Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Halloween from Madagascar!

It's been a fabulous Halloween season.

We had our standard pumpkin carving night.

Everyone was ready to dig in....except for Ammon. He was less than thrilled to come close to pumpkin guts. However, he enthusiastically cheered the rest of us on with continuous, "You guys are doing a GREAT job!"

I let the kids pick the shapes and theme for their pumpkins.

Lydia chose a happy, robot pumpkin with heart-shaped lips, while Ammon wanted a scary, happy pumpkin with angry eyebrows.

It made for a pretty good family of Tappana pumpkins.

During the day I was busy sewing our costumes. I made Brigham's and my costume from cheap items found at Goodwill.

I used this bed skirt to make 80% of the costumes. The picture above shows how I cut it up and sewed it to make a tail for Brigham's costume. There was one point I was nervous it wouldn't be enough, because I had everything all measured and cut out for my costume and then went to iron it smooth. Right when I set the iron on the materiel, this happened:

The iron burned a perfect hole into the fabric...right in the middle. I was so frustrated. Luckily, I had enough bed skirt to complete the costumes, but it was close, and I sure didn't like having to remeasure everything again. I truly enjoy making the costumes, it really brings Halloween alive.

Besides pumpkin night and costume making, we also had the Ward Halloween party to attend. Because I'm in the Relief Society Activities Committee, it was my job to help set up the backdrop for the photo-booth.

It took FOREVER, but we eventually had a pretty amazing backdrop, and I snapped a quick shot of my kids before it was overtaken by the eager ward family that night.

Lots of kids activities were included at the party that night: fishing, cake walk, pumpkin bowling, pin the face on the pumpkin, and more. There also was a pretty epic Haunted Spook Alley set up on the stage. And I mean epic.

Picture my brother Ryan growling in a horrifying mask that shots loud clouds of smoke, while emerging from a hidden tank of water up through a cauldron billowing with dry ice, JUST as two little girls go to grab a glow-stick from the creepy warlock sitting behind the cauldron (my deceptive brother, Kenny). AND then, after that traumatizing moment, imagine having to walk on a small wooden bridge, trying to get to the exit and having long scary hands come up from under the bridge and grabbing at your ankles as you are trying to walk....

Because that's exactly what happened. And that's just the last half.

I took Lydia and her best friend, Emery, through, and already terrified to death from the first two-thirds of the alley, the cauldron moment sent Emery over the edge. So I had to scoop her up, and rush to carry her out because she was screaming. This meant I had to abandon the already upset Lydia with all the spooky guys, as I ran carrying Emery. That sent Lydia hysterically trying to follow us, while the teenage boys aren't taking the hint of screaming, hysterical little girls to stop, and keep grabbing at our ankles. THEN we couldn't find where the curtain separated. It took like two minutes to locate it. That's a long time in that situation. And by the time we actually fell out of the spook-alley (well I had to run back in to find Lydia and carry her out as well), the entire ward was staring at us because you could hear what was happening throughout the gym.

I think Lydia accurately portrays how we felt by the end.

Luckily, no nightmares were had and the girls recovered quickly after decorating their personal, pumpkin sugar cookies. Sugar does the traumatized soul good.

Plus, trunk-or-treating still was to come, and I think any kid can recover from anything to make it to that.

People enjoyed our debut as the Madagascar family, and we had fun showing it off together. If you aren't familiar with the movie, Ammon is the lion, Lydia is the zebra, I'm a penguin, and Brigham is King Julian the lemur. Brigham's favorite part of his costume was the tail.

"I've always wanted a tail!" he told me.

We donned our costumes on again, Halloween night, ready for the trick-or-treating of a lifetime.

We went and made our rounds at the assisted-living home first (love trick-or-treating there, such a sweet spirit!) and then navigated through the neighborhood.

Due to our kids' love of candy, we were trick-or-treating for two-and-a-half hours. They complained about tired legs, but when we asked them if they wanted to go home, they insisted they still wanted to keep going and get more candy. So we did.

I'd say they scored.

It was different this year. It was the first time we've ever been trick-or-treating without other friends or family. Kayleen ran off with friends her age, and we didn't really have anyone else to go with, so it was just our little family. I enjoyed it that way, but also missed our Tappana family that we used to go with. Trick-or-treating with cousins is pretty special. Also, it was the first year the kids walked the whole way, and they were troopers.

Lydia's already changed her mind a million times on what she wants to be for Halloween next year, so we'll see what costumes I'm bound to make a year from now. I'm already excited, but also glad that I have awhile to regroup. So until then: Happy Halloween everyone! I hope your costumes tricked all the evil spirits away, and that you were rewarded with lots of treats for yourself :)

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