A Little Something Different (And Unexpectedly Spiritual) For Halloween

Every year we carve jack-o-lanterns. And every year we go to the pumpkin patch. And every year we make decorations to hang on the windows and those little toilet paper ghosts to hang outside on the trees. Some years, we even just use the same Halloween costumes from the year before. If you are the youngest in my family, sorry, you don’t get a choice. You just get to wear the costume we have that already fits you.

I get a little bored of Halloween, sometimes.

Actually, I am prone to getting bored with anything to repetitious.

(I’m gonna take a tiny leap here and assume I’m not the only one.)

Last year we discovered what many, many people in our area have already known about.

The Scarecrow Festival!

What a fun thing! I suppose it isn’t entirely about Halloween, but it is another way to enjoy the season. Plus at least half of the scarecrows are Halloween themed, so it counts enough.  What I love about this particular scarecrow festival are the little plaques lining the way that tell about the history of scarecrows, their prevalence, purposes, and some other quick scarecrow facts and stats.

(Not that any of my kids actually read the plaques, but I appreciate that someone takes the effort to put them there.)

Also, it is just an excellent way to get outside and wander around these huge gardens. I wont go as far as to call it a hike – since it’s paved – but it is definitely a great nature walk.

IMG_3089IMG_3091IMG_3092

IMG_3095

Uh…. This is kind of creepy. 

IMG_3096IMG_3101IMG_3103IMG_3104IMG_3109

As a quick side note and completely unrelated: Near the end of our field trip a huge wind and dust storm blew right into us. The wind was fierce, loud, and powerful, and it seemed to come out of nowhere. All the sudden leaves were whirling everywhere making it hard to see, and we were getting pelted by a raining onslaught of pine tree needles. Those things really hurt when they come at you with force! It was a little scary, but the older kids and I just ran for cover and laughed and laughed. What a funny, little adventure. My 2 year old, on the other hand, was terrified. You could see the fear in his eyes, and he screamed and screamed, scrambling to get out of his stroller and run away to someplace safe. He had no idea what was happening, but he knew it wasn’t good. Being the all-knowing mom, I just laughed and comforted him and told him it was all going to be fine, nothing would hurt him, and we were on our way to someplace more peaceful. I don’t think he believed me. So I put my sweater over his head so the wind wouldn’t whip him as hard, the dust wouldn’t get into his eyes, and things would seem warmer and quieter, even though he wouldn’t actually be able to see anything.

This reminded me of life. (Cue sappy music) Sometimes we are so scared. Sometimes we have no idea what is going on, or what is going to happen, but it is loud or uncomfortable, or sometimes even painful. All we know is that we don’t like it, and we want it to stop or maybe we want to run away. But I can imagine God looking down on us, just like I looked down on my toddler son, and saying, “Don’t worry about this. It is loud and scary now. But none of this will hurt you. It is just one of life’s experiences and adventures (sometimes we call them trials or challenges) and you are just going to have to get through it. When you look back at it from the other side (or from the safety of the minivan) you’ll see you were safe and looked after the entire time.” Maybe he blesses us with an added portion of His Spirit, or the warmth and comfort of a good friend to lessen the wind and noise and pain. And it helps a lot, even though we still can’t see how we are going to get through.

And then we do. Maybe covered in dust and sporting that “crazy hair don’t care” look (or the careless windblown hair look, but when I do it, it always ends up crazy hair so personally, I’m going to stick with that.) But we are ok. It was scary, and it was uncomfortable and maybe painful, but we made it through and are just fine. Just like He promised.

This lesson was especially applicable to me during this time, as two days after this event I experienced one of the scariest moments of my life.

IMG_3144

OK, back to Halloween.

Below are just a couple of other really fun Halloween videos for you and your kids. In a previous Halloween post I included links to some really fun scary music, but somehow forgot THIS one! Talk about scary! My 1st grader is too used to watching Studio C, so when I showed this to him he looked very concerned and whispered, “That wasn’t funny.”

Ha! I mean, Mwa, ha ha ha!!!!

This Halloween math video is pretty good, too. And it’s all right to laugh!

Happy Halloween!

IMG_3224