A week ago, we invited the neighbors over to carve pumpkins. "Great!" their mom said, "We can make a mess at your house instead of ours."
So we pulled out a plastic tablecloth and an assortment of knives and corers, and the neighbors brought over a store-bought carving kit, and the five of us set to work.
What we discovered:
There's no way to carve a real pumpkin without sliming some pumpkin guts between your fingers. That's just the way it is.
Some people are more eager to get their hands inside the pumpkin. The fourth-grader dove in with enthusiasm. The first-grader wouldn't touch it and coerced others into doing most of her work.
Raw pumpkin doesn't taste gross. The dogs like it, but while the fourth- grader tought it was fun to sample, she didn't actually eat it.
Battery-operated lights seem safer and cleaner that candles.
Lights that change colors look cool inside pumpkins.
The knives and scoopers in the pumpkin carving kits work really well, but also break easily.
Here's how they turned out:
The girls both decided to use a spider pattern from the carving kit. They modified the spiders' expressions to personalize them. Mom did most of the carving.
Mom, rushed for time after helping the girls, opted for the quickest route -- a simple statement: BOO!
I went the ultimate free-form design route. Just stick a corer in and make holes and cuts without a specific plan. Maybe that's why the expression looks so frazzled.
Dave opted for the more carefully plotted course, drawing a pattern onto the pumpkin and carving from there. His has the big, bold squares for teeth.
We've stored our pumpkins on the front porch, where it's cool. They survived the past week. Just another to go until Halloween.