Happy Halloween!            (2015)

We took advantage of several dress-up opportunities and made the best of Halloween this year. From a pink poodle to a ladybug, Hazel enjoyed holding all the candy she could at one single time, refusing to put any in an actual container. Turns out, the girl likes a good dum-dum sucker….or two.

Wesley wanted to be an Ewok this year, so I made his costume. It was a recycle from Daniel’s 1st grade Christmas play dog costume and I just added essential elements to give it the proper Star Wars feel. He wanted to wear it early and often, although a few tweens that chimed in with a “awwehhh, look at the cute teddy bear!” hurt his feelings a little. I told him they didn’t matter, cause anyone that didn’t know what Star Wars was needed to learn a lot more about the world. He seemed satisfied with that.

Daniel wanted to be Steve from Minecraft. We don’t own the game, so he doesn’t even get to play it often. His obsession is only gratified when we visit a few friends and he gets to play while there. Steve wears purple pants and blue shirt, so I scrounged up those items thanks to Goodwill and a local consignment sale. We borrowed a pixilated sword from a friend, and his costume was complete. We didn’t have all the pieces until late, so he opted to be a Star Wars Jedi and later Darth Vader at events we went to before Halloween Day. I forgot to really take a pic of him on his own as Steve though, so you can barely see the costume.

They got more than enough candy, not to mention a few apples, pencils, stickers, a box of crayons, and some pickles and pudding. I’m not gonna call out who gave them pickles and pudding, but it just may be a family member of mine. Have fun guessing. Shouldn’t take long to figure out.

Happy Halloween! 
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Halloween Dreams Do Come True

Our kids are slow to choose costumes for Halloween. They deliberate and choose, only to adapt and restart, ending ultimately in a new choice. It keep us from committing too soon to any one costume, thus missing consignment sale cheap costumes or the early pickings from the retail stores. Generally, we like to make their costumes, when possible, (or at least scrounge it together like last year) but let’s face it, it takes time to pull off the awesomeness, which is rare these days, especially now that our sweet Hayzee is army crawling as of last week.

This year, I wanted to avoid the last minute rush, so I sat the kids down last week and asked them to make a list of 4 costumes that they might like to be for Halloween. Their list contained the following: Ash Ketchum (Pokemon’s main character), Charizard (Charmander’s evolved version), Oschawott (a water Pokemon from the Unova region), or Yoda.

Yeah. That’s the list. I had to totally educate myself a bit more on Pokemon as I wrote down the names.

I wasn’t overly worried until I looked up those crazy Pokemons and realized how rare and complicated they are costume wise.

And although there might be costumes to buy on-line for a few of these, they were outrageously expensive. I don’t do expensive when it comes to this sort of thing. And if it were semi-affordable, read still too much for a kid’s costume, it wasn’t right, such as not being the evolved version. This is when I realized I was going to have to make them.

We settled on Ash and Charizard.

photo source: http://pokeballzkai.wikia.com/wiki/Ash_Ketchum
photo source: http://pokeballzkai.wikia.com/wiki/Ash_Ketchum
Photo source: http://bejitsu.deviantart.com/art/Pokemon-Charizard-418487510
Photo source: http://bejitsu.deviantart.com/art/Pokemon-Charizard-418487510

Thursday last week I went to Goodwill. Although many find great deals at that store, the deals seem to allude me. I typically do much better off in regular retail stores. Goodwill just generally disappoints. This day, however, I found everything I needed. It was amazing. In the sheet section, I found the perfect colored sheet set for $2.99. I found a “close enough” blue bath towel for .99, green gloves for .99 and I also found a Pokemon sheet that I plan to use as the table cloth for Daniel’s birthday party for $1.99. Totally divine Goodwill day.

Although I have a sewing machine, the bobbin has been giving me issues. So, Sunday, I went up to a friend in church, and in a much too serious voice, I announced to her “Pam, I have a problem.” The look on her face was intense, so I had to back it down a notch. After settling the fact it wasn’t as big of a deal as the way I started the conversation, I asked her for help with my bobbin. She volunteered her help but also suggested that I borrow her mom’s machine. Sunday afternoon, our or way to the pumpkin patch, I picked up the goods.

