Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Day and Evening

What a great day all around! Hubby didn't get home until almost 2 am from work but he was willing to get up and get the kids off to school this morning, which was great for me because I had fallen asleep for about 20 minutes earlier in the night and could not fall back to sleep until close to 5 am. Since he let me continue to lay and rest/sleep while he took the kids to school, I was able to get some additional much needed rest. Then I got up and took care of Jeriah and we played and watched TV and did housework together while Hubby went and laid down. I let him sleep through until almost 4 pm.

I got Jeriah ready for school and onto the school bus and then I took myself out for Chinese food. There is this place close to my work that I absolutely love but haven't had much lately and I have really been wanting to get something from there and I decided that today would be the perfect day for it.

After getting my food from there, I went over to the kids' school and helped out in the classroom for a couple of hours. All I needed to do for the first hour and a half or so was assemble the fifth graders' academic skills testing packets. There are four booklets and their scantrons that needed to go into folders. I took care of them for one teacher (Cephas' teacher) and then moved on to another fifth grade teacher's packets. I got those almost done but was not able to get them completely finished because I ran out of folders and sticky labels. I marked my spot though so that I could pick back up where I left off. I plan to go back in later this week to finish those up for that teacher. That teacher is currently out of school right now. She has a new grandbaby and is taking a few days off from teaching to help the new mama. I think that's really sweet and I'm glad to hear that she was able to do that.

Then we had the fifth grade class party. It was a low-key affair. The teacher, Mrs. P, and her practicum student, Mr. H, another parent and I just kind of oversaw the festivities. Mrs. P bought sugar cookies, frosting and sprinkles and let the kids come up to a central table to decorate the cookies and they also had chips and water and were able to sit and watch some movies she had projected onto the white board from her laptop. Then they played hangman. It was nice and the kids enjoyed it immensely.

Mr. H had been having a hard time getting some of the kids to listen in his math group and I so wanted to be able to help him out. But I didn't. I have been there and done that with students and while I knew that I could get them to listen and follow along, he really needs to develop those skills himself. I think he will be a great teacher. One of the hardest parts though, honestly, is getting the kids to respect you as a teacher when you aren't confident about your abilities.

For the first time ever today, I let the older boys walk home from school. At our old house, they had walked to and from school every day, but with living in a new neighborhood and being so close to such a major arterial street, I have been reluctant to let them walk home. But today was absolutely gorgeous, I knew I had the time and the patience to allow them to do it and so I did. I also circled the route twice checking up on them (but couldn't find them!). They ended up walking home with our next door neighbors (who walk to and from school EVERY day of the week!) so it worked out pretty well. And, as it turns out, those two kids know a path that keeps them off of the main arterial street. One of these days, I am going to have to get the boys to show me this route so that I know where it is. If I'm comfortable with it, there is a good chance that I will let them walk home from school in the spring. Maybe. It seems kind of pointless though, because we still have to go to the school to pick up Oralee. But the boys have been wanting to walk home from school so badly that I agreed to it today. We'll figure it all out eventually.

Once home, they buckled down and got right to work on their chores and then decided on some last minute changes to their Halloween costumes. I ended up waking Hubby so that he could be up with the kids and awake to get Jeriah from the school bus and I ran over to our friends' house to pick up an bright orange vest and hat for Koren, who decided that instead of being a pirate wanted to be a hunter. It worked out. He had a camouflage turtle neck and a NERF gun. That plus the oversized (to him) hunting vest and stocking cap, made for a decent hunting outfit.

Cephas had planned to go as a robot but was having some difficulties with his costume design so we changed it up at the last minute and he wore a set of my scrubs (too big for him) and some gloves and a mask and we called him a doctor/surgeon/whatever.

Once they were set, we had to dash over to the other side of town for their music lessons, only to realize that we had not had them practice this past week AT ALL. It's been crazy busy/hectic, what can I say? Ooops. We'll do better this week, I promise!

