Halloween 2009

Step 1: Find the perfect pumpkin.

 Cherie and Allie trek out to the pumpkin patch at Apple Annie's Farm in Willcox in search of the perfect Halloween pumpkin.

Below, left, Mike teaches Ally the finer points of working the fields, like how to high tail it when someone shouts "La Migra!"

Below, right, the kids were understandably tired after stacking pumpkins all day at the foot of the mountains.

Salvadore Dali left his pumpkin behind in the patch.

Ally and her cousin Abbey rest after a long day's harvesting and wait for their fathers to wheel them back to the car.

Step 2: Carve the Jack-o-Lantern

Mike and Anna's families gathered on Halloween for a pumpkin carving marathon. (From left, Hap, Abbey, Noelle, Steve, Ally, Mike, and Taylor)

Anna taped plastic on the floor, positioned folks around the edges, and asked them to pitch the guts and seeds into the middle of the pile.

Anna, right, looks up from carving her monsterpiece.

Anna carving her pumpkin

Ally supervises the men to ensure they get it right.

Someone carved a self-portrait, but we're not saying who it was (and no, it wasn't me).

A regular rouge's gallery adorned the front porch after everyone was done. Talk about "Going Rogue"...this is like lipstick on a pig.

Step 3: Take a break

After pumpkin surgery it was time to rest a spell. Below, Hap gets in touch with his feminine side by letting his granddaughter Abbey give him a manicure and polish.

 Abbey reaches for a beer...er, rootbeer, while Ally rolls her eyes, thinking, "skip the beer, hand me a wine like Noni's."

Hap helps himself to Cherie's home-made mac'n'cheese and Mike's roasted pumpkin seeds

At left, a vintner's signed bottle of wine that Jeanne brought to dinner. It reads "To Jeanne, best night of my life." We're not asking, and she's not telling.

Above, notice how Ally is the only one actually eating at the dinner table while everyone else is yakking. A girl after my own heart (and stomach).

Step 4: Get Ready

At left, Ally says, "wait a sec, I've gotta take this call from Gabriel."

Wings are attached and ready for flight

Step 5: Trick or Treat!

Upon lift off, our fairy granddaughter and her Daddy hit the neighborhood streets to knock upon the doors of the generous.

...with payoff coming via a little help from her grandmother Angela, right

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