Skip to main content

October 31, 2008

The kids carved pumpkins last night.
Stuart cut open the tops and the kids took it from there using a pumpkin carving knife that we found at the thrift store. Charlie insisted that he wanted his pumpkin to look just like the one on the package that the little knife came in. Lauren spent an hour fulfilling his little heart's desire.

Claire carved her pumpkin with two front teeth as her own mouth is void of any at the moment.


We've run the gamut when it comes to Halloween... from homemade costumes and trick or treating in the neighborhood...to fall festivals at church. But these both added up to the same thing. Waaaay too much candy and children who turned into fussy, begging urchins until the sugar finally ran out. It turns out when it comes to creating family traditions that the less is more philosophy works best for us.


We finally hit on the perfect way to make the evening special a few years ago. I pack the kids in the car and meet Stuart for dinner at a local restaurant and then we head to Wal-Mart. We grab a cart and start our first round of Christmas shopping. We start the season off by shopping for Operation Christmas Child. It is so much fun to spend the evening finding things we can put in a shoe box to make one little boy and one older girl happy on Christmas day. Wind-up flashlights, sunglasses, chapstick, marbles, dominoes and Tonka trucks all pass through my children's hands into the hands of another child in another country.

Tonight, a Wal-Mart employee was passing out candy as we were shopping and each child took one piece and said thank you and that was it for our crew this year. Tomorrow I don't have to referee how many Snickers each kid can have before breakfast. Bucking tradition has its advantages.

Comments

40winkzzz said…
We used to do all our Operation Christmas Child shopping at MalWart too. But now most of it comes from the Dollar section at Target. (Although it always strikes me as rather odd... they make little toys in 3rd world countries and ship them over here, and then we buy them cheaply and ship them bacl over there...) And we pick things up thru'out the year, so there is no "OCC shopping trip" anymore, except to pick up a few fill-ins.

Anyway-- That sounds like a GREAT way to spend Halloween night. Good idea! I get tired of all the candy from the church events, too. We've pretty much stopped going to those. Tonight we stayed home and had pizza & pop (the latter is a real treat here), played Apples to Apples, & watched a movie. The kids thought it was great.
Now THAT is an awesome idea!!!

Xandra
ValleyGirl said…
What a great way to spend Halloween!! That would totally be my choice, too. Except my kids go to public school, so costumes and trick-or-treating is unavoidable. I love your idea though. We love doing the Operation Christmas Child thing, too.
That's a wonderful idea! We did our two shoeboxes from the Dollar Tree...and will deliver them to church tomorrow. It's one of our favorite things to do, along with picking items from the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Catalog.
Faith said…
What a great idea!
And I love the pics; your kids are too cute!

Popular posts from this blog

Spelling Wisdom

One day while skipping around the internet, I came across these:




And when I clicked on the sample, I knew we had to change spelling curriculums. Again. Goodbye Spelling Power and MacMillan and Sequential Spelling! We've found our true love.

The problem with the afore mentioned curricula is sheer boredom. Memorizing lists of words is mind numbing and as my children don't like their school work to lull them to sleep, they often push spelling to the side in favor of more exciting lessons.

When I found Spelling Wisdom, I realized what has been missing: an idea, something to engage the mind so that learning the difference between than and then occurs almost incidentally.

Sandra Shaffer uses the writings of famous men and women (Helen Keller, Beethoven, Winston Churchill...), Bible passages and quotes from quality literature...poems and novels (Robinson Crusoe, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, All the World's a Stage...) to teach more than six thousand frequently used word…

This Week

This week, I let a kindergarten kid play with my iPhone to coax him into the tutoring classroom.  I set up a plan for dealing with this ongoing issue and consulted with his mama.  She’s a tough one to get to know, his mama, but I try.
This week, I promised two little boys I would pick them up on Friday and take them to my house.
This week, on a crazy afternoon, a granny asked me for alcohol and I thought.  I wish!I could use a swig.  But that's not what she meant.  She was looking for rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to take care of an injured kid.  A few months ago, we were awkward because we didn't know each other but now the awkwardness is gone and I can’t help but hug her every time I see her. I love that granny. 
This week, I dropped off a little girl and shook hands with her father.  His hand was dry, he had a tattoo on his neck and he's just fresh from jail.  He asked how his daughter was doing in class and they both basked in the rain of praise.
This week, a …

Mr. Morse and Mr. Gilbreth

Stuart rang this morning, "Have you seen the Google homepage yet?"

We had. John did a little Gollum dance in front of the computer to let us know. "Come quick! Hurry!"



Morse code. The kids all joined John in his little Gollum dance to celebrate their new favorite form of communication.

We read Cheaper by the Dozen a few years ago when the little ones were too little so, my chore time pep talks, "Frank Gilbreth would roll over in his grave if he saw you clearing that table one plate at a time," only generated blank stares. Finally, after Mr. Gilbreth came up for the twentieth time Faith got curious. "WHO is Frank Gilbreth and WHY do you keep talking about him?"

Out came Cheaper by the Dozen . We rolled our way through the chapters, holding our sides. A story of a motion study pioneer who practiced his techniques on himself and his supersized family with hilarious results. A born teacher, a man who made the most of his time. We were spellbound. When w…