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our halloween

jack-o-lantern's fanged grin in the dark

carved just in time

We did Halloween on Saturday; I have mixed feelings about it.

There are lots of things I enjoy about the holiday. Carving pumpkins, for example. After the boys' little ones (pictured here) they were out of steam for another big pumpkin effort, so I picked one up myself and carved it just before folks arrived for our party. I did have a little help from the littlest one.

Lijah, cookie in his other hand, reaching deep into the pumpkin to pull out some goop

one-handed helper

I also love costumes, and the boys had some awesome ones this year. Only we didn't take many pictures, and Leah has all of them. The high point of the evening for me was when Lijah, who had resisted all efforts to get him to dress up earlier in the day, was finally inspired when he saw Mama helping Zion into his Snowy pants. "Tep, tep?" he repeated, miming stepping into a costume himself. Seizing the moment, I dashed upstairs for Zion's old monkey costume and, because it doesn't come with the crucial step-into portion, his king pants too. Lijah was delighted to put them on and cute as a button trick-or-treating.

The big problem with trick-or-treating, of course, is the candy. The boys started sugaring up pretty early in the day, and their behavior suffered accordingly. Between that and the late night they were pretty ruined for Sunday and even some of Monday. And now we're stuck with bags more of the stuff that we hope to keep anyone—myself included—from eating. Couldn't folks find something more wholesome to share with their neighbors?! We did our best: once again our main offering to trick-or-treaters was homemade cookies.

the cookies in their basket, with pumpkin

the treats

Of course, it was nice to share the experience with friends: we advertized a party and two families joined us for the festivities. After the trick-or-treating was over it seemed like a shame to send everyone home right away, so we started a board game. It ended up going a little long; Leah may forgive me some day for my role in the debacle. And I didn't even win!

On Sunday—despite how tired we all were—we headed out west to an afternoon party at the home of our friends Ashley and Jim. It was a lovely affair, and pretty quiet: by the time we arrived there were just a few other families. The little kids ran around (well, most of them; Zion lay on the couch under a blanket) while the adults ate and ate: Jim is a great cook and likes to work in quantity. There was plenty left at the end of the evening, so he sent us home with a big bag of cornbread and another of ribs. Now that's the kind of trick-or-treating I could get behind!

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