Fall Festivities + Firsts in October

© Danielle Simmons

October in one word was exhausting. But a good kind of exhausting. Not only was it filled with the fun planning and executing of the Fall Festival but it was also filled with our traditions as well. My favorite? Bates Nut Farm. And the only reason why I love it? The photos.

I know if I go 1/2 an hour earlier than they open, we can get our photos taken, pumpkins picked out, and we can check out as soon as they open. Then we let the kids have fun on 1-2 rides (hay ride, corn maze, or the inflatables), grab some treats from the store, and head back home. This time we let the kids check out the animals too.

I have to admit that I almost didn’t want to go this year. But my husband said we had to. Because it’s Norah’s first Halloween and she needed her pumpkin pictures. Yeah, I was definitely glad he made a point to schedule it into our busy October weekends as I edited the photos. I already want enlargements of a few, including the one of all three of them in the field. What do you think?

© Danielle Simmons © Danielle Simmons

What I love most about our trips to the pumpkin patch is the sheer excitement our kids exude as they run from one end of the patch to the other. They love exploring the grounds, finding all of the smashed big pumpkins, and seeing the guts everywhere. Then Ethan rushes to find his perfect pumpkin while Molly takes her time picking the perfect one. And Norah. Norah just loved being able to get on the ground and climb on and around them, patting them as she went. She loved the hollow thud they gave as she pounded on them and stood up on them.

© Danielle Simmons

Every year Ethan asks us if we can get a huge pumpkin. And we’ve been able to appease him with a few smaller ones instead. But I’m thinking one year we may need to give in and get a huge pumpkin for him. Just one year, right? As long as he guts and carves it. This year he opened up, gutted, and carved his own pumpkin from start to finish so I think he may be ready next year. We’ll see!

© Danielle Simmons © Danielle Simmons © Danielle Simmons

I’m sure I’d get a lot of use out of it. The chickens sure do love the guts and seeds we pulled out of the two we carved. Now we went home with plans to carve three. For each kid. But because it was so late when we ended up carving, we only got through two before we were done. We had plans to carve Norah’s on Halloween but it just didn’t happen. She’s none the wiser and I’m sure had more fun trying to “help” her siblings by pulling the guts down every time she could get her hands on them.

© Danielle Simmons

Costumes this year were easy. I found a Batman shirt at Target after we went to Bates and was able to order a mask right there in the store off Amazon. I also figured out the easy way to add things to the kids Christmas lists while we were in the toy aisles. Talk about convinient!

When I first asked Ethan what he wanted to be he told me a Minecraft spider. So I saved two square boxes with plans to paint and glue up a storm until I had a Minecraft spider costume. And Molly decided she wanted to be a fairy and use what she had in her dress up box already. Then both changed their minds. During the same Target run, I picked up a creeper sweatshirt for Ethan and some green pants (he always needs pants) and a Minecraft shirt as a back up costume because, well, I know him. And I’m glad I did because after I put some hours into crafting his costume he ultimately decided it was too hot and wanted to wear his sweatshirt and pants.

Molly went through three different costume changes the Friday before Halloween getting ready for her school party. She wanted to be a fairy, then she wanted to be a butterfly (I already had the costume) then she wanted to be a ballerina (again). Then 5 minutes before we needed to leave for school she decided she wanted to be Sheriff Callie. Um… I’m good but I’m not that good! She ended up wearing the fairy wings she already had with a dress we grabbed at… you guess it, Target. Later that day she weaseled a full fairy outfit out of her Aunt Louise. I’m assuming they got the pieces from Dollar Tree and she couldn’t be happier with them come Halloween night.

Simmworks Halloween 2015 © Danielle Simmons

“Say Cheese”

Halloween 2015 Outtakes © Danielle Simmons

Someone wasn’t interested in photos. She wanted to go trick or treating already!

We walked down the street by our house and hit about 6 houses before both kids wanted to turn back and go home. But Aunt Helen wanted to check out the decorated house she saw while driving over to our house so we went to one more. Molly was NOT pleased with the decor. I think Ethan liked it.

© Danielle Simmons © Danielle Simmons© Danielle Simmons

I was able to get them to go to 1-2 more homes on the other side of the street as we headed home but once we reached our house, Ethan was done. Molly helped pass out treats to the kids coming up to out house and then decided she wanted to go out one more time. Sans wings. So my husband grabbed the wagon, I grabbed Norah, and we left Grandma Ann to pass out candy again while Ethan was inside playing Minecraft.

We got another street covered and came back home. Passed out candy some more. Molly ate more candy. Then she decided to go out one last time with me. I left Norah and the wagon with Daddy and we headed out in another direction. This time it was a bit later and there weren’t as many people around so she scored big at just about every house we went to.

The next morning Ethan had no candy left and Molly had plenty. I’m sure he’ll be able to convince her to share more with him come tomorrow. Oh, and just to prove I did make him his Minecraft spider, here’s a photo of him after school on Friday with everything assembled.

Minecraft Spider © Danielle Simmons

I’m sure November will be just as crazy but for now I’m enjoying a little peace and quiet. Happy Halloween!

How was your October?

Dear N: Two Months Old

Norah 2 Months Old

Oh, Norah. My perfect little angel. How have you already been here for 2 months? These past two months have been a whirlwind and I am so glad that you are finally here to complete our family. From your big, beautiful smile that graces us each and every morning when we wake up, to your coos and babbles when hanging out with your brother and sister, you are one awesome baby. 

Not only are you a sweetheart but you’re such a laid back girl. I’m so lucky that you go with the flow and don’t mind hanging out on your own next to me while I work during the day. You love to stretch and move your arms and legs and enjoy watching the comotion around you when everyone is home. [Read more…]

Enjoying the Summertime Fun {SD County Fair}

Every year since E was born we’ve made our way over to the SD County Fair for their discounted Tuesday. The past two years it was $2 Tuesday. This year it was $3 Tuesday. Pair that with $2 Taste of the Fair Tuesday and you get one discounted day at the fair! Definitely worth every penny. And we did it for under $30.

