Halloween Festivities

Happy Halloween! Okay, I know Halloween is still a couple of days away, but the past few days have been packed full of festive activities and my kids don’t have any more public opportunities to wear their costumes, so it’s basically over around here! It’s been a lot of fun, though.

I wasn’t in the mood to buy costumes this year. On one hand, I’m totally all for buying costumes if it makes your life easier. We’ve gone the store bought route for the last four or five years. But this year it just felt like a waste of money, plus the boys never even care what they dress up as. Why spend the money if it means nothing to them? So I basically put it on Greg to figure out what kind of handmade thing they could come up with while I was on my trip. I think his mom is the one who really put it all together with some of their old costumes, but it turned out great! Shepard was originally going to be a Minecraft youtuber that nobody would have recognized or heard of. But when shown a PURPLE wizard costume that Greg wore in sixth grade, he went that route instead. Of course second grade Shepard is drastically smaller than sixth grade Greg was, so I had to alter it quite a bit. Hopefully nobody bigger ever wants to wear this costume again!! Caden wore part of some Star Wars costume one of his aunts wore at some point – turned into a Harry Potter type of cloak with his sorting hat and some black glasses. It worked, it didn’t cost any money, and they thought they looked pretty cool! Greg liked it so much he decided we need to do handmade costumes every year now…

Anyway, we went to SpookFest on Thursday night, something the schools put on for grades K-5 every year. Caden had no interest in going (shocker), but we lasted about half an hour. Shepard had a good time running around with his friends, until he decided he wanted a soda, we said no, and massive seven year old on the floor kicking and crying tantrums ensued. Oh well.

After dinner on Friday we carved our pumpkins. Greg and I did most of the work, but Shepard was very excited about it. I washed all the seeds and made my three usual flavor combinations. I was pretty exhausted, but also had a fairly rough day (more on that in my next post today!), so I decided to try and gather everyone to go to the community bonfire for some cheer. The boys didn’t want to go – until their friend Leverett got permission to come with us. Then we ran into Greg and Annie who were already on a pokewalk and all of us walked over to the park for the fire.

It was a lot of fun! It was just cold enough to enjoy the fire, but not so cold we were miserable, like last year. There weren’t a ton of people there, but enough that it felt special and fun. There was a group of kids that the boys joined with and had a BLAST dancing by the DJ. Some of my friends were there, so it was fun to chat with everyone. And Annie just loved being out and about.

We stayed for an hour and a half and then had to drag the boys home because I was just so exhausted. It was a really great night, though! It’s so rare to have Caden raving about how excited he is to be somewhere. It was like the best night of his life running around with friends in the dark with good dance music on!

I spent all of Saturday getting ready for our annual Halloween party. It was extra special this year because Timmy, Brittany, and Hudson were coming, plus all the parents/grandparents, and my brother Tyler – for a full celebration. We were also sort of celebrating fall birthdays for me, Brittany, and Tyler. I tried to keep the food festive and easy to prepare with a good mix of healthy and treats. I love the simplicity of these clementine and celery pumpkins!

Monster mouths! I only had teeny apples, so not quite as effective, but definitely yummy.

White cheddar cheeto bones.

Flamin’ hot cheeto bones.

Our pumpkin seeds – dill, salt, and chex mix flavors.

These were all supposed to be different kinds of bugs.

The flourless chocolate cake Brittany requested for her birthday dessert. With a spiderweb on top to go with the theme. My mom also brought her famous kit kat bars for my birthday dessert, but I never got a picture of them.

Jalapeno popper mummies. I usually do hot dog mummies, but nobody really eats them, so I gave this a shot this year. I didn’t like them much because they were missing that salty component I’m so used to when I make jalapeno popper dip and eat it with chips. But they looked cute!

The famous pizza snake that makes an appearance every Halloween party. I thought this year’s tasted especially good because I made the effort to cut all the inside toppings into the tiniest possible pieces so it all blended together better.

I never decided if this is supposed to look like blood and guts, or brains. Maybe it looks more brainy with the raspberry seeds. With mini candied pecan brains?

And “monster fingers.” Basically just enormous beef sticks I got at Costco that nobody in my family liked, so I needed to set them out to get rid of them!

Cindy and Shepard put together a veggie skeleton for the centerpiece of it all. Very cool! Shepard loved his broccoli hair.

Hudson was getting over a bunch of illness, but he was in high spirits! It was so cute how proud of himself he looked every time anyone would laugh at something he did. In this instance he was hitting Shepard with a hammer because he kept whining. Probably shouldn’t encourage that, but it was pretty hilarious.

