Monday, November 14, 2011


Shaun's co-worker brought his pet spider into the office on Halloween, which was of course documented and shown to our little arachnophile, Willem. And that's why Willem's stuffed tarantula just doesn't cut it anymore.

The boys love to carve pumpkins. They can mostly do it themselves now, thanks to those little pumpkin-carving kits they sell everywhere. Did they have those when we were kids? I seem to remember that we used big knives from the kitchen, and that the very real dread of severing a digit (pumpkin guts are so slippery) added a macabre note to the otherwise festive carving proceedings.

The pumpkins came from Grandma's garden. We didn't get enough sun this fall for them to get good and orange, but the boys didn't care at all. I don't know if I've ever seen a pumpkin with flesh as thick as the one Nels has here.

Being obsessed with all things Halloween, Willem had drawn up a sketch of his jack o'lantern's face well ahead of time.

Pretty impressive execution of his concept, I'd say. He realized pretty quickly he'd have to forego the bloodshot eyes.

Trick-or-treating was a lot more fun this year than it has been in the past. It wasn't raining and it wasn't freezing, and the boys have acquired enough social graces to manage a "trick or treat" and then a "thank you" without too much prompting. Best of all, they then turn to go. This is a vast improvement over last year, when, after getting their candy, they would just stand agog and stare into the stranger's home like they were wishing to be adopted.

This was the first year I really felt like we were in "our" neighborhood. We've been here long enough that it doesn't seem like we're just passing through, and it was fun to recognize neighbors and schoolmates of the boys. People really did things up for Halloween, but everything was warm and welcoming rather than evil and creepy. I couldn't believe how many fun, creative carved pumpkins we saw. This one was a favorite:

And here are ours.

I should have put our bowl of candy out on the porch, because we only got two trick-or-treaters while we were home. I bought less than I have in years past, but with what the boys gathered (some people were giving out full-size candy bars) we have enough to keep us in sugar until next year. Anybody want a Butterfinger?


Auntie Nannie said...

Love the pics and story.

What did the boys decide on for costumes this year?

eric O said...

any candy that the boys don't want will be gladly welcomed in ukraine. i'm tempted to offer to pay for the shipping.

Gypmar said...

Nancy, Nels wore his Darth Vader costume from two years ago. It didn't seem to bother him that it was high-water length and skin tight. Willem was General Grievous. They were just standard cheapo-looking store costumes, but the boys wore them with such gravitas that they were really a big hit. Lots of folks appreciated the Star Wars theme, and both boys were pleased as punch with themselves.