Here are your winners for the 5th Annual Pumpkin Carving Extravanganza!

The title “Pumpkin Master” for the year 2008-2009, and the award “Best All-Around Pumpkin” goes to…

Jessi Gates for “Harvest Moon, followed by “The Colonel” by James Dieckmeyer, and “Fish Bowl” by Beth Flower


The award for “Most Original Pumpkin” goes to…

“Baby-Eating Pumpkin” by Melissa Martin, followed by “Fish Bowl” by Beth Flower, and “Bones” by the Burns Family


The award for “Most Hallo-weenie Pumpkin” goes to…

“What’s a Harvest Festival” by Laura Gates, followed by “Aye-aye Captain” by Jay and Janelle Hobbs, and “Scary Tree” by Ashley Hughes


The “Aristry Award” goes to…

“Peonie Flower” by Molly Jefferson, followed by “The Colonel” by James Dieckmeyer and “Flower” by Stephanie and Jane Flower


And the “Best Self-Portrait” on a Pumpkin goes to…

“Harvest Moon” by Jessi Gates, followed by “Family Picture” by Tyler Flower and “JR” by JR Gates


In Palin-like fashion (or maybe not…we’ll wait and see), Jessi Gates of Anchorage, Alaska has swept two categories in the contest.  Her campaign was run well and her creativity won the day.  A full moon does definitely bring out the best in people.

Congratulations to Jessi!

The PCC hereby confers the title “Pumpkin Carving Master” upon Jessi Gates until October 31st of the year two-thousand and nine.


We have been having an uncommon problem with hanging chads this year in the voting booths and will be extending the voting window until midnight of Monday, November 3rd.  

Previously, only one vote could be placed from a computer.  This did not allow families to vote from their home computer.  This has been changed, and now voting can continue.

The PCC would also like to specially request that no one vote twice.  Or three times.  Or more than once.

Thank you,

The 2008 PCC

Only 16 hours left to vote…

Spread the Word!

Click Here to take survey

Anticipation has been foaming for the last week…

The phone lines have been jammed…

And not because of the highly anticipated prop 2 measure that allows chicken to stretch their legs…no, believe or not, people have been looking forward to voting on something even greater…

The Fifth Annual Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza!

Here are this year’s nominees:

1.  “Scary Tree” by Ashley Hughes (special category: Most Hallo-weenie)

2.  “Maggie the Dog” by Becky Layman (special category: Most artistic)

3.  “Fish Bowl” by Beth Flower (special category: Most Original)

4.  “Death Star” by Beth Martin (special category: Most Original)

5.  “It’s What a Pumpkin’s All About” by Bill Blakey (special category: Most Original)

6.  “Go Vols!” by Rachel Gates (special category:  Most Original)

7.  “Bones” by the Burns Family (special category: Most Original)

8.  “Lighthouse” by Cory Blakey (special category: Most Artistic)

9.  “Harvest Moon” by Jessi Gates (special category: Self-Portrait)

10.  “Helmet-O-Lantern” by Ken Flower (special category: Most Original)

11.  “Why So Serious” by Luke Brock (special category: Most Hallo-weenie)

12.  “Family Picture” by Tyler Flower (special category:  Self-Portrait)

13.  “Flower” by Stephanie and Jane Flower (special category:  Artistry Award)

14.  “A Happy Pumpkin” by Jake Brock, assisted by Mark and Sarah Jane (special category: Self-Portrait)

15.  “The Colonel” by James Dieckmeyer (special category: Artistry Award)

16.  “Popeye Anchor Tattoo” by James Van New Kirk (special category:  Artistry Award)

17.  “Aye-Aye Captain” by Jay and Jannelle Hobbs (special category:  Most Hallo-weenie)

18.  “What’s a Harvest Festival” by Laura Gates (special category: Most Hallo-weenie)

19.  “Baby-Eating Pumpkin” by Mellissa Martin (special category:  Most Original)

20.  “Peonie Flower” by Molly Jefferson (special category:  Artistry Award)

21.  “Orange M&M” by Ronnie Martin (special category:  Most Original)

22.  “Squidward” by Ryley Marble (special category:  Most Original)

23.  “Silence of the Pumpkin” by Tyler Gates (special category:  Most Original)

24.  “Callie” by Callie Jane Gates (special category: Most Hallo-weenie)

25.  “Jill” by Jill Gates (special category: Most Hallo-weenie)

26.  “JR” by JR Gates (special category:  Self-Portrait)

Here’s How to Vote:

You can only vote once in each category.  Voting will end when the clock strikes 12 (and its dark outside) of Sunday, Nov. 2nd.  Spread the Word!  Follow the link below to vote.

Click Here to take survey

Sharpen those knives, get the dremmel ready, and start thinking of ideas…because the 5th Annual Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza is about to begin.  Thousands of you have been emailing every day for the last four months asking when this thing is going to start again…and although we thought about doing a Summer version, we decided it would be best to keep it for Halloween (or Reformation Day if you prefer).  The wait is finally over.

Here are the details as decided by the Pumpkin Carving Committee (PCC) (read carefully, there are a few changes from last year):

  • The deadline for a photo (or link to a photo) of your pumpkin is midnight of Thursday, October 30th.  To be considered in the contest, you must submit a photo by that time.
  • Voting will last for 3 days…the 31st, Nov. 1st and 2nd.  Voting will end at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 2nd.  
  • Categories:  Besides the “Best All Around” Pumpkin (in which everyone is entered), there will be four additional categories in which you can enter your pumpkin (you can only enter your pumpkin in one of these additional categories).  The four categories are:  “Most Original”, “Most Hallo-weenie”, “Artistry Award”, and “Best Self-Portrait”.
  • Rules:  No stencils allowed, no paint allowed, some sort of light must be placed inside the pumpkin, other gourds are only allowed if traditional pumpkins cannot be obtained, and campaigning for your pumpkin is allowed as long as voters see all other contestant entries before they vote.
To Enter Your Pumpkin…
  • Email a photo to
  • Include your name
  • Include a title for your pumpkin
  • Include which category (you can only choose one) in which you wish to enter your pumpkin.  This is in addition to the “Best All-Around” category in which every pumpkin will be entered.
The Prize: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me” and the official title for the year of “Pumpkin Carving Master”.
Spread the word…voting begins on Friday, October 31st.
To see last year’s entries and winners, go to:  

Here are some galleries of both June’s birth and June’s first week home (with grandparents!).  

Here’s June’s first week.

Here’s June’s birthday.

Also, friends (who happen to be mmm-mazing photographers) took pictures of June and have posted some of them.

Melissa Burns Photography

Bill Blakey Photography.

Without being too verbose…I’m pretty tired…I have some news.  Our little daughter has finally come into this world.  I’m going to write this post as a guy…giving you the pertinent stats and including some visuals (thankfully, God has blessed us with friends and family like Melissa Burns, Billy Blakey, and Steph Flower who all have sweet cameras and skills to pay the bills…all our good pictures are complements of them).  Next time we see you, I’m sure Beth would love to give you the story.  Here’s the end of the story:  God has blessed us with a little girl, June Bailey Flower, who is healthy and beautiful.

Weight: 7.8 ounces

Length: 20.25 inches

Head diameter: 14 inches

Here are the visuals (complements of Billy Blakey):


We went to the doctor this morning and found out we’re having a baby girl! She and Beth are healthy, growing and doing great…and she’s even a Viriginia Tech Fan! We are so excited, only 20 weeks to go!