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Via Media

“People’s Houses”

Trick or treaters started arriving at our place before ours were ready to depart. Michael the Baby was very confused as to why Mommy and Daddy kept giving these strange children candy but ignored him as he raced up to them with his pumpkin. What sense does that make?

Trick or Treat!

Eventually he got the message that he would get candy at other people’s houses. Which led to a litany of "go people’s houses! go people’s houses! Trickertweat!"

Michael the Daddy took them out, I stayed behind and Katie…well, Katie had play practice – time to grow up anyway, don’t you think? Although – those college boys who came by did have good costumes. Brunhilde was particularly fetching.



We spare no expense and effort with costumes, clearly.

A little happier:


I don’t think I ever related the story of the birthday party Joseph went to a month ago.  The knight costume reminded me. It was just a street over – which was nice to be able to actually walk to a birthday party instead of making a journey across town to the Mouse Pizza House.


The party theme was Knights. The family had rented a blow-up jumping contraption that was shaped like a castle, and had knight and princess costumes for all the attendees – to take home. No, it’s not the one Joseph is wearing here – it had a  tunic and also included were a shield, a sword, and a  a fake chain-mail headpiece as well. The girls got dresses and crowns. Michael scoffed at me when I said that if I’d been one of those little girls I’d have probably wanted the knight stuff – but it’s true! As echoed by Katie and her friend whom I was taking somewhere later in the day – they both said they would much rather have had knight gear! – the Tamora Pierce effect? (for them – don’t know what would have inspired me.)

So…nice people. To give you know…costumes to 20+ little kids…

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Dorian Speed

posted October 31, 2006 at 8:21 pm

Coincidentally, we are having a Knights-themed birthday on Saturday. We will not be giving costumes. I do have grandiose plans to pick up some pillowcases at Big Lots and cut neck holes in them to be tunics, and we will have fun-foam shields to decorate…okay, so they’ll get costumes. In lieu of goody bags.
Should you happen to be in the metro Atlanta area, Joseph is welcome to attend the low-tech version of a medieval birthday.
(Oh, and – everyone gets a knight’s tunic and shield. Nothing princess. I couldn’t figure out how to do princess costumes for 75 cents a pop).

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posted October 31, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Tamora Pierce was my favorite author when I was a young teenager — I reread the Song of the Lioness quartet every summer for years! She’s going to be at a conference I’m attending in November; I can’t wait to meet the only author to whom I ever sent fan mail.
But costumes as party favors…yowzers. Dorian, we made crowns at a birthday party of mine one year with gold and silver posterboard, Elmer’s glue, and plastic jewels, but that’s as fancy as we princesses ever got!

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posted October 31, 2006 at 10:16 pm

I would have wanted the Knight stuff, too.
It makes me mad when I’m at McDonalds and I hear the cashier ask, “girl or boy” of people ording a Happy Meal. If they had Happy Meals when I was a kid I’d have wanted the Hot Wheels cars, not the stupid miniature plastic Barbie.

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posted October 31, 2006 at 10:20 pm

Hey my four-year-old was satisfied with putting on an old t-shirt with the letter “P” on it, and black make-up around one eye. He was “a black-eyed pea.” Does anyone know how long I will be able to get away with stuff like that???? (This was the first he’d heard about trick-or-treating.)

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posted October 31, 2006 at 10:30 pm

Genius, corita!
For a few years, I would think, maybe forever, since he’s a boy. Joseph wore a pair of blue overalls for two years in a row, and we told him he was Bob the Builder (or, as he called him, “Bob the Build-It.”)

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Dorian Speed

posted October 31, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Yep, we did the overall thing twice, as well. Bob the Builder and then a cowboy (add hat, subtract hammer). We also were Peter Rabbit the year that he unilaterally refused to participate, a costume which consisted of wearing his church clothes and having his mother carry around the pair of bunny ears. This was the first year for really elaborate costumes – a Robin Hood outfit which will go right into the dress-up clothes box to be resurrected next year, I hope.

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Shaun G

posted October 31, 2006 at 11:28 pm

From third through seventh grade, I alternated between being a clown and a priest. And you know what? People got so much more excited about the priest than the clown. (And sometimes, they even tossed an extra piece of candy into the Offertory.) By the end of the night, I’d have made the sign of the cross a hundred times … and heard two or three confessions.

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Sandra Miesel

posted November 1, 2006 at 9:25 am

One year my daughters went as wood nymphs with chitons cut out of an old sheet and plastic flowers in the hair. Couldn’t have been cheaper.
Tamora Pierce is going to be signing books in Indianapolis this weekend, I think.

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Patricia Gonzalez

posted November 1, 2006 at 10:32 am

I would have wanted the armour, as well! None of the “damsel-in-distress” stuff for me — I wanted to be the dragon slayer! The posts above brought back so many fun memories of my kids’ Hallowe’ens during their younger years. I recall with particular fondness Carl’s Spock ears and Tim’s pirate outfit! Of course, now they’re all grown up (in their 20’s), and those kinds of things are totally uncool. But it’s fun to remember , and good to see that the traditions continue, and that the kids’ imaginations are still perking away! Those parties sure sound like fun…

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posted November 1, 2006 at 12:17 pm

How about being a Catholic princess modeled after Chesterton’s Virgin Queen and Mother from “The Ballad of the White Horse”?
“One instant in a still light
He saw Our Lady then,
Her dress was soft as western sky,
And she was a queen most womanly–
But she was a queen of men.
Over the iron forest
He saw Our Lady stand,
Her eyes were sad withouten art,
And seven swords were in her heart–
But one was in her hand.”

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posted November 1, 2006 at 12:26 pm

Does anyone know how long I will be able to get away with stuff like that????
Corita, the Halloween party I attended this past weekend featured a partygoer with this very costume. I’m sure that your four-year old would appreciate it again later in life, when his sense of irony is a bit more developed. :-)

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posted November 1, 2006 at 1:55 pm

We have “the basket” from which costumes can be assembled. Gowns, wings, capes, hats, spangled shoes, flower girl dress from our wedding, my cousin’s striped pants from the Eighties (for a pirate or a clown-did we really wear that stuff?!), mostly found on clearance each November.

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Matthew of the Holy Whapping

posted November 1, 2006 at 2:18 pm

Great Chesterton quote about Our Lady’s courage and strength: reminds me of a drawing I did of Our Lady as Tower of Ivory:

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posted November 1, 2006 at 4:27 pm

My fifth grader went to school with little Froot Loop and Frosted Flakes boxed taped to his shirt, with plastic knives sticking out.
He was a “cereal killer.” It was just subversive enough that he thought it was brilliant… He won a prize at the Boy Scout party Monday night, to boot.

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alias clio

posted November 1, 2006 at 7:16 pm

These puns! I remember with special fondness a brilliant visual pun carried out by Pa Ingalls in one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, not for Hallowe’en but for charades. He walked across the room with two potatoes stuck on the edge of an axe blade. When everyone was stumped, he said, ‘it’s helpful in understanding St Paul.’ Finally he had to explain, ‘It’s common taters on the axe’ (Commentators on the Acts).

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posted November 1, 2006 at 8:28 pm

Beautiful picture Matthew!

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