Halloween 2016

We love all holidays in our household, but Halloween holds a special place.  October is the month Brad and I started dating, the month we had our first child, and is also pregnancy & infant loss awareness month.  All of this culminating in Halloween.

Since we’ve never covered Halloween on the blog before, let me give a quick run down on Halloweens past:


Marshall’s 1st Halloween! He was only two weeks old, we took the obligatory put-your-newborn-in-a-pumpkin picture


Halloween 2011: Skeleton Costume


Halloween 2012: Marshall was a Gnome. He won four Costume Contests that year!

Halloween 2013: Marshall was a Patriot Guard Rider. They are a group of motorcyclists that protect military and police families from an evil Topeka, Kansas church (I refuse to write their name on our blog)

Halloween 2014: Marshall was mini Officer Dingman. It was our last Halloween in Kansas City; all 3 years we were participating (’12-’14), Marshall won the Bass Pro Costume Contest!

Halloween 2015: Vi’s first Halloween! Marshall wanted to be Captain Hook so I made a Tinkerbell costume for Vi to coordinate.

Now that we are all caught up, here’s what we’ve been up to for Halloween 2016!  I’ll admit, I was heavily encouraging Marshall to be a Ghostbuster and then make a ghost tutu dress for Vi.  But Marshall was adamant that he wanted to be a dinosaur so I rolled with it.  Luckily, Vi couldn’t care less what she is at this point so I bought a khaki safari outfit and sewed on a few Jurassic Park patches- bam, she was a Jurassic Park Ranger.  I took an extra patch and sewed it on an old khaki Academy uniform of Brad’s so he could be a Ranger too.  For me, I cut some felt and sewed it on an old raggedy tank top, positioned over my belly.  So Francesca was a dinosaur egg and that made me a Preggasourus, ha!  Our family costume all stemmed from Marshall’s idea of a dinosaur.

Like Christmas, we try to hit up as many Halloween events as possible.  Our first was a little costume party at ECFE (early childhood family education) on Friday.  It’s a mommy’s group held at public schools throughout Minnesota.  Seriously, MN moms, find the one in your area (for birth to age five), it’s great for meeting mom friends!  Marshall and Vi absolutely loved dressing up with their friends and checking out all the fun costumes.

Costume fun with ECFE friends

Marshall and his best buddy. You can play I Spy Vi in these pictures, she wouldn’t stand still for pictures when there was so much fun stuff to run around to at ECFE.

On Saturday, we went to a local high school for trick or treating with local businesses’ booths and a carnival.

Marshall trick or treating through the booths. His costume was a hit with everyone!

Our Jurassic Park Ranger trying to make her candy go extinct.

The JP Ranger and T-Rex entering the carnival

Marshall was hilarious as he tried to play carnival games with his teeny tiny t-Rex arms. I’m lucky he’s such a good sport, he never complained once about the constricting costume.

Vi decided to get in on the game action

Vi playing frisbee golf

Sunday came and there wasn’t anything local to us so it seemed like the perfect day to have our little family Halloween party!  We thought it would be fun to switch it up and have the kids pick out costumes from their dress up box for the party.  Vi opted for Wonder Woman while Mads picked his police uniform.

I made some caramel and chocolate apple bites using a small melon baller. Brad liked the plain caramel the most, I loved the turtle ones (chocolate, caramel, and almond)

Vi trying her hand at mummy bowling

Marshall bowling (and Brad trying to catch Vi before she kicks them over)

Pumpkin toss!

Drinking out of their special Halloween cups. Skull stem for Marshall and pumpkin straw one for Vi.

The kids decorating pumpkin cookies. I’m not above getting these store-bought kits from time to time; they are so quick and easy!

Halloween dinner: mummy crescent dogs with carrots cut into pumpkins


Marshall was especially pleased over his jack-o- lantern floats (orange pop with vanilla ice cream)

Vi ate three! She eats everything!

I wanted to do turkey/ quinoa stuffed peppers carved to look like adorable jack-o-lanterns. Brad quickly vetoed that idea and showed me this idea. He insists that holidays=copious amounts of meat.

She was so excited to get her trick or treat on! Obviously she has it mastered and can trick or treat with two hands now.

Finally the big day came, Monday, Halloween!  Brad made spider web pancakes and I made Marshall’s last Halloween themed lunch.  He’s in school part-time, so the week up to Halloween I was sending in little special lunches.

I love that the kids have a dad who enjoys making fun holiday breakfasts.  Here is Brad’s pumpkin spice spider web pancakes.

Jack-o-lantern grilled cheese sitting on a celery log, Halloween goldfish, and a ghost milk

Frankenstein milk, pizza monster fingers, and pumpkin carrots

Mummy dog, Halloween Pringles, and mummy milk

Finally, Marshall finished school for the day and Brad finished work shortly after.  We packed up the kids to trick or treat at the local university dorms.  I love bringing the kids to the dorms; the students are always so kind to the little guys, and it’s perfect for young children.  Instead of their little legs having to run from house to house in a neighborhood, they can walk door to door in the dorms.  They don’t get nearly as tired out or cranky.  It’s also nice because it keeps them out of the harsh northern Minnesota elements.  It was freezing rain here on Halloween, but we were able to avoid the snow suits and cold by trick or treating indoors.

My T-Rex and two Jurassic Park Rangers (Brad wearing a Tula in case Vi needed to rest in it)

My dinosaur egg. We always say we will get a family picture while out and end up forgetting once we are in the middle of the fun

The participating dorms had signs on their doors to attract the trick or treaters. Marshall loved knocking on the doors.

Vi got so excited over trick or treating that she started trying to push Marshall out of the way.

Ever the good brother, Marshall kept a close watch on his adventurous sissy.

“This, this!!” Vi would shout and point to the candy bowls, she let everyone know what she was there for.

For being a year old, she did a fantastic job.  Vi also did her dad proud; he gave specific instructions on which candy to grab and she definitely impressed us with how much she kept to his plan! (Oy vey)

After almost two hours of trick or treating, we called it a night.  The kids went to bed and Brad and I did our annual Halloween tradition as parents: eating chinese take out and watching horror movies.

…And yes, snooping through the candy from trick or treating to pick our favorites!  We do the Switch Witch in our house.  So the kids go to sleep with their candy buckets out and then the Switch Witch comes and trades them the candy for books.  Since we’ve done this since becoming parents, the kids love it and know no other tradition.  Marshall doesn’t like any sort of candy or sweets anyways and it keeps Vi from gourging.  Brad and I get a few pieces of our favorites and then we can bring the rest to the dentist office who ships it off to the troops.  I call that a win all the way around!

We hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween, from our Jurassic family to yours’!


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