Showing posts sorted by relevance for query organic. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query organic. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query organic. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query organic. Sort by date Show all posts

What does Non-GMO, Organic, and Fair Trade Mean?

GMO, Non-Gmo, Organic, Fair Trade? What does it all mean?

Lately, I've been getting a lot of social media marketing work from companies with a non-gmo platform. This would be a good topic for a homeschool research paper. You've heard organic and nonorganic- is this the same thing? How are Fair Trade and GMO related? Let's talk about that. Let's learn about that, okay? Enjoy!


What does Non-GMO, Organic, and Fair Trade Mean?
What does Non-GMO, Organic, and Fair Trade Mean?

Chaotic Confessions: The first time I heard non-gmo, I was all like, "Yeah, I've heard of that, I know what that is." and I did... sort of. I knew it was something an ecologically minded, environmentally friendly, bleeding heart should support, but I didn't know why- exactly. 

It is okay... you can admit it too. When you don't know something, never be afraid to ask. What is the worst that can happen? Someone will laugh at you. Guess what, most of the time they don't know the answer either, they're just trying not to get found out! I get laughed at all the time, but I also know a lot of things others don't, because I am willing to look stupid uneducated/naive. You wouldn't believe all of the amazing things you can learn, if you aren't afraid to ask!

GMO - this is how we see it, but it is really G.M.O. which stands for a Genetically Modified Organism. That sounds bad. It doesn't mean every GMO is bad. They were designed for good. That's the idea anyway, but like all things political, people seem to be either for or against them. Yeah... I'm just going to tell you the facts.

Genetically Modified Organism - Wikipedia says a whole lotta stuff! The simple answer is it is what it says it is, an organism that has been genetically modified using science and engineering techniques. In a manner of speaking, most are designed to avoid herbicides or to act as insecticides. Here is a better definition of GMO.

Glofish are genetically modified organisms. They glow, because some scientist made them glow. (My kids want one, the only reason we don't have any yet is because we are still learning to keep fish alive.)

Genetic modification involves mutation, insertion, or deletion of genes. Remember Dolly, the cloned sheep? That's weird, right? I don't know. A lot of people want to clone (or do clone) their pets. If it were legal, you know people would clone loved ones. I miss my dog.

Cloning food though, when there isn't enough? Modifying plants so they grow where they won't normally...  It seems like their heart is in the right place. 

What's the problem? The fear of the unknown, of unpleasant genetic mutations, of making cancer causing things. And then, there's the whole we aren't God thing, we won't touch that one either. Just listing it here for the whys and why nots.

So, if that is what a GMO is, then what is a Non-gmo? The opposite, of course. If you visit the Non-GMO Project, you can find products that are GMO free. Hearty Naturals 100% Organic, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil is also Non-GMO.

Is this the same as Organic and Non-organic? Well, it can be. It mostly is, but Non-organic things could be either GMO or Non-GMO depending on how they are made or manufactured. The scary part here is... some things are sometimes considered Organic, when they have direct contact with GMO's. Get it? Got it? Good!

For example, your organic milk from your free range cow was fed a GMO grain or even a GMO grass. So, although your milk isn't processed in a non-organic way, the cow ate genetically modified food. That can't be right? Can it?

The idea behind organic is that it is all natural. You find an apple tree never treated for bugs, the apples aren't as big because it also isn't genetically modified in any way = Organic.

When mothers are breastfeeding, they are told not to take certain medications, because the medication may find its way to the milk supply... If your cow eats a chemical, you eat a chemical.

That's a brief, easygoing definition of GMO vs. Non-GMO and Organic vs. Non-Organic. You should Google for more information.

Now, on to Fairtrade. People who tout organic and non-gmo also tout fairtrade products. What is Fairtrade? It is based on international trading practices and people who create products from marginalized countries. It works to help sustainable development and improved trading conditions. No children working for 5 cents an hour or day to make our clothing. No woman from a third world country tricked into selling her handmade goods for pennies on the dollar. The true definition is more complicated than that, but you get the idea. Respect others, respect the Earth. Compassionate Essentials is a fair trade market selling handmade jewelry.

