Deonne and I started the tradition before we were even married - picking out pumpkins, carving them, and adorning them with candles on Halloween night while we sat on the front porch and handed candy out to the neighborhood kiddies.
The tradition has continued now that we are parents. This was the first year that both Anna and James really participated in the family pumpkin carving festivities. Last year it was hard for Anna to draw on her pumpkin - so this year I drew a big orange pumpkin on a piece of paper for each kid, gave them a crayon, and instructed them to draw out a face they liked - then transposed that to their pumpkins - exactly like they had drawn. (I did have to take a little bit of artistic license with James' though... as the eyeballs weren't exactly on the pumpkin and more in outer space...)
They matched up pretty well though, for the most part, and once they were drawn and the pumpkins hollowed out - Deonne had the master task of carving all. five. pumpkins. (One for Anna, Jack, James, and a family pumpkin - and my usual South Carolina palmetto tree and crescent moon.)
It was hysterical - the kids loved it - we all had a ball.
Unfortunately, we carved them about a week before Halloween, and set them proudly on our front porch. I think it took all of two days for the humidity and heat to set in - and long before the 31st, all four sweet pumpkins had turned a sinister black and started caving in on themselves.
No matter though, we had fun carving, playing in the gooey pumpkin seeds, and enjoying the afternoon. I love pumpkin carving day!