Trick or Treat!

After a long day of “Mommy, is it trick or treating time yet?” we finally went out just as it was starting to get dark. I stopped them at the edge of the driveway for a quick picture (knowing the Iron Man mask wouldn’t last long).

Everyone say Superhero!

Ezra decided he only wanted to go to houses that had decorations, so we started here. (They also had a very cool row of jack-o-lanterns.)

Skeleton!

Ezra was very excited to turn on the light-up triangle on his costume since he’d been saving it for Halloween only.

Ezra shows off his triangle light

We probably went to five or six houses, and then Finn got tired.

Trick or treat

So we headed home.

On the way home

I think they had just as much fun handing out candy at home.

Giving out candy

And raising and lowering the pumpkin spider to scare people. (Version 2 of the pumpkin spider has eyes that glow orange from Jerri’s cool flashlights!)

Pumpkin spider v. 2

Refugio!

We took a one-night camping trip with the Heffernans this weekend to Refugio State Beach (just north of Santa Barbara) and had a blast. The kids got to go in the ocean, dig in the sand, ride on the bike trailer, climb trees, roast marshmallows, eat s’mores and hotdogs, and sleep in tents. Here are some pictures and a couple of videos.

Fountains!

We had another Aveson dining out fundraiser tonight, at the Islands at Paseo Colorado this time. After a long meal, a rousing game of duck, duck, goose, and some general running around with friends, we were finally ready to head home. But on the way to the escalator, Ezra, Finn, Ruby and Chapin discovered the fountains. At first, they kept a safe distance, choosing instead to yell at the water.

Then they got serious.

And then they were soaked. At least Ezra and Ruby were soaked. Chapin and Finn were much more cautious.

Sports Blitz!

A couple of weeks ago, we joined some Aveson parents at a “sports blitz” class. Finn didn’t want to participate but Ezra had a blast. They played soccer — it was Ezra’s first introduction to any sort of “organized” sports.

Ezra's Sports Blitz 1

It rained last week and the class was canceled, but this week class resumed and Finn wanted to join in the fun. He loved it, and, frankly, I could watch him run around playing sports all day. He’s hysterical. I took some video.

Here he is dribbling the soccer ball.

The obstacle course relay race.

Then they moved on to baseball. Here’s Finn’s first at-bat ever.

And Ezra’s.

Spider!

We were talking this evening about Halloween decorations, and I told Bruce I thought a giant spider web would look great on the front porch. Then I went to book club. When I got home, this is what he had done.

Bruce's awesome homemade Halloween decorations

Apparently, the pumpkin spider is on a pulley so the boys can raise and lower it. Totally awesome.

School Pictures!

It was picture day at Aveson today, which was exciting (for me) because it’s the first real individual school picture for Ezra. They asked for parents to stay to help organize the kids, so I did, and I got a couple of shots of the chaos of trying to get the kids ready for a group shot. First they did group still shots, then they videotaped the kids doing their “Fall Song,” and then they moved on to individual picture.

From total chaos …

Chaos!

to order in about 15 minutes. Aren’t they cute? Too bad Ezra’s kind of tucked behind the kid in front of him.

Ezra's Class (D-1 and D-2)

Here’s the video. I was shocked and delighted that Ezra was singing!

A Day in the Life …

… of an Aveson kindergartner. Well, not a day, exactly, but I got a look at what their days look like with a two-hour volunteer shift in Ezra’s class today. His teacher was out for professional development, so they asked parents to come in to give the substitute a hand. I was thrilled to see what actually goes on there — it’s very weird going from a co-op preschool to elementary school where it’s not parent-participation driven. In the time I was there, they read a book and talked about the days of the week and months of the year, as well as what day it was. Then they did “centers” (Ezra’s favorite thing to do) where there are several tables set up with activities and the kids get to choose which activity they want to do. Today, there was a castle to play with, blocks, little dinosaurs to count, pattern blocks, a playhouse, a drawing table, a library area, and some wooden food to cut. Time at each center is about ten minutes and then they switch. This is the math and projects time and I left at 10:00 when they were headed to snack. Ezra tells me they have PE and then they go to the other teacher’s class for literacy centers.

I loved seeing what they do and how the class is set up. And I’m thrilled all over again that we ended up at Aveson.

Here’s a couple of shots while Ezra was at the drawing table.

Ezra and some friends

Ezra's class

Bruce’s Woodworking Seminar

Play dates are always more fun (and involved) when Bruce is home. Today the kids were pretty stir-crazy because it’s been raining and they’d been cooped up all morning. So, we finally let them outside and Bruce ended up letting them try out his woodworking tools. Jerri and I stood by, waiting to call 911 when someone cut off a finger, but there were no emergencies.

These are my two favorite shots.

Ezra takes a big whack at the dowel

Charlie and Finn go crazy with the tools

And here’s a slideshow of the rest.

First Jack-O-Lanterns

The boys just couldn’t wait any longer, so we carved some pumpkins this morning. I’m sure they’ll be a moldy mess by Halloween, but we’ll just have to get some more pumpkins!

Finn continued his Batman obsession with a Batman logo pumpkin (drawn and carved by Bruce, of course).

Finn's Batman pumpkin

Ezra designed and drew his own this year and then Bruce did the cutting.

Ezra's pumpkin (he drew the cutouts)

The pictures are blurry because of the lighting — I probably should have set up the tripod to take a proper shot, but who’s got time for that?

Bruce’s New Toy

Bruce has been looking for a better way to ride Ezra to school and finally settled on the Weehoo iGo trailer. Theoretically, the child can help pedal, which will be great as Bruce works pretty hard getting up the hill to Aveson.

We finally got a chance to try it out yesterday and it was a big hit — with Bruce and all four kids he towed around. Here’s Bruce and Finn in action.

The new bike trailer!

Here’s Finn telling everyone the order for taking turns riding.

Finn discussing who gets to go next

And here’s how Charlie looked after his ride. Finn’s helmet is a little too big for him! (To put things in perspective, Finn’s helmet fits me. That kid’s got a giant noggin.)

Finn's helmet may be a bit big for Charlie

Pumpkins!

After school today we went to Buster’s for ice cream and then to the pumpkin patch in South Pas. Finn had picked out a few pumpkins this week at Trader Joe’s and Ezra was really anxious to get his own so we can make jack-o-lanterns this weekend. Finn was happy to find they had wagons there and promptly started running around grabbing every pumpkin he could lift.

Finn fills up his wagon

Ezra, on the other hand, put two pumpkins in his wagon — one white and one orange — and then moved on to the animatronic decorations they have there. One was a ghoulish guy who lifted off his head, which held Ezra’s attention for quite some time.

Then they found this guy, who came out of his coffin as he inflated.

They loved this guy who inflated out of the coffin

Here’s their reaction.

Reaction to the coffin guy