Sunday, September 28, 2014

Halloween on the brain

I know it’s not October yet, but I’ve definitely got Halloween on the brain. Last weekend, I was checking out some Halloween-themed recipes to make for the special day. And last week, Jen and I went shopping for Halloween decorations. (Of course, I already have a crate full of Halloween decorations, but I’m always up for checking out the new stuff every year. Plus, it’s fun to see the neat and scary stuff on display in stores.) We usually don’t start decorating for Halloween until it’s officially October, and since we wait for the first weekend in October to do the honors, that means we’ll be decorating the day after Jennifer’s 13th birthday!

Jennifer is excited about her birthday coming up, and not just because she’ll be turning 13. She is a HUGE horror movie buff, so she was thrilled to learn that a horror movie, Annabelle, will be out in theaters on her big day. She is holding out hope that one of her friends and their mom will take her to see the movie on that day – what a great birthday gift THAT would be! (I can’t take her myself because my husband will be working and there isn’t someone else to watch our young son, who is of course not old enough to see such a scary movie!)  She is especially excited because it’s about the haunted doll we were introduced to in the movie, The Conjuring. (Great movie, by the way! And Annabelle was a real haunted doll! Check out this link)(And if haunted dolls are your thing, check out what I wrote about Robert the Doll, a real haunted doll, in the Key West, Florida chapter of my new book, A Ghost on Every Corner.)

So, yeah, I went from talking about Halloween to talking about horror movies. Heh. But, actually, how could we let the Halloween month pass us by without a good dose of scary flicks? Every year, I try to watch a horror movie for every day of October. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded yet. Sigh. But we’re going to try again this year! So Jennifer and I spent some time yesterday putting together a list of horror movies to watch next month. We were aiming for 31 movies, but ended up with a little more than that.

I already had a list of Halloween movies to watch for October up here on the blog at this link. One list was for adults and the other is for kids. Jen checked out both lists and thought they were good selections, but with the new horror flicks that have come out since the adult list was put together, that particular list got a bit of revising this time around. We also included movies that weren’t particularly as scary but still fun to watch for a horror movie month.

This is our new list for adults:

1. The Amityville Horror
2. The Omen
3. The Grudge
4. Nightmare on Elm Street
5. The Woman in Black
6. Poltergeist
7. Saw
8. Saw II
9. The Others
10. Freddy Vs. Jason
11. It
12. The Shining
13. Pumpkinhead
14. The Conjuring
15. The Messengers
16. Insidious
17. Psycho
18. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
19. Creepshow
20. The Changeling
21. 13 Ghosts
22. Puppetmaster
23. Hellraiser
24. The Exorcist
25. World War Z
26. One Missed Call
27. Scream
28. The Ring
29. Night of the Living Dead
30. Carrie
31. Halloween
32. Gothika
33. Scary Movie
34. Children of the Corn
35. A Haunting in Connecticut
36. The Walking Dead
37. Zombie Town
38. Shaun of the Dead
39. Child’s Play
40. Interview with the Vampire

Of course, there are a whole lot of other horror movies we could add to that list. I have plenty more on my Netflix queue. In fact, I spent some time on Netflix yesterday and today arranging my queue to where I had almost all of the horror movies lined up to be sent next – well, with the exception of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, because Jesse REALLY wants to see that movie! (He just saw, and loved, the first one.) Some of those other horror movies are:

Children of the Corn 666
Devil’s Due
Devil’s Knot
Murder Party
Bride of Chucky
(Jennifer LOVED Child’s Play)
Seed of Chucky
30 Days of Night
Dark Night of the Scarecrow
The Innkeepers
The Howling: Reborn

And of course, there are always the sequels to some of the above-mentioned movies.

So it would seem we’re definitely ready for Halloween to get here. Jennifer even has her costume. Jesse doesn’t have a costume YET – he is still undecided – and I’m not entirely sure on whether or not I’ll dress up this year. (One year, I took the kids trick-or-treating as a monster bride.) We’ve got the food figured out, the decorations bought, the movies lined up and our costumes very nearly ready. Now all we’ll need is for Halloween to get here. (And then, of course, we’ll make a last-minute run out to the store to buy the candy!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The second Meet & Greet

Today was Jennifer’s Meet & Greet at her middle school. I had no idea what to expect when we got there but I definitely was not expecting such an insanely long line. Gah! I thought that all the parents would just walk on through the building and go to the tables they had to go to. But the school administrators had the foresight to line people up and have so many go through the gym at a time – I guess to avoid chaos and prevent the parents from being confused on where to go next. So we stood in line for like 20 minutes. Jen passed the time playing a game on my phone and I kept Jesse preoccupied by playing some kind of hand-grab game that we made up. Jen complained he was laughing too loud from the game but I told her as long as he wasn’t running around or bothering anybody, I wasn’t going to stop him!

