Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Goodness

Our big Halloween kick off was the night of Nell's birthday, when I finally agreed to pull out our decorations. We don't do Christmas before Thanksgiving, so it seemed fitting that we don't do Halloween before Nell's birthday. We don't have much to decorate with, but the kids were more than thrilled to throw up a couple strings of lights, some window stickers, and a wall skeleton. I also filled one of our bookcase shelves with Halloween books from the library. 

This year's favorites were Reid: Goodnight Goon, The Bones of Fred McFee, and Creepy Carrots. Nell: 13 Nights of Halloween, Ladybug Girl and the Dress Up Dilemma, and Room on the Broom. Coraline: Seeking a Witch, Skeleton for Dinner, and Ghost in the House. Me: Little Boo, Little Goblins Ten, and Only a Witch Can Fly (mostly for the artwork). 

The second Saturday in October our favorite local grocery store had a pumpkin blowout. We bought a couple to carve and one for our dinner in a pumpkin tradition. The kids were able to pet some farm animals, drink hot cider, play in a bounce house, have their faces painted (above photo), and enjoy a couple of carnival games. It's always a fun way to spend the Saturday morning Dad's out duck hunting. 

The next weekend was Reid's school's pumpkin walk. The PTO hosts this fun event and this year I was even in charge of getting all the crafts. Jack-o-lanterns line the nature center trail, crafts fill the pavilion and another activity takes over the outdoor classroom. Last year it was a presentation on spiders, this year it was just a bunch of HS kids handing out glow sticks and dancing with the littles. 

Our contribution was a batman symbol. It was actually a pretty warm night and perfect for being social. It was fun to watch Reid move so confidently among the crowd of kids. A boy about his size, but clearly a few years older, recognized him in mask and gave him a big hug. When I asked who it was he replied "My 3rd grade reading buddy." It's fun to think of all the ways his school has become a little community for him. Reid was also really eager to go on the part of the trail that wasn't lit with jack-o-lanters and I finally agreed to go with him. When we reached the bridge a ways off he said he hoped we'd see a Werewolf. We had to be extra quiet, so that maybe it wouldn't know we were there. It was cute to realize how exciting the nature center at night was for him. 

This last weekend we had our Church Trunk-or-Treat party and the grocery store's Boo-Fest. The Church party is always really fun, and we seemed to have a few more kids this year -- so that made it more exciting. There is a chili contest, carnival games, trunk-or-treating, a pinata and a costume contest. Reid wanted to be a Ninja again this year because he remembered winning the scariest costume award last year. This year he was awarded the stealthiest. Nell didn't actually get in line for the contest, but she was still given prettiest princess and that made her pretty happy. 

(photo collage of pinata swinging)

Boo Fest is a simple store trick or treating. Usually there is a picture booth, but there wasn't this year so I don't have anything to show for it. Reid was tired of his ninja costume so he went as a super villain instead. That was the third thing he dressed up as. It was a bit of a rough morning. After wearing a cowboy costume about ten minutes he decided it was too small. I'm not sure why he backed out of the fireman costume after just five minutes, but eventually he settled on a black mask and cape and we were out the door with Elsa and our little monkey. Coraline has been owning that monkey costume all week. We love it!


Yesterday morning the Kindergarteners put on a Spooktacular for their family. They'd taken their show on the road the week before -- visiting the care center where Reid's teacher's Dad lives. Reid had a part in the show and I'd say we helped him memorize it -- but the first time we ran through it with him he already knew the whole thing! I was so eager to get a video of him speaking his line, flawlessly, into the microphone. But once it was his turn the mic stopped working, ha! It didn't work for the next two or three kids and finally they started using the stand up mic. Ben wanted to ask them to do Reid's part over again. It really was a bummer we couldn't hear a thing he said. Here are a couple of the cute songs they performed though. 



Coraline was a professional clapper by the time we were all done. She was seriously in heaven, sitting on my lap and clapping at the close of each song. Nell was anxious to go see Reid and all his friends after the show, and Reid was anxious to get a hug from Coraline. I love these three kiddos of mine!

Last night we headed out for some trick or treating. We love going down our nice quiet street. Coraline was riding high in the wagon and Reid and Nell were keeping up well thanks to the excitement of all the candy. After our street we loaded them up to take them to our Bishop's house. He lives in the same part of town as we do, so we figured we'd stop by really quick. Reid asked to trick or treat a couple of the houses near him, so we agreed. That ended up being Ben's favorite part of the whole night. One house was super decorated and had a spooky man sitting on the front porch. The kids were pretty hesitant to go to the front door, and definitely not sure of the man. Was it a decoration, a costume, a real life monster? Ben reassured them, "It's just a mannequin, grab a piece of candy from the bucket." Honestly, I couldn't tell if "it" was a person or not! But when Ben said that I noticed some boots and thought "No, that has to be a real person." And just as Nell was finally brave enough to reach in -- a long, disgusting, hand slowly started moving toward the bowl! She screamed so loud and took off running. I knew I'd have to catch her. She was shaking pretty bad when I gave her a big hug. Reid -- who had been pretty frightened himself -- burst into giggles, along with Daddy and I. Coraline hadn't screamed or acted panicked, but she would not get too close, even when I held her. I'm not really sure what made Nell run again after I initially calmed her, but Ben ended up chasing her all the way to the street. He later told me she was screaming "Get me some candy!" as she was running away. So hilarious!

On the way home we stopped by our previous Bishop's house, as he lives in the same neighborhood as us (the Stake President also lives nearby us -- it's strange because there are so few members in our city -- but we happen to live by most our leadership). Soon enough we were reading some Halloween books one final time and then all tucked into bed. 

We obviously didn't end up with a Halloween baby, but hopefully she comes soon!

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