Back to normal?

All of our company is gone now – amazing how empty the house feels even with five of us still here!  We had a great week…

Saturday we started out early with family pictures, Halloween costume pictures, and school pictures – figured we should do it all at the same time since we had the studio booked!  We used U-Click in Chanhassen again and loved it – they had a great selection of props and backdrops and the pictures turned out wonderful! 

After a couple hours of pictures, we went home to change and then took everyone to Valleyfair!   The weather was perfect, and Baby Bee loved going on all of the rides (most of which he called roller coasters!).  We visited Trick-or-Treat Street there and everyone got a little pre-Halloween candy and treats.  Then it was time to go home and start cooking eyeballs and worms for Spooky Dinner. 

Just to set the record straight, I was a year off on my calculation of how many of these dinners we’ve eaten… this was actually the 15th year of Spooky Dinner, and I think we finally got the food combination right.  Usually there are way too many desserts and snacks and not enough real food… this year’s menu included brains, eyeballs, monster mash, throw-up, BBQ worms, mummy dogs, deviled eggs, spooky sandwiches, and candy pizza!  We finished the night off watching the Justin Beiber movie, which I’m sure some people would say goes very well with a Spooky Dinner…

Sunday after church we journeyed out to the corn maze with Hubby’s cousins, The Twinkies, and their little boy (I know the name may be a little hokey, but they are the biggest Twins fans I know so it fits well for me!).  Anyway, everyone had a good time wandering through the corn maze and playing in the corn pit before saying good-bye to Jay Pea and sending her back up to school.  That night we came home and had a wonderful turkey dinner with all the fixin’s prepared by Grandpa! 

Monday was Halloween!  Papa Murphy’s makes a great Jack-O-Lantern Pizza which has become another tradition around our house so Hubby grabbed two of those that afternoon.  I was in charge of cooking them as Hubby, The Twin, LooHoo, and Grandpa were busy tearing the deck off of the back of the house!  Yep – it’s all down now and come spring we’ll re-build the stairs and put in our new ground-level patio…

Of course, being a Monday, it was also a school and work day… so, after a long day of waiting, the kids finally got the green light to put on their costumes and get ready to go trick-or-treating.  K-Cat went as a fairy, Doodle was a candy corn, LooHoo was a toddler, and Baby Bee was a chicken.  We picked up True Belieber who was dressed up as Wendy from Peter Pan (it was great to see get to hang out with her again) and then headed to Resurrection Life church to meet the Bingo Bud dad and his kids for trunk-or-treating.  This has become our annual first stop, and we love it.  They do a parade around the parking lot with all of the kids in costume led by the community fire truck before the trunk-or-treating begins. 

From there, we piled into the cars and went to one of the nearby neighborhoods for about an hour of wandering the street and knocking on people’s doors.  It was fun to have a large group (10 kids!) with so many different ages (3 – 15 years)!  The weather was perfect for being outside and there seemed to be a lot of other people out – we even ran into a few people we knew!  After coming home and sorting and eating candy, we chased everyone off to bed quite exhausted. 

Tuesday night, Grandpa made dinner again – an incredible roast beef with potatoes and gravy!  Hubby, The Twin, and Grandpa then went out to see a movie while LooHoo and I went shopping and Nana, K-Cat, Doodle, and Baby Bee stayed home to play and watch movies.  LooHoo and I were on a secret mission which we completed on Wednesday!

Wednesday morning, we said good-bye to Nana and Grandpa and I went off to get some work done.  At lunchtime, LooHoo and I went out for “coffee” – at least that’s what Hubby thought!  We actually snuck into his office and decorated with family pictures, candy, smelly stuff, a new clock and a lamp – boy was he surprised when he went to work that night! 

It was Missions Week at Awana, and, as always, dinner was McDonald’s for the girls and BW3 for the grown-ups.  The Twin and Baby Bee went to afternoon Awana, and I think they had a great time.  BW3 was a blast as we had an extra large group and won all four rounds!  The Twin came with us and, of course, the Bingo Buds and the Firefolk were there, but the Fireman’s Wife’s sister (yes, that name is too long – I’ll call her the Fire Sis) was there again – pretty sure she’s a regular now!  We were also joined by the Norwegians – they’ve been a few times and it’s always fun to have them there – especially when they win twice and help me win once! 

Yesterday, we said good-bye again, this time to The Twin and Baby Bee; I’m sure next time we see him I’ll need to change his name as Baby will definitely no longer fit (it barely fit this time!)… then it was back to our normal routine and a house that felt almost too quiet!  Last night was Tae Kwon Do and I started working on plans for Awana again; we had almost regular bedtimes – hoping to get back into that routine by Sunday night – one step at a time as we re-enter normal life!

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