Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2012

I took the boys to an impromptu visit to the Pumpkin Patch yesterday afternoon. Although with only a couple of days left in October, it was slim pickings at the patch. There weren't many pumpkins left and the ones that were left were HUGE. The boys had their little hearts set on getting a pumpkin so we came home with a 40 pound pumpkin. Seriously, it's huge. Despite the poor pumpkin pickin', I managed to get a few cute shots of my boys.

"It's so heavy!"

LOVE.


The smiles kept getting sillier and sillier.


"Dude, where's your hand?"

He is thinking about throwing that pumpkin. Mischief.


Getting this cutie to stand still long enough for me to get a picture is difficult.

He's thinking: "How long do I have to stand here and smile before I can go back to running around?"

My silly, wonderful boys.



Oh, and just for fun, let's review some adorableness from our Pumpkin Patch past:




Monday, October 29, 2012

Movin' Mavs game

We took the boys to a Movin' Mavs game yesterday (college wheelchair basketball). It was at the same college Caleb received his wheelchair tennis lesson. Some of the guys he played tennis with are on the Movin' Mavs team. Caleb was pretty excited. Outside of Caleb's wheelchair basketball practice, I've never been to a wheelchair basketball game. It was fantastic. Seriously, it was amazing and so entertaining. We loved it.

The team. They were fantastic.

If you ever get a chance to see a wheelchair basketball game, GO! It is awesome. I don't even know what else to say about it. It's just awesome. I can totally see Caleb doing this. The coach came up to us during halftime and asked for Caleb's commitment to play for the team when he starts college. I guess they like to recruit early :).

We had fantastic seats! :)

Benjamin mostly ran around like a lunatic during the game. Here is a brief moment when he was still.
Love that crazy kid.

A WHEELIE cool kid!

Another wheelie (he does wheelies constantly)

A rare photo with me in it, that almost never happens.

Caleb's jeans were starting to get a small hole in the knee so I bought a basketball patch to cover it.

My crazy boys.

I'm so glad we have opportunities to expose Caleb to sports like this. He just loves wheelchair basketball and I see him improving every week. He has a real passion for it and is always wanting to practice. I see such potential for him in this sport. I love that we were able to take him to a game so he could be exposed to these amazing athletes. It was fantastic.

I feel like I used the word "fantastic" a lot in this post. I need a thesaurus.

Wheelchair Costume Blog

With Halloween coming up quick, I have seen more and more amazing wheelchair costumes. We started transforming Caleb's wheelchair into part of his costume way back in 2008. In those days there wasn't a lot of online inspiration. It was hard to find other crazy individuals who tackled the creative task of incorporating a wheelchair (or walker) into a Halloween costume. Well things have certainly changed in recent years and wheelchair costumes are all the rage right now. With the rise of wheeled costumes, I thought it would be neat to have a blog to show off these wonderful cardboard creations. Sooo, I introduce to you my newest blog: Wheelchair Costumes! Yay, I'm so excited!


Obviously it is a work in progress and there are only a few costumes on the site right now. I imagine this will be an ongoing project and I will continue to add more and more costumes as I receive them. I want it to be a "how to" blog so that it can be used as a resource for those crazy folks who decide to make a creation of their own.

If you have any wheeled awesomeness you want to share on the new site, let me know (there is an "e-mail me" button on the costume site). Walker costumes are great too, I would love to have some of those to show off. Get them to me!






Saturday, October 27, 2012

Caleb's Dry Bones Costume: How we made it

Leave it to Caleb to choose an obscure character from Mario as his Halloween costume of choice. Dry Bones. You can't buy a Dry Bones costume. It doesn't exist. There are costumes for Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Waluigi, Wario and even Toad. But not Dry Bones.

"Who is Dry Bones?" you ask. Well the older folks out there might remember Dry Bones in his original form from Super Mario 3:
That's vintage Dry Bones right there.
He's basically a skeleton Koopa Troopa
(can I just say how much I LOVED Super Mario 3, man that brings back memories)

Dry Bones has changed quite a bit over the years. This is modern day Dry Bones...driving a car.
You can see how I had my work cut out for me in trying to make a Dry Bones costume! I scoured the internet looking for some other crazy moms who attempted to make a Dry Bones costume. I found one. I actually emailed this mom who made her son a DB costume several years ago. She gave me some basic direction on how to get started and I just went with it.