I dropped the boys off at the studio and ran over to the inlaw's house to do some last minute things that I hadn't gotten around to yet. Cleaning out my mother-in-law's car, putting some camping gear back in the basement, starting a load of laundry in the washing machine, general tidying up and also trying to get Oralee and Jeriah's costumes together. Oralee was on the fence about what she wanted to be. MIL has a stash of dress up clothes and Oralee couldn't decide between a cat (all black clothing, plus ears, tail and collar to match), the water fairy (complete with tiara and wand) or a different fairy (forgot which one - but without the extra accessories). Oralee couldn't find the water fairy outfit or the cat outfit and had settled on the other fairy outfit when I found the water fairy outfit and she ended up going with that option.

Jeriah wanted to be a painter. I had planned to make him a little painter's palette out of cardboard but I couldn't find any over there (and I was in such a mad dash to get over to that side of town that I didn't grab cardboard from our house) so I just took some sheets of computer paper and glue stick-ed them together and then used a marker to draw in the paint circles. We got a brush from the garage and a washcloth to tuck into his waistband and he was good to go. He wouldn't dress up any further than that.

At one point I had even tried to persuade him to be a cowboy (MIL has a cowboy hat and a vest - it actually goes to a pirate costume but looks really cute with the cowboy hat) but he was adamant about not changing his clothing.

We had to run back to the studio to pick up the boys and then head back to MIL's house to park the van so we could hit up the neighborhood over there. We did it and ended when pretty much all four kids were ready to quit. I cannot believe that it happened around the same time for all of them! How awesome was that!

We then packed up and left. At this point, it was 8:30, the kids still hadn't eaten (so busy getting ready for music lessons and trick or treating and then actually doing those things) and while we were out, I had gotten a message from the restaurant where Hubby works saying that for a Halloween special, kids could eat free with an adult purchase. That sounded like a winner to me so that's what we did. We did not go to Hubby's work though. We went to a different location for our favorite server.

Our server, Jay, was dressed up as Charlie Sheen. My kids totally missed the reference (because they are really too young to know the difference) and there was karaoke going on. Let me slow this down for you. Favorite restaurant + favorite server + cheap food + karaoke. My kids were in HEAVEN!

My kids sang karaoke. Oh yes, they did! I finally pulled them away from the restaurant around 10:30. Our normal bedtime on a school night is 8:00 (ideally asleep by 8:30). But. It was a special occasion, the kids were being unbelievably well-behaved, they were enjoying themselves and quite honestly, I lost track of time.

Oralee started the karaoke singing for our family tonight by singing the ABC's. Yes, the karaoke guy had that. Then Oralee and Jeriah and some random kid (one of our server's regular customer's kid - didja follow that one?) sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together. And then Cephas and Koren got up and sang More (by Usher - yes, they know the words. They are HUGE Usher fans!). They were going to do a few more songs after that but that was when I realized how late it was and had them go up and pull their requests. I had joked around with Jay, telling him that I was pretty sure if left to their own devices my kids would close the restaurant. But the restaurant doesn't close til like, 1 am? (I should know this actually!) and there was NO WAY my kids were going to be up THAT late on a school night. It was bad enough that we wouldn't be home til 11 pm as it was.

Before we left though, we had to get a picture of the kids and Jay in their costumes. It was so cute! Jay was sitting on a chair, Koren and Jeriah to his right, Cephas and Oralee to his left. It was quite cute and cheesy. I, of course, promptly posted it to facebook and tagged Jay as well.

We drove home and I warned the kids that it was time to go STRAIGHT to bed when we got there. Bathroom stuff then bed. I wanted them in bed within 15 minutes of getting home and asleep as soon as possible after that. They promptly obeyed. Well, all but Jeriah. He was up til 1:30 am. And he was the one who was the MOST tired at the restaurant. Guess the boy hit his second wind or something. He literally fell asleep when Hubby was walking across our front porch to come inside. Stinker!

And that, my friends, was our Halloween. What did your family do?