A tricky selfie snuck in only because we were standing at the window and he was smiling at Daddy.

The only picture I got of our finished pumpkins. Sometimes Shepard seems so big and sometimes he still seems so tiny.

I was hoping for a nice trick or treating picture of the cousins all together, but my boys couldn’t be bothered to even be in our yard at the same time and Hudson just wanted to be cuddled with Mom because he didn’t like wearing his costume very much. But we tried!

Steve stayed home to hand out candy and the rest of us set off to trick or treat. Caden and Shepard immediately ran to Leverett’s house right as he was coming outside, so they just rushed ahead with him. The rest of us stayed back with Hudson, but he was just very confused about what was happening. We only lasted about two blocks before it started sprinkling and we realized we’d never keep up with the older boys, so we all went back home. I’m kind of annoyed my kids couldn’t even stay with our group for five minutes. Or even a single house. But…they’re getting older, I guess. This is what happens. Caden’s almost never happy anymore unless a friend is involved in whatever he’s doing.

But back at the house we still had some fun with Hudson and Annie. He realized how exciting it was to hand Annie all of his food. Everyone stayed for awhile longer and then Greg took over handing out candy the last half an hour. I probably bought at least 500 pieces of candy and we went through all of it. Plus a big bowl of goldfish crackers for little kids and a bowl of dog treats. We live on quite the popular street!

Overall – great party! It was a lot of fun! Now all that’s left is actual Halloween, but the boys have dentist appointments after school that day, so really not the best of days! But maybe I can throw together one more festive meal. We shall see.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Fun

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Happy Halloween! Once again I planned on writing a bunch of smaller posts this week, but it’s been crazy busy and I’m once again doing a gigantic post. Sorry! Anyway – we started our Halloween fun off last weekend when the boys had a sleepover at grandma’s. Caden harvested his sunflower into a smiley face.

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On Saturday morning a large group of us went to Waldvogel’s, a local farm filled with fall activities.

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Getting tall!

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On the “train.” It was FREEZING and so windy.

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Shepard has hit the age where he does a lot more fake smiles than real ones. So sad. 🙁

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The gigantic tunnel slide.

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Sweet little baby goat. I want to keep him.
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The boys opted for cupcakes this trip. And then threw fits that they couldn’t get caramel apples after their cupcakes.

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Sunday afternoon was trick-or-treating. We stopped at Grandma’s house first for treats.

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Finally ready! These costumes were almost the death of me. I spent every single minute one entire weekend working on them – plus a few afternoons. I guess they turned out pretty well, though, except for the hem on Caden’s pants!

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I like how even Juno has a cheesy smile in this picture.

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The poor pig and bumblebee had to stay inside.

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Trick or treating! The boys did really well. I was a little nervous when at the first house the lady gave Caden candy first and then Shepard yelled, “Give me candy too!”

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Door to door service.

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Their loot! And more fake smiles. I don’t think Shepard had a real smile all night. He seemed really tired and bothered by his mustache and went through everything in kind of a daze.

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Loading up the bags again. Caden counted later and they had 193 pieces of candy.

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On Monday night we finally got around to carving pumpkins. Caden was so proud of the face he colored on ahead of time.

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And then Daddy sliced right through the face and by the time he was cutting he wore all the marker off!

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They were not very enthusiastic about digging the guts out!

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Caden very delicately scooped a couple of seeds out and then spent the rest of the time bossing us around to make sure we got all of them.

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Scooping away.img_0682-pumpkin-family

 

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It was a really nice night in the midst of a pretty difficult week.

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Last night we had our official Halloween party, which I guess is now an annual tradition! Last year I didn’t make a ton of food and I went way overboard this year. It was great, though. Above is a chocolate graveyard dip I made to go with fruit.

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Monster fingers. Or gorilla fingers.

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Pumpkin seeds.

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Frozen banana ghosts.

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This was my favorite scary thing – eyeball punch! It was super easy too. Just buy a can of lychees, stuff them with blueberries and freeze. The punch itself is just a mix of 7up and Hawaiian Punch.

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Spiderweb dips my mom made.

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Dirt and worm cupcakes my mom made.

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Witch hats and broomsticks my mom made.

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Pizza bread snake. This was my favorite thing to eat! It was pizza dough combined with diced pepperoni, green peppers, garlic, and parmesan cheese and then stuffed with a ring of mozzarella cheese. So delicious.

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Mummy hot dogs.

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After we all stuffed ourselves, we built the Halloween puzzle together.

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That’s a lot of people putting together a 100 piece puzzle!

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And that’s it! It was a great Halloween!

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