Behind the Masks….


I had SO much fun with the pre-school kids at school this week doing Halloween songs, movement, and musical games*! We pretended we were bats, monsters, ghosts, cats, skeletons, and magic pumpkins! We held hands while I told my favorite not-so-scary ghost story by flashlight, we took turns surprising each other with Jack-O-lantern masks, we told the story of the “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” with the felt board, and we played with pipe cleaner spiders to Raffi’s “There’s a Spider on the Floor”!

"To scare some folks on Halloween, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll hide behind this pumpkin mask, and then I'll shout, BOO!"

“To scare some folks on Halloween, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll hide behind this pumpkin mask, and then I’ll shout, BOO!”

Such a great learning and story-telling tool...

Such a great learning and story-telling tool…

And when my not-so-itsy-bitsy black spider puppet crawled up to or dropped down to each child’s head, they got to tell me what they were planning to dress up as on the big night.  I got to preview some of their costumes in the school Halloween parades, and my favorite among the myriad of princesses and superheroes was Lego-Man! (I’m a sucker for cardboard box costumes….) We teachers had fun dressing as minions from the movie Despicable Me. (Sure is great to be a teacher on Halloween because we get to have just as much fun as the kids!)


Can you spot the music teacher on the back row?


That's my Pumbaa next to the 2 Ironmen!

That’s my Pumbaa next to the 2 Ironmen!

As the children left my classroom, I told them how much fun I had imagining with them! That it’s so much fun to dress up in costumes and pretend to be something different, but that I wanted to tell them something important… I was really glad that under their costumes, behind their masks, it was really just them. God had made  each of them each so special, and I like them just the way they are! It’s fun to pretend, but in real life, I wouldn’t want them to be anything or anyone other than exactly who they are. I told my Ellie and MJ the same thing last night after our Trick-or-Treating adventure, though it was a little hard to get their attention as they were so excited about all the candy. (102 pieces in MJ’s bag….hmmm. Now that he’s counting he’s candy, does that mean I can’t sneak pieces out for myself after bedtime? Isn’t there some sort of “Mommy tax” for helping with the costumes, taking them trick-or-treating, giving them life, etc?)

*Learn some of the songs on my post, “Spooky Songs and Rhymes”

Here are some pics from the Manders Family Halloween Week!

MJ checked out this GREAT book from the school library – perfect for Halloween, and offering alternatives for girls to the popular pink princess! (Nothing against fairy princesses – we ALL have one inside of us, apparently even MJ.)


LHE does a book character costume parade on Halloween: MJ’s K teacher as Pete the Cat!

MJ as "Tock" from the Phantom Tollbooth

MJ as “Tock” from the Phantom Tollbooth

Making a Plan...

Making a Plan…


The Big Jack eating little Jack was MJ's idea, but a family effort.

The Big Jack eating little Jack was MJ’s idea, but a family effort.

MJ's bone collection from the boneyard at his grandparents' cattle ranch finally came in handy!

MJ’s bone collection from the boneyard at his grandparents’ cattle ranch finally came in handy! The human skull is NOT real, from the Dollar Store.


Giddy Up, Chicken!

Mr. Universe...greetings from Outer Space!

Mr. Universe…greetings from Outer Space!

And now for another peanut butter cup…and back to celebrating who we all are “behind the masks”!


  1. Jill Russell says:

    Thank you for your time today! I really needed to hear that I’m not only doing the best I can add a few things in that will really connect me to my children. I work, have a newborn and 2 boys and my mother is dying of cancer. I feel pulled in many physical and emotional directions. I’m so thankful to you for your presentation. It has made a difference in me! Thank you!

    • Wow, Jill…please make sure you are finding someone to help take care of you right now. I wish I could give you a BIG hug every day! God bless you and your family. Give yourself a break, hold on to what is dear, let go of the little things, and ASK FOR HELP! Thank you for your kind words, friend.