Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thank you, Dana!

Isn't this what Christmas is all about?

Homemade Christmas

This year, I tried to make as many gifts as possible. Here are some photos documenting my, um, overzealous efforts.

Here is Dana in her purple fleece robe. She is looking out into Grandma Bev and Grandpa Jerry's yard. You see, there were sleigh marks and reindeer hoofprints in the snow on Christmas morning! How magical!

Nora working in her scratch book wearing her pink fleece robe. She LOVES it and wears it every day. I am not that good at sewing but the more I work on it, the more I enjoy it. I think the robes turned out pretty cute, especially considering I used a pattern I found in my sewing box and spent less than $15.00 on both robes, including thread.

Nora is modeling the hat I knit for Keenan, her cousin. One of his most favorite movies ever is The Nightmare Before Christmas, so when I came across this pattern in Knitty, I knew immediately that I had to make it for him. We celebrated with my side of the family today at 4pm and I finished embroidering the details at 3:05. Phew! And he seems pretty happy with it. I love Nora's spooky hands in this photo.

So Zak went to Milwaukee with my mom in October. He bought this really nice yarn there and asked me to knit him socks with it for Christmas. I finished these yesterday. I actually sprained my thumb trying to finish them-I kid you not. There is nothing quite like knitting as fast as you can with pain shooting down your thumb. Though I cursed these socks for the last moments, I overall very much enjoyed knitting them and am waiting for my thumb to get over itself so I can start another pair. Will they be for me? Kevin? I haven't decided yet...

These particular socks were knit with a bamboo/wool blend, which was super nice to work with. Zak had to work tonight so he missed our Christmas celebration and I haven't heard from him yet regarding whether they actually fit him. Keeping my fingers crossed!

More snow!

We are almost at a record snowfall for December here. It is somewhere around 36 inches. I know-yikes! But look how happy these two lovelies are! I couldn't resist taking a few photos of them playing outside in the snow at night. It was so peaceful and joyful. And Nora pulling Dana home on the sled? So cool. And so cute. When did she get this grown up?

Really, the only way to describe Nora's face is pure joy.


Totally unrelated...I baked and decorated this to bring to my sister's house last weekend. I think it turned out kinda cute. The silver cake sparkles were leftovers from the teacher appreciation cupcakes. They look like sparkly snow on the tree. So festive, I know.

So THAT'S what's in the box!

These two gigantic boxes arrived next door in late November. I can't remember anyone ever asking what was in them, but all of the kids played with these boxes for a month. They arranged them into different positions, decorated them, made them into forts, and had a lovely time with them.

So last week, before Grandma Inese and Grandpa Don left for their island, we went over to visit. Grandpa told the girls to go get the giant boxes and bring them into the bistro (my parents have a sort of sitting room/dining room that we call the bistro). The girls were intrigued and promptly pushed the boxes our way. They could not believe it when they were told that the boxes contained their Christmas gifts from Grandma and Grandpa!

Nora trying to navigate the boxes through a tight squeeze.

Grandpa had to lend a hand to get through the packing tape safely to reveal...

...beanbag chairs! They match the girls' bed sheets and have their names embroidered on them! Oh, the joy!

They were clearly an immediate hit. We enjoy a show on them, haul them upstairs to read books on, pretend they are boats, lounge on them while chatting...They are even better than the boxes they came in! Thank you, Grandpa and Grandma!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all the joys of the season-

The warmth of home, the love of family and the laughter of good friends.

I am off to bake cookies before we pack up and head out to Grandma and Grandpa's house for some holiday cheer. Nothing like some down to the wire baking!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Holiday Program

Nora's holiday program was last week. The first graders sang two songs.

I thought this was the quintessential little girl shot, what with the whispering and all. Her friend was a little nervous.

The music teacher taught them some finger plays to accompany the music. Pretty cute! Here, they are singing a song called "Burn Little Candles" about Hanukkah.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!
Actually, Nora hasn't lost any teeth yet, but the song was still pretty cute.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Teacher Appreciation Cupcakes

It's almost midnight and I just finished baking 2 dozen cupcakes and I am exhausted and I want to go to bed. However, I think the cupcakes came out kind of pretty so I wanted to post photos now. Otherwise I will lay in bed thinking about it.

