Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Well, Hodel and I got very lucky – it did not rain on us tonight for trick-or-treating!!  It was very dark and gloomy and wet for most of the school day, which was very Halloween-y but not that great for walking around outside trick-or-treating.  By the time we got home, though, it cleared up and the sun even came out for a little while.  Woohoo!  Umbrellas would not look very good with our costumes.

And who did we dress up as?  I was Ginny Weasley and Hodel was Cho Chang, from Harry Potter!

One of Katie’s friends LOVES Harry Potter and used to give her bits and pieces of doll Hogwarts uniforms she found on ebay whenever a new book or movie would come out.  We only had to round up a few more random pieces to finish out one Gryffindor and one Ravenclaw uniform so we could both wear the right one for our character!  And aren’t our pumpkin buckets awesome?  Hodel brought them with her all the way from Ohio for us to use!  Mine is much bigger than the one I used last year, so it can hold way more candy.  YES!

During recess at school we were running around waving sticks and pretending they were magic wands, and shouting all the spells we could think of from the Harry Potter books.  It was so fun!  The day went very very fast, and we got to have an early dinner and then go right out to trick-or-treat.

I know the best spots in the neighborhood for trick-or-treating – there is one house that always gives full-size candy bars at the beginning of the night, so you have to try and go there first before they run out, and there's another lady who gives out only the best Starburst flavors (all the red and pink flavors)!  The sun was just going down as we went to the first houses, and it was getting spooky, just the way I like it.

"TRICK OR TREAT!"  (We were very polite, and did not say "trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!" like some very rude boys we saw).

We walked and walked around the neighborhood to more and more houses, until our feet got tired and our buckets were bursting with candy and it was all dark out, then we finally decided to go back home.

 At home, our pumpkins were out on the front stoop, all lit up!  Don’t they look awesome?  I will be sad when they get all moldy and we have to throw them away!

 Back in the nice warm house, it was time to sort out our candy!  I always love this part.  We pretended our candy was stuff from the Harry Potter books – the Hershey Kisses were Chocolate Frogs, and the jelly beans were, of course, Every Flavor Beans!

 We are eating a few pieces now before bed, and watching my very favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus!!  Hope you all had a great and spooky Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fun in the Leaves

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, and Hodel and I were getting so excited for Halloween and trick-or-treating that we couldn't contain ourselves.  We were running around the house pretending to be the characters we're going to dress up as and shouting and screeching a lot, so we got sent outside to work off our energy.  There is a tree with pretty red leaves still on it in the backyard, so we climbed it, way up high!

It is a good place to tell secrets, because nobody else will overhear you up so high, plus you can see anyone coming from any direction up there!

We wished we had a treehouse up there, because it would be the prettiest place to live in the fall, surrounded by all those red leaves! 

We were too hyper in sit up in the tree for too long, so we made a leaf pile for jumping! 

We even did cartwheels into the leaves, and it didn't matter that I couldn't really do one since you can fall any old way into the leaves and it doesn't hurt.  Hodel's were pretty good, though - here she is about to do one!

Soon the leaves will all have fallen and will turn brown, and the snow will start falling instead, and it will be a whole year before we'll see these red leaves again.  I'm glad we had plenty of time to enjoy them now!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Time!

Hodel and I got to carve our Halloween pumpkins this weekend!!  We were so excited!  The weather was so nice and we got to do it outside, which was even better.  Here we are all ready for carving!

One of the funnest parts of pumpkin carving is when you cut around the top and pull it off - and out come the pumpkin guts!  They are so slimy and goopy when you put your hand in to scoop them out.

When all the guts were cleaned out, we had to decide what kind of faces to give our pumpkins.  Hodel thought we should make them look like the Greek comedy and tragedy masks, because she loves drama and theatre so much, and those masks are symbols of the theatre.  I thought that was a good idea, so I decided to do the tragedy face, and Hodel did the comedy.  We drew our faces on with a pen before we started to carve with our little pumpkin saws.

And, here's how our comedy and tragedy pumpkins turned out!  We were really, really happy with them!

Nothing makes it feel like Halloween more than pumpkins and fallen leaves, don't you think?  Only one more week till trick-or-treating!

Oh, and the other awesome thing about pumpkin carving - roasting the pumpkin seeds!  They are really easy to make (so easy that even Katie could make them without messing them up).  You just put them in a bowl and mix in some olive oil, then you spread them out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with salt, and cook them in the oven for awhile until they get a little darker and start to smell yummy.  Then you have to wait for them to cool off, and that's the hard part because you want to taste them so bad!

They taste a little bit like popcorn, even though they look nothing like it!  Mmm, they are sooo good.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicago Road Trip!

This past weekend we got to do one of my favorite things ever – take a road trip!!  My family is selling a condo we inherited that’s right outside Chicago, so we had to go and move some furniture and clean it out for the new owners. 

My favorite part of a road trip?  The first time you see the name of your destination on a road sign (sorry my picture is so blurry - Hodel was making me laugh and I couldn't hold the camera still enough)! :-)  You can just barely see CHICAGO on this sign!!

The condo is very close to the gigantic O’Hare Airport, so you know you’re getting close when you start hearing (and seeing) planes flying above you.  Sometimes when they’re coming in for a landing, they fly so low I get scared they might hit the car!  This one wasn't too bad, though.

Hodel and I are too small to move furniture, so we hoped we might be able to play outside while everyone else was moving stuff.  But it was raining!  Boo. 

