Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween At Our House

Who's daughter is she??? We had our annual pumpkin carving yesterday, Todd has to work this weekend so we got started early. Chad has carved his own pumpkins for a few years now. This year, Alec did a lot on his own - he's so proud of himself. He actually wields a pocketknife with more confidence than his older brother but pumpkin carving is a new skill for him. Carmen wanted to assist more this year but first, I told her to change into a shirt she didn't mind getting dirty. Who knew what fireworks this would ignite? It took what seemed like half an hour and lots of whining (from her) and escalating irritation (from me) for her to find a shirt. Good gracious! I seriously don't know why she did that except that she's 9 and can be moody/stubborn/such a gem at times. So, after the wardrobe change, they set to work. Every year, for a long time now, the kids draw several pumpkin faces on paper and decide on one, eventually. Dad transfers their designs to the pumpkin and away they go. It's messy work so I am glad to relinquish this family time to Todd. I do the clean up. The kids find a place to display their art. We usually set them on our baby grand piano but one year, we left them on there a little too long - pianos and mushy pumpkins are not a good combination. Anyway, this year Alec and Carmen have fully decorated the piano for Halloween. For the last few years, they have made haunted houses out of cracker boxes and this year, the village is quite full. No room for pumpkins.

It's so fun that the kids have taken over the decorating. I didn't decorate for years, not wanting to emphasize the scary parts of Halloween. But now that they are older, I let them be creative - nothing bad just fun and a bit creepy. I especially like the mummy Alec made a few years ago. He drew a mummy image on construction paper (it's about 10" long), cut it out and painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. It gets taped up on a wall somewhere between the kitchen and dining room and when I turn off the lights to go to bed, there it is! There are some black paper spiders with glowing eyes as well. Much more fun for them to create than to hang up store-bought stuff. In fact, I've never, ever bought anything Halloween. It's all homemade. This year, they hung up black paper bats at the end of the kitchen. One bat is always swaying while the others remain still. We think it's picking up an air current from the refrigerator. A few years ago, they rigged up a spider to a pulley on one of the kitchen cabinet doors - I never did get fully used to it dropping down on me when I reached to get a plate! One year, they filled every empty corner in the house (it seemed) with spider webs made from cotton string (not that store-bought filmy stuff) complete with a black paper spider with red eyes. They really liked that. And we save nearly everything to reuse the following year. It's fun to see their artistry develop.

It's Alec and Carmen, my creative kids, that do all the decorating. It's not really Chad's thing. What he likes best about Halloween is that we always go out (or eat in) Chinese for dinner. Then the kids watch "The Great Pumpkin" video. And they get candy, of course. Then, the pumpkins are put on the bathroom counter and anyone who wants to, gets to take a bath by pumpkin light. I don't know if that will happen this year, with Todd having to work that night. We'll be going out to dinner, then he'll head off to the hospital. We'll do whatever the kids want to after that. I won't have to watch "The Nightmare Before Christmas", which is just fine by me. Too creepy for my tastes. We usually watch this on Halloween after the kids go to bed. Of course, after Todd reads this, he'll probably want to watch this on Monday night, after his work week is over. I can always cover my eyes at the really scary parts!

Happy Halloween!new <span class=


jugglingpaynes said...

LOL! I loved the spider idea! Your kids sound like fun!

This year Sierra did most of the yard decorating. I actually bough my own pumpkin to carve. I'll try to get some pictures up. My husband took the "good" camera with him when he took my younger two trick or treating. Marina and I are going to watch Gremlins so I can see if it's as scary as I remember. :oD

I hope you have a great night!

Peace and Laughter,

Cate said...

What great ideas.....I'm sort of wishing we did do Halloween down here now....

Would love to see some pics though, and am most excited about receiving a certain article / bio/ pic tomorrow evening :-)