After being declined the ability to use the kitchen to make messy pudding for practice with measurements and conversions (we were going to make dirt with worms), I was in need of something Halloween to do with the tutoring girls. A night wandering Rite Aid while talking to my mom on the phone resulted in a find of five skeletons on a garland. Perfect! We’ll make coffins and plan the funeral!

I created several clock exercises for the younger one to practice with; we even went over roman numerals and army time. Then I took the most gothic clock on the worksheet, which happened to have roman numerals, and used it to create six scenarios of the victims murders. At the time, I thought there were six skeletons… one ended up being that we had a missing body.

So while the younger deciphered the times of death and the times of the funeral for all six victims, the older worked on surface area calculations and building geometric frames to create coffins. She was so excited by the process that she created a box of her own to keep stuff in. After finishing the clocks and times for the funerals, the younger joined and created a box for Romeo and Juliet. The box was originally for the Sweet Sixteen So Sad to die So Soon victim and had room for her to play in but it ended up being a better fit for Romeo and Juliet so this was replaced.

Monday was the Media & Information Studies Halloween Party so despite not getting to make the pudding, I had already made 24 cups to take to the party. Two extra was no big deal and what covers coffins? Dirt :). The older had tasted a cup of dirt before but the younger had not. I left for Kroger as I still needed to make Brains and Bugs for the party! – pasta salad.

Amanda received a frantic call from Kroger when my first idea that a pasta salad recipe would be on the back of a mayonnaise jar didn’t work out and everything I searched showed complicated recipes that I was not in the mood to create the night before and then have to take it on the bus early before class and hours before the party. She suggested using Italian dressing which turned out wonderfully! I had almost 24 cups of pudding to take back home after the party and a lot of pasta salad that I was all too happy to return with!

Yvette created tombstones for the dead theories and we ended up having a grinch take away the option for a holiday party. But it was fun nonetheless. I’m not sure though: when the department chair and his accompaniment and then several other professors say “Cute…yeah, cute…” to your Cat Devil with a Spider Fetish (I called it: Confused, since I usually am anyway) costume, is that a good thing? I’m not sure I want to be remembered as the “cute” PhD student….or maybe it’s not too bad :). My office neighbor now asks if I’m dressing up at first for the weeks and now, I assume, it will be a regular holiday question.

Wednesday I returned to the tutoring home to find all the skeletons hanging on the front porch. The girls excitedly said “Look! We rose them from the dead!” I thought it was so creative! I can only imagine if I wasn’t allowed to use the kitchen what the parents were thinking of this new addition to the porch though.

Then Friday I met and babysat Amanda’s young ones. During dinner I mentioned we were going to make dirt with worms and the younger one put her hand on her hip and immediately said “I don’t like this.”

And we made dirt to the max! In an Oreo pie crust shell! The younger made the grass – I actually found vanilla pudding that turns green when it mixes with milk! Kids get all the cool stuff. The older made the dirt and implanted the worms to help with the flower growth. Put the grass on top, and the younger then planted seeds (snow caps!).

One lesson of the night though: limit the sprinkles. The leftover pudding was put into a separate bowl which, two children, I should have known we would need two pies. In the separate bowl it was decided that fairy dust was needed to help the flowers grow. Eight containers of sprinkles later….I think I owe Amanda a set of “boy sprinkles” and “girl sprinkles” as I was not prepared how to say now to the cooking/planting/imagination fun. The younger one agreed she did like it, and both that it was the best dirt they’d ever had with lots of vitamins and minerals!

And the dirt was off to the refrigerator where it needed sun to grow. While they were playing with Toy Story cards, I put raspberry gum drops where the seeds had been planted :).