Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Fun!

It took almost all of October, but we finally got in some fall fun this weekend!  We are almost ready for Halloween (a.k.a., the day I will completely humiliate myself in the midst of my co-workers) and I feel like we did our duty.

Near the end of the week, Craig had to go to a work-related function up in Canada so I had the kids.  On the way out of the school parking lot, the sun shone perfectly above a huge line of clouds and it highlighted the trees so perfectly...
Looks like a painting, doesn't it?
Feeling fall-ish, and having Jacob complaining in the back seat that things are boring when Daddy isn't around, we played outside with the last few minutes of daylight.  Carter still wants to play with his lawnmower every chance he gets, and Jacob wanted to play a little hockey.  Jacob had had fun playing in the leaves at school, so I suggested we go in the back, try to rake up a respectable pile, and play for a bit.  Given the fact that we had so many leaves at our old house that we couldn't even rake them all before the snow came, it is such a weird change of pace to have almost no leaves at this house, even though our entire neighborhood is full of trees.  We have some trees in the back, but they just don't seem to fall in the yard.  Our neighbors' yards are full, though, and since no one's next door we could go over there...but we managed one decent pile and the boys had their three minutes of fun with it:
Throwing leaves at each other!
Saturday I was hoping the weather cooperated so we could go to the pumpkin patch.  When we woke up the forecast had improved and it looked like we'd be good until mid-afternoon.  Woohoo!  Originally I was planning on trying a new place that got good reviews on Facebook, but the more I thought about it, the more a new plan came into view.  I had been wanting to make another trip to one of our favorite spots for gluten-free food, the Livingston County Pizza Co., where they have a full, delicious gluten-free menu plus a full gluten-free bakery.  The big issue is that it's about a half hour away and not particularly convenient.  But our favorite pumpkin patch was in that general direction, and when I mapped it out, the pizza place was only 10 minutes beyond the pumpkin patch!  Sweet!  Still, we'd only have a couple hours to play at the pumpkin patch before we'd all be getting hungry.  Not that Carter would last much beyond that anyway, but keep in mind that we can't just grab a couple donuts like most people, so we have to plan a little differently.  Unfortunately, Carter was awake earlier than usual and ended up being a bit challenging for most of the trip, but we did it.

One of the first stops upon arrival was the alpacas.  They're so cute with their funny fur and long necks.  And when this one laid down and practically smiled for the photo, I couldn't resist...

It was a lovely day, cool but not cold, with plentiful sun.  The place was busy but not crazy, and we had plenty to check out...
Carter & Daddy
The next stop was this giant slide.  Jacob was such a big boy going up all by himself!

In the meantime, Carter climbed the hay bales, and I couldn't resist this picture of Jacob when he came back over, because I took one of him when he was three with the same backdrop.  My, how things have changed!

Next up was the giant jumping pillow.  This is a new thing at this farm since our last trip, and Jacob had a blast...

Next up was the animal section.  We took a ride on one of those barrel trains (though we rode in the caboose), and checked out some baby chickens.  We headed over to see goats, pigs, cows, rabbits, and a couple other interesting ones...
So, this is a yak.  I found it hilarious because just the night before, Carter and I were reading an alphabet book and the "Y" included a yak.  At the time I silently bemoaned the yak because, well, how often do you see a yak in your daily life?  I feel like so many things used yaks when I was learning to read, and how many had I ever seen?  Well, now it's at least one.

Say hi to a very intense emu.  They are really interesting animals up close...cool feathers, dinosaur feet, a twisty neck, and crazy eyes.
Next we walked across a bridge into an area better suited for the littler kids, full of tricycles, gravel pits, and duck races.  Carter pretty much just wanted to hang out in this car.

Craig tried yet again to teach Jacob how to pedal (seriously, he just can't make his body do it...it is the weirdest thing), and then they headed over to one of the gravel pits where Jacob got to use one of the diggers...

Carter didn't want to sit on the giant tractor even though tractor is one of his favorite words, and the only other thing he liked was pushing around trucks in the gravel.

Knowing we were short on kid patience, we headed back out to head toward the hayride, which goes toward some other activities.  Such a classic view, no?

One of my favorite family pictures ever was taken on one of these hayrides (also when Jacob was three), but I couldn't get all smiles (or a willing picture taker), so this will have to do...

On the other side there was a tire crawl, pedal cart races, a little volleyball area, and this sports challenge, which had basketball, football, and baseball sections.  Baseball was the easiest for Jacob and he could have done it for hours.

Carter and I wandered over to the remains of one of the pumpkin patches, where he was very purposefully pointing and talking to these pumpkins...

When Craig and I first came to this patch (I was newly pregnant but had no clue), we did pumpkin slingshotting.  Now they have high-powered apple cannons, too! 
Hard to see, but they're up on an army truck shooting apples at targets.  Man, those things flew!
Because we were short on time and the kids' patience was waning, we skipped the long line at the zip line (which is my favorite thing to do) and Jacob just did one quick slide on the tunnel slide through a hill, and we started heading back toward the front of the farm.  We made a pit stop at the spider web while we placed our lunch order...

...then took an unsuccessful trip to the corn box.  Jacob still enjoyed it but Carter wanted nothing to do with it.  Jacob really wanted to pick out pumpkins, so we did a quick scan of the small assortment that was left (well, small compared to what I'm pretty sure it once was).  Carter liked looking at them enough that the tantrums stopped for a bit...
 ...and Jacob found his choice...

Carter was trying to pick them up, which is exactly what Jacob wanted to do at this age...

...and he found one he could lift...

We paid for the pumpkins and snuck in a pack of donuts for me to hide in the kitchen.  Sorry, it was hard enough to avoid all the other tasty food there.  I really wanted donuts.  We said good-bye to this guy, and headed out to lunch.

Carter was asleep before we ever left the parking lot, and got a cat nap in while we drove to lunch.  We had our tasty lunch of gluten-free pizza and a cheeseburger panini, then picked out half a dozen cookies (two s'mores, two M&M, two chocolate crinkle) and a chocolate half moon cookie to go.  Carter fell asleep again on the way home and slept most of the rest of the afternoon.  I headed out to work on my Halloween costume.  Progress was made, though I am totally going to embarrass myself at work on Friday!  All in the name of fun, right?

We had a low-key rest of the weekend but it will be a busy week trying to get ready for Halloween.  I'm trying to decide if my costume needs more tweaks, and I need to decide what I'm going to use to give Carter a mouse face, because I no longer have the makeup I used for Jacob.  Jacob's costume is ready to go, but I need to make him a batch of pumpkin cutout cookies so he's got something to decorate at school on Friday with his classmates.  I also need to decide what I want to bring to work for the annual day of gluttony.  I frequently make my double-decker pull apart bread, but it's complicated in the morning when I already have multiple costumes to finagle.  We shall see. 

And nowlet's start praying that Halloween night is pleasant for trick-or-treating...

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