Seven hundred and sixty five Starburst and Skittles, 2,640 (give or take a few) mini chocolate bars, more than a thousand pieces of Double Bubble, six pounds of Tootsie Roll mix, three pounds of Dum Dums, and at least 450 Sweet Stripes mints. 

If you were one of the many families who came by Casa de Miller on Tuesday, you were greeted with basket, upon basket, of organized and sorted treats.

A friend joked it looked like OCD struck our house. No, my response, but after three Halloweens in the Littlegate Subdivision, I've learned two very important lesson - less (as in types) is more, and you can never have too much chocolate. 

This is the third year the Lawman and I have set aside money to make sure we could handle the hoards of children who flock to our street for Halloween.

From friends who wanted their children to have a safe place to have an "old fashioned" Trick or Treat experience and families who want to experience a wee bit of childhood magic together, to groups of middle school and high schoolers spending time with friends, you could see an assortment of folks walking up and down our street.

The first year, we did the traditional thing and stood at our door. The past two years we've gone the extra step and set up chairs and a table in our driveway.

At times, the line of children reached the street, as they politely waited for us to pass out our treats and for me to capture as many faces as possible with my camera.

Marrying the Lawman has given me a new appreciation for Halloween. Put aside the baggage that often comes with the holiday (ya' know, the "evil" side of the day), and think about it from his perspective - happy kidlets.

Happy kidlets of all ages, having fun - many with adults in tow - spending time being kidlets - sans screens of any kind. 

Kidlets who are being imaginative. Kidlets who are learning to interact with adults. Kidlets who are experiencing life in the safety of Grove.

Yes, candy is expensive. (Did I mention we have a system - and bought enough for to do two chocolates, one non chocolate and one gum?

We also made sure we had things that would work for the "teal pumpkin" project - candy and trinkets for those with allergies. 

Sure it takes an effort. We started planning in early September for this. But honestly, here's what makes it worth it: the polite thank you from children, the grateful thank you from parents - many who are tired from a long day of work, and the hugs.

Oh, the hugs, and the smiles. The chance to be part of a kidlet's first halloween experience. I could go on and on. 

For us, it's a ministry. It's an out of the box type of thing. Yes, trunk or treats at churches (and the Hallelujah Party at the Civic Center) have their place. I'm so not discounting them.

But sometimes, kidlets (or parents) don't fit into the "traditional" mold. They choose to forego a church-based event for a variety of reasons. Sometimes instead ministry takes place on the street corner, or in our case, a driveway.

Several of my friends, who live in the neighborhood, are aghast at how much it takes to handle the sheer number of the kidlets - which started this year just before 5 p.m. and lasted until 8:45 p.m. 

Here's my suggestion. Team up with a friend or a neighbor. Share the experience. I invited several to hang with us, 'cause it's always fun to involve friends.

Honestly, a fun, safe Halloween experience is yet another way Grove can earn some "street cred" with people. We can be known as the corner on the lake that cares for kidlets so much, we become THE place to come for Halloween.

#GroveIsGrand and this can be a fun way to serve local and area kidlets. Think about it. Maybe next year you'll find yourself stocking up on candy in August and September, and turning  on your porch light on Halloween night.

May you seize the moment and experience the joy of happy kidlets. Word of warning, their laughter is contagious. 

Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is the managing editor of The Grove Sun and Delaware County Journal. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at or 918-786-2228.