Sunday, November 01, 2009

halloween at the homestead

Today was all about carving pumpkins.


Since today was Saturday and we had nothing else to do - we started carving this morning at around 10 AM.


This was an ideal start time, since we usually don't start until late afternoon - and by then - it becomes a cram session to get the pumpkin fully carved and lit before dusk.


The advantage of starting early is that we had plenty of time to separate seeds from pumpkin guts and roast them up to enjoy, later in the day.


Although what I remembered today is that separating seeds is quite an effort. It took me almost two hours and mid-way through that, I determined it probably would be easier to separate hydrogen from oxygen in a glass of water.


I don't know why it is that our children will lay down in a mud puddle, but the thought of putting their hands inside of the pumpkin and scooping out the innards, gave them the heebie jeebies.


But after they tried it once, there was no stopping them.

"Oh, it's MUSHY! It feels like ... squishy wishy..."



(I'd like to interject here that I truly hope our children never ever squeeze brains through their clenched fists.)


Charlie carved the big pumpkin.


And after he meticulously cut the eyes and nose and mouth with teeth...


The children came along and in the process of touching, touching, touching the pumpkin - they knocked out two of his (fragile) teeth.


Shortly thereafter, William was running carrying his small pumpkin from inside to outside and he tripped. The pumpkin flew out of his hands, sailed 10 feet through the air, and cracked in half upon impact. My son was devastated.

The Bad Cop told him that's what happens when he runs carries his small pumpkin from outside to inside, repeatedly. The Good Cop stepped forward and said, "It's OK son. I'll fix your pumpkin up good as new."

Guess which cop I am?

Time's up.

Charlie brought in his staple gun, stapled the smashed parts back on to the original - and then painted the whole thing black and blue.


Then it was time to get the children in to their costumes. Although I had written about my dreams for Halloween costumes several weeks ago, I had absolutely no intention that our children would heed my advice about what they should wear, tonight. But alas, once we bought the 70th Anniversary disk set of the Wizard of Oz, they fell hook line and sinker for my idea.

This is William crying because he can see white around his eyes and I didn't do a good enough job putting on silver makeup (which for those interested - was totally safe. I Googled every single ingredient before I put it on the kids and read the Material Safety Data Sheets for anything that I wasn't absolutely sure of. Yay Google! How did people survive without it?!)


Here's William less than an hour later crying because he doesn't want a painted face and he wants for me to take it off now, now, now, now, NOW!


I obliged. But first, he had to pose for a picture.


Or two.

Look - it's Dorothy and Toto (who is actually a tiger) and the Wicked Witch of the West and the Tin Man and ... and ... and ... Buzz Lightyear. Space Ranger.

Henry was supposed to be the scarecrow - and although I had a costume for him - it would have been easier to separate hydrogen from oxygen than get him in it.


Then we walked over to our neighbor's house to drop in for their son's birthday party. We could only stay for 15 minutes because we needed to head over to the annual chili cook off. We would only stay there for 15 minutes too, because we needed to be at our other neighbor's house to say hello and visit. We were only supposed to stay there for 15 minutes so we could go to church.


But we stayed for almost an hour.

So we missed church.

Before you know it, it was time to rush home and go trick or treating. And the kids haven't really had any dinner because duh! duh! DUH! why did I take the kids out at all when I should have kept them home and fed them a nice meal instead of running all over God's Creation to visit with people. Who we really enjoyed seeing but dang that I don't always take on more than I should.

Charlie took the kids trick-or-treating first.

They came home after 30 minutes out and told me that they were finished.

But another 10 minutes later, the girls were re-energized and ready to tour the neighborhood, again. So I took them out and for the next 60 minutes we had a blast.

Our girls are so cute. When we would walk up to a door, they would run to ring the doorbell. Once the person would open the door they'd say, "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!" and then, without fail, both girls would poke their head inside the people's door and ask, "What's that noise? Do you have a dog?" They were considerably more interested in the dogs that they might see, than they were any amount of candy they would receive.

