It's October, it finally cooled down here (a little bit), and that means it's time to get out the Fall decorations because Halloween is right around the corner. The first thing to do is shop for pumpkins!
Joey and his photo-bombing sisters Dani and Lisa in the background, shopping for pumpkins
Some years we've grown accidental pumpkins, which was really fun. Accidental pumpkins happen when you carve pumpkins outside, spray the seeds off the patio with the hose and into the surrounding flower beds, and then the next year, they grow into crazy big pumpkin vines, which turn into a nice little lesson about how pumpkins grow and also saves a little money on buying pumpkins that year.
Dani, Lauren and Amy posing for Lisa with their pumpkins
Picking out pumpkins has always been a big deal at our house. When we lived in northern California, we lived near a wonderful place called Apple Hill that had pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, wineries, orchards, and multitudes of apples. Here in Tennessee, we found a beautiful ranch with hayrides, animals, a pond, a tire swing, numerous barns, and thousands of pumpkins from which to choose.
Christian hamming it up on the hayride at the pumpkin patch.
Each child chooses a pumpkin that they want to carve, and then I buy a few extra in various sizes to put around the house. On Halloween or the day before (depending on where Halloween falls in the week), we do the carving. Some of my kids love to do the intricate carving designs, while others prefer to keep it simple and traditional. Lisa likes to paint beautiful designs on her pumpkins.
One of Lisa's painted creations
Lisa did her nails in Halloween designs one year.
Saw this giant at a gas station. Wow!
We've never been ones to buy extravagant Halloween costumes. We try to be as creative as possible with what we already have, and then buy a few small pieces, if necessary, to finish. Saving those pieces every year makes it fun to put together other creative costumes as the years go by. Sometimes we'll splurge and buy something like a princess or fairy costume or a muscle suit when it hits the 50% off rack, and then it often gets used by other siblings in following years.
Once when my kids were younger, I went all out and actually sewed their costumes (I typically pick up a sewing needle about once every decade, so this was a big deal for me). Here was my most ambitious Halloween - 3 satin princess dresses and 1 Robin Hood costume:
Michael, Christina, Katherine and Lisa in their homemade costumes - my most ambitious project!
Here are some of our other costumes over the years:
My favorite little garden gnome, Joey.
The Duck Dynasty Crew
A much prettier version of Gene Simmons
If you haven't already, it's time to get your creative juices flowing, turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, and celebrate the beautiful season of Fall! Happy pumpkin shopping, happy costume designing, happy decorating, and have a safe and Happy Halloween!
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