Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Pumpkin Picking

Over the years, pumpkin picking has changed for us.  When we just had Aaron, we went to a large farm about an hour away and had our pumpkin patch experience there.  When Emma came around, we found a smaller and closer farm and enjoyed many years there until they unexpectedly closed.  We found many small transplant farms on-line (pre-picked pumpkins in a line), then last year, we found an actual patch that we got to have a great experience at.

This year, very last minute, we realized if we didn't push some things around, pumpkin patch time wasn't going to happen.  Emma's school had gone on their field trip a few weeks ago and the weather was terrible.  I felt like she got cheated, and with so little time to make a decision and get there before sunset, we headed back.  Before we even pulled in, I could tell we were going to have such a better experience.

My girl and her doll are a pretty typical duo.  This was her first doll from many year ago and the carrier is actually mine from when I was a kid.  Sometimes I am frustrated that my girl seems to need to always have something with her, but this day, I am thankful for the constant doll that came along for the ride.

Pumpkin picking is so personal.  While we all began to wonder, none of us were looking for the same type of pumpkin.  My husband's top priority is a strong stem, while my care is for the general roundness and smoothness of the pumpkin.  And of course, my kids fall somewhere in between.

 After spending some time searching, and searching some more, we hauled in our loot and weighed our finds.  There was so much more to do and no time to waste!

How a pool of corn can entertain kids so easily (and adults?) is beyond me, but it sure does.  I liken it to how kids can be more happy with the big empty box than the actual toy.

There was pumpkin shooting for the big kid - because who doesn't love that - and funnel cake for the bellies.  Yum.

We polished off our afternoon with some goat feeding, face painting, a photo opp, and one last swing.

At the end, I leaned my head on my husband's shoulder and we were both so thankful we said yes to this one.  Amidst the busy, an afternoon on the farm was such a sweet retreat for us.  Maybe next year, I'll remember to block out the weekend at least a month out.  But probably not.

Until next time,

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Growing Sunflowers

Sometimes, a story takes some time to grow and develop.  Last summer, we took our daughter to a field of sunflowers to explore them in real life.  When spring arrived this year, my daughter was excited to see sunflower seeds to plant, and my husband, never one to back away from trying something new, decided to grab three bags of seeds and see what they could do.  I was so hesitant because I knew we were getting a late start, but with a bit of effort, my two got to work protecting those delicate seeds and checking on their progress.

Sunflower prime season (typically early July) came and we didn't have much to check out.  I called around our area to try and go exploring like last year only to find out that all the water and flooding in our area had washed out several fields.  So we just continued to check in on our little guys and by the end of August, we had blooms!

It was pretty neat to see my daughter get to check on them as often as she could.  It was obviously a very different experience than visiting a field a single time and exploring.  She could go first thing in the morning (in her pj's!) or late in the afternoon after school.

 We got to see flowers grow taller and blooms get bigger.

We got to watch leaves slowly grow stronger and see how bees and bugs were at most of the blooms.  We even got to share our excitement and flowers with Grandma, and this encouraged her to try at home as well.

Of course, at the end of the season, we got to see our flowers begin to wilt.  And that wasn't nearly as exciting.  It's often so bitter sweet, the end.  No matter how or when it comes.

We did some research into getting those seeds out, so hopefully that is successful (if you have tips, send them my way!).  Then my duo has already decided on an earlier start and a larger garden for next year - and I can't wait!

Until next time,