Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Extravaganza 2010

Today, I imagine mothers all over the country in an exhausted stupor. When did Halloween become such a big deal? I guess it's only as big of a deal as we, the mothers, make it/allow it to be. And personally, I do like any excuse to celebrate something and create fun family traditions, even though I have been known to bite off more than I can chew.

But really, what are you going to leave out? At the very least (unless you're living under a rock), you will get together some kind of costumes for your kids, you'll probably get some pumpkins and carve them, and then of course there's the trick-or-treating.  But who's going to stay home during the elementary school costume parade, or just throw away those pumpkin seeds when they could be roasted in butter, garlic salt and Old Bay seasoning? I suppose having a fog machine and black lightbulb for the porch was a little overboard, and going on a haunted train ride when we'd already been on a haunted hayride was just icing on the already sweet pumpkin cake.  Oh well, it's over now, and we had FUN!

Here are our highlights:

A few straggling pictures I missed from my last post at Cornbelly's.  I've got to get me one of these:

The "Haunted Hayride".  (I think that's hay dust in the air!)

On Thursday night we drove up Provo Canyon to the Heber Valley Railroad where we took a train ride up "Haunted Canyon".  I read about this on Nie's Nie's Dialogues, and thought it sounded like some good 'ole family fun! The website says "spooky, but suitable for younger children and adults alike", and Stephanie Nielsen's kids are younger than mine and she'd done it with her kids before, so I assumed it be fine.  Hmmm.  Let me tell you a little about it in case you live around here and are thinking of going next year.  

It started out great, with a funny "Billy Bob" character working the line, glow sticks, candy and hot cocoa for sale, and the "spooky" looking train just waiting for us to board: 
More "spooky" fun while waiting to board:
Once we boarded, I started wondering if it was going to be too scary.  They had one of those "spooky" sounds CD's playing - really loud - but it wasn't just witches cackling and stuff like that, it was
serious shrieking and ultra-tense music that made you feel like you wanted to scream too.  Maybe it was just me, because everyone was still smiling at this point:

Then the train started up the canyon, and the shrieking was replaced by the voice of a kind, older gentlemen telling ghost stories.  Now that's better.  Every so often there would be a live scene outside the train illustrating something from the story, and while it was pretty "spooky" (Will had his ears plugged at this point), the characters were so far off.  We were safe in our little train car.

Then things went from "spooky" to downright terrifying! They faked the brakes going out, the train started speeding up, then it came to a screeching halt, all the lights went out, and the "far off" characters boarded the train! Before we knew what was going on, poor Elizabeth had her little head poking around the seat looking at the train door we were sitting next to, and suddenly a hideous werewolf poked his head around the corner looking straight at her!  (Even Will had his face covered, and he prides himself in being Mr. Cool Guy that never gets scared.)  Well, Elizabeth spent the rest of the time screaming/crying with her head in my chest, as ghoul after ghoul boarded the train to terrorize the passengers:

This would be a super fun thing to do with a bunch of teenagers, and I'm probably making it sound worse than it was, but FYI if you live in the area: not so fun for sweet, innocent, clueless little girls who think "The Wizard of Oz" is scary.  

Kate really wasn't that scared, but somehow this picture came off looking like she was fleeing the train for her life.  It cracks me up, so I had to include it: 

Things calmed down considerably on Friday morning with the always fun and adorable elementary school costume parade. Elizabeth resurrected Kate's old Hermione cloak and wore Will's church clothes underneath - easy peasy, and she thought it was pretty cool to wear Kate and Will's hand-me-downs.

 That's Nancy Drew in front of her, in case you're wondering.

Will was a nerd: 

We went back to Cornbelly's one last time that night to get our pumpkins for carving the next morning.  We went at dusk, and there was a beautiful sunset:

Here's the "Pumpkin Tree" I mentioned in the previous post:
Elizabeth couldn't resist one last picture with the non-smoking "Pumpkin Princess":
The highlight of the evening was when Alex Boye (he calls himself the token black guy in Utah) showed up for storytime with the kids and a dance contest to win his latest CD.  Elizabeth and Rachael both got up there and went to town, but Elizabeth actually WON!  Isn't that just the cutest? 

The next morning we were ready to carve our pumpkins and decorate the porch:

Elizabeth's (she got some help!):
Mine and Rachael's (okay, so Brandon did it while I was making food and otherwise getting ready for the evening): 
I have to have chili and cornbread on Halloween:
Brandon took the pumpkin seeds very seriously this year, single handedly cleaning, dressing, and roasting them. 
Rachael insisted on a green face since she was a "cary" witch:
We had some serious rain and wind in the evening. Things didn't clear up until 7:30, so I didn't get any good pictures during daylight hours. Flash just ruins everything, but here they are:

Can you say "white trash drugstore costume"? I loved his nerd costume on Friday, but he just HAD to be the grim reaper for trick-or-treating. I kept refusing to buy him a scythe until Brandon made fun of me and got extremely reasonable, telling me if you're going as Hermione, you have to have a wand, if you're going as a cowboy, you've got to wear a gun, and if you're going as death? Well, you have to carry a scythe - so what's the big deal?
Then there's Kate.  Heaven forbid she do something artsy and creative like she is, but she wanted to be scary too. (Can you tell how I feel about these types of costumes?) In her defense, breaking open a bunch of glow sticks and rubbing them all over her clothes was pretty creative, and her face make-up glowed in the dark too, but it's just so NOT KATE. (Which is probably exactly why she likes to do it!)

Before heading out.  Kate just went to a few houses and then came back to work the door with me, hoping to scare some of the older kids since I told her the little ones were OFF LIMITS.  Why is it so fun to scare people?
The aftermath:

Sorting the stash:
By far, the coolest thing I've ever seen done on Halloween was by our neighbors two doors down who fried up donuts in their garage with bowls of sugar, sugar/cinnamon, and powdered sugar to dip in. (I couldn't figure out why everyone was coming to my door with crumby napkins until I went out a little later with Rachael.) Not only that, but they used a projector to show "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"on the side of the house next door to them. Isn't that just the coolest?  (That and our entire county trick-or-treating on Saturday so all the Sabbath-keeping Mormons could rest on Sunday from such craziness as Halloween. We're kind of funny that way, keeping the Sabbath day holy . . . it's not a bad thing.)

Lame treat award went to the person who gave out BAGS OF BABY CARROTS. I appreciate the sentiment, but just leave your light off.

We had fun, Halloween.  See you next year . . .

1 comment:

  1. Oh Allyson-you make me laugh nearly every time I visit. As a non-Halloween lover myself, I could barely appreciate or agree with your enthusiasm, but I 100% agree with you on the lame treat award going to a bag of baby carrots!
    Roll on Thanksgiving...


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