Monday I set myself to work. I began using all the scraps from home, such as cardboard boxes, old hats, tape, and material surplus from other projects. I made a quick trip out of the house with Hazel to grab the Ash Ketchum hat for Daniel (the most expensive item, and it’s not even exact, just close enough once I put the felt emblem over it). Tuesday I continued work and brainstormed with my brother’s girlfriend about how to secure the wings of Charizard to Wesley. After basketball practice for Daniel last night, I took off with Hazel to the craft store while Thomas put the boys to bed.

A $4 bag of stuffing and a white sheet of felt later, I felt as if I had all the supplies I needed to finish.

Today, Wednesday, I worked to finish everything up, cause even though Halloween is Friday, church tonight has asked the kids to wear their costumes. Although my original idea of securing the wings was to use to spare cloth diaper elastic, I decided that wouldn’t be strong enough, so I cut up an old bra and made some adjustments to make it work. I thought I was done, but once Wesley got home, I realized the circumference of the bra was too small, so I had to add some length. Add some hot glue, lots of random stitching, and a bunch of giddiness from my boys, and I can happily say I am officially mom of the year!

I now present to you Ash Ketchem and his captured Pokemon Charizard.

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I made their Halloween dreams come true……

If that even is such a thing….. :o) LOL

The Kids Dressed Up Too….

I know I showed you what I wore for some Halloween parties and a 5 mile run (at which I won an award for my running and money for my costume!), but the kiddos also did some dressing up too! We had several events that we need to attend, and being that we have a dress-up tub at home, we put it to good use. Halloween night, Daniel was a zombie and Wesley was a ghost. Although I made Wesley basically look like a dead nun, everyone seemed to know what he was, unlike last year.

We’ve donated a bunch of candy for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and whittled it down to just a few good things to keep as treats. So far, we’ve been good at partitioning it out appropriately.

Hope you had fun dressing up and trick-or-treating too!

 

Costume Contest

Saturday we went to a community event where there was a costume contest. When I found out money was involved for the winners, I decided I wanted to dress up and give it a shot. Who would be unhappy with winning $100 cash? Certainly not me, and being that I needed a costume for the 5 mile race, I figured it was best to decide upon something to be for the event. Friday, the day before the event, I convinced my mom to go with me to a local crafting store to get the supplies. I needed her because I knew I would need two white boas for my costume, and being that the cheapest I could find were $7.99, I was definitely using a 40% off coupon for the item, but it was only one per purchase, so I needed her to buy one too. Savvy of me, right?

I also was able to grab a few other items I needed and combined them with the red gloves I had gotten the day before at the dollar spot for, yeah that’s right, a whole $1. Add in a white t-shirt from Thomas’s drawer and my trusty hot glue gun, and you have a fantastic Halloween costume in the making:

I cut the sleeves off Thomas’s shirt and reserved one for what would become my hat. I cut the excess off of a red glove and stuffed it with cotton, hot gluing it inside the sleeve from the shirt. It was still a little too floppy, so I added some popsicle sticks on each side for some extra stability. I began hot gluing feathers to the sleeve until it was covered. Next, the boas were hot glued onto the shirt. I keep the shirt on the chair to help me move more quickly with the process. I am not a patient person when it comes to crafts. Unfortunately, those two white boas did not cover as much as I wanted, so I needed another one, which still did not cover everything but I was not investing in more, so I improvised and just did flat feathers from my scapula up in the back of the costume. The white mask was donned with white feathers, and a yellow triangle was cut out of some random sponge like materials that we have for the kids when crafting.

When done with the hot gluing, I slipped on the orange tights (thank you 60% off Halloween sale!) and laced up my converse shoes, and I can honestly say I was impressed with myself. This outfit was fantastic.