Tomorrow is the staff/teacher appreciation luncheon at Nora's school, and I agreed to organize the desserts. It was incredibly complicated: The PTA president emailed me the names of moms who had offered to help, and I emailed them. They all agreed to have a dessert at the school in time for the luncheon tomorrow. Whew! That was hard labor!

Anyhow, I thought about making something decadent and fancy and wonderful, but the thing is, I love making cupcakes. And I am sort of over actually eating them. I just like to decorate them. And I am kind of repetitive about how I decorate them, so it is nice to have a new audience that does not realize my design is old news.

I wanted to do something festive but not in-your-face, so I baked orange chocolate cupcakes in silver liners, and then I piped on pale blue vanilla buttercream and topped it with silver cake sparkles. Pretty!

The only thing: This is the only platter we own. I swear. One and only. I normally haul 2 dozen cupcakes around on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil, which would have fit the color theme, but I am not willing to separate from a cookie sheet over the weekend before Christmas when there is another snowstorm scheduled. No thank you! I need that tool! So once I got the lovely blue and silver cupcakes onto the pink heart platter, I realized it looks kind of like a baby shower. But you know what? It is 11:55pm and I just don't care. I think it is pretty and I don't care if it looks like a baby shower to some people (like me).

Just in case you didn't get a close enough view of the sparkles. I hope that the frosting doesn't get all smooshed by the plastic wrap I used to cover them. That would bum me out.

On another note, today was Nora's holiday program. I should post photos of that, but, you see, I attended both performances (I know-don't say it) and between me and Kevin, we took over 300 photos (again-don't say it). I need to sort through them and that will take more than five minutes. I am going to point out here that Kevin put the camera on that really high speed mode that one uses to photograph sporting events and such, so at least 200 of the photos are chunks of consecutive photos. I don't know how to use that setting because I am too lazy to read the camera manual. If I did, we would have had 500 photos. Scary! Will post cute program photos tomorrow after I drop off the lovely cupcakes. Good night!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cold Day

Inside Fun!

Yesterday was a snow day. We had a weekend blizzard that dumped around a foot of snow, give or take, and brought horrifying windchills with it. It would have been logical of me to document our day yesterday, but to be honest, we didn't do anything special. It was much too cold to play outside in the fresh snow. I spent the day knitting on my homemade Christmas gifts while the girls played various made up games together.

This morning, we woke up and it was 26 degrees below zero! Holy dangerous! They didn't cancel schools because it is supposed to be more reasonable by lunchtime. Nice reasoning. Kevin had to jump start his car to go work on his thesis this morning, and it was parked in the garage. I don't think it is worth risking life and limb for a day of first grade, so I kept Nora home. Maybe I am paranoid, but it is dangerously cold out and I am not comfortable with her being out there riding around with her bus driver, with me or with anyone else.

SO on that note, it is 9:14 and we have spent the day thus far having fun. A couple of years ago, my mom bought a gigantic bag of party blowers at a garage sale. They were brand new and in the wrappers, I swear. So I hauled it out and the girls piled themselves and the blowers into the sled in the living room. Fun, noisy and far from normal. They loved it.

Later on the agenda we will practice Dolch words and another word list provided by the first grade teacher. We plan to bake some cookies and I have some math ideas. We aren't going to watch movies and eat popcorn all day. Stay warm folks!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cheesy Popcorn

We go through a lot of popcorn in this house. I may have mentioned before my fear of various preservatives and other ingredients found in prepackaged foods. So we air pop our corn instead of doing microwave popcorn. The added bonus is that a bag of kernels is like $1.99 and it lasts us 2 weeks. Microwave popcorn could very well put us into bankruptcy. Because Dana in particular can really put away the popcorn. Her most favorite popcorn is what she calls "Daddy's Popcorn," which is basically cheesy popcorn. It is pretty good, so I will share my version of it with you. Kevin makes it a little bit differently than I do, but since I am the blogkeeper I get to control the recipe. Ha!

I know you are scratching your head right now and wondering what lunatic puts fennel seeds into popcorn. And my answer is, "Not me!" The photo is for illustration purposes. Allow me to explain:

So Kraft used to sell containers of the cheese powder they put into their mac and cheese. Kevin loved that powder and concocted his cheesy popcorn recipe based on it. Unfortunately, Kraft no longer makes that powder. I mean, they do, but to get it you have to buy their mac and cheese and steal the cheesy packet out of it.

