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Happy (belated) Halloween from a wickedly beautiful witch, an anything-but-cowardly lion, sassy Luna Lovegood, the only artic fox you’ve probably seen on Halloween, a giraffe with a broken neck, and Papa Fox.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loved Halloween. It probably has a lot to do with dressing up, staying up late past bedtime, and FREE candy for the taking! What’s even better is that I get to relive all the childhood fun with my own kids and now, instead of being a once-a-month holiday, it’s become an all-month-long celebration with tons of fun activities. We did our best to spread Halloween out as long as possible!


After decorating the house (some with homemade crafts, like our Upcycled Fan Blade Happy Halloween Hanging or Easy Candy Halloween Sign) and trying on every single costume available, we spent an afternoon at a local pumpkin patch.


We have yet to find a Pumpkin Patch that’s as cool as the one we used to visit in Iowa, but the one we went to was pretty entertaining (it always inevitably turns to Jack and I talking about how fun it would be to own a pumpkin patch, haha). We shot perfectly good apples from an apple cannon…

…wandered around for a good while in a corn maze…
 …and enjoyed a leisurely trip on the hayrack ride to the pumpkin patch and back, where we skipped buying pumpkins because we already had some growing at home.

From a friend’s recommendation, we went to a small-town fire department’s haunted forest. There was a carnival beforehand…

…then we went into the forest, which was creepy but still family friendly.
(The last thing I need is one kid after another coming to me at the middle of the night telling me they had a nightmare…)

Afterward, it was free hot chocolate and popcorn all around while we watched Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.

We stopped by our local fire department’s party…

…and then went over to a friend’s to decorate spooky gingerbread houses while watching The Nightmare Before Christmas.

So much sugar!

More than once, someone crashed on our way home from an overload of excitement. It’s hard having fun!


Though Jack had a couple of work trips that took him away for entirely too long for our liking, we still managed to squeeze in pumpkin carving.


Zoey was particularly enthralled by pulling out pumpkin guts and carving a face into her itty bitty pumpkin.


My pumpkin was one of the ones from our manure patch, where last year’s seeds grew us some new pumpkins, the first time I’ve been able to do it with some success!

I love the smell and sight of Jack-o-lanterns burning on our front porch!

One of the most fun things we got to do this Halloween season was that the three older girls and I all wrote a short Halloween story and submitted it to a local Halloween writing contest. Surprise, surprise, I won the adult category!


I was invited to come read my story to a rather impressive turnout (Irvington has been running their Halloween festival for 72 years–my kind of people!) and afterword, the hosting charitable organization–the Black Hat Society–danced while decked out in some very cool witch costumes.

The same week, I also won back to back at a chili and cinnamon roll eating contest with our white chicken chili and pay-the-dentist cinnamon rolls. Hint: the secret ingredients are fresh cream from Dolly in the soup and cream cheese frosting on the rolls. Talk about a boost in confidence–three wins in a week!
I won a cool shirt, a certificate, a copy of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and a boost to my confidence in writing.

Even with Jack still gone on a work trip, we kept the fun rolling the Saturday he was to return. The area high school had crafts, games, a spooky haunted house, and some treats.


Everyone won their own goldfish, which got to go live in our pond when we got home. They’re by far the luckiest fish out of the whole batch unless of course, the bass ate them.


By far our favorite event was at an old, historic park nearby. They had a spooky tractor ride and people working professions of the era (think blacksmith, one-room schoolhouse teacher, etc), a firetruck, plenty of bonfires, and storytelling.

It was almost too much excitment to handle.

The very last family Halloween activity was decorating sugar cookies, a tradition I’ve been doing since I was a kid. Jack claims he doesn’t enjoy it as much as the rest of us but he sure makes some pretty detailed cookies.


The day of Halloween found us at the girls’ school parties before heading home to get ready for trick-or-treating.

Luna got bit by a vampire.

One of my many assorted jobs growing up was that of a face painter. The fast food restaurant I worked for paid me to paint kids’ faces once a week and it was something I really enjoyed and still do. So, come Halloween, we get all decked out in costumes and face paint to complete the looks of the artic fox…

…the gorgeous Luna Lovegood…
…the beautifully wicked witch…
Watch out. She’ll eat your children. She told me so.
…and the anything-but-cowardly lion.

We were just happy the giraffe finally put her hood up after a month of refusing to wear it. The rain must’ve convinced her.


And after all those parties and trick-or-treating and gatherings, the kids are certain the best part of it all is the candy.

What a Halloween season! Hope you had an enjoyable, spooky day, too!


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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