I was ready to win.

Turns out, there were some other great costumes there—and I got second. And second place is the first loser, as they say. But at least this first loser went home with $50 cash! My friend Shelley got 3rd and received $25.

We both lost to the cow:

But we were high fiving anyway, cause we were in the top three, which meant we were getting money one way or another.

I was happy with 2nd and $50 but Thomas was a little bitter that I lost to the cow (also known as a neighbor of mine, Nancy). He had some objections to a store bought costume winning first and getting $100.

I’m still content—and I can’t wait to run my race in the costume (minus the mask–totally can’t make that happen for 5 miles). The winning costume there gets something too, but I am not sure exactly what.

 

Trick-or-Treating

We started off our costume wearing with a bang, or more like a bust. As I said last Friday on Facebook, “Who dressed her kids up in costumes, albeit not their official Halloween costumes, and took her kids to an event in downtown Clarksville, only to realize that the event is the NEXT night. Certainly not this mom. Certainly not.” (see the pictures here)

On Saturday, we attended a party at the home of one of Thomas’s co-workers. Through a miscommunication, I was unaware of the adults should wear costumes too plan. 3 hours before party start, I got the memo, and being that Thomas was at a motorcycle class that day, I and had to get to work planning something based off of materials in my home while the kiddos were napping. I was pretty impressed with myself. It doesn’t get much better than a homemade burger and a can of Mountain Dew.

Daniel went as Thomas the train, but I somehow missed snapping a photo of him. Wesley was an alien from Toy Story. Both costumes for the kids were taken from our dress up bin, and they were thoroughly happy to wear more festive attire out and about again.

The hostess was a girl after my own heart, for she had themed Halloween items all around, most specifically for our food. My favorite had to be the “pumpkin brains,” which was a roasted pepper stuffed with spaghetti. Wesley was a huge fan.  One of the best things about the party was that everyone dressed up! I love when folks follow through.

Sunday night we took the kids to a Trick-or-Trunk at the home church of our friend’s parents. It was a small little Methodist church that took the event seriously, and it was great to have a small, safe environment for the kids to mingle. This trip Daniel recreated the cowboy get-up and Wesley chose to be a “Bad Guy,” which by no means should be confused with a “Pirate.” He would set you straight if you called him a pirate.

 

And, last but not least, the main event. Thomas had put the finishing touches on Daniel’s costume and the boys were ready to be their chosen costume duo, “Larry Boy and the Fib from Outer Space.”

(I am not sure why Daniel kept doing this head tilt deal) Here is the real Larry Boy and Fib, for reference:

Photo credit: http://spong.com/asset/200488/12/11040896/entity
Photo credit: http://www.fanpop.com/spots/veggie-tales/picks/results/115819/veggietales-really-cool-which-episode-would-want
Photo credit: http://www.fanpop.com/spots/veggie-tales/picks/results/115819/veggietales-really-cool-which-episode-would-want

Not everyone knew who Daniel was, for if you don’t really have young kids, you are basically unaware of Veggie Tales, and you really need to be a Veggie Tales fan to know of Larry Boy. I think, however, that Thomas made a terrific hood for Daniel to wear, and my last minute sewing scraps raid proved to pull through for me once again (perhaps the yellow looks familiar to you…..it was my hamburger “cheese”). Although Wesley was beyond proud to be “blue guy” AKA “Elmo costume from after Halloween 90% clearance spray painted blue” AKA “The Fib from Outer Space,” everyone kept calling him Cookie Monster. As long as the name Cookie Monster was followed by candy, he could care less. This boy figured out the routine fast, and by the end of the night, he was chiming in with “One more house! Candy!”

It was such a fun night Trick-or-Treating, and the fun that my kids had at all the events made my heart happy, sans the non-event event that I took them to a day early.  Last year was no where near this fun, and I can’t imagine what sort of wild and wacky costumes the kids are going to want to be next!

And just think of how awesome my costume would be if I had more than 3 hours notice! :o)