I have been on a cheesy powder hunt for months, and then one day I found some! Our grocery store has a repack section, and in that section, hanging out amongst the repacked cinnamon and fennel seeds, was some cheddar cheese powder! So I posted this photo here so you understand what to look for since our cheddar cheese powder is all gone and I couldn't take a photo of THAT repack container. I know fancy words like "repack" because my dad used to manage a health foods warehouse and one of their departments was repack, where they took giant containers of spices and repackaged them into smaller containers. I just like that word today.

King Arthur Flour Company has a Vermont Cheddar powder for sale on their website, but I haven't gotten around to ordering it yet. I keep meaning to but other things come up and divert my attention. Maybe someone wants to try it and let me know if it is any good.

Wow, does that look disgusting! SO I melted 2 tablespoons of butter and then added 2 tablespoons of the cheddar cheese powder. I whisked it together until it was nice and smooth and disgusting looking.

I filled the little measuring device on our air popper with kernels, popped them up, and put them into a paper bag. Then I poured the cheese stuff on top. Doesn't it look tasty? No? Yeah, I didn't think so.

So the bag is about 1/3 full, which is great since you need a lot of extra room for the next step. Which is to close the bag and shake the living daylights out of it to mix it sufficiently. It is a good way to work out aggression. Kevin generally just mixes it with a couple of spoons in a big bowl, but it never gets a good coating. There are always clumps of cheesy butter here and there, and large quantities of popcorn with nothing at all on top. So use the paper bag. It is well worth it.

This is also kind of disgusting. The quantity of grease that seeps through the paper is not particularly appetizing, but I never said this was a healthy recipe. I just said it is one of Dana's favorites.

And there you have it: Cheesy popcorn! Pretty easy and fast.

Wait a second: I KNEW you would notice that we made Oreos and Cheesy Popcorn on the same day. Now you think I feed my children nothing but junk food all day long. Well, you are free to think that if you like, but I actually do get a large amount of produce and other healthy foods into my ladies. And as delicious as they are, Dana only ate half of a homemade Oreo. She did eat about half of this popcorn though.


Dana and I spent the morning making Oreos!
I know what you're thinking: Why, oh why, would somebody go through the trouble of making homebaked Oreos when it is so easy to buy a package at any grocery store or gas station for like $3.00? Well let me introduce myself: My name is Alissa and I like to find complicated ways to do simple things. Plus I like to bake. Plus Dana and I like to do projects together. Plus I am scared of Oreos because I know a kid who is allergic to every kind of food imaginable but he can eat Oreos because they are so incredibly far from actual food. That is nasty.

Here is Dana showing her tasty treat. With Dana's head as a point of reference, you can see that my homemade version of Oreos is a lot bigger than the packaged kind. That is OK with me. I think mine are easier to dunk into milk without dunking your thumb by accident.

Dana thought the filling was pretty nice. When I took this photo, I had a thought: I bet I have at least one photo like this from every month of the year. I should put them together to make a beater licking calendar! And then reality returned: Would anyone besides me get a kick out of that calendar? Unlikely.

Now do you see why I thought this was such a good idea? Don't those cookie towers look tasty? And they truly were very easy. Dana is awesome at rolling cookie dough into balls, and she had fun smashing them down, too. And the filling was so easy! I made it in the mixer, and then I put it in a pastry bag with my giant star tip that I use to do swirly frosting on cupcakes. I squeezed a healthy star on one cookie, topped with another cookie, and squeezed until the filling reached the edges. Easy, fast and oh so yummy. And I know what all of the ingredients are and am good with my kids eating them. Yummy!

Sweet Sweet Nora

Who ever said Nora was a morning person? NOT ME!

This cracks me up. Nora can come up with the grumpiest expressions and it makes her so mad because she looks so cute with the grump faces that Daddy and I can't help but smile and take her picture. And I know that if I were the grump and someone smiled and took a picture of MY grump face I would be livid. But I can't help it. I really can't.

