Anne:

Happy Halloween and happy fall!  We are enjoying some days of beautiful weather here in Chicago-- it may be in the 70's by the end of the week!  We got an email from Inna today who told us that it has been snowing for two days in Kokshetau!  Wow-- so glad we caught the end of summer! 

We tried to go for a fall hiking weekend over the 23-24th.  Unfortunately it rained the entire weekend!  Even though we seem to end up getting caught in the rain a lot with the kids, we try not to do it knowingly!  We still had a great time.  We went to Delafield, Wisconsin, and had a great visit with two dear high school friends, Jennifer Zellmer and her kids Julia and Trevor, and Paul and Kate McIlheran with daughter Miranda.  We spent the rest of the day cozied up in our room at the Baymont (two adults, two kids, two pugs!), watched movies, played Scrabble.  We also took the kids in a pool for the first time-- they loved it!  Maya, especially, had the best time splashing in the water.

On Sunday I drove with the kids up to have a Halloween lunch at Carrie and Steve's.  Daniel and Maya got to share their Halloween costumes with the Jacobson's.  Yesterday was trick-or-treating here in Oak Park-- always a big deal, about 250 kids!  Daniel and Maya, along with Ginger and Ollie, got dressed up to greet the trick-or-treaters with me.  The pugs weren't too thrilled (they never are), but I make them do it once a year anyway!  As you will see, we had a Star Wars theme going.  Saturday night was our block's Halloween party.  The kids won the best costume award!  Here are a few photos-- they always tell the story better than I can!

Our Little Chewbacca!

John and Little Lord Vader

Princess Leia and Yoda- thrilled with their costumes

Darth Daniel with light saber

Little Pumpkin

Auntie Debby and Auntie Carrie take on the kids

Cousins all ready for trick-or-treat!

Princess Summer...

...and killer bee Sydney!

Miranda, Trevor, Maya, Julia and Daniel

Getting ready for our first swim

Maya loves the pool

The trick-or-treat gang-- our friend Maddy from next door joins the fun!