Don't wait until next October to stock up on Halloween
decorations and costumes. You can score some great items at scary
bargain prices if you shop this week at your favorite retail store!
You may need to take a guess as to how big your child will be
next year, but many costumes secure with simple buttons or Velcro
making it easy to fit into regardless of their growth spurt. The
early bird gets the worm, so don't wait until the end of the week
to find items that will add some tricks to the trick-or-treating
Motion sensor ghosts, tombstones, pumpkin lights and other
accessories to spunk up the holiday season may be hard to store for
a year, but the wait will be worth it when you check your receipt
and have everything ready to go for the 2011 Halloween season!
Did you know that MOM Magazine has a Flickr Group?
We'd love for you to share your photos with us, and also use it as
a place for inspiration.
Let's start out by sharing pictures of your carved pumpkins. New
Here is what you need to do:
***Photo sharing tip*** I use Picasa (not the web version, the
one you download) on my computer to organize my photos. From
Picasa, I go through my photos and "star" the ones I'm going to
share/upload to the web (for Facebook, blog, Flickr, etc.). I then
select only my "starred" photos and export them in a smaller,
web-friendly size to a separate folder I have just for the purpose
of web-sharing. So when I go to upload photos to Flickr, I just
need to search for my folder I just exported to, select all the
photos, and click upload. It's easier for me because I can get just
the photos I want, and they are already resized to the size they
need to be.
We grabbed a bunch of gords and squashes when we went to the
pumpkin patch yesterday. I love using them as fall decorations that
can double as a sidedish between Halloween and Thanksgiving. These
cute butternut squashes looked like a little family of ghosts, so I
gave them fun google eyes with a black sharpie pen.
I've actually become quite attached to
the little guys as they look down on us from the fireplace mantle.
I just don't know that I'll be able to throw them in the oven.
Ok, so not to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm Room Mom for
Colby's second grade class. Now, I take my duties very serious and
plan to make this a super fun year for his class. I love to throw a
The class' Halloween party is this Friday and I've already got
all nearly everything done. I've organized a donation list of items
we need for the party. Had the cupcakes ordered. Decorations are
waiting on the dining room table. I must say
that the parents of the students in this class are
awesome...they donated many of the items for the goodie bags and
also the food/drinks.
One of my big contributions as Room Mom this year is that I
am going to make up holiday-themed activity packets for the kids to
use during the week leading up to their respective parties. This is
no small feat! The first packet for the Halloween holiday is jam
packed with Halloween games, puzzles, mazes and even a page of kid
friendly Halloween jokes. It's sure to be a hit!
My son holding one of the super fun Halloween activities booklet
that I made for his entire class. Here are some of the activities
in the booklet:
A really fun spider maze! There's also a page of Halloween
This Halloween activity book (and the ones to follow this school
year!) are sure to make me Queen of the Classroom.
This past weekend, my boys and I went to one of our favorite
local Pumpkin Patch's to search out the one, the only, PERFECT
pumpkin for each of us this Halloween.
The day was beautiful! Not a rain cloud in sight. The boys eyed
a big red wheelbarrow for us to use on the hunt for our perfect
pumpkins. The boys took turns pushing the empy wheelbarrow and
we went in search of the perfect pumpkins for each of us. Mommy's
only rule? The boys had to be able to lift their pumpkin into
Riley found his perfect pumpkin right off the bat:
Colby must have anguished over a half dozen "perfect" ones
before he found his:
I was searching for a perfectly round pumpkin to make the
Pumpkin Casserole (from the Oct/Nov MOM issue). Guess what?! I
found it! It's going to be dinner on Tuesday night.
Another successful trip to the Pumpkin Patch to find the perfect
pumpkin! Still need to find your perfect pumpkin? Here are some
great local Pumpkin Patchs' in Lane County:
30946 Wyatt Drive in Harrisburg
Lone Pine Farms
91909 River Road in Junction City
Colonial Harvest Days at Northern Lights Farm
3677 Wheeler Road in Pleasant Hill
You've got their costumes ready, but what about their treat
bags? Don't be so quick to rush out and purchase a trendy Halloween
bucket. With a little help from Crayola and your youngsters, you
can create a Halloween bag that carries the theme of their costume
while being kind to Mother Nature.