So for her whole life that I can remember, Nora has been a dress girl. She hates tights, but she would only wear dresses since the day she could communicate her preference. If I suggested pants on a particularly cold day, I would get an eye roll. Not a chance! This year is so different! The girl will only wear jeans and a ponytail. Every single day. I swear. I am looking forward to her holiday program so that she will wear something other than jeans and a ponytail to school. This child has a wardrobe that would make most grown women drool. She can hardly close her dresser drawers, and they are filled with lovely clothes that cost more than my own clothes, mostly courtesy of her lovely grandmother. Yet if they aren't jeans, she isn't interested.

I tell you this because the photo I took this morning is of Nora being irate with me because her ponytail is too high and her lame-o mom refused to redo it since the bus was coming in less than five minutes and breakfast was only half eaten and winter wear was still hanging by the door waiting to be put on. She was worried she looked like a baby. Oh, the peer pressure! I can hardly wait until junior high!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So Nora went next door to play with her cousin. When Dana said, "Mom, where are Daddy and Nora?" I knew what she really meant was, "Why am I home when everyone else is somewhere having fun?" I need to point out here that Kevin is not actually out having fun but is at a meeting. I thought a good distraction would be a cookie making fest, and I was not wrong.

Dana loves to add ingredients, particularly sticky brown sugar.

After putting a good dollop of peanut butter into the cookie dough, Dana had to sample some for herself. I believe her comment was something like, "Mom, I wheelie love peanut buttah." I myself wheelie love how kids ask a question cloaked as a request. Then again, she got her peanut buttah didn't she?

There is nothing that screams "CHRISTMAS!" to me as much as a pile of red, green and silver foil wrappers. Dana did an excellent job of peeling the chocolate kisses to put on the cookies. To the untrained eye, it would appear that she is perched rather precariously on the counter. Those in the know, however, realize that Dana is a trained circus monkey and would be just fine standing on the tip of one toe on top of the counter while peeling the chocolates. I know "unwrapping" is the correct term here, but I like to think that Christmas foil chocolate is a naturally occurring substance that, much like a banana, requires unpeeling.

Some of us got kind of wet while washing our hands and had to take our shirts off.

I am not sure how to feel about the look on this girl's face. She told me she does not like this kind of cookie. Funny-last year she ate about 14 in a row. I can't decide if my feelings are hurt that she has looked at my most favorite cookie in the world with such disdain, or if I am glad because it is less junk for her and more of my most favorite cookies for me.

At any rate, we are off to find a dry shirt so we can go retrieve Nora from the neighbors' house.

Blue Man

Our nephew, Keenan, spent some time with us this weekend. He thought the blueberry candy canes were pretty sweet.

Wide eyed.

Here he is showing off his blue man mustache. Who knew they would be such a colorful mess? They were fun and tasty and this mom is glad they are ALL GONE!

Thanksgiving 2008

I mentioned in a previous post that we were invited to spend Thanksgiving with Kevin's mom's cousin and her husband. Here are a couple of photos from our day.

The Acker girls take any opportunity to wear party dresses, and Thanksgiving was no exception. Last time Nora wore this dress it was August and she roasted. It was much more appropriate in November. Here, the girls are winding down after a long afternoon of playing, eating and enjoying some family fun.

Cousin Jan was ready for the girls. She took two purses, filled them with goodies and gave one to each girl. She also filled her jewelry box with retired costume jewels and let the girls play with them. Here Dana poses with her beloved puppy and a gorgeous necklace from the treasure chest. I particularly like her sunglasses.

Jan and Ross have a big living room with tall ceilings and a gorgeous fireplace. Nora loves to sit by fires, so here she is posing for me.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with delicious food and good conversation. Jan and Ross brew their own beer so I sampled the most amazing amber beer, which was also fun!

The Holtes celebrated Thanksgiving and Kevin R.'s birthday on Sunday, but I don't have any photos. We also had wonderful food and we topped the afternoon off with some Trivial Pursuit. Fun times!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I feel like I have the opportunity to take more photos of Dana since she is home all day and Nora is at school all day. I managed to get a couple of really cute photos of Nora this weekend so here they are.

Oh, how I love this! Nora has been really into cleaning the last few months. My lovely Virgo daughter. For a while she loved to dust, and would go around with a dust cloth every day after school. Lately, she has been toting around a bottle of spray cleaner and a paper towel looking for messes to take care of. Don't worry-we use all natural cleaning products so she is safe while she spiffs up the house.