What you need:
Black shirt (long sleeve)
White felt
White beanie cap (I found one at Walmart for $1.50)
Black felt
Orange Felt
White foam board
Primer Paint
Black Paint
Something to use for a shell (you'll see what I used in a minute)

Here's how you do it:
I found this printable for Skeleton Arms. I used it as my template. I cut 4 bone shapes out of white felt. These will go on the sleeves of the black shirt.


Then I cute a bunch of white strips of felt to put across (horizontally) the front of the black shirt. Now I don't sew so I bought some of that iron on "no sew" adhesive. I attempted to iron on the felt bones and strips to the black shirt...I got poor results. Not sure why it didn't stick well, but it didn't. So, I had to hand sew (no sewing machine in this house) the parts that wouldn't stick down. 

I should mention that you can also add "bones" to a pair of black pants for a full outfit. I didn't do this with Caleb because I knew no one would be able to see his pants with his wheelchair costume on. Why make something that no one is going to see right?

Next I cut out 2 black felt circles and 2 smaller orange felt circles for the eyes. I sewed those to the white beanie.

For the shell I found a Captain America shield at Party City. I found the last shield in stock. The price: $15!! How these people can charge $15 for a round piece of plastic is beyond me. Anyway, it was my lucky day because the straps on the back of the shield were broken. So I did a little wheelin' and dealin' with the manager and got the shield for half price. I still think $7.50 is ridiculous for something that probably cost 4 cents to make but I had to have something.

I took Captain America's shield home and gave it a makeover:

I primed it and then painted it black.

Next, I cut out a bunch of hexagon shapes from white foam board and glued them all over the black shell.


And that is how you make a Dry Bones costume! Hopefully this post will help some poor mom years from now who has a kid that wants to be Dry Bones for Halloween. Your welcome.

Now for the wheelchair part of the costume.

What you need:
Cardboard, lots of it
Spray Paint (we stuck with black and white)
Hot glue gun
Whatever decorations you want to add.

I'm not going to give step by step instructions on how I made the wheelchair part of the costume. There really isn't a rhyme or reason to the madness. Glenn just brings home a giant cardboard box, I cut it up and then just play around with the pieces until they resemble a car.

This is what my living room looked like last Friday night. 

Somehow I turned all that cardboard into this:

I used black and white checkered Duck Tape for the stripes.
I used Glow-n-the-dark Duck Tape for the Dry Bones emblem (I cut it out with an exacto knife)

I got a sytrofoam cone and painted it silver, added red tissue paper for fun.
If you are familiar with Mari Kart you know you get items (shells, banana peels, stars, etc). I printed the star out and added it to the back of the car. I thought it added a nice touch.

At the last minute I decided to do something with the wheels. I bought black posterboard, cut big circles to fit on the hand rims and I added more bone shapes (cut from white paper) as the wheel spokes.


And there you have it. It looks hard and time consuming but it really wasn't.

I'm kinda proud of it. This may be my favorite wheelchair costume yet.



Benjamin's Fire Engine: How we made it

As promised, here is how I made Benjamin's Fire Engine costume.

What you need:
Box (I used a diaper box)
Red Spray Paint
White Paint
Black Construction paper
Mini Flash lights
Reflectors
Ribbon
Hot glue gun
And whatever else you want to use to decorate your fire truck

Here's how I did it:
I took an old diaper box and cut it so it would lay completely flat. I also cut off all but 2 of the closing flaps. I kept 2 of the small folding flaps to be part of the truck. I sprayed on some primer, it just helps the spray paint stick better.
After the primer dried (this stuff dries pretty quick), I painted one side of the box red, and the other side black. Then I hot glued it back together to make the box shape and glued the 2 flaps down on each side. See photo below.

And that my is your engine. All you have to do is decorate it.

I painted half of the front, top, and sides white and added black squares of paper to look like windows.

For the ladders, I cut up some wooden skewers we already had in the house. I hot glued them to look like a ladder and then I spray painted it silver. There are probably a million ways you could make a ladder, probably a million easier ways to make a ladder. This is just how I did it.

For the headlights, I found some small flashlights on clearance at Walmart. They were perfect.
I just cut 2 circles out of the front and hot glued the flashlights in place. The working headlights were Benjamin's favorite thing about his fire engine. 

