Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Wickedly' Good Night!!

Hands down Halloween is our family's favorite holiday!!!  Couple that with the knowledge that 'traditions' are also very important and you get the ingredients for a picture packed post.

It's been a kind of crazy fall and while I got the harvest themed outdoor decorations up in a timely manner I slacked on the Halloween ones. The years of emphasizing 'traditions' are starting to show fruit!!! I came home from work drained and dragging to be met by an exuberant Julia. I had mentioned, very briefly, that today was going to be a good day for getting our Scary Men out and posed on the porch. As only a child can, she doggedly pursued me around the house questioning when the activity would commence...and all I wanted was a nap!!! I told her that while I was taking a very desperately needed nap to 'recharge my batteries' she could drag the Scary Men from their shelf in the garage in preparation. When I woke up I found that Julia and Mari had decided that the decorating was within their skill set.....

All that was left was for me to take the pictures!!!!!!!!!

Julia is in the Ham Bone phase right now, could you tell???

While Mari is still in the Avoid the Camera When Possible phase.....

Then we gathered in my kitchen with all our pumpkins and carving gear.

To the rousing tunes from the original cast recordings of Wicked [foreshadowing!! more on this later] and The Adams Family and knoshing on pizza as we worked, we had CarveFest 2010!! Again, Julia had the whole 'tradition' thing down cold!

First you clean off the table and island and put out LOTS of layers of newpapers.....

Then you wash and dry the pumpkins!

Cut open the tops...with adult supervision of course!!!

Then comes the fun part....

or not ? 'Cleaning out the pumpkin guts' was a challenge this year as the Mahoney's pumpkins were clearly cross bred with a spaghetti squash!!!

As demonstrated by the guts to seed ratio!

Then, while I washed and prepped the seeds for roasting, Auntie Peggy helped them draw out their designs and pin them on the pumpkin for marking.

Julia is only 9 and 5/6ths after all! Can't expect a complete maturation especially when you discover that pumpkin guts can be smashed into slimy balls with which to torment your sister and cousin!

But she was all business when it came to carving!! It took a lot for me to stay at the other end of the kitchen while she wielded knives but several incidents this past year have made me realize that I have to step back and let the girls 'grow up'!

Alyssa is nearly all 'grown up'....well she does turn 15yo next weekend BUT Mother Nature decided that 
4' 10" was as UP as Alyssa is going to get so she made extensive use of the bar stools while working on her pumpkin.

Mari was here too....

Concentrating on her design and carving! But she'd rather not be in too many pictures...well that is today's mood anyhow! It changes on a dime and I still haven't caught on to the warning signs.

The smiling for the camera thing throws me! I take that to mean you're "happy to be in the picture"...but to a 12 and 5/6ths year old it means "Don't take a picture of me"?????? [p.s. while it is chilly out lately it's NOT hat weather just yet...this is another teen thing I'm needing to wrap my brain around...the wear 
what you feel like phase I guess??]

Finishing of the traditional pumpkin carve with the "lid trim"! 

And the pick up and leave the mess for Mom to clean tradition!

Then we streeeetched the tradition a wee bit this year...we all piled on my couch in the dark and reminisced about our favorite Halloween memories while we watched the pumpkins giving off their flickering show.

Which we just may have to add every year from now on! It was a special time until Alyssa decided to ask me just what I had carved in my pumpkin??? As I told her that it was supposed to have been a mournful ghoul to go along with the glow-in-the-dark worms I had crawling out of his face she cocked her head and looked funny. "Oh, she said because all I see is Jesus holding his arms around a big heart!"

Since I don't know how to do one of those cool picture programs that lets you overlay a picture I'll just try to describe it...and I promise you that as soon as you "see" it can only see the Jesus and not the ghoul's face!!!!! The very top glowing opening is, as Mari called it, his Crown of Thorns. Just below that in the middle [the upside down V shaped area] is his forehead and face while the DARK just below that is his beard. The dark pieces curving out towards the side are his arms as they wrap around the 'heart shaped' glowing section in the middle of the bottom row. Took her getting up and tracing it with her fingers for me to 'see' it but as soon as I did I could not get my brain to switch back and 'see' my original design!! 
Guess all the catechism is starting to show fruit as well.......


  1. I remember to the anticipation of getting everything out, more at Christmas,a nd my mom getting into it. I have to remember that now becasue Maya's all into decorating, must remember how hard it is to wait, when you are so ready. Awesome carving party, our pumpkins are a bit shrivled and moldy now, just adds to the look!

  2. I cant see the mournful ghoul or the Jesus figure. but it's pretty! love all the other pumpkins. the frankenstein turned out great. Julia is indeed a ham bone but a cutie for sure. love your docorations. that arm coming out of the garden bed looks too real.