The Family that Reads Together…

My husband and I are big readers. Hopefully that will rub off on our children, too. ūüôā Many of our Christmas gifts are books. ¬†Here’s our haul this year:

My Books

stack of books

My stack of books generally isn’t very big because I do most of my reading on my Kindle. ¬†In addition to these books, I got a healthy amount of Amazon gift cards which I’ll use throughout the year (or as long as it lasts!) to work through my TBR list¬†(which is sitting at 257 books long at the time of this writing).

Here’s what was under my tree:

My husband also bought me  by  as a Kindle book.

With my Amazon gift cards, I’ve already purchased the following on my Kindle:

I’m planning to buy several Josh Lanyon books, probably starting with¬†¬†and¬†.

What will I read first? Not sure yet. First I have to finish  by  which I have on loan from the library.

Hubby’s Books

stack of books

My husband usually receives a huge stack of books for Christmas. This year’s stack is small compared to previous years. Here’s what he got:

Not pictured:

Son’s Books (3rd grade)


stack of books


My son isn’t as big of a reader as I’d like, so I was happy that he got some books, too (that he asked for!):

Not Pictured:

Daughter’s Books (2 years)


My daughter didn’t actually receive any books for Christmas, but she did get a book sling to hold all the books she already owns. ¬†(Hopefully they will all fit — we’re still gathering them together.) ¬†Organization for the win!


Did you get any books this holiday season? Which are you itching to read first? (or have already finished!)

Pumpkin Carving, Part 3: Twilight Patterns

Twilight Pumpkin

UPDATE September 19, 2015: Want to learn how to carve pumpkins like these? I’m creating a set of step-by-step video tutorials. Check out Carve Awesome Pumpkins for more info!


Twilight Pumpkin Carving Patterns

Welcome to week 3 of my Pumpkin Carving series.  First, I shared some tips for carving.  Last week, I shared links to young adult book cover carving patterns. I also announced a contest.

This week, I’m sharing the Twilight pumpkins I’ve carved as well as links to the carving patterns.

 Twilight Pumpkins I Have Carved

It started innocently enough in 2008. I carved the Twilight movie poster onto a pumpkin. Since then, my Twilight pumpkin collection has grown a little…

It looks like this will be the first year since then that I won’t be carving a Twilight pumpkin. But we’ll see.

Twilight Pumpkin Carving Patterns — Free

This article has links to several free Twilight pumpkin carving patterns, including the Edward & Bella  and the Alice Cullen pumpkins  shown above from Pumpkin Wizard.

I created the pattern for the Breaking Dawn Part 1 pumpkin shown above. ¬†I’m happy to share it freely, just remember that I’m a better carver than I am pattern maker. ūüėČ

Twilight Pumpkin Carving Patterns — To Purchase

Free patterns are great, but they aren’t always the best patterns for carving. ¬†There are some really nice patterns available for purchase, and the prices are reasonable.

Ultimate Pumpkin Stencils¬†has several Twilight patterns available in sets or individually. The Eclipse Movie Poster, Jasper, and Alice pumpkins above are from Ultimate Pumpkin Stencils. Their prices range from $2-$5 if you buy the patterns individually, but if you buy the package, the patterns are cheaper.¬†This year, they’ve added 4 patterns for Breaking Dawn, shown here:





Zombie Pumpkins has Edward and Bella pumpkins. Patterns are $1 each or cheaper, depending how many you purchase.




But my favorite, favorite, favorite source for patterns — Twilight and otherwise — is Stoneykins. ¬†Six of the pumpkins shown above are from Stoneykins, and he has a few more that I haven’t carved. Click on the picture to go Stoneykins’ website for purchase:

There’s hundreds of patterns¬†every year at Stoneykins. ¬†His prices are incredibly cheap: they are on a sliding scale based on how many patterns you purchase. ¬†Packages range from $3-$25 — and you’ll never pay more than $0.60 per pattern no matter what package you buy.¬†Here’s a coupon you can use at Stoneykins:

stoneykins coupon

Check Out This Carving Master!

Alex the Pumpkin Geek is a professional pumpkin carver. He does some really awesome work — both in the carving and in the creation of the patterns. ¬†If you’re interested in having Alex carve you a pumpkin, you can contact him through his website. Check out the Twilight pumpkins he’s carved:

Next Week?

Part 4 of my Pumpkin Carving series will feature Harry Potter pumpkins. Check back next Sunday!

There’s only one week left to enter my pumpkin contest.¬†Have you entered yet?


For the comments: Have you carved any Twilight pumpkins? Want to share pictures?