The end of October came quickly this year since we were gone half of the month. We did manage a visit to the Collegeville Orchards where we saw the barn animals and looked at the apples hanging on the trees. We tried a picnic lunch, but the bees decided to join us within minutes of beginning our picnic so we packed up and the boys ate in the car while we drove to HMML to say hi to Adam. We picked up a couple of pumpkins for carving on the way home.
Isaac and Stephen shared a pumpkin and Jack and Gabriel shared one. Sebastian didn’t participate. He has a terrible reaction to eating pumpkin and I don’t know if he’d react just by touching it; since he doesn’t yet know any different we worked during his nap. Most of the pumpkin carving work is left up to me, so I do not permit them to each have their own. We found some templates for them to choose from online. That was remarkably painless and they agreed quickly on what they wanted: a traditional face for Jack and Gabriel and a cat for Isaac and Stephen. Before we began working, Stephen asked to be sure I had candles. One year in Alabama we carved them before getting candles and they rotted before I ever remembered to get some. I think I will always be reminded of that error.
The next step is cleaning out the pumpkins. This year was slightly better than last year, though they exclaimed, “Nasty!” a dozen times or more during the process. Gabriel refused to stick his hand back in the pumpkin after the first feel, but the others managed to get them mostly scraped out. They cut and traced the templates onto the pumpkin and I carved them out.
After carving them came the fun of the boys working their new puzzles, putting the extracted pieces back in and poking them out again. Finally we put in the candles and lit them. Here they are.