Ahh... did you catch the word sustainable up there? Have you heard the word sustainability and wondered what it means? It seems like such a big, scary word, but it is really simple. Sustain means to keep going, to comfort, to help, to assist, to support. Help yourself to live, support yourself by growing a garden. Sustain the environment by recycling. Go green! Sustainability? Will it be able to continue without being completely destroyed? If you grow an organic garden vs. a massive farm plot that utilizes GMO's, you can save our natural resources. If all the factories and technology are destroyed will you be able to sustain your life and that of your family? Recycling helps save trees. Get it? Got it? Good!

You may also want to visit Green Rainbow Revolution, a company dedicated to offering Non-GMOs.

Recommended Reading:

Fair Trade

Seeds of Deception


Healthy Living Tips and Ideas on Pinterest: Why I'm Taking Baby Steps to Change my Life

A few weeks ago, I published a post with a BMI calculator asking you to join me in my weight loss endeavor. I've been trying to shift my focus to healthy living. For me, eating isn't really the problem, but I'd like to get the entire family on a healthy schedule and diet. So, I've been visiting lots of healthy living websites looking for tips and ideas and pinning healthy lifestyle pins on Pinterest.

organic gardening healthy Living Tips
Tomato plants in our organic garden.
I'm too young to be a hippie and too old to be a hipster, so I guess I'll just become a crunchy mama. I lean that way for sure, but it isn't always practical for me. I am into attachment parenting though, so I am well on my way. Only... I don't look the part. I lost my way, and I am struggling to get back to an appropriate level of fitness.

Fake it 'til you make it. That's what I intend to do.

Yep, I have a little garden patch, some chickens, and a few ducks. I've been building a coop and a barn for something else. Maybe a goat or a llama? It popped into my head this week that I need to build a greenhouse for my plants. I kill Rosemary every year. This year, I didn't even bother with her!


Healthy Living Tips and Ideas Pekin, Roane, and Wyandotte Chickens at 3 months old Organic Gardening
Wyandotte Chickens and Pekin Ducks at 3 months old.
If you follow this blog, you probably know we're kind of Pinterest superstars. As a visual person, I love Pinterest. No, I probably won't get back to any of the things, but I sure like to look at the pretty pictures and dream. So, what are my favorite boards for healthy living?

  • Crum Creek is a health food company with the motto "indulge in healthy".  They have great Pinterest boards with lots of ideas for making healthy choices.


  • Vegetarian Zen is a blog about a family learning to become vegetarians with the motto "happy body, healthy mind".  This is a great place to learn all about how to be healthy. Vegetarian Pinterest Boards.

  • Pure Health Girls this is a site focused on raising awareness on how to take control of your health and longevity. They provide valuable information about the dangers of pesticides, hormones, and GMO's. See the Pinterest Boards here.

For great healthy living tips be sure to hop over to Pinterest and check out all of these great pinners :)


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Earth Day: Friendly Spinach Stuffed Manicotti Recipe to Cook with Kids

Celebrate Earth Day with green friendly recipes, like this Spinach Stuffed Manicotti.

Happy Earth Day! This is so good, your kids will enjoy it. Yummy frozen spinach manicotti. Enjoy!

Spinach Stuffed Manicotti for Earth Day.

Earth Day: Friendly Spinach Stuffed Manicotti Recipe to Cook with Kids
Kid's love mixing the ingredients.


Make an organic salad with kids.
Pair it with an organic salad.


Organic Recipes for Earth Day to make with kids


Recommended Reading:


I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (Little Green Books)*

What does GMO mean?

Fair Trade Lesson Plans



Organic Strawberry Raspberry Smoothie Recipe

Healthy Organic Strawberry Smoothie Recipe Kids Like

Kids like shakes. If only they knew healthy yogurt smoothies are just as good. This healthy, organic, strawberry-raspberry smoothie recipe is fun to make at home and delicious too. Enjoy!


Healthy Kid-friendly Strawberry Smoothie Recipe
Healthy Kid-friendly Strawberry Smoothie Recipe.



Healthy Kid-friendly Strawberry Smoothie Recipe
Cascadian Farm sent us coupons and a little book of 
recipes to made our Strawberry Smoothie.

Blend the Strawberry Smoothie.
Blend the Strawberry Smoothie.

