Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Look Back at the Previous Week and a Look Ahead

Where has the week gone, Aspierations Friends?

I suppose it has gone into the past like every other week goes.  Before I let this one get completely away, I thought I'd do a Saturday evening blog and give you a recap of what has been going on around here.  

I never did talk about Halloween evening like I was planning to so that is a good place to start.  The boys and I went out trick-or-treating and had a great time while John took charge of handing out candy and sharing the fun of our Halloween decorations with the neighborhood.  

Earlier in the afternoon, it was time for pumpkin carving!  Here are the boys' results!

Ryan's personal design. Four nostrils makes it easier to breathe!

Justin carved almost entirely by himself this year!

Oooh.... Spooky!

John and I usually dress up for Halloween but "stuff" happened this year. Next year we'll be better and we'll come back in full force!  

I have to say we do have two amazingly cute boys!  

Ryan the Lion and Justin the Skeleton (Dry Bones to you Super Mario Fans out there!)

Which is the treat and which is the trick?

If Mom would hurry up and stop taking pictures, we'd score more loot!

The boys "Booed" this house with a Boo bag the previous night. Fortunately they went unrecognized!

While Dry Bones checks his loot, my "mane" lion lost his furry head!

The boys really made out well this year.  The forecast had originally been for rain but we only felt a couple sprinkles the entire time we were out.  The boys covered much more ground this year than in previous years and even had to stop by home to dump out their bucket and bag and restart!  The funny thing is that the boys really don't eat much candy but they had fun hunting for Kit Kats and M & M's. 

Not only did he get two bags full but also a bag from the Halloween party the day before!

Kit Kats for a wild lion!

Ryan was more excited about the bag of Lay's potato chips than most of the candy!

This year was the first year we could tell Ryan was really into trick-or-treating.  Last year he dressed as Scooby Doo and wore his doggy backpack (harness) so that he wouldn't bolt.  The year before he dressed as Elmo.  I was Cookie Monster, John was Oscar the Grouch and Justin was Sesame "Street".  Although words were few and far between, he did use signing for "please", "more" and "thank you".  It was the first Halloween after his autism diagnosis.

Ryan has come a long way!  This year, it was everything I could do to keep up with my little ball of energy. He did really well saying, "Trick or Treat" and said "thank you" or "Happy Halloween" most times after getting his treat.  Always the source of entertainment, he also told a couple neighbors, "I'll be back!" (after particularly good candy) and "Good luck!"  There were a couple times he tried to go back to houses and a couple times he got really irked when no-one answered the door but overall, things went great!

This year we went without the doggy backpack / harness and although he did do quite a bit of sprinting, it was excited and directed sprinting from one house to another versus random running into the street.  Safety issues are still a major concern but he is making progress.  He still needs to be prompted most of the time to hold hands or look when crossing the street.  Sometimes he does really well but other times he is very nonchalant or defiant about it.  Fortunately on Halloween night there was a lot of incentive to follow directions and I was very proud of both him and Justin who did a great job keeping up with him as they would dash from house to house.

I am happy to say that although autism and Asperger's are obviously part of the boys' life and mine, our Halloween evening was not adversely impacted as it easily could have been given all the sensory issues and noise.  We all had a wonderful time.  As we walked down the street with our flashlights and candy buckets, I enjoyed letting our light shine!

We were out from about 6:15 until a little past 7:30 p.m.  They had pretty much been going full tilt and after completing our neighborhood circle as well as the next one over, both agreed that they had enough candy and wanted to go home, relax, hang out with Dad and watch "The Amazing Race" and "Undercover Boss".  

When we got home, John said there had been about 200 kids that had come by.  Good thing we bought lots of candy!  I was truly happy to get rid of it because it is such a temptation for me when I feel stressed or depressed.  Both Justin and Ryan took turns handing out candy to kids who came by after we got home.  They had fun doing it and it gave John a well-deserved break.  

John does enjoy handing out the candy though because our house is always decked out for Halloween and John likes chatting with the neighbors and children who enjoy our decorations.  I know it may seem like something simple but the decorating is fun and gives a smile to so many people.  We love doing it and as I type right now, our outside Halloween decorations are gone but we have our blow up inflatable turkey in a ball sitting on the porch gobbling to anyone who chooses to greet him.  I don't have a picture yet but Ryan liked this inflatable turkey photo so I thought I'd include it just for fun.

Our turkey is cuter!

Christmas decorating will start after Thanksgiving and we all have fun with that.  The boys are already getting into early holiday spirit by playing Christmas and holiday songs over and over again on the computer.  I have to say that's it's sweet the first few times but after awhile... there is only so much "Feliz Navidad" and "Frosty the Snowman" one can take before the first week of NOVEMBER has passed!  I need to find some alternate music soon!!!


I apologize for not blogging the past few days.  I've been focused on getting a new Silent Auction up for Count Your Beans.  If you or any of your friends are looking for some unique holiday gifts, we have 25 dolls that are Artist Proof, Low Certificate of Authenticity # or First Production Sample dolls currently in auction through our Count Your Beans blog.  The auction closes next Saturday, November 13th.  

