We got our pumpkins fairly early (a Cub Scout troop at the school does a pumpkin walk) but finding time to carve them was another story. We ended up doing it on Halloween afternoon. It was such a beautiful day. We got to do it outside. I think the final scraps of pumpkin goo finally disappeared. Phew! We did a bunch of the tracing kinds. We had a vampire, a spider, a gravestone, and a traditional Jack-o-lantern, if my memory serves me correctly. Regretfully, I didn't get a picture of them when they were all done. I was lucky to even run up to my bathroom at dusk and grab as many little votive/aromatherapy candles as I could find and throw them in my pumpkins.
As for costumes, we went sort of "ghetto" this year and not intentionally. The Halloween parties at school were on Thursday afternoon, so of course, Thursday morning the kids were tearing around the house trying to come up with costumes. We (mainly Tim) had convinced them that we should try to be frugal this year and just make up costumes from stuff we already had around the house. Mistake #1. All week long is Red Ribbon Week at school. So, every day there is a different way to dress up. Crazy Hair Day, Wacky-Tacky Day, etc. This craziness brought us to Mistake #2. We were searching, frugally, for our Halloween costumes Thursday morning five minutes before we should have been at the bus stop. Nice. Are you envisioning this with me? Sigh. Well, Miles came upstairs and to his credit, came up with a costume that had both Tim and me belly laughing. He was Darth Vader's Mom. Sadly, again, I have no picture. Maybe I'll make him dress up in it again this afternoon and just take one. It was so hilarious. He had on the Darth Vader mask and head thingy with a long, blonde wig and one of the dresses from the dress up box. The dress kind of has a rip in it, so I asked him if he wanted one that had no rip. Should have known. "No, Mom, this way it looks like I got in a fight or something." Miles.
Lindsay came up in a hula skirt and some other concoction of weirdness. Samuel was a little more conventional and chose (with a little urging from mother) to use the vampire costume that Miles had two years ago. Wesley used an old, neon green, "mean" spider costume. Julia had an adorable witch costume (that turns out was totally uncomfortable and almost too small for her. More on that later.)
So, they got off to school. They wore those costumes for the Halloween party at Church, too with Lindsay kind of copying Miles' idea and using the other Darth Vader mask thingy with a short, gray wig and dress to become Darth Vader's Grandma. Ask me about Miles' reaction when she won a prize in the Costume Contest at Church with a costume idea that she had gotten from him. Ahhh, the wonderful life lessons one can learn from one's siblings....
Anyway, that brings us to Halloween. Lindsay still felt like she didn't have a costume, and Miles' Darth Vader mask was sort of digging into his face uncomfortably. So, I took them both to Goodwill. Lindsay quickly found her costume: a grape. Yep. You read right. A grape. See photo. Miles couldn't find anything he totally liked and was ticked that Lindsay again ended up with the long end of the stick. (Really, son, you're jealous about a grape costume. OK.) He and Tim finally found a weird, scary costume thing downstairs that ended up being perfect for him to run around and collect his 10 lbs of candy in. Also, at Goodwill, we found a cute little, comfortable, cow costume for Julia for 75 cents.
Wow. That was a long explanation about the Owens' Family Costumes for Halloween 2008, but you know, it is no way could explain to you the amount and intensity of emotional drain it was on me. Next year, it's back to the old reliable: go to a store and buy a darn costume 2 weeks in advance, so there's no last minute head-ache. But I might add the Goodwill as the new place to go. Seriously, a totally cute, cow costume for 75 cents.
Here are some pictures:
You can see Miles hiding behind the gravestone, Samuel as a vampire, Wesley: neon green "mean" spider, Noah (our neighbor, whose Mom MADE that costume), his brother: Luke, Lindsay the Grape holding Julia the Cow. How cute is she!
Here's Julia in her uncomfortable witch costume:
Some after Halloween festivities:
Okay, now on to Ju-bee's First Birthday. What is it about first birthdays? They just melt my heart. It signifies sort of the end of their babyhood. It's a big milestone for the parents, especially the nursing mommy. You made it through that first year of labor-intensive, sleep-deprived care-giving. The one year old is also just such a delicious little person. Each one of my kids at one year old has just been the epitomy of cuteness. Anyway, enough about that. Here are some pictures. I was good and kept things simple. We just invited over our friends, the Gulers. I bought one little thing for her and then had the kids go downstairs and find something she would like and wrap it. They did well. She had so much fun.
Now, Thanksgiving in California. It was so fun. The kids had so much fun with their cousins. I think they consider their cousins to be their best friends on Earth. I'm so happy for them. I know I will always remember so fondly my memories of cousin time as a child, and I still consider my cousins some of my best friends on Earth, too. :):)
Here are some pics:
Julia does this funny hug thing that just cracks me up. Uncle Chris' tickling is making it even more fun to her than normal.
And, of course, no trip to Grandpa Call's house is complete without a dip in the spa.