We had to find some stuff to do inside where we wouldn’t get in the way.  We sat in this cool little indoor window and pretended we were sitting on a piece of glacial ice and sailing home to America from Antarctica.  We rescued our penguin companions from some hungry sharks by pulling them onto the ice with us. 

 One whole wall of the living room is made of mirrors, so we practiced our dance moves  for awhile. 

And of course, when there are big moving boxes around, you must play in them!  

Then it finally cleared up outside, so we got to go out and play for a little bit before we had to leave.  Have you ever gotten to play under a weeping willow tree?  They are the best trees ever because the leaves are so long and thick, and when you go through them it’s like you are behind a lacy green curtain.  It makes an excellent fort or hiding spot. 

Hodel and I pretended we lived under the willow.  There was a pond with a fountain right by it, so we pretended we were rich and had our very own fountain right in our front yard.   

 Ducks were in the pond, too – I guess they haven’t flown south for the winter quite yet. 

Now we are back home and back to school as usual.  But there’s less than two weeks till Halloween!  Hodel and I decided what we are going to be on the drive home from Chicago, and I can’t wait!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Wonderful Autumn Afternoon

Hodel and I had a great day today!  It was nice and warm outside, so after school we went to play in the park.

In school we are reading a book called My Side of the Mountain.  It is about a boy who goes to live in the woods and survives off the land.  It is pretty good!  So Hodel and I decided to pretend we had left home and gone to live in the woods like Sam Gribley does in the book.

Sam lives inside a hollowed-out hemlock tree, so Hodel and I set out down the path to see if we could find a hollow tree to make our house in.

We had no luck finding a hollow tree, so we took a rest and debated if building a tree house up high or making a lean-to type of shelter on the ground would be better.  I wanted the tree house because we would be safer from animals getting inside, but Hodel wanted the lean-to because we could build a fire right outside the door to keep warm.  But before we could make our final decision, we had to leave the park and end our game, because....

 We got to go to the farmer's market and pick out our Halloween pumpkins!!  There were whole bins full of pumpkins to choose from.  We looked very carefully to find just the right ones.

We will wait until it gets closer to Halloween to carve them.  I can't wait!  I love October!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yom Kippur!

Yesterday was a very important Jewish holiday called Yom Kippur.  Hodel told me all about it - it is probably the most important day of the whole year for Jewish people.  It is the Day of Atonement, where you are supposed to be sorry for all of your wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness from God and any people you have hurt.  You are also supposed to fast, and not eat any food or drink anything for the whole day.  You are not supposed to work, either.  You are supposed to pray a lot, and if you go to a synagogue there are special services for Yom Kippur. 

I did not want Hodel to have to fast all alone, so I did too.  I did get hungry and thirsty, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I prayed, too, like Hodel, about things I have done wrong.  I asked Katie to forgive me for calling her mean when she wouldn't buy me a huge stuffed penguin at the store, and I asked Matt to forgive me for eating all the dried strawberries out of his cereal and then pretending I didn't know what happened when he asked me about it.  They both said I was forgiven.  Hooray!

This morning when we woke up, we ate a nice hearty breakfast right away, and it was so good to eat and drink again!  We had hot strawberry oatmeal and big glasses of milk.  Yum!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

School Days

Guess what.  Since Hodel is staying with me for three whole months, she gets to come to my school with me!  I was very excited about this, but Hodel was nervous.  She is homeschooled, so she was not sure about coming to a regular school where she does not know anyone (except me, of course).  But now she has finished her very first week of school, and it was a success!  All the girls think she is nice and are jealous that I get to have my best friend stay with me like a sister for such a nice long visit.

My school is just down the street, so Hodel and I get to walk there all by ourselves. 

 I like to get there nice and early, before the school buses arrive, so I don't have to worry about missing the bell and being late.

And then, Hodel and I can sit by the pillars and talk until the bell rings.  On her first day, I taught her the secret eye blinking code that I have with my friends who sit near me, so we can 'talk' without the teacher knowing.  One blink of the eyes means, 'this is so boring, don't you think!'  Two blinks means, 'want to play with me at recess?'  One wink means 'yes,' and two winks means 'no.'  This is all we have made up so far.

As soon as the first bell rings, the doors open up and we can go inside to start the day.  I'm so glad Hodel had a good first week at school!  Now we just have to be careful that we don't talk too much and get in trouble.  That's always a possible problem when you are sitting next to your best friend. :-)  We will have to work more on the secret eye blinking code!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Almost-Ransacking and a Porch Picnic with Hodel!

She's here, she's here!  Hodel is here!!  I came home from school and there was no sign of her, so I was doing my homework in the bedroom, when suddenly I heard a noise.  So I came running out and there she was, standing in the kitchen!  Poor Hodel was a little confused, though.

You see, there is currently nothing in our kitchen.  Absolutely nothing!  We are getting new cabinets put in tomorrow so everything is crammed into the living room and hallways.  It looks terrible in here!  I ran right up to Hodel to give her a big welcome hug, and she told me she thought my house had been ransacked and robbed and maybe I was tied up in the bedroom so I couldn't call the police, and she was going to have to rescue me!  I told her that while I was glad I did not need rescuing, I was also glad to know she would have come and freed me if I needed it.

Then I showed her how the refrigerator and the stove are sitting right in the middle of the hallway!  It looks so strange.

Hodel and I were going to pretend that there really were robbers in the house trying to steal everything out of the kitchen and we had to hide and find some way to stop them, but we didn't have time because we got to go out to eat for dinner, since there was no way to cook anything!  YES!  We got sandwiches from Subway and had a picnic on the porch.  The weather outside was perfect and it was so nice!  

October is off to a great start!!