I remember Halloween being my favorite holiday, maybe even surpassing Christmas. The goal was to get the ultimate load, running from house to house, block to block, making absolute sure that you accumulated more loot than your siblings. Now Halloween is greeted by me with a groan, as I battle pumpkin guts and stuff plastic ghost bags with newspaper to hang from the trees. This halloween, I did the holiday proud. We made ghost candles and egg carton spiders, we took off our socks to stamp white footprint ghosts on black paper, we learned halloween songs, fingerplays and poems, we told ghost stories. We bought 6 pumpkins (never again) and carved all of them, not just a typical triangle face, either, we had a puking pumpkin guts one and a pumpkin eating a child's leg one. Dustin won a bowling ball sized Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory pumpkin at the pumpkin carving contest. We sprinkled red food coloring and ketchup on the snow for blood. We played scary music. Lydia got up at 6 am asking if it was time yet to go trick or treating, and I when I explained to her our rule about waiting until until it was dark outside, she said, " But Mommy, it IS dark outside!" We got up and make witch finger cookies for the Halloween party. At the party there was a goblin dance, a red jello eating contest, a pumpkin pinata and a costume contest. June won "funniest costume" for her depiction of a chicken. After staring out the window for an hour and a half, Lydia declared it dark and we put her in her snowsuit and stuffed her into her puppy dog costume. Emily and Dustin are now too cool to trick or treat with us, and they joined up with friends to tear around house to house just as I did. June went to one house, got her treat and was done. She saw the little bag full of treats in her bucket and all she could focus on was to get them into her mouth, wrappers and all. We took her home to daddy and carried on. Lydia ran house to house, I got to stand at the end of the driveways this year and wave. She ran out of steam at about house number 17 and plunked herself into the sled, eyes wide at the pillowcase full of junk. She was ready to go home and dump it on the floor. We all met back at our house and I warmed up the truck to take Dustin and Emily to the dance. I chaperoned till 11:30 when the kids declared it "lame" and wanted to get home to their candy. I fell asleep on the couch. Today T.J let me sleep in till 9:30, when I woke up and discovered it was only 8:30. I love fall back! Now I have an extra hour in the day to scrape the pumpkin guts off the deck, take down all the decorations and referee 4 kids on a sugar high. The dog already ate the ketchup off the snow.