Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Something about it stresses me out. Yet I always find myself enjoying the festivities. (Plus my childhood favorite color was orange, which always looks happy in photographs.) I went into the season with no plans other than to dish out candy at the end of the month. Here's a quick look at everything that we found ourselves doing, thanks mostly to other people's planning. (Pictures are at the end, so you can skip all the "journaling" and just check out my cute kids if you like.)
#s 4&5 and I kicked off the month with a preschool field trip to Pumpkinland where we picked out a nice jack-o-lantern candidate. (We grew six other pumpkins in our garden this year too!)
Mid-month I found a coupon for the Halloween River Cruise, so our whole family went for about $10. The cruise is set up by CLAS Ropes Course, about a two-minute drive from our home. #2 paid extra to climb their rock wall, and we took candied apples that the kids had made at my sister's home, which helped get us through the 30-min. wait. The cruise itself was so-so. The river was decorated with jack-o-lanterns and lights, and our boatman told stories in between visits from a pirate. The kids loved it. I was glad I hadn't paid full price.
A friend of mine gave us tickets to Cornbelly's, which is a Fall "amusement park" and corn maze at Thanksgiving Point. We had my nieces and nephew with us too, so I was glad we didn't pay $110 to get in. But I must say they had A LOT to keep us entertained. We were there for two hours and didn't get to do everything. We went during a BYU game and the sky was shadowed by thunderheads, so attendance was down--and that made our trip all the more enjoyable. My family drove tractors, got bored in a corn maze, played dress up, rode the cow train, jumped in a bounce house, and was eaten by The Creature...among other things.
We left Cornbelly's to go to the Harvest Party with Kent's extended family. We always have lots of soup to sample and games for the kids. #3 broke the pinata this year. She gently tapped it three times to let the older kids in line behind her have a whack at it. When she turned around to get back in line, the bottom half broke off and the candy came pouring out!
Monday and Tuesday we carved our pumpkins, saving the seeds for toasting of course. Thursday I taught our neighborhood co-op preschool group. I had the children's undivided attention for the entire sugar cookie activity. They (the cookies) were yummy!)
Today some friends threw a party at lunchtime where we enjoyed good food and the kids decorated treat bags. Quick story about #3's costume in the party picture. She wore a witch dress, added a sweater to stay warm and modest, and since she couldn't find a witch hat, she borrowed a friend's bee headband. She bent the antennae forward and said she was a [granny] witch who could shoot lasers out of her head. !!! Then we came home and Kent and I cleaned out the garage because the weather turned out to be so nice. We made a pile of DI and metal recyclables in our front yard to be dealt with next week. Kent says our household now looks like poor white trash for Halloween. This was also the first year I let my two oldest go trick-or-treating unsupervised with friends. Kent took the youngest three. They all had a great time. When I prepped my candy bowl, I discovered that someone had found my Snickers Bar stash, and fourteen candy bars were gone! (No one will fess up.) So this was the first year that I ran out of candy. :(
This year, Halloween is on Saturday. I now vote that Halloween either be declared a federal holiday or always be the last Saturday of October. There was no big rush after school to make dinner and assemble costumes. Instead, we had time to spend visiting with friends and not just ringing their doorbell. And the kids are staying up late sorting candy, instead of being pushed into bed on a sugar high to get enough rest for school the next day. It's been pretty relaxed, and I don't feel so stressed out. I have loved it!