Happy International Ivy + Bean Day!

Click HERE to find an event near you.

We had no idea if anyone near us would be celebrating, so to make sure we didn't miss out, I requested an event kit from Chronicle Books for a home party.  After all, we LOVE Ivy & Bean!

 (The books, paper dolls, and button factory are our own.)

I love Chronicle Books.

By the way, the new book is fantastic.  Ivy + Bean Make the Rules follows our duo to a park, where they make their own camp.  Bean's sister Nancy is attending a girl-power day camp.  Bean is too young, so she and Ivy make a tent at the park, attracting lots of attention from other day campers.  Camp activities include Houdini-style escape lessons, searching for Komodo dragons, and pretending to be warrior queen Boudicca.  

As always, LOTS AND LOTS of fun ensues!

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Have a Rockin' Weekend!

We'll break out the books and stuff this weekend - in fact, stay tuned tomorrow for a bonus post - but for now, I'm focusing on what we're doing tonight!

We're heading here...

The beautiful Orpheum Theatre downtown.
to see...

Big Sis was in LOVE with Imagination Movers a few years ago.  We even had her 4th birthday party at a park with a loose "Imagination Movers" theme.  Look at the awesome birthday packs they sell!  (Scroll down toward the bottom of the page.)  She still has her signed poster.  We haven't had cable since March of last year, but they still love the songs, the one DVD of the show, and the indie DVDs the band has put out.

Their first real concert.  Kids' musicians never seem to come to our area.  This is huge for us.  Yay!

Merry Weekend!  Rock On!

Autumn Chill

This is what a cold October day in Kansas farm country looks like.  I actually hit "saturate" when editing this shot, because it seemed so devoid of color.  If you have ever read the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz, you will know the L. Frank Baum describes Kansas as being gray.  Gray this, gray that.  It is an unfair description.  He only visited Kansas once, during a severe drought, and both he and his wife were on a miserable leg of a company tour of a play Baum had written.  I will say, though, that this picture was undoubtedly gray in its original state.

We went to the Kansas Barn Sale in Hesston, KS.  It was a chilly Saturday morning, and as we wandered around, looking at the wonderful wares, the temperature dropped some more.  The wind blew.  Soon, a soft drizzle began, sometimes increasing to a heavy sprinkle.

We lasted an hour.  There was whining.



Unfortunately, we were on a very tight budget.  While there were some beautiful handmade items for sale, we could only stop to admire them.  I did, however, scan the vintage booths a bit more closely.  The hubby and I are planning a kitchen/dining area redo, and any vintage inspiration comes in handy.

"Sure, Mom, I'll show off your first purchase."

Stony silence.

Look at this wonderful guy!

In the end, we made one purchase that excited the cold little complainers.  A washboard.  They really, really wanted one, and this one was $5.  

These are our four little purchases.  The washboard disappeared from the table shortly after this.  Little Sis had clothes to wash, and Big Sis had to go play in her jug band.  

I had some burlap left over from some old projects, and some raffia, twine, and even some oversize cinnamon sticks, so I made my own attempt at some burlap pumpkins.  (They're stuffed with the Sunday paper!)  This is our fall table for now.  I know I should iron stuff, but I became very, very LAZY after this.

By the way, the sun has been out all week.  We may see some storms this Saturday, but the high will be in the mid-80s.

Here's the thing about Kansas:  if you don't like the weather, just wait.  It will change in a few minutes.

Halloween Board Book Favorites

I have been going through our books, looking for Halloween titles.  I happened upon the girls' sweet little (neglected) board book collection.  I bought special Halloween books for the girls - first Big Sis on her own, then both girls - from work every year.  The most beloved of these books would be thrust into our laps year-round.  The first one Big Sis chose for herself, right after her first birthday.  It was Biscuit Visits The Pumpkin Patch, and I can't find it now.  I'm sure that wherever it is, it looks a-fright.  It was read and re-read so many times, dragged all over the place.


I believe we got Mouse's First Halloween when Big Sis was two.  That was the Halloween when she first went trick-or-treating, only I couldn't take her.  I had to be at the hospital at 5 AM the next morning for a scheduled c-section.  My mom and sister took her.  Oh, how she loved this book!  I read it a certain way, always squeaking in a very high voice for the mouse.  It's a sweet book, as the mouse learns that the scary sights and sounds of Halloween are maybe not so scary.

