October is always such a fun month for us. I guess most everyone can say that though since who doesn't love the start of fall, pumpkin everything, and cooler weather. So here's a little peak into what our October was like:
For drug-free week at school they had a new theme each day like "mustache day" and "team shirt day". I was good at getting brody to participate until the last one (tie day) because I got violently ill...
One of the crafts I was talking about in my last post: You can kinda see the completed rocks in a picture below (one of me). We just put sticky foam on the rocks (first cut them out how I wanted) then the kids were free to paint and not worry about making a mistake and we peeled the stickers off when the paint was almost dry. They loved this one!
It's always a little bittersweet when October is over- no more Halloween for another whole year! Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. It has been flopping back and forth from rank no.1 and rank no.2 since I was a little kid. Christmas takes the lead at this point but Halloween is a very close second. I always use the holiday as much as I can... I usually wear two costumes each year. One for the ward trunk-or-treat and one for Trick-or-Treating with the kids on Halloween. This year at the ward party I was a cave woman and Greyson was my pet dinosaur (like Brody and I 6 years ago!) Kenley was an angel like she was last year and the boys were Darth Vader and Buzz light year. Brody has gotten a LOT of use out of those costumes (see HERE and HERE)- I love that they want to use the same ones each year! Last year Brody was a Ninja Turtle and Hyrum was Buzz for the first time. I'm big on letting kids choose what THEY want to be for Halloween. Let them! Anyway for the ward party Tony and I were in charge of the "costume show". So we did a little red carpet and curtain and the kids got to go on the cat walk while someone talked about their costume and music played. It turned out cute.
The other thing I love about October is my anniversary! This year Tony and I celebrated our 8th year. We decided no gifts. We have a move to save up for, kids to support, and really no need for anything material. We do that a lot. So what did we do? We went to Red Lobster with a gift card we had and saw "Alexander and The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day" in the theaters. It was one of my favorite books as a kid so naturally I had to see it on opening night. It was a cute movie...
There is ONE thing I did for Tony though (and gosh I wish I could tell you what he did for me. It made me cry, it was so sweet... We said no gifts but that really just means no junk we don't need. As far as sentiments go, that's always a given.) I don't want to post what he did for the world to know since it was so personal, and I doubt I will forget that moment, but I do want to remember the fact that he gave me a card after our date while we were sitting on our couch and next thing you know I was soaking his shirt with happy tears. *Sigh. True love. (;
I was able to give Tony this metal frame from Tiny Prints with a picture of our kids on it, holding hands, in front of the temple. I didn't know what I was going to have it say- I was considering "The Balluff Kids" or something like what the website suggested but I just didn't feel like that was meaningful enough.
So one night while Tony and I were reading our scriptures together I came across this verse: Alma 43:47. The part I wanted to remember that by was this: "Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed" To me, that scripture became kind of a motto. No, my family isn't at a physical war- but I do believe that the scripture can be likened to today's world and how we are in our own battles as families. In likening it to my life- it just reminds me of the real WORK I have to put into maintaining a strong family. That sometimes it's messy and a hard thing- and a lot of times it's a sacrifice- but it's worth the work. Because family is what life is all about.
Also in October I got top 10 in a pumpkin carving contest which I thought was pretty good for me and I've been busy with my business. Then there was Halloween day- the moment we all wait for anxiously and then are sad it's over -but excited at the same time, because then that means guilt-free Christmas music listening.
My parents live in Germany and they sent us this authentic German dress for Kenley when she was a baby. I finally had her wear it. I figured she'd just go as a little german girl but then Kenley was like, "FIA!" (for Sophia - the first). So there you have it: Frauline Sofia.
And Greyson reusing Hyrum's first Halloween costume. I love reusing. And looks like I make my kids be more than one thing each year too (;
Low light at night + an excited 6 year old to trick-or-treat + a slow shutter speed = a ton of blurry pics. My second costume was this mime thing I threw together. I hardly ever buy costumes- just use what I already have (even if it is 6 years old like my cavewoman costume). I didn't document it but last year I was pregnant and I just made a skeleton shirt - you know the ones, where you can see the baby skeleton in my belly as well as my own bones.
I'm not wearing my hat or suspenders in these pics but if you follow my instagram you saw the whole thing: @connieballuff
The next best thing about Halloween is the after Halloween sale at Target. You better believe I was there *cough... and at two different locations. (; It's like Christmas morning the next year when I pull out my Halloween boxes and have all this new decor and stuff. I already have my costume for next year and I'm excited about it! Speaking of Christmas, I'm loving looking through Tiny Prints Christmas Cards! I usually create my own design and send those off each year but this year I think I'll let them do the work because the designs they have are so adorable.