Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tricks and Treats

Something festive got into me this fall. Maybe it's that I am feeling myself emerging from "survival" mommy (with too many little-ones causing sleep- deprivation and a feeling of barely keeping my head above water, so I commit to only the ESSENTIALS of life - nothing more) to a mom who is feeling more like her "normal" self. Whatever the reason, I had Bo help me pick some favorites from my list of ideas in my head and we enjoyed some spooktacular afternoons (usually while little ones were napping) being crafty together this past Halloween season. Here's our attempts at being festive...

Cagey Ghosts
We made these silly ghosts in the front yard. Who knew tomato cages had so many uses? So before my got shoved deep into storage, we used them as the frame for these happy haunters.
This is a little sketch of the idea if you are still confused how a tomato cage becomes a ghost...

I used some tie-wire to form the heads (I had to add this since my tomato cages are the beefy-er type and don't have the loose wire ends at the top). Then we strung the frame with lights. Next, simply throw some white sheets over the top and add the faces. I cut my eyes and mouths out of the craft foam sheets and straight pinned them on (the faces held up well through the Oregon weather, and were easy to remove when I took it all down and needed to wash the sheets before storing away). The arms on the one ghost were created by duct taping a tennis ball to a wooden dowel that I stuck in the ground next to the structure.
This is how they looked all lit up. We were pretty tickeled with them.
Tasty Pumpkin cupcakes

Witches Hands
These are so fun and simple for kids to do. The hardest part was getting my hands on those clear plastic kitchen gloves (I'll save you the long story). I like the medium size. It doesn't really matter, but if you go too small, they are harder to fill. Put a candy corn in each finger tip and slip in several M&M's (warts) as you fill with popcorn. The finishing touch is the spider ring!

These spooky-looking pens are a cinch to make and cause everyone to do a double take. We made a batch and gave them as gifts to the boys school and piano teachers. When I showed my neighbors, they were all started making them too!
Just cover a ball point pen with white molding clay making sure you leave the tip of the pen exposed(I like the Crayola Model Magic-it's really lightweight and easy for kids to use). Shape the clay into a finger shape and attach a plastic finger nail with glue, leaving room for the pen to write (before attaching the nail, I used clippers to make the nail tips broken and jagged-looking). Using a small knife or toothpick, I made the creases at the knuckels. Trim the nail down leaving room for the pen to write and Then paint the fingernail a ghastly color. Make sure you let it sit out for a couple of days to dry. One of the boys' teachers was even using it for parent conferences! They loved it.

Sugar Cookies
No holiday is complete without decorating cookies. I snagged this "Boo" cutter from Crate and Barrel this year and had a lot of fun with it. My best friend from college has an amazing blog ( and her tips are helping overcome my fears of frosting cookies. I used her royal frosting recipe and "squeezie bottles" as she calls them. (thanks Ash!)
Halloween Dinner
My Mom and Dad hosted all the family at her house for a dinner and party Halloween night. The menu included 4 different yummy soups (one made by each of us girls) and these breadsticks that looked like withes' fingers (a witch with edema anyways!)
I made some "edible eyeballs" using big slices of carrots topped with sour cream and a sliced olive.
and also these "monster bites" out of apples and slivered almonds.
And of course, we didn't leave out our Halloween tradition - homemade donuts!

After writing this post and remembering all the fun projects, I'm feeling like I'd better hurry up get going for Thanksgiving and Christmas before "survival" mommy decides to make a comeback!


Leah said...

Wow, La impressive!!! Puts me to shame with only one kid!!

On a sad note, did not know if you knew and thought you and your mom would like to mom passed away on Oct. 7th. She had a long battle with cancer. It has been really hard to find our way without her, but we know she is in the arms of Jesus with no pain and full of joy.

shonda said...

Are you serious, super mommy! I'm totally impressed! You might be sleep deprived, but your creative wheels are in overdrive!

Very fun stuff!

Ashleigh said...

Ooooooh! I love all of your fun treats and decor. The lighted ghosts are awesome. I love all of your updates and some new picts of the boys! They're getting so big and still sooooooo cute. I have a secret hope that one of my girls marries one of your boys. K? And thanks for the sweet shout out for the blog. Your cookies turned out great!!!

Rebecca Parker said...

So fun to see you @ TOFW! You deserved an escape after all of your Halloween festivities:) Loved 'em all except oldest's costume:/ Should've left my car with you in OR to drive 'em around-check it out on my blog:) Anyway, @ least we can agree that BYU might still have a shot @ a bowl this year if they end out the regular season playing like last Sat?!!

Carrie said...

Mandy! I feel like SUCH a slacker! Okay, I'm so making a holiday planning list for thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm off the whole month of December! Let's plan a crafting day!?! Or baking day!?!

Andrew and Haley said...

ISN'T MY SISTER SOOOOOOOO TALENTED!!! I just love you and wish i was closer for our impromptu craft days! When you move to Sisters it'll be easier ;)