Even though I was interjecting, "Oh no, please just say thank you and let's go!" My children have absolutely NO reservations. So there were at least 10 houses in our neighborhood where I got the full tour. It would start with the girls wanting to pet the dog. And since just about every house had a dog, and just about everyone said yes. The people would be gracious enough to invite my children inside and then, walk around showing them where they live. We saw that our neighbors had an assortment of dogs, cats, hamsters and birds. And our kids now want all of the above.

There were a few houses we visited that had young tenants. They would just open the door - toss the candy in the children's bags - and close the door before there was much conversation. But on more than one occasion, Elizabeth (aka; Dorothy) would stick her arm down to stop the door from being closed on her, and when the person would give her a startled look, she'd ask, "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY COSTUME? Did you look at it? Do you know who I am? Do you think I look beautiful?!"

This would always prompt a brief discussion, wherein my daughter would elaborate that she is Dorothy and then, she'd close her eyes and click her little heels together and chant, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home..."


Once we finally got back, and although the kids told me that they wanted to keep trick or treating because they weren't tired and they could stay up all night long, everyone was starting to show signs of fatigue. Carolyn put her head down and fell asleep in the middle of eating dinner and when I woke her up to put her in the tub, she looked at me and groggily said, "I'm Melting. MELTINNNGGG!"

Funny. After the crazed week I've had, including today when my children waked me up woke me up (that was an edit. I wrote this late last night and fell asleep before I could proofread it) this morning at 4:30 AM, because ... because ... Mom ... Mom ... Guess What? I have to tell you something ... Guess What ... Mom ... Mom ... OPEN YOUR EYES. Guess What? TODAY. IS. HALLOWEEN.

I'd have to say I feel the same exact way.


  1. Looks like a great day! We also did the Wizard of Oz theme. My 4yr old was Dorothy and the two yr olds were the Tin Man & the Lion. I have no pics though. I found I needed both my hands to keep the little ones from falling off everyones porch steps!

  2. Jen,

    William's pumpkin looks like something out of a Tim Burton film. LOL Cute!!


  3. What a fun post!!
    The stapled black and blue pumpkin is genius!!!!! And I am also the bad cop over here . . . .

    The costumes are awesome, looks like a fun day : )

  4. Very creative husband you have there! And the pumpkin is no worse for wear! I prpbably would have reacted the way you did! Love the Wizard of Oz theme (plus Buzz) and that your daughter, in her exhaustion, was in character enough to say "I'm melting! too funny!

  5. Oh I am cracking up...we did wizard of Oz too....we had Dorothy, Glinda, the wicked witch and Buzz lightyear...Sam refused the scarecrow costume too!! :) Love it!!

  6. Love the post. You have the greatest family. Your kids are so cute.
    Glad you had so much fun.

  7. Thank your for sharing your Halloween; no pumpkin carving for us his year. NO time......I'm sad to report my little Amanda has been in PICU since Friday; had surgery yesterday and headed back to surg. on Tuesday AM.

    You can keep up with updates on my blog and facebook.

    Please keep her in your prayers! (I feel weird leaving this in the comments, but I knew you would want to know)

  8. Oh, laughing at the!

    The costumes turned out beautifully!

    My kids had a blast trick-or-treating and our new neighborhood. who knew? The kids came back with buckets-full of candy. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH 10 LBS OF CANDY???? My jeans already do not fit because I've been sick but hungry for 8 weeks now. Oy.

  9. Love it! They kids are so cute!

  10. What a great day and by the way, they look so cute.Enjoy every second an they are really lovely!
    thanks for sharing

  11. Very cute! Marg

  12. Jen - those are great pics! I think Henry should have been a flying monkey! Kids look great! Love and miss you all!


  13. Is the notch at the top of the pumpkin a regional custom? Ours always just have circles or ovals or whatever cut in the top. I never cut it perfectly enough to have trouble putting the "lid" back in the right position.