I've also been doing a lot of listing at eBay and Amazon and am contemplating what to do with our website for the holidays.  Do I have time to do a rehaul like I would like to or do I focus my work time on additional marketing and sales promotions and create a new site or improved mirror site for next year?  

If you have daughters or granddaughters who enjoy dolls, we just added a new line of cute quality dolls to our offerings, Adora Dolls.  They are an established line that specializes in play and display collectible vinyl baby dolls.  Prices range from around $65 - $250.  Very cute and giftable.  Little Scottie is below. 

Okay, Count Your Beans business plug over!  :-)  Every once in awhile I need to throw that in here but don't worry, it's not very often.  You can always check out if interested in our dolls, bears and collectibles offerings.  Great holiday shopping deals!


John wrote a blog tonight about the Veteran's Day parade that he, Justin and Ryan marched in today with the Boy Scouts.  John served our country in the Navy during the time of Desert Storm and is very proud to be a veteran.  He was still in the Navy at Moffett Field when we met back in 1991.  Although he got out in 1992 after a previous tour overseas in Japan, he is very proud of his service.  

Every year in Vancouver, WA there is a Veteran's Day weekend parade that he and the Cub Scouts / Boy Scouts march in.  This was the first year it didn't rain, rain and rain some more so it was much more comfortable for marching.  This year was the first year that Ryan took part as well.  Check out John's blog for the story and additional pictures of the boys marching proudly with their American flags.  God bless the USA! Thank you to our veterans which includes John, my Dad, John's dad and so many more patriotic and proud men and women.  :-)


Although fall in Washington is beautiful and I've truly enjoyed the leaves changing color and the beauty that autumn brings, I have been feeling homesick for California lately.  Since we moved from California to Washington in July 2007, we have only been back three times, once each in the summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010.  

I miss my parents and I miss my holidays spent with them. Mom and Dad came up to spend Christmas with us in late 2007 and it was a very special trip.  It's the only time they've been up here and I'm sad and afraid to say that it may be the only time they make the journey here, at least in fall or winter time.  We're pulling for them to fly up for my mom's 80th birthday in April but at this point things are up in the air.

We've invited them of course to come whenever they'd like but due to a variety of reasons, traveling is stressful and a challenge for them.  As such, Thanksgiving and Christmas eating and celebrating traditions have certainly changed for our family.  Although it's wonderful to form our own traditions with the boys, I do appreciate the old.  Up until 2008, the only time I had not spent Christmas day with my parents was the year that John and I got engaged in 1991 and flew back to Wisconsin.  I only recall missing a couple Thanksgivings. 

Our Thanksgivings have always been pretty small in terms of people at the table.  Since coming to Washington, it has been just the 4 of us.  I think the biggest it ever got at my parents house was when they'd invite a few neighbors and friends over and maybe it got up to 10 or 12.  Personally, I prefer smaller gatherings because there is less social angst involved and I can have quality conversations one-on-one with people rather than feeling I have to make small talk.  I think my parents prefer it that way too.

Is Thanksgiving big around your home?  How many people do you usually have?  What do you eat? Is it just your immediate family or do you invite extended family, neighbors and friends?  Do you do the cooking?  For the past few years, we have ordered a really great turkey dinner from our local QFC.  We cook the turkey and then the meal also comes with stuffing, rolls and mashed potatoes that you heat up.  John always feasts on the pumpkin pie.  I suppose in many families (like with my mom and dad), homemade is the way to go and admittedly, I truly miss my mom's cooking and baking!  She still sends snickerdoodle cookies and brownies to us on special occasions.  I contemplated baking my own cookies and sending them back.  Certainly it would give them a good laugh!

I look forward to hearing about your Thanksgiving traditions!  Drop me a line or leave a message in the Comments Section below!

Hope you have a great weekend and let your light shine!



  1. Enjoyed your blog as I always do. Great pumpkins! Wanted more photos of you... Don't hide that pretty face!

    I like intimate Thanksgiving dinners where family can be themselves. How many times do we hear about people stressing at the holidays and losing the true meaning of giving thanks and celebrating the reason for the season? I say go casual, skip the pretense, only invite people you like, enjoy the food and the ONLY whining should come out of a Chardonnay bottle.

    Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving birthday! Will be thinking of you.

  2. Hi Anonymous!
    Thanks so much for your kind words! Didn't you see me pictured above in my last minute Halloween costume? I was the Invisible Woman!

    Loved your whining / wining comment! May have to borrow that. :-)

    Thanks for the early birthday wishes. The last time my birthday was on Thanksgiving was in 2004 so this is the first time that Ryan has celebrated my b-day and t-day on the same day. I think he's more jazzed about it than anyone!

    At least I know what I'm having this year for my birthday dinner! :-)

    Thanks for stopping by! Hope you'll visit again!