It was an absolutely gorgeous day so we set up a blanket and all the necessary tools out in the backyard. The kids were very excited to get started!
Let's do this.
E.J. can hardly wait!
Eric started things off by cutting the top off the pumpkin, then we showed Ellie how to scoop out the insides. She wasn't much help, I must admit, but she is getting better and better each year!
Ellie is "helping" cut off the top by smacking the front of the pumpkin with a spoon
Gee, I hope she doesn't overdo it and scoop too many seeds at once.
We had to pause to introduce E.J. to the pumpkin goo. He wasn't quite as offended as his sister was the first time she saw it (though that's a generally applicable rule), but he was fairly skeptical.
"Say what, now?"
He is not buying it.
Both kids were excited to help his daddy scoop, though!
Ellie coming in for a closer look
Once the inside was all cleaned out, Eric took E.J. inside for his nap while Ellie and I poked holes in the pumpkin to trace our design.
Ellie was very helpful.
Checking out the poked pattern
By the time that was done, Eric had rejoined us and he took over the carving portion of the program while I got Ellie settled in with a picnic lunch.
Master carver at work
Lunch al fresco!
After Eric carved the face, it was my job to go back in and clean it all up. Ellie helped by grabbing E.J.'s toy Peter Pan knife and working along with me. Meanwhile, E.J. woke up from his brief nap and hung out with his daddy.
Way to go, Ellie!
At last, the finished product was revealed: Daniel Tiger!
Daniel Tiger in all his glowing glory!
Ellie was thrilled to see the face of her favorite fuzzy little guy!
Admiring her pumpkin
I'm sure E.J. was quite excited about his first jack-o-lantern, too.
You can tell.
Our Daniel Tiger pumpkin marks the third year in a row that our design selection has been based on Ellie's current obsession:
2012 was Winnie the Pooh, followed by Elmo last year and now Daniel!
Next year, however, E.J. may have interests other than smiling excessively and putting things in his mouth, so we may have to incorporate his tastes as well! I can hardly wait!