We sampled some yummy fair food including meatball sliders, freshly made mini donuts, corn dogs, cinnamon rolls & ice cream. We saved a bit of room for when we take Daddy. But all in all we got a taste of everything we wanted that day. Each “taste” cost us $2.

There were so many temptations! It was hard deciding what we wanted and what we passed on. E made most of the decisions for us though. The large, over-the-top signs helped him 🙂

Once we got some food in our belly we were ready for the animals. The animals are one of E’s FAVORITE parts of the fair. When we come again we’ll see them again. Maybe even twice through.

Ethan was very curious about the cows and had many questions. One of them being why they were laying down and if he could pet them. He asked if he could pet every single animal he saw. (The blanket is there to cover their legs from the sun, not to keep them warm ;)).

Goats were super fun. They made lots of noise and kept both kids happy for a while. We just parked in front of a few and just watched what they did.

Then we came up to the birds. Ducks, chickens and turkeys oh my! Ethan loved this large turkey. He kept talking to it and putting it’s bedding back in it’s cage for him. He even mimicked him when he gobbled.

In the same area as the birds they had a petting zoo and other animals in larger pens. We caught a glimpse of this little oinker tinking. E wanted to know why it wasn’t using the potty.

E kept reaching his hands in the fence and calling the goats (and cows, chickens & pigs) over to be pet. Next time we’ll have Daddy with us so we can do the petting zoo. I hope to get some good pictures then!


After strolling through the tents and perusing the fair deals on the latest and greatest gismos and gadgets we took a small break by the flower and landscape area. E had acquired a mini dino Pillow Pet that I spotted in one of the tents and wanted to play a bit with it as looked at all of the different landscapes people designed. This one below even had a choo-choo! E wanted to watch it the whole afternoon…

All in all it was a great day with the kids. Something I hope they remember fondly as they grow up (as I plan on continuing the tradition yearly). I remember how much fun I had at the fair when I was younger so I hope they do too!

Miss M’s Baptism

My beautiful baby girl was baptized this Saturday. With family surrounding us we welcomed her into our church. She was quite pleasant even though we didn’t get a chance to feed her before we left for the church and as soon as we got there we had no time to nurse. She smiled, she cooed, she made everyone love her even more 🙂 But come on… how could you not love her?

I was going to have her wear my baptism outfit but it just didn’t look right and I didn’t get a chance to bleach it in the sun. So we used our back up outfit. I found this dress at Nordstrom’s Rack. It was an amazing find. The gown has what looks like a cross and a heart embroidered right on the front of the dress but the tags said nothing about it being a baptismal dress. It was long sleeved and came with matching white bloomers and it fit Molly perfectly.

Molly received a bracelet from her Godmother, Aunt Louise. and wore it with her dress. It was a beautiful addition to her outfit. She received this beautiful cloth box from her Great Grammy filled with two cute outfits. And it was too beautiful not to reuse for Molly. So I am going to store her baptism dress, bracelet and candle. I also hid away two pictures for Molly of her special day. I’ll post those when we get the pictures from the photographer.

Molly was all smiles in Daddy’s arms before the ceremony

And she gnawed on Sophie while she waited for her turn to get dunked

Cousin Aaron made silly faces while Father Michael spoke

And then we got on with the show…

Molly and her godparents, Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Louise

And the parents

Aunt Louise made cookies just like she did for E’s baptism. Everyone gobbled them up!

I made some monkey bread, two different types of egg cups and crock pot oatmeal. I also served some fruit and coffee, tea & juice. Everything was super yummy.

Grandma Ann kept the two boy cousins entertained with a great book. This one’s one of E’s favorites (Dinosaurs Love Underpants).

Charlie Brown Halloween Costume for Baby

We had a wonderful day today. It all started with pumpkin carving and ended with a wonderful Halloween party at my neighbor’s mother’s house. Little E had a wonderful time with all the kids and I took many pictures!

Everyone loved his costume and we got many compliments for it. Most were shocked to find we made it ourselves but it was so simple I couldn’t see NOT making it!

Since this was Ethan’s first Halloween we didn’t want a costume that would make him too hot or uncomfortable so we stuck with an easy Charlie Brown costume. A t-shirt with a squiggle and shorts, how simple is that!

Charlie Brown Halloween Costume for Baby

How to make a Charlie Brown Halloween Costume for Baby

What you’ll need: 

What you do: 

Ok guys… this can’t get more simple. Cut your black fabric in a zig-zag pattern. Apply No-Sew to the back of the fabric and adhere to shirt. Let dry completely.

Try the shirt on, add the black pants and brown shoes and your Charlie Brown is ready for his big debut! Remember to add Snoopy for an added touch so no one will ask what your little man is for Halloween.

Extra bonus points if baby is still bald… like mine!

charlie brown halloween costume for baby 1

My husband made an iron-on transfer for his shirt that had a picture of Charlie Brown and it said “Wah, Wah, Wah” all over it and underneath Charlie it said “Charlie Brown’s Dad” so everyone would know what the “Wah, Wah, Wah” meant. So cleaver he is!

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And one more showing Charlie Brown with his Pirate mommy… my neighbor is the lady in front of me with the most adorable panda bear 🙂 He’s 5 months old and we always talk about how E and him are going to be the best of buds when they’re older.

E and his buddy. And shortly after this was taken…

charlie brown halloween costume for baby 4

He didn’t know what he did wrong 🙂

charlie brown halloween costume for baby 5

I hope everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween!

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It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at danielle@acraftyspoonful.com