some thoughts on Halloween

The question comes up often when the pumpkins are growing orange in the field.  As Christians, do we or do we not carve pumpkin and dress up and go trick or treating ?

Here's the back history of this night:

I know many Christians opt out, and many goes to children's program at church, and many dress up and go out like us.

The issue here is not black and white and it's more in the gray area.  It's all personal choice and where you stand in front of God.  The short answer is, everything in this world belongs to Him and Him alone.  A man-made event or holiday doesn't make it a "bad" or "satanic" day.  Telling me I'm sinning for carving pumpkin and giving out candies or taking my kids out trick or treating is not going to change me or my salvation.  No one has that right but Christ alone.  I often pray and rely on my intuition when unsure of things.  When something is off or wrong, my heart is not at peace and I know right away the holy spirit is caution or warning me.  I don't feel any uneasiness with Halloween.

In the end, we all are free to make decission on such day without fear of people judging us :-)  I believe Christ love us just the same as yesterday and tomorrow.  I view it as a fun day for the kids to be with their friends, to parade around school, to be with other kids, to visit neighbors.  I remember my childhood with fond memories of halloween with families and friends.  Our families would gather together and my aunt Ninh used to put all of us kids in a garbage bag !  Yup black garbage bag with a slit cut out on the bottom and sides and we put it on like a shirt.  Then when older, I would be in pyjamas and use pillow case to use as bag.  Even if it's raining, my friends and I are out there drenched in the wet cold weather, trying to out number each other on candies collection.  It was fun times.  Maybe it was the era or the people I was friends with, but there was no booze or drug on halloween, not even fire crackers.

pumpkin carving and seeds separating !

trick or treating at the mall !  Cupcake store gives our mini cupcakes !  yum !

our lovely neighbor Marie packed a huge goodies bag for the kids and a sweet card for us !

excited to go trick or treating and showing off their costumes to our neighbors 

10 houses, they went to 10 houses, not even a complete block, and asked to go home.
Bee said she gathered enough candies.   It's good to know when it's enough and stop I guess !  

Today our family do the pumpkin patch visit, pumpkin carving, dressing up and go trick or treating.  We've always make it a family non-scary event.  I never like the scary aspect of halloween and it seems many parents, christians and non-christians alike, opt for the fun/cute/silly version too.  I see all super heroes, princesses, and other characters, but no witches or creepy monsters on the street or any that came to our door.

There is no loss or gain if you participate in Halloween or not.  You are not more or less of a Christian.  I am neutral about it, much like Valentine, an event with lots of sweet too !  It is just a day like every other day, the sun rise the sun set.  You choose to the make the best decission for your family and we for ours.  For our house, we serve the Lord, we meet our neighbors, we hand out candies to kids, check out their costumes and happy faces.  It's happy times all around.

easy homemade breakfast turkey sausage

I like McDonald's breakfast sausage but limit myself to it only a few times a year.  The other day it came to me, why don't I make them at home ?  why haven't I thought of this before ???  They are healthy, without preservatives and easy to make !

Here's the recipe written by literary mom for, I tweaked it a bit:


1 lb ground turkey (or pork or mix of both, I found lean turkey are a bit too dry)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon fennel seed > I grind this on a pestle for even distribution in the meat
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper > I used only half when I make it for the kids
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon allspice

I also add:
- 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon of rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (omit if making for kids)

Mixed all the dry ingredients together, then add to the ground meat.  Mix well with hands and form into thin patties (1/4 of an inch).  Pan fry on medium high, 3-5 min on each side.  Enjoy !

Stop saying my daughter is shy

Right behind me is where Bee likes to be whenever we're in a new environment.  She would hold onto me hand, freeze on the spot, and peer out at the other kids from my side.  Other moms and kids would smile at her, some approached her and said "hi".  I would nudge her to say "hi" back but nothing came from her.  I would respond to them in her place, "she's a little shy" and they nodded back at me as if understood.

English is my 2nd language, shy in Vietnamese can be taken as "quiet, cautious" and the other meaning is "embarrass".  To me it doesn't have a negative connotation.  However, after repeating it a few times, I realized I accidentally labeled my daughter, just so that I can explain to other why she doesn't respond to them.  I unintentionally gave Bee a "disorder" :-(  I felt horrible.  Bee has no issue.  She just need time to warm up to people.  She's cautious of her surrounding, of who's around.  She likes to observe people before opening herself up to them.  Which is a very good trait to have.  She told me she doesn't want to talk to people she doesn't know.  She said "I don't know them, they are strangers !"  Another excellent point !  and this is where I fail her :-(

I taught Bee about strangers, to avoid them, don't talk to them, and then here I am, unintentionally making her talk to people she deemed "strangers".  They aren't my friends or family so yes they are strangers to us.  She's too young to understand that it's ok to have a conversation with someone at the playground or on the transit or in a line up.  It all depends on the situation.  For now, at her age, I rather her treat them as strangers and stay away.

Lately I've just let her be.  She doesn't have to say "hi" if she doesn't want to.  When she doesn't respond to others, I don't feel the need to answer to them or say anything to Bee.  I need to respect her choice, the little control she has in her life.  Sometime someone will say to us "oh she's shy", I would just smile and say "she just doesn't know you".  It's been working well for us.  She doesn't feel she needs to answer them or to me !  Parenting is hard y'all !  I learn something new everyday.