Spook Menu-A Halloween Tradition

I was blessed to grow up with the worlds sweetest grandmother. She was the most loving, tender, sincere woman you could ever meet. You couldn't be around her and not feel deeply loved; no matter who you were or where you came from. She loved people. She loved spending time with people. It is from her that I truly learned that the most important gift you can give someone is the gift of time. My grandmother gave her time generously. I think her favorite time of year was fall/winter, because it was Holiday season, which meant that there were many opportunities for family to get together. So many of my favorite memories with her are sitting around her table enjoying food and cards.

Spook Menu was a Halloween tradition in my family. Around Halloween, my grandmother would  invite us all over for dinner. She would serve ordinary foods; however, she game them new, spooky, names. Before dinner started, my grandmother would read the Spook Menu (think restaurant menu...usually she wrote it on a Halloween card) and we would learn the new spooky names for our food. Throughout dinner, if you wanted something passed to you, you would have to ask for it by it's assigned spooky name.

That was basically it...normal foods with new names; but to a kid, this is exciting, ya'll! Obviously, if you are a creative type, and you want to make unique foods, like rolls in the shape of skeleton heads...you could take this idea and run with it! However, if you are like me and you aren't exactly sure the last time you took a shower, then you can create this tradition with chicken nuggets and mac and cheese!

My grandmother passed away nearly two years ago and it's holidays like this that make me miss her terribly. My son is now three and is at the perfect age for this to be an exciting tradition for him. I am excited to share this tradition with him and watch it unfold with the next generation.

Here is our menu (and spooky names) for this year:
BBQ Werewold: Teryaki Chicken
Pumpkin Guts: Mac & Cheese
Ghost Poop: Potatoes
Mummy Pillows: Rolls
Zombie Skin: Salad
Goblin Fingers: Pineapple
Bat Hearts: Olives
Jack O'Lantern Teeth: Corn
Witch Warts: Carrots
Teryaki Sauce: Werewolf Blood
Frankenstein Seasonings: Salad Dressing
Casper's Breath: Milk
Witches Brew: Apple Cider
Frankenstein's Delight: Beer
Owl Pellets: Chocolate Chip Coookies
Spider Eggs: Brownies

Part of the fun in the tradition is mixing it up each year. Next years menu will be completely different from this year. Have more ideas for spooky food names? I'd love to hear them in the comments!

Postcard Exchange

Last summer, I saw this post on Facebook about a Postcard Exchange. I had never done one before, but was instantly intrigued by the idea of my kiddos getting a postcard from each state around the US. I quickly signed us up for Oregon and then started to worry about what I had gotten myself into! Am I the only one around here who acts first and thinks second?!

How to Create a Simple Silhouette

I'm a 30 something and my mom still has those gifts I made at school as a kid in a box. You better believe that my family Christmas tree is still decorated from school projects from my childhood (anyone else?!). Moms are sentimental people, ya'll! So I know how important it is to have kids make something sweet for moms in school. But I have 30+ students, a limited budged, small children of my own, not a lot of time... Ya'll, I need simple (and cheap) projects in my life!
Silhouettes are one of my all time favorite projects to do with students. I often do them for Mother's Day gifts in the spring, but really you can do them with any holiday/theme/occasion. Most recently, I made a patriotic version for Veteran's Day. They are virtually free and snapshot a moment in a kids life that can be looked back on decades later. And if you have a bigger budget (or smaller class) you can add in a Dollar Store frame and make them a true keepsake for moms (or grandmas, or aunts, or dads, or whoever fills the "mom" role!)