Mouse's First Halloween by Lauren Thompson,
 illustrated by Buket Erdogan.  Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Halloween Jack was a gift from my husband's brother and his partner in Washington, DC.  This book makes me smile because both girls went through phases where they were terrified of it!  On the last page, the bat's eyes light up and the vampire laughs.  Eventually, the book seemed to go quiet, and no one was afraid of it anymore.  The girls figured out that if you take it outside, it reactivates.  Now they think it's funny.  A couple weeks ago, I found Big Sis curled up in Little Sis's bottom bunk, reading this book to her.  How times change...

Halloween Jack by Roger Priddy.  Priddy Books, 2007.

I'm Not Scared!  was a gift from my sister to Little Sis.  We love Jonathan Allen's Baby Owl series.  They are not exclusively board books.  We have I'm Not Sleepy in hardcover.  Baby Owl goes for a nighttime walk.  He is obviously nervous, but blusters to the animals he encounters, "I'm not scared!"  After all, he's an owl.  He's nocturnal.  He isn't supposed to be afraid of the dark.

I'm Not Scared! by Jonathan Allen.  Hyperion Books, 2007.

Karen Katz's books have a very special place in my heart.  Big Sis responded so well to them when she was tiny.  I had her potty book memorized when Big Sis was just over a year old.  She adored it.  And when she turned two, she made up a song for herself:  "I'm the princess baby, on hiiiiiiiiiiiigh!"  When she sang the word "high," she'd stop very low then crescendo to a high-pitched, operatic high.  I have no clue where this song came from.  She made it up in the car one day.  She'd outgrown the song by the time Karen Katz released the first Princess Baby book, but we had to get it for her anyway.  

I think we got Where is Baby's Pumpkin? for Little Sis.  It wasn't one I remember reading over and over again.  Little Sis didn't have the same reaction to her books.

Where Is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz.  Simon & Schuster, 2006.

Once in while, I'll find one daughter or the other looking at their old board books.  I have a one-year-old niece now.  I like having a supply of books for her when she's at our house, but that's not why I still have so many.  These are the books that traveled in diaper bags or my purse, in strollers and car seats.  These books have itty bitty bite marks on them and the flaps on the lift-the-flap books might be torn.  (There's a reason I didn't photograph the complete first page of the Karen Katz book...)  These represent babyhood.  This time has passed, but it wasn't that long ago.

Sniff, sniff.

Halloween 2008.  Holly Hobbie turned one the next day.  Raggedy Ann was three.

Leaf Gathering 2012, Part One

It is still early autumn.  The colors are just beginning to appear, but we got the itch last weekend to go leaf gathering.  There are crafts to make!  I noticed some red in one of our city's most beautiful old cemeteries, so we had a Sunday leaf-gathering excursion among old headstones.  It was a lovely, cool evening.

We managed to collect a small bag of these red elm leaves, a few brown maple leaves, and some yellow elm leaves.

Obsessive Halloween Nostalgia Disorder: Mr. Boogedy

We loved all things Disney when I was little.  If a Disney movie was released - or re-released - we went to the theater.  When we had cable, we paid for the then subscription-only Disney Channel.  And when we no longer had cable, Michael Eisner and the Disney company were kind enough to air The Disney Sunday Movie on ABC.

My dad taped many an episode of that series, whatever channel or name change it went through, but our favorite - my dad's, my sister's, and my own - was Mr. Boogedy.  

I would buy this on DVD.

This was a fun original movie.  It starred Richard Masur and Mimi Kennedy as gag shop-owning parents who move their three children to a creepy old house in a creepily named New England town called Lucifer Falls.  The kids are played by Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy!), David Faustino (Bud Bundy!), and Benji Gregory (the kid from ALF!).  Their first night in the house, they're greeted by a weird man, Neil Witherspoon (John Astin!), who warns them to beware of "Mr. Boogedy."  The parents brush old Neil off, but before too long, the kids start to see crazy things happening around the house.  They visit the historical society, where they find - who else? - Neil Witherspoon, who tells them the tragic story behind the haunting. Of course, there is an eventual showdown with Mr. Boogedy himself.

We loved this little movie.  We thought it was hilarious, the parents especially - Mimi Kennedy's laugh!  A year later, there was a longer sequel entitled Bride of Boogedy.  We never liked it as much.  The parents and David Faustino remained, but Benji Gregory and Kristy Swanson had been replaced by the little boy from Harry and the Hendersons and Tammy Lauren.  (Tammy Lauren and Mimi Kennedy would go on to co-star on Homefront, one of my favorite series from the '90s.  And yep, I found that whole series on YouTube, too.)  And John Astin is gone, although Eugene Levy is on board as another villain.

The girls watched the first movie with me last week.  They enjoyed it!  I think it's more silly than scary, although I admit, my kids are a bit hard to scare (The Dark Crystal aside).

Mr. Boogedy

The Bride of Boogedy

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