Today we made our annual trek to Eckert’s pumpkin patch. The children had their best year to date, picking just over 60 pounds of pumpkins. Turkey won, with a 20 pound gourd, and Bunny wasn’t far behind with a 17.5 pound beast. Moose and Ladybug picked pumpkins that were pretty close in size to each other, as well…they were all very happy with what they found!
Chickadee wasn’t too sure what to make of the pumpkin experience. This was the first time she was able to get down with the pumpkins, and she wasn’t sure if they were drums, or chairs, or something else altogether. She did decide that whatever they were, they were fun!
Since Ryan wasn’t with us when we went apple picking, we also had to go back and visit the baby goats so that he could see them. They’ve gotten a lot bolder in the last two weeks, so the children got the chance to really pet them…it was adorable!
I was thinking to myself while we were riding out to the pumpkin patch, that I wonder how many more years we have of the children wanting to do this. They still love it, especially since they’ve turned it into a competition to see who can pick the biggest pumpkin. I know the year is coming, though, (and probably soon!), when they decide it’s just not cool to do this as a family, and that will be a sad day indeed. It was good to remember that I need to cherish every moment like this while they’re all still young and like being together!
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” Emily Bronte
I can tell that Fall has arrived based on our laundry. I realized today that I have to do twice as many loads of wash to get all of the long-sleeved shirts and pants that the children have started wearing again clean! One pair of jeans doesn’t take up that much extra room in the washer, but when it’s five pairs of jeans (and that doesn’t even count Ryan’s and my clothes), it suddenly seems like the washer is running non-stop! It’s a small price to pay for this beautiful weather, though…
To celebrate the First Day of Fall today, Ladybug made a four seasons craft that Turkey and Bunny made when they were in kindergarten. I changed it up a little bit this time…older and wiser and all that. Anyway, she had fun doing it, and I think my changes made it look even better than the originals!
We also read a few fall-inspired books. We started with Why Do Leaves Change Color?, which is perfect for this time of year. We also read another book in that series, From Seed to Pumpkin, which I’m sure we’ll read again before the end of the season. I’m thinking about getting a third book in this series, as well–How Do Apples Grow? I really like the way these books are written (we’ve read a few others on different topics, too), but I can’t decide if the pumpkin and apple books are too similar to use them both.
We recently read The Year at Maple Hill Farm and The Berenstain Bears’ Almanac (part of the Big Book of Science and Nature anthology), in school, so we got those out again and looked through them. The first day of any season is a good opportunity to talk not just about the new season, but the year as a whole, especially at the kindergarten level. It’s a great chance to look at how things change throughout the course of the year, how the same things happen every year, and the special days we mark as the year goes by!
We have some other fun crafts and activities (including some Autumn baking) to do in the coming weeks, and more books to read, and then our Fall adventures will culminate in Thanksgiving school in only two months!
On Saturday, we went to our church’s “Fall Fun Night.” This is one of my favorite social events of the year. There are always tons of fun games, (not always played by conventional rules)–bocce ball, volleyball, and ladderball to name a few. It’s so much fun to watch the children and adults playing these games together, and a great opportunity from the smallest children and the oldest adults, and everyone in between, to interact with each other.
Of course, the children always manage to make their own fun, too–running races, climbing trees, playing kickball, and inventing other games of their own design that I don’t understand.
After everyone had worn themselves out, it was just about time to eat. Hot dogs and brats for roasting over a campfire, plus chili and all the fixin’s, either to be eaten on its own, or in combination as a chili dog. And when everyone had their fill, there were still the ingredients to make s’mores!
Just as it started to get dark, it was time for the hayride. A true hayride, too–not just hard benches in a wagon like we’re used to at the apple orchard and pumpkin farm, but a wagon filled with, (imagine it), hay! The children loved it, especially tossing the hay at each other.
The last event of the night, (which we missed, thanks to my allergies–maybe I should have skipped the hayride!), was a sing-along around the campfire. I wish we could have stayed for that part, because it had become the perfect amount of chilly outside for sitting near the fire, and there was still plenty of hot chocolate to drink!