So we finally reached the assembly room where all the tables were arranged for parents to go to to take care of everything. Once we were inside, Jesse asked if he could sit on the bleachers and I told him that was fine. I am grateful he likes sitting on the bleachers (they are pull-out benches) because I was soon busy talking to A LOT of people at a lot of tables. I occasionally turned to check on Jesse and he was fine talking with other kids on the bleachers.

It was a good thing they allowed so many parents through at a time. The line system helped a lot because they had to talk to us one at a time at the tables. We got paperwork, dayplanners, schedules, forms and paid fees as we moved from table to table. We were not able to meet the Band instructor because he was MIA. Also absent was a rep from the Boys & Girls Club, and that wasn’t good because I had to renew Jen’s membership there. There were forms on that table and I grabbed one without looking – only later to find I’d grabbed the one in Spanish! D’oh! Jennifer said it was okay; we could just walk over to the Boys & Girls Club to renew her membership.

So that’s what we did next. I had to fill out the membership form AGAIN to renew her membership. Ugh! It’s a long form and I had to keep checking my phone and cards to write down info they needed. I don’t know why they didn’t just keep her info in their system and I could tell them that nothing’s changed. Oh, well. So I took care of THAT and also paid that fee.

After we got home, Jen checked in with one of her BFFAEs to compare schedules and see what classes they have together. She gets her locker tomorrow because she has to fill out the locker agreement form first and turn that in. She also spent time putting all of her stuff together and getting it all ready for her first day of 7th grade tomorrow.

That’s two Meet & Greets done for the week. Now for the second first day of school!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The first Meet & Greet

Today was Jesse’s Meet & Greet at his school. Jennifer’s is tomorrow, on Jesse’s first day back at school. Jesse is VERY excited about going back to school. He’s in First Grade now! The Big Time! Woo-hoo!!! And I’m doubly happy because now he’ll be in school full-time, with the regular one day for early release in the week. Of course, this means he’ll have to get up earlier for school and get acquainted with having lunch in the school cafeteria, but he is still excited about going. (And no more of those brown-bag lunches that always had the same thing in it Every Day.)

So I took him to his Meet & Greet. I was excited to learn that a teacher who had been Jennifer’s first grade teacher was still a first grade teacher this year and I hoped she would be Jesse’s teacher this year, too, because she is just AWESOME. (Jennifer has a picture of her and this teacher in her room.) But, unfortunately, one of the new teachers at the school will be Jesse’s teacher this year. Darn!

All the same, I am grateful Jesse’s new teacher has a last name that is easy to pronounce. I can’t tell you the number of times I kept being corrected on the pronunciation of his kindergarten teacher’s name. Ack! So, yay for that.

Jesse met his new teacher and the teacher’s aide, then we spent some time touring his new classroom and figuring out where everything was. He was excited to learn that one of his friends from kindergarten will be in his class. While we were at the school, I also paid the annual fee for school supplies (thank goodness there’s only ONE child I have to buy school supplies for!) and then checked in with the office about bus schedules. Unfortunately, Jesse was taken off the bus route because we live out of district. So I’ll be driving him to school and picking him up. He was really disappointed that he couldn’t ride the school bus anymore, but he understood that nothing could be done about it.

Because Jesse will be eating lunch at the school cafeteria now, I took him to the cafeteria and showed him around. I explained to him what happens when his classroom comes to the cafeteria for lunch and I walked him through the route he would take while standing in line. I also explained to him he would get a special code number to punch into the keypad to pay for his lunches. (They train kids on how to memorize their numbers and use the keypad.) He thought it was all really cool and got excited about going into the cafeteria at lunchtime.

After we were done there, I allowed Jesse some time to play at the school playground. I spent some time talking with a grandmother who was there with her two grandchildren. Jesse liked playing with her grandchildren, two boys. It seemed like he made a new friend. (One of the boys was a second grader.) Then we left and came home.

I’m so excited about Jesse going into first grade and I hope it will be a good experience for him.