Monday, October 29, 2012


We were invited to attend a Youth Emergency Preparedness day that was put on by an older girl scout who was earning her Gold Award.

It was a great way to support our fellow girl Scout sisters as well as learn how to prepare for an emergency.

When we first got there we took a few minutes to read some of the Silver Awards other girl scouts worked on.  It was a good way to get some ideas about what type of projects other girls have done.

We then found our way to our seats and soon the class was started.

There were speakers from the Police Department, Fire Department and a local Animal rescue.

Each told us ways to get prepared and what to do should an emergency should happen.

Here the Police Officer is showing us how to turn off the gas.  We also learned that the gas should NOT be turned off after an emergency unless gas is smelled.  Otherwise, it could take a week or longer for the Gas Company to come out and turn it back on.  Once you shut it off, the only way to get it back on is if the Gas Company turns it on.  You can not do it yourself.

We also were shown how to turn off the water in case of a flood or the pipes backing up.  It's ok to turn the water off whenever you want because you can turn it right back on.

It was recommended that everyone have their parents show them where the gas, water and electric meters are so the girls can know where to go in an emergency. 

We also were told it's very important to have enough food and water for all family members to last a week.  Everyone needs to have at least one gallon of water per person and pet per day.

It's also important to be prepared to take care of your pets.  Have a collar on them with your info in case it should get lost.  Have a picture of them in case you need to go find them at a shelter. 

Be sure to have all your emergency contact numbers including your vet written down and kept together.  You may not be able to get to your phone or the battery could die out and no one remembers numbers any more.

We learned how to put out a grease fire, what to do in an Earthquake and how to be ok if the electric goes out for a few days.

An important thing for all families to do is to do a fire drill.  Everyone should know where to meet up in case there is an emergency.  It seemed like everyone did them at school and work places but no one did the them at home.

We also were shown a tool that should be kept by the gas meters so you can turn them off easy.  You can get them at Home Depo for around $6.00.  It was also recommended that everyone paint the shut off knob red so it's easy to find in an emergency and you are scared.

While I can't say it was fun day really, I can say it was full of information that everyone needs to learn and be reminded about. 

On the way home we all talked about what things we learned and I even quizzed the girls about different things to see if they remembered what was said.  They all knew the answers and I was very proud of how well behaved they were. 

I'm so lucky to have such great girls in my troop!  I've watched them grow up over the years and have noticed they are all very kind hearted girls that really do want to do the right thing.  They are super!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


It was time for the gathering of the witches!
The potions and spell book was out and ready for the magic that was soon to happen.
The table was set all the witches were excited to sit down and see what all waited for them.
Each witch had her own place card showing her where to sit.
Once there she would several treasures for her to enjoy.  A witches boot candle holder, a witch finger sucker, a wrapped large candy bar, a witch cauldron full of sweet treats, a witch broom that was actually a pen,  a fun vintage type straw and her very own witch figure were all treats they got to take home.

They also had a little goodie bag and an apron waiting for her on her chair.

Before we all sat down to eat, we got our aprons on, got out all our magic potions (better known as sugar, flour and eggs, to most of you) and mixed up some fun.

This gathering was not going to be one of our normal all fun parties.  You see, we were going to be doing some community service as well.
We were making several batches of pumpkin bread and then going to go hand it out to the local firemen to thank them for always protecting our community.
In an effort to also get some work done on our MEdia journey, the girls all took turns with the camera. 
Jesse is showing us what plain pumpkin from the can tastes like.  One needs no words to see how she feels.  A lesson learned that one ingredient alone does not make a great taste but mix them all together and it's wonderful.
Since we were getting a little bit hungry, we decided to have a little snack as we baked bread. 
Much better then plain pumpkin and also very healthy!
We didn't want to eat to much because we had a nice hot meal waiting for us.
So it was back to measuring, pouring, stirring.
The magic was happening!  It was turning into a nice batter.
Into the oven the pans went.
Cheers to a job well done.
It was then time to sit down and eat.  Oh wait, looks like they wanted to take a peek into their goodie bags first.
Then it was time to dig in!  Lasagna, salad and garlic bread was eaten in record time.

Everyone worked up a nice appetite. 

Plus it was so yummy!
After we ate, we made picture frames and I printed out a picture from our party for the girls to take home.
They got to pick from a bunch of items to decorate the frames with.  They came out so cute!
Each one looking different made them even more special.
While we were having a lot of fun, everyone was a little sad knowing this was going to be the last girl scout activity Jesse was going to joining us.  She has decided to leave girl scouts and devote her time to doing BMX.

