Happy Beggars Night! This holiday (the night before Halloween) always brings back fond memories of our Iowa days. We loved the 3 years we spent there, made some of our best friends and Mr. Noah (who has a birthday this week!) was born there!
Basically Beggars Night it is Halloween one day early, but it is a fun tradition to keep. A few years ago I started fixing Dinner in a Pumpkin to mark this holiday. One of my sisters called today to get my recipe again, so I decided to post it again this year.
Dinner in a Pumpkin
Clean out one medium to large pumpkin. Cut open the top and clean out.
Or make a good deal with the husband...change a diaper in exchange for a clean hollow pumpkin.
This is a good time to save some seeds for roasting too.
Brown one pound hamburger and one medium onion chopped. You could have the husband do the onion chopping, since he already has the knife in his hand from the pumpkin. (I am just facing the facts: he is a surgeon and better with a knife than me, and I am much a faster of a diaper changer than him)
Add one cup chopped water chestnuts, and one cup fresh chopped mushrooms. Add 4 tablespoons brown sugar and 4 tablespoons soy sauce. Mix and brown on stove top for about five minutes.
While you are cooking the hamburger cook 1 1/2 cups rice. When hamburger mixture and rice is done, combine in large bowl and mix.
Add one can cream of mushroom soup. Stir
Spoon hamburger & rice dinner into pumpkin. Put the lid back on the pumpkin and place it on a cookie sheet. Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until the "meat" of the pumpkin is soft and tender.
While the pumpkin is cooking don't take off the lid. You can check the tenderness of the pumpkin by a fork on the side.
You have an hour, so this is a good time to sneak a peak at the kids candy stash and steal borrow a piece. Make sure it's a good one.
After the pumpkin has cooked and the meat is tender take off the top and serve! Make sure you scoop out a bit of the pumpkin for everyone. I just tell everyone it's like squash and they can have more brown sugar to put on top.
I like to serve our Dinner in a Pumpkin with homemade bread & some fruit.
I know it's not my kids "favorite all time meal" but, hey, a family cannot live off pizza and hot dogs alone.
So it's totally worth the once a year Beggars Night Tradition.
In hopes that this would motivate us to exercise more, Wade came up with this great idea....run the Gladiator Race. (click on link for a map of the course we ran) Well,I really was okay with NOT doing this, but after some debate I finally decided that if I can have four kids, then I can run this race. So we signed up. When we planned our team name Wade thought our name would work well,
The Fast, the Slow & the Pretty.
Doug could be: the fast,
Wade could be the slow,
and Courtney and and I could be: the pretty.
Then I got in charge of the team shirts. Can you guess what happened next?
Courtney was fast, I was slow and...
our husbands are the best guys in the world for wearing pink shirts with flowers.
I know Wade really must love me because he wore this shirt. Tons of people wore costumes, we saw one guy in just a pair of undies! When Wade got out of the car the first comment he heard was someone pointing to him saying, "at least I didn't have to wear that!"
Needless to say, the first mud obstacle, he rolled over a few times.
Our wave started at 9 and I woke up getting a little worried! It rained all day yesterday and I was really worried about being so cold. Plus I've been feeling like I've been getting a cold all week.
I was really getting a little worried when I saw some of the last few obstacles when we got there, but 9 o'clock came, we started and there was no turning back.
We'll have to see if we like any the pictures when they come out on the site from the actual race.
Some of the favorite and not favorite obstacle:
Wade's least favorite: bleachers
Wade's favorite: mud slide
My least favorite: cargo net climb (Up about 25 feet (we are guessing) and then down the other side...seriously, it was so tall, & I could see the finish line, but I almost didn't do it. I got 3 steps up and freaked out a little)
My favorite: mud slide. I don't know why I went so much faster than Wade, Doug and Courtney but I shot down that hill, I had to yell at them to get out of my way! I want to do it again!
About an hour, a bunch of mud, climbing and running (and walking for me) and we all finished!
My goals for the day were:
finish the race,
do all the obstacles
not get hurt.
Besides a scratched up palm from crawling through the rocky mud, I did it!
Doug and Courtney doing their Gladiator pose.
At the finish line!
There were two other couples that ran the race with us, but weren't on our team.
