Tag Archives: Halloween

Sunday Sermon and Some Halloween Fun

1 Nov

“Do you wish to be free? Then above all things, love God, love your neighbor, love one another, love the common weal; then you will have true liberty.”

~Girolamo Savonarola


A beautiful Sunday morning. My alarm went off at 7 am and it was still really dark. I pressed the snooze, but decided to get up anyway. I needed to go check on Miss Kathy’s cats before church, trying to scoot out the door by 8:15. I like to get to St. Gabriel early enough to light a candle and meet the Chateau Senior Living bus. Mission accomplished.

Today’s Gospel is one of my favorites because it simplifies all of God’s Commandments. Love God and love your neighbor. What more can you ask for?

Gospel, Mark 12:28-34

28 One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’29 Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord,30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.31 The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’32 The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other.33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.’34 Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

My take on it… If you love God and respect Him, it’s pretty obvious that you will love and respect your neighbor. But, just in case you missed that memo, it’s in the Ten Commandments. Also, He says love your neighbor as thyself. Well, sometimes we don’t love ourselves enough, so love your neighbor even more, like YOU would like to be loved.


A few stops after Mass, McD for coffee, then the grocery store. Flour was on sale. Holidays coming up. I was surprised that pretty much ALL the Halloween candy shelves were empty. I have plenty, but I worried that it’s such a lovely day that we’d get a lot of trick or treaters tonight.

I’m sitting outside on my front porch now. The kids didn’t start coming till 6:30. I guess there’s an unwritten rule that they don’t start till it gets dark. It’s a beautiful night. I’m wearing my sock monkey hat. (I’m kinda scary looking, too.)

First, a picture of the family back in Chicago getting ready for their adventures.

My “Super” Family!
My first scary visitors.
Pretty princesses and scary deadly dudes.

I may be out here a while, maybe not. Who knows? A lot of the kids went to church parties and other organized activities. So, I’ll sit here a while and see. Oh… I decided to play “THRILLER” while I’m sitting here. Cool!!!!


Wednesday:) Waiting For the Rain to Stop ~ Happy Halloween

1 Nov

“Halloween is the only day of the year that you don’t mind if your kids take candy from strangers and get all crazy.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This morning, I put on my gym shoes and got ready for my walk when it started pouring rain. Oh no! It’s Halloween. I just hoped that it would stop by evening. I couldn’t get out for my walk, so I did what any self-respecting artist-writer–procrastinator would do. I made a cup of tea and watched Hallmark movies and ate a bunch of Halloween candy. (I needed to check for freshness)

Actually, I did do some painting in the afternoon. It’s that time of year where I start painting my Christmas ornaments. Miles to go before I rest. Glitter is my new accessory.

Around 6:30 pm or 7ish, the rain finally stopped and the doorbell started ringing. Great news! I wouldn’t want to have to eat all that leftover candy. The kids were all so cute and polite and happy to be able to get out for this once a year fun event.

Now, saving the best for last. Lindsay and Joe posted some pictures of the most adorable costume and little girl of all time…my beautiful granddaughter. I don’t get to see her in person, but I appreciate all the photos.

Now, that’s a SUPER GIRL if I ever saw one.

Happy Halloween.


Tuesday:) Trick or Treat, Tunes, and Too Much Candy

1 Nov

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.

― Paula Guran


I was ready for Halloween. Very little decorating, and I didn’t go nuts buying candy this year. And guess what? I still have half of the candy left over. 

Anyone want to give me “a hand” eating all this candy? Just kidding. I’ll chop up the left over Snickers and put them in my super yummy brownies whenst next I bake. 

It rained this afternoon, but the skies cleared by evening, and it wasn’t too chilly for the little ghouls and goblins. I had the cutest little kids and big kids come to the door. 

The best part of the evening was the pictures my son, Joe, and Lindsay sent of Baby Belle’s first Halloween. 

Popeye, Olive Oyl,  and Sweet Pea. 

Isn’t she the cutest little Sweet Pea you ever did see?

Monday:) Monsters, Mobsters and a Montage

1 Nov

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.” ― Paula Guran


I’ve always loved Halloween. It was fun when I was a kid, it was fun when I took my own kids out, and it’s fun to see the little ones now that I’m an old lady. (I’m not that old, and I’d love to go trick or treating again. I just shouldn’t be eating all that candy anymore.)

It was an absolute perfect day for Halloween here in McKinney. I remember some frigid Chicago Halloween excursions when I’d have to bundle the kids up in hooded jackets with their costume on top. Tonight, the temps were in the upper 70’s. 

Now, here’s the sad part. Hardly any kids came out this year. I thought for sure with perfect weather and so many young families, that it would be crazy busy. I probably only had 30 kids in total. Sad! This is a fun childhood tradition. I heard one youngster ask his mom, “Can we go home now?” That’s just sad. 

I sat outside in my chair and took my painting project out with me to work on between the throngs of kids,..that never arrived. The good news is I got a lot of painting done.

Miss Sandy and Mr. Larry  were out in front of their house pretty early. They told me their dog Wolf wanted to dress up as a chihuahua, but his costume didn’t fit.

While I sat outside and painted and waited, I thought about how much things have changed since I was a kid and when my kids were little.  I hope all this technology and instant gratification hasn’t taken the fun out of being a kid.

