Saturday, January 17, 2015

Halloween 2014: Russian Nesting Dolls

We had some fun activities planned for October this year.  First, we dressed up like Russian nesting dolls for our church's chili cook off and trunk-or-treat. The dinner was delicious, but our costumes were too hot for that Texas night!

Next, we painted and drew on mini pumpkins for a family night activity. Clara didn't quite get it,  but Lucy really loved painting and drawing on hers, and I was even surprised at all the different drawings Zach did on his. Very nice!

The next adventure we went on was to Six Flags, where we spent an evening checking out their "Fright Fest" decorations and activities. I enjoyed their musical Halloween production we attended, and Lucy always loves going on a few rides with Zach. Poor Clara gets to enjoy her stroller.

On Halloween day we went to Jamba Juice for free kids drinks and Chipotle for $3 "Boooo-ritos" for dinner. To finish the evening off we wore some cooler costumes that we pulled together based on what we had around the house to go trick-or-treating around the block. Since our Russian costumes had been so hot (and somewhat uncomfortable), we thought we might need something a little lighter to wear but it was actually the perfect evening! Not too hot, and not too cold.

Zach wore a French man costume, I wore a Hawaiian dress with shell necklaces and a flower in my hair, Clara wore a "Little Miss Muffet" dress and hat, and Lucy wore all white with a baker's hat, spatula, and the apron from her Russian costume  to be a "baker".

Clara only made it about half way around the block before Zach decided to take her home. Both Lucy and Clara's candy bags were so full, I tried to smush more of Lucy's candy into Clara's bag before they left us to head home. I'm glad I did because by the time Lucy and I made it back to our house, her bag was almost overflowing! There was no way we would have been able to fit all the candy if we hadn't sent some home with Zach.

Next year I will have to remember to give them larger pails, instead of the Russian inspired cloth bags they used this year that went with their costumes.

Ward Trunk-or-treat: Russian Nesting Dolls

My pumpkin back.

My pumpkin front. Used white spray paint, black sharpie, and gold paint to accent.

Lucy's pumpkin.

Zach's front.

Right side.

Left side.

And back of Zach's pumpkin.

Clara's pumpkin with sharpie pens.

At Six Flags "Fright Fest". Lucy wanted a picture, but only made it half way before turning around and coming back. "Too scary!"

Clara sharing her water with her French Daddy.

Dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation. This dress was perfect for walking around the neighborhood. 

Little Miss Muffit sitting on her tuffit, eating her curds and whey. 

I only wish I could have gotten a picture of Lucy too in her bakers costume!

I spent a lot of time and effort making our Russian Nesting Dolls costumes, and was so proud of how they came together. Lucy, Clara, and I made lots of stops to various thrift stores, costume shops, Jo Ann's, Target, and Walmart trying to find all the pieces and elements we needed to make matching costumes. Some of the pieces we already had, but needed to find more for everyone to match.

Things we already had:
- One red head scarf (from last years French costume)
- Lucy's red skirt (needed new elastic), my red skirt
- Clara's white button up
- Black shoes for everyone
- White socks for Lucy and Clara
- Zach's church pants
- Black fur hat from Russia (present from my brother)
- Some felt colors
- Red lipstick for cheeks

Things we had to buy:
- A few additional felt colors
- Lace window valence (3.99)
- Ribbon for apron ties ($1.97)
- Two more red head scarfs ($1.00 each at Hobby Lobby)
- Red skirt for Clara ($1.00) Used a thrifted red dress, cut it up and sewed in elastic to make a skirt
- Elastic for Lucy and Clara's skirts  ($2.99)
- My white button up ($1.50), and Lucy's white button up ($1.00)
- Pirate boot covers for Zach ($10.00) This was the most expensive thing! But figured we can use it for years to come.
- Embroidered Indian shirt for Zach ($5.99)
- Red rick rack to sew around Zach's shirt ($1.47)
- Red fabric to make Zach's sash ($2.99)
- "Russian" hand bags for Lucy and Clara for candy ($1.50, $2.00)

We found a window valence with lace trim on it at a thrift store and I cut and sewed it up to turn it into our aprons. I cut out and glued on colored felt to make the flowers on the aprons. These really made the costumes and looked awesome.

