Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Traditions.

Introducing our pumpkin family...

We are full into the swing of Halloween things and this should continue until the actual day of the holiday next Wednesday.  After that I will be completely over it and already plan on taking all signs of Halloween down on Thursday.  This is how I am about holidays.  I get very into it, excited and do it all out and then just as fast I get totally over it and put it all away until the following year.  As you can see from the final products above, this week began with pumpkin carving! 

Each year the help the girls need with these sorts of activities lessens.  It makes it all so much more enjoyable because it doesn't feel as much like work.  Not that I ever considered it's just a little harder when you try to carve pumpkins with a toddler and they are into it for the first five minutes and then you end up carving pumpkins the rest of the evening on your own.  I enjoy these school age kids that scrape out the guts on their own and create their own Jack-o-Lanterns...

Layla has been working on her "scream" face

The one thing I miss from when they were younger and Halloween?  Ava calling pumpkins punkins...especially when she wanted to go "punkin hunking"  Oh, the cutest thing you ever heard...right?  

Onto more Halloween festivities.  The year of Ava's first Halloween I felt compelled to buy pumpkin and bat cookie cutouts even though she was only seven months old.  I just knew there would be years of cookie making with them and for the past seven years that is exactly what has happened.  A couple years ago I stumbled across the BEST sugar cookie recipe ever.  As my brother-in-law calls them...crack cookies.  Yes, they are that good.  I think it's the maple syrup in them that really steps it up a notch.  Last night the girls and I got deep into cookie making and decorating and sampling...

It's funny I've never expanded on the cookie cutter is always just pumpkins and bats every year.  You'd think I'd throw some ghosts or witches in the mix.  Nope...two cookie cutters is all we need.  Keep things simple.

This weekend is our annual Halloween party with my family.  I'm not sure when it started, but it seems like for many, many years we have had a party around Halloween.  It has changed over the years...the first time at our current house included a lot of bloody mary's, shots and craziness (this was pre kids, of course) and now have grown into a more family friendly affair.  Everyone still dresses up and there are festive cocktails, however these things are balanced out with pumpkin scavenger hunts and games for the kids, yummy homemade food and pumpkin pie fresh from the pumpkins from our garden.  (I wonder how many times I can say pumpkin in one post?)

I'm going to end with a totally random happy from the week...nothing to do with Halloween.  Catching my baby girl in a moment like this...

Last year I decided instead of printing photos and putting them in photo albums, I would make a photo book.  I was very happy with the results, so am doing the same thing this year.  It takes a lot of work.  I take a lot of pictures and sorting them all, deleting bad ones, organizing them into a book like fashion takes a lot of time and patience.  So far, for this year I'm on page 70 and with the holidays coming I'm sure I'll hit 100 pages.  Seeing Layla grab the photo book from last year, sit down in the chair and go through and "read" it with her own version of events while she doesn't know anyone is listening is absolutely priceless.  It is worth every moment of my time making sure these memories are documented.  

Until next time, happy Halloween's eve's, eve's, eve's, eve's, eve...does that put us to Wednesday?!

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