for the children

A wickedly lovely Halloween to you and you and you. . . . . .

I asked Sarah if she was a little witch today and she said, “You can be the witch.  I will be your cat.”

Therefore, I’m snuggled on the couch with a Sarah-cat on one side and a real-cat on my lap.  The real-cat is not Black.  When I ordered him from my Witch-Supplies Catalogue, I was certain I had checked off “Midnight Black”, but when he arrived he was as gray as the most foggiest of dismal mornings, but otherwise the very best witch’s cat companion as could be, so we kept him of course.

The sun is slowly coming up in a cloudy sky, clouds as gray as my gray cat.

Spooky beings fly by the house, not on brooms, but in cars.

It’s scary out there.

But the most scariest of all??????

No school for my little offspring.   “BOOoooooooo” they cry.

The weather was positively scary on Sunday night, the wind moaned and pushed, and as tree-pruning by wind power is most unpredictable, the roads are covered in debris— no school Monday or Today.


So I write with inky words, the tale of Aunt Amanda-Witch’s Halloween Party.


Aunt Amanda-Witch

She isn’t scary ALL the time, just some of the time.

She planned and she planned, she visited a few stores and bought supplies 70 percent off!  Good witches always spend their money wisely.

She set to work, happily making her party as nice as she could, and invited good little girls and boys to attend a most wonderful party.  Good witches work hard and shower children with love.


A Black, Red Eyed Rat

ready to bite anyone who went upstairs.


Gorgeous light, draped in the blackest netting……….


The table was set with skeleton cups from the dollar store, pumpkins, black garland over a sparkly gold table runner, orange pumpkin paper plates. . . . . .




Cobwebs completed the look.



“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”
— Charles R. Swindol


“The soul is healed by being with children.”
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky


“I added touches of sparkles–they always pop at a party–and the kids love the little details, too.”


These spiders could be clipped on anything and were a favorite item from Michael’s.  She found most of her decorations at Michael’s and Dollar General.  She bought the spray paint (must be oil based so it sits on the water for the hydro-dipped pumpkins) and the piñata from Walmart.

Come to the party, four o’clock on Saturday, said the invitation sent by Magical Text Messaging.




The children had so much fun!  They hit a piñata, and either carved or painted their pumpkins.



Aunt Amanda-Witch thought of everything, she had even researched Youtube for exciting ways to paint the pumpkins.  Search HYDRO-DIPPED pumpkins and MELTED CRAYON pumpkins.


And then there was a boys against the girls Bobbing for Apples contest!




They ate donuts off strings!

There was also Halloween music playing (iTunes kid bop Halloween), a cheerful campfire, string of lights, and yummy s’mores for when it became dark outside.


And a very spooky menu:

Mummy Hot Dogs
Veggie Skeleton
Ghost Fruit Kabobs
Zombie Boogers
Mummy Mini Pizza
Deviled Spider Eggs
Spooky Jello Jigglers
Dirt Worm Cups
Apple Cider with Eyeball Ice

At the end of the party, each guest received a special gift bag to take home, along with a caramel apple and their pumpkin.

Aunt Amanda-Witch and her husband Uncle Jason-Warlock really outdid themselves with this special party.  The children absolutely LOVED it.  When we had to leave, Sarah ran and frantically questioned Aunt Amanda-Witch if she was going to give any more parties sometime.  I think Aunt Amanda Witch should consider a side-job in party planning, don’t you?

What we remember from childhood
we remember forever —
permanent ghosts,
stamped, inked,
imprinted, eternally seen.
~Cynthia Ozick



ethan’s graduation party pictures


Ethan with his dog and his girlfriend.

We had a combination graduation party this past Saturday with two of Ethan’s best friends.  It worked out very nicely.  The other moms helped out so much and it felt good to do a party that our boys wanted.  We supplied plenty of food and drinks and the teenagers spent time together  (all day and all night).


