Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Our Harried Haunt

October goes by so quickly, and this year was no exception. It seems like we're just starting to drink cider, pick out pumpkins & put mums on the stoop, and BAM! it's over. At least with Christmas there's a bit longer lead-up, and Christmas is about the day-long celebration with family, not just a whirlwind 2-1/2 hours of nuttiness. But I must say we bring it on ourselves :)
William punched out and carved this huge pumpkin all by himself - it was the talk of the night.
We had snow on Saturday, which really set Matt back on his Halloween set-up. Maybe 8 years ago (?) he started creating a cemetery in our front yard, a couple of hand-carved tombstones and a coffin made up to look like it was coming out of the ground. Each year a new prop has been added, to the point where we now have a full cemetery, a bleeding tombstone and freshly filled in grave, a scarecrow a la Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow; there's a trio of ghosts, a skeleton witch doctor, a fence that from a distance you'd swear was always there, and I'm sure I'm forgetting little details here and there - lots of spotlights of various colors, and thunder and lightning. I'm told our house has become a bit of a landmark for trick-or-treaters, and Matt really enjoys putting on the show for everyone.
I carved Sarah's kitty and Jason's Angry Bird; Evie carved Puss and Boots all by herself - amazing job.
This year's new additions were a spooky lady from Grand in Road, some talking busts on pedestals, and lighting that was added to the columns at the foot of the driveway (that I swear I almost hit EVERY YEAR - I am always so glad to see those put away!). Of course the only thing I got a picture of was the new lighting.
Each year we usually have some people in to help with the setup, my dad was here one year and Matt's parents have come twice, and there's a family that lives outside of town that usually trick or treats with us, but weren't able to this year, so we were pretty much on our own - and it's gotten to the point where it's just too much for Matt to manage by himself, and I'm busy getting four beyond excited kids in costumes in time to get some pictures before the light fails.
Super Mario chasing Princess Peach through the foggy graveyard
Things didn't come off without a hitch, as usual - there's always some problem behind-the-scenes that hopefully people don't notice in the big picture, but Matt's acutely aware of - one year fuses kept blowing with all the lighting and fog machines (that got fixed when we remodeled the bathroom & upgraded the electrical); the fog never seems to cooperate and ends up polluting the whole neighborhood, and even invaded the house until we got smart and moved the candy table to the driveway & kept all the windows shut: this year the thunder and lightning controller, after 4 years of working perfectly, decided not to this year (if you're local, did you miss it?) and the talking busts, which were tested MULTIPLE times, decided to keep strangely quiet Monday night. Irritating, that.
Luigi didn't feel like wearing his mustache :)
Half the candles didn't get lit, and the light bulbs at the front door weren't traded out for black lights, and without the lightning the house seemed darker than normal  - but again, this was a weird Halloween. We had a snow man and sleds in our backyard, and carved pumpkins out front - Sarah wanted to know if it was Christmas.
Evie put together her kitty costume all by herself - she even had black gloves with pink felt paws sewn on.
Thankfully the kids are getting bigger and will hopefully take an interest in helping out in the next few years - and maybe we'll get smart and do a full test run the night before, instead of trusting that it will all come together at the last minute like we seem to every year. Everyone got into costumes and makeup in record time (even with the doorbell ringing at 5:45 with early birds looking for handouts! SIX PM, people). And happily, our friend Cheryl came over with her boys to trick or treat - they missed last year, and it just wasn't the same - so we had a great photographer to take a few family shots. Harried Mom and Dad of Four, looking a little worse for wear, and the four smallish people who live with us :)
The kids finally did us in.
Happy Halloween!!!!!


  1. I bet that your house is truly the talk of the town. It sounds amazing!

    LOVE the costumes! You are my inspiration for wanting to dress up next year. I used to every year while I was working. I think the kids will love it. I hope I get on the ball in order to pull it off next year.

  2. Oh my goodness, you guys look great! Was that your real wedding dress? I just went to the Costume store on the day after Halloween and got Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach costumes at 50% off for next year!! Just got to figure out how to fit the baby in that group...

  3. I LOVE your costumes!!

    And your hair....looked amazing for a dead gal.

    I wish I could see your set up in person.

    If I lived anywhere near you I'd come to your house for sure for trick or treating! SO FUN!
    I think Evie has a bright future ahead of her with her art.

  5. I love your costumes!!!! Wow! You guys went all out! I've never seen a prettier dead person! ;)

  6. Wow, Jen - you are beautiful even when you're dead!!! :) Looks like it was a fun night!


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