We bought some reflectors at Walmart too (found in the car section) and Benjamin added those to his truck. 

For the yellow stripes on the back, I just cut pieces of scrapbook paper and glued them in place. You could probably use reflector tape but I was trying to buy as little as possible. I just used some sticky letters on the back for "McLelland Fire Dept." I bought the US flag stickers at Michaels.

I bought some black paper plates at Target for $1 and used those for the wheels.
The front bumper is actually a tin foil box that I wrapped in foil and glued to the front.

I glued 2 strips of ribbon to the inside of the truck to be the "suspenders" so Benjamin could just wear it.

And that my friends is how you make a fire engine. Easy as pie.

Tune in next time when I'll show you how I made Caleb's Dry Bones costume. :)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Thankful Tree

 I know, I know, we haven't even gotten past Halloween and I've already moved on to Thanksgiving but I just had to share this. I wanted to share it early in case some of you want to do this with your families. It's a Thankful Tree.
I got the idea and the template for the tree here.

Our Thankful tree is bare now but starting November 1st we will be adding leaves to our tree. Every night we will write what we are thankful for on a leaf and then add the leaf to the tree. By the end of November our tree will be full of all the things we are thankful for.

Here is the bucket of paper leaves ready to be filled with thankful thoughts.


I made a banner to hang under our Thankful tree.


The banner was super easy to make. I just cut triangles out of scrapbook paper. Added a circle. Stuck on the letters. Added the ribbon to hang it. Done. So easy and so cute.

I can't wait to start adding leaves to our Thankful tree. Yay!



Halloween 2012: Cardboard creations

I know Halloween isn't actually until next week but since Caleb's school had a "Trunk or Treat" last night, you folks are getting to see my cardboard creations a bit early. We started transforming Caleb's wheelchair into cardboard costume magic when he was 3 years old. You can check out the costumes of Halloween's past by clicking on the links: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. This year Caleb chose a very obscure character from Mario Kart...Dry Bones. Here is what Dry Bones looks like:


My initial thought when he requested Dry Bones was..."Ummm...I don't know how to do this". He picked a character that doesn't have a costume hanging on the rack at Walmart. This costume doesn't exist. So I had to make it. I think I'm actually more proud of the fact that I made the costume he is wearing than I am over the wheelchair costume itself. I'll share how I made the costume on a later post, for now I'm just going to share some pics of the  finished product.

Caleb originally wanted Dry Bones to be riding a motorcycle but that seemed impossible for me to create out of cardboard. I got a headache just thinking about how in the world I could make a wheelchair look like a motorcycle. It was tall order...so Dry Bones is driving a car. I can make a car out of cardboard, I have experience with that.

The cutest Dry Bones ever.
He won "Best Costume" at the event.

Dry Bones' shell. I'll share how I made that too.

 I told him to give me a scare Dry Bones' face...
...this is what I got.

I assumed that all the kids would know exactly who Caleb was and wouldn't need to ask. Well, I learned that kids today aren't playing nearly enough video games because Caleb was asked several times who he was supposed to be! What! This is clearly Dry Bones people, how do you not know this? Although there were a number of dads that knew exactly who Caleb was. Apparently the dads play more video games than the kids do. It was funny because I could tell Caleb was getting tired of saying "I'm Dry Bones" because at one point he looked at me and rolled his eyes in exasperation because he had been asked "Who are you Caleb?" one too many times. So funny.

And now for Benjamin's cardboard creation. I thought it would be fun to put something special together for Benjamin this year. He is getting older and I wanted him to have something of his own. Caleb's costumes always get so much attention...I wanted Benjamin to get a piece of the action too. Plus he is getting old enough that I felt like he would appreciate and actually wear a costume. So I transformed an old diaper box into a fire truck.

He was so proud of this thing. So proud.


Showing off the back side of his fancy fire engine!

I even added working headlights (that was his favorite part).
He got a fair amount of attention as well.

The boys will get another opportunity to wear their costumes next week. I'm hoping the costumes hold up!

I'll do another post in a couple of days to show how I made these costumes. I think people see them and think I spent weeks on them and that it is really hard...but it's really not that hard and I really didn't spend too much time on them. I try to keep it fun for me and not make it a huge job that robs the projects of fun. I promise these weren't that hard to make at all. I'll try to get the "how to" post up over the weekend for you folks that want to see how these were made.




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