Pumpkin, Pumpkin On The Wall...Who's The Best Carved Pumpkin Of All?

I had this great idea...or at least I thought I did.  Several weeks ago, I decided to entice all of the kids home.  But how to do this?  Then, the light bulb went off over my head.  I would plan another "Fun Family Activity".  But that in and of itself would not be enough...I had to attach a word to the activity that would ensure everyone would be in attendance.  We would have a "Pumpkin Carving Contest".

Everyone who know us will agree that we are a very competitive group; thus the "contest" for the pumpkin carving.  The rules were quite simple:  Grab a pumpkin and a design and I would provide all of the tools needed to carve your pumpkin.  Excitement immediately began to build with the prospect of a family wide competition.  What I had forgotten, however, was the "chaos factor".  That is what naturally occurs when our big, loud, opinionated family gets together.

Thursday afternoon, people slowly began to trickle in...and that's when I realized one very important thing; WE HAD NO FOOD!  Robby had just flown in from being out of town all week and with me having been home alone, I just picked up a salad here and sushi there and therefore, had absolutely NOTHING for 9 people to eat all weekend long...THIS MATTER was of utmost importance.  I could definitely foresee a dreaded trip to the grocery store in my near future.  Little did I know that it would take place with a baby in tow.  I have to admit that I had totally forgotten how interesting grocery shopping could be paired with an infant.  Robby, Ryan and I were headed to the grocery store when the call came.  Justin was late leaving work, Sarah had Bunko and could we pick Parker up for him?  SURE!  I couldn't wait to see her.  We swung by their apartment, picked Parker up and then headed to the grocery store.  For some unknown reason, upon arriving there, I decided to take her out of her carrier and just hold her while we shopped.  OK...so, have you ever tried walking through a store toting a 13 pound weight?  I instantly regretted my decision to leave the carrier in the car.  However, on a more positive note, Robby and Ryan had to do all of the shopping, while I eventually had to find a seat in the coffee shop to rest my legs and back.  We finished up there and headed home.

Saturday morning dawned and I awoke to the smell of a gumbo cooking.  Robby was preparing for the day ahead; the LSU game and our pumpkin carving contest.  The Tigers started playing at 2:30 and the screaming and armchair coaching began in the den, while Halloween cupcake decorating was taking place in the kitchen.  By halftime, the pumpkins were being pulled out.  LSU was losing, frustration levels were running high...it was time to take our minds off of the game for a while.

I did more picture taking than carving.  Robby decided on a simple jack-o-lantern design; others were quite the overachievers where their designs were concerned.  We had a headless horseman, a spooky scene, a skull and crossbones, a skeleton and spider, the eye of the Tiger (who had now disappointingly lost) and even a miniature pumpkin with Parker's initials carved in it.  Remember, I said this was a "competition".  I had judges lined up and as soon as the carvings were complete, I sent pictures of each pumpkin to them.  By Sunday morning we had a winner..."Spooky Scene", carved by Caitlin and her boyfriend, Kevin.

Whew, what a weekend!  Dogs barking, baby crying, TV blaring, people screaming, pumpkin seeds flying, cooking, eating and a house FULL again.  Yes, it was definitely chaotic!  Welcome to MY WORLD...it's just another day in the life of a mom...and I wouldn't have it any other way!

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