So...I'm going to just send you over to Melanie at Seeking Contentment, let you read her blog (and my overly-long comment to it), and enjoy the pics that follow here.
Arriving at Downtown Disney
Our 1920's mobster later found a perfect carnation to add to his ensemble. Thanks, Disney gardeners!
All the kids worked on one car as wheels were scarce. So fun to watch them work together, not bicker over who would have the privelege of "launching" it in the race, and then cheer the Jamesmobile on to the finish line.
Daddy was buying an awesome caramel apple for the parents to share. Much silliness ensued.
We thoroughly enjoyed our First Annual Family "Rock or Treat." It takes its name from "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." The Peanuts all go trick-or-treating and at each house, the same scenario is repeated: "I got a chocolate bar"..."I got taffy"..."I got a ROCK!" Good grief, Charlie Brown!
Dan and I were discussing the cons of Halloween with the kids (selfishness, demanding, retaliation, gore, pagan history, etc.) and the pros of the modern celebration forms (dress-up, sharing, creativity, gift-giving, fun, laughter, family togetherness, helping one another, showing thankfulness). We explained that we were, indeed, going to dress up this year and start a new family celebration that parallelled the Halloween celebration forms but was rooted in different values (thanks, early church, for the idea...). Yes, I thoroughly understand that some will see this as justification, compromise, whatever. No, I'm not going to spend time here defending our decision. Suffice it to say that we want our kids to think prayerfully and critically for themselves and determine what they will and will not participate in based on their own convictions rather than the dictates of anyone else. But I digress...
...to continue: it became apparent that the phrase "trick or treat" didn't really fit in with what our family was celebrating. Few phrases so effectively combine threats of malicious intent with demands for gratification as this one. But what could we use that would mean thankfulness, silliness, fun, and gratitude for gifts freely offered (which they were where we took the kids)? The discussion continued throughout breakfast until Michael said, " I know. We can tell people thank you for their gift; we'll accept it if it's candy or rocks. Whatever. We'll say thank you for it all." That was a little long-winded for the purpose, so we began trying to shorten it.
End result: "Rock or Treat" combined with "Thank you!"
***Edit: I know the spacing in the last paragraphs is funky. I can't get blogger to accept line spacing between paragraphs or even indention spacing. I'm sorry. It's driving me nuts!