To Make a Strawberry Smoothie at Home you will need:

Fresh or Frozen Strawberries and Raspberries
Crushed Ice (We tweaked the recipe.)
Plain or Vanilla Yogurt.
Whip Topping (Added that too...)

Cascadian Farm Spa Smoothie Recipe 



So good, kids will love to drink smoothies.

Fun Try It:

We also made a Smoothie with Frozen Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri Mixer, Frozen Strawberries, and Vanilla Yogurt. Tastes great, but the Mixer is sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup. Grown-ups can add the rum for a little extra kick. :)




Recommended Reading:

Kids' Fun and Healthy Cookbook*

Kids Creative Chaos Cooks (Kitchen Kids Book 1)*


















ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Celebrate Earth Day Organically with these Activities: Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Salad Recipe

Raspberry and Grilled Chicken Recipe for Earth Day

This Earth Day, celebrate with organic and green friendly recipes. Let the kids help make dinner with this easy grilled chicken and raspberry salad recipe. Enjoy!




Grilled Chicken Raspberry Salad Organic Recipe for Earth Day activities
Click Photo for Free Printable Recipe from Cascadian Farm.

Earth Day. What a fabulous day to celebrate life. This year, Cascadian Farm sent us an awesome gift pack to help us celebrate organically. The main thing I want to say is, YUM!



Earth Day: Celebrate with a Cooking Lesson for kids.

I love the honey granola cereal, chocolate chip granola bars, and the to die for raspberry fruit spread.

They sent us a picnic basket with water bottles and yummy recipes to try. We chose to make the Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Salad with Spa Smoothies and Spinach Manicotti




Marinate Chicken in Pomegranate Red Wine Vinegar
 and Raspberry Fruit Spread.



Arrange on plate. Why, yes, that is a styro-foam plate. Not Earth friendly you say?  I use them, wash them, and re-use them for lots of craft projects. We try...


Happy Earth Day!  Note the Earth Friendly Tickle Me Crown and Necklace.

This weekend, we moved into our new home on five, amazing acres (in which I have high hopes for self-sustainable farming) we'll have a picnic next to the pond with the awesome basket they sent.






Recommended Reading: 

I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (Little Green Books)*

Hip Moms Go Green
Very Berry Smoothie Recipe and Organic Garden Party  

For Such a Time as ThisEarth Day Picnic  

In the Kitchen with AudreyWhat's for lunch? 

Cascadian Farms and Snack Girl's:  Healthy Blueberry Muffins














ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Helping Your Kids Stay Fit and Healthy

 Get Started with these Quick Parenting Tips Today


All parents want their children to be happy and healthy, but it's often difficult to encourage our kids to follow a healthy lifestyle, especially if they have grown used to sweet treats and like to spend a lot of their time in front of their screens. If you’re a parent who is concerned about their child’s health, or would just like a few useful tips to keep in mind, below are a some simple suggestions on how you can help your children stay fit and healthy. You know how to do it, getting started is the hard part. So, here's your motivation.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.




Diet

A good place to start is looking at your children’s diet and whether or not there need to be some changes here. You don’t have to feed your kid all organic food to make sure they maintain a good diet, and obviously, not all households can afford the more expensive products. If you want to make sure your kids are eating well, make sure they get plenty of fruits and vegetables and lots of good carbohydrates. 


Strawberry Raspberry Smoothie Recipe


If your kids are fussy eaters, think of creative ways to get them to eat a variety of foods, like making them a healthy smoothie or soup so the veggies and fruits are hidden from view. Also consider taking time to cook meals with your children so they can start to learn this important life skill and about nutrition and what constitutes a healthy diet. We've started ordering dinnerly, an economical food delivery service. Teenagers can cook their own gourmet meals or easy weeknight dinners, you choose the recipes each week.


After School Snack Planning Ideas Printable


Exercise

Sticking to a good exercise routine, can be difficult. Kids are no different. The best way to encourage your kids (and yourself) to get moving is by finding a sport or activity that they truly enjoy. By making exercise fun, kids are more likely to engage and exercise regularly, especially if their friends are involved. Get the family out and moving together on weekends, whether it’s going for hikes or playing Frisbee together in the park.


