Pumpkin Carving Party 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Party 2013As in previous years, I was given two little pumpkins by daily grocer, and we invited a kid or two over to participate in the annual ritual. The first year, we invited our neighbor, Oscar. He seemed more interested in Nora’s toys than with the pumpkin carving, so the next two years, 2011 and 2012, we invited a friend from three floors down, Carmen. Oscar has a three-year-old sister, Gabriela, now, and Nora has a best friend from school, Claudia, so we decided to invite all of them this year, including Claudia’s infant sister, Mara. Seven children!
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Halloween School Pumpkin Carving 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Carving 2013 - Fray PabloOnce again this year, I volunteered to go into Nora’s class and carve a pumpkin. Her teacher managed to acquire a 30 kg (66 lb) pumpkin from a fruit vendor in her hometown, and I agreed to come into school and perform my nation’s traditional pagan gourd evisceration ritual. This year, all three of the preschool classes (turtles, 3-year-olds; bears, 4-year-olds; and elephants, 5-year-olds) attended the actual carving. Due to the fact that the pumpkin had grown lying on its side, one side of it was totally flat, so it didn’t really stand up by itself, but we quickly solved that problem by placing it in a shallow bucket.
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Teaching Spanish Kids About Halloween

November 02, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween At Fray Pablo - 199For Halloween this year, I offered to give a pumpkin carving demonstration to my daughter’s three-year-old preschool class. The teacher was enthusiastic and coordinated with the English teacher, who was already doing some Halloween-themed vocabulary, for a date and time for the presentation. All I could get were some small pumpkins from my local grocer friend who frequents farmers markets. The only way to get a real lantern-worthy gourd is to know a farmer directly, which I do not. My daughter’s teacher, however, told me that she was going to her hometown for the weekend before Halloween, and she knew some farmers that grew big pumpkins, and she’d see what she could find. It was a success! She found two gorgeous beach-ball-sized gourds for me to carve.
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Halloween 2012 – Pumpkin Carving with Carmen

October 28, 2012 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, USA

Jack-o-LanternTonight we did our annual October tradition of pumpkin carving. Unfortunately, the pumpkins we were able to get this year were pretty sad. The shape was okay, but they were small with incredibly thick walls. So small, that the face I carved had to have its features so close together that we had a bit of an accident in which the eye hole broke through to the nose hole. Mistakes happen even to the worst of us pumpkin carvers.
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Halloween 2011 – Pumpkin Carving with Carmen

October 30, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin 2011A couple months ago, we started chatting in the street with our neighbors from three flights down, and their four-year-old daughter, Carmen, began playing with Nora. Immediately it was clear that Nora liked Carmen more than most children near her age. There was a certain je ne sais quoi chemistry between them as they giggled and chased after each other. So this year we decided to invite Carmen over for our household’s very American tradition of Halloween pumpkin carving.
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Halloween Zebra

November 02, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos

Nora Zebra Halloween CostumeIn Spain, the primary holiday for children to wear costumes is Carnival, not Halloween. However little by little, the virus of American culture is taking hold. Several of my expat friends in Spain have reported some trick-or-treaters, and some of the local shops say they got some too.
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Pumpkin Carving 2010

October 29, 2010 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Timelapse, USA, Videos

Halloween SpiritsIt’s that time of year again, time for wool sweaters and pumpkin carving. Like the previous two years, my friend Andrés hooked us up with a lovely gourd specimen to carve. Nora had a lot of fun with the pumpkin this year. We invited over our four-year-old neighbor, Oscar (who happens to be Andrés’ nephew), to participate in the autumnal festivities. I did get Oscar to put his hand into the pumpkin and feel the slimy innards once, but after that he preferred to play with Nora’s toys, which were all new to him, and watch from afar. He brought over his own little pumpkin to carve too, so Marga got her first carving experience, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
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