Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Home for the Holidays: Halloween

This past year, for the first time, we celebrated the entire holiday season, from Halloween through New Year's in our own home. What made it doubly special was that it was our first time to celebrate the holidays in Ecuador. We were able to continue some traditions as well as start some new ones. Here's a little peek into how we celebrated Halloween (posts coming about Thanksgiving and Christmas as well):

We have started meeting monthly with other Operation Ecuador missionaries for a time of worship and fellowship. Rusty and I hosted October's "Praise and Potluck." In addition to the meal and the devotional, we decided to plan some fun Halloween-type activities for the kids. We invited them all to come in costume and let them trick-or-treat in the house by stationing adults with candy behind closed doors. Rusty also built a totally cool box maze, using old cardboard boxes from our move. The kids had the best time in it!

The maze took up all of our school-room, plus most of the hallway
Benjamin loved playing in the maze!
English devotional
All the kids, ready to trick-or-treat

A couple of days before Halloween, we carved some jack-o-lanterns. Round, orange pumpkins are not to be had in Ecuador, but Rusty found 3 big green ones at a little green grocer near our church. We carved them up for Halloween, and then later, I baked and pureed them so we would have pumpkin for holiday baking. On Halloween night, we made pizza and watched the Charlie Brown Halloween special. I made cheese and ham pizza for the boys, but I used roasted pumpkin and red onion on ours, and it was really yummy! (I have been cooking my way through a book called 1 Crust, 100 Pizzas, and this was a recipe from there.)

Alex helping me carve the pumpkin
The finished product
The other pumpkin we carved. I needed a design that allowed me to carve out a big rotten spot in the side, and this is what I came up with!
I wasn't expecting very many (if any) trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, so we weren't really prepared for the inundation of children. Rusty had to run to the store to buy candy, while I turned kids away and told them to come back in an hour. I was pretty embarrassed, but I guess I'll know better next year, and they didn't seem to mind. We actually had more trick-or-treaters here at this house than we've ever had anywhere in the U.S.! When Rusty got home, the boys put on their costumes and he took them trick-or-treating up and down our street. Who would have thought they would get to trick-or-treat while living in Ecuador?

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