FamilyFun October 2016

Every digital issue ( 8 a year) is a wealth of do-able ideas to help you with everything from making a creative sack lunch to planning a birthday party with ease. Look at everything you get ... • Family-favorite recipes that are quick, easy and inexpensive (and win kisses for the cook!) • Fresh ways to turn ordinary activities into extraordinary adventures that kids and grown-ups will enjoy. • Fun, hands-on crafts for Valentine’s Day and homemade goodies for Christmas ... and every special day in between! • Favorite kid-tested, parent-approved vacation ideas ... plus easy ways to preserve your memories for a lifetime. Get all the help and encouragement you need to make every day with your family better than the day before ... say yes to Family Fun now!

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When your son’s father is an art teacher with degrees in painting and sculpture—on top of being a Halloween fanatic who founded a much-loved celebration at his middle school—you just don’t bother with costume duty. Me? I haven’t been involved since at least 2007. I know my limits: In this particular area, I’m out-passioned and certainly out-skilled. Do I feel I’ve missed out on some special parenting experience? Eh, a little. But when you have people in your life who look forward to dressing up so much that they start thinking about and planning next year’s getups months in advance, giving it up is no big deal. In fact, Jason declared he’d go as the Creature from the Black Lagoon back in November (right after retiring his Minion), and Jeff…

apple lollipops!

Tip Want perfect spheres? Press very firmly into the apple flesh with your melon baller and twist with your wrist! WHAT TO DO Line a couple of plates with parchment paper (you’ll need these for chilling the pops), then peel several Granny Smith apples. Use a melon baller to scoop out mini apple “balls.” Pat them with a paper towel, getting them as dry as possible. Insert a lollipop stick and get ready to dip! (Be sure to pat dry again before you dunk.) Our top flavor combos: 1. TURTLES Dip apples in melted chocolate. Place on the parchment paper–lined plate and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes until set. Melt chewy caramel candies (we used Kraft’s) according to package directions, adding water to thin as necessary. Let cool slightly—piping hot caramel will melt…

when i shared the news that i was having another baby, my...

Two children said, “We’re going to need a bigger table.”Deb DworskyState College, PA Son got upset when I told him I wouldn’t name her Tito. Cassie BrownLexington, IL Kids didn’t believe us! They kept excitedly saying, “Really? No! Are you serious? No way!” I think our 4-year-old didn’t truly believe until he felt her first kicks. Michelle MudryLake Odessa, MI Oldest son informed me that he asked for a baby when he was 3. At 9, he no longer needed a sibling. Tamara Van ScoykAurora, CO Son asked me, “Mommy, why couldn’t I be a lonely child?”Tia RuggieroGlens Falls, NY Two-year-old asked if it was going to be a penguin or a kitty, and when I told her the baby would be a human, she asked if she could have a penguin or a kitty…

it’s the great pumpkin, charlie brown turns 50 this year!

Listen up Mystery Podcasts for Grown-Ups Getting your thrills and chills when little kids are around can be tough. Have no fear— these free shows can fill that void with plenty of spine-tingling stories! LORE The host, Aaron Mahnke, recounts supernatural stories passed down through history in the most soothing voice ever. You almost forget he’s talking about possessed dolls and killer queens. MISSING MAURA MURRAY In 2004, a woman disappeared from the side of the road in Haverhill, NH. Now two filmmakers are on a quest to find some answers by interviewing psychics, professors, and psychologists. GENERATION WHY If you’re fascinated by conspiracy theories and true crime, you’ll love these deep dives into popular cases. The hosts break down all the facts before sharing their theories. board of the month From cozy desserts to leaf crafts, find 50 treats…

our ultimate halloween countdown!

OCT. 1-2: HOUSE HAUNTING Kick off October by decorating inside and out! This way, you and the kids will have plenty of time to enjoy the creepy-cool ambience. Remember, there’s no need to do all seven projects. Just choose your faves! Bonus: You can save most of them for next year too! An estimated 157 MILLION Americans celebrate Halloween! SURPRISE-A-DAY CALENDAR Spider rings! Ghost erasers! They’ll love getting a Halloween-y prize each morning. YOU’LL NEED 12 x 14-inch shipping box Craft knife Thirty 3-oz. paper cups Hot glue Candy or treats 20 x 30-inch piece of black foam core Double-stick tape Yellow tissue or vellum paper WHAT TO DO 1. Cut out one broad side of the box, leaving the side edges intact. Trim edges to 2¼ inches high all around. 2. Hot-glue the cups in 6 five-cup rows inside the box. Punch a hole through…

oct. 31 : let’s trick or treat!

SERVE UP A MEAL that kids will love so there’s a chance they won’t go overboard on the candy this year. On the menu: PASTA PIE INGREDIENTS 1 (16 oz.) package rigatoni 2 Tbs. olive oil 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided 2 (24 oz.) jars pasta sauce 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2 to 3 mozzarella cheese sticks, sliced into ¼-inch rounds Black olives 1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Mix in 1 Tbs. olive oil and let cool. 2. While the pasta is boiling, brush the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil. In a separate bowl, mix ½ cup Parmesan with the sauce. 3. Add remaining Parmesan to the rigatoni and toss until the pasta is coated. 4. Tilt the pan against a pot or bowl, then layer the pasta…