So I got my Halloween off to a scary start.  I was just about to go wake Lily and Ben when the Guy That Fixes Things showed up to look at our gutter that blew off in the wind last week.  He looked, hrmmed, moved about, and announced it’d be about $275 to replace it (Aiee!  Scary!).  Then I went up to wake Ben.  Not in his bed.  Not in the pile of covers on the floor.  Found him once in his closet, is he there?  no.  Sometimes winds up in Steve’s office on the chair…no.  “Julianna, where’s Ben?”  “In his bed, I guess.”  The panic starts to seep in.  Because I poo-poo everyone’s fears of child abduction by a stranger (statistically, it never happens), I have this fear that the universe would find it amusing to have one of MY kids abducted by a stranger.  The Irony Police are nasty bastards, I tell you.  So my pulse is racing, I yell “BEN!!” and hear his “what?” from the downstairs bathroom.  He’d gotten up and downstairs while I was out back with the gutter guy.  I sit down for a bit to recover my legs.  Phew.  hadn’t realized how ramped up I was until the adreneline subsided.

So I got the kids dressed for International Children’s Day at school.  Julianna was from Libya, Ben was from England (again), and Lily was from China  The kids parade around the school by class, parents take photos, and then we all head into the sanctuary (our school is in a building that was once a Baptist church) for a little program.  Then we go to the classrooms to sample the foods of many lands.  Sadly this year the Health Dept said we can no longer bring in foods that must be kept warm or cold.  Jerks.  Boo hiss.  Anyway, I head out side to watch the parade, chatting with friends.  One of them says how much she misses our principal from last year.   I countered that I like the new principal.  She replies that the new principal looks like one of the teachers we are both afraid of.  Slander! So I jump to her defense and say that she’s a much better communicator than the old principal and that I, for one, did not miss being told that things would change and then nothing happened (a fairly common complaint).  I said, “I liked (insert name) as a person, but not as an administrator.”  then I hear “Hi.” at my elbow.  It is the old principal.  Saying hi to keep me from shoving the rest of my leg into my mouth.  Could have died.  Will likely rehash this scene for the rest of my days.  But I’ll learn nothing and continue to mouth off when I should shut the hell up.   I spent the rest of the morning dodging around trying to to run into her.

But the pictures!  As usual, they are cruddy.  The parade goes by at warp speed b/c the kids are chilly:

All the interior pictures are always bad because I take them from the balcony.  But cool thing!  I noticed this time that under the seats up there, there are little wire frames for men to place their hats and a hook for ladies’ handbags!  Isn’t that adorable?  Speaking of adorable, here is blurry Lily, “I’m Lily and I am from China”:

Her class each put up a piece of a puzzle until they’d made the whole world.  Her teacher, Miss Amy is in blue, the assistant, Miss Dena is a mountie:

Look how cute they are!

Ben’s class sang a song.  Ben seems unenthusiastic.  See Ylena in Lily’s India costume from last year?

Julianna’s class all chose an African country and they sang a Zulu carol. Or so they said.  It was in whatever the Zulu speak, so it might have been a shopping list or a call for jihad.

Yes, she’s wearing my skirt.  And for Halloween,she wore my boots:

Lily’s class had the best spread by a long shot.  I’d been told that Miss Amy always has the best grub, and it was true.  Gotta love a class with a dedication to food.  For the first time, I didn’t cook anything and just sent Lily in with some Chinese snacks (hold the melamine), one a sweetened puffed rice thing and the other a rice cracker called “Want Want.”  But there were donuts and scones and cakes and other yum produced by harder working mommies.  Julianna took hummus and pita.  Ben took digestive biscuits.

And then home for Halloween.  I had to finish up the Day of the Dead chocolates I was making.  No, I have no idea what possessed me to do this.  But I was bagging up one chocolate, a couple pieces of Wonka mix, and a piece of paper with a paragraph about the Day of the Dead and our address to quell any fears about candy that isn’t sealed in a factory.  No worries, fellow citizens!  I almost always wash my hands after handling the mice!

Should you become similarly deranged, the molds are available here.

Julianna and her friend Ally were pirates:

ben was Indiana Jones and Lily was a witch:

Much walking about and asking for candy later, we went up to Home, the restaurant at the old Braddock Inn.  Years ago, there were rooms upstairs, but now they are in disrepair so they owners staged a Haunted House type thing there.  It said “kids” on the sign, so we headed over.  They asked us if we wanted to be in the low key group or the regular group, so Ben and Lily and I decided to go up with the low key group.  Yipes.  The upstairs was terrifying on its own–ceiling caving in, dismantled bathrooms, smashed plaster, etc.  Add to that strobe lights “blood” spattered on the walls, and darkness?  Way too scary, even without anyone jumping out.  Ben bailed and went back downstairs before he even saw anything.  I let Lily peek into a couple of rooms before I called an end to it.  I told Julianna and Ally that they should stay at the back of their group so they could leave if they needed to.  They made it to the top of the steps and went back.  So bravo for a really haunted house, Home, but maybe next time don’t encourage the little guys to come.  Ben cried most of the way back to our house and swore he’d have nightmares.  But he made it.  And he was there in the morning.  Phew.