We wish you well Jesse and will miss you!
Since Halloween is also Juliette Low's birthday, we had a birthday cake to celebrate her birthday.  Wow!  This party had it all, community service, crafts, journey work, yummy food, treats and even a birthday remembrance.
So, are you wondering how the pumpkin bread came out?  Well, it didn't do to well.  We made three batches and all three batches failed.  I have no idea why.  We used all fresh ingredients, measured everything really well, the oven worked just fine and the recipe was one that has been used for years and has always turned out perfectly.
Sadly, the firemen did not get any bread delivered to them.  But, we all agreed to not give up and we will try again.  Maybe we bake something else for them but we will for sure be bringing them something. 

At least they gave it a good try.
By the time we finished up with everything, the witches were all full and tired.  We ended the night by eating a bit more candy and then all these good witches headed home.
I hope they had as much fun as I did.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


We all got together for a little Halloween fun at Heritage Hill in Lake Forest.   The girls were excited to get a little scared and a lot of fun.

The first 50 people to buy their tickets got a free ticket to go in the photo booth.  We were lucky that we got there early and everyone got the ticket. 

So that was our first stop!  We figured it would be best to do the photo booth before the lines and also to give a little more time to get dark out before we did the mazes and other scary fun.

The girls all dressed up crazy and took turns getting their photos.  Everyone got to bring home at least one strip of photos.

The excitement was building as it got darker.  I spotted a little photo op where there was an old man sitting.  He wasn't real.  I had the girls go stand by him and without them knowing one of the living slid into the photo. 

Can you see her?  She looks a bit like a little old lady and a bit like a witch.  Once the photo was taken the girls turned around and screamed when they saw her.  Then of course the laughter broke out and they were ready to move on through the maze!

After going through a quick little maze, we came across a fortune teller.  The girls all took turns asking her questions. 
While waiting in line a scary guy came up and quickly caused a mix between laughs and screams! 
We came across the "Haunted Church" where a monster and his headless bride seemed to have just gotten married. 
It was funny because even though the girls knew these were fake, their emotions were getting the best of them and they were leery of even sitting on the steps for a photo.
I can't really blame them though because, you never knew when one of the "fake people" would move and only after it was to late you find out they were not fake after all. 

We found our way to the old school house where some of the past students still seemed to roam.  It was very dark, with scary music and flashing lights so you never knew who you were going to see.
I was able to capture two of these ghosts that did not want any of the living to be inside their beloved classroom.  If anyone dared to even walk in, these two, and others, quickly scared them out.
Once we ran out, the big scary maze started.  There were dark rooms, scary sounds and creatures waiting behind every corner, hidden from sight, just waiting to scary us away.
We all thought this guy was just a dummy.  However, as we walked by him, he quickly walked towards us chased us away.
It wasn't anywhere near as bright as the photos make it seem.  I had my flash going so sometimes, the only way we saw the dead was when the flash went off.
I don't know if I had more fun getting scared or laughing at the girls as they carefully tried to find their way to safety.
Once we made it outside, everyone was laughing and saying they wanted to go through the maze again. 
They said they love getting scared.  None of the "dead" was able to touch anyone, though they would get pretty close to you and come up from behind and scream.
We then went to the other side of the park so we could go watch the movie Frankenstein from 1932.  In order to make our way there we had to go through another maze that a scary carnival.  Here there were ghosts, strange looking creatures that were the "barkers" for the games and some more of the unliving waiting to scare us.
Before the movie started, the daughter of the actor who played the monster in Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) was there for a question and answer session. 
I asked her what Halloween was like at her house as she was growing up.  She said it was very low key and rather boring.  Her father, Boris Karloff, was British and they didn't celebrate Halloween where he grew up.  So, her family never did either.  She was an only child and her father was 55 when she was born so he was pretty old when she was a child.
We then watched some of the movie.  Some of the girls got cold, some were tired and some were hungry.  So we left before it was over.
By this time, the girls were no longer scared of the "undead" and were happy to take pictures with them. 
We then left.  But, we were not ready to go home.  So we made a stop at a local ice cream/sandwich shop and all had a bite or two to eat.  It was a perfect way to end our evening.
I hope all the girls were able to have a nice night sleep and no one had nightmares.