2nd Annual Pumpkin Party

This past weekend we hosted our 2nd annual Pumpkin Party!  By far…this is my favorite time of the year…and by even farther than that…this is my favorite friend event of the year that we host…more than birthday parties or dinners or anything like that….this puts the IT in FAVORITE.

This year I wanted to scale back on how much I actually cooked/decorated/made.  So I basically used the same ‘recipe for success’ as last year and just cut out a lot of other food items.  I also recycled the invitation from last year with a few detail tweaks.

If you want to see more photos of the food or setup from last year – click here for last year’s pumpkin party.

Our menu was pretty much the same although I didn’t make desserts this year and I did miss seeing those caramel dipped apples and that pumpkin-snack-mix.  This year I made a big pot of chili and cornbread muffins and pigs-in-blankets.  We also had drinks (cokes, juice, water and beer).

I think the size of the group was about the same…and my family came later which is always so nice.  It means I got to snuggle my neice and yes…she is just as perfect as ever :)

We always start off the event with the meal.

The other part that we learned from last year is to set up the pumpkin painting area separate.  With one year experience under my belt, we learned that some things are important.  Here is what I learned…

  • provide a sharpie for labeling…otherwise the kids paint anyone’s pumpkin and there will be meltdowns
  • provide only enough brushes for one for each kid…it creates less mess and less waste
  • Crayola washable paints wash out of everything…clothes, dropcloths, hair, and the pumpkins…so warn parents not to leave these outside
  • bales of hay are perfect seating height
  • have a small paper plate for each painter…that way the paint jars are free to be passed around
  • have your camera with a battery charged because it will go dead from the thousands of photos you will take :)

We had about 40 people come including kids.  We also had five babies.

I always forget how much food I made and how much was enough so I am telling myself – I made chili with 8 pounds of beef and it was just enough.  And I made six boxes of cornbread muffins…way too many.  And I made two packages of piggies with extra croissants and Karen made some too and those were gone.  Next year…more chili, less muffins, more pigs in a blanket.  Also…Jennifer brought baked potatoes and that was pure genius.

When it came time to paint the pumpkins, the kids were ALL IN.

I love the fact that Will has this little guy as his buddy.  Wyatt is one of his very best friends and he loves him dearly…I think it might be because they fight crime together.

I told one of the parents that I didn’t change a thing this year about the day and how I was lazy in not switching things up.  She looked at me and said “well, that’s the best part!  My kids knew exactly what to expect and they loved last year!”

It made me feel better…like it doesn’t really matter if the event is pinterest-worthy or have cutting edge décor or gourmet food.  I remember as a kid going to church picnics and family events and I did love the consistency in it all…so I guess this probably won’t be changing much in the future either.

I wanted to get shots of each kid (which I didn’t.) but I did get most…





And the youngest little one that participated in the painting party was Maddie….her mom and dad stamped her feet :)

If you follow us on Instagram, you will already know that Jeremy and I got the most romantic anniversary gift ever….a trailer :)

We have been talking about getting one for about a year but the price was never right.  We had stalked Craigslist but this past week we saw a sale at Tractor Supply and got it brand new for a great price.  Now we can haul off that garage fridge to the recycling center and get more lumber for all our projects and take kids on hayrides :)

Jeremy takes the kids on a route through the yard, into the woods, and up the front.  (Thanks Sharlene for letting us go on your paths!)  The kids LOVE it.

And then the whole party always gets wrapped up the same way…with a whole lot of sweat.

Yup.  The boys always get into some sort of basketball game for which they are way too old :)

Overall…it was great fun.  I know Will really liked it.  Weston and LJ slept through most of it…but next year Weston will probably be right there painting with the rest of the kids.

Also – I win all the pumpkins because of the matching shirts.  Go ahead.  You know you love them too :)