Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween: The Holiday That Keeps On Going (and going . . .)

By the time Halloween rolls around, I am in full Christmas-planning mode.  I'm working on my budget, cards, menus, gift ideas.  I have no interest in giving any time, money or attention to Halloween.

Is it my imagination, or is this holiday growing in popularity every year?

What ever happened to a $5 costume and flimsy face mask?  Is there anyone out there who just goes into their closet and pulls together a costume without spending a dime?  My four older children all wanted new costumes this year, at a cost of approximately $35/each, plus shipping.

Um, NO!  I told them that every dollar that is spent on Halloween is one dollar less spent on Christmas.

Our Halloween calendar looks something like this:
Tuesday:  youth group Halloween party
Thursday:  Halloween parade in town
Friday:  Halloween parade & party at school (elementary)
Friday:  Halloween dance party at school (middle school)
Friday night:  Halloween party
Sunday afternoon:  Halloween party
Sunday evening:  Trick or Treating (also known as Halloweening to those of us from Pittsburgh)

Really?  That's a LOT of dress up and a LOT LOT LOT of candy.  (Have I mentioned previously that we get around 180 Trick-or-Treaters?)  Anyway, I thought that at least the baby could wear a hand-me-down and figured that my oldest wouldn't need a costume now that she is in middle school.

Wrong.  As it turns out, my daughter's youth group was having a Halloween/dress-up party and besides that, the middle school students were supposed to wear their costumes to school.  So much for saving a few bucks!  I told her that I'm not investing any more money in Halloween costumes so she borrowed one from our neighbors.

My younger daughter found a costume half-off so my husband bought it for her.

My oldest son was desperate to be Boba Fett so we actually paid full price for his costume (although he paid half with his chore money).

We borrowed an Obi Wan costume for my younger son and I did indeed use a hand-me-down for the baby.  (I realize this picture is of a Clone Trooper and not Obi Wan.  We had a costume crisis.  I accidentally sent both the Boba Fett and Obi Wan costumes to school with my older son in the morning.  Then when it was time for my younger son to go to afternoon kindergarten there was panic and we looked for the costume.  I quickly realized my error so I sent him over to our neighbors -- same ones my daughter borrowed from -- to get a last minute costume for the school parade.)  The Obi Wan costume will make its appearance tonight for Trick-or-Treat.

October has been a VERY busy month for us and I am REALLY looking forward to a slower November so that I can catch my breath before the Christmas craziness takes over.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Photos

I took the kids to the park to try and get some photos for our Christmas card.  I took over 1000 photos and had four separate photo shoots to get a handful of pictures.  I won't post the Christmas card photos but here are a few others that came out well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cub Scout Salute

I took the boys to the park this afternoon to try to get some photos for our Christmas card.  My 7 year old is giving me the Cub Scout Salute in this photo.  (He just started Scouts and LOVES it!)  Although this pic won't make onto our Christmas cards, I just had to share it because he's so darn cute.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Tooth Fairy Has a GPS

I didn't think that any of my kids actually believed in the Tooth Fairy.

We are really bad at keeping up the ruse.  Too many kids, too many teeth, not enough cash, too much cash (as in the only money around is a $20 and no way are we giving a kid $20 for one tooth!)  Not to mention that we are extremely forgetful.  Many, many times we have forgotten to leave money under a pillow.  And then there's the time that we BOTH left cash, thinking the other hadn't -- jackpot!  So when a kid loses a tooth in Langanland, we usually just fork over the cash on the spot.

But the other day my 5 year old son lost his first tooth and he was SO EXCITED and so sure that the Tooth Fairy was going to pay him a visit.  He lost the tooth around 6pm and then headed out around 7pm for a sleepover.  As he was leaving, I asked him what he did with his tooth and he assured me that he put it in his backpack.  I said, "I'm not sure the Tooth Fairy goes to the Jacksons' house."  To which his friend replied, "Oh yes she does!  She ALWAYS comes to my house and leaves me two dollars!"

Ok then.

When my husband got home, I sent him over to the Jacksons with $2 to give to Mr. Jackson, who had no choice but to play the part of the Tooth Fairy.  When my husband arrived my son was thrilled to show his dad the gap in his mouth.  My husband asked him how the Tooth Fairy would know that he was at the Jacksons' house.  My son told him that the Tooth Fairy has a computer and she also has email.  She checks email each night before going to work.  Her email will tell her who has a lost a tooth and where to find the kid, because the kid might not be at home.  You know, he might be at a sleepover, or on vacation, or something like that.

I'm happy to report that Mr. Jackson is a much better Tooth Fairy than either my husband or myself!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Favorite Friday: Week 4

When I asked my 7 year old what he would like for his Favorite Friday dinner, he replied, "Stuffing."

To which I replied, "And . . . .?"

And then he said, "From a box.  That's all.  Just stuffing.  From a box.  NOT the kind you make for Thanksgiving, that kind is yucky.  Hey!  This year for Thanksgiving can you make stuffing from a box?  Cause the kind in the box is way better than the kind that you make."

I told him that I could not, would not, make stuffing from a box for Thanksgiving.  And then he started moaning that he never gets to eat what he likes.  I pointed out that he gets stuffing from a box all year long but on special occasions (Thanksgiving, Christmas), we are going to have homemade stuffing.

In an effort to feed the other 6 people in the house who enjoy stuffing, yet don't want it as an entree, I am also roasting a turkey breast, steaming green beans from the farm and mashing potatoes (also from the farm).

Tonight's dinner is sort of a warm-up for Thanksgiving.