All Hallows Eve 2012

 

I've always been a big fan of Halloween...so much so that I was forced to stop Trick or Treating at age fourteen. That was a hard one. There was pretty much nothing I loved more than dressing up and tromping around in the dark, meeting new people who would compliment me and give me candy. In fact, that sounds like my ideal existence. Can I turn that into a career of some kind?

My husband, on the other hand, is my complete opposite in most every way, including our approaches to Halloween. He voluntarily gave it up at age eight. In his view, it was extremely inefficient to go to the trouble of procuring a costume and tromping around the neighborhood when his parents had better candy at THEIR HOUSE. He remains unmoved by the pageantry, and remained so. I did convince him to go as Clark Kent to my Lois Lane when were dating, but that was just a facade. He gave THAT up after we got married. I was deceived!

I gave up on forcing my family into group costumes this year. Two years ago I had three very compliant members of the Wizard of Oz cast and one very irate tin man. "I don't want to be that stupid bucket of bolts!"

Jarvis Tin Man Halloween 2012
Jarvis Tin Man Halloween 2012

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And last year the playing card in our Alice in Wonderland Group got teased for wearing "A girl's costume." Hmm?

Pet Parade 2011
Pet Parade 2011

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So this year I let my kids choose what they wanted to be (as I had in years past.)

Jarvis wanted to be Luigi from Super Mario Brothers. I had spent enough time in thrift stores to know that this was a costume I could not pull together on my own. Should be easy...blue overalls, green shirt, green hat? OVERALLS in boys sizes DO NOT EXIST. I fully expect them to come back in style soon, as fashion is cyclical and I wore the heck out of some overalls in the 90s, but I haven't seen them yet, even in the thrift store. I was going to have to do the unthinkable and...purchase a costume. In my childhood this was NOT DONE. We might purchase a few pieces but nothing pre-fab. I have to say I'm not displeased. In my day store bought costumes consisted of a vinyl painters smock emblazoned with cartoon graphics and a plastic mask. Nowadays they actually make you look like the character (unless you are a girl...then you are in the character's colors, and you get a tutu.) This will probably be the last costume of it's kind that my 9 year old will wear around the house...he's getting too old for such shenanigans. But I have spent months living with Spiderman, Donald Duck, Pluto, Shaggy...I'm pleased to pay $20 on his "last hurrah."

Luigi Halloween 2012
Luigi Halloween 2012

Linus told me this year he wanted to be something scary. Since in the past he has been a cow, Woody from Toy Story, Wallace from Wallace and Gromit, Eve from Wall-E, The Cowardly Lion and a Playing Card, scary has never been his focus. I braced myself...did he want to be the Grim Reaper? Some murderer from a film he's never seen? A skeleton? " I want to be spider." WHEW! Lucky for us we had seen a ballet production of Don Quixote this summer which featured some adorable tiny spiders, so I took some inspiration from their costumes. I took an old black shirt of his that already had spiders pictured on it ('I've seen spiders ride on other spiders," said Linus) and attached two stuffed black socks to each side. My mother took heavy black elastic cord and strung the spider legs so that they would all move together when Linus moved his arms. Black pants, a black hat, googly eyes glued to his forehead (using eyelash glue) made for a very cheap and creative costume, my favorite kind!!

Linus the Tarantula Halloween 2012
Linus the Tarantula Halloween 2012

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Alice made me a grateful (and somewhat panicked mommy) by requesting a Little Bo-Peep costume. I showed her some nursery rhyme pictures and she agreed that she didn't have to look like a Toy Story character (glad to not have to buy a pre-fab costume!) Her costume was my favorite to put together because it really did involve cobbling together bits and pieces from here and there. My mother made her a pair of pantaloons from a pillowcase, which she then trimmed in eyelet lace. (Pillowcases are my favorite item to turn into something else for a child's costume, we used it for Linus's EVE costume and it worked amazingly well. Next year Jarvis wants to be Aragorn and I think a grey pillowcase will make an awesome knight tunic.)