Outdoor Play Ideas


Oral Hygiene

As well as making sure they’re eating right and getting their hearts pumping, also watch out for your children's oral health. A lot of kids don’t like having to brush their teeth before bed, particularly if they’re already tired and cranky. However, this is an essential routine they need to get into early to avoid problems with their gums and tooth decay, which can be very painful and unpleasant. Make sure your kids brush their teeth twice a day, and be sure to teach them how to floss. If they hate toothpaste, have them brush with water to get the food out and then do an oral rinse.


Is Chewing Gum good for your Teeth?


Mental Health

Physical health is important, but your child’s mental well-being is also crucial to help them stay physically healthy. This isn't always as easy to see, but the best way you can help is by creating an environment at home where your child feels comfortable talking with you about their feelings and problems. If you discover concerning behaviors, ask your kids' teachers if they've noticed anything at school. The pandemic has been rough on everyone, but especially our kids.Make sure you're paying attention, any changes in behavior might be a cry for help. Kids are struggling with depression from being forced to stay inside.


Mental Health articles from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos


Raising kids is the most challenging thing anyone can do. Keeping your kids fit and healthy is an important part of parenting. Hopefully, these tips will help you find new, creative ways to keep your kids happy and healthy. Be sure to click on the titles between the paragraphs above, for more detailed information on each topic.


As always, thanks for reading. You matter.


Recommended:


Behavior Tips for Parents


Organic Protein Powder


Tips for Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle








Marketing your Business Yourself

 How to Market Your Business without Hiring a Marketer


Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. It is the oxygen of the company, as some say, and they’re not wrong. A strong marketing campaign can help your business get noticed, but it can often be difficult to engineer such a campaign on a strict budget. For some budget-friendly ways to market your business without breaking the bank, try one or more of the following suggestions on how to market your business without hiring a marketer.


This blog contains Amazon affiliate links.



Marketing your Business Yourself



Go Back to School

If you are struggling with creating the next marketing campaign, now might be a good time for you to go back to school and try your hand at a business certificate, specifically a marketing one. 


For example, consider enrolling at the Kelley School of Business, one of the most prestigious institutions in the field. The Kelley Online Marketing Strategy Certificate can be yours in less than five months. 


What’s more, you can take the courses online, which is a lot easier to fit into your busy schedule than heading to class. This program can easily fit into a hectic life, and, most importantly, it equips you with the core concepts and skills that make a good marketer.


Trust in Networking

Many people shy away from networking events because they can take up a lot of time and don’t always provide instant results. Not seeing big results after putting in a lot of work can be frustrating, and you might think, “why bother?” 


But, when you do it right, networking can provide a lot of support. Through a strong network, you can find new opportunities naturally for your company. 


Networking generates organic publicity for your company through the people you meet and the opportunities they bring with them. So, free up your calendar and look for some networking events!


Ask Your Customers

Often, businesses shy away from asking their customers to refer others, but that is an excellent way to generate more organic traffic. By offering your existing customers an incentive for every referral, you motivate them to go out there and bring you more customers. 


For example, you might offer them a discount or a coupon. These new customers are a lot more likely to trust your company if a friend recommends you, rather than if they found you accidentally online.


Experiment with Free Trials

People love a freebie, that’s a given. So, if someone has the chance to try out your service for free for a limited time, they are likely to try it and invest some time in it, to “make the most” out of their trial. 


By the time the trial is done, they will like it so much that they will invest in the full product. This trial could be as short as a week or even extend to a month.


Final Tip: Get Involved with the Local Community

Often, marketers “overshoot it” by trying to cater to a global audience. But thinking small can be infinitely more effective if done right. You can stay involved virtually too. Find local groups on Facebook.


Affirm your presence through various local events (related or not to your field.) The more times people see you and your brand mentioned, the more likely they are to trust you.



If you still need help, we're happy to act as your marketing consultants! With over fourteen years of social media marketing experience, we can direct you to the easiest ways to market your business online.





5 Earth Day Activities for Adults

5 Adult Activities for Earth Day

Looking for something to do around the office to celebrate Earth Day? These 5 Earth Day activities for adults will help you have a fun and enriching celebration. When is Earth Day? Earth Day is April 22.

