This Spring, a single pumpkin grew up from the mulch in our front lawn. Not being ones to look a gift pumpkin in the mouth, we allowed it to continue growing and simply mowed around the vine.

However, it did not bring forth enough pumpkins for the annual Underground Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza, so we had to buy a few more. 

Pumpkin carving has gotten much more interesting since The Shortlings, who are slightly less weird and even more creative than we are, have started to take an active part.  This is The Dormouse's pumpkin homage to her favorite books these days, Monster High

She was unhappy with the choice of designs included in the books I bought over a decade ago (never has one person gotten more mileage out of a $4 impulse buy in a drug store, than have I from these pumpkin carving kits) so she asked The KoH help her design something else.  They came up with this together.  She also carved an "MH" initial pumpkin to accompany the logo. It's a set. This one's easier to see in the day time.

 The KingofHearts likes to go with the classic Halloween-theme designs.

Mine, more often, turn into an arts and crafts project and The KoH laughed at me when I announced, "I'm going to need a glue gun, some wooden stakes, a gouge from your set of carving tools and that bucket of zip ties from your shop."

Meet Stitches.

I was a bit indecisive about Mr. Stitches' eyes and went through three iterations.

We settled on number three but now that I look at them, I think he was scarier without any eyeballs.

My favorite of all the pumpkins was The Caterpillar's because she wanted to do it all by herself and we were total naysayers.  I figured she'd spend all of five minutes attempting to work with a complex design and carving tools and then give up.  But she stuck to it and other than a couple of places where she needed some help, she did this almost completely on her own.  Let's hear it for underestimating your children.

Then she wanted to also carve a tiny pumpkin like The Dormouse's, but by that time everyone was a bit tired of pumpkin carving.  The KoH and Dormouse went across the street to talk to a neighbor and I had some important loafing to accomplish, so I gave her a butcher knife and left her in the kitchen to her own devices.  Yes, I gave my six year old a knife and then left her unsupervised to stab it repeatedly into a slimy, round object. MOTHER OF THE YEAR.  

Relax, she was fine.  She actually drew more blood with the scissors she'd been using to help me cut the zip ties earlier and she was sitting right next to me then.  The pumpkin didn't fare so well, but it's my favorite of the day.