I bought a big, round and orange one (typical American pumpkin) for $24, a bargain compared to the $40 I had to pay three years ago. I got another more Russian-looking pumpkin for $4. Here is what our Russian character looked like:
And here is our American jack-o-lantern:
I had the large pumpkin all cleaned out and ready for a face before Russian friends of ours came over. We met them when we first moved here; the girls went to nusery school/pre-k together (the school where we got our kittens from this fall). Even though the girls only were together that first year, we get together with them regularly and we really enjoy their company. It's convenient that they live right around the corner from us. Here's a picture of the girls in December of 2004 during the holiday play. Masha is wearing the white dress and blue headband and is standing in front of Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter. Katya is the third from the right, dressed in a bunny costume.
Masha is one year older than Katya (almost 8) and she had never seen a jack-o-lantern before! I'm sure it's only one more time added to a long list of odd impressions she has of us, her quirky American neighbors...! (She had never seen dress-up clothing before she met Katya; THAT was quite a revelation and she quickly became a devotee...) Masha and Katya came up with the drawing for the pumpkin's face and then I carved it as Masha (and her parents) watched on in awe.
The girls have grown so much... Compare what they looked like tonight with how they were in May of 2005! (This picture was taken at Archangelskoe, a former prince's estate that is now open to the public. It's so pretty there!) Kostya and Karina, Masha's mom and dad, declared over dessert that Katya now speaks better Russian than we do. Our knowledge of grammar is much stronger than hers, but she sounds like a native-speaker. Gosh, to think back to that first day of nusery school when she could barely say a word...