Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016: Pumpkins and Venus Fly Traps

This is what Madison got me for my birthday today!  It's it great?  I love how random this is, and yet it's something that I was thinking would be cool for us to have and learn from.  I think I mentioned this about a month ago, and here it is.  Madison was quite proud of this, and the card she bought me.  It's a Halloween card with a ghost passing gas on the front.  Instead of "boo," the ghost is saying, "Poo!"  This cracks Madison up.  And on the inside of the card, it says, "I hope your Halloween doesn't stink!"

She had a great day at school.  Daddy went to the imaging center to get a hepatobiliary scan, which is exactly what I wanted for my birthday!  They call it a HIDA scan, and it checks out your gall bladder, liver and bile ducts.  And… it costs a lot.  Just what I wanted for my birthday!  It takes a long time where you just lie there, doing nothing.  For close to an hour.  Daddy dozed off a few times.  The people there were all dressed up for Halloween though, with three witches at the receptionist desk.  Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!  Yes, that's what's been churning in Daddy's tummy lately.  As I left, someone gave me a piece of chocolate for my birthday.

So… what did we do in the afternoon for the big birthday?  You won't believe it.  We put up a couple Christmas trees.  No joke!  We started the Star Wars tree upstairs, and got Madison's tree up as well.  Funny, huh?  It takes a while to get all this up and going, so we started earlier this year.  We might even start watching Christmas stuff tomorrow!

When Madison got home, we started to have some fun.  Madison's teacher graciously assigned NO HOMEWORK because of Halloween (yes!).  We had four leftover pumpkins, so we decided to use the time we had before trick-or-treating to do some more carving.  And you should see what we did!

Daddy did No Face over there on the left.  Mommy got to carve a pumpkin - that's the one with the glimmering tooth!  And yes, Madison did the Darth Vader pumpkin there.  She picked the design, and cut everything out on her own.  It was a monster effort, done just in time to go out trick-or-treating.  But it was an incredible job!  It got the most comments of the night, for sure.  The Jack Skellington one is a white pumpkin that Daddy got a few weeks ago - we carved that tonight as well.  It was an easier design.

So the big moment came.  First thing:  it is hot outside.  The temperature may be the hottest Halloween ever on record.  And crystal clear - no clouds or precipitation at all.  This is good for Halloween night, but not good for our dry and thirsty land.

We got into our costumes (David S. Pumpkins and Rey), and then we decorated the front porch with our lit pumpkins.  Our section of the neighborhood doesn't have as much traffic as the rest, but there are still a lot of people that come into this area.  When it gets dark, this neighborhood sees so many people.  It's a huge crowd, as if the whole county comes.  But before then, some of the younger kids can get out and collect some candy.  And many of the houses are decorated rather extravagantly:

Here's Madison approaching a grave situation.  The mist and fog was so much, it ws hard to see the front steps of the house!  We walked with our neighbors for a while - they have younger kids - and we collected a whole lot of candy while admiring all the different houses.

Pumpkins and webs everywhere, and unusual lighting.  This neighborhood goes all out, just as if it were Christmas decorations.  Only the lights aren't green and red:  they're purple and orange.  And it's not just lights and webs, either.

"Zuuuuuul!"  Yeah, there are inflatables throughout the neighborhood, along with all kinds of other decorations too.  Like skeletons.  And skeletons walking dogs.

This is from Madison's favorite yard.  We pass by this one all October, and there are usually several skeletons in various positions.  Last year, they were trying to climb into the house.  This year, you can see one walking a dog.  Another one was using an older person's walker, leaning on it to walk with.  Madison likes this house so much, she posed with the owner after getting treats.

She was having a great time.  This is it though, the last trick-or-treating of the year.  It's her fifth time collecting candy, if you're keeping score.  We've had two Fall Festivals, one trunk-or-treat, and one visit to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  Five bags full of candy.  So yeah, by the end of the night, Daddy was carrying the back-up bag like a pack mule carrying a heavy load.  But right in the middle of things, we got a second wind:

We have KidPak friends who live in the neighborhood, and they were driving around kids with a hay ride!  Or, at least a pine straw ride.  Still, a ride's a ride.  We hopped on, and this year actually went farther into the neighborhood than we've ever gone before.  It would be impossible to do the entire neighborhood - it's too big.  But we did do a lot more houses than we've ever visited, and we went a lot farther.  And Madison got to run around with friends, and ride along versus walking so far.

Madison decided one last swing by the houses closest to us would be it, and soon we were back at our front porch, where Mommy was sitting giving out candy.

It was quite a tremendous day.  And just look at all the loot that Madison collected!

We had a great night.  As Madison counted her loot with Mommy, Daddy sat outside and gave candy to visiting trick-or-treaters.  Madison was sweet - she got a lot of Snickers bars, and even a whole big one.  Yes, there's one of those houses in our neighborhood, the kind that gives out large candy bars.  Anyway, she gave all the Snickers to Mommy, who she knows likes those kinds of candy.  It was a kind gesture.  Of course, there's quite a bit of candy leftover up there, isn't there?

Anyway, she went to bed as we read "The Nightmare Before Christmas," and another chapter from "George's Marvelous Medicine."  And then it was off to bed, pretty much for all of us.  Halloween is exhausting!

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