Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Round Up

Wow, the last part of October has been a whirlwind of activities and illnesses. Fortunately many of the colds/ flu bugs flying around our house seem to be on the way out.

A few weekends ago we decided to go to the same pumpkin farm we went to last year because we liked how it was simply a farm where you walked into the field and picked out your pumpkins. Brendan and I have been increasingly irritated with the "kidification" of all activities on earth. While there is a time and a place for slides and video games (like at Chucky Cheese), we are getting tired of shelling out extra money so our kids can go on a carny ride at the apple or pumpkin farm. It's not just the money, though. It's also the message that the activity (apple picking, pumpkin picking, etc.)in and of itself is not enough fun, there must be some kind of external goodies and rides that make the experience unforgettable. The thing is, my kids love the activity without the extras, but of course if we go somewhere with those extras, we are the ones saying "no." (And it is getting harder and harder to find places without these extraneous activities.)

Anyhow, as we approach the farm, we see a sign that reads "Farm moved 4 miles east down road." So, we decide to drive down the road four miles, assuming there will be signs showing us the new location of our pumpkin farm. No dice. At about the 5 1/2 mile mark, we decide to turn around
when I see a small wooden pumpkin sign up ahead on the side of the road. I tell Brendan to go see what it says. When we get close enough to read it, it says Pumpkins - 8 miles down Grove Road. It is not the pumpkin farm we had originally come to go to, but at this point we had few options so we decide to drive the eight miles down the road. Along the way there were several more homemade pumpkin signs and after six or seven minutes of driving we see the most amazing pumpkin farm ever. No rides, no caramel apples, just pumpkins everywhere you looked! Turns out we stumbled upon Heap's Giant Pumpkin Farm, where all they sell is pumpkins. They boasted of 30 varieties of pumpkin and truly, there were pumpkins I had never seen before, along with giant pumpkins that looked like a lot of fun. After checking out the many different pumpkins and the kids giving them the once over, we decided on two nice large orange ones and the girls got two "baby" pumpkins to take home. It was tons of fun, and not one ride in sight. Definitely a farm we will be visiting in the future.

On Tuesday night we carved the pumpkins, one with a traditional scary face, the other with our Martha Stewart drill method. The kids loved helping drill the holes all over the pumpkin and every person in the family drilled a few holes. It made for a fun and different pumpkin from the average jack o'lantern.

Wednesday was all about the candy and the costumes. Ian decided on an army guy, and wore his Grandpa's old army shirt and some olive green pants to round out the costume. Zoe was an absolutely adorable Scooby Doo. And then there was Emma. All October she talked about how she was going to be Princess Aurora or Cinderella for Halloween. We had both dresses in our dress up stock, so either choice would be easy. Then on Tuesday night she decided she wanted to be a fairy for school and wore a white angel outfit with purple wings. When she came home after school, Ian, Emma and Zoe went to the basement to retrieve their pumpkins for collecting candy. Emma found a witch's hat and asked if she could be a witch for trick-or-treating. It just so happens Emma has a black hand-me-down dress that I just put in her closet two or three days ago. We put a purple shirt underneath, some black tights, and the hat on top of her head completed the outfit. She was the cutest witch in Aurora.

At about 4:45, all the neighbor kids started ringing our bell and the natives were getting restless. Brendan got home at about 5:00 and the four of them took off for about an hour of candy gathering while I stayed home to pass out the goods to the other costumed kids. After a quick meal of mac and cheese, Ian and Emma headed out again for about 30 minutes to some other houses and came back with even more goodies. Grandpa made a Halloween appearance as Albert Einstein and passed out even more chocolatey goodness before everyone changed into jammies and got ready for bed. It was a fun night.

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