Happy Halloween! I’ve got a ton of leftover candy if you want to come over and O.D. On sugar.

Montage Monday. A week in a peek. Go CUBS!

Spooky Scary Saturday:) Happy Halloween and a Real Spider

1 Nov

“…I started to realize how many great things could happen by confronting the things that scare you most.” ― David Archuleta, Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song and the Power of Perseverance


Halloween is such a fun time for children and adults alike. I’ve always loved it. Yesterday, I baked 4 dozen little mini cupcakes for the neighborhood kids, and now, coming to you live, I’m sitting outside my door with my bowl of candy. It’s after 7 pm. The weather is cool, and the rain has stopped. Perfect trick-or-treating weather. 

I made a few big, full size cupcakes for my writer girlfriends for our morning meeting. 

The kids are coming out in droves now! Cool! So adorable and polite. Did I mention, I love Halloween? 

I thought for sure I’d have enough candy with the big monster size 250 piece bag. Maybe not!

Now, about the SPIDER. I was walking through the park across the street earlier, and I almost walked Mack-dab into this friendly creature, just dangling in what appeared to be mid-air.

Yikes! It was the real deal! 


Frightening Friday: Happy Halloween

1 Nov

“In a corner of my soul there hides a tiny frightened child, who is frightened by a corner where there lingers something wild.”
Shaun Hick
Happy Halloween! That special day where scary and frightening is fun, and children scramble down the street wondering why total strangers are more than happy to give them candy.

This is my first Halloween in my new house. I wasn’t sure how many children would be out, so I played it safe with a big bag of 252 pieces of candy. They’re small, so I’m “handing” out 2 per child.


It’s starting to slow down here, it’s after 8:30. I think there were at least 50 to 60 frightening little creatures that came to my door, all very well mannered and polite. The scariest part is all the left over candy I’ll have to deal with! Here’s my tip… I cut up the chocolate bars and put it in my brownie batter. Yum! But frighteningly fattening.




Theme Song Thursday: A “Thrilling” Halloween

1 Nov

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Happy Halloween! It was a fun day, starting with a “Thrilling” Zumba class at the YMCA in the morning, watching my friends play the last tennis match of the season, followed by lunch and sitting with a group of neighbors outside to pass put candy to the trick-or-treaters. All in all, a fun day.

Thrilling Zumba class.

The real thing.


The girls trick-or-treating.

The neighbor boys.

Wednesday| More Words of Wisdom from Chaplain Jim

31 Oct

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.
My friend and pen pal Chaplain Jim, deployed and far from home, had some interesting thoughts to share about Halloween. Who would have thought that inspirational people and role models had anything to do with Halloween? I certainly hope that I have lived a good and inspirational life for my children, friends and family. I’ve learned from the best…my mother, Trini. I guess it does work.
From Chaplain James Lewis:



While it may still be a mystery what J.K.Rowling might mean with “Hallows,” outside of her writing the meaning of the word that many might wonder about this time of year is pretty easy to find. “Hallow-een” is a derivative of the old word “hallows,” meaning “saints,” and a contraction of “evening”– sometimes written “e’en.” “Halloween” is a conglomeration of a range of religious festivals, to include pagan “harvest festivals,” and “Samhain,” a Celtic tradition in which the veil between this world and the world of the dead is thought to be most thin and permeable. That range also includes a Christian version in which it is the evening before the celebration of all the saints/ HALLOWS day, hence “All HALLOWS- e’en,” shortened to “HALLOWEEN.”

So if you’ve ever thought it better for your church to “celebrate” this time of year with a seemingly innocuous “Harvest Festival” rather than “Halloween”– think carefully on that! A “harvest festival” is clearly a pagan festival, while “Halloween” is a solidly CHRISTIAN word! And if we believe what the scriptures clearly teach, that Christ has VICTORY over death, then a reminder that death is no real enemy, as the “spooky” celebrations of Halloween imply, seems to make more sense that to be afraid of death!

Another way to “redeem” Halloween, if you were to think it needed redemption, is to celebrate with your kids those saints or “hallows” who have inspired you across your life. In some traditions, saints, or HALLOWS, are a collection of specific super-heroes of the faith– something like “The Justice League,” or “The Avengers” in a spiritual sense. In other traditions, all who are faithful unto the end are celebrated as “all HALLOWS.”

So who are the saints or “HALLOWS” who have inspired you over the years, whom you try to emulate, to say “I want to be like _________ when I grow up”? If any of those HALLOWS in your life are still living, I’d encourage you to send them a note to let them know what they’ve meant to you, and to share your appreciation while you can. It can both mean a lot to those who have inspired you, and can remind you of your own inspiring HALLOWS, and what you strive for in your life.

Remember too, that you are (or should be?) one of those Hallows/inspiring saints for YOUR kids, and for the other kids and people in your life– are you living to be an inspiration to them? Whether you think about it or not, your kids and others ARE looking to you, and you ARE “inspiring” others whether you are trying to or not. You may be inspiring them in saintly, hallowing ways– or you may be “inspiring” toward less holy pursuits, values, decisions and living.
Reflect for a moment on what you ARE inspiring your kids and others in your life toward– Are you sure that’s the inspiration you WANT to be, or that Jesus wants you to be?

Rev. Jim