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Happy Halloween

2013 Janssen Family Halloween

2013 Janssen Family Halloween


Halloween is far and away one of my very most favorite nights of the year for one simple reason: my family is together.  My husband is a junior high/high school principal, so he spends many evenings working at his school.  He’s also a fireman and serves on our church board.  I’m our daughter’s Girl Scout leader.  Our oldest is in high school, active in FFA, youth group, and a community band.  Our middle two are in junior high and active in sports, student council, and interact club.  All three of these big kids are involved with 4H.  Our youngest loves nothing more than her Wednesday nights at AWANA and all five have at some point in time been involved with the Spoon River Rascals.  This combination leads to the reality that we spend many evenings meeting ourselves coming and going, crossing paths on the country roads with one of us heading home from the day and the other heading out to meetings or to town to pick up kids; but, not on Halloween night.

This will be our 16th Halloween celebrating as a family, dressing up, and going trick or treating, as a family.  Yes, all seven of us together.  This makes for a happy momma’s heart.  Honestly, it has nothing to do with Halloween at all, but simply being together.  It could be anything from jet-setting across the country to scooping the cattle pen clean, and my heart would be just as happy simply because we are together.

I know the end of our years of everyone going together is surely drawing near, so I will cherish these times as long as I can.  I’m very much looking forward to the togetherness, but I have to admit that Halloween has brought on some anxiety as we have grown into being a spectrum family.  Some textures bother Ben, so not every costume will work.  Tags are torture.  Other people in costume can be scary, which could send him into a downward spiral, ending only when we can make it home.  Talking to strangers, especially those who expect him to make eye contact, is difficult at best, not to mention dealing with the stares from other trick-or-treaters, and confused looks from passersby as to why he is or isn’t doing something.

Thanks to our friends at Halloween Cottage for sharing this wisdom:

With Halloween upon us, please keep in mind, a lot of little people will be visiting your home.  Be accepting.

  • The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills.
  • The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues.
  • The child who does not say “trick-or-treat” or “thank you” may be non-verbal.
  • The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have an allergy or may be diabetic.
  • The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism.

Be nice.  Be patient.  It’s everyone’s Halloween.



  1. Great post!! Cherish the family time 🙂

  2. Lucy says:

    I had to ask 2 houses to please don’t scare my kid and then had to walk all the way to the door for the rest of the night just in case. Got a lot of funny looks she is a pretty big 10 year old. Don’t even get me started on the costume. Our new “talking dr” told me and my husband to read quirky yes hopeless no.

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