how we did halloween

Yes, I know Halloween was several days ago.  I was really hoping to post this on Monday night, but I had hand surgery a couple of weeks ago and it turned out that carving five pumpkins on Monday afternoon wasn't the best idea...  I've had to take it pretty easy on my hand since then (i.e., not much typing or photo editing).  You know what, though?  I think the pumpkin carving was worth the pain.  We had a truly memorable afternoon of pumpkin guts and parts, and it was one of our best Halloweens ever!

Halloween 2011

We have this funny little family tradition of waiting until Halloween morning to buy our pumpkins.  It started after our first child was born.  He's a September baby, so when his first Halloween rolled around Mr. Husband and I were still sleep-deprived zombies and Halloween morning dawned with no pumpkins in our house!  I hurried down to the local supermarket and picked up the last one they had, and it was a sad, misshapen mess.  We had so much fun figuring out how to carve that pumpkin to best (or any!) advantage, though, that we've done it the same way ever since and we wouldn't have it any other way.  Our boys love starting out Halloween with the Great Pumpkin Hunt, and we have a good time figuring out how to work with what are usually some, um, differently shaped pumpkins.

Halloween 2011

We'd picked up the pretty silver pumpkins a couple of weeks ago at Virginia Farm Market in Winchester, and we had several of the mini pumpkins as souvenirs from a school field trip to the Fall Festival at Cox Farms.  We still needed at least one big pumpkin for serious carving, though, so we headed out on Halloween morning.  And found nothing.  Nothing at all.  Everybody was sold out!  Turns out our tradition doesn't work very well when there's a pumpkin shortage.  Oops!  I was about ready to just give up when I thought of one last place to try and...  Jackpot!

Halloween 2011

Yankey Farms saved the day!  They had plenty of pumpkins, and they were nice, too!  Look at those big orange pumpkins up there.  Those are not your typical Halloween morning pumpkins, and believe me, I should know.

The boys and I spent the rest of the afternoon on the front porch, child-safe pumpkin-carving knives in hand, up to our elbows in pumpkin guts and pumpkin pieces and having a fabulous time.  The big boy requested a pumpkin carved to look like a real lantern, which is what that big pumpkin with all the large holes in it was supposed to be.  I thought it was an epic fail; he thought it was the best thing ever.  I love that kid!  We even spray-painted some carrots black to use as noses in the silver pumpkins.  The little boys loved that!

We got the carving all done, the porch hosed off, and the candles lit just in time to put on costumes and head out for trick-or-treating.  Check out our cute little skeleton and Darth Vader!  Silly boys...  nothing particularly villainous about those two.

Halloween 2011

We did our trick-or-treating early so we could make it home before the big waves of kids headed out, then the boys handed out candy to all the other neighborhood kids.  This works out well for everyone.  Our boys usually give each visitor a fistful of candy (they can pack a lot into those little fists!) and they think giving candy away is just as much fun as receiving it.

Our only Halloween casualty was that our skeleton-on-a-bike whirligig (the boys have named him Skeletony) sustained a wheel injury.  He's still having a great time, though.  He's a cool guy.

Halloween 2011

How about you?  Do you have any fun family Halloween traditions?  Did you have a particularly fun Halloween?  Do you even remember that far back?