Here we all are, muddy, freezing, but GLADIATORS!
It was a fun morning, and not half as bad as I thought it would be.
We are actually looking forward to doing it again next year!
Yesterday for family night we carved our pumpkins. Honestly, I am not sure why we ever carve pumpkins, it always ends up bad, people crying, people sad, grumpy parents, but we do it every year anyway. In fact, while Wade and I were talking about this last night we decided that the only two times we can remember enjoying carving pumpkins as a family were 1. When Gage was a baby, he laughed the whole time at the pumpkin guts (Gage was such an unhappy baby, anything that made him laugh, we loved. and 2. A few years ago we painted pumpkins instead of carving. I think we will have to revert back to painting.
On to our pumpkins this year.
Part of the problem is that we do it for family night - NIGHT being the key word. Anything after 6pm for our little troopers is asking for disaster.
Each kid (of course) picked out some ridiculously intricate design that we could never get to look good. We should NEVER show them pumpkin carving websites, or even discuss anything besides basic faces. But we get excited about it and open that can of worms up. Gage wanted Star Wars. After much discussion we did finally settle on the design of just the words Star Wars. I think his turned out pretty good.
Eli looked pretty cute playing in the curtains. He enjoyed dancing on top of the table while playing in pumpkin seeds. He was tired and ready to bed most of the time.
Avery wanted Star Wars until we told her she could have a kitty. Then she wanted a Star Wars kitty. Wade made her a kitty face and it turned out pretty darn cute.
Noah picked out the smallest pumpkin out of the 6. Then he told us he wanted Yoda, or a spider. We used the printer to shrink a spider that would fit on his miniature pumpkin, but then he got really mad when one of the legs broke on his spider. I attempted to make it into an alien or sorts, but he sulked the rest of the night. He spent a lot of time on the couch reading his Lego Star Wars video game book.
Then we moved on to the lighting. Did I mention that I forgot to buy the candles? I though we had some, so after searching the house top to bottom we got a few that worked.
And for the pumpkins that didn't have candles? Wade improvised and got out the smoke bombs.
Talk about saving the day.
Everyone was grumpy and tired, but fireworks seemed to cheer everyone right up.
Hopefully next year we will remember to paint.
Or just skip the whole design part, carve a hole and throw in some fireworks.
Since some of my friends have asked me
what we did for Super Saturday this year, and some of my friends don't even
know what Super Saturday is, I thought I would post about our event.
Super Saturday is a huge event at our
church. Basically, it is a Saturday held once a year (usually right
before the holidays) and it's full of crafts, classes, food, fun and more
crafts! My calling (or job) at church is to head up all the activities
that the Relief Society (or women's organization) has. We have small classes
and activities each month, but this one is the BIG one! I had such a good
time working with all the ladies putting it all together!
Our theme this year was CREATE! I
based it offthis talkand this video. I seriously LOVE
We had brochures Sisters could take home
(with pictures) and sign ups on tables in the hallway displaying all the
classes every Sunday for the past month. It was so exciting to see it all
come together this week.
The day ran from 9 to 1 and was one full
morning. I actually remembered to bring my camera this year and I got a
few pictures. (Although I should have had the girl who taught the photography
class take them;)
My friend made these awesome
pom pom balls for the entry way. They were so fun!
We had snacks bags and water bottles for all the sisters to take with them throughout the morning.
This was a fun magnet everyone could take home reminding them how we ALL can create!
I was so happy with the turn out! We had 40 sisters in attendance and that is a GREAT turnout for our ward!
A sister in our ward made us the most delicious lunch.
Chicken salad croissant sandwiches, a totally tasty broccoli
salad, grapes and then pumpkin spice bread for dessert. We had cute fall
centerpieces with leaves and candles in a glass votive and a burlap bow.
Then there was a game - on the bottom of one chair at each table was a
little paper that said, "You are a winner!" Each winner got to
take home their table centerpiece!
On to the classes - because that is what
people really want to know, right? Each class was 30 minutes and offered
twice during the morning. There were schedules on the table when sisters
got there in the morning so they could plan their day.
Going with the theme that everyone can create, I really wanted all our crafts to be totally affordable too. So we offered 10 classes - 5 free and 5 that cost, all of which were under $10!
