Costumes, however, were done way in advance for once. Both kids had their entire costumes ready to go two weeks ago, in time for the Little 5 Points parade. So at least I wasn't running around this week doing THAT!
Eli and Maddux did a great job with their pumpkins this year. Yeah, we bought them at Publix less than a week before Halloween instead of visiting a pumpkin patch, but they didn't seem to mind. For several years now they've picked out the design for their own pumpkin, and last year Eli even helped carve his. This year I told them it was ALL them. They were pleasantly surprised that I'd let them cut their own jack-o-lantern, but the little 'carving knives' they sell around every corner are so kid-friendly it would be a crime to deprive them the joy of carving. Since I'm all about giving the kids the best possible experience, I also let them clean the seeds out of their pumpkins. They are LUCKY! The one thing I did was cut open the top with a real knife, but then it was all up to them. So they scraped and scooped and scraped some more. Maddux was a little hesitant to start, but she got over it really quickly. Eli ended up designing an 8-eyed spider face? and Maddux tried to duplicate a face she saw on a pre-made jack-o-lantern. Both kids did really well! Seriously way better than I expected and I'm so glad I had them do it all themselves because they turned out to be at least as capable as I am (if not more!). They gutted, cleaned, designed, drew, and cut everything on their own: NO help from me. Ruby hung out with us most of the time, just lying on the ground near the crime scene.
The scarecrow display was awesome, as usual. I'm always blown away by the creativity of some people!! The kids were extra excited to see the scarecrows this year because they helped create one. Some creative minds at church landed us a spot in the line-up, so Eli, Maddux and a handful of other kids got together for a Sunday afternoon about a month ago to construct Mr. Tumnus (Narnia). He turned out very cool and the kids were super psyched to see him at the gardens.
Halloween was on a Thursday this year, so the kids got to come home from school and pace around the house and yard for two hours before we could get started with our neighborhood festivities and trick-or-treating. Once Lehr got home, they were ready to go. We loaded Ruby up in the BOB and set off for the Halloween parade. Eli looked awesome in his Lincoln beard and top hat. Maddux looked, well, Maddux-like in her wings and pink tutu. And Ruby rocked the ladybug costume like no other. The kids meandered from friend to friend on the neighborhood walk down to the clubhouse. We all got a piece of pizza just before the costume contest started. Eli was eagerly anticipating this; he thought he had a real shot at winning. He ended up taking second place, which he was grinning ear to ear about (even though there was no prize).
And they're off: 6:15ish we left the pool to trick-or-treat home. Eli and Maddux did pretty well staying with us and using manners at each house. Our neighborhood has so many kids that the first dozen or so houses get absolutely mobbed once we all leave the clubhouse area. At one point Eli got really hot and wanted to take his beard off, but we convinced him to keep it on. He wasn't too focused on the candy this year, so he'd go to a few houses and then skip a few and walk with us. Maddux did the same, but it seemed like they never picked the same houses to skip. Ruby was a rockstar, watching, snoozing, and eating on our mile long walk back to the house. Never an upset peep came from her in the BOB or the bjorn.