weekly 'what's up.'

I didn't post a weekly update last week, which means I didn't get to post photos of the kids' Halloween costumes, which means I have two weeks to catch up on today, because I can't, in good conscience, deprive you of Halloween photos of the kids.  They were SO cute.

This year totally got away from me, so we mainly recycled past years' costumes.  Atticus was a soldier, Penelope was a fairy princess, Finneas was the Hamburglar, Laurelai was a nurse (look at those tiny, adorable scrubs!), and Rocco was a tiger.

Our neighborhood is a great trick-or-treat neighborhood: very little through-traffic, and right next to a new subdivision of cul-de-sacs.  Most of the houses were incredible - handfuls of the good candy (honestly, I think we got one tootsie roll and one dum dum the entire night.  Between five kids), and the people were so friendly.  One couple even dressed up as pirates and only spoke Pirate-Talk to the kids, which they found hilarious.  

Everything was hunkydory until... this house.  From afar, I thought it was pretty cool, with pretty purple lights and music playing.  But once we got closer to the door, it was outright gory.  Bloody, dismembered bodies littered the porch, and they had this animatronic zombie demon child singing to us from the porch swing.  The yard was strewn with mutilated dummies being run over by a lawn mower.  The kids were terrified.  I asked them if they wanted to turn around and just move on to the next house (admittedly, I personally just wanted to get out of there), but they didn't want to miss out on the candy.  So then they ended up with nightmares, all in the name of a Kit Kat bar.  I hate this part of Halloween.  Why on earth do people think that's appropriate for children young enough to trick-or-treat?!  gah.  We will not be returning to this house next year.

Luckily, that was toward the beginning of the night, and everything thereafter was just fine.  The weather was beautiful - I was sweating, wearing a cardigan and leggings.  Sweating.  On Halloween.  I'll take it.

In other news, Penelope turned six-and-a-half.  She is growing up so fast, and she is so enjoyable to be around.  Seriously.  She's helpful, and funny, and full of really great songs and stories she's made up.

Rocco has started taking a bottle for some feedings.  I'm still nursing as much as I can, but it's definitely on a steep decline.  So I'm nursing and then feeding him real-food meals about three times a day, and once or twice in between he'll get a bottle of raw cow's milk.  He is bottomless.  (Though I weighed him on his birthday, and he weighed in at a whopping 16.8 pounds and is still in 3-6 month clothes.  I'm not sure where all the calories go.)

This is our last documented photo of family movie night around the tiny laptop screen.  Todd's parents were in town last weekend, and they surprised us with a TV for our basement.  It was such a thoughtful gift.  Now we have a sectional down there, which is big enough to seat all of us at once (such a novelty!), and an appropriately-sized TV that is big enough for us all to see while we're on said sectional.  We have not had a TV since we moved out of the Story City house, and our technically-three-seater couch has been outgrown for a while.  We feel like kings.  I'll post pictures soon!

Speaking of Todd's parents visiting, it was great to see them.  They spent Friday-Sunday here last weekend, partying it up for Rocco's birthday, hearing Todd preach, and hanging out.  We always love having them, and appreciate the time we get to spend with them.

The kids learned how to rake.  We have six very prolific trees in our yard, and I am markedly unmotivated to do anything about the cleanup.  So when our families were here for Rocco's party, my sister and brother-in-law headed outside with the kids and they raked the entire back yard.  The kids had a blast, and I was grateful I didn't have to do it.  This whole having-a-million-kids thing is really starting to pay off.

Penelope wrote this card for Rocco's birthday: "Dear Rocco, I hope you have a Goo Goo Ga Ga Birthday, Love Penelope."

And as a matter of fact, he DID have a goo goo ga ga birthday; thanks for asking!

And that has been our last couple of weeks!