Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be Careful Little Eyes...

Happy New Year, dear Readers! This is by far the longest time that I've been away (only three posts on this blog in 2011), but I hope to be a bit more active in 2012. This is my primary ministry, after all. Before I get to the meat of this post, a few updates....

We've been very blessed this past year with health, great friendships, continuing work, good finances, a nice vacation, and achievements for all of us. I'll probably touch on some of these things in the coming months, but needless to say, blogging has not been among them much. For better or worse, I've let blogging slip below my radar, and I hope that I can improve on that this year, without sacrificing my other responsibilities.

So what's up with Halloween? Wasn't that like almost three months ago? I always do a Halloween post on this or one of my other blogs, mainly to showcase our pumpkin carving. So what if I'm a little behind? ;)

Our theme this time was the kids' song, "Be Careful Little Eyes". I totally did not have that song in mind when I felt inspired to carve a fancy eye on my pumpkin. Farrah immediately thought of the song and suggested she do the feet and Kylen do the hands.

Here is kylen working on his masterpiece. Farrah got a mixer-like attachment to my power drill, which worked very well at scraping out the pumpkin's insides.

Here I am, hard at work on my pumpkin. This was also the first year I successfully employed a Dremel tool to do the fine scraping work. I bought it last year, but did not have time to figure it out. Worked like a charm this time around!

Here is the final result. For several years now, we've been using an old set of C9 Christmas bulbs instead of candles. It keeps the pumpkins fresh longer and even allows us to use different colors. For examples of our past work, click on the "Halloween" tag in the tag cloud to the right.

Then, of course, there is the dressing up! Farrah wanted to be an elf archer (think: female version of Legolas, from "Lord of the Rings"), but we didn't feel like taking the trouble of attaching her pointy ears. Maybe next time. :) We went to Cabela's to pick out a bow, which was the perfect excuse to get one that would also suit Kylen. He loved his first experience with archery, and we spent hours in our unfinished basement, putting holes in stuff.

While looking for costumes at a local shop (boy, could I blog about the spiritual meaning behind the inappropriate costumes that permeate costume shops!), we saw the Street Fighter karate costume. Since that's my favorite game of all time, it was a no-brainer.

Kylen just wanted to be a black ninja (don't ask me why that's totally different from the white ninja costume he wore last year). We had fun fighting each other and laughing at Farrah trying to look threatening with her bow. CUTE thing!

Much of my time this year has been occupied with working on various utility programs. One such example is the sound player I wrote just for Halloween. Why couldn't I just use Windows Media Player, you ask? Because that would have been way too easy, of course! I placed speakers in our pumpkins, just outside our front door, and connected them to my laptop, so I could play the kids' song. I also had our web cam pointed at our front walk, so I could see when kids were coming up the steps and play some nifty little sayings having to do with eyes, hands, and feet.

Yes, I am a geek!

It was fun dressing up to greet the trick-or-treaters, but when things started dying down, we decided to take off the sweaty costumes. No sooner did we get our everyday duds back on, that Farrah's sister, whom we hadn't seen in a year, stopped by with her husband, kids, and LARGE neighbor family. It was fun seeing her two little boys in their Spiderman costumes; they've grown so much!

Finally, as a perfect finish to our evening, our dear friends, the McD's surprised us, wearing full chimney sweep duds (a la Bert from 1964's Mary Poppins). They sang a nice little tune and then joined us inside for fellowship and real-sugar Cokes, bottled in Mexico.

So what's the spiritual takeaway? Does there have to be one? When posting about Satan worshippers' favorite day, there better be one! As I've posted years ago, we completely avoid the scary elements and choose instead to use the day as an opportunity to dress up in fun costumes and try to focus the attention to Christ, instead. You can do this wherever you go, as long as you do not partake of the unclean thing. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. It's the only way to effectively witness.