This Artist Paints Amazing Pumpkins for Halloween, But what She Does With Them Next is Even More Beautiful...
Growing up, I loved the tradition of carving pumpkins. Nothing beats feeling that weird orange pumpkin goop slipping and sliding through your fingers as you dream of how much candy you would gather Trick or Treating on Halloween Night.
So when the church my children attend on Wednesday nights asked me if I wanted to paint their pumpkin for this year's Natchitoches Pumpkin Glow Celebration I was a excited, but a little nervous...I had never painted a pumpkin before.
I repainted that first pumpkin they gave me at least three times, before I went to the store and picked out another pumpkin to replace it with. Somehow, this turned into me painting 8 pumpkins total this year!
The Great Pumpkins
In 2015 my son Elijah passed away. He was only 3 months old. I call him my "little Linus," because he would suck his thumb and pull his blanket close to him. The Peanuts characters are very precious to our family. In fact, all my children have a Peanut "counterpart." My oldest son Alex is Charlie Brown, and my middle two boys are Snoopy and Woodstock!
I chose to do a pumpkin with Linus on it for Elijah. My son Gabriel saw another big pumpkin that I had painted white and said, "Mom! That pumpkin should be Snoopy!" I think he made a great decision.
The Little Things in Life
For these next two pumpkins I decided to do something that reflected my family's daily life. We live in an old yellow school bus, and I thought it would be really cute to make a pumpkin into a school bus to show my kids that it is okay to be proud of their tiny school bus home.
Recently a kid told my son Julien that he felt sorry for us because we live in a bus. I was so pleased to hear Julien say, "I told him it's not bad mom." My family has been through homelessness and hotel hopping. We are 100% thrilled to have a roof over our head and to be together in a safe and loving environment. It's not bad at all.
The gum-ball machine is to represent the daily acts of kindness we do in memory of Elijah. One of my favorite acts of kindness is leaving a quarter in a gum-ball machine for someone else to find. It is my hope to remind people how joy can really come from the little things in life.
Two Cool Cats
Two of my favorite cats! Pusheen and Pete the Cat. What is your favorite cartoon Feline? There are so many...
What is Halloween without some spooky fun? I decided to give these bold classics a twist by adding funky patterns. This is a fun and easy idea for any pumpkin painter!
Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice
After displaying all my pumpkins at the Natchitoches Pumpkin Glow event, my son Alex and I spent the next afternoon handing out each of these painted pumpkins as acts of kindness in memory of Elijah!
We left four pumpkins on random doorsteps. Pete the Cat was given to the children's department at the library. The tiny bus pumpkin was given to a school bus driver and his family. Then for our last pumpkin "give away," we decided to make it even sweeter by surprising the local fire station with some cupcakes and our favorite Little Linus pumpkin. I thought this would be a nice way to thank them for all they do for our community.
Each Holiday we spend without Elijah is hard, but by spreading his love through kindness and joy, I feel like we are still including him and he is very much with us on these special days.
Wishing you and your family a safe and Happy Halloween!
Go change the world. Do it for Elijah!
Watch this video to see me and Alex hand out pumpkins in memory of Elijah!
We love and miss you Elijah! Always.