Halloween Through the Years (and tons of easy costume ideas!)

Going through photos can be bittersweet. My babies have grown up! We sure had fun over the years and there is more fun to have.

My son, Andrew, is now 26 years old. Shyanne is turning 24 in December. The baby is Emily, 22 years old, a new bride and the mother of my two beautiful granddaughters, Maryjane, who is six, and Ayla, who is turning one in three weeks. They are all creative, fun, holiday loving kiddos. Add me and my husband, Doug, in, and we have had some fun costumes!

We used to traipse all over town to visit grandparents with the children in costume. Doug’s grandparents, my grandparents, and Doug’s folks all knew to be ready with the candy and the camera.

In front of Grandma’s lake.

At home, the house was set with fun-scary decorations and orange lights. Spooky sounds wafted from the CD player and “Halloween Hamburgers” thrilled the young goblins before trick-or-treating. Around our suburban neighborhood we would go, laughing and begging for candy; the kids all hoping for a big candy bar. The neighbor across the street gave quarters. (Not cool.)

We had a large bin of clothes in the playroom. The kids might get a new costume one year but then it would be replayed year to year as something else. We had a lot of fun with costumes and never spent very much.

Then Maryjane Rose was born and the fun began all over!

And then her sister came last November! They are going to be Joker and Harley Quinn. So cute!

And the fun continues! Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween!

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I walked to the mailbox and found inside a letter.  It was from my dear friend, Pat, who sent us a Halloween greeting.  I love her poems and wanted to share it with you!

It’s Halloween

It’s Halloween!  It’s Halloween!

The moon is full and bright

and we shall see what can’t be seen

on any other night.

 

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls

Grinning goblins fighting duels

Werewolves rising from their tombs

Witches on their magic brooms.

 

In masks and gowns

We haunt the streets

and knock on doors

for trick or treats.

 

Tonight we are

the King and Queen

for oh tonight

It’s Halloween!

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The Milk Maid

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Third Eye Blind

Tonight we will light a fire in the wood stove and add a few chairs for wandering souls.  Make a warm meal and pour a pumpkin beer.  We will fill a bowl with chocolates for the neighborhood ghouls.  And enjoy Halloween in our new home.

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Shimmer the Genie

Wishing you all a fun filled Halloween, a sweet Samhain, and a happy New Year.

The Spookables are Coming! (a poem and memory)

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Holidays are filled with memories, photographs, and reasons to smile.  Each year changing slightly.  New traditions being made.  This picture was taken fourteen years ago before taking the cutest kids in the world out trick-or-treating.  This year I have been invited to accompany Emily and Bret while they take the newest cute kid out haunting.  The other picture is this year’s Pumpkin Festival I told you about.  No Andy, as he was on a trip with his friend.  But, Shyanne and Emily, Bret for two years now has graced the pictures, and this year, their lovely daughter, who has added a whole new dimension to holiday fun!  Now, a lovely, festive poem to get you in the spirit!

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The Spookables are coming.

they’re coming to the door,

looking for some candy,

and just a little horror!

In the dark they run around,

their laughter fills the air.

Miniature monsters free,

new identities they wear.

Sweets, smiles, ’tis Halloween night,

oh, what fun to behold!

Jack ‘o lanterns ablaze,

an eve of spooks young and old!

Spookable Halloween Dinner

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When I was growing up, my mother loved holidays.  We never had a shortage of construction paper wall décor we kids made for each holiday.  Halloween was filled with door to door trick or treating, and candy I would harbor until Easter. (I always was kind of prepper…)  Handmade costumes, and cardboard decorations made the season fun. We really didn’t have a lot money, ever, when I was growing up.  I can see that now.  Perhaps it was for financial reasons, or perhaps it was for ease, but we only carved one pumpkin.  Each year I would draw out one part, like the eyes, my sister,  Heidi, would choose perhaps the nose, and my brother, Joel, would choose the mouth.  My dad would deftly create our masterpiece.  (Maybe my mom didn’t want us playing with knives…never thought of that.)

