I won't spend as much time on this post as I did on the last one, but I'll share a few activities we've done since I last wrote.
October 28 was a squadron BBQ, and the kids were encouraged to dress up. Since we were planning to take our kids to King's Faire, a huge event at our church, that night, we decided it would work for us to take them to base, enjoy the picnic and activities, and head straight to church from there...all of which made for a VERY long day! But we loved it. Charis wore her cowgirl outfit that she purchased with a birthday gift card; Tobin wore the knight costume that Arden got for his birthday; and Arden wore the pirate costume that he got for his birthday. The boys had great fun wielding their swords and showing off for the other kids who were there. The kids all enjoyed some games and--their favorite--a pinata, and we came home with little goodie bags for each of them.
Then we drove to church, arriving about 10 minutes before King's Faire opened, which was perfect. The kids did a few of the bounce houses before we discovered the pre-school only section. My friend Sarah and I hung out with our pre-schoolers while Ted took Charis and Hannah to do something else, since they had passed the age 5 limit for the other area. Oh, my, did the kids enjoy their play time! King's Faire was much bigger than I had anticipated, even though I expected great things, having been told that last year's turnout was about 10,000 people. This year I believe the number was well over 11,000. We ate dinner there and got loaded with giant bags of candy for each kid, then headed home at 6:30 and put the kiddos straight to bed. They were exhausted!
The next day we drove in the late afternoon to Spring Mountain Ranch to see Civil War Days. We JUST missed one of the battle reenactments, which was sorely disappointing, as the next one wasn't due to start until 6 p.m. We wandered around the little village areas and the Union Army camp, but it wasn't as exciting as it would have been if we had been able to see the battle beforehand. Ted and I decided it was just not worth hanging out for so long to see a battle that wouldn't start for several hours, especially since the kids had had such a big day before. So we went home, ordered pizza, and enjoyed a movie night (Over the Hedge).
This year, we decided (officially) that our family will not "do" Halloween. I have fond memories of dressing up and trick or treating, but these days the decorations and costumes seem much less innocent than I remember. I'm all for kids dressing up and enjoying their costumes, but it always seems there are so many other opportunities for them to do this outside of Halloween. Not to mention we got a truckload of candy from the squadron BBQ and King's Faire. :-) This is, of course, not to say participating in Halloween is necessarily right or wrong--just a choice that Ted and I have made for our own family.
So on the evening of October 31 we headed for Coldstone Creamery to use Charis and Arden's birthday coupons. The Coldstone Creations that they were able to get for free were so huge that Charis and Arden shared a strawberry shortcake kind of concoction, while Tobin and I shared a mint Oreo fudge bowl of goodness. Ted got his own ice cream for 50% off, so we all enjoyed a calorie-laden splurge for a grand total of $2.25.
I guess the only other autumn activity I can think of is that we've visited the orchard a few times to gather apples for homemade applesauce and apple cake. More yummy treats! The weather has been great, and we're trying to get out and enjoy it as much as we can.