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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.