Who Is Bumblebee?

We tried teaching the boys about Halloween...well, the costume and candy side of it...they're perhaps a little young and lacking in the ole English to understand Reformation Day. Avery got them psyched about getting loads of candy. And instead of letting them watch their current favorite movie, Joseph King of Dreams, I forced them to watch Sid the Science Kid's Halloween episode, which was all about dressing up and NOT looking scary.

We had gone to a Trunk or Treat, a.k.a. Fall Festival, on Sunday as a practice run.

We've got Bumblebee, Ariel, and the untamed dinosaur rider. I say "untamed" because the little dino kept attacking anything that got close to it. The seat in front of him in the van, siblings, the ground, passersby.

It was during the second, last, and lamest game that Ivan won a tiny orange Bible. Like a child on Christmas morning with a favorite new toy, he turned from the prize bin and ran back to me before stuffing it in his pumpkin. That little Bible became the hit of the evening, Ivan's obsession over the next several days, and perhaps the most coveted item among the siblings. Even Garris picked a book resembling a Bible at the library, saying he wanted to take it to church. And, Avery has been tucking in one of her Bibles along with her animals when she makes her bed in the morning.

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.

I mean, look at that sweetness. All lined up with some friends. Micah, Avery, Ivan, Garris, Wyatt, Bennett, Lilly. Innocent.

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:

These next two pics are a bit random but too cute to resist sharing. Found them on my phone with the Halloween pics.

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.

First stop, Liz and Jonathan's house. I wish I had taken a better picture to include all the decor. It was so cute. The boys are way too interested in their bags of goodies to acknowledge the camera. Notice the difference in how Avery and Garrison are sitting.

The kids did not get the chance to select their Halloween costumes. I know...I'm horrible. I purchased the boys' at the after sale last year. I had no idea what the yellow costume was until Garris was greeted as Bumblebee when receiving some candy. They are not Transformers fans. Haven't even seen the movie. It was the right size and the right price. So it came down to who fits into which costume. And Avery's I found at a consignment sale. It worked out great when I saved it as a birthday present. She just happened to pick Ariel as her theme. Ta da!
We were able to round up another set of hands to help out. A little man-on-man defense. The kids' favorite plaything: Andy.

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.

Three of the kids favorite people in the world. Miss Courtney and her firefighters Wyatt and Micah.