Halloween 2016

Ya'll, Halloween about did me in this year...four consecutive nights of parties or trick or treating was such a blast, but that is a LOT of candy and forced social interaction for a three-year-old who's just starting to come out of his shell around people. Good news is, we definitely got plenty of use out of the boys' costumes! And of course now we have plenty of chocolate for after kids' bedtimes. To be honest, I was about to bow out of trick or treating on actual Halloween night because Jake wouldn't have any clue and I was pretty worn out. But then I got to thinking and realized its never a good choice to miss out on free candy! Monday night proved to be the most lucrative night in terms of the good candy--one house gave out full-size Snickers!--so obviously we're all glad we stuck it out. ;)

We kicked off the weekend with trick or treating at one of Jake's favorite parks that he calls the "baseball park" thanks to the two baseball diamonds near the playground. We walked the loop with friends, spent time on the playground and tried not to sweat to death because its been 85 degrees here. What is going on with that?!

Probably one of my favorite pictures right there! I love those guys.

For Narnia! ;)

On Saturday, one of Jake's little friends had a Halloween party. We ate killer stuffed crust pizza, decorated pumpkins with sticker faces (brilliant! so fast and not messy) and then the kids watched a Mickey Halloween movie while the adults talked around the fire. Deric helped Jake put stickers on his pumpkin and couldn't stop laughing at how tiny the face was on such a big pumpkin. Jake was so proud of his pumpkin face! He just learned the concept of jack-o-lanterns over the weekend so even though Halloween is over, I think we still may carve our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. Stickers are fun but you can't beat pulling slimy seeds out of a real pumpkin!

Sunday night was the Trunk or Treat event at our church. To go along with the boys' costumes, Deric and I "built" a castle out of sofa boxes, duct tape, scrap wood and leftover church play decorations. (And to be fair, I saw the idea of a drawbridge on Pinterest, of course.) I was pretty proud of our castle considering we did it all for $0! We put our candy in the trunk of the van so kids had to walk on the drawbridge and reach inside for the candy. Most kids were pretty excited to see the castle and walk on the drawbridge, which is all we hoped for! (It also made a good backdrop for pictures of our knight and dragon!)
Helping Dad make the drawbridge on Saturday morning.

A knight defending his castle!

Pausing while in line for a trunk to take a picture WITH my boy rather than just of my boy!

And finally on Monday, we ate dinner with our friends, the Bryants, and trick or treated in their neighborhood since our neighborhood doesn't do trick or treating. We've already got plans to go back next Halloween because did I mention the full-size Snickers?! Jake and his little friend Bailey were each other's moral support as they worked up the courage to say "Trick or treat!" and "Thank you!" loudly enough to be heard. It was so sweet to see them encourage each other to hurry to the next house and then to beam with pride when they went to the doors all by themselves.

The dragon just couldn't hang...maybe because he knew he wouldn't get any candy.

The back story on the boys' costumes: We (mostly Deric) have told Jake mostly made-up stories at bedtime for probably a year, at least. His most favorite story is called "Jake and the Princess" and is Deric's CliffNotes version of "A Horse and His Boy" by C.S. Lewis,  one of the books in the Narnia series. From that story stemmed "Jake and the Princess Go Fishing" and a few other stories. Recently I've been telling him a shortened version of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" and he just eats up these stories. They always involve knights and dragons and fighting for the good king, so it really wasn't hard to narrow down what Jake's costume should be this year. We did deliberate between a few other choices but after we got Jake the sword and shield from Disney back in September, I knew he needed to be a knight. I'll always be able to see this photos and remember this stage of playing knights and dragons and telling stories at night.

I scoured Pinterest a few weeks back to figure out a game plan to make their costumes and I was a little worried about how I'd find the base for Reid's dragon suit but I totally lucked out and found the fleece onesie at a consignment store for $3! It was actually a Ninja Turtle costume so I covered the Turtle belly with fleece; added horns, wings, spikes and a tail and Reid was the cutest dragon I've laid eyes on. It was even cuter when Deric would fly him around to chase Jake, who always insisted that Reid was a good dragon.

Jake's costume took a little longer since I had to actually use a sewing machine rather than a hot glue gun, but I'm so happy with how they turned out and most importantly, Jake loved his costume. Reid's was a *bit* warm but no one predicted it'd still feel like August at the end of October! (He mostly wore the dragon get up for photos and then we would strip him back down to a onesie.)

Holidays are just so much more fun with kids! Even though as adults we do more of the planning and preparations--and fund the whole shebang--its so fun to watch the boys experience new-to-them traditions that I remember from childhood, plus add in new traditions to our family. And now we can get excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas--as soon as the heatwave is over!

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