Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Making Decorations

When October rolled around this year, Joss was adamant that we have decorations. I blame his kindergarten teachers for this.
 He kept bringing home artworks he'd made at school (and since he has two schools, there was twice as much art). 
 I certainly displayed all of his masterpieces.
But even that wasn't enough Halloween cheer for him. When I was slow to understand the level of decorating we needed, Joss took matters into his own hands. 
[click to enlarge] Joss colored, cut and hung two dozen or more Halloween-themed decorations throughout the house. This is just a sampling, but it gives you an idea of his range of artwork and the variety of places that he liked to hang it.

I responded by getting on Pinterest. This is the only picture I have of the Halloween candles we made. We managed to break a glass as we were setting them up, but the bases lit up and looked pretty spooky. Joss was not to be placated so easily. (Look. He really wanted huge inflatables in the front yard. Rob has sworn that he will not have inflatables in the front yard, not just because he doesn't like most of them, but also because he disagrees with using the energy. I'm just trying to work within the confines of two very opinionated McMen).

So I put together a front table of potions, including Attraction Oil, Eye of Snake, Scat of Bat, Scale of Dragon, Confusion Powder, Essence of Terror, Vanishing Potion, and Hallucination Tonic. Joss was mollified, though he kept wanting to try out some of them. I was worried because it really did look like we might be growing something hallucinogenic in some of those bottles.

And finally, we carved pumpkins. There was another strong superhero theme in the pumpkins as well as the costumes, although they floated some Serenity and Dr. Who ideas as well.
Joss was finally appeased, and I was left worrying about how I would keep up with the onslaught of Thanksgiving and Christmas expectations.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


 Cornbelly's corn maze up at Thanksgiving Point is another one of those things that we'd never taken our kids to do. They're growing up so fast, and Maddie and Will are probably too old, but I wanted to do it once all together. The long weekend was the perfect opportunity. I dragged them all up on Monday afternoon.
 They had lots of different places to play and eat, and I was glad there were things that even the older kids could do. 
 There was an entire princess dress up area that terribly popular with the little girls. Mine has outgrown the dresses, but not the fancy balls, carriages, or princes.
 Joss was the right age for everything. He enjoyed the bouncy horses once I convinced him how to ride them. 
 Joss and Maddie did the burlap sack slide . . .
 . . . and Joss even tried the tricycle races. 
 Then we were ready to tackle the corn maze itself. Our secret weapon was Will, who had looked up and printed out a map of this year's maze. I don't know how you would ever find your way out without one. Even with the map we managed to get lost and argue about a different route out.
 It was very pretty and warm inside the maze, but terribly windy on the grounds outside of it.
Then the B girls came to meet us and my camera was out of batteries. But we did some of the same activities over, like the corn maze, some new ones, like rubber ducky races, medicine ball-sized pingpong, and the kids all dared each other to go through the haunted fun house and this huge inflatable  monster (dinomonster? blow up lizard with fangs? I'm not really sure what is was). 
You walked into it's mouth and down its digestive tract past its heart (?) and came out somewhere from its nether regions. Joss had such a drang to go through it. Even once he'd been through, he wanted to go over and over and over again, to conquer it. Unfortunately, MA doesn't do claustrophobic situations, especially loud inflatables shaped like monsters. So I paced around the behind of this thing each time Joss went in.
Liesl got everyone cider donuts and we called it an afternoon as the wind got even colder. But I knew it was a success because Joss wanted to extract a promise immediately that we'd come again next year. He wants to conquer the haunted fun house.