Monday, October 30, 2017

When Witches Go Riding & Black Cats are Seen...

...the moon laughs and whispers, 'tis near Halloween!

I love looking back on what the kids - and Tom and I, once we started putting together themed family costumes - wore on Halloweens past.












Last year turned out to be - as we expected - Will's final year of coordinating his costume with the costumes worn by the rest of us. He did, however, choose to coordinate with a friend, and I have no doubt they'll both look fantastic. Hallie's also coordinating with friends, and they'll look adorable as a trio of brightly-colored, glitter-covered...does it even matter what they'll be dressed as as long as their costumes are covered in glitter?

Have a fun and safe Halloween, friends!

Friday, October 27, 2017

High Five for Friday (10.27.17)

1a. My inlaws deserve a HUGE high five for making the trek from Nebraska to Texas to help Tom take care of the kids while I enjoyed a much-needed vacation. In years past I've left Tom on his own during my weekend away, and while I think going that route is good for everyone, this year Tom's busy schedule and the kids' even busier schedules warranted bringing in grandparents. All five Ferri made it to every commitment and had a great time along the way!

1b. My friends also deserve a high five for helping out with Will and Hallie, keeping my MIL in the loop when changes were made to the schedule, and taking lots of pictures of my girl on stage. It truly takes a village, y'all!

2. As you may recall, I couldn't wait to experience the cooler temperatures of a Midwestern fall. As (my bad and everyone in the region's good) luck would have it, high temperatures reached nearly 80 degrees every day...until Sunday, when I flew home. EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE we spoke to while shopping sent us on our way with a smile and a friendly, "enjoy the weather!" Needless to say, I was NOT enjoying the weather (we visited a number of outdoor malls, which meant we were in and out of stores and sweating buckets), but it was wonderful to see and spend time with my mom and sister.

3. I may have missed participating in and/or volunteering for Will's first intermediate school fundraiser - a Glow in the Grove fun run - but the five Ferri who attended had a blast; Tom, Will, and Hallie ran a 5K (yes, HALLIE ran a 5K); and Will finished in fourth place overall. A great night!

4. After a few adventures in the air (more to come in a future post), I made it home in one piece and only a couple of hours late. The hugs I received when I climbed out of my car made me feel like the most loved woman on the planet. After I unloaded, Hallie and I went on a two-mile walk together. I'm trying to teach her to love walking for the physical, mental, and emotional benefits because 1) I love walking for all these reasons, and 2) I want to be able to share these benefits with her while also setting us up for great conversation time. She tells the most delightful stories and truly opens up when it's just the two of us pounding the pavement together!

5. Happiness Highlights:
This "HOWDY" doormat arrived unexpectedly
on my front porch this week - thanks, Mom!
The view from our hotel elevator included a giant picture
of a stein of beer and the word "Thirsty" on the top side of the
restaurant's ceiling. We were thirsty, and we did visit the bar.
When we shop for our kids without out kids, Sara and I
trace their feet on cardstock and bring the cutouts with us...
...which is how we discovered that Sara and
11-year-old Will now wear the same size shoe. 😂 
Grandpa Mike made Will a regulation size Bey
Blade Stadium. He was clearly thrilled... was Tux. 
Grandpa Mike also made an INCREDIBLE
cello stand for Will for his birthday...
...and these salt and pepper bowls for me
just because he knew I had always wanted a set.
Not to be outdone, Grandma Susie made me
a pair of beautiful fingerless gloves/mittens...
...and made Hallie this adorable headband to
keep her ears warm when winter finally rolls around.
Speaking of winter, someone else
besides me can't wait for cooler weather!
Texas offers up some pretty incredible sunsets... (Thanks,
Coach Frankie, for sharing your photo from soccer practice!)

Happy Friday, Chasing Roots!

Linking up with High Five for Friday here:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Few Words Wednesday: Still Texas Strong

At the end of August I ordered this Texas Strong shirt - featuring a ballerina dancing under an umbrella - for me and Hallie. Last week our shirts arrived and we learned that the first round of sales raised more than $19,000 for seven Houston area dance studios that suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Harvey.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." 

I have always loved and regularly remind myself of this overarching message. My girl loves it too, but she needs no reminder to live it as fully as she lives every day.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Paint the Town Teal...Again! (Plus a Giveaway!)

I talked about the Teal Pumpkin Project around this time last year, so for those of you who read Chasing Roots regularly, this post may feel familiar. The topic is an important one, however, so please give the post a quick read and consider either participating yourself (if you welcome trick-or-treaters to your home) or sharing the post so others can jump on board the teal pumpkin band wagon! 

As my regular readers know, Will has a peanut allergy. (He was at one time also allergic to wheat, egg, and dairy.) Over the years we have worked out systems that allow him to safely trick-or-treat with his sister and friends, but Halloween - and the multitude of health risks candy poses for him - still scares me, especially as he gets older. Will makes good decisions and advocates for his own safety, but the dangers remain and the risks are real.

Because of Will's food allergies - and because so many other children (including both my niece and nephew) suffer from food allergies - we started participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014 when it officially hit front porches nationwide.

For those who haven't yet heard of this Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) project, here's the background information and a quick summary. At least one in 13 children (perhaps as many as one in 11 children) have a food allergy, and many more suffer from Celiac Disease, eat a restricted or special diet, or receive their nutrients via tube feeding. For these children - those who can't consume any of the items received while trick-or-treating or who can't trick-or-treat at all - Halloween doesn't have the same sparkle. The Teal Pumpkin Project began as a local awareness activity in Eastern Tennessee and grew into a nationwide campaign to "raise awareness about food allergies and promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters" and aims to ensure every child can experience a safe, happy holiday.

Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project is easy.
  1. Pick out a pumpkin, paint it teal, and place it on your front porch on Halloween.
  2. Provide non-food treats - pencils, erasers, stickers, bubbles, and plastic vampire teeth have been popular at our house - for trick-or-treaters. 
The goal here is not to exclude candy; FARE suggests simply putting candy in one bowl, and non-food treats in a separate bowl. And if you don't have time to buy and/or paint a teal pumpkin, you can buy one onlineorder a fun sign for your front yard, or print out and hang up one of FARE's signs!

Later this week and just like we did last year, the year before, and the year before that, Hallie and I will buy a pumpkin at the local pumpkin patch and she'll spend the better part of an hour carefully covering every last inch of orange with teal paint. No, painting a pumpkin teal won't cure Will of his peanut allergy or make it possible for him to consume all of the same treats his sister and friends enjoy on Halloween. But it is a step toward increasing awareness and making the world a safer place for people with life-threatening food allergies...and Hallie loves having a part in this effort on behalf of her brother.

Would you like to win a Teal Pumpkin Project paint kit? Enter by commenting here or by commenting on or liking this post on Facebook. Will will randomly choose a winner on Thursday, October 26th at 8pm.

Let's paint the town teal!

I have no affiliation with nor have I received any payment - financial or in-kind - from the Teal Pumpkin Project in exchange for this post. I just happen to be a big supporter of their work!