Since then, we've been stirring up a lot of chili, apple cider, and baking a whole lot of treats with hopeful expectations that folks would show up each year.
Every year we've tried to figure out a way to incorporate caramel apples - but between the browning of the sliced apples, or Pinterest "fails" (like the caramel not sticking to the scooped out apples) - we haven't come up with a good plan. Finally, we "scored" - cutting up the apples into easy slices, letting the "marinate" in a lemon-lime soda (to prevent browning), putting them on skewer sticks, and creating an "Apple Dip" bar.... MAJOR SUCCESS!
Hot fudge, salted caramel, and white chocolate all in mini crockpots (thank you Shopko for having this mini appliance on sale for only $30!)
For the "Toppings" - Graham cracker crumbs, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, coconut, Candy Corn crumbles, mini marshmallows, and Heath bites.
6x the recipe of chili....
Carmel and Kettle Corn, Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes, Monster Cookies (naturally gluten free), and Chocolate Chip cookies with Pumpkin Spice chips mixed in.
Saltine Toffee and "Graveyard Buddies" - (chocolate covered gummy bears).
Right at 7pm, folks started pouring in (usually they aren't so prompt - we were thankful for Cully and Alexis' early arrival to help get the final details in order).
Sam and J.J. (love this cute couple!)
Two of our extended family members - Michael and Cully...
Allie and Alysha
Lindsey and Michaela - Lindsey is all done with her Lymphoma treatments and finds out on her birthday - November 21st, if her body is fully well. We are all very optimistic and praising God for how far she's come and what a light she is to all around her!
No, these two are not in a relationship. In fact, they are each in a relationship with two girls I adore...just being silly....
This guy, Martin - it was his first time attending one of our parties - and it was his FIRST time ever carving a pumpkin! How cool is that?!
This crew - you'll see several more pics later of them - William, Jenny, Megan, Alia, Madeline, and Victoria - they had way too much fun.... =)
We finally got to meet Alysha's boyfriend - they've been dating for nearly a year and he is a an awesome guy. So happy for them!
Emma, Jason, Alesha, and Jaylee....
The spaces started filling in. Because we picked a Monday night (we ran out of options) those folks that lived in either the Trinity House or AO House had to leave by 9pm for their house meetings. So, many of them opted to just hang out and not carve.
Tess, Micaela, and Rachel - I ended up carving next to them. =)
See - more fun with this crew - and Cully got into the mix!
This is Alexis - who came early and was very helpful.
We missed Elaina who has been Mikayla's carving buddy in the past.... =(
These guys are all faves of Brayden's from Camp Harlow...
Kevin, Ryan, and Zach are in front. Then, in the back - J.J., Sam, Carter, and Brian.
Natalie and Kimmie joined in the carving fun...
The newly married Phillip and Taylor Serino are (barely pictured) on the couch.
Andrew joined Brayden and his buddies too (there were about four of them that came that were still high schoolers - we are working on getting them all combined in to a Bible Study...it would be so great for all of them).
It glows pretty nicely. =)
Michael and John =)
Brayden, Brian, Carter (who would be one of the Bible Study leaders along with Sam), Ryan, and Joseph.
Dave turned FIFTY on the day we had our carving party - and how blessed we were to have him swing by towards the tail end of the festivities to hang with us. =)
Leah, Danielle, and Tiffany were also late arrivals.
Beautiful carving by Danielle.
The two Instagram Pics I loaded up...
As I put all the pics up on Facebook and went to tagging everyone, I counted over 50 people that came through our doors on this night. AWESOME! Glad to see that this annual party is still going strong and well received by our younger friends! =)