If I had my way, we would drive to Ellijay, Georgia to visit Burt's Pumpkin Farm to get our pumpkin every year. But driving two hours for a pumpkin, no matter how nostalgic the experience, is not really practical.
There is a place close to our house that sells seasonal farm items (pumpkins in October, Christmas trees right after). They always have a cute display with a huge inflatable pumpkin, and Jack always begs to stop.
Since we weren't going to Burt's this year, we gave in and stopped at the local stand a couple of weeks before Halloween.
The boys proudly pulled little wagons around the lot and picked out our pumpkins. We decided to get one large pumpkin to carve and two smaller ones for the boys to paint.
If I am being honest, my natural tendency is to want to control everything. I want to have a spooky, perfect pumpkin face that I chose.
But life with kids is not like that. It is messy and you are constantly learning to let go. Yielding so your children can grow and learn, and be creative for themselves.
I let the kids paint their pumpkins. We spread out on our kitchen table and they did what they want. Then we set the pumpkins outside. It rained. Unfortunately we used water colors, so we ended up with orange pumpkins again! We re-purposed the little pumpkins for Jack's birthday party.
For the face of the jack-o-lantern, I had Jack draw what he wanted it to look like on a piece of paper. Then I transferred his drawing to the pumpkin.
Daniel cut the top off of our pumpkin and helped Jack pull out the guts. Then he helped him cut out some of the face while Isaac helped me sort the seeds from the guts to roast.
After the pumpkin's face was carved, Jack wanted to drill holes in the side and add stick arms. It wasn't how I would have done it, but it turned out to be a spooky pumpkin that the kids were proud of.
Confession: We haven't been carving pumpkins for that long. Our first year to carve a family pumpkin was 2016. I'm sure by next year we will be carving two pumpkins: one for each boy.