So Nora made a paper version of herself at school this fall. She recently brought it home and has been having a lot of fun with "herself" ever since. Here, the two Noras enjoy lunch.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

We are having Thanksgiving with Kevin's family tomorrow, at his mom's cousin's house. My job is to bring dessert, so Dana and I spent the day baking pies. We bought a sugar pumpkin, pulled out the seeds and baked it. When it cooled, we scooped it out and made the pumpkin pie filling. I hope it's yummy! Do you like our mess? Nobody ever said making pie crust is a simple task.

Looks sure can be deceiving! The pie on the left is raspberry rhubarb, Kevin's most favorite. The top crust is a lovely butterfly and heart pattern. See, I had trouble with my crust again. I think I know the problem but it pains me to write it out. See, I used Bev's tried and true crust recipe so it should have been flawless. But again, the crust fell apart when I tried to move it into the plate. The new thing I am doing is mixing it with my food processor instead of a pastry blender. So I am guessing that food processor+pie crust=TROUBLE. So sad. It is so much easier than the pastry blender. So rather than throwing out the top crust that had fallen apart, I used cookie cutters and put the little crust cookies on as a top crust. It looks cute and covers up my ineptitude.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy good times and good food!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fun in a Box

Remember how I was saying there is no need to purchase toys for kids? Here is another great example, don't you think?

Nora finally got a booster seat, which she is so thrilled about. She was mortified to be seen climbing out of her "baby seat." When I dropped her off at school a couple of times, she pretended she had been sitting in the middle, BETWEEN the two carseats. So it was definitely time. Anyhow, the box has been a huge hit around here. Three days later, and they are still playing with it. In fact, they are both in it as I write this. The outside has been colored as well. Hurray for creativity!

Here is Dana, modeling her rainbow hat. She selected the yarn herself, though I tried to coach her away from it as it is pretty scratchy. She pretended she thought it was super soft because the idea of a rainbow hat was so appealing. So now it is done, and it turned out pretty cute with a cool pattern and everything, but it is too scratchy. Of course. I have never lined a hat before but I am now going to figure out how to do that so she will wear this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More creative fun

I feel like I have a thousand things going on this week! It is relaxing to be creative in between the other, not as fun stuff.

These girls-I tell ya! Nora has been just bursting with fun ideas. She colored a piece of paper, cut out a table top, set it on top of some cups, used upturned bowls as seats, and voila! Dora's mom, Home Simpson, Velma from Scooby Doo and a fairy sat down for a meal! Two days later, this is still in use. With the holidays coming, this is an excellent reminder to me that purchasing toys is totally unnecessary. Clearly what we need is a better selection of craft supplies.

My reluctant model. I have (had) seven knitting projects in line. Ack! How did that happen??? Last night, I was invited to knit with a girl Kevin used to work with and her knitting group. I finished this entire hat! It is a chemo cap for a woman who works with my father in law. It is so soft, cozy and wonderful! I have never met her, but am told she is a tee-shirt and jeans kind of girl and that a simple, dark colored cap would be best. I hope she likes this! I had a great time making it. I had some money left over from my birthday and I used it to buy a size 9, 16" circular Addi Turbo needle and let me just say-WOW! It is such a difference! I knit really, really tight and my stitches always get hung up on the joints of my bamboo circulars. Not with my Addi Turbo! I think I am in love. In fact, my next project is a hat for Dana and I dispo'd my original pattern to find one that calls for size 9 needles rather than size 6. I am knitting with my usual group tonight and am super excited to make lots of progress on Dana's hat. When I am done, I need to do a quick baby hat and then get back to my holiday gift knitting. Lately, the more I knit the more I love it.

Stay warm and dry!

Monday, November 10, 2008

November Fun

Here is what we have been up to so far this month. Just FYI, I have been trying to keep our lives very low key of late. September and October were crazy busy, and the holidays are coming and promise to also be crazy busy. So this stuff may not look uber exciting, but we are having fun staying home and keeping things simple.

Way back in kindergarten, Nora's teacher made volcanoes with the class. They are made of clay and painted appropriate colors. There is a hole in the top and the underside is one big hole. So you put a medicine cup of baking soda on a plate, put the volcano on top and slowly pour vinegar in the top hole. The resulting "eruption" is pretty fun, albeit stinky. This whole activity is much more enjoyable if you are wearing a wedding dress from the costume box. Try it!