This post contain Amazon Affiliate Links. 
If you click and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. Thanks for that!




  • In the Fall of every year, Indianapolis, Indiana has a day of community service. Indy Do Day is a mini vacation from the office. We think incorporating something like this into an Earth Day celebration would make an awesome experience. Get the whole office on board. Plant a community garden or better yet, make it personal. Find local senior citizens in need, and do some yard work, gardening, or recycling for them. Find a way to give back to your community that will have an impact on the environment.


Earth Day Activities for Adults
Indy Do Day activities are perfect for Earth Day. Photo from Indydoday.com
  • Another, simple way for adult co-workers to celebrate Earth Day is to go on hike! Sure, you'll get some complaints. Plan ahead, and make it a field trip of sorts. Make sure everyone comes prepared with water, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, and bags to collect any trash you find along your journey. 
Everyone needs the fresh air. It is a great way to bond with your office mates. You'll feel like you are playing hooky, but use the time to brainstorm ideas to make the office more green.

simple way for adults to celebrate Earth Day
A hike is a simple way for adults to celebrate Earth Day.

  • Have you ever been to a recycling plant? We have. It is a very interesting experience. Most people are surprised to discover all of the different things that can be recycled. Find an incentive (maybe a gift card) and then ask your co-workers to bring in some recyclable items- not trash! Think real recyclables like an old, broken, bronze lamp, metal scrap, old appliances... Collect all the aluminum cans from the office and take them with you (rather than letting the recycling truck pick them up as usual).

Now, take a caravan to your local recycling plant! We go on Saturdays and have to wait in a long line. They pay with a receipt that you cash out at an ATM like machine. After you go, you'll understand why so many people offer free pick up of old appliances. You might even want to become a dumpster diver.


The cash for junk is pretty impressive, especially when you think about it being trash that you saved from going into a landfill!


Get Cash for recycling metal.
Get cash for metal at Ray's Recycling plant.

What about that gift card? Award it to the co-worker whose junk brought the most coin! What? You think they don't deserve it because they already got a big payoff? Use the money you earn from recycling to donate to a save the earth cause.




  • Get a group of adults involved in Earth Day activities by volunteering in a preschool, shelter, or nursing home. Find some fun Earth Day crafts like the ones below, and take the day off while you educate and enrich the lives of others. 

Help children grow an indoor garden.

Make an Earth Day Pin Craft.


Whatever you choose to do, have fun, and make a difference!


Recommended:

Christmas Games for the Office Party

Ways for Kids to Celebrate Earth Day

Visit a Nature Park

When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story 

Earth Day - Go Green Adult Organic T-Shirt

How to Grow a Living Playscape: Willow Playhouse Cave for Kids

How to Grow a Living Playhouse for Kids from Willow Tree Branches: Plan for Earth Day


Building an outdoor playscape is just one of many fun garden projects you can do with your kids in the summer. We experimented by making a living playhouse from a willow tree. If you aren't sure how to get started on an outdoor design project, visit our post on diy outdoor design templates.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Outdoor play space living breathing organic play house structure garden


How to Make a Living Play Space


We shopped for various styles of playhouses, but they were very expensive. After a storm, tree branches covered the yard, so we gathered several willow branches and stuck them in the ground. Then, we cut a few skinny branches off the tree and wrapped them around the bigger branches forming a loose connection. Click here to see examples of  living willow tree play spaces from dengarden.com.

Miracle Grow gave our living willow playscape a boost. The kids generously watered the base of the branches. You don't need to have a green thumb to grow a Willow tree. Take a stem cutting or cut off a branch and stick it in soil. That's all you need to grow your own organic playhouse.

This is an easy project that keeps on giving year after year. 
Our little gardeners anxiously awaited for Spring in hopes their playhouse had survived the winter. To make sure your trees are well maintained, check with a tree care service and garden maintenance expert.

Our living willow playhouse ended up looking more like a cave than house. The kids crawled inside letting their imaginations run wild. In the spring, it was incredible to watch the miracle of rebirth. In the winter, our little play house looked like a pile of sticks, but a few months later it was well on it's way to becoming the centerpiece in our secret garden. It's the perfect place for sensory outdoor play. 









