Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top Ten: First Annual Angola Team Halloween Party

When you celebrate the holidays overseas, you often have to get creative in the way you celebrate them. Certain holidays are uniquely American (like Thanksgiving)... others might be known, but are not as hyped-up or celebrated in the same ways as they are in the United States. Halloween would fit in this category. We decided to have a Halloween party for our kids to give them some of the experiences of dressing in costumes and trick-or-treating. Our family hosted the party this year. We spent most of the week leading up to it getting ready... hunting for pumpkins, decorating our apartment, deciding on activities for the kids, and planning the menu.

Rusty drew the faces on these oranges.

Pumpkin lumiaries... they were so pretty! 

We planned several activities for the kids to do during the party. First, we painted pumpkins. Interestingly, large, round, bright orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins are hard to come by in Portugal. We ended up using smaller pumpkins that were either pale orange or speckled green and white. We did manage to find one big round pumpkin which Teague carved during the party so the kids could see what a real jack-o-lantern looked like. Efesson and Biruk had never seen one before!

Alex painted a very colorful pumpkin!

Teague's jack-o-lantern

Stephen was so fascinated with the pumpkin-face and the candle inside.

We played a game where we gave the kids balloons with candy inside, and they had to figure out how to get it out. It provided several minutes of very loud entertainment.

Trying to pop balloons (Stephen just wanted to play with his.)

Then, we decorated Halloween treat buckets (we used old yogurt tubs) and had the kids go trick-or-treating in our apartment. An adult went in each room and closed the door. Once they were ready, the kids went around knocking on the doors and saying "Trick-or-treat." It worked pretty well, and they all went home with full treat-buckets!

Decorating treat buckets


Surprise! The Tosta Mista Man (Grilled Ham-and-Cheese Sandwich Man) was behind the bathroom door. Rusty came up with this costume all on his own the hour before the party, and the inspiration behind it was the Powdered Toast Man from "Ren and Stimpy."

All the kids in their costumes. From left to right, we have, a gorilla, a fire chief, a train conductor, Winnie the Pooh, and a fire lieutenant. Our littlest participant, Sophia, was an adorable zebra, but she was asleep at the time of the picture.

And that's how we celebrated Halloween in Portugal this year!

There are lots more pictures on Facebook... just look for photos of Rusty or me.


  1. I never saw a team with so many creative people on it! You all have such a great time together and are a blessing to each other. Love, Mom

  2. I love it Laura! You all are so creative. I know all of your kids will be blessed by your creativity and love through their years growing up in Angola! We are still praying for you!