Let me start off by saying that I had TONS of plans and good intentions. We met up with My dad and Jimmy, Taylor and his wife Ashley at Dad’s house at 1:00.  I wanted to make 80% of the recipes I listed here (I chose worm sandwiches and spicy spidey dip). We were going to have a pumpkin carving station, edible skeleton designs and a cook out before a big costume change, make up application and trick-or-treating at 6:45.

So – do you think five hours is enough time to fit all this in? I did. But, surprisingly – no. It is not enough time.

We got there and made the 7 layer dip with spider’s web.


I then entered a time warp where the next thing that happend is we were all sitting around eating burgers and I realize – NO WORM SANDWICHES.


Do my kids let this go by unnoticed? Of course not. I now have to make worm sandwiches tomorrow for dinner, a promise made so that I didn’t have to cover up the puffy eyes of a 7 year old broken hearted by her mothers forgetfulness with grease face paint Halloween makeup.

Enter brother Taylor, stage right, carrying a football. It’s a family tradition to make fun of how Wonder Woman strong I am and how hard I throw a ball. (It is also family tradition to mock every boy I ever dated before Mike, it’s the same conversation every family get together: a) Vanessa throws like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, little bitty arms that only move from the elbow down but watch out, she’ll put that ball through the wall. And then b)  So, Vanessa, how tall was that boy you dated in 10th grade that played soccer? Didn’t you say he was 6’3″??? And then Taylor addresses the room: “I was taller than him and I was in 7th grade bwa-hahaha”  super fun. every time. jokes never gets old.)

Wait. What was I talking about?

Oh! Football.

So, because I like the attention, just don’t tell anybody, I jumped into the game. (By the way, I play “Throw” not “Catch”. Taylor throws to Mike, Mike hands to me, I throw to Taylor.) The two men proceed to alternate between trying to teach me to throw a spiral (“It’s not a baseball Vanessa, Don’t wind up like a Major League Pitcher!) and going to the neighbor’s yard to retrieve the ball.

There was also a funny moment where Mike thought he could play catch with Ava sitting on his shoulders and Anslee was “keeping score” at our game of catch. I don’t know how you score catch, I gathered it has something to do with a complicated formula that tabulates style, bravado, difficulty and weather or not you actually caught the ball.  I won 🙂

Next thing you know there are kids ringing the door bell so of course Anslee and Ava want to go beg for candy too!

This is the moment I realize we only carved one and one quarter pumpkins and we didn’t even sit down to make skeletons! I have a pile of crackers, cheeze wiz and pretzels and absolutely nothing to do with them.

We got the girls glammed out, Anslee was a “Baterina” and Ava was a witch. We covered 90% of that hilly subdivision. I learned that a neighborhood with lots of kids will NOT provide a “sweet haul” as all those people who live there are out with their kids not sitting around waiting to give you candy. Ava proved herself to be faster than most 12 year old boys, she didn’t stop running until we plopped her on the floor back at dads and dumped her bag of loot at her feet. Anslee was a great big sister – with only minimal reminding she stayed with Ava up to the doors.  The girls promptly learned the hard way that while a traditional favorite, Candy Corn is pretty nasty.  We limited the night to 3 candies, went home, washed the eye makeup off their little peepers and tucked them in snuggly and kissed them goodnight.   And a very good night it was.