Katie’s Halloween Afternoon

While the boys were away at the game, Katie had a birthday party to go to…and some trick or treating to do. (Our city, for whatever reason, holds Halloween the Saturday before.)

She made me a mask.


The group of birthday trick-or-treaters. 

It was a tiny bit insane as they literally made a mad dash from house to house. It was also freezing.


And then they were all tired and cold after only 30 minutes so it was back to the house for a piñata.

A good time was had by all… And Katie even stayed to play and watch a movie so I had the house to myself… 

Pumpkin Day

I volunteered to help with Pumpkin Day in Katie’s classroom. I had no idea what would be involved but then I got the email saying we’d be carving pumpkins so bring a knife and bowl if we could. Hoo boy—I hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years…

The classroom was a bit insane (I don’t know how she does it without an assistant—we were spoiled with Owen’s class having one) but overall it went well. There were four moms total so we each had a group of six. We had to measure the pumpkin with blocks and chain lengths, write what the pumpkin felt and smelled like, weigh the pumpkin, see if it sank or floated…and then design and carve the pumpkin. In an hour.

As you can imagine it was pretty much like herding cats. It started with the teacher switching Katie’s seat with someone so we could be at the same table…and the kid completely lost his shit and was a crying hot mess because “he wanted his seat.” Really, kid? You lose it over moving seats for an hour? And then some kids couldn’t pay attention for more than three seconds. One had no idea how to draw an H (“we haven’t done that letter yet”). A few wrote their numbers backwards (71 for 17) but fixed it after I told them—except one kid who literally kept writing it 71 no matter how many times I told him it was 1-7 not 7-1. One kid wrote all his letters on top of one another. You get the idea. I’m not bragging when I say that Katie seemed among the most advanced in her group (able to pay attention, answer questions, write her letters and numbers correctly, and follow instructions).

This is a snapshot of mass chaos before we even started.


I didn’t take many pictures because I was very involved in every step of the way—plus I didn’t have pockets, remember. 


Katie was the badge collector.


And then it was time to go home so Katie got to ride home with me. She had a good time and was happy I came. 

2016 trick or treating with friends!

Our two Pokemon: Squirtle and Pikachu!






Our yard and porch! This was the first year we’ve left the lights on and just left treats out for kids to grab. I kind of miss carving a pumpkin, but honestly it’s a lot of work and I don’t miss the stress about needing to get it done. Plus, I have this light-up pumpkin that I can use.


Starting at our neighbor’s house…


We weren’t planning on going with them, but she was ready when we got to their house, so we all went together!


Maddie, a neighbor friend.


Then, on another street, we ran into more friends, so our group grew!




Trick or treating hours were from 6:30-8 and we used every last minute! We were walking back into our yard at 8:00!

The kids got entirely too much candy…and were super excited!


Family Costume Party!

Friends (the Brownes) invited us to a costume party and we hadn’t been to one in ages—and I’ve never been this thin—so I eagerly bought myself an awesome costume! I mean, I figured why not?!

So, you saw the sneak peek:

And Tom had a few costume options from previous years…but I had seen a friend do Cousin Eddie (from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) and thought it was brilliant…so I picked up the pieces for that. And of course we had the two Pokémon kidlets.

On our way…

Ta da! Thankfully we had an unseasonably warm day and we were actually comfortable in these.

Who wore it better?! :) The consensus was Tom, though Randy showed more nipple. :D

I loved all our costumes but I really want to have a theme one year. We briefly tossed around being Team Rocket or Ash and Misty from Pókemon but the costumes were too expensive for what they were and I didn’t feel like creating them myself. Maybe next year will be the themed year.

Our themed hosts:

Even Squirtles need to eat.

And Pikachus need to potty. :)

I really lit up well in the black light…but I don’t think it even looks like me.

The kids had a blast—we barely saw them the whole time. They were playing in the yard and going on a treasure hunt with 20 other kids.

Black light paint!

The funny thing was that we were all thinking it was like 9-9:30 (it was dark and we were tired) and we looked at the time…and it was only like 6:45! Are we old or what? :)

Once the sun went down it quickly got chilly so they started a fire and we hung out there for a bit but then we called it a night and were home by 7:30. ARE WE OLD OR WHAT?! :)

2016 Halley Fall Festival

So, it was an interesting night to say the least.

It started with deciding at the very last minute to take Katie as well. We hadn’t been going to do that and she was a little bummed but then the mommy guilt got to me and I changed my mind. We had a minor fight with Owen about what costume he was wearing—we bought him Squirtle because he really wanted to be Squirtle…and instead he wanted to wear some random skeleton costume with a mask (they aren’t supposed to wear masks) so we said he needed to wear his new costume.





On our way…



Every year thus far, Owen has had a sudden onset of shyness or nervousness when we approach the school for the festival but it was never anything bad or lasting—we’d just walk in and he’d be glued to our sides for about three minutes until he saw all the fun going on and saw his friends…and all was forgotten and he had a great time.

