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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Soup

We had a fun time this weekend, continuing with all things sensory. I made "Halloween Soup" in the sand and water table as a surprise for the kids. I filled it up with water first, and I wanted to color the water orange. I was going to just use orange food coloring but then I spotted some orange Kool-Aid packets in the cabinet and couldn't turn down the opportunity to make the water smell good too. It also made the water more murky instead of clear, which kind of added to the creepiness of it. 

Next, I tossed in random Mr. Potato Head parts (eyes and arms mostly), plastic skeletons, vampire teeth, googly eyes, and the little skull and cauldron containers to scoop with. It looked like this when it was finished: 



Then I grabbed a couple of ladles from the kitchen and a large plastic cauldron and asked the kids if they were ready to make Halloween soup. They were so excited to see this! 


And they dove right in! 


Selah used the ladle to scoop water directly into the big cauldron, but Korban preferred ladling water into the small containers and then emptying that into the cauldron. They both noticed that it smelled good right away and Selah insisted that it was "Halloween orange juice" instead of Halloween soup because it smelled like oranges. 

They liked fishing the different toys out of the water. 



This looks like they cracked heads, but they actually didn't. They were working together to fill the cauldron. I emptied it back into the water table quite a few times! 

Korban was saying "Look, my hands are orange!" 

Selah was making the skeleton "slide down the water slide." I thought that was pretty imaginative. I didn't even know skeletons liked water slides, but this one did. ;)

As we were going in, I noticed this on Korban's elbow: 


It cracked me up, and I had to take a picture. It looked like his elbow was growing a face!  Of course, he couldn't see it, but when I showed him the picture he laughed SO hard. 

We went in and got cleaned up. I let them both play with bath paint in the tub, which they love. I took this picture after Selah had finished her bath. 


This is what red, blue, yellow and green bath paints look like all mixed together. Kind of a purple-ish color and Selah thought it was really pretty. 

We also did a craft that night. We made caterpillars from egg cartons I had saved and washed out. 


Korban wanted his to be orange. 


And Selah chose purple for hers. 

Here's the finished products: 


All in all, it was a really good day. That night I was snuggling with Korban on the couch and I asked him what his favorite part of the day was. I figured he had a lot of cool stuff to chose from:  we went to church that morning, ate pizza for lunch, played in the water table, used bath paints in the tub, and made a craft. Some of his very favorite things!  You know what he said to me? "Finding that crushed can when we were playing in the yard!" Seriously!  I got so tickled. He has gotten so obsessed with garbage here lately (yes I said GARBAGE!) and he was pretty excited about that flat soda can he had come across. I'm over here like "Throw me a bone, son, was there anything else you liked today?" HAHAHAHA!  The whole garbage obsession probably deserves a post all its own so I will fill you guys in about that one at a later date. ;)

But Sunday was a really good day, from church to finding the crushed can to everything in between. ;). Korban has asked at least a dozen times since then if we can make some more Halloween soup, so I will take that as a good sign. 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Halloween Sensory Play

My kids love sensory play, and I do too. We started making our own slime, play dough, and sensory bins about a year and a half ago and we sure have enjoyed it. 

Sensory play is very calming for both kids and it keeps them engaged longer than anything else. It also helps Korban to overcome his aversion to touching certain textures, gives him plenty of sensory input with the things he enjoys, and helps fine motor skills too. It can get messy at times, but the clean-up really isn't that bad. The benefits of sensory play are definitely worth a few minutes of clean-up for this mama!  Besides, I enjoy it myself. 

I was excited because this Halloween is the first holiday I've gone into with a stash of supplies from the year before. I saved some fun things we had last year, and then I hit some great sales after Halloween and put it all together in a big plastic box for this year. Plus, Grandpa found some really cool stuff or us. He's always helping out with art/sensory stuff for the kids and we are super grateful. I've been pulling it out a little bit at a time to introduce new things to the kids. 

The first thing we made was Hallowern slime. Slime is a huge favorite at our house and I try to keep the supplies on hand at all times. I learned how to make slime at www.growingajeweledrose.com. She has a ton of play recipes!  

For this slime, I put two cups of school glue in a bowl and added two cups very warm water. I used the white glue this time because I found a bunch of it on clearance at Kroger for .19 cents a bottle, but the clear glue makes really cool slime too. I also stirred in some orange food coloring to color it. In another bowl I mixed together 1 and 1/3 cup very warm water and one teaspoon Borax. After both bowls were mixed together, we combined them and stirred. The kids love to do the mixing. Then I let them add a packet of confetti I bought at Hobby Lobby for .49. I was looking for bats, but all they had was spiders. Which was still cool but it looked kind of like big ticks in the slime. 

Gross, huh?  But SO much fun! 

She said she was making a "Halloween face."

He was concentrating on picking the spiders out. If you look closely, he's kind of pulling his hair too. He does that when he's stressed or concentrating really hard. 


Selah brought her elephants to come play in the slime. I love how sensory play is open-ended and helps them to be creative. 

I also made them a couple of new sensory bins: 

This one uses lentils and dried kidney beans as the base as has some little pumpkin toys and foam stickers in it. (I have a huge stash of foam stickers from my clearance shopping last year. Selah liked the candy corn the best.) 


This one uses black beans as the base and has some little prickly ball toys, vampire teeth, a plastic skeleton, and a little cauldron and skull container to scoop beans into. 

Korban liked using the vampire teeth to pick up the beans with. Selah got some of her stuffed animals and had them trick-or-treat for the little toys in the bin. They were happy to get new sensory bins and played in them for a long time. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Charleston


Brad's cousin Neal got married Saturday  September 27th in Charleston, South Carolina.  We had been planning to attend the wedding since he first told us about it last year, and were so excited about it!  

