We have a blast with Halloween. If possible, it has been even more fun this year. With the girls homeschooling, Halloween preparations haven't been rushed and we have worked them in to the schooling itself.
The girls picked out their jack-o-lantern pumpkins several weeks ago at Hollin Farms, but they didn't carve them until the week of Halloween. Between the squirrels and heavy rains, the pumpkins they carved just over a week ago at a pumpkin carving party, have already met their end. To ensure we have jack-o-lanterns on Halloween, we carve them as close to Halloween night as time will allow. There have been times we carved them during the day on Halloween and that certainly is the safest move.
This year Meg chose a gourd and created quite an unusual zombie pumpkin. Anne continued to insist she have as much independence as possible to carve her pumpkin, so we had to ensure her tools were as safe as possible. Clare consulted a few pumpkin carving manuals and finally turned to a favorite Halloween Picture book, Five LIttle Pumpkins, for inspiration.
After some very typical school day work, like math and ancient history, Meg and Clare presented their Halloween costume essays. Meg fashioned her essay like an old newspaper. Clare's was a more traditional essay, but she went for an orange and black color scheme. Anne presented an oral essay about her costume, which mostly consisted of proclamations that her costume was much better than her sisters' costumes.
Having saved our pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator after we carved our pumpkins, we were able to toast them on Halloween and snacked on them all afternoon. I follow this recipe, though I toasted them for a good bit longer than the recipe calls for. We believe the toastier the better.