October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Patching It!

Friday we took some time off to make a day of heading out to a local pumpkin patch, Gallmeyer Farms, to spend time with my sister, all 3 of her children, my mom and aunt. It was a big crowd, and with so many of us "big kids" on hand, there was plenty of attention to go around.

Outside of the pumpkin patch itself, Gallmeyer Farms has lots of other fun fall (and free) activities like a giant hay maze, hay pyramid, hay rides, spooky house and a big playground for kids to enjoy.

Can you spot Tim in the hay maze?

This was one of the big hits of the day — it was one of those mazes so tall that all the little kids really had to work to get around in there. Tim may or may not have ran ahead and hidden in one of the corners to "surprise" the kids as they trampled on by:

There were also lots of good times to be had climbing up the big hay mountain and jumping down:

These were the best shots we got of the kids with Mom and Aunt Vera:

It's always hard to get a shot where all 3 of the kids are even looking at the camera, but hey, it's a slice of real life, right?

My sister decked both girls out in some seasonal hairbows she'd made:

We did have some success with the Gallmeyer Farms sign:

Benjamin's nickname is "Buckaroo" and more recently he's been requesting all of us to refer to him as "Farmer Buckaroo," so this scene above seemed more than fitting.

Next up, it was time for the hayride, which we got all to ourselves with the kids. We even went through a "spooky house" on the hayride where it was hilarious to see each of the kids with big wide eyes. We kept tying to lighten it up by asking what different things and colors they saw and surprisingly there were no tears and a few smiles!

After the hay ride, it was time to go pick out the pumpkins! All of the kids wanted wheelbarrow rides, so after we grabbed a shot of the lot of them stacked into one, we separated them into 3 separate wheelbarrows to wheel over to the pumpkin patch.

They had a lot of fun running all over the place in search of their very own pumpkin:

...and learning about what the inside of a pumpkin looks like:

Benjamin has a particular affinity for bugs, so Tim pretty much made his day when he brought over a grasshopper for him to look at:

Benjamin also learned how to properly pick up and carry a pumpkin this year. He kept trying to pick it up, unsuccessfully, by the stem. We showed him how to open up his arms and hold it from the bottom — can you see the sense of accomplishment through that big stem on his face?

Benjamin has an eye after my own heart. He kept talking about how he really wanted either a very bumpy, white or green pumpkin — not the typical orange kind. He was so intent on it, that we went back to the farm stand where he could pick from the more unique varieties instead of bringing an orange one back from the field. When he spotted this bumpy green pumpkin, we were all golden:

The farm stand was filled with smaller varieties of winter squash, pumpkins, mums and seasonal produce for sale — we had fun looking at all of it:

Tim picked out a handful of fresh green tomatoes to make a late batch of fried green tomatoes:

There were even farm dogs there lounging in the sun to keep us company:

As you can probably gather, we had a blast at the pumpkin patch this year — it's an activity I look forward to each October. It was that much more special that Tim was able to make the time to join in this year since his schedule now allows for more flexibility.

Yesterday afternoon, my sister texted me the following pics of all the kids' final creations:

I love each of them. She helped the younger two push Mr. Potato Head pieces of their choosing into their respective pumpkins and pulled out the paint for Virginia. I'm especially digging Virginia's liberal use of the Googly eyes.

Have you been to the pumpkin patch yet this season? Tim and I are so behind on carving our own pumpkin this year — we'll be lucky if we get it done in time for Thursday, but are crossing our fingers for some last-minute energy to get 'er done!

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