Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

My boys think Halloween is right up there with Christmas.  Do you want to know why? 

Because, preparations usually starts a few days in advance.  Last year we were building scarecrows.  This year it started with the collection of used tennis shoes. 


That is not how you started your Halloween festivities?

It also involved a power saw, which Peggy was not very adept at working.

And a hand saw, some chicken wire and some toddler pants.  Do you see where I am going with this yet?   No??

We were making this...a little ghost with running shoes on his feet. My father-in-law, Joe, built me a little trick or treater years ago for my front porch.  It was the inspiration for a "surprise" for our friends who were unfortunately going to be out of town for Halloween.  You see, the entire family was in Washington, DC for the Marine Corp Marathon.  Mom and Dad were both running.  The kids and their grandma were  along as the cheering squad. 

 We couldn't make just one, so we made an entire family of little ghosts.

Once we got the basic frame knocked out, we put all the extra shoes in the back of my Suburban.  That finished up day one of preparation.

Day two of preparation dawned a glorious fall day and we got busy giving each of these little guys a personality.  Jack had his trick or treat bucket and his shoes were untied. 

 This is Grandma ghost, affectionately called Tita, who reminds me so much of Louise and who was celebrating her birthday the day before Halloween. She is a party animal.

 This is Mom ghost.  She has hand warmers and Cheetos.  Interesting combo, don't you think.

Sweet Caitlyn looked precious with her little bucket for candy.

Here is Dad.  Ex-Marine.  First time marathon runner.  He has a big gun and a Marine Corp lanyard with 26.2 on it.  He was a hard core ghost...almost scary.  Not in real life...well, a little bit in real life, but not really.

While me and Peggy were decorating ghosts, the kiddos were making lots of posters.

 Happy Birthday posters.

Apology posters.  There were Congrats on your Marathon posters, Watch Out I Stepped in Blood posters...they ran the gamut.

Then we started the time honored tradition of throwing used tennis shoes up in trees.  What?  You don't do that either?  Geez.  What do you guys do?  Get dressed up in a costume and go door to door collecting candy??


It was the perfect trick for a family of runners. 

It took a couple of tries to perfect the technique for getting the shoes looped around a branch.

 There ya go.

 Now they have the swing of it.  Come on guys, only 51 more pairs need to be thrown.

Oh, here is a cute idea.  Put some shoes on the spider.

Wrap some webbing across the garage doors and we will call Prep Day 2 complete.


This year, my sweet little Chip went all dark and scary.  You will know why momentarily.

I made a big pot of Bob's Famous Chili (not sure it is really famous...not really actually sure if it is Bob's recipe.  That is just what I call it.) and we made Frito Pies at the V's house.

We had a few more preparations to finish up and then we could get on with the merriment.  On the top of our list was to terrorize some friends of ours who have a weird kind of protective thing going on with their Chicago Bears garden gnome.  They were obsessed with making sure he was safe. We wanted to leave them a calling card.

We loaded up the car with all of our supplies.  Ghosts, posters, tape, scissors, fishing line, yard stakes, etc.
Then we threw in six kids and five adults.  Eleven people were in my Suburban.

We got busy setting up our ghost family at our friends house.  No pressure to sneak since they were out of town. That was a big help, because there is nothing quiet about this crew.

Hello sweet ghost family.  Oh, I forgot to show you the dog...isn't he precious?

We hung the posters all over the grounds.  This on e is a classic..."It's Raining Shoes!"

Another original celebrating the huge accomplishment of running a marathon.  Which, by the way, they both rocked! 

Some more posters and signs.

 By the time we got back to the V house to restock our supplies, their yard had been rolled.

Quick clean up by the big boys. 

Then we were off to put scarecrows out, ding dong ditch several houses, and kidnap the gnome.  It was a huge night, full of running, laughing, car doors slamming, army crawling across was wild.  Now you understand why Chip wanted to go in all black.  This is a three years tradition and he knew what kind of costume would help him the most. 

In addition to all that fun, I may or may not, have almost amputated Peggy's finger with some fishing line at one point, but that is the price you pay for this dangerous kind of fun.

The gnome family caught up with us late in the evening and they were furious... can't you see it on their faces?
We had a huge crew out pranking each other and the kids absolutely loved being part of it.

The candy was totally secondary to the thrills. 

We have a new prankster in town that hit all of our houses with this scary as all get out clown mask.  Why are clowns so freaky?  So we are doing a little investigation and may have to widen the circle next year to drag a few more folks into the chaos.

We got home about 10:15 and Chip and Harry went immediately to bed.

Chip woke up the next morning and the very first words out of his mouth were "I can't wait for Halloween next year." 

Only 363 more days!

I hope you had as much fun as we did!


  1. Thanks for making us feel boring. We Trick-or-Treated. The End. I'm exhausted just reading about your festivities.

  2. that was awesome!!!! thanks for sharing. i promise i am not the clown. he was really really creepy!

  3. That's my kind of fun! I wanna live life like that....Cindy A.

  4. I am curious about the marathon runners' expression when they arrived home to all the merriment in their yard.