Sunday, October 28, 2007

On Pumpkins. Gallbladders, Soup, Friends, Football, and What-Not

October 28, 2007

Jesse finished painting the front porch just in time for our annual Soup and Pumpkin Party. This is our Big Event of the year. Even Christmas with my entire family pales in comparison to the party also known as the "Stupid Pumpkin Party" and the "Super Pumpkin Party."

The party has grown to outrageous proportions from its humble beginnings with just a few families. We topped out this year with 22 adults and 41 kids. We would have had more, but two of our usual guests were, well, in the hospital. One was having his gallbladder removed. We missed him and his wife and entourage greatly, but we have saved him several bowls of creamy, sausage-ridden soups to aid in his recovery. The other was demonstrating what happens when one blogs too much, sleeps too little, and perhaps has one too many cups of coffee... (But we did get the little redheads, and for that we are grateful.)

So. The theme of the party is: eat soup and carve pumpkins. But until everyone arrives and the dinner bell rings, there's a whole lot of action going on. Traditionally, part of the evening includes a contest in which guests build trebuchet or slingshots with which to launch pumpkins. This year, the highlight was a tennis-ball launcher. Some of the kids wanted to try pumpkin guts in the launcher, but that didn't quite happen....

The tree-house saw lots of action. Sometimes too much action when a couple of boys who-shall-not-be-named thought they needed to jump from it....

The air hockey table was in constant use...

And at last, all the soups are ready and my kitchen becomes a mass of people holding styrofoam bowls and plastic spoons. Gumbo, black bean, broccoli, potato, minestrone, tortellini, chili, chicken--coming back for seconds and thirds is a requirement.

After the food has settled and the kids are once again running wild, the real business of the evening gets underway. Extracting pumpkin guts requires a certain love of goo which my children seem to have in abundance...

I noticed in pretty much all my pictures that the Dads are doing the actual carving. The moms are busy having coffee in the living room or walking around with boxes on their heads (also known as, dodging Chris Milne's handful of pumpkin slime)...

he pumpkins are all unique. I love the moment when we line them all up and light the candles. It's beautiful to see a few dozen smiling kiddos with their creations all in a row.

And this pumpkin was especially perfect for this evening:

Because after all that pumpkin-carving, the Dads ended up on the couch, watching the UT game...

Yep, they worked hard, and they earned their spot on the couch. And the rest of the evening involved collecting kids, pumpkins, and crock-pots, and a whole lot more laughing.

After such an event, our hearts are very, very full. And our house is very, very clean. Dr. H and I invariably sit on the couch together once the guests are all gone and the kids in bed, and just look at each other with goofy grins. Life is good.

(Next year, perhaps the kitchen will be painted and the shelf hung.)

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Sunday, October 28, 2007 - What fun

Posted by ComfyDenim (

What a lovely holiday tradition!!!
I particularly love the boxes on head. Very wise.
This sounds like it would be fun to have here, too. I wonder if we could franchise it?

Thank you for sharing your happiness. Life is good.

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Monday, October 29, 2007 - Untitled Comment

Posted by chickadee (

your front porch looks great!
i love the pumpkin with the cat face. so cute! looks like a very fun party.


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Monday, October 29, 2007 - Untitled Comment

Posted by skdenfeld (

Your Porch makes me want to stop by for a visit. Or at least sit on your stairs and watch people walk by.


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Monday, October 29, 2007 - Untitled Comment

Posted by anotherblogonthefire (

Sure looks like it was fun! Too bad we couldn't get down there for it... Kristina loves wearing boxes on her head.
We had to settle for eating pumpkin pie (and other stuff). None of it got chunked or chucked where we were.

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Monday, October 29, 2007 - I thought the porch looked particularly nice

Posted by QueenoftheHill (

This was such a great evening and so well organized. I love what you do as far as divvying the kids up by age and sending them to different areas. I suspect it is a great help to their socializing.

Next time, we'll send Baby to Grandma's so he's not so underfoot.

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Monday, October 29, 2007 - Untitled Comment

Posted by DrHibiscus (

you just HAD to get a parting shot in about the shelf didn't you...

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