I was terribly mistaken when I sent out the evites this year to the 9th annual Bettlach/Giammanco Pumpkin Carving Contest. My brother kindly informed me that it was the 10th! Holy Cow...we've been doing this for 10 YEARS??? The first one we ever did was when Hailey was just 3 weeks old. She was born in 2000. So, if you count the year 2000, then this really was the 10th year. Craziness.
Anyway, we took it back to my mom's house this year. Last year we had it at our house. It's nicer to have it over there for a few reasons:
1) Her backyard is way cooler to decorate than our front yard.
2) She has a fenced in backyard so the kiddos can't run into the street.
3) Her garage is so dilapidated that it fits right in with the rest of the Halloween decor. (he he...sorry mom, but it's true)
4) The mess isn't at my house.
We were worried all week about the weather, but it turned out to be a gorgeous day. I got over there early to help my mom set up. Unfortunately, Galen go into a fight with railroad tracks and lost, so he was holed up in the house icing his hammy. When my mom and I were decorating, it brought back a lot of memories. It was just like old times...her with the tape and me with the staple gun. We pulled the trigger and bought some bails of hay at the last minute. It just adds that special fall touch
...and the yard looked too bare without them.
Most people tease my mom and I for getting so excited about Halloween. The truth is...it is our favorite holiday. We love scaring people and we love all the decorations. Every year my mom says she's not going to buy anymore, but she always does. She's gotten some pretty crazy things over the years!
The festivities kicked off around 3:00 pm. My mom made a yummy chili with all the fixins, salad (which no one ate...it was pretty funny)and Laura made crab dip. Kelly made dessert out of cream cheese and all different types of chocolate candies. Someone brought a delicious pumpkin cheesecake and my mom made some squash bread. (think banana bread, only with squash).
It was great to see people diving right in to their pumpkins. People are getting better and better each year. I carved a very basic one and attempted to get Maria to help me, but she wouldn't touch any of it. She was very interested, but would only watch. Kelly's mom, Bev, brought a little pumpkin for Maria along with some cute stickers to put on the pumpkins. Maria loved this!
Naomi spent most of the day inside where it was warm. We bundled her up a few times and took her outside. It was kind of a bummer because she wasn't eating very well that day which made her a little fussy. But, Maria had a great time. She spent the day wondering around the graveyard and carrying around skull heads. She tried really hard to say skeleton, but it comes out like "Fel-a gen". It's hilarious. If you look in the background of some of the pictures, you will see her playing in the graveyard. She loved it. It was also great to have Olivia, Micah and Gavin all there too. I love having little kiddos around. They all had a great time having a dance party in the garage.
The dance party was mostly for the kids...but one other person (who shall remain nameless) enjoyed himself as well. He won the contest for best Thriller dance that night.
Speaking of contest...I guess you are wondering who won??? Well, FINALLY a non-stencil patterned pumpkin won first place. John, Karen's boyfriend, took home the trophy. He did an awesome free hand Budweiser logo. Jeff's pumpkin and Kelly's pumpkin took second and third. Thanks to everyone who participated. We had great weather, delicious food and awesome looking pumpkins, once again. Can't wait for next year!
FIRST PLACE WINNER: