Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween :)

This year, i was really inspired by Family Fun's Halloween issue to make our costumes. This gnome on a toadstool was my favorite, and i really didn't expect Sequoia to like it. However, i showed him the picture and he loved it and asked me to make it for him.

We had to tweak the instructions a bit, as it's hard to find pool noodles in Oct. i still think it came out pretty good. :) We used materials that we already had at home, a broken hula hoop in place of the pool noodle, daddy's belt and some of Sage's baby clothes. So besides being homemade, it didn't cost us a thing.

i was not orginally planning to dress up, but the morning before Halloween decided i wanted a costume. So i dug through my fabric scrap bin, and put together this Wood nymph costume. The belt, crown and staff are made using real leaves and natural materials, and will all return back to nature after use.

On the evening before Halloween we attended a Halloween Party at the Floyd Library. They read Halloween stories, sang a couple songs and had craft projects and treats.

Sequoia and his friend Daisy, making spooky ghost wind socks.

On Halloween, we went trick or treating in Hillsville, where they close down the main street and have a 'Safe Halloween'. The area businesses stay open and hand out candy. They also have lots of carnival style games, ring tosses and bean bag throws etc and the kids can win non-candy tattoos, stickers and pencils. They set up one of those giant bouncy things, and have a haunted house, hayrides and snacks for sale. It's really a nice event, we come every year.

my camera was set wrong, so all my pictures from the evening are really bad. Sequoia did a great job on this beanbag toss. He got 2 out 3 in.

Sage really enjoyed trick or treating. It didn't take her long to figure out that she was getting candy! Both kids made out pretty darn good!

To help regulate the amount of candy the kids consume. We started a new tradition, the Sugar Witch, an idea i got from my friend Donna.

The Legend of the Sugar Witch.

Halloween night the kids sort through their candy and pick out just a few of their favorites. The rest of the candy, they put back in their bags and leave at the foot of the bed for the Sugar Witch. During the night the Sugar witch comes and takes the candy. If she is happy with the candy offered, she will leave a small toy in it's place. If she isn't happy...she might just take your candy and leave nothing.

This year both kids received toys, and they were thrilled with them. The Sugar witch was pretty happy too. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homemade gifts. :)

The weather turned cold early this year, giving me a head start on crocheting holiday gifts.

In the past it has been rare that we burn wood before Thanksgiving. However, not even Halloween and we've had the wood stove burning for over a week now. i think we are finally going to get a good, hard winter.

When the weather is like this, there is just no place 'd rather be then sitting curled up by the wood stove crocheting. Sage is going to be seriously spoiled this year. Over the weekend, i made her this tea set and a few treats to go with it. She is really beginning to enjoy playing with her kitchen and pretending to cook for us.

The pie is lightly scented with vanilla fragrance oil, and the tarts are scented in was the only fruity scent i have. :)

These crocheted cakes were inspired by this website that i stumbled upon. So many incredible looking cakes and desserts...all crocheted! How fun! Of course, i had to make Sage a few. Here is a cheesecake topped in strawberries, a brownie sundae with raspberry sauce and a double layer sponge cake with cream filling and fudge sauce. All scented with vanilla.

i'm am really behind on my posting and will try to catch up this weekend. i will be posting some back posts from last weekend, so besure and look for them!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bissett Park

This weekend we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and have a picnic at the park. Kenan surprised us by taking us to Bisset Park in Radford. We took the back way to Radford and enjoyed the scenary

That is Buffalo mountain in the distance.

Bisset Park really isn't that far from us, i'm not sure why we don't come here more often. The park is located on 57 acres of riverfront land. There are picnic shelters, playgrounds, a bike path and hiking trails.

Sage making her usual face, at one of the several play structures we played on.

Kenan and Sequoia being themselves.

We spent a lot of time walking by the New River. The kids can be entertained for hours trying to skip rocks across the water.

There were huge amazing trees everywhere, and i couldn't resist climbing a few, even with a skirt on!

All along the River were these huge Beech trees. This one was almost completely hollowed out, and yet it was still living.

i felt right at home inside this one.


The trees are all begining to turn, and color is everywhere. It was a fabuloous day to be out hiking, enjoying the natural beauty that is everywhere.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Carving time!

Sequoia has been begging to carve these pumpkins since i brought them home last week. Saturday afternoon seemed like the perfect time to start carving.

Sage dug right in and then started yelling, It's gross! It's gross!

However, it didn't stop her from getting right back to it. She didn't want any help, and did a really good job of cleaning out her pumpkin. It was my job to separate the guts from the seeds. Which we then roasted and ate. Yum!

Bleck!!! Pumpkin guts!

Sequoia designed this pumpkin himself, although i did the actual carving. We still have more pumpkins to clean and carve, two orange and two white that we grew. A good activity for this coming weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Year Round Easter Eggs.

So i know i already posted about the blue/green eggs we were getting from our hen Weepie. Well, Peepie (her sister) has finally started to lay, and we were surprised to see a very different shade of green . Every time i collect eggs, i am amused by the variety of colors. These are all the natural colors of the eggs, they are not dyed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Picnic on the Parkway.

After leaving Mabry Mill, we decided to drive down the parkway a bit for a place to picnic. We pulled over some where near mile post 170.

What an amazing place for a picnic! The views here were phenomenal!

After our picnic we decided to go on a little hike on the parkway trails. We followed part of Black Ridge Trail, and then stopped in to visit the Rocky Knob visitors center. Then looped around and followed the trail back to where we started.

Right across from the Rocky Knob visitors center is this amazing tree. i have no idea what kind it is. i orginially thought it might be a Live Oak, but i don't think they grow this far North. The leaves were quite a bit different too. The kids had a ton of fun climbing all over it.

Kenan, Sequoia and Sage sitting high up in the tree.

Chilling out on the crazy tree.

Along the hike we found lots of other trees to climb, and Sage of course had to climb EVERYTHING that her brother did.

We had a great time exploring the area. There are so many beautiful things to see, rocks and trees to climb and gorgeous views! Kenan and Sequoia had fun throwing acorns at each other, while Sage and i had fun collecting them. i love acorns.

We can't wait to come out again and explore some of the other trails along the parkway, it really made for a wonderful afternoon.

Mabry Mill

On Sun. we decided to take a drive to Mabry Mill. This is just a short trip down the parkway, about 10 miles from our house. It's a very scenic drive, especially this time of year. During the fall, Mabry Mill has live Bluegrass music and different demonstrations of how things we done in the past. i really wanted to see the apple butter making, but it wasn't going on today. We did catch a bit of the blacksmiths demonstration, and the mill was running when we first arrived.

The classic Mabry mill picture.

This was first time we were there when the old cabin was open. Inside a woman was doing weaving demonstrations on a large wooden loom. It was too dark inside the cabin for pictures (no windows) , but the inside of the cabin was really, really cool. i was hoping to catch the spinning demonstration, but no such luck.

Basket of fibers and hand carders

We have never been to the Mill when it was this busy. There were people everywhere! There was live bluegrass playing, and lots of folks kicked back in lawn chairs. They have a small area for dancing and there were a few folks up there flat footing.

Basket weaving demonstration.

Sage enjoying the scenery.

Water on it's way to the mill.

Mabry Mill is one of the most photographed features on the Blue Ridge Parkway. In fact its appeal is so great, you can find pictures of Mabry Mill on postcards for many other states.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Garden.

This year we are pushing the limits of the growing season. At the beginning of August i planted a fall garden, i technically should have gotten it in at the end of July. This is the first year that i have planted a full fall garden, and i am really glad that i did. The weather has been fabulous for it, and if the frost will hold off just a little while longer we should be able to get a good harvest.

Rainbow Swiss Chard and Kale. The rainbow chard seems to produce forever, and is such a beautiful plant. Ours produced stalks in bright red, yellow, white and burgundy. The kale is not quite ready to pick, but should tolerate some frost and if covered at night it should produce through part of the winter. i'm hoping to create a few cold frames, to protect some of my veggies during the winter.

This is the Rhubarb Swiss Chard. i have a second row of Chards coming up in the main garden. We love to eat this leafy green lightly sauteed in olive oil, with pine nuts and minced garlic. It's also good in shredded in stir fries and stirred into mashed potatoes, although it will turn the potatoes pink. :)

i have a new crop of red and green leaf lettuce ready to be picked.

Snow peas have begun to bloom. i'm hoping to get some peas on these before we have a hard frost. They are pretty cold tolerant, but i don't think they'd survive a major frost or deep freeze. Although a few years ago, i remember picking peas in the snow. :)

More leaf lettuce, sugar snap peas and lots of weeds. The sugar snaps are also blooming, so we are in a race agaist time. Hoping to get a harvest before the winter really sets in.

Lots of flowers still blooming. We still have quite a few green tomatoes and peppers on the plants, just watching the weather incase of a frost. i pulled almost all of my peppers about a week ago, when frost threatened. However the plants survived, and i have several new peppers on them. We are still harvesting beans, and red raspberroes and i have carrots, onions and spinach growing in raised beds. i am really eager to see how long we can extend the growing season, and i'm already planning out my garden for the spring. This has been a good year.