Best Halloween Costume Contest

Ok, so I was thinking, wouldn't it be fun to share our kids' (or our own) Halloween costumes and pick our favorites. So here it is!
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All you have to do is link up the costume you want to enter. If you do not have a blog or a post with the picture you can use either your blog address or Crafty Moms Share for the address and then upload a picture from your computer! You can enter more than one (and they can be from the same post). Enter each costume separately. Then display the button on your blog either in the post or somewhere else and ask people to come vote for their favorite costume. The winner will get a homemade felt bat. We will follow my Giveaway Rules, however this is open internationally. A winner will be announced on November 15th!

Happy Halloween!

Just thought I would share some pictures of Hazel in her costume. I made it from Simplicity pattern 2065. She will also wear the dress for her princess themed birthday party this year!
Needless to say, she loves it!

We also went to a small Halloween party at church the other day and she decorated some pumpkins with stickers.

For breakfast this morning we had pumpkin pancakes. We made them yesterday, but had plenty left over, so I arranged them on Hazel's plate and she recognized it right away as a jack 'o lantern.

Then she wanted to get started with her pumpkins. We had two relatively small ones to paint and a medium one to carve. I let her start painting while I finished up doing somethings around the house.
 For some reason I did not take pictures of the finished pumpkins. She also added stickers to them. Then we started carving the medium pumpkin. She helped scoop out all the gook. Then I found a Snow White pattern that I saved a few years ago from Disney Family and carved it. I have to admit this is the best carving job I have ever done. She loved it and that is all that mattered.

Then we had a quick lunch and got her costume on. We had a few errands to run and three of them were places where we know people so she wanted to show off her costume.

My mother-in-law bought her the ballerina basket that came with the pink crown. Then after our errands we did some trick-or-treating and friends houses that were too far to walk. Then we went to a few neighbors houses. We always go very early. The last two years Steve has been working crazy hours due to storms, so we have to get home to hand out the candy. Hazel loves handing out the candy. She was so over excited today. And for some reason this year we had probably a quarter of what we usually get. I guess it is because I went with cheap candy so less kids were out or perhaps it was because of the storm though last year we had an ice storm right before Halloween and the numbers were still high.

One small craft for you that I started in the dark the other night. I got the pattern for this felt bat from Super-Cute Felt by Laura Howard. I still have a bit of sewing to do on it, but it is almost done.

Before Hazel (and Steve) went to bed, Hazel sorted through her candy to leave some for the Pumpkin Fairy. This year the Pumpkin Fairy is bringing her a Rapunzel Barbie doll--not Waldorf, but she will love it and I bought it on clearance since I haven't had time to make much for her. 

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween?

Happy Family Times--A Bible Presentation at Church

Have you done something fun and exciting with your family this week? Kelly from Happy Whimsical Hearts and I would love to hear about it. Please share below.

This week was a very special day at church. Hazel received her first children's Bible. This year they started a new Sunday School class for three to five-year-olds since we had a good number of kids in that group (based on baptisms) and we are trying to get more of these families to attend more regularly. As a result it was decided the families should receive a copy of the Bible story book being used in the class, so we can reenforce the lessons at home or help fill in gaps if they miss a week. Today was the day of the Bible Presentations. So the three-to five-year-olds received them with a parent, then the third graders got theirs and the ninth graders got their adult Bibles.

As with anything that happens at our church that involves Hazel, Steve's mother and Steve come to church with us. (They are Catholic and attend mass at their own church usually.) This of course excites Hazel. She loves having her Nonni at our church. Since it was a special day, Hazel got a new sweater dress and also wore her necklace I bought her for her Halloween costume. After the Bible Presentations, the children went to their Sunday School classes.
After church we went with Nonni to get lunch out. Hazel had a wonderful time!

Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

~ please link up (family time oriented giveaways are ok, but please no Etsy shops)
~just crafts will be deleted since this is to share family times ~ use our button so others can join the fun


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~ we'd love for you to follow us Crafty Moms Share and Happy Whimsical Hearts
~ check out our Happy Family Times Pinterest board where we will be pinning some of our favorite ideas

Ok, now for our PARTY!! Please share your FUN Family Times!!

Holidays this Week Around the World

Just a quick note: In New England, we are preparing for Hurricane Sandy. They are predicting widespread power outages (and at our house probably cable/internet outages), so I do not know how often I will post this week, but am planning a few now, but if you do not hear from me that is why.

Also Sharing Saturday is still open for all your child-oriented crafts and activities!! Please come share!
Last week, I gave you a history of Halloween. This week I'm going to share some research on how Halloween is celebrated around the world as well as the other holidays this week: All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Day of the Dead, etc.
In the United States, Halloween has become a very commercialized holiday. It amazes me each year as stores open for only a month or so called Halloween Scream or something like that. We have at least three open in our town alone. Houses are more decorated for Halloween than some are for Christmas. I find it truly amazing. Perhaps because I don't really like Halloween, but it seems like an awful lot for a day meant to be to scare the evil spirits. Many people seem to want to invite them in now instead of scare them away. I just don't get it.

Some countries still keep some of the religious beliefs in their celebrations and some use it to remember their dead love ones.

