Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween Miscellany

How's that for a title? Don't pretend you're not impressed by my use of the word "miscellany." I wasn't even sure it was a real word--and not one I'd invented--until after I'd typed it and blogger didn't underline the word in squiggly red.

1. In which Lila pretends she's an only child
A week or so ago, we ended up doing something with just Lila, Ryan, and me. She couldn't stop talking about how great it was and how she wanted to always do things with just Lila, Mommy, and Daddy. So before church on Sunday, when we were all looking quite Halloweeny, she decided we should take pictures. Of just her, Mommy, and Daddy. She even planned the stool she wanted to stand on. The boys looked pretty cute, too, but they weren't invited to photos and they didn't really care! Also, the Sunday before Halloween is the one time I feel it's appropriate to wear skull tights to church.

2. Halloween Cookies
Nevada Day is October 31st, but was observed October 27th this year--which meant a day off school! The Gourlies invited us to the park to decorate Halloween cookies with them. The Gages, Whittakers, and Perrys came, too! The kids had a lot of fun and consumed many, many cookies. October is still too warm for it's own good so we are just soaking in the sun and park days.

 L to R: Tyler Gage, Jackson Gage, Landon Perry, Asher, Reed, Ty Gourlie, Ryan Whittaker

L to R: Emily Whittaker, Hannah Whittaker, Lila, Audra Perry, Logan Perry, Zach Gage, Lila Gourlie, Avery Gourlie.

3. Class Parties
I got to watch the costume parade at school then pop in to Asher and Lila's class party. Asher's class had SO MUCH FOOD. It was insane--pizza, cookies, watermelon, pretzels, popcorn, more cookies...and then some! Lila was so pumped to wear her costume to school. She'd been telling Mrs. Cantwell and Ms. Stouard how much she was going to scare them for days. At her party, they ate treats, watched a little Halloween show, then turned each other into mummies. After they mummified each other, they all attacked Mrs. Cantwell with the extra toilet paper. She was mauled and soon buried. It was hilarious and cute.

Reed came home with a gallon-size ziploc all the way full of baggies of chips, cheese balls, pretzels, popcorn, etc. His class had quite a bit of food, too!

Trunks, Tricks, and Treats

We had THREE candy gathering opportunities this year!

1. Ward Trunk or Treat
Our ward trunk or treat was a little early in the month, which was lucky because Grandma and Grandpa got to be there for it! We had a chili dinner followed by a costume parade and a story time that I was in charge of. Then we let the kids loose! They lapped at least twice (and some ward kids came to our car at least 3-4 times!) They ended up with tons of candy. And our traditional trunk decorations were loved by all. Reed dressed up as a knight, Lila dressed up as a dragon, and Asher dressed up as a lego mixel. Asher got a little frustrated because people kept asking him what he was! My costume was Reed's face because I'm hilarious. A few weeks before Halloween, Reed asked me what I was going to dress up as. I jokingly responded, "Your face!" He cracked up over how funny it would be if I were actually his face and brought up the idea several times. I surprised him at trunk or treat by wearing a shirt with his face on it!

2. School Trunk or Treat
My friend Natalie Whittaker told us to plan to be there early or right on time because last year (when Ryan and I were gone), the line got huge, fast. We followed her advice and ended up being able to line up with both the Whittakers and the Thomsons! The trunks at the school trunk or treat were very impressive. And we were very glad we were early when the line kept growing steadily behind us! When we left there were STILL people in line! We got tons of candy again and had fun trunk or treating with friends. The boys wore the same costumes but Lila decided to change it up and dressed as Minnie Mouse.

Hamblys + 2 Whittakers

3. Trick or Treat!
And finally, we went real trick-or-treating! We started our day at IHOP for free scary face pancakes. I was a little worried with timing--getting to IHOP, ordering, and eating all before school started--but it wasn't a problem at all. We even had time to stop at the 99 cent store after to get lunchables for the boys' lunches and to score adorable Christmas throw pillows for $2 each. I've never been a holiday throw pillow person but apparently now I am!

After school, we played a few games, watched a Halloween episode of Hey Arnold! (the kids' first Arnold experience--Lila wasn't a fan), then went to Sonic for cheap corn dogs--a Halloween tradition we started last year. While we ate, we face timed Ryan, who was at a work conference in Minnesota. The kids were all pumped to tell him about our day. We miss him!

