Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween 2015: Fluttershy and the Ninja

This Halloween tried to get away from me. Coming just two and a half weeks after our return from our fabulous vacation in Hawaii, we spent at least half that time resting, nesting, and reacclimating to our own time zone.

So not every festive thing happened, and that's okay. We didn't get to the apple orchard, but we did get to the pumpkin patch. We didn't get to the haunted house, but we did spend a family movie night watching Ghostbusters, the children for the very first time, and hallelujah, they love that movie as much as I do!

We didn't make the monster face cookies or the dyed cake (although we still may!), but Syd did make mummy dogs, this pumpkin chocolate chip pie of her own invention--
Prepare your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, but in a chocolate graham cracker pie crust. Just before baking, scatter a VERY generous handful of chocolate chips over the pie; they will settle down into the pie as it bakes. For Halloween flair, Syd recommends that when the pie is out of the oven but still a little warm, you use more chocolate chips to put a Jack-o-lantern face on top.
--and these highly-elaborate trick-or-treat cookies, with my help: 
Cutting out and baking these cookies was kind of a nightmare, as each cookie requires two full circles and one circle with the middle cut out. Even more annoyingly, you must roll the dough out thicker for that circle with the middle cut out. We didn't know how many cookies this batch of dough would make, so we were trying to keep it even, but somehow the math, plus everything else that the recipe required, was more than Syd could keep in her head, and so I kept turning around to find out that she'd cut the middles out of ALL the circles, or rolled the dough paper thin for the cookies that HAD to be thick, etc. Normally, I'm pretty chill about stuff like that, but this recipe simply wouldn't work if these measurements weren't accurate, and so it was a frustrating experience for all of us.
You're supposed to fill some with a "treat" candy and some with a "trick" candy--we decided on mini M&Ms and nerds.

Even though the entire batch only made four of these cookies for us, they were HUGE, and quite decadent with all that icing, the candy inside, and the chocolate chip Jack-o-lantern decoration on top. A single cookie was more than any one of us could eat at one sitting. Also? As soon as you bite into the middle, the candy will start to spill out onto the floor, and since the pieces are small, they scatter EVERYWHERE. I'm still sweeping up Nerds in the kitchen.
Aren't they crazy thick? They were delicious, too, but overall way more work in the kitchen then we tend to enjoy.
 And, of course, no matter what else we did or didn't do to celebrate, we still went to Halloween parties, we still made wonderful costumes, and we still went trick-or-treating!

Our chickens all free-range, and I was charmed to see the kids, before we left for trick-or-treating, putting them back into their yard while in costume.
Here are our babies all grown up! From left to right, we have Smudge, Fuzz, Hedwig, Feather, Featherfeet, Puffball, Cinnamon, and Faith.
Our trick-or-treaters this year consist of Fluttershy from My Little Pony, a ninja, and our friend, the Soul Sucker.
Because we live out in the country now (which, by the way, also completely solves my years-long problem of buying candy for trick-or-treaters, eating it all myself, and then having to buy more candy), we drove back to our old, familiar neighborhood to trick-or-treat:

Many of our former neighbors know and are known by the kids, still, which makes trick-or-treating more fun, I think, and it doesn't hurt that our neighborhood is an EPIC place to trick-or-treat! There were honest-to-god Halloween carolers out this year. There was this car, the smoke from which you could see a block away:

There was the guy who hands out candy in a gorilla suit (which he must own, since he wears it every year), the house that gives out the full-sized candy bars, and I don't even know which house gave the kids THIS particular treat, but we are 100% going there again next year!

There was a dog dressed like a hot dog!

At one point during the evening, we came across two wee little fellows, somewhere in the 3-5 age range, I'd say, dressed as Hogwarts students. The little brown-haired boy wore a Gryffindor tie under his robes, and the little blonde-haired boy had his hair slicked straight back and wore a Slytherin tie. I was absolutely delighted, grabbed Matt's arm in excitement, and stopped in my tracks to gaze in adoration at what was clearly shaping up to be the best thing that I had ever seen in my life.

As I watched--my own children could have been running down the middle of the street at this point, as poorly as I was attending to them--the little Gryffindor waved his little wand (he had a little WAND!!!) and shouted "Expelliarmus!" This startled the little Slytherin, he stepped back, stumbled, and his wand flew out of his hand.


I swear, my consciousness left my body. I have been told that I was jumping up and down, squealing and clapping my hands, until Matt physically restrained me and said something along the lines of "chill out, Creeper. You're scaring all the kids."

I feel like I eventually managed to calm myself (Matt says that my face was also frighteningly beet-red), but for the rest of the evening--and fine, I am still doing it--every now and then I find myself helplessly saying, "Remember the kids? And the wands? And he said, "Expelliarmus?" And the wand FLEW OUT OF HIS HAND?!?" The rest of the family is all, "Yes, yes. Very nice. Super cute. Please stop, now."

But this incident made me realize that my children, although they both went through too-brief Harry Potter phases, have never asked to dress as Hogwarts students for Halloween. And I feel that if they never do, if I never get to spend my October crafting painfully-detailed Hogwarts uniforms for my children--and, fine, while I'm at it I might as well make uniforms for Matt and myself--then I will live the rest of my life with this regret on my soul.

And so that night, the children and I made an Unbreakable Vow that next year, they will dress as Hogwarts students, just for me.

I. Can't. WAIT!

I may start working on their costumes now, actually...


Tina said...

That would have been the cutest thing to see! Emma designed herself a gargoyle costume (she is recently read The Nearly Honorable League of Pirates) and I sewed it up for her. Not only did it look cute, but she can totally wear the pants and sweatshirt any time she wants.

We had a family come by our house and their dog had a jockey on his back. It was super cute.

I love the idea of doing a family Halloween theme thing. Not sure the hubby would go for it. Not sure what we would go as even if he did.

Can't wait for next Halloween now!

julie said...

Okay, a gargoyle sounds AMAZING! I want to see pictures!

I'm not normally into family Halloween costumes, but since I, personally, would happily dress as a Harry Potter character every day of the year, I am 100% stoked about our Hogwarts family next year! I've already established the headcannon: Matt is the Hufflepuff head of house and the Muggle Studies professor, Sydney is a Gryffindor first-year, Willow is a Slytherin second-year, and I'm the Ravenclaw head of house and the faculty advisor for the Young Witch and Wizard Writers program.

Tina said...

That's so awesome! If we are in Michigan next year, maybe we should plan to crash your trick-or-treating. It would only be a 5 hour drive!

We posted some pictures on Instagram (as I have broken up with facebook). Have the girls read The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates yet? Emma and I love them.

julie said...

Okay, I'm going to look for you on Instagram. I don't think I'm following you yet! The phone on my camera is so ridiculously crappy that I rarely post, myself, but I follow some great people there.

Also, I have just requested that pirate book from the library. I'll have the kids write Emma and tell her what they think!

Tina said...

Oh, she would love that!

I post photos from our tablet, because my phone is stuck in the dark ages. It's takes okay pictures, but then I have to send them to the tablet to post. It's a pain, so I don't use my phone often, but sometimes it's just necessary.