Yesterday we had our annual Halloween Extravaganza with my family. It also happened to be the 2 year anniversary for my own little family living on the farm. I can’t think of a better way to have spent it – lots of fun, laughter and tradition. We started the party by bobbing for apples. Have you ever done this before? It’s way harder than it looks but the little kids have found the trick – go for the stems! This year we changed it up just a little. Instead of dipping the apples in caramel after they were bobbed, I cut them into slices and everyone got to make their own plate of apple nachos with drizzled caramels, crushed Oreos, M&M’s and chopped nuts. It was so much easier to eat than trying to take a bite out of a dipped apple. Also you get a better caramel to apple ratio – which in my case is like 2 parts caramel to 1 part apple!
Next we took the party outside. I had raked up a big pile of leaves and then hidden all kinds of little treats and party favors in it. The kids got to dive in and tear the pile apart looking for the prizes. I was going to do a grave dig like I had done in the past. You fill up under the bed shoe storage boxes with dirt. You add a little headstone and then they look like little graves that they get to dig in for their treat. Since we have quite a few little kids now, using leaves was a lot easier and cheaper and what kid doesn’t like jumping into a pile of leaves – with prizes hidden in it!
After that we moved onto the scavenger hunt. The kids LOVE doing scavenger hunts and I try to switch it up a little every year. I decided to forgo writing clues this year because (1) we have a lot of smaller kids who can’t read yet and (2) I just wasn’t feeling clever in the clue department this year – I don’t know call it writer’s block! So instead I kind of took at cue from Easter. We have lots pumpkins around the farm for decoration so I chose 9 of them to put letters on to spell out the word HALLOWEEN. Some of the pumpkins that had letters were hidden in amongst the normal decorations and some pumpkins I hid in a places like their treehouse or out in the garden. They had to work together and every time they found a pumpkin they had to bring it back and they would get a small treat. After they found all the pumpkins the older kiddos had to figure out what it spelled out – which didn’t take these smart kids long. Their final prize for finding all the pumpkins and figuring out the word? A pinata in the basement!!
After all that running around it was time to slow it down a bit and have a sit. My dad brought over his tractor and trailer so we could have a good old hayride. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for it. And since we are from North Dakota all the daddies here know how to drive a tractor! This meant all the kids got to take turns driving the tractor with their daddy. Even my adult niece took a turn behind the old tractor wheel! We played Halloween Music, ate popcorn that my dad had made and brought along, and put putted down the road, through the field and around our farm.
By the time we got off the hayride it was supper time so my husband and I prepared homemade pizzas while the guests played bingo and visited in the other rooms. I can tell you that there isn’t a much better feeling than preparing homemade food while you listen to laughter and fun being had all around you in the background. Later this week I will share with you how we prepare our pizzas and what recipes I use for the dough and pizza sauce. For dessert there was cupcakes that my kids decorated earlier that morning, chocolate covered “ghost” strawberries and because it was my brothers birthday the next day, Angel Food cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Yum!! Since the weather was absolutely perfect, we ended the night with campfire and s’mores.
I don’t have many pictures but that’s okay because sometimes its better to just enjoy the moment than worry about getting pictures. That night after everyone had left and I was laying on the couch and I was exhausted. But it was the best kind of exhaustion – the kind where your feet hurt but your face and stomach are also sore from smiling and laughter and your heart is full.
Happy Halloween Everybody!