Thanks to Pinterest I think we came up
with some really cute ideas.
A Bubble Gum Machine, made from a
terracotta pot and base! It cost only cost $5.
A dry erase I love you because
frame. This was such an easy craft, put your vinyl on the glass, add some
scrapbook paper and then take it home. Then all you need is a dry erase
marker to write cute notes to your loved ones, over and over! It cost $7
This one was a big hit...conversation cards. This cute book
had a set of 46 4x6 cards that all had different questions to talk about, or
make "conversation" Things like, "What is your favorite
color?" or "What would you buy with a million dollars?" or
"What do you want for Christmas?" They were all digital
scrapbooked (I found onthis
siteand have been waiting
for just the right time to make). I seriously can't wait to
pull mine out on our next date! I think they would be fun for
any occasion! It cost $8
Next up, we had this "Stories in
hand" binder. It is a small half size binder with a scrapbooked
cover and then inside is all journaling pages that you just fill out to tell
your personal history. (Found the idea onBecky
Higgins siteand like the
cards, I've just been waiting for the perfect occasion) I thought this
would be a fun idea, but I had no idea how popular this would be! I think
it was our most popular class! This baby cost $10
And of course, we had to have some cute Christmas blocks! I
love the girl who does vinyl in our ward. She has the cutest ideas and is
always so great to teach a couple classes. These blocks were pretty
popular too! The set only cost $8!
But that is not all! We had 5 free
Two of the free classes were crafts. (The
supplies for these crafts came out of our budget since they
were relatively pretty cheap to make! These crafts also not offered
as a "class" but out on tables all morning with instructions so
everyone could make them when they had time)
These stuffed pumpkins and/or apples were
a hit. And they are totally so easy. All you need is a fat quarter
of fabric, a roll or toilet paper (YES, toilet paper!) a cinnamon
stick, a little bit of green for the leaves and some twine! And in case of an
And the popular button cover earrings. I tried them out a
few months ago while I was getting all the classes lined up and they are SO
addictive! And you can't beat the cost...scraps of fabric (free if you
have it), a button cover kit (around $3 for 3 pairs) and then some earring back
and studs (around $3 for 60 pairs!) Then cut, push, glue and you are done!
We also had 3 fantastic classes taught by some VERY
talented ladies in our congregation. I can't say it enough, these ladies
are ubber-talented and everyone that attended came out of the classes so
We had a photography class, I seriously, want her to take our
pictures, her site ishere. I can't get over how
talented this girl is. She also works with Wade and has the cutest little
boy that Avery loves.
A home decorating class, I have always loved her house. I
secretly wish she could just come over and re-do mine. She also totally
freaked me out - I went to church Friday to set stuff up, left around . Then I got there Saturday around and noticed that ALL the couches and nice
chairs from the foyers were gone! I couldn't believe it! Why would
someone steal all the furniture - and I had only left the building for around
12 hours! Then I opened the door to her classroom...and there is all was!
She had lamps, couches, chairs, pillows, blankets. It totally
looked just like a living room. So cute! (and I was SO relieved!)
And last, but not least a class on refurbishing/spray
painting furniture. Everyone needs to check outher blog,I wish I could have that red dresser!
She has such cute stuff, she is the one who inspired me and gave memy
I can't say it enough, the day was a huge success thanks to
everyone involved. I cannot take credit for half of this, I just happened to be the one in charge. There are so many talented, crafty, wonderful women in
our congregation and they all worked so hard to make this happen!
I came home so happy Saturday afternoon (and not just because it was
over). I was literally high from the wonderful feeling of love and sisterhood
I felt all morning.
My nephew Tyler came to visit Grandma and Grandpa this weekend. We haven't seen him in two years so Saturday after I got done with Super Saturday and Wade got done with a trip to work we headed down to see him.
It's always fun to see Tyler. And it makes me feel old to think I remember him as a tiny baby too!
Tyler loves airplanes and loves to fly. Right now he is in school to become a aircraft mechanic. He also has a private pilots license. He always fills us in on any flight information and anything to do with flying. He even let the kids try on some of his flight gear.
Everyone had to have a turn trying it on.
Hopefully it won't be another two years until we see him again, and maybe next time Tyler will have to take us flying.