October 31st is a big day in our house. There is the usual Halloween, but 9 years ago today (9 years!!!) Katherine Guo Dan was placed in our arms and we became a family.
That day changed all of us forever!
And now for Halloween...
Katherine was a witch this year. It was by far the most conventional costume she's ever chosen!
Rachel was Tinkerbell. She described her choice as "not a princess, but she still has a sparkly dress and a wand." Granny made her a neon green fairy dress and she wore two different sets of wings ot none at all, depending on the moment.
It's been a busy week - Trunk or Treat at church on Sunday, parties at school today, and trick or treating tonight.
I have carved jack-o-lanterns with the girls every year at Halloween. It's one of Katherine's very favorite things to do. But jack-o-lanterns were a serious "fail" on my part this year. I refused to buy pumpkins when they first appeared in stores because it was still 90 degrees out. I didn't buy pumpkins at the pumpkin patch because, well, I'm too cheap. Last week was full of parent teacher conferences and meetings and non-stop stress and pumpkin purchasing never made it to the top of the priority list. So today I finally got around to finding jack-o-lantern pumpkins for the girls. And they were not to be found. They were gone. ALL of them. There wasn't anything to do but improvise. I suggested that we buy little pie pumpkins and paint them. The girls were gracious enough to accept the idea. (But I still felt bad about it.)
After supper, I dug out the paint and brushes and the girls set to work.
Katherine had fun messing with the paint, but it was clear she had a plan in mind.
She worked quickly and intently.
She was quite pleased with her owl pumpkin!
Rachel, of course, had to plan for her pumpkin. She just wanted to paint. A lot.
I love that tongue-out-in-concentration look!
She even wanted to paint the bottom.
Rae would have happily painted and repainted all evening. I finally declared the painting done, so she quickly added a face.
It wasn't quite the same as carving jack-o-lanterns, but the girls did have fun!
Our church had an evening at a nearby church camp this evening. The weather was gorgeous and we had such a fun time!
Camp Horizon sits on a bluff overlooking the Arkansas river.
It is beautiful there any time of year, but the fall is especially stunning.
When we first arrived, we were handed a scavenger hunt list and told to find as many items as we could and photograph them. It was a fun way to explore the natural beauty of the camp and to pay attention to the little things. Some things on our list were an acorn...
a bird (nice turkey vulture, huh?)...
and a red leaf.
The girls humored me by posing at Inspiration Point.
Then they ran off ahead. Rachel was kind of bored with the whole nature walk idea. There weren't enough people to talk to! After Katherine saw a snake Rae decided she was done.
Kate and I continued on our own for a while. We walked through the woods for a bit, admiring the light through the trees.
We paused our communion with nature once when Kate asked what "moonwalking" was and I pulled up Michael Jackson videos on my phone. Yes, it was as odd as it sounds! Eventually Katherine opted to join the big group and I finished off the scavenger hunt on my own, mostly because I wasn't ready to stop soaking up the views.
We had a little church service and then roasted hot dogs and s'mores for supper.
It was a glorious evening! Now we are sticky, dirty, and ready for bed.
It was a gorgeous fall morning, crisp and sunny - a perfect day for the pumpkin patch.
We go to the pumpkin patch almost every year with other adoptive families. I think every kid's favorite part is the giant inflatable "pillow". The other parents and I joked around about calling this outing The Jumping Pillow Patch instead of The Pumpkin Patch.
Rae thinks we need one in the back yard...
There were lots of fun things to do. We went through the corn maze...
...and rode the trailer out to the pumpkin patch.
The girls tried out the Jacob's ladder.
Both girls really liked climbing in the hay fort.
They even posed for a few seconds to please their camera happy mother.
Out in the pumpkin patch there is a big sign with height measurements on it. When I saw it, I had sudden memories of the first time I went to the pumpkin patch with mysweet, tiny 2 1/2 year old Katherine. That thought was quickly followed by visions of all the pumpkin patch outings we've made since then. I nearly cried with nostalgia... Instead, I lined my big girls up and took a picture. They're not little toddlers anymore, but they still love the pumpkin patch.