Happy Halloween!

I know, I know…we’re a little behind on blogging. (Okay, a lot.) I promise to catch up one of these days. But yesterday was a Very Important Day for children around the nation: Halloween! The Gribble kids had an extended holiday. We always start the season by painting windows at the businesses in downtown Lafaytte with Phoebe’s friend Fritz and his family. The kids got a spot at Eats and Sweets, a local ice-cream and sandwich shop, which meant that their paintings were probably seen by a lot of people!

Fritz’s window painting.
Phoebe’s half sun, half moon.
Benjamin drew all the characters from Paw Patrol. Or superheroes. You can see him inside the window.

The PTA at Benjamin’s school, Alicia Sanchez International Elementary, threw a Halloween bash last Saturday. There were art projects (Día de los Muertos skulls to color, Tootsie Pop ghosts to create, cookies and marshmallows to decorate); a costume contest; a photo booth; snacks; face painting; and dancing in the darkened, decorated gym. The kids were excited to try out their Halloween costumes!*

I insisted they be photographed before we could walk over to the party. Phoebe’s school friend Maggie Jane came along as a play date.

I asked him to do a superhero pose.

Turn around so we can see your cape! I’m so glad I decided to make the collar after all.
What a charming evil trickster pixie of stars!
Look evil!

This was the best photo I could get of the two of them together.
Waiting in line for face painting.
Frosting a sugar cookie. (Looks like she’s been eating the sprinkles, too!)
Irritation.
Whimsy.
Phoebe’s school friend Maggie Jane.
Two happy third graders!
Spider art. (He asked for Spider Man.)
Getting inked.
Checking out his face painting.
This play date concluded with the girls saying “let’s read!” and each picking up a Raina Telgemeier book.
Disrobing the Robin costume.

On Monday night we had an evening free, so we carved pumpkins.

Cutting off the top all by herself this year!
I love this photo with her nose just sticking out of all that hair.
She’s getting to be a pro with that sharp pumpkin knife!
The boys are working on opening up Benjamin’s pumpkin.
Dave is showing Benjamin all the pumpkin guts.
Chase pumpkin (from Paw Patrol).
I think I did a pretty good job free-handing it!
Phoebe’s moon pumpkin.
She did a great job on that star!
Mommy’s little white pumpkin with the boring old jack-o-lantern face.

On Tuesday night our piano teacher, Walt, did a recital with a soprano who’s been singing with our choir, Paige Sentianin. We only stayed for half of it, due to bedtimes, but dressing up was encouraged and the kids got to wear their costumes again.

On Halloween morning, Benjamin came home from school sick and was disconsolate about missing the parade. After a check-up, I decided to bring him over to school to process across the stage with his class. He was feeling a lot better and was annoyed when I dragged him home again—he missed some sort of decorating project—but I had a phone meeting. Working parenthood!

It started to get pretty noisy as all the classes filed into the gym for the Halloween parade.
Benjamin wasn’t at all afraid to be up on stage with his class.

My colleagues always comes up with a theme for Halloween costumes. This year, we were “zombies through the decades,” based on a series of books we’re publishing on pop music through the decades. I had to pick up Benjamin, so I didn’t make it into the group photo.

I was going to be a hippie zombie, but I had to go pick Benjamin up from school before I could get zombified.
My coworkers dressed as zombies from the decades.

We trick-or-treated with the Gawenuses this year; the Brinkmans have grown up, and they went out with individual friends. While we missed seeing them, it was nice to be close to home. We ate some pumpkin-shaped pepperoni pizzas and Phoebe’s vegetable owl, and I made chocolate-chip-Werther’s-caramel cookies. Phoebe and I really enjoyed smashing the Werther’s with a hammer on the garage floor (in a baggie, of course).

Phoebe’s vegetable owl.

The Gawenuses’ neighborhood was wonderful for trick-or-treating; the big kids (Phoebe and Fritz) stayed out for an hour. Benjamin and I went back early to warm up (it was pretty chilly) and help Lisa pass out candy. When the big kids got back, they dumped their prodigious bags on candy into one huge pile and shared it out evenly. Benjamin got every “odd” piece; the fifth Hershey’s bar, the third Whopper package (which Phoebe kept pronouncing “Whooper,” to my delight). The redistribution was their idea and gives me great hope for the future. Everyone managed to eat a disgusting amount of candy before we dragged the kids home for bed.

Benjamin, Fritz, and Phoebe are ready to head out trick-or-treating.
Fritz, Phoebe, and Benjamin at the first trick-or-treat stop.
Robin is ready for the next house!

*Note: This year, Phoebe wrote “start sewing costumes” on the school lunch calendar on October 1. I don’t think I started until October 8, but I was pretty pleased with the results. Now the sewing machine is back in the garage, to be resurrected on October 1, 2019, or when I need to fix a seam, whichever comes first.

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