jarvis wall-e
jarvis wall-e

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I obtained the perfect old fashioned dress for my daughter from my friend Kristen who runs THE ROBOT PARADE VINTAGE. It was a little short on her, which was great because it showed the pantaloons to full effect. Last Easter I had purchased from vintage bonnets on eBay but they didn't get to me on time. With a little manipulation and the addition of a new ribbon it looked perfect. The hardest part was finding a shepherd's crook. We tried to find one in the church attic but they didn't have one, but Nick Nackery did. A little touch of blush and gloss, and work with plastic rollers, spray gel, a hair dryer and her Bo-Peep look was complete. I think what I was most grateful about was that my daughter chose a costume that was totally age appropriate. No prostitot stuff for this girl! I read this article in the Huffington Post last week comparing girl's costumes 20 years ago and now, it was pretty shocking how they had changed. Did you know that clown costumes for little girls now contain FISHNETS?

Alice Little Bo Peep Halloween 2012
Alice Little Bo Peep Halloween 2012

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Felix is a huge fan of Woody from Toy Story so we got him a set of Woody pajamas (so he could use them for more than just a costume. SMRT!) I had already purchased him a pair of cowboy boots at a consignment sale with Buzz and Woody on the side (and they say ANDY on the bottom!) A thrift store cowboy hat and our little cowpoke was done.

Felix Woody Halloween 2012
Felix Woody Halloween 2012

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Aww. It reminded me of when his older brother Linus went as Woody, six years ago.

Woody1
Woody1

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Halloween plans were put on hold by my headache but soon we were headed to Catalyst Church for their Trunk or Treat, which our church was participating with this year. I hated missing neighborhood trick or treating. I enjoy Trunk or Treats because I think they are a lot of fun but I hate to let go of the old traditions. BUT since I am also working on not being a perfectionist, I have to let go of controlling everything and feeling guilty when falling short. I also forgot to carve a Jack-O-Lantern this year, BUT since we did go to an awesome pumpkin patch and had many fun activities including PAINTING PUMPKINS and since I actually decorated my HOUSE for Halloween I am letting it slide.

20121103-011759.jpg
20121103-011759.jpg

We all had a blast at Catalyst.

Hugh and Felix Halloween 2012
Hugh and Felix Halloween 2012

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There was free hot chocolate, which Linus got FOUR CUPS OF (moderation is something I struggle to teach my kids...especially when things are free. Note to self- work on that.) The fourth time he muscled up to the counter and the lady said "Well, Mister Eight Arms, what can I give you?" he replied, a tad smugly, "The usual!" My church passed out glow necklaces for the kids and I had a great time seeing the cuties in their costumes.

Alice Glow Halloween
Alice Glow Halloween

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Linus Glow Halloween
Linus Glow Halloween

There was a chili cookoff that I enjoyed participating in judging. Unfortunately the deliciously garlic blasted one did not win, but neither did the one that tasted like ketchup, nor the one that tasted like Chef-Boyardee. I still want the recipe for that garlicky chili! Alice saw a friend from school and Hugh said the girl's reaction was "the happiest he has ever seen one person be at seeing another." Glad she's making friends at school. Alice also spent some time in the Prayer Tent with her grandma and prayed that her daddy would find a new job. Grateful for her thoughtful heart.

After a few turns in the bounce house and a few turns around trunks, it was time to go.

The next day the kids tore into their pillowcases and Jarvis discovered that amidst the loot he had a TINY BIBLE in his bag.

"NO WAY" Linus shrieked, and immediately began pawing through his bag where he also found a tiny bible. Alice was chomping at the BIT but I made her get dressed for school first.

"I don't see why I have to wait SO LONG to see if I have a tiny Bible too!"

So there you have it folks. My dorky kids showed more enthusiasm over their tiny Bibles than they did over trick or treating, costumes, free cocoa, a bounce house, and ice cream.

So much for Halloween luring kids into Satanism. *Eyeroll*