roasting some marshmallow's, bouncing around the moon bounce and playing the carnival trunk games we got in line to go on a hay ride. While we were waiting for our turn the kids got to watch someone make cotton candy. Jessi was completely mesmerized by the process. She couldn't take her eyes off of the cotton candy machine blow pink and blue sugary goodness and watch the man spin it around the stick and put it in bags for everyone to enjoy. All the kids got a bag of cotton candy, and for Jessi, most of it found it's way all over her face.

The truck pulling the hay wagon returned, the first batch of riders got off and it was now our turn. We piled in with several other people and off we went. The kids loved it. Somewhere in the middle of the ride Charlie thought it would be funny to toss of few straws of hay on John and Tabytha. Tabytha and John both threw some back at him and this led to a full fledged hay battle with everyone riding with us. Lots of laughs, giggles and hay everywhere.

When the ride brought us back to the church Charlie and I decided to call it a night and take the kids home to put them to bed. It was already past their bedtimes. We found Nick, told him how much fun we had, thanked him for inviting us and headed home to put the kids to bed.

A 'Herd' Of Kids

Charlie's friend, Brian, brought his car over to work on it in our garage. He's come over before to work on his car, but, this time he brought his brood of kids with him. He and his wife have 5. My own children were bouncing off the walls excited to hear that Mr. Brian was bringing his kids over to play while he and Charlie worked in the garage.

It was a very pleasant day outside. The weather was cool and the sun was shining. We have two power-wheels toys, a 4-wheeler and a dune buggy, along with a swing/slide/see-saw, play house, roller coaster and a very large penned in area to run around and play in. The kids all seemed to like the power wheel cars the most and all took turns riding. The bigger kids took the littler kids for rides.

After awhile I took all 8 kids next door to our neighbor, Nick's, house to see his sheep, goats and llama's. One of Nick's goats is very friendly and even comes up to people and lets them pet him, so the kids all got a kick out of that. (The goats name is Sprocket, pictured above). To top it all off, Nick said the kids could feed the animals and they all squealed with excitement.

All in all, everyone had a blast playing and goofing around and their favorite part of the Barbitta's visit was going to see and feed the animals next door.

(In the picture from left to right is John, CJ, Sprocket the goat, Tabytha, Jessi, Chloe peeking out from behind Tabytha, Brian, Camryn and Cayden bent over next to Jessi)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baking Love Into Grandma's Birthday

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. She turned 50, which is still difficult for me to wrap my head around. (much like me turning 30 two weeks ago).

My oldest daughter, Tabytha, wanted to do something special for her grandma for her birthday. She asked if she could make grandma a birthday cake. What a sweetheart!
Tabytha didn't have school yesterday (teacher inservice day), so when Jessi went down for her nap I gathered what we needed to make a cake.

John wanted to help make Grandma's cake, too. Tabytha cracked the eggs into the mixing bowl and John poured the water, cake mix and butter into the bowl. I got the batter started until there was no fear of cake mix flying all over the kitchen.
John got to use the hand mixer first, with some assistance from Tabytha. Then, Tabytha finished up the mixing until the batter was nice and smooth.
I poured the cake mix into the cake pans and put them in the oven to bake. When they were done I transferred them to the cooling rack. After the cakes were cooled I frosted the center layer of the cake and then let Tabytha and John frost the top and sides of the cake.

They had so much fun frosting the cake and talking about how much Grandma was going to love her cake. After going through a can and a half of frosting the cake was finished. I placed the cake in a cake carrier and today we were off to Grandma's house to celebrate her birthday.

Tabytha and John were nearly busting at the seams to give Grandma her birthday cake and couldn't wait for Grandma to share it with them.

After lunch Grandma brought the cake to the table and cut a slice for everyone. The cake was moist and delicious. Tabytha and John did a fantastic job and worked very well together.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


My youngest, Jessi, is a well blended mix of my husband and me. She gets her looks from me and her personality from Charlie. She's the most daring of my 3 children. She began crawling at 6 months old and walking by 10 1/2 months. When you have a sister who's 7 yrs older then you and a rambunctious brother barely 18 months older, you feel a need to speed up your "mobility milestones" just to keep up with your older siblings. I wouldn't know these things from personal experience because I'm the oldest of 4. I can only assume these things based on what I see and even our pediatrician agrees with my assumption. He says he sees these things very often with each subsequent child in a family.

I used to joke about Jessi keeping a secret notebook stashed away in her crib and writing down the things she learned from her big brother about how to test mommy's patience and get into mischief each day.

After Tabytha and John I didn't really think there was anything she could do that I hadn't seen before. I was wrong. After John had gotten on his bus for school, Jessi and I did a couple puzzles and watched some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together. Somewhere in the time I went into the kitchen to get lunch made for her she went back into her room (which she shares with Tabytha). I could hear her playing and giggling so I didn't think she was getting into anything.

I went back to the room to get her so she could have lunch and I didn't see her right away. My first thought was she was on the other side of the chair in the room where she likes to "hide". I did see that 3 of the drawers in her dresser were open all the way. So, before checking around the chair for her I started shutting the drawers of the dresser. I closed the 1st drawer, then, as I started closing the 2nd drawer she let out a giggle and I saw her laying in the bottom drawer just as happy as could be, like she had gotten away with something.

I couldn't help but laugh at the sight of her so pleased with herself in her dresser drawer. I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures to share with Charlie when he got home of how adorable she looked in the dresser.