Lucy and Clara's shirts had peter pan collars, so I made one out of felt for my shirt, which had no collar at all. I just used a mini safety pin to make it stay together on my neck.

Zach's shirt was awesome, but needed a little more Russian influence so I hand sewed red rick rack all around the collar to help it lose it's Indian feel.

These were the pictures I used of "traditional Russian outfits" as inspiration for Zach's costume.
Sources: Here and here.

I inherited a used and very simple sewing machine a few years ago, but had never learned how to use it. These projects were the perfect motivation to pull it out, find the manual online, download it and make some costume magic happen!

Lucy and I had so much fun shopping all around and collecting pieces weeks before Halloween, and then putting them all together. I love making homemade costumes! Homemade is the best. I'm already looking forward to next year and hope that Lucy isn't so old that I can't influence her costume choice so that we can all have a family costume again.

To see last years costumes, click here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance: October 2014

In October our church hosted a Daddy Daughter Dance. It had a western theme and I tagged along to help manage two little girls, so Zach could spend time with each, as well as take some pictures. We also went out to eat before hand at one of Lucy's favorite spots, Chick-fil-A.

Once at the dance I was so surprised to see how well attended it was, and was even more surprised to see so many dads actually dancing!

Half of the gymnasium was blocked off for dancing, and the other half had the lights on and stick horses for the little ones to run around with. Lucy loved this part.

They also had activities and booths around the church in different rooms for those that might not like to dance. There was a fishing booth with candy, penny toss, professional photo booth, and other various games. In the gym there was a "make your own trail mix" bar with various mix-ins.

The morning of the daddy/daughter date. Starting the day off right with Daddy story time. 

Ready to go!

Zach dancing with Clara and Lucy behind him dancing with some of her church friends. 

Stick horse time!

The dance started after Lucy and Clara's bed times, but they still had fun. You could tell Clara was tired though. I hope this is an annual thing because it was awesome! I was really impressed with the whole thing.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sister Time in 2014

Here are a few pictures of Lucy and Clara spending their days together this past fall. It will be so different next fall when Lucy starts Kindergarten!

Sister story time.


Park day while the weather was nice.

I love to see these girls becoming friends. Warms a mama's heart.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Talk Like A Pirate Day

For "Talk Like A Pirate Day" Krispy Kreme was giving out a dozen donuts free if you dressed up like a pirate and came into their store.  We decided to make it a family activity and Lucy and I spent the day collecting pieces for our costumes for when Dad came home that night.

We had so much fun creating all our costumes, and really enjoyed the free four dozen donuts we got in return! We had so many donuts that we decided to invite a family in our ward over for desserts after church the following Sunday, and had a great time visiting with them and playing a few games.

Already had a stripe shirt, ruffle sweater, big belt with buckle, brass necklace, big brass earrings, headscarf, and boots for my costume. 

Zach had a pirate costume from when he was single.

Already had the lace dress, head scarf, and hip wrap.

Used an old shirt of mine and Lucy's old pants that were already in a giveaway bag. Punched holes in the collar and added string, and cut off the bottom of the pants in zig zags. Already had the hair bandanna, coin necklace, belt, shoes, and wooden knife. Used black felt and a safety pin we already had to make the eye patch.

We will definitely do this again next year! The best part is that now we already have the costumes ready to go! We will only have to scrounge up one new costume for our new baby when he gets here. :)

I think we may have to make it an annual doughnut and game night and invite people over to eat with us. Let us know if you are interested in coming!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sisters Dance

Lucy and Clara loved their their weekly ballet class this past fall, and have started performing on their own time.

Pretty girl. 

Giving the kitty a kiss.

Their performance involved a lot of blankets. 

Hahaha! I love this one of Clara.

Binder clip keeping the dress on her. 

I love seeing them play well together. <3


Costume change!

Clara, so dramatic!


We're excited to start ballet class again now that the holidays are over. Lucy really loves dancing all around and showing us her made up moves. I was surprised to find that Clara followed instruction when I was telling Lucy which dance moves to show her Dad one day. Clara was doing them too! Who knew she was even paying attention!?

I'm glad I could share my love of dance and performing with my girls. It brings be back to my younger days of putting on productions and musical numbers with my little sisters. :)

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