Fall Funtastic! Fun October things to do for Halloween in Indianapolis Indiana

Fun Fall things to do in October for Halloween in Central Indiana

At last... In the Fall of 2009, my kids suffered with the launch of my "Fun Kids" business. For them it was more like torture. This year, we were determined to find and do all of the fun things in October for the Halloween season.


Fun Fall things to do for Halloween in Indiana:  hayride at Beasley's Orchard.
Mayhem on a preschool hayride at Beasley's Orchard.

We only visited "Waterman's Farm Market" in Greenwood, Indiana to watch the pumpkin eating dinosaur, race big trikes around a track, pet a few goats, get swallowed up inside a stack-of-hay maze, and follow the trail in a field of corn on a very cold day during Fall-Break.  Oh what fun!  Waterman's is great, don't get me wrong; the kids love it.





This year, determined to make it up to them, I scheduled fall-fun into every spare minute.It started with a trip to "Trader's Point Creamery" during Oktoberfest; although the event seemed well received by others my kids gave it six thumbs down. It was crowded, hot, and we walked a lot.


However, it is a lovely fund-raising event for adults. Vendors sell their wares in a cozy farmer's market.  The farmer's offer crafts, fruits, jellies, jams, and warm, seasonal specialties.  If you come hungry eat here first.  The restaurant is closed while they serve gourmet burgers and organic items in the barn.  While these items were healthy and delicious my hungry kiddos didn't find anything appetizing (hot dogs ran out early) and my significant other spent around $40 on himself alone walking away in need of "real food".  Luckily, the dairy had cheeses and organic milk.

The kids did not enjoy the hayride thru the farm's hilly landscape to see the non-existent cows. The cows had come home for milking.  Nor did they dance a jig to the happy, live Polka Band.

Calves cried at the door to see their Mamas who were standing on the other side in line for the milking machines. The real pitchfork my son used to grab the hay was a big hit as was the tour of Milking time.

Not a big hit $13-40 pumpkins that were grown elsewhere. These were our first pumpkins of the season so the kids were overjoyed at the sight, but I bribed them with mega pumpkins two for $6 at Meijer. While they were kicking and screaming on the way out, I did notice a farm vendor selling little pumpkins for $1 each. C'est la vie.



educational corn maze at Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana.
Awesome, educational corn maze at Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana.

Needless to say, I had some fall-fun making up to do! On the next outing, I took them to a tiny apple orchard in my hometown, New Castle, Indiana. Previously known as Anderson's, the new owners renamed it "Jacob's Orchard" which made for a nice photo op for my son (and the 90 million others) named Jacob.

Unfortunately, Jacob had no desire to attend the event. He complained profusely until he spotted the inflatable tunnel. Success! Goat's, fortune-telling corn-maze, cider doughnuts made while-you-wait, apple slushies in apple-shaped bottles, and if you feel like it, You-Pick apples, sealed the deal. The price is right too.

Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana: Cider Doughnuts!
He got hurt the first time but went back for more.
Jacob's Orchard Giant Apple
The angry faces say, "Let me go play".
Hay tower at Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana.

On a "No Pre-school Friday", Mayhem and I visited "The Old Farm Market" in Avon to purchase old-fashioned pumpkins and giant gourds. Bummer, the have gone out of business!


Mayhem with Fall Pumpkins and Gourds for Halloween.
Mayhem with Fall Pumpkins and Gourds for Halloween.
Pirate Statute
Mayhem with a Pirate, Arrgh!
Fall Break called for a trip to our local Zoo Boo and the world famous "Indianapolis Children's Museum" for trick-or-treating, pumpkin bowling, and a scare-free haunted house entitled, "Skeletown". My little one tired out after the first treat-post preferring to be carried and then tip-toed timidly thru the haunted house expecting a fright at every corner. It hadn't occurred to me that, at four, this was the first haunted house she would remember.


Skeletown
Vampires, Indians, Scouts, and Racecar Drivers oh my!
Class field trips took us to  "Country Pumpkins" in Zionsville and "Beasley's Orchard" in Danville for hayrides to pumpkin patches topped off with a free mini-pumpkin. You might want to start logging a pumpkin tally about now.

preschoolers and pumpkins
Preschoolers and pumpkins.


