Today was Halloween and it was a busy, but fun day from start to finish! This is the first holiday that we have not been at home. I didn’t really think I would be able to get into the the spirit much here, but honestly Halloween is HUGE here and we were told St. Jude does it up big. Everyone was right and Halloween at St. Jude did not disappoint!
Our day actually started with Caleb going to radiation (treatment #21) and Tyler going to school to be a part of the Halloween festivities there. James stayed with Caleb at St. Jude while I went to be with Tyler. Of course they left our apartment in full costume, Caleb as Batman and Tyler as Spiderman.
I had a really good time at Tyler’s school. All of the younger grades did a Halloween parade and the parents got to join in and walk with the kids. We paraded to the middle school and all through the church. Students and faculty were handing out candy along the way. Tyler had a great time! Then they did something I had never seen before. They did a halloween “fashion show” where everyone lined up and each kid walked down the line one by one showing off their costumes. Of course most kids just ran as fast as they could to the other end but it was really funny!
After the outdoor activities I went back to Tyler’s classroom and helped him make a paper plate pumpkin craft. It was fun helping Tyler and his other little classmates with an art project. It reminded me of how much I wanted to be a teacher, like my mom, when I was younger. Tyler’s school has some really cool technology in each classroom. So after the kids finished their craft project they got up and danced to some music that the teacher played off the huge touch screen TV in their room. For lunch they had a pizza party complete with the adorable “bat brownie” treats his teacher made for the class.
After all his Halloween activities were over at school I signed him out early and we headed to St. Jude. At St. Jude they have trick-or-treating for all patients and siblings. So we got all dressed up in our LEGO Ninjago Costumes (one of the boy’s favorite movies!). The boys and I were Ninjas and James was “Master Wu”, their sensei. We definitely had fun getting dressed up! Caleb loves to have his face painted, but Tyler not so much, so I didn’t make him. They practiced their ninja moves before going inside to trick-or-treat.
Again, people had been telling us for weeks that Halloween was a HUGE event at St. Jude, but nothing could have prepared us for how many booths and how much candy they would collect. Each department is in charge of their own booth, and each had it’s own theme. Some of the booths were incredible!! I wish I would have gotten more pics of them, but all the departments did an outstanding job at making this a really special event. The funny part was we went through the first section of booths and thought “well that was great”, but then there were 2 or 3 other sections full of booths that we couldn’t even see at first. I’m telling you, it was crazy!!! When we arrived at St. Jude they were handing out bags for collecting candy. I took one for each kid but they had their trick or treat buckets so I wasn’t really that worried about it. Boy was I wrong… we walked out with one of those bags plus both of their buckets overflowing with candy!!! We used the other bag to collect trash from all the candy they ate along the way. Oh well… strict parenting is for another day! HA HA!
James and I were honestly tired by the time we got back to our apartment, but the boys wanted to go play on the playground. They enjoy seeing their same friends here every afternoon. There was also an event at our housing place tonight, so we dressed the kids up again to go play on the playground, and then we trick-or-treated even more (as if we needed any more candy!!). Finally, we went to the dining room where they served dinner, had a couple games for the kids, and a DJ playing music. The kids were very tired by this point, so we had dinner and then got them back to the room for baths and bed time.
Halloween ended up being a really great day! In the weeks leading up to Halloween we have certain activities we usually go to each year at home. We also usually carve pumpkins and trick-or-treat with friends. None of those activities were accomplished this year, but it was nice trying out some different things. In the end we made great memories and the kids had a wonderful Halloween, and that is what matters most!