Saturday, November 15, 2008

Halloween Week 2008

Whew! I did it! Somehow. Jason missed Halloween AGAIN (poor guy) and I had to sort out this seemingly simple holiday alone.

The week started with the nursing home trip, which I loved and am eternally grateful to my children for behaving. Dylan was kind enough to forgo his Batman costume for the fireman costume, which was a huge sacrifice.
The Littles also had Halloween parties and arriving at school with the correct party items I signed up to bring always warms my heart. They also have a costume parade and sing Halloween songs as a group. Many younger kids fell apart and wouldn't participate so I was extremely proud of Lyvia. She hung in there the whole time even though she would have preferred to bail out and into my lap like some other kids.
At the big kids school they can dress as something out of a book. Jon didn't participate (not cool in 4th grade) and Lindsay took a non-fiction book about gymnastics and wore a gymnastics outfit.

We also had to carve our pumpkins this week, which is just too funny AND tough. I limited us to two pumpkins (instead of one each like the kids wanted.) At the time, that was because we were at the pumpkin patch and really I had my hands so full I wasn't sure how to get all the kids, friends, flowers, and pumpkins back to the car. Wisely, we didn't get our jack-o-lanterns made before Jason left for India (because of the Texas heat, carved pumpkins have a very short life.) So, I was in charge of fitting four kids, two pumpkins, lots of knives and lots of ideas into a tight schedule. With their good attitudes, we got it done. The funny thing is to watch them design the pumpkin faces. There were a couple of good ideas in there, but I am not capable of rendering their designs perfectly.

I finally started sharing with them that all we can really do is bring our ideas to the pumpkin and then the pumpkin will let us know what kind of face it really wants. By the way, no pumpkin at my house wants a heart shaped nose. Sorry Lindsay.

I would carve a bit and attempt to do something along the lines of their picture. Either my hang ups or dull knives meant a design change needed to be made so I let them know I was listening to the pumpkin and would do as it wished. They bought it.

The best part was the lighting of the pumpkins. They went kid crazy in the cool air and it probably looked like a Wicca meeting in my front yard as they spun, cartwheeled and flipped around. We also made our Boo bags and they ran around in the dark dropping them at doorsteps, ringing doorbells and running away since the giver is not supposed to be known.
A few days later it was Halloween night! I just don't know how to get four kids dressed and decorated close enough to the departure time to sit for photos and be ready to join the neighbors. I'm always worried that I'll have to listen to them beg to leave for an hour. Of course you also have to first feed them dinner and finishing stashing all the junk gathered by your front door so it looks clean enough to the people coming by later for candy.

Of course we couldn't find all of Lindsay's costume because I put it in some cleaver place so that it wouldn't get misplaced before Halloween. She was a good sport about improvising her rock star costume. I happened to have some colored hair spray (doesn't everyone?) and she loved her wild hair. Jonathan's costume was some creepy cloak with a chest plate that looked like ribs and was hooked up with tubes to blood. He could squeeze it and blood would move...I don't know...it was perfectly gross for a nine year old and he loved it. Dylan went back to his Batman costume that he wears non-stop throughout the year. It was Jonathan's costume years ago and is barely staying together. I will be eternally grateful that he didn't put up too much of a fight about wearing that fireman costume to the nursing home.

Lyvia was still a cute butterfly, but you won't get to see proof of any of these costumes because I missed Halloween pics. It was really dark and I was still fixing hair as we started to march down the street with the neighbors.


Jonathan and a gang of boys went off by themselves. Three hours later, when I drove around to find them, they couldn't even walk the block back to the house. Their legs and feet were completely worn out. Ah, finally they had to really work to bring in the mother lode of candy. And it was a mother lode. Fifteen and one half pounds of candy came back to my house. What a night.

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