In Austria people leave bread, water and a light on at bedtime during the week of Seleenwoche (Oct. 30 to Nov. 8) to welcome the dead souls back. (Source)

In Germany some people still hide their knives on Halloween to keep them away from the evil spirits. (Source)

In Belgium people light candles to remember dead loved ones. (Source)

In Czechoslovakia chairs are place around a fire: one for each living family member and one for each family member's spirit. (Source)

In China the end of the Chinese New Year celebration with the Teng Chieh festival. Animal shaped lanterns are hung in the streets and on houses to scare away evil spirits and light the way for traveling spirits. Family members also honor their dead family members by leaving food and water by their pictures. (Source) (This is obviously not celebrated on October 31st.)

In China there is also a national holiday, Qinming (Tomb Sweeping Day), on April 5 (in non-leap years) where people clean the graves of their family members, ancestors and loved ones and leave food, drinks, and gifts for them. (Source)

In Japan in the summer the Obon festival honors spirits of ancestors. Red lanterns are hung everywhere and each night a fire is lite to guide the spirits back to their place of birth. (Source)

In Mexico El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations start the evening of October 31st and last through November 2nd. It is a day to honor the dead and it is believed the dead return to the earth on those days.  (Source)
I'll be honest, El Dia de Los Muertos kind of freaked me out, but recently I read a book about Mexico and the explanation of this celebration made me really understand it better. The skeletons and what not, I do not like, but I do like the idea of honoring the dead loved ones and feeling a connection to them during the celebration each year.

Now let's talk about the holidays that follow Halloween. The Catholic Church named November 1st All Saints Day as a way to counter the whole evil spirit side of Halloween. It is a day to honor all the saints past, present, and future of the world. Through out the year there are days to celebrate individual saints, but this day is to celebrate all of them.

The Catholic Church also named November 2nd, All Souls Day. It is a day to honor all your dead loved ones. This can be done by visiting their graves and decorating them with flowers and wreaths; lighting candles at a church or home in their memory or attending a special mass.

In Portugal people have feasts of wine and chestnuts at the cemetery, and in Mexico people have picnic lunches on the graves of their relatives. (Source: We Celebrate Hallowe'en by Bobbie Kalman, Crabtree Publishing Company, 1985)
Guy Fawkes (Source)

Finally the last holiday to discuss is Guy Fawkes Day. This is a holiday in England which commemorates the day Guy Fawkes was killed. He tried to blow up the parliament and was found guilty for doing it, and sentenced to death. The first Guy Fawkes Day was celebrated shortly after his death. This is celebrated by the lighting of bonfires and fireworks and burning effigies. It is really a celebration of beating the Catholic Church in England. And it was celebrated by the Pilgrims when they arrived to the New World, but as the new country developed the celebrations ended. (Source)

So how do you celebrate Halloween? Do you celebrate any of these other holidays? I'd love to hear about it!

Getting Ready for the Holiday Fair at Hazel's School

Sharing Saturday is still open for you to share your child-oriented crafts and activities or to be inspired by the amazing ones already shared!

As we approach the holiday season, I found out that we need to supply some things for the amazing holiday fair at Hazel's school, Cape Ann Waldorf School. At the fair they have a Wee Folk Shop where the young children (through second grade) can "shop" for a certain number of tickets they get to go into a room that is set up with silks hanging from the ceiling making it more their size and wonderful gifts to "buy" and then have an elf wrap for them. The idea is for them to get a gift for a family member, but in reality they get themselves a gift. Last year Hazel got a barrette (don't know why since she won't wear one) and a needle felted sheep. She went into it twice. Every family in the Early Childhood Program at the school is asked to donate at least 20 items to the Wee Folk Shop. 

There is also a Pocket Lady. Basically it is a person who wears a dress with pockets everywhere and a child can use one ticket to pick a gift from any pocket. These gifts are meant to be small and can be something like a marble or stone or shell or something small that is homemade. All are suppose to be Waldorf type of gifts and we were asked to wrap these in tissue paper. Every family in the school is asked to donate at least 20 Pocket Lady gifts as well.

With Hazel sick the last few days, I needed something to work on where I could sit next to her, so I made some of these gifts. I needle felted some acorns and used the acorn tops we have been finding. I also needle felted some lady bugs. Oh, and I needle felted a jack o' lantern for Hazel (see above). And of course I made extra acorns and an extra lady bug so Hazel could have some as well. I used the double and triple caps for Hazel.

We also used some stones, pine cones, and shells that Hazel has and Hazel helped me wrap them all.

In the end, we ended up with 40 Pocket Lady gifts and bagged them in groups of 20 (which we were asked to do).

For the Wee Folk Shop I needle felted some snowmen. I saw a cute one at Better Homes and Gardens. I made mine a bit more plain in that Waldorf way of using your imagination.

At the Pumpkin Patch Holiday Fair, I saw some of the cutest ribbon barrettes. Some were Disney princesses (I may try these for Hazel's birthday) and some were snails and animals. I googled, and checked Pinterest and found some tutorials and some ideas. I made a couple of simple bows. Then I tried some flowers. And I attempted the snails (which I fell in love with at the fair). I have more to make, but wanted to share these. They are so easy to do with glue, ribbon and barrettes.  I also had two unused headbands sitting around from our teddy bear picnic and I had some wool felt flowers I bought awhile ago on clearance and just sewed them onto the headbands. They are cute as well.
So here are the first 10 of my Wee Folk Shop contributions. I will be making some more, but thought I would share what I have been up to. Enjoy!!