Tuesday, October 28, 2008

That Time of Year Again

Each October, our church has a Halloween party. It's a grand time with kids and costumes aplenty. My little family always dresses up together in costumes put together by yours truly. I don't always sew everything, but I do fashion them myself, for the most part.

So, last week I was in my Halloween costume cocoon, sequestered in my basement with only a few intermittent absences from the sewing table (without the field trip to the pumpkin patch, the Cub Scout Pack Mtg and the 27 trips to JoAnn's to tear me away from my task I might have become a true hunchback before the week was over). It might seem insane to you that I started on Monday to make six costumes for a Halloween party on Saturday. But, add this little tidbit and you'll see I've come a long way: back when Maia was a baby, I started the day before the party.

I guess I work well under pressure. I used to start the day before the party and then stay up until like 3 in the morning to get my work done. Of course, the more kids I had the more costumes I had to make and I realized I needed a bit more time. Even though I did work on our costumes for a week, I was able to get them all done during nap times and after the kids were in bed each evening. And I never even stayed up past midnight!

This year we really struggled to find our theme. Again, Mason suggested Star Wars but we just have such a strong girl presence in our family that I think that one would be hard to pull off. We also considered some Dr. Seuss-inspired themes, but in the end we chose to go with Toy Story 2.


Maia was excited to color her hair red for her role as Jessie. She was very easy-going about all the themes we discussed; she's such a sweet girl.


Mason was excited to be Woody for our church party but equally determined to be a vampire for trick-or-treating (I just love that he likes to dress up with the family for the party; I don't care if he wants to be something else when he is out and about in the neighborhood).


Teensy did have some initial reservations about this possible theme; she was distressed that Tour Guide Barbie's outfit is less than glamorous. I assured her that some sparkly blue fabric and "diamond" buttons could make her a proper Barbie. Now, she's a believer.


Kenna wasn't sold on Bo Peep until she awoke Wednesday morning and saw her dress, then I couldn't get it off of her! She loves the "hook" and keeps telling me how she has to put it around Woody's neck--a move I discourage imitating.


I'm going to be brutally honest here, dear friend and devoted reader: my husband is not perfect. It just took him 8 months to change the burned-out light bulb in my closet ("Why should I change it? It's just going to burn out again anyway." !?!?!?!?!?). BUT, he is the perfect husband for this Halloween-costume-concocting-wife. For the Halloween party, that man will put on anything that the kids think up and I put together. Anything. How could I not love this man?


Usually, I wear whatever supporting role is left over so I was thrilled when Mason suggested that Daddy and I be Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. I felt like I had a real costume that wasn't necessarily dependent on all the others to be understood. Great thinking, Mason!

If you know me very well, you might know that I am ridiculously competitive. Well, there are awards given at our church party but I don't win because my Michael is one of the judges; his family is disqualified. In a way, this is good for me because I don't have to stress before-hand and practice deep breathing while they announce the winners in each category. I think when Maia was a baby we did win "Best Family" or something like that, but Michael's been a judge since then so we haven't been in the "competitive circuit," as it were. (Of course, that has never stopped me from declaring myself the winner in my own mind year after year, but that's just my own sicko competitive brain's way of thinking.)

Well, this year they announced the winners and I happily cheered for them all with honest feelings of "good for you!" for them. Truth be told, there were some really good costumes and I quite enjoyed them. Anyway, at the end of the awards the bishop said that they added a new category this year. Then, he proceeded to give my family the "Lifetime Achievement Award."

I felt myself turning red. In his little speech, the bishop mentioned that my Michael had been excused from judging this year so that our family could be considered for a prize. I had no idea! I hope that people know that I didn't ask for my Michael to go on hiatus as a judge just so we could win. I thought he was judging as usual. Of course, I was happy to have my hard work recognized. I was also just a little embarrassed, that's all.

Hand on heart, I don't do the Halloween costume thing to win a prize or even to hear people say, "Did you make all those costumes?" I do it because I love the feeling of making something that brings my family together and binds us all for one fun night. I do it because my kids love it and I love hearing them say, "My mom made this for me!" I also do it because I love the creative challenge of thinking of the fastest/easiest/cheapest way to make a character come to life. And, maybe, too, because I'm a little insane.

26 comments:

Brenda said...

You all were so cute!!! Like I said before, you"re my inspiration!

By the way, we all know you don't do it for the prize. I mean, it wouldn't be worth it just for that right? But, I am so glad you finally got one after all those cute costumes you have made!

Sechrist Family said...

LOVE IT MENDY!!! You are such a good halloween mom! I was just thinking this morning that I wish I owned and new how to work a sewing machine!!! You did an excellent job and are truly worthy of that lifetime achievement award! We miss you guys!

Sommer said...

Wow you are amazing and I LOVE the theme and costumes. Great job!!!!!

supersonicjan said...

