Halloween Hits and Misses

Halloween has come and gone, and the kids enjoyed every last minute. Zachary and I are separated but we agreed we would both continue to trick or treat with the kids each year. I saw the kids off to school in the morning, their backpacks stuffed with their costumes, then I headed to work and back to the house at night for pizza and begging the neighbors for candy.

Late October weather in MN can be unpredictable, to say the least. It may be below freezing and everyone has to cover up their costumes with heavy winter gear, or it can be sixty degrees and no one wears so much as a sweatshirt. Sometimes it can even be snowing. Friends and I trick or treated in the snow during that freakish Halloween blizzard in 1991. We got tons of candy, since, you know, most sane people stayed indoors.

But last night was relatively mild. Isla and I wore winter coats, but the boys were happy and comfortable just in their costumes. We went from door to door, the kids saying the appropriate things at the appropriate times. We had to keep Jonah from approaching homes where no lights were on because he was so excited to hit every home. Once home we sorted through the candy and pulled out all the pieces with nuts or peanut butter from Jonah’s stash, and the kids sorted and counted their candy just like me and my siblings used to do.

So trick or treating was a big success, and I’m glad I didn’t have to miss out on the festivities.

Also, I’m slightly proud of my contributions to their costumes. For most of Halloweens past, I’ve gone the easy route – I shopped online for costumes and had them delivered to the house. This year, Isla wanted to make her own costume. She crafted a mask for her cat costume completely on her own. I was so proud! She needed help making the tail, however, so I went to the local hardware store to buy some wire and black tape, and fashioned a tail out of large piping I had leftover from a sewing project I completed somewhere around 2004 and one of the boy’s belts. It worked, hooray!

Miles has Halloween anxiety in that all of the costumes he can come up with are so appealing, he has a hard time making up his mind. He thinks he’ll settle on one, then a better idea will come and he won’t be able to use it. Hmmm, sounds a little bit like his mom, in that regard. The day of my sister’s Halloween party he landed on Davy Crockett. With no time to head to a fabric store or a mall, I crossed my fingers that Target would have what I needed. One brown shirt and one tan fleece blanket later, I was all set to make the fringe for Davy Crockett’s get-up. Only thing I was short on was time.

I sat down on the kitchen floor and made Isla’s tail, helped guide Grant toward the Iron Man mask he thought was missing (he and Jonah wore purchased costumes, though the Iron Man one was from our dress-up drawers). Then quickly cut three strips from the fleece blanket and safety pinned them to the shirt (being thrifty, I wanted to make sure Miles could wear the shirt as a real shirt later on). We only had time for one strip of fringe on the front before we had to leave, and I told Miles next year it’s his duty to settle on a costume by Oct. 1.

I’d made a trip to the thrift store in search of a costume earlier in the week and settled on M ichelle D uggar. I put spaces in the name on purpose because now I’m feeling a little mean spirited about the whole thing. I don’t really have anything against the Duggars, but, well, it was something that just came to me so I went with it. I did have a woman at my sister’s party tell me I had the best costume of the night.

Now let’s move on to the misses, shall we?

I had leftover candy melts from the Mickey Mouse treats, as well as left over Oreos, so I had the brilliant idea to add yellow food coloring to the molten candy melts and make orange pumpkins. Well, I probably should have known this, but adding food coloring to melted candy melts results in this kind of clumpy mess. And it didn’t even turn orange.

Next I thought maybe I’d just ice them. Why I didn’t just give up, I’m not sure. So I pulled out an icing recipe and made it and tinted it… and it would not turn orange. It was sort of a peachy color. Which would have been perfect had I been icing cookie peaches. Also, it was a royal icing recipe. Which did not coat the Oreos well and frankly didn’t taste all that good on them, anyway.

In desperation, I thought perhaps I’d just use white almond bark to dip the remaining Oreos and make ghosts. This did not work, either, nor did my food coloring markers. So I gave up on my award-winning treat ideas, admitted defeat, and went to the grocery store where I purchased crackers and cheese to bring to the Halloween party.

My next miss was the pumpkin carving. Isla was sick for three days leading up to Halloween, so the carving kept getting pushed back. Tuesday night we hauled the gargantuan things in from the porch and began scraping out the innards. This took almost all of our time, because the kids were squeamish and not experienced enough in pumpkin-gut-scraping. They’re young, after all. Once I’d helped them clean the pumpkins we set about tracing designs onto the pumpkins. Grant’s was done first, and I set about carving with my little kit. And promptly snapped four of the blades in rapid succession trying to make it through the thick pumpkin skins. It’s a miracle I didn’t lose a finger.

I told the kids next year we are getting smaller pumpkins or else investing in some heavy duty knives and safety gear.

How was your Halloween?


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