We held the party at my house and opened up the garage to serve the food.  We had a pig roast with pulled pork and hamburgers and hot dogs.


This is a photo of most of the teen boys who were at the party.  People sat outside on the patio and porch to eat their lunch.  My friend Kathy and I sat on a blanket in the shade with our girls.

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We kept all the desserts inside the house in our air conditioned dining room.  (It was a hot day!)  There was strawberry cheese cake, cookies (on a fiesta three tiered tray!!), homemade pie, brownies, and chocolate chip bars.


We also had special a cake for these fine young High School men.  The guests of honor:  Ethan, Zachary, and Caleb.

Ethan will be going away to college (more about that on another day), Zach will be attending a college closer to home that he can commute to, and Caleb is going into the Coast Guard.  Please pray for these boys!  This stage of life is so exciting and we look forward to seeing what they do in the future.


I took this photo because these boys were leaving to attend TWO more graduation parties!


Zachary’s family helped host the party and did a lot of thoughtful things to make sure it was a good day for the boys.  Chris and Caroline are dear friends of ours and are like second parents to Jacob and Ethan.


Caleb’s mom made delicious baked beans, potato salad, and brought decorations, too.  As you may know, Grace is dating Caleb and the family has been very welcoming to her.   It’s been a joy to get to know them.



Grace (in the middle) with life long friends Tristen and Kaitlyn.


How many teenagers can fit in a canoe?


I took this photo of Zachary’s mom talking with Tristen and Kaitlyn.  Tristen actually went to Kindergarten with Zach and Ethan and also graduated from High School this summer.


Ethan’s Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) have done so much to encourage him as he grows up.  They drove all the way from NY to attend Ethan’s party.


On a hot day it was nice for the kids to be able to cool off in the pond.

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I was especially thankful that my friend Kathy came with her kids.  We have been friends through these years as we have been busy raising our families and she came right on time to the party and stayed all day long, even helping us with clean up.  I love her so much…her presence was like a gift to me on this very busy day!


And we are raising our youngest girls to love each other, too.

Such happy and glorious days to be a mom.

“Let all that I am praise the Lord.  I will praise the Lord as long as I live.  I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.”  Psalm 146:1

candid camera


Can you feel the love?  This is my favorite picture from Ethan’s 18th birthday party, he’s in a love sandwich between his girlfriend, sister, and cousin.  And then there is Emily hugging a cat behind them, and Seth sitting on the couch, amused.

MORE PICS—all from my phone—


This is what Sarah, Seth, and Caleb have been doing all weekend…riding scooters.  They are only 27 dollars on amazon and we just ordered a black one for David as well.  I love them because it’s a fun activity that they can do outside and we let them ride them in the house, too.  It’s the sweetest sound to hear their wheels running along the floor as they enjoy their scooters.


The dining room became a small wrestling gym on the day of Ethan’s party…..


Rich wrestled Jimmy, who actually showed some promise!  He goes to our church and isn’t from our town so alas cannot join our team next year.




Getting pinned by Coach

Caleb (green shorts) was the ref.

I took pictures and periodically screamed be careful.


Ethan and Zak



soon everyone wanted to wrestle and  I did a cartwheel.

There was loud music going on, too.




later on that night Caleb (G’s boyfriend) and Rich did a sit up contest that went on and on and on…..



They each did over 500 before Caleb cramped up and had to stop, Rich kept going for another 20 or 30 sit ups and then he stopped, too.


I discovered all these goofy selfies disrespectfully left on my phone so yeah…they’re going on the blog….**payback**

We watched movies, ate food, had pie and cheesecake as birthday cake, ice cream, and I went to bed at like 9:00 pm but Rich stayed up with them until 3.  When I got up at 6:30 there were kids sleeping all over the place, I walked into each room to check on them with a smile on my face.   Ethan woke up and made pancakes for all of us using his Grandma’s recipe.  Then came a turn for everyone in the shower and a trip to church where several of them had a hard time staying awake because of their long but fun night.