Except this year. He COMPLETELY freaked out and wouldn’t even set foot in the building. At first we thought it was just his normal routine, but when we tried to coerce him in, he refused. REFUSED. And got visibly upset. We tried to be nice and loving and that didn’t work. We tried tough love and that didn’t work. After 10 minutes or so, I went in with Katie and Tom stayed in the hallway waiting to see if Owen would come in the building. I talked to his teacher and she tried to get him to come in. Nope. A few of his friends went out to try and get him to come in. Nope. I tried again. Nope. It was absolutely maddening. He had a whole litany of reasons he didn’t want to come in, the biggest of which was he hated his costume, it was stupid, and he knew everyone would laugh at him and he’d be embarrassed. It didn’t matter that everyone who saw him said they loved it (I mean, Pokemon is ALL the rage!) and people had heard about the Squirtle costume and were LOOKING FOR HIM

He also said there were too many people and they’d all be looking at him. What? The kid who has no problems (anymore) of speaking in a group in front of an assembly? The kid that everyone seems to know and like? The kid who loves people? I was gobsmacked.

It didn’t matter what anyone said. He was NOT coming in and he was in full meltdown mode.

In the midst of this, I was with Katie playing the games and getting her face painted and she was having an absolute blast. (The face painter was Miss Anne, the assistant in Katie’s classroom that she also had last year and is a friend of ours.)







Putting her name on her treat bag!



Picking a sucker for a prize! (Bonus: notice that they reused my signs from last year?!)


With our neighbor, Jackson (first grade).


Getting her picture taken.



Then Tom texted me to say he was DONE because he had just had to chase Owen down because he ran off. What the hell?! So we went out again for me to try talking to Owen—at this point he was actually in the building quite a ways so I thought I would have more luck, but nope, he was still refusing to come in to the festival. And when I tried to coerce him in again, he literally turned and ran away down the hall. Some older kids saw his costume and came up and told him how awesome it was. Nope, still not moving. Still thought his costume was embarrassing. By this point I was just done (he’d been out there for almost an hour) and told him we were done—he was either going in or we were both going to sit in the car until daddy and Katie were done. Which is exactly what we ended up doing. :(

So, Tom had switched places with me and had taken Katie in to the cafeteria to dance…where she had even more fun! It would have been even more fun if we were all there together. Ugh.


A bunch of snippets of Katie dancing…and frolicking!

So, overall, Katie had an absolute blast, Tom and I had fun when we were each with Katie, and the rest was a hot failed mess dealing with Owen. We have NO idea where this all came from or why it was so traumatizing for him. Of course, now we’re worried that something else more serious is going on that we don’t know about or he hasn’t told us about…

Halloween in Grayling

The kids were super excited about treak-or-treating at Gramma’s house…and we were, too…until the Michigan weather happened. Yeah, it was 38° and rainy. Egads. If you look closely enough you can see Katie’s polka-dot long johns under her white tights (and she also had on pink tights!).


On the front porch where my Halloween picture was taken every year…


Everyone (including Uncle Rob) ready to head out!


There weren’t many houses lit up but the ones that were were handing out TONS of candy! You see how full their bags look? We had only hit maybe six houses at this point!


After about 15 minutes they gave up on the umbrellas and just ran from house to house while we waited at the road. Soon enough we were back at Gramma’s door!!



Home after an hour of being out in the rain—they were soaked but happy!!


Tom gave the kids a hot shower and put them in PJs while I made them hot cocoa!


Eating Mallow cups from daddy and Uncle Rob—they were Grandma Marsha’s favorite treat and someone brought a bag of them for the boys.


LOOKS AT THEIR HAUL!! The weather sure stunk but it was great for quick candy accumulation. They got 9# of candy from less than 20 houses!


Halloween starts tonight!

Owen’s school Fall Festival was tonight and we wanted some one-on-one time with him so asked friends to watch Katie. They were going to a Trunk or Treat event so she was excited! She was Rapunzel—with Pascal on her shoulder!

And then we had Harry Potter—SO stinkin’ cute!

With his fresh scar:

Getting his new shoes tied. I bought these shoes on clearance about four years ago and they’re finally the right size…and worked well with his costume!

Couldn’t you just eat him up?

We kept bouncing back and forth between the games in the gym and the music in the cafeteria. He didn’t want to dance but loved playing with the hula hoops! He was very shy because he didn’t know many of the kids.

And you’ll notice he’s missing the glasses. Yeah. He decided about 15 minutes in that he didn’t want to wear them. Or carry his broom. Kids. :/

Back to games!

And then since it was crazy crowded and he was pretty much done, we suggested frozen yogurt—and he wanted to leave immediately. :)

Katie actually got home later than us! They said she qas very well-behaved and had a BLAST! And she came home with a TON of candy!

The vampire teeth were the favorite thing.

And, lastly, pics from Katie’s night. Her friend Ainsley is Tinkerbell.