That girl is so like her momma. Quirky and relentless. Her questions about this utmost important occasion started as soon as the store displays changed from summer to fall. Oh, and of course the racks of costumes helped as well. The daily question: "When do we get to go to Halloween?" I showed her on the calendar that it was still pretty far away, but she just wouldn't give up.
After the...umm...interesting Jesus skit during which we saw him crucified, buried and raised from the dead (all silhouetted behind a white sheet), Garrison was perplexed and deeply concerned about the well-being of both Jesus and God. But the loot he quickly collected helped to assuage his anxiety as he turned to me in amazement after each vehicle to show me what had been dropped into his bucket. Candy!
How innocently it all began.
Then came Halloween night. Dun. Dun. Dun.
They knew their parts: say, "Trick or treat;" hold out the bucket; then say, "Thank you." Easy stuff. And really all you have to do is do what your friends do. Go with the flow. Follow the leader, right? We set out on this festive evening with some nearby friends, hoping their kiddos would be the leaders instead of our hooligans. Well, nothing prepared us for what happened at the first house. Nothing too terrible. Nope. Just embarrassing. The boys, the first timers, plowed through the toddlers struggling in their costumes and walked right in. Yes, into the house. Past the negligent woman who reached for her candy bowl AFTER opening the door. From the sidewalk where we stood, I yelled in shocked awe and Keith took off so he could collect our kids as the homeowner politely shooed them out.
That poor woman. Was this her first Halloween experience? Don't you know to answer the door with candy bowl in hand? Or better yet, intercept the candy-crazed children from the porch. Yes, don't even give them the chance to ring the doorbell.
Back at home, by shoving them through a crack in the door, I let the kids take turns greeting and giving out candy.
Little did they know that Mom was switching out the candy from their buckets with the "safe" candy she purchased...then putting the discarded candy into a special candy bowl not meant for them but for the trick or treaters. What constitutes unsafe candy? Homemade treats from strangers? Nope. Anything unsealed or opened? That's okay, too. Candy that could slide down a toilet paper tube or sucked down a windpipe? Go for it. I know the Heimlich.
Outlawed substances include anything laden with artificial color. Suckers, Skittles, Laffy Taffy, Butterfinger, Nerds. You know the culprits. Yellow #5, Red #40 are just a few. I'd like to throw out artificial preservatives, but they're not as easy to spot.
Some of this exchange went on behind their backs, but I did let them participate and do a little bartering.
When finished with all trades, their buckets were full of acceptable treats. The good stuff. Chocolate. Ahh. Twix, Reese cups, Hershey bars, Snickers.
I let them eat their candy. Don't be shocked. I allowed it at designated times, usually just before they were to brush their teeth. One morning I set the timer and let them eat as much as they could when they finished breakfast. I figure if you eat one piece, you may as well eat a dozen. Right?
A few more pics from the festival:
Decorating their tiny pumpkins: Notice the tools, courtesy of Daddy.
The finished products:
No explanation needed on the first one, but the kids and I were dumbfounded by how cute Simon was all snuggled in my favorite blanket and chair. He worked his way into the blanket like that all on his own. A little gift he has.
That's Keith on the left in the pants and me on the right in the skirt and cute belt. Why am I much, much larger than Keith? Avery said I have a giant head and a giant tummy because I'm pregnant. Like the women at church she said. Not true, but there are usually very elaborate stories behind her artwork. Cracks me up that girl. And, to clarify, the prego women we know do not have giant heads, just normal sized bellies.
A few more shots from Halloween night. There is no order to this post.
Even more photos of our fun times this fall. Lilly's pumpkin patch birthday party. It also happened to be a costume party, as usual, but I forgot that detail until I pulled the invitation out of my bag for directions on the drive there. Oops.