Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween at Hardin Ridge....Pumpkins Galore!!!!!

16 yrs ago a family decided that Dad needed something to do, he was terribly bored and he liked to work with his hands soooo.......what they come up with was pumpkin carving.  Harold and Nancy gathered all the patterns they could find, searched the internet, and drew some by hand.  Their daughter Caitie, had her birthday at that time of year also so they had pumpkin carving at her party.  They loved to camp and so they would bring a couple of pumpkins with them to carve and then set them out on their site. Well 2 turned to 4, 4 turned into 6 then 8.....you get the picture. Today their families, friends, camp ground hosts, guests in the park, carved a whopping 107 pumpkins!!!!!  After they had been carving pumpkins for a while something new and exciting happened to them, they became Christians. That is when they decided to incorporate the message of Christianity into the Halloween season as it can be depicted as an evil holiday.  They also pass out candy to the children, with a story about when you become a Christian.  It is told from a Dad's perspective to his children.
     "God picks each one of us out of the patch and He chooses us to be His very own. Next, he cleans us from the inside out, scooping all the yucky stuff out of our hearts--the sin--the bad things we do or say. After that he puts a great big smile on our face and His light shines in our hearts for everyone to see His love in us!" That is such a cool analagy, I have never thought of it that way before.
 I had heard there was a group of them carving so I mosied on over to their site this am to get a picture of them carving. They were all sitting around the fire chatting as they worked, even the young children were carving as there are different levels of difficulty in the patterns. It was such a neat scene, different ages doing the same activity in this beautiful setting by the open fire.

Friends and family gather on Nancy and Harold's camp site to begin their carving. They all look so intense don't they?
Wonder what they do with all the ''yucky'' stuff? I thought they were going to roast them but learned today that she was going to give them to a friend who raises chickens. The seeds act as a natural wormer. I sure didn't know that. We always feed our chickens the seed and pulp but didn't know it was good for them.
This is one of the more intricate designs. It is the Lord's supper. I heard it took Caitie 2 hours to do this. I personally would have pulled out my hair.  Super patience. Wow!!!

They punch holes in the pumpkin from a pattern and then connect the dots with a black marker. They also brush flour over the holes and it lights up the holes in white. Neat trick.

Harold is now starting to put them in line. They don't use candles they light them up with electric lights. They would go through a bunch of candles wouldn't they????
Caitie insisted the blogger be photographed so she grabbed my camera and took a picture of me carving. We won't disclose which one I did it was not very good at all.
Art decided to carve one too.  I will point his out in the photos.

Harold carved Davy Jones----the pirate.  I also thought from the group the Monkeys too ha ha:)
Here is a deer head before the lighting.....

And.......after being lite up. Isn't it amazing!
This is stained glass with the cross. This was a free hand pattern drawn by a friend of theirs.

I love the placement of these two.  Looking at the other pumpkin like ''what are you supposed to be?"
They are almost all carved now and getting ready to be lit for the campers to see.

The detail in these carvings was just fabulous!

This one was extra special. It is a pumpkin in a pumpkin, to give it a 3D feature.  Just such talent Wow!

Obviously this fella didn't eat his trick or treat candy.  :)  Wish I had that will power.

What amazed me was how they could carve such tiny details and not have it fall apart. I do know they occasionally have to use tooth picks to hold a piece up.

"Look out behind you!"

Look at the teeth in this one. They look like they are in all different places in the mouth.

See, Jesus loves everyone!

Remember the pumpkin in the above photo that Caitie had just drawn the pattern on. This is it all lit up and completed. This is the Lord's Supper.  It took her 2 hours I heard.

Can you believe THIS one!  John Wayne would be proud.  The facial features are just unbelievable. 
I believe the pumpkin on the right is a little concerned with all that fire so close. The cat just looks like a picture. Now how can that be a pumpkin?  Just amazing!!!

You think this wolf is the one that tormented the "Three Little Pigs?"
When I saw this was Mt. Rushmore I did a double take.  And the picture of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus is just beautiful. 
See Mario in the middle?  Art's is the one right about him. He says his as the ugliest. Nah, it is not!  
I know Mickey (asst. manager) did the three ghost coming out of the pot.
This one had to be one of my favorites because it looks like the lion is coming "OUT" from behind  the pumpkin.  That is incredible.!!!!
Look at the incredible detail in that tiger. So appropriate, it being orange and all.

These three ladies are calling them selves the Halloween Queens. We have the Pumpkin People so they wanted a name too. They decorated their site on Holland really pretty. The lights made such an eerie glow when you walked into it.
They had pumpkins too but theirs was already carved and they had them hanging up in a tree :)
This was their campsite. They had lights all around the site, on their camper, and a buried skeleton coming up out of the ground.  I know it took a long time to do, it look very very nice.
This is my sunset pumpkin. I looked at it for along time because it reminded me of something. Then it hit me a sunset.  Look at that beautiful orange glow, and the different colors of yellow, with the bright white being the sun.  And carving the Happy Halloween must have been nerve wracking!!!
Here was the last pumpkin. 
I have a bunch of pictures to still share from Hardin Ridge and our days off. I had tried to blog the last couple of days but couldn't down load any pictures.....URRR! We are leaving to go home Tuesday morning and I will continue to blog about being here until my pictures I took are finished. Then we will be at Turkey Run State Park for Halloween and will have lots of pictures from there too. We have been very busy getting the park closed and our stuff packed up so it has been hard to get any blogging done. I hope you enjoyed the Halloween pumpkins and story as much as we did. Just wonderful people, they made a huge buffet of soups and desserts on Sat. night and insisted the staff all go first.  It was delicious too, great carvers and great cooks and best of all we now have some more new friends.

                           So from Hardin Ridge we Send Hugs and Best Wishes.


  1. Very neat post! Great story and pictures both.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked the post and the story. They were the nicest people!

  2. You have some very nice jack-o-lantern pictures tonight. I'm thinking about buying a pie pumpkin and cooking it for a pie.

    1. I bought my pie pumpkins. I love to bake pumpkins it makes the house smell like Fall.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you I'm glad you liked them. And welcome to the blog I hope you enjoy all the posts.

  4. Hello! Our family was camping at hardin ridge when the pumpkin carvers were there. The kids loved all the pumpkins! We were wondering if you know when they will be back?


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