Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween Adventures

October always ends on a high note in this Household what with Halloween falling on the 31st each year. The kids enjoyed the month immensely and there was no shortage of activities and fun. We went to the local Pumpkin Patch about half way through the month, and spent the rest of October listening to spooky Halloween music and carving pumpkins and playing in the autumn leaves that are scattered ankle deep across our lawn…
and then of course the Grand Finale…a Triple Trick-or-Treat Knockout.

The kids had decided on Star Wars costumes at the beginning of the month, but I hadn’t really given it much thought and just figured they would wear whatever they had in their dress up bin. However, after carving the pumpkins, JJ announced that he wanted to be Darth Vader. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, since we didn’t have a Darth Vader costume, but upon thinking about the Star Wars character choices for the other two kids, I commented on the fact that Bubby would make a really cute Yoda. Rocky, however, was having none of that. Yoda is his favorite character and he wasn’t going to let Bubs dress up as Yoda for a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. So with Rocky claiming Yoda as his Official Halloween Costume of ’09, that added up to two costumes that the kids had chosen that we did not own. Then BigP came up with the idea that Bubby would make a very cute R2D2…I agreed, but do you think we own a R2D2 costume? Hell, no we don’t. That’s when I decided I would have to go fabric shopping to make the costumes.

However, when the next morning rolled around, I did not feel like hitting the fabric store and so decided to get creative instead. I found an old black tablecloth that would work perfectly for Darth Vader’s cloak, and made the chest plate (?) and front control panel thingie out of cardboard. I looked up a picture of Darth Vader online and cut out a piece of cardboard in the same shape as the chest plate and control panel and then painted it. It was really easy and JJ loved it. The rest of the costume was easy as it simply required black clothing. And luckily we had a paper Darth Vader mask, which JJ was happy to wear.

Yoda’s costume wasn’t quite as “polished” shall we say. I found an old-ish plain light brown Tshirt in BigP’s closet, and cut it down the middle to make it look like a robe. I made the head and ears with some leftover craft foam which I painted green. It didn’t look *great* because of course I did it at the very last minute – literally an hour or so before our first Trick-or-Treating foray - and so ran out of time to paint in the details, but the child was pleased with it and he did look very cute.

R2D2 was made out of some cardboard that we rolled into a tube and then covered with white paper. Big P had the honors of painting in the details. Bubby looked so adorable as R2 and received many, many comments!

So with costumes made and ready, we headed out for the first stop on our 2009 Halloween Trick or Treating circuit – which took place on the Main Street. It was a big success and the kids scored enough candy to make them very pleased. We weren’t out for very long as it was pretty chilly and with the days getting dark so early, it was easy to reign in the kids and head home before dinner time.

Our second stop was a few days later at a nearby town that puts on quite a show. We met up with some friends and hit what seemed like every single store and house in the town. Twice.

The final stop on the circuit was back at home in the neighborhood adjacent to us, on the actual night of Halloween. This time BigP and I decided to add to the Star Wars theme and dress up as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. I found some white sheets that we weren’t using and quickly sewed up a (very basic) Princess Leia dress and Luke Skywalker robe. The kids were impressed and I was told that I was the most beautifullest Princess Leia that ever was!
The kids ran around like crazy from house to house and had so much fun. We ended up at the scariest house on the street and with buckets filled to the brim with candy, the kids were happy to head home so that they could have a turn handing out candy themselves.

Once we were home, they waited outside for quite some time for fellow Trick or Treaters to come by, whiling the time away by munch, munch, munching on way more candy than their permitted two candy allowance. Turns out our neighborhood isn’t too big on the whole Trick- or-Treating thing (or maybe it was just too late), but finally one little girl showed up and the kids jumped up with such excitement they nearly scared her off. After that, it was bed time and all three of them were asleep the minute their heads hit the pillows. Always such angels when they are sleeping…

So that is our story of Halloween…and now we have a stash of candy for the Halloween fairy to come and collect…I’d say the scariest thing about Halloween in our Household is that BigP and I will have polished off all the candy by the weekend, and by BigP and I, I really mean me; and by the weekend, I really mean before the weekend….
aargggggggggggggghhh the curse of a sweet tooth.

One of the crafts we did before Halloween was making candy Pumpkin faces (inspired by Martha.) So after Halloween, I removed the candy, cut the pumpkins in half, stuffed them and baked them. I googled stuffed pumpkins and then adapted the recipes I found, to my own version. Basically, I baked the pumpkins in the oven until they were cooked. Then I cooked some sweet Italian Sausage, fried up some onion, garlic, mushrooms and peppers and made some stuffing. Then I mixed it all together and added it to the pumpkin bowls and baked them for about ten minutes. Lastly, I grated some cheese over the top and broiled it until it was melted. They were a big hit and the kids loved eating out of the pumpkin bowls!

I think this meal is going to become an after Halloween tradition from now on.

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