Finally, Halloween weekend arrived.  The kids enjoyed our trip to "Westside Retirement Village" for a safe treating experience. The residents were sitting in the lobbies handing out candy and we were pleasantly surprised by a haunted garden on the way to more candy-giving seniors, six thumbs up here.  


My teenager appreciated the duality of the elderly enjoying the children. Such a cute idea transforming a pathway into a spider garden- a giant spider waved happily at the end of the trail to lull visitors into a sense of well-being just before a friendly, smiling ghost popped out to say, "boo".  Unfortunately, the happy boo had my littlest jumping out of her skin.

Now, we aren't known to be a greedy family but while we were waiting for Daddy to complete his projects at work we needed to pass the time, so, we stopped off at "Church of the Master American Baptist" for trunk-or-treat before meeting up for "Ghoulish Garfield" . Forget about icing, Indy Park's Garfield Park, put the cherry on top of the cupcake. Picture perfect.   


The haunted conservatory is scary. My teenager let go of her six-year-old brother's hand  to grab her Daddy's! Daddy carried the shaking little one with one arm and held Sam with the other arm while I led the way with Jake. Seconds after telling a witch he wasn't scared at all some 'air' caused Jake to stick to the floor. The same 'air' that had Sam unglued (go figure, it was literally just air from a blower of some sort). Kudos to the spookmaster.  

The exit led directly to the hayride. "I'm never coming to this park again," exclaimed Jake!  "I know, I got worried when it said, 'not suitable for small children'," winced Sam. No one wanted to take a hayride but the clown taking our tickets (literally) assured us it was only a means of transport so off we went. Unfortunately, we were short on time. The ride leads to the Arts Center to decorate pumpkins and then to the Burello Family Center for refreshments and such. Time was running out so we opted to stay on the wagon.  Neither of us felt the need to walk back to our car toting frightened children through a dark park. An amazing ride thru the park with the full-moon and stars above made for the perfect ending to a fall-fun evening.

I question my sanity, as I remember my first haunted house at the age of six. My uncle was playing Frankenstein. It must have been a scare-free time for everything was well-lit. The coffin and vampire are burned into my psyche forever. Dracula chased us into the next room as my aunt shooed him away with her purse. I recognized my uncle right away - he's well over six feet tall - still I worried about Dracula.

Could Frankenstein stop him from sucking our blood? Could he pry the casket open if the venomous vampire tossed me inside? I have no idea what treasures the other rooms held.  While the smell of alcohol wreaked from the vampire's fangs the smell of fear drenched my aunt's persona. I could not be consoled by their trifling claims otherwise. Isn't it odd that Halloween is my favorite holiday?  

Thanks to that fateful day, I've never met a Creep I've liked since.  To be sure, we're going to have three kids who have an irrational fear of air.


Trick or Treating in Avon's Washington Township Park.
Trick or Treating in Avon's Washington Township Park.
Trick or Treat.

Then, I took the kids to "Washington Park" in Avon for the non-scary, trick-or-treat trail. It's a nice hike thru the woods. Candy stations are sprinkled along the trails, cute, carnival-style games abound, and the kids enjoy a costume contest and $1 pumpkins all before dark.  This one is perfect for even the littlest tykes unless they discover an urgent need to potty. (Don't worry Jessica, we made it back to the public restroom, but I overheard one little boy who had to go behind a tree.)


Super Easy Halloween Costumes
Super easy Halloween Costumes: The kids were done with puppies, ladybugs, clones, hulks and pumpkins. So we went with comfortable costumes; that's a ghost puppy and a skeleton kid.
Halloween Party Activities
Halloween Party Activities: Bobbing for Rubber Duckies!

Tomorrow I present, "The Princess and Wanda Witch" at Garfield Park Arts Center, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Wanda Witch, lead actress in our skit.
Join us but don't dawdle; I have to hurry home to take my kids trick-or-treating, hand out candy, and visit the festivities at "Spirit of Life Church" in Clermont. 

It's hard work making up for lost time. Mayhem has had several different costumes to celebrate the season.


Recommended Reading:

Five Little Pumpkins (A fun Halloween book for children)

A Ghost Went Trick or Treating