Easy Pumpkin Carving

I found an app last week from Parents Magazine for pumpkin carving.  I tried it out by myself one night and “carved” a few pumpkins and then when Pat was out of town on Saturday I let the kids play with it.  They love the virtual pumpkin carving and keep asking to do it over and over again.  We’ve replaced our song time, which has really turned into YouTube time, with pumpkin carving.  Jack’s goal is always make the scariest pumpkins he can.  Casey just enjoys playing with the iPad like she’s been doing it for years.  She’s so funny when she scrolls around and picks out her pumpkin parts.

This is my kind of carving…no mess to clean up, no rotting pumpkins on the front porch, no sharp knives and no kids wandering away after 5 minutes leaving the parents to carve.  I know a lot of people love the family pumpkin carving tradition, but so far I could do without it.  I don’t mind letting Pat be the lead pumpkin carver.

With this app, you can pick the color of your pumpkin and then whether you want to freehand carve or pick from the various jack-o-lantern parts that are available.  The last thing to do is to pick a background.  It’s funny hearing Casey say, “And now I need to pick a background.”

Here are some of Jack’s creations:

 
I just realized that they’re practically the same pumpkin.  Jack really likes that mouth and nose.  They must be the scariest.  And they both feel the need to put hair on the tops of their pumpkins.  In the first one it’s hand carved and the next ones have a mouth that we turned into hair.

Here are some of Casey’s creations:

I kind of like the homely one at the end.  Or should I say hole-y one.

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2011 Pumpkin Patch Class Trip

Bright and early this morning, we headed to another farm for the school pumpkin patch field trip.  Casey started whimpering halfway there and told me that she didn’t feel good.  Eventually she asked for something for the yuckies to go in.  Luckily there was a nice little bucket she had gotten at McDonald’s this weekend and sure enough, she threw up into it two minutes before we reached the farm.  Thankfully, it all went into the bucket and didn’t make a mess.  And since she had no other illness symptoms, I decided that she got carsick from all the turns and stoplights I manuevered through while trying to avoid traffic and get there on time.  She was ready to go into the pumpkin patch as soon as we stopped.  Since she threw up all her breakfast, she was hungry all morning but other than that, you would never know she was sick.

We started out with a hayride to the field where the pumpkins were.  The kids got to pick a little pumpkin and play in the field.  They had a bouncy house, a haystack slide and a teepee out there.  The haystack slide was pretty neat and the kids spent most of their time on it.

Jack was a different person from last year to this year.  Last year he didn’t interact with any of his classmates and he clung to me.  I might as well have taken them there by myself for all it felt like a class trip.  This year, he found his friends and was pretty happy playing with them.  He certainly wasn’t concerned about where I was.

The hayride then brought us back to the main area.  There were all kinds of wooden structures for the kids to climb and play on and picnic tables galore for snacking.  We went into a goat pen and hung out with the goats for a bit too.  It was a great area for the kids and they had a great time.

Casey liked pointing out all her classmates to me and I finally have faces to go with the names that she recites every night during snuggle time.  Before everyone was about to go home, we did some class pictures.  Jack’s was fun with all the kids in a wooden train.  And Casey’s was hilarious.  There were at least two temper tantrums occurring and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single picture of them all together, let alone looking at a camera.  I think all you could do was laugh, but then it wasn’t my child having a tantrum.  She was actually sitting with a couple of the other little girls and they acted liked they had no idea there was a tantrum happening right in front of them.  They were adorable.

Check your camera settings before taking what would have been a great picture!

Navy jets flying over the pumpkin patch…Jack loved it!

Kindergarten Class

Casey and the girls!

Casey and her teacher

2011 Pumpkin Patch Adventures

Yesterday was a busy day!  We started with soccer pictures, soccer game and then headed to the pumpkin patch.  This was our fifth annual trip to the pumpkin patch with the kids and our third to this farm, although it’s set up a little differently every year.

We met up with our friend Michelle and Little J and Little P.

We started by searching for the perfect pumpkins to bring home.  The farm a wheelbarrow we borrowed for our many pounds of pumpkin and the kids had fun searching and pushing the wheelbarrow.  Casey was the first to find hers.  But Jack was really looking for the perfect pumpkin.  His standards are pretty high.  It has to be taller than Casey’s but still nice and round and perfectly orange.  And he doesn’t really want anyone else finding it for him.  He wants one that he found so he can decide on its perfection.

Little J supervises as Pat cuts his pumpkin from the vine

I think we arrived at peak pumpkin picking time because there was a little bit of a wait to weigh and purchase our pumpkins.  While we were waiting, the kids got to shell and jar their own popcorn with a 100 year old shelling machine.  They were very serious about their work!  Jack got to carry the jar and he was not interested in letting Daddy take it to the car before the hayride.  We haven’t tried the popcorn yet but I think that’s in the plan for this week.

Our last adventure was a horse-drawn hayride.  The horses were Belgian work horses and they are the strongest breed (of 128) horses in the world.  It was a nice ride.  Michelle stayed back with Little P and was afraid that J might be a little shy and scared on the hayride.  It turns out that he was very interested in asking the driver questions and had no problem piping up with an, “Excuse me!!  Why did the horses just run?” or “Excuse me!!  Why do the horses have bells on them?”  He was so funny and cute.

Great picture except the sun and the camera weren’t getting along

It was a gorgeous day to get pumpkins and the kids are proud to see their pumpkins on the front steps.  Now they’re trying to figure out how to carve some sort of Star Wars picture into the pumpkins.

Tomorrow we have the school field trip…more pumpkin adventures to come!