I remember my mom taking us to the fabric store to pick out what we wanted to be for halloween. My mom and dad never dressed up (my mom HATES halloween with a passion-which is why it was nice of her to make costumes for us) but I remember the year that my sister and I and our next door neighbors were going to do "Wizard of Oz." I was supposed to be scarecrow, but that wasn't girly enough for me, so I refused to go along with the theme and was Goldilocks. See my note on Tracy's blog for my stance on trunk or treats. My ward always did a big sloppy joe dinner ON halloween (at like 5pm). There is just not enough food in this ward.

Christie said...

You all looked great!!! I used to think that you were just nuts, but when you said that you love the bonding in your family that it creates, a light bulb lit up in my head, and for a fleeting moment I wanted to make costumes too. It passed though.!!! :-) Never! But you looked great

whitney allison said...

You all look absolutly animated! Love every bit of it. Those potatoes make me think of Adam as a California Raisen.

Brandon and Jen Jensen said...

I just love it! I was so excited to see your theme and you did not disappoint this year! Great job as always!

Cyndi said...

Mendy, Mendy...you're too much. Mother IS a verb to you, isn't it? You're the best mother I know, Lifetime Achievement award for THAT. Your family is too cute and you deserve so much happiness!

By the way, your new background? LOVE IT.

Anonymous said...

I love to see your family's costume each year. I just hope that one day I too can create such wonderful characters.

Esther

laura said...

I say again, some of your best work! Even without the drop down butt compartment for all your potato head parts. :)

Jann said...

Those costumes are awesome. You guys look great.

Mrs. Rogers said...

You are totally amazing Mendy!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the costumes and the fact that you make them yourself is remarkable. I'm not even sure I know what a sewing machine looks like. However, I did organize a hayride/bonfire with 60 people, hot dogs, apple cider and s'mores (and no children were impaled on metal skewers) so chalk one up for me! Thanks for sharing your family. I've really enjoyed reading your blog and catching up with your family recently.:)

CJohnson said...

Amazing! I love, love, love it. So wonderful to see your creativity. I am amazed that you and Michael join it because it is soooo much work and $ for adult costumes. I gave up on B and I.

Heidi said...

Yeah! You deserve it! I have loved seeing your costumes every year. I'm glad you put up extra pictures. I was dying to see the costumes close up. I must agree that Tour Guide Barbie does look fabulous with the diamond buttons!

Another great theme! (5 cats and a pet vet is as close as I got to a family theme this year!)

Rachelle said...

Oh you are insane alright. But only because you sew so much. Still, those costumes are the best. I can't decide who looks the best, although I really love Maia as Jessie. I too love making costumes, I just revel in the ability to do it with almost no sewing. This year I even used staples on Isaac's gladiator costume.

Melodie said...

So cute! I have been stalking your blog in hopes of seeing your latest creations. I was so not disappointed! If only we were there -- we could adopt Mason (for trick-or-treating only, of course)into Star Wars --Hanners style. We were all going to dress up, but since Morgan is gone I just did the kids. The babies are C3PO and R2D2! I wish I had your talent for putting together great costumes. But I am pretty handy with a computer mouse (I ordered them this year)! Miss you, friend!

The Spiveys said...

those are amazing!!! i love seeing your pictures every year :)

Jenni said...

AWESOME!!! That was one well deserved life time achievement award!! I love your costumes every year, but man those potatoe-heads costumes are fantastic!!

colette said...

beckie V gave me a heads up on your theme this year and i had to rush home and check it out. see even people miles away want to know what you are wearing for halloween this year.

Amber said...

Congratulations on your big win. I know how unexpected such a lifetime achievement recognition was for you, so it's even more of a thrill. You all look great. I can hardly wait to see what next year brings.

Bailee said...

You all look absolutely Fabulous. I love your Halloween costumes.

Tracy said...

You know you totally bribed the bishop to take Michael out. You were just pretending to be blushing with your face all glowing. Great costumes once again!

Cami said...

I love it! I love all the families who costume together. There are years when a certain child of mine refuses to wear a costume of ANY kind, so I give up. I'm happy if I make Jake wear anything other than "Rams Fan" at the last minute because he's always so busy planning. His costumes usually involve about one sheet of paper and some tape.

I'm pretty sure Jake refused to let your hubby judge this year. It was discussed in our meeting. :)

Brad, Melissa, Jared, Jessie, & Ryan said...

Mendy you are amazing! I for one am glad you are a little crazy about costumes because I look forward to seeing what you and your family will be each year. Micheal truly does love you! What a man! Congratulations on the lifetime achievement award-it is well deserved!

Cheri J. Meiners said...

I didn't get to see you that night, but from the pictures they turned out great. I admire your creativity!

maia said...

haha! you hear us saying that? and i didn't know dad was a judge until that night!

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill