Monday, October 31, 2011

Week 11 - Feeling Blue

This Blue Man is missing his Group.

“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again”

-L. Frank Baum (author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and other children's books)

Click play for a Blue Man Group commercial (and if you are totally lost about today's costume).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Countdown Report 6

"You are a sad, strange little man, 
and you have my pity."
-Buzz to Woody in Toy Story
-or Ryatt to Dale on Halloween Night?
Halloween 2010 - Our "big kids" missed out.
Last year Rain had a band competition on Saturday, October 30th. In "our neck of the woods" when Halloween falls on a Sunday, the Trick-or-Treating and celebrating usually takes place on Saturday. So Rain missed out, and with Rikki "off to college," our costume plans were scaled back to Jessie, Buzz, and Woody. Of course, these costumes were "replayed" in subsequent morning waves, with Woody and Jessie waving at the bus.

As the Halloween Countdown winds down, Dale set up our king of the inflatables, the T-Rex.
Rain and Rikki pose with the evil Barney
Our neighbors let us set up an inflatable screen in their yard, too. Rikki and Rain have fun as "themselves."

Rain represents the AF Marching Band in his band jacket. They won the Red Rocks competition on  Friday (State Champs!!), and took second place in the BOA Western Regional Championships yesterday.

Dale talks Halloween with one of our many visitors

Halloween "Ready"

And now the cooking begins. Chili (Hawaiian-style) is served at our house. Dale's sister taught me well: hot dogs in the chili, and rice to serve it on. It's like a chili dog in a bowl. My sister will be bringing the corn bread.

Only one more day until Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Countdown Report 5

"A place where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain... "  - Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Halloween 2009
I think I've seen that dress somewhere before? Maybe on Day 66? And once again Rain shows what a good sport he can be. This costume really works well for the family, but you've gotta be a confident kid to go to school as the Scarecrow in the 9th grade. Ryatt was thrilled about "the medal" he got to wear as the Cowardly Lion.

Halloween traffic has begun to pick up in the neighborhood. As I arrived home from work the other day there was a small bus parked in front of our house. The local senior center hosted their own version of a field trip to check out the action. Dale must be a bus magnet.

This week’s progress report photos are brought to us by our new friend Eric Cory (  Enjoy the quality:


Carriage Hearse

Looking in the back of the gray hearse
Gray hearse, looking in the side

Gray hearse

Kid Area - Inflatables

 Days until Halloween: 3 !!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week 10 - On Frankie's Back

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [to The Monster] "Hello handsome. You're a good looking fellow, do you know that? People laugh at you, people hate you, but why do they hate you? Because... they are jealous. Look at that boyish face. Look at that sweet smile. Do you wanna talk about physical strength? Do you want to talk about sheer muscle? Do you want to talk about the Olympian ideal? You are a god. And listen to me, you are not evil. You... are... good."

-from Young Frankenstein

"For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." -Victor Frankenstein

-from Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Countdown Report 4

Who's Your Superhero?

A few years back we settled on a costume theme of Superheros:
Halloween 2008
Halloween 2008 without the masks. Good thing Dale took off the glasses or we might not have known it was him.
Ms L and the 2008 preschool class

Ryatt's preschool class joined us for their annual field trip to our house:

Random Trick or Treater

I don't even know who this guy is, but he showed up at our house that Halloween Night (along with thousands of other Trick or Treaters). His costume was one of my favorites of the night. At our house, the rule is "No costume, no treat." And Dale personally hands out glow sticks to every trick or treater that comes by (well, once in a while we give him a bio break, but not often).

Last year started a new tradition. Okay, we didn't realize it was a tradition until it was repeated again this year. The first graders at the local elementary school (last year Ryatt was a first grader there) enjoy a Fall walking field trip, gathering leaves and seeds and other "nature items." It just so happens that our seasonal decorations have become a highlight of "the walk," as 130 plus kids run through the haunted houses and enjoy the "fog bubble machine." Seriously, this fog bubble machine is the coolest invention. It's a bubble machine, but instead of just regular bubbles, it uses fog juice, so when the bubbles pop, the fog appears and drifts away. Here are a few photos from this year's field trip:
Here come the little goblins

and then they were gone...
The First Grade Field Trip gave Dale a reason to hurry up with some of the decorations. Rain did a great job on the roof hanging creatures from the eaves:

Dale put up a sign, welcoming guests to walk around.

Notice the ghosts in the windows. They move and wave at night.
Many of these decorations involve robotics and animations. Dale puts a lot into the lights, motion, and sound.
Back under the trees are haunted houses for the kids to "walk" through. The grass in that area usually needs reseeding each year. And neighbor kids' bikes frequently line the sidewalk.

 Days Until Halloween: 10

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week 9 - The Minnow

Just sit right back
And you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day,
For a three hour tour,
A three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.

-Gilligan's Island

The bus came after all. They made it.

The bus was late today, so Rain and friends came back to the house, looking for a ride.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Countdown Report 3

Halloween is just around the corner. No pressure. Our costume planning is still in the works. I think I've about given up hope of ever surpassing our costumes from Halloween's of years past. 

In the words of Peter Pan, "Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again." That sounds pretty good right about now.

Halloween 2007
On the other hand, my "grown up" perspective allows me to truly appreciate the joy and wonder in the eyes of my children.
The Halloween decorations are coming along. Dale is usually adding and enhancing all the props right up until Halloween itself, so if you choose to drive by for a look or a walk through our yard, you may want to wait another week. Or you can do as some Halloween fans do, and just swing by daily to see what's changed. We're getting to the point where many of the details can't be captured by a wide shot, so I've included a bunch of close-ups here. Click on each photo for a full size view.

It's quite the honor to get your family name on a tombstone in this graveyard

Days Until Halloween: 17