I work with 10 and 11 year old girls in our church – creating activities for them a couple times of month after school. Hallie is in the group so basically I get an excuse to spend time with her and her friends. This week we were playing Halloween games. A fan favorite in our house is always Halloween Bingo; a set I picked up a couple years back from Target for Hallie’s Halloween Carnival Birthday party.
The girls enjoyed it. It never gets old putting candy corn on the spaces or yelling out bingo and claiming your prize.
After bingo, we went out on bikes for a Halloween scavenger hunt. I drove the neighborhood earlier in the day and made a note of the many decorations neighbors had put up. The girls then had to write the house number of where they found the decoration and they could only use a house number once. Originally, the girls were going to be on teams, but they decided it would be more fun to work as a group.
We drove up and down the neighborhood streets. Each time they found one, they’d squeal in excitement. They got most of them after one pass through. But there were a few they had to circle back to and even then, there was one decoration they rode by four times before realizing it – a bale of hay. I even explained at the beginning that bales of hay come in all sizes – but of course, the girls were looking for the large bales they’re used to sitting on, instead of the smaller ones used on porches as decor.
Scavenger hunts are pretty easy to organize and I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged they all were in finding everything. Its an activity we could duplicate with Christmas decorations. We finished the afternoon with caramel apples because nothing screams fall more than caramel apples!
Last year, our Lego costumes were over the top and took countless hours. Although the we got all the bang for our buck…it is not something I am willing to do every year. So this year was an “off” year. Meaning, costumes come from closets and stores…and not by the sweat of my brow. Going into the season I thought I was okay with this idea – yet, each person that approached me telling me how excited they were to see our costumes made me wish more and more it was another “on” year. We set the bar a little high last year. We have people fooled that greatness comes every year which is just not the case. I think I disappointed more than a handful when I told them we were going to be pirates. But I have to keep telling myself – I have my sanity and spent limited time pulling together costumes which is exactly what I needed this year.
Hallie was the mastermind behind this year’s costumes. She wanted the family to dress together and I told her in order for that to happen she would need to convince each of her brothers of her idea. And she did just that in the kindest, non-pressuring way.
Hallie has been dying to wear this black petticoat skirt I’ve had in the closet for years and she finally got her chance. Cannon’s costume we’ve had for years, Hunter wore it when he was three years old. And as odds would have it – I found the exact costume on eBay in both Bennett and Hunter’s size new with tags. (which is amazing considering I bought that costume in 2009)
Can I just tell you how fun it is to be married to someone willing to dress up? Steve is always reluctant when an idea is presented but once he jumps in – he takes on the roll full heartedly. I’m sure he was a pirate in a previous life he was that good.
My mom was here to enjoy the evening with us and Steve’s parents came by to check out the costumes before we headed out.
We walked through the neighborhood to our Halloween block party where we ate dinner and admired all the clever costumes we came across. It gave me some great ideas for future Halloweens. Bennett was so-so on dinner but what he didn’t eat in chili he made up for in a king size crunch bar!
After dinner – we walked the short distance back to our house and trick-or-treated along the way. Hallie and Hunter on their scooters, Bennett in the wagon and Cannon in the stroller. Cannon was hilarious the entire night and he caught on really quick as to what was going on. He got so excited, he would bail from the stroller before it came to full stop just to try and get to the door sooner. He tripped and fell countless times in his rush and spilled his bag of candy three times. He was so friendly at every house singing songs and yelling thank you multiple times as he walked down the sidewalk. There could’ve been a hole in the bottom of his bag and he wouldn’t have noticed, it was the gathering of candy that was so fun for him.
We came home with way too much candy and because that wasn’t enough sugar we joined with some friends/family after for homemade doughnuts. I’ll take a homemade doughnut over candy any day!
The candy has been sorted, traded and rationed. Now, we’re all just coming down from the sugar high. Let the holidays begin!
I love when Halloween is on Saturday – it really prolongs the holiday which is okay by me. School/class activities take place on Friday (or in Bennett’s case Thursday) and then parties and trick or treating on Saturday – it’s a whole weekend affair!
Bennett had his parade and program on Thursday – He didn’t want to dress up but when I informed him candy was involved he was ready to go – minus his Jack Sparrow hair which he refused.
Friday morning was spent at the school – school costume parade and Hunter’s class party which I was in charge of. My mom was visiting so she was an involuntary volunteer!
It was funny to watch Hunter in the classroom standing at his desk for every activity while his classmates sat. He evidently works better standing up and I like that his teacher is okay with that!
While running Hunter’s party, I got a call from the school nurse saying Hallie was in the office. She had been accidentally hit with a hockey stick during PE and had chipped her tooth. Disappointed, but not surprised I went to the office to find her front tooth once again chipped.
The nurse was wondering how in the world Hallie and I were both so calm about such a dramatic change in her smile – I informed her this is a chipped tooth we’ve had repaired already three times and because the chip is so large the composite gets broken fairly easily. Eventually we will be able to do a more permanent repair but not until she’s older and done with orthodontics. We made an unexpected visit to Steve’s cousin, Paul Kelly, to have it repaired…again. Hallie was disappointed to miss the majority of her class party but grateful she didn’t have to go through the weekend with a sensitive tooth.
There’s never enough time and never enough fairy dust to make everything fun and magical for the kids during the holidays. I often find myself caught between practical mom and fun mom so I’m always looking for shortcuts. I discovered this shortcut 6 years ago preparing for Hallie’s 4th birthday party when I was running short on time and I needed a quick and easy Halloween treat. (So short on time that I even bought sheet brownies from Sams club!) It’s now an easy go-to when I’m looking for a festive treat and the generic mini-cupcakes stacked 10 rows high at Wal-mart just aren’t cutting it.
We’re enjoying the end of our fall break and looking forward to Halloween in just two weeks. Fall is my favorite season and it always goes too quickly.
The kids have picked out their costumes and the Halloween parties have already been scheduled with assignments made. We’re all a little excited. Here’s a couple links to some of our past Halloween fun.
My favorite homemade costumes ever.