Friday, November 01, 2013

The best one yet

So what if I like a little commercialism in my life, is that so bad?  The obnoxious blow up jack-o-lanterns, the bins of overpriced pumpkins at the entrance to every store and the scent of pumpkin shaped Reese's hanging heavy in the air. The only thing I don't miss is the pumpkin carving, because really, if any mom says she enjoys that then you know she's lying.  Halloween isn't really celebrated here so without all the holiday hype it was really hard to get into the spirit of things. Even Arizona with it's major lack of Fall foliage and crisp autumn air still managed to put on a good faux Fall front.  But even if the rest of the country wasn't celebrating, I was determined that we would create our own fun.  I let the kids invite a few friends from school over for a Halloween party. Several parents wouldn't let their kids come because they don't recognize it as a holiday and because it was a school night, but the ones who did come were so excited about it, their parents said they could barely sleep. (the 2Cheap store and our neighbor's closet supplied all of our Halloween costume needs)

We made all the cliche' pinterest Halloween foods that they had never seen and I immediately became a Halloween rockstar (not to mention I'm an American chocolate chip cookie goddess, a title I'm quite fond of. I love wowing them with ordinary things that are novelties here). 

This house was made for parties with those doors and that deck. It would be a pity to put it to waste.

We played a few games like freeze dance, tying balloons on their ankles and popping them, racing to see who could make a mummy out of a roll of toilet paper first and then had a costume fashion show.  Kylie and her friends were good sports, I was worried they would think it was too juvenile.

And then came trick or treating. It was the first time that any of their friends had ever been and let me tell you how much fun it was to see a kid experience going door to door and getting free candy for the first time. Priceless.  It was also entertaining to knock on the doors because you never knew what you would get.  Some people were prepared, others had bought just one small bag of candy in case they happened to get one or two trick or treaters and we wiped them out clean, a couple went digging in their pantries and came back with bags of chips or oranges, a few just stood there and made it really awkward until I would tell the kids to just wish them a happy Halloween and we had one crotchity old man who shooed them way through the window. Overall there were more people handing out candy than I had expected and we saw about 3 other groups of trick or treaters which was more than I had expected too. Not to mention this was probably the most perfect weather we have ever experienced here.  The odds were forever stacked in our favor.

Ryder had to stop and take inventory after every house.  He quite liked this whole trick-or-treat thing.

and then there was the guy who didn't know what to think of all the kids and ended up just throwing handfuls of candy in a free for all scramble

The way Maddox carried around his trick or treat bag like a hobo stick just killed me.  But this is the boy who uses a fork and knife to cut his chocolate bar and insists on a single perfectly square pat of butter on his pancakes with the syrup drizzled just so because he quite prefers when life imitates art. So of course he would carry around his bag like a hobo stick.

And what good is it to have a cemetery at the end of your street if not to do a Halloween grave yard walk?  Especially when you have grandma Judy as a neighbor.  Now grandma Judy is a firecracker all on her own, but give grandma Judy a few glasses of wine and she is a whole other animal.  This was also the first Halloween party she had ever been to and boy was she ever excited about it. Every day I kept finding bags of Halloween goodies for the party sitting on my porch.  Her good friend was in town too and they were definitely the the life of the party. When I told them we were going to walk through the grave yard they decided they were going to dress up as ghosts and hide behind the headstones.  I think the kids could hear them giggling a mile away so no one got too scared, but we all had some good laughs. At least I hope none of them went home with nightmares. Between that and the girl that was too sick from all the candy to come to school the next day we may not have enough repeat customers to make this a tradition next year. 

Looking at these pictures already makes me sad for the day that we have to say goodbye to grandma Judy.

No blatant disrespect was meant, I think this was the most fun these souls had ever seen in the past 100 years and were probably looking down with smiles.  At least nobody haunted us while we slept that night so I think we're cool.

We ended the night with s'mores, another first for several of them, and a movie before everyone slowly filed away and we were left with a house that looked like it had been hit with a tornado and with kids who thanked us profusely and wouldn't stop talking about how this was the best Halloween ever.  You know, sometimes in the midst of the daily chaos I forget that these are supposed to be the best years of my life.  Tonight I was reminded that they really truly are.


Grethel Van Epps said...

Wow Jamie, this is beautiful! you are such a fun mom!!.. I know these kiddos will never forget this!!

Tyler and Margaret said...

I love it! Halloween is one of my favs, so glad you had a good one!! Loved all the cemetery pics. And I am not lying when I say... I LOVE CARVING PUMPKINS!!! Ahhh! I did it, I said it. :) We had so much fun carving this year, and Tyler wasn't even home to help. But, I do have a pumpkin obsession which probably fuels it. :)

Janessa said...

I have a huge smile on my face now. I love that you made such a fun Halloween for your kids. I love that you taught it to their new friends (I feel quiet confident they'll be dying for more next year!). I love that you made a pintrest party (that is so a part of you and you haven't had one since you moved there). I love Grandma Judy. Love her! Love all the pictures and the way you write too! Love you:)

Tyson and Dawn Jolley said...

I gotra say it too Jame, I love carving pumpkins! Getting he seeds out and roasting them is a favorite for me! This looks like so much fun. Its weird to know that only some neighbors knew about it...celebrating halloween is not an option people! Love maddox and his hobo stick :)

Chelsea said...


But Jer does that ;) Um. You are so fabulous, I love that you did this for them! You are the halloween party queen. What a fun thing for the kids who had never done it before. And Grandma Judy, she is so seriously great. Please please please let me grow old and get more fun like her.

Chelsea said...

p.s. you are leaving quite the mark on New Zealand. There will be some serious mourning when you guys move.

Jodee said...

You are the best mom! I probably would have let them forget all about halloween if I had any chance. The graveyard walk is perfect and I love that Grandma Judy and her friend hopped right in on the fun. I think meeting grandma Judy might just be one of the most exciting parts of our trip next year ;)

Janette said...

You are so fun, what a party!