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Thursday, October 30, 2008


I painted Nathan's head for the costume contest at work. It took an hour, but was really fun to do. I've never had such a nice canvas before! :) The children woke up this morning when I was about halfway finished and they came to see what we were doing. They giggled and pulled up chairs so they could sit and watch Dad's transformation. Matthew was so gleeful when he figured out what the painting was. I wanted to find a snorkel for Nate to wear, but we don't have one and my attempts to locate one via friends was unfruitful.That was disappointing. He didn't win the costume contest at work, although we did hear lots of exclamations everywhere we went. We went out to eat for dinner after my face painting gig that night, and we all received lots of sideways glances from other customers. :)

Matthew is so proud of his costume this year. He made it up and assembled it himself. It's a collection of all his 'hero' paraphernalia. It includes a light saber, wooden sword, batman cape, duck blanket(aka cape). He's such a creative boy. Sarah has had a tough time deciding between ballerina or butterfly, then decided on a Chinese dress. Daniel was supposed to be the Thoroughbred of Sin from Dr. Horrible, but last-minute we couldn't find the horse costume. So he ended up as a teddy bear. Matthew really wanted to be Dr. Horrible, but lab coats for Dr. Horrible have been sold out since July, so he designed his own costume and was happy.

I bought a sari from an Indian store here for my costume. I've always wanted to own one, and this is most likely the only chance of the year I'll have to wear it. I ordered some Indian jewelry online to wear with it, so that was pretty exciting and fun. Wrapping the sari is way more involved than it looks, and there's WAY more fabric than meets the eye. Maybe I'll post pics of the wrapping process, it's just interesting. And tricky. My wrapping never looks half as good as the times when the store owner does it for me. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Face painting

This was more practice on face painting designs. I LOVE the picture of Dan looking in the mirror. It's perfect for a painting! It's definitely being put up in my front room! And believe it or not, Matt's actually SMILING in his picture....terrifying, isn't it? He still says he's going to be a hero for Halloween, although he loves this face. I asked him why he liked it and he said "It's just so fun to go scare people and then say, 'It's really Matthew, silly!!!" I love Sarah's design. It's much easier. I won't be advertising Matt's design. It took 10 minutes, which is beyond unacceptable in a face painting job. Maybe with practice I can shave it down to 5 minutes, but I still don't like promoting scary stuff.

Sea World field trip

We went to Sea World for a home school field trip this month. We had to leave our house at 5:30 am to get though Austin before the morning traffic. The children were all bundled up in blankets in the van. I hoped they would sleep so they'd be well-rested for the long day ahead, but we had friends in the van, so they were awake chatting and giggling. Long drives are always so much better with friends.

When we arrived at Sea World, the first thing we visited was the dolphins. There was a low wall around the dolphin pool so kids could lean out and put their hands down into the water. It was so amazing to watch these beautiful creatures swim so close. A friend bought fish to feed dolphins and gave a fish to each child. Sarah was so afraid of the dolphins even though she wanted to feed them. Each time one would swim up, she's pull back in fear. The poor dolphin kept trying to eat, but caught nothing each time. She finally gave her fish to me and I fed it while she touched it's nose.

Matthew loved the shark tank building. It was so neat to watch all the great white sharks swim right next to us. Aquariums are always so awe-inspiring. I love visiting aquariums! We next visited the penguin house and watched 'snow' fall out of a snow machine in the animal area. The sea lions were surprisingly loud, it was as though a loud speaker was connected to each animal. It was so fun to listen to them. I could feel the sound vibrate in my body each time they barked. After exploring all the animal exhibits, we picnicked for lunch with two other families. Daniel loved the juice boxes so much that it was a battle to convince him to eat anything else!

After dining in the shade we went to the Shamu show. It was the best part of the day! There was an educational presentation on killer whales and their habitats. The children were so raptured that they remembered everything. It was so cool watching their faces as the whales entered the pool. Unveiled delight and excitement. There were 5 whales in the show, all doing flips and leaps. We were in the spash zone so it was fun to watch the waves of water wash over the walls. It was so amazing to watch these huge animals move so gracefully, I was overcome with awe and I was so thankful to be able to observe such a beautiful creation. I just had thrills in my chest and goosebumps the entire show.

After the show we trekked across the park to the sea lion show. We sat on the third row so the kids could see everything really well. They had sea otters, a walrus, and sea lions come onstage for lessons about their body features and habitats. The walrus blew a kiss goodbye at the end of her show. Surprisingly, you could actually hear the kiss. This delighted the children. It was the best part of the show to them. The sea lions were hilarious. They did all sorts of neat tricks with a group of actors, like walking on their front flippers, diving off a high dive, and doing flips. The kids loved it when they all waved goodbye. It was such a long walk back to the van, and we were exhausted, but the day was definitely worth it. I couldn't stay awake on the 2 hour drive home, so I really wanted to drop into bed, but I had to go take an Anatomy test the minute we arrived home. I scored a 98% on the written exam. Hurrah!

Fall cookies

We made cookies to share with neighbors. It was so fun to decorate them all with the children. Sarah's strategy was to pile on as many pieces of candy as possible. Matthew was so proud of his first cookie. Daniel was surprisingly meticulous and careful, slowly licking his fingers between each application of frosting.Nathan also made pumpkin fudge to give away. It was SO delicious! Regretfully only two neighbors were home that night.... We have way too many cookies left.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Matt's Halloween face

I'm practicing face painting with a new paint medium, so I let Matthew pick any design he wanted. Leave it to a boy to pick the gruesome ones. I told him I'm never painting this one on him again. I really didn't like seeing my little boy turn into such a monster. Matthew really loved it though. It was hilarious to watch him stare at himself in the mirror, slowly moving his face in different ways to see how the makeup moved. Whenever he ran past a mirror the rest of the day, he's stop to admire his face before moving on. Luckily he wants to be a hero for Halloween, so I don't have to worry about doing another mean face. He's fashioned his own costume from our dress up box. He's so proud of it. It consists of his homemade batman cloak (with a letter 'M' on the back) and a light saber he received for his birthday last year. As far as he's concerned, this is the coolest costume on the block!

Welcome to Kingsley Corner!

I decided to do a blog....I know, I know, now I'm following the crowd. I just wanted a place to post our monthly family letters so more family and friends can access them. I also can't send pictures to everyone, so at least you can see them here.