We did Korban's infusion on a Thursday instead of a Friday like we usually do, to allow plenty of travel time. He did really well with it. They called the vein specialist as soon as we got there and she got the IV started on the first try, so we were thankful for that. They don't have private rooms open on Thursdays, so he had to stay in the big room with the other patients and he got stressed about hearing and seeing other patients get their IV, and did a lot of skin-picking and hair pulling but he got settled down and did great overall. He actually finished quicker than he ever has, which surprised us.

So we ate lunch at the Ronald McDonald House and then quickly loaded up out stuff so that we could start the next leg of our journey. 

The Atlanta Braves were playing their last home game Thursday night, and we were able to stop by and see them play. That was really cool, since Korban has been asking to go back ever since we saw them play earlier in the summer. 




(He couldn't be bothered to look away from the game long enough to make a picture. Little man is serious about sports!) 

From there, we drove on to Augusta, GA and stayed the night at a hotel there. There was a little mix-up and we wound up in a room with one full size bed instead of two. So Brad slept across the foot of the bed and I slept next to this pile of cuteness: 


Space was tight, but we were glad to get some rest. We got up and headed on to Charleston first thing Friday morning. 
We met up with Brad's mom, grandmother, and Uncle Tim at the condo we would be sharing with them. 

It was so beautiful!  The master bedroom had a walk-in closet and Selah immediately announced that it was her room. 

No, she did not sleep in there, although she really did want to. 

My favorite part was the big screened-in porch!  
I sure do love a rocking chair!  This is where I rocked Selah to sleep both nights that we stayed there. So beautiful and peaceful!  

Here's the kids with Mammaw Bradley (Brad's maternal grandmother). 

Here we are headed to the rehearsal dinner. I love it when they hold hands!  

Selah says she "lubs" Neal. 

Me and Brad. :)

Selah wanted in on the action! 

Korban had a plate of BBQ meat and slaw, and gave zero cares that we were taking pictures without him. I realized after taking this picture that he looks like he has a giant bottle of beer growing out of his forehead, but he really doesn't. ;)

My pretty girl back at the condo. I know she's wearing white after Labor Day, but I love that dress on her and couldn't resist. 

We got up ready to roll on Saturday. We had discussed it ahead of time and decided not to risk taking the kids to the wedding. They would've enjoyed it but we weren't sure how they would do, especially Korban. He and I actually had to duck out of the rehearsal dinner early because he was getting tired and LOUD.

So we decided that we would hit the beach first thing in the morning, I would take Brad back to the condo so that he could get ready and go to the wedding with his family, the kids and I would head back to the beach for some more playtime, and then we would all go to reception that evening. 

Here's Brad and Selah headed down to the beach. 

Korban chatting with Uncle Tim

The foam was so thick!  I had never seen anything like that before. You can see  Selah's footprints in it. The water was pretty chilly and the waves were rough, but it was beautiful and we sure enjoyed it. 

Korban was VERY happy to see the ocean again.  

Can you tell? 

Selah made sand angels, which I didn't know was possible. 

But it is! 

There was a crack attack at the beach. ;)

He loves the water! 

And it makes him peaceful. :)

This is one of my favorite pictures of Selah. 

She loved playing chase with the waves. 



And here's my handsome hubby all ready for the wedding. I hated I missed the actual ceremony but Brad made pictures for me and told me about it. So beautiful!

After the beach we went to the condo to relax for awhile and then get ready to go to the reception. 

Here's Korban chillin' with Mammaw while she crochets. 

The reception was at a beach house and was very nice. The kids really enjoyed it but I had one serious moment of panic. Korban was WAY excited about the wedding cake. He thought it was a birthday party and wanted to sing happy birthday. Right when the bride and groom were making pictures with the cake prior to cutting it, Korban broke away from me, darted right up to the cake (between the bride and groom) and leaned forward to smell of it. He seriously got so close to it. Honestly, if he had face-planted into their wedding cake I think I would have ran out into the Atlantic Ocean and not looked back. 

Anxious, mortified, and almost hyperventilating, I hauled Korban off and instructed him to sit down beside his daddy. Brad and Selah were sitting on a loveseat talking to his cousin and her baby girl. Eager to mind me now, Korban dashed off to wiggle his way in the midst of them and very nearly sat on our baby cousin. My *almost* hyperventilation kicked it up a notch, but all was well. 

Korban calmed down and before long everyone headed outside to the dance floor. Korban did manage to fall down the stairs during the first dance and scared a few people but I braced myself like a linebacker and caught him before he went very far. Also, thankful Brad talked me out of wearing heels or I would've been tumbling down with him. Probably there's a reason linebackers don't wear heels...

We really enjoyed the rest of the reception and had no more disasters or near misses. But after reading that, who wants to invite us to their next event?  ;)


This is the beach house where the reception was held at. Isn't it gorgeous?  Brad made this picture after we had walked on the beach for awhile and were rejoining the party. They even had a little fire for s'mores!  So cool. 

We headed back to Mississippi Sunday morning, but we went back to the beach for a little more playtime before being stuck in the van all day. 

She looks like she's surfing. I wonder how much time we have before she starts asking us for a surfboard!  





The sand was amazing--almost black in color. Very unusual. 


Mammaw likes picking up shells about as well as I do. Which is to say A LOT!  ;)

See, I have one here. Shelling is great in Charleston!  

Content kiddo...

It was hard to tell Charleston good-bye!  Korban asked if we were heading to Florida as we were leaving. I do think that boy loves the beach. So thankful we got to go and we wish Carly and Neal a lifetime of joy!