Scrapbook Saturday #12 and other Halloween night ramblings

Scrapbook Saturday

Here are two layouts I made earlier this week:

[Photos are clickable for the credits but please leave comments about the layouts in this post ;)]

These are still going into the mini-album of my girlfriends’ day out back in August. Hopefully I’ll be done before Christmas! Haha. 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Scrapbook Saturday gang, starting at Mammadawg’s place. Also checkout my previous SS posts here if you haven’t seem them yet 🙂

Oh, it is Digital Scrapbooking Day (DSD) in digital scrapbooking land! Visit digiscrapping sites to get a huge fixing of DSD goodness, there are many links in this page, but not all may have goodies up okay. A good place to start though would be the Sunshine Blog for their Halloween Blog Train.

Halloween Night Ramblings

Last night, I logged on thinking of posting about the Halloween Party we had for the kids in this compound (plus some of their friends).  But no matter how much fun we had at the party – both kids and adults alike – the fun isn’t what’s foremost in my mind to blog about. 

This is the fifth year we’ve done this – a private Halloween party for just the kids in the family. We’ve extended the invitation to only three other kids whose family rented the last door in my grandpa’s three-door apartment; plus to the young boy next door. Since the family of the three kids already moved out, it was just the family kids and the other boy last year. This year, there were unexpected-but-nonetheless-welcome teenage friends of my older nieces.

I grew up having fond experiences of Halloween. There would be community parties or there would just be us friends going out, in parties of four or five, trick-or-treating (unaccompanied by adults) around our quiet neighborhood.

When the next generation (that is to say my nieces and nephews) came into the picture,  Halloween meant me just basically being there to see them in their costumes and maybe accompanying them to trick or treat. These kids have a different Halloween experience. The Sunday School program at Church would organize the trick-or-treat rounds and there would be older kids leading batches of kids to different sections of the community. There would be a program and snacks at the Church Hall after the rounds. Sometimes, if it was raining that year, the older kids would just collect candies and treats from each household and bring them to the Cathedral Hall where all the rest would be playing games. Then the kids would just fall in line and receive the candies in their loot bags – going from one station to another.

It was still fun though. And everyone was sure to get something.

Then in recent years, they scheduled Halloween activities before the actual day. Apparently there were requests from some Church members to reschedule the activities because some go home to the provinces for the All Souls’ Day holidays. They didn’t want their kids to miss Halloween. But that meant that our kids were activity free on October 31, and I just didn’t like that idea. So I drew up plans for our very own private Halloween Party at #99 19th Street!

We started this tradition in 2004, and we’ve had a party every year since. I coordinate most of it, buy most of the prices and get committments for the food and other treats. I take a leave from work and I host the party. They are not my kids, not even my brother’s kids. Why do I put this together, year after year? 

Because though they are my cousins’ children, I love them like my own. And I know that they are growing up in such different circumstances from how we did, and I want to help make sure that there are many happy childhood experiences for them that involves the whole family. 

And we will do it again next year. And every succeeding year as long as we have kids in the family. In fact, I’m already thinking of how we can expand it to having more kids of close family friends included.

A Loss

A friend of my parents’ died yesterday. His kidneys have given up a long time ago and he finally succumbed to it, quite suddenly and unexpectedly, yesterday. He was just supposed to go for routine dialysis.

He had four kids and I am friends with the two girls. The other two are boys younger than me. 

With my parents and many others from our Church community, we were at the funeral last night to pay our respects and just be with the family.

As is the tradition in our Church when there is a funeral, we sang hymns. Odd, but I found singing them comforting. But they always bring back memories of funerals of my beloved aunt and grandmother. Not painful, but comforting.

It is sad that I haven’t been to Church a lot and I haven’t seen many of the faces that I saw there last night for a long time. Sad because it took a funeral for it to happen.