Simply use a white, recyclable paper bag with or without handles
(they're easy to add with strips of paper and a dab of glue) and
let your child tap into his or her inner Picasso. You can also use
kid-made, earth friendly bags for birthday parties for a personal
Have your little ones draw a picture of a birthday cake or write
the age of the child on the bag for the party you're attending. Add
stickers, glitter glue, feathers or any other art supplies you can
think of and you'll have a unique bag that has you going green
without spending a lot of green. Want to go ever greener? Reuse the
brown paper bags from your local grocer. For more craft projects
and creative Halloween ideas check us out as Mom Magazine was
recently featured on KEPR TV at http://www.keprtv.com/news/adventures/105553638.html.
My boys and I live in a wonderful subdivision with great nature
trails. Each fall, we go on walks and hikes on the trails to find
great fall leaves and other nature objects to make fall arts and
crafts. This year, we made...a leaf journal!
Leaf journals are fun to collect and educational for children at
the same time. When planning your leaf hunt, think about what you
can teach your children about fall, leaves, nature and how the
Ask questions that foster interest about nature and seasons
Pick a great place to go on a walk or hike to collect leaves.
Bring a bag or an old book or magazine that you can store the
leaves you find and protect them from damage. Encourage your kids
to find a wide array of leaf types, from small to large, from green
to red. Find as many types of leaves as possible. Make sure to get
leaves that have turned brown, are multi colored, or are still
green. Collect extra leaves for art and craft projects or a few
extras to replace a sample if lost or damaged.
Once your children have collected a wide variety you can begin
making the leaf journal.
Leaf Journal Materials:
Glue a leaf on each page of construction paper. Make sure to
write the name of the tree the leaf came from at the bottom. Let
pages dry. While the leaf pages are drying, have children use a few
sheets of paper to create a decorative cover page and a back
Once all the pages are dry stack the leaf and journal pages
together. Lay the pages flat and punch the first hole and use the
string to bind the pages of construction paper together. Lay flat
and then punch the second hole and then bind. Then punch the third
hole and bind. Following this process will help the alignment of
the holes. Continue binding, depending upon how large your leaf
journal is. (A full 8-1/2 by 11 sheet leaf journal will have about
6-8 binds. Smaller journals will have fewer bindry spots).
Now that the journal is complete you can read it with your
children and remember the fun day you spent together collecting the
leaves and learning about fall and nature.
My son is a very organized little 2nd grader. And while I'm very
proud of him for that, it sometimes doesn't match with my more
care-free nature. In short, I stress him out.
Yesterday he and I had an hour to spend together before school,
so I excitedly announced that I was taking him out for hot
chocolate. "Um, maybe we should just go to school mom."
"No sweetheart, we'll be fine. No one is at school yet. Now just
relax and let's enjoy a treat together." We sat at a table playing
hangman and laughed like crazy people. It was fun. As I guessed his
letters to a rather long puzzle and he began hanging my man - I
started to figure it out... So I finished my hot chocolate and we
left for school - 30 minutes early.
Here is a great recipe to use a pumpkin, even after poor
Jack has been squashed in the street. Joan Beneke, my
amazing mother-in-law brought all the ingredients to the
house and we enjoyed making it together. The entire family
had a blast eating dinner right out of a giant pumpkin!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown and drain beef along with
onions and sausage. Cook until no longer pink and drain well. Cut
top off of pumpkin and reserve. Clean seeds and strings from
pumpkin. Clean well. Coat pumpkin skin with shortening. Mix all
ingredients together in a large bowl.
Spoon ingredients into pumpkin. Place top back on pumpkin.
Wrap foil over the stem.
Bake on a cookie sheet for 2 to 3 hours depending on the
size. Do not over bake. The pumpkin should not begin to brown. It
will shrink down as it bakes.
Place stuffed baked pumpkin on a
platter and serve directly out of the pumpkin. Be sure to scrape
the cooked pumpkin meat out with the casserole. It has soaked up
the amazing flavor and tastes delicious. Enjoy!
The MOM team had so much fun at the Roloff family farm
interviewing Amy and touring their amazing property. We are
thrilled to be featuring Amy on our October/November - she is an
incredible woman. So down to earth - she talked with and opened up
to us like she's known us for years!
Although we are sad to see the "Little People, Big World" series
come to a close, I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more from
Amy as part of the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation:
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