Friday, November 8, 2013

Halloween Fun

Halloween has been over for a week, and I think I have recovered sufficiently from the chaos of it all.  My house is back in order with costumes all tucked away until next year, and my children have eaten their weight in candy.
The truth is, I have a serious love/hate relationship with that holiday we call Halloween. I mean, it is just one night, right?  But is is? Over the years, it seems that Halloween has morphed from one fun filled day of costume parades at school and an evening of candy gathering to trunk-or-treats for weeks leading up to it, several candy gathering events on the actual day and plenty of parties to attend.  Whew!
It is still fun, but it is by far more exhausting to me than even all of the preparations for Christmas.  It's just as much work but all crammed into a smaller span of time.
We try to choose our participation in all of these activities carefully and we simply have to say "no" to much of it, but we have several activities that have become tradition that we all look forward to.

Pumpkin Carving

We always grew up carving pumpkins together as a family, and it's something we have continued with.  We grow our own pumpkins each year, and the boys pick which will be theirs long before the night we get to cut them open.  We even bought the little carving kit this year, mostly for the cheap knives that made it so the boys could be more involved in their own carving, but each of them still opted to design their own face, rather than choose a template from the accompanying book. 

Dave is so good to help each one, although Chad pretty much did his on his own this year. 
 Jenna had to be right there with us, standing at the table trying to peer up at what were doing. 

 The finished products! 


Each of my boys picked what they wanted to be this year.  I used to love doing family themed costumes where we all coordinated, but that was a TON of work and often, my kids would rather be something else.  Not worth the battle!  Chad chose Harry Potter.  Thankfully, we were able to borrow nearly all of what we needed from a generous neighbor.  That was a blessing!   He made a great Harry Potter! 

Tyler wanted to be a zombie from Minecraft.   After many mistakes, we got the costume complete, and it looked great!, but it was impossible to wear and him be able to see well.  We tried a handful of fixes, but none seemed to work well enough for trick or treating in the dark.  In the end, (after all that work) he opted to wear . . .
a dog costume instead.  Oh well.  On the bright side, it was probably significantly warmer than the zombie costume. 
 Greyson spotted his costume a while back when were shopping at Costco.  He LOVES firemen, and he has a fireman hat he wears everywhere!!!  So when he asked if we could buy it. I couldn't say no.  It was a perfect costume for him, and so easy to wear over clothes. 
We borrowed this little butterfly costume from Dave's sister.  I eyed a handful of darling costumes at Costco for her as well, but ultimately, she hardly even wore the one we had.  She totally hated the hat and the wings-drove her crazy!  But she was darling non the less.  Dave took the boys around the neighborhood while Jenna and I held down the fort here and passed out the goods.
 Probably my favorite part of Halloween is watching my kids sort their candy.  Maybe it's because I always did the same thing as a kid, but it totally melts my heart.  Here's Tyler with his loot.  He even made the effort to show Greyson, "Look, you can sort your candy into piles." and showed him how to do it as well. 

After trick or treating, we have a tradition to go over to my parents house and trick or treat there.  Chad's two teachers from school live on either side of their house, and that was extra fun for him to visit them as well.  One of his teachers sets up a spook alley in her garage each year.  It's pretty well done with full costumes and no one talking.  You could totally get scared if you let yourself.  Chad has never gone through it, and this year was no different.  Both his teachers offered to hold his hand and walk him through it, but he wouldn't have it.  Ultimately, I think it took a lot of courage for him to tell them both "no" and stand his ground that he didn't want to go through.  Tyler and I went through it and had a fun time.  Then, at like 9:30, when we were back home and all ready for bed, Chad decided he wanted to go into the  haunted house.  I was tempted, but, um, no.  Next year. 

In all, we had a great time, and a lot of fun! 

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