40 Days of Faith, Family, and Funnies

I sorta have a love-hate relationship with October.

Love the rain… hate the rain. Love that my girl has a birthday this month, hate that she’s growing up so quickly. Love the fall colors, hate the mud and muddy wet dog. Love feeling in the groove at school, hate feeling like conferences are too soon… how can it be time to prepare already?

And while one of the things I absolutely love about October is the fun family festivities: (going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, cozy family nights with hot cocoa, and decorating pumpkin cookies), October ends up being the month I hate the. very. most. for several reasons: the horrific TV previews, creepy disgusting evil things in stores, and political propaganda (which is generally deceitful and/or hateful) everywhere you look. From all the outcry on Facebook posts, I take it I’m not the only one who has had enough.

But ahhhh…. November. The month of thanksgiving. I’m sure thankful this peaceful, filled-with-thanks-and-joy month follows the creepy, filled-with-evil-and-hatred month. It’s certainly refreshing for the soul. And again, from all the Facebook posts of thanks, I take it I’m not the only one who finds the change much needed.

Even so, I decided not to do the “Thirty Days of Thanks” this year. I love reading the posts from others. I did the challenge last year, but I wasn’t good at keeping up at it, and mostly, I’m just not so good at being brief. (Matt just said, “Really? YOU? I never thought of you as someone who has a hard time being brief.” Do you hear his sarcasm even in writing??? Brat.)

But back to the thankful posts. I was inspired by them, and also by a friend who blogged a summary of her day-to-day life each day for 7 days. (She says her life is “average,” but I looked forward to her blog post each and every day.) So I decided to give myself a challenge: Instead of 30 days of Thanks, I will write (or will attempt to write) a brief post each day around the topics that I am most thankful for: Faith, Family, and Funnies (a.k.a. kid antics.) For 40 days. Or until I run out of things to say…

So why 40, you ask? Well, partly because in exactly 40 days, I will be officially on Christmas Break, so the posts will – in a sense – be a count down (or up, rather) to vacation. But honestly, it is mostly because of the alliteration. Yes, I’m that nerdy.

Well… I guess here we go.
Today’s post topic: Family. I was a little behind on my October posts, so this first one is easy.

Pumpkin Carving…

Matt ran to get pizza while the kids and I formed a plan and prepared the pumpkin carving area.

(Super excited kids = not looking at camera and blurry in pic.)

I sliced off the tops while Leesie began to scoop out the innards. She isn’t very thorough, but her hands did get inside each pumpkin (4 large, 5 small). Definitely a good effort.Jacob decided he didn’t like the looks of it and didn’t touch a single pumpkin. (Hmmm. Sounds like another male Priestman I know.) Eventually, I was facing the rest of the family fun task alone. Just me.

Just me and my Christmas music, that is.

Jacob wanted a Mickey Mouse pumpkin (fitting, since he picked out the pumpkin while at the patch with you, Auntie Jill.) The Mickey pattern seemed easy enough. It wasn’t. Or I’m not that good at it. But at least it’s recognizable.

Annalise wanted Rapunzel. A little more detail than Mickey, and the pattern was too large for the pumpkin. She got over the fact that I was cutting length off Rapunzel’s hair, which is really her only identifiable feature in a carving, and settled for the chin-length-hair-generic-princess look. Upon viewing my final product she said with surprise, “Well, it’s better than I thought at least. Thanks, Mom.” Then went back to playing in the other room. I decided against a close-up of this one.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted my pumpkin to be yet, but I had done this with the little pumpkins last year:

I wanted to do something similar this year. I carved out my letters:

By the way, that doesn’t spell HOPET. It is a cross at the end. It was suggested I add some space in between the E and the cross to make it easier to read. Noted.

Two large pumpkins left. I still wasn’t sure what to do with them. The UW logo wasn’t printing for me. The face I drew looked stupid. I decided to do a camera for Matt. The template didn’t work because it made the entire picture come out, leaving a gaping hole. (Don’t they know they have to leave parts connected to the rest of the pumpkin so a picture emerges?) So, I created a masterpiece with the chunk that fell out using my own imagination and about 50 toothpicks to piece it all together. When I was done, I called the family in to look. Matt wasn’t sure what it was. Annalise said, “It’s supposed to be a camera.” Jacob was clearly not impressed. I decided against a close-up of this one, too. And then I decided not to carve the last pumpkin.

The final product was ridiculously awesome, just as long as you squint your eyes and stand at least 20 feet away. But even this close, I think it didn’t turn out too bad, wouldn’t you say? And yes, there is a space between HOPE and the cross.


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