Halloween 2010

This year, Halloween fell into place during a week that I am working.  Not only am I working, but it fell on the longest of my stretches of days on (rotating days on / days off pattern).  Thankfully, I was able to request the night off as a “vacation” back in July (which later proved to be something I was glad I did).

Halloween started a little over a week ago for us.  The weekend before Halloween weekend, both the Mother of Five and I were caught working, leaving the kids home to fend for themselves for several hours.  This is not normally a huge issue as we finally have “built in babysitters” 15 and 13 year old sons (#2 and #3 of 5) home to help us out when this happens.  But on this particular weekend, my parents called up and asked if they could come by with pumpkins for the kids to carve.  This worked out well!  My parents got to spend some time with the kids, and there was some “adult” supervision here for most of the time we were gone.  WIN / WIN!! 

(Sorry, no photos unless mom and dad took some…. Mom?  Dad??)

On Friday before Halloween, the Mother of Five’s parents came over and also helped us carve pumpkins with the kids. (Hover over photos for caption)

Grandpa and #4 of 5    Grandma helping #5 of 5

#3 of 5 - Looks like a horror movie poster!    #2 of 5 - Guttin' a pumpkin 

Alien, Happyface, cat on the moon, scaryface    Alien, Happyface, cat on the moon, scaryface

It was about mid week that I got a call from Best Bud Ed.  Best Bud Ed’s dad (sort of like “another dad” to me) was in St.Paul needing an emergency medical procedure.  There were some pretty significant risks associated with this procedure, so I wanted to head up to the hospital and offer some support to the family during his procedure.

(Something slightly interesting happened to me on the way to see Best Bud Ed’s family, but I’m working on a separate post for that…)

The procedure went so well that by the time I got there, Best Bud Ed’s dad was back to his room and as feisty as ever!  It was sure good to see his family, even if he could not be there.  They are truly a great bunch, and I am lucky to say I am as big a part of their family as I am!

After visiting with Best Bud Ed’s family for a while, it was time to head back home and wait for the Mother of Five to get off work so we could begin our Halloween festivities!.   

Once the Mother of Five got off work and got home, we took #4 and #5 of 5 (the girls) up to St. John the Baptist (their school) where the Family Association was holding it’s first ever “Trunk or Treat”.  Families lined the parking lot and handed out candy to “trick or treaters” (students) as they walked the parking lot (much like going door to door, only they went car to car).  The Family Association also had games and prizes, and cupcakes, and punch set up for attendees and their families!  It was a GREAT idea, but we arrived late (last 30 minutes) and by that time most of the events had taken place and were being broken down. 

If St. John’s Family Association does this again next year, we will be sure to be there early enough to thoroughly enjoy the events! 

#5 of 5 - working on the "Skeleton Puzzle Race" game  #4 of 5 - working on the "Skeleton Puzzle Race" game“Hide the treats in the pile of leaves” game.  “Hide the treats in the pile of leaves” game.   

Top Left - #5 of 5 working on the “Skeleton Puzzle Race”
Top Right - #4 of 5 working on the “Skeleton Puzzle Race”
Bottom Left - “Hide the treats in the pile of leaves” game.  Penny candy and temporary tattoos are tossed into the leaves and then everything is raked into a pile.  The operator yells go, and the group of kids have to dig through the pile of leaves to find the stuff.  Sort of like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  This was a pretty cool game!!  #5 of 5 in the forefront.
Bottom Right – Kids searching the pile of leaves for the penny candy and temporary tattoos.  #5 of 5 in the foreground.

After the Family Association's Trunk or Treat event, it was time to head home to prep our our place for the evening’s events…

I got home and set up the driveway for the boys who were going to staying home to hand out treats to the trick or treaters who came to our house while the Mother of Five and I took #4 and #5 of 5 out trick or treating.

Several years ago we started noticing folks setting up fire bowls or chimenas in their driveway.  They would sit around the fire to keep warm while kids came up for their tricks or treats.  It also fostered a bit of neighborhood comradery because the parents (or friends of our kids) would often come up to hang out and warm up a little too! 

Since first noticing this, we too have partaken in the “Driveway Firebowl Ritual”.  I set up our firebowl, a little table for the treats, and some seating for my boys and a neighbor to enjoy.  XM Radio had a “Halloween Sounds” channel set up for the night, so I also set my XM Receiver to that channel, and ran a boombox outside for the boys to add a little “ambience”.

Treat Station set and ready to go!  Treat Station set and ready to go!   

Just before fully coating up (temps were dropping quickly) we snapped a couple of photos of the girls…  This was the point that the Mother of Five pointed out that we have been costuming children for Halloween for twenty two (twenty for me) years now.  (yikes!)

But, even scarier that that… This time next year we will have a GRANDCHILD dressed up for Halloween! 


#4 of 5 - Masked Robot Ninja Girl   #4 of 5 - Masked robot ninja girl and #5 of 5 - Witch  #5 of 5 - Witch

The Mother of Five’s parents arrived to walk the neighborhood with us, so I loaded up a couple of “treats” of my own (cigars and a couple of beers), I got the fire lit for the boys, trick or treated my father in law (handed him a cigar) and we all headed out.

Ham, neighbor, and slumper  Ham, neighbor, and slumper

Left to right (in both photos) - #2 of 5 “hammin’ it up”, Neighbor, #3 of 5 “slumpin’ in down”

We went about two blocks before my mother in law (who is not much for low temps) scumed to the cold.  My father in law and I enjoyed our cigars as we headed back to get his car so he could pick up my mother in law.  He left to get her and I stayed with the boys for a while, until I realized that with my mother in law being picked up and me back home enjoying the fire, the Mother of Five would be out and about all alone.  So I headed back out to find her. 

I located her, and then we located some friends from church and tagged along with them for a while.  Our daughters all disappeared into another friend’s house – and once we found them – we split back up and went our different ways – At this point we had covered about 1/3 of our neighborhood, and #5 of 5 started pooping out, while the cold (37 degrees at this point) started affecting #4 of 5

When we arrived back at the house, #2 and #3 of 5 (the boys) were still sitting around the fire along with my next door neighbor who had come over to hang out for a while.  The Mother of Five and I sent the girls in to change into their P.J.’s and then to check out their haul while we visited with our neighbor.  I cracked out the “cold ones” I set outside earlier.  (At 37 degrees outside, the beer is chilled to near perfection!) We all had a good time hanging around the fire and visiting!  Ya know… I don’t say this often enough, but we really have some awesome neighbors!!

The in-laws left not long afterwards, the girls started getting antsy, my neighbor’s family all started arriving home, and it was getting cold – so I doused the fire, packed it all in, and we called Halloween 2010 successfully complete!

All things considered, we really had a GREAT Halloween this year!  It was a lot of fun!


  1. Cool pumpkins man! You guys had some creative ideas there. Ours end up being the same every year, triangles & squares, lol.

    You're the 2nd person to mention this trunk or treat thing and it sounds pretty cool. I've never heard of it until this year. Gonna look into it for our community.

  2. We've been Trunk or Treating for years now, and I love it. The kids are safe, the community (whichever community it is) gets to see each other, and you're done in a short amount of time. I have those nostalgic memories of spending hours going door to door as a kid, but these days you aren't very excited to let the kids loose in the neighborhood by themselves, and parents don't necessarily want to tramp from street to street while the kids fill their candy buckets to the brim.

    The firebowl idea is GREAT, though. That would get neighbors talking together. I might have to try that next year.

    Great post, FOF.


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