When my children were little, we had the construction paper decorations, the dollar store cardboard cutouts, the spooky music and fun.  Another thing I kept in our traditional repertoire was Jack O’ Lantern Hamburgers.  Every Halloween before making our way out the door for tricks and treats, my mom served hamburgers with the cheese melted on in the shape of a jack ‘o lantern.  It was so much fun to see which monster we got!

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I put them on veggie burgers each year before the kids set out.  I took it a step further to create vampires, scarecrows, Frankensteins, werewolves, as well as pumpkin faces.

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Just use the tip of a knife to cut out the shapes from a slice of American cheese.  Place the cheese on whatever you are cooking (egg sandwiches shown in the picture) during the last few minutes of cooking.

Very spooky!  Deliciously scary!  Happy Haunting!

The Spookable Home

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I love decorating, I love holidays.  I do not have a vacation home, or a weekend home, I barely get the rent paid on this beauty.  Our home is our retreat and I want it to be fun and whimsical!

My bear holds a candle to greet folks coming by in the evening.

My bear holds a candle to greet folks coming by in the evening.

My decorating style momentarily would have to be deemed Vintage Farmhouse Adobe.  My Halloween decorating style would have to called Charming Spook.

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We have always loved Halloween around here.  Not the scary, gory, stay up all night watching horror movies kind, but the Charlie Brown pumpkin patch, Martha Stewart deco, stay up all night watching Winnie the Pooh Halloween kind of spooky.

A line of small pumpkins and a cauldron greet visitors.

A line of small pumpkins and a cauldron greet visitors.

When the kids were little we plastered the walls with cardboard cutouts and fake spider webs.  Boxes of costumes stood at the ready to be worn any day during October.  The kids would come home from school one day to the house filled with scary music (Mickey Mouse Halloween tape) and I would be at the stove stirring a pot of Witch’s Brew with my witch hat on.  A large cardboard cutout of a witch hung above the dining room table on her broom and we called her grandma.  Every square inch of house decorated with something charmingly scary.

Last year's scarecrow with Bret (Emily's boyfriend), Emily (in blue), Shyanne, and Andrew.

Last year’s scarecrow with Bret (Emily’s boyfriend), Emily (in blue), Shyanne, and Andrew.

We go to a historic park that puts on a pumpkin patch and festival every year.  And I mean, every year.  We are taking Maryjane for the first time this year.  Sadly, Andrew will be in Tennessee for the weekend with his friend and will miss our yearly outing.  Last year, the house was oddly empty.  The kids were here, but not here.  Too old to play witches, the recipe for my witch’s brew already known (apple cider heated with pumpkin pie spice), and trick or treating with mom and dad out of the question, we had a sad holiday.  We didn’t decorate much.  The kids never came home to carve pumpkins.  We left a large bowl of candy on the stoop and went to Red Lobster.  It was depressing.

Maryjane in her new costume.

Maryjane in her new costume.

This year, the kids are still not here but I want the house to emanate Halloween as Doug and I love it too.  And when the kids do come by, particularly Maryjane, there will be whimsical fun for all.  I started by planting a very large pumpkin patch spanning the entire front yard.  It is now full of orange orbs and dying leaves.  Very spooky.  A simple sign stating it to be haunted is all it takes to make it fit the holiday.  I left the corn stalks up because they just scream spooky evening with their tall shadows in the dark.

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We don’t have the walls plastered with cardboard or window clings.  We may not have five carved pumpkins.  But, I did want to have an air of spooky fun throughout the house.  This can be easily done with just a few touches.

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I like to decorate with a mix of vintage touches, natural elements, and lights.  I abhor overhead lighting.  My every day oil lamps and candles play the part of old Halloween house just fine.  A few pieces we have picked up over the years like miniature cauldrons, metal signs, and dark candelabras help bring the spirit of the season in without it looking cluttered or cheesy.

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A leaf covered table cloth and a generous scattering of pumpkins help make the place feel like Autumn.

My favorite decorations are my two black cats, Clara and Booboo.

My favorite decorations are my two black cats, Clara and Booboo.

Getting those blankets out and throwing them haphazardly over seating, a black cat, and a pile of books invites people to curl up and relax.

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Indian corn on the table, orange twinkly lights, and pumpkin pie spice coffee.  Happy Spooking!