On Saturday, Nora invited one of her school friends over to play. They had so much fun and were so creative together. Here you can see them partaking in their main activity of the day: collecting snow. Seems benign enough, but let me continue this story. It snowed just enough to put a small dusting on solid surfaces (this does not include the ground). So the girls got bowls and spoons and scraped the snow off of any surface it had collected on. They brought the snow inside and packed it into a muffin tin. Next, they topped it with sprinkles and put it in the freezer to harden. Finally, they attempted to eat these delicious treats and instead found them not as tasty as anticipated. I coerced them to eat frozen yogurt with sprinkles instead. Afterward, they took the muffin tin outside, removed the snow cakes and threw them at the house. All good fun!

This morning, Dana said to me, "Mom, if we make gingerbread men, will they run away?" I, of course, found this question to be so incredibly adorable that I responded, "Let's bake some and find out!" I should insert here two important facts. First, I do not like gingerbread cookies. I actually greatly dislike them. Second, I do not like making rolled out cookies. This second fact is surprising because I love to bake.

Anyhow, our day began at 9am, when I found an interesting recipe that included orange zest. After we made a big mess making the dough, we put it in the refrigerator to chill. Then we set out trying to find a gingerbread man cookie cutter. I know that every other mother in America owns a gingerbread man cookie cutter, but I do not for the two reasons already mentioned. So we got dressed and went to Canal Park to buy one at the Blue Heron. After looking through their cookie cutter selection and coming up empty, we were told that Christmas cookie cutters have not arrived yet. Duh! So Dana picked out this bone cookie cutter so we could make gingerbread Scooby Snacks instead.

Yup, there is more to this story. So we got home, rolled out some dough and cut out eight cookies before Dana decided she had had her fill. She untied her apron and walked away. I finished all of the rolling, cutting and baking myself. I excitedly asked Dana if she wanted to try one of her gingerbread Scooby Snacks. She took the tiniest of bites and said, "Mom, these cookies taste really NOT wonderful." This was at 3pm. After we had spent six hours on the project. Oh well.

I ended up giving the cookies to Uncle Sam and Aunt Lizzie, who both think gingerbread is tasty. Thank goodness! Nobody in our house likes it. I didn't want to throw five dozen cookies away. As you can see, the bones spread while baking and the result is maybe not so appetizing. At least we had fun, and the house smells nice and spicy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Here are a couple of photos from Halloween. It was a lovely, warm day, which was such a nice surprise! Costumes were also a nice surprise. The girls wanted to go as two of the Hex Girls, which is a girl rock band on one episode of Scooby Doo. Of course, nobody had costumes even remotely close to Hex Girls and by the time they had settled on the Hex Girls, I just didn't have time to sew anything.

Luckily, Nora changed her mine at the last minute and decided to be a witch, wearing a costume out of their enormous dress up collection. I took Dana shopping on Thursday and we searched high and low for something suitable for those darn Hex Girls. She was NOT satisfied with the selection. However, I was able to talk her into being a hula girl. She spent most of the summer in the hula costume at home, so it wasn't much of a stretch. We just bought a new lei and a pretty flower thing for her hair and were good to go.

Posing on the hay bale outside our door pre-trick or treating. You've never seen a hula girl with a magic wand before? We heard that comment a lot last night. Dana did not care.

We did have an unfortunate incident with the wand at bedtime. It cracked somehow and spilled weird glowing liquid all over Dana's bed. She got it on her hands and then, of course, rubbed her eyes. Non-toxic but it still hurt. And the blanket? Weirdest thing I have done in a long time. I took it into the laundry room, laid it on the floor, turned out the light so the liquid would glow, and soaked the spots in stain remover. With the lights on, it was hard to see where it had spilled since it was yellow. But the package said it stains so I had to put in some elbow grease. It was just weird in the dark. Very spooky.

Dana is trying to demonstrate some hula dancing but it is hard to capture in a photo.

After half an hour, Dana told me, "I have enough candy." She was freezing and wanted to go back to Auntie's house. It actually worked out perfectly since Zak had plans and was leaving at 6:30, and Dana made her declaration at 6:30. We just went back and handed out candy and accepted compliments on their awesome Halloween display in the yard. Boo!