And finally we made it to our preferred trick or treating neighborhood, Huntington. I was a little worried about doing trick-or-treat alone, but shouldn't have been. The kids were such good listeners and we had zero meltdowns. Whenever someone complimented Lila's costume she'd give them her best dragon roar. And she told me after every house, "I said trick or treat and gank you Mommy!" We ran into some ward friends, the Whiteheads, and stayed with them for a few streets until we were headed separate directions. We made it through one whole quarter of Huntington before deciding to call it quits! Everyone was tired and the kids had a drawstring backpack full of candy and a half-full bucket of candy each!

After we got home, we walked around the corner for one last stop. We'd noticed one neighbor with an adorable Halloween setup on her driveway and just had to go to her. I think she may have been the only one in our neighborhood to pass out candy! She gave each kid a whole handful, then pulled open a chest next to her with special goodie bags full of stickers and bubbles. So sweet!

When we were home for real, the kids dumped out their loot. Lila traded out her peanut stuff with the boys and made a candy stash for Ryan since he wasn't home :)  At one point, Reed tried to come look at Lila's candy--and she shot out her arm, blocking him, and said, “Candy safety line!”

Side bar: every time the kids have a treat they offer me one from their pile! They are totally sincere and willing to share. I love it.

We had a pretty great Halloween.

 Last random story. We took a picture outside IHOP and after I snapped the photo Lila started crying. Turns out she was upset because she couldn't see Asher--he was standing next to Reed instead of next to her. She is so used to being in the middle and she was really upset that she didn't know where Asher was! So we took a new picture with Lila in her rightful spot between her boys.

Asher's Birthday

We started a few new traditions for birthday this year which everyone was pretty excited about. The first new tradition is the Birthday 5. I got 5 small things for Asher and attached each one to a balloon. Then I hid the balloons around the house for him to find! He was pretty pumped when a balloon was right outside his door when he woke up and very excited to find his other four balloons. When he came downstairs, the table had our birthday decorations on it, his presents piled by his spot, and a birthday chair cover on his seat. (I decided to make the chair cover the day before Asher's birthday and am pretty pumped about how it turned out!) Asher's Birthday 5 this year were a puzzle cube (which ended up being his favorite), gum, craft noodles, a fortune telling pen, and glow sticks.

After breakfast (Halloween Crunch, also a surprise), we got everyone off to school. At lunch time, Ryan picked Asher up from school and took him out to lunch--another new tradition! They decided to play hooky for the rest of the day, too, and did a lot of things: lunch at McDonald's, shopping with Asher's birthday gift card from Grandma and Grandpa Hambly at Target (he got a Nexo Knights lego set and a Lego City beach set), Cars 3 at the cheap movie theater, and a free magic/mind reading show! Asher felt really special to get to spend the whole day with Daddy doing special things for his birthday. They had so much fun!

When Asher and Ryan got home, we had Asher's birthday dinner. He'd requested mac n' cheese (not homemade), cooked carrots, and orange crush soda. The meal was both delicious and orange. And then we opened presents! Asher got a big lego Star Wars guy (Finn), two new shirts and some socks, minions color wonder, and two new books. We topped our night off with birthday brownies and celebrated our SEVEN year old!


Pumpkins! We bought our pumpkins a week or two ago, but decided to hold off quite a while on carving them--I'm not sure it's been "unseasonably" warm, but it certainly has been quite warm, and we didn't want our pumpkins to collapse before Halloween. The boys were patient, but Lila asked daily if we could carve pumpkins yet. When it was finally time, she was overjoyed!

Asher chose a pattern from the carving book this year. It was a bat/scary demon guy with his hands outstretched. The pattern is called "gimme a hug" which had the kids laughing all night. He and I tag-teamed on his--he did the big sections and I did the small sections. I was also the designated scraper.

Reed chose to draw his own pattern, which turned out really cool! He did the majority of the scraping and the majority of the carving, with only a few small bits of help. Way to go, Reed!

Lila had two pumpkins. She and I had bought a pumpkin at the 99 cent store early in October, then her class went to the ranch in mid-October and she ended up getting a free pumpkin. She drew/partially dictated a face for Ryan to draw and carve on one pumpkin. On the other pumpkin, she supervised while Ryan drilled holes of varying sizes. Tiny pumpkin bits got all over the floor from the drill, but the pumpkin is SO DANG CUTE that it was totally worth the mess.

We left our pumpkins inside until Halloween night to help them last. And last they did! They looked super spooky on Halloween night. 

Pumpkins are one of the traditions that just keep getting more fun as the kids get older. Maybe one year they'll all clean out their own pumpkin guts :)

Lila's pumpkin:
Asher's pumpkin:

Lila's pumpkin
 Reed's pumpkin: