Halloween at the Gourd Farm

This year, I wanted to do something different. It seems as though there are only two options in the Triangle - go to a pumpkin patch that has pumpkins only (NOTHING else) or go to a pumpkin patch that has MANY other things to do (but charges an arm and a leg).

If found a link to a gourd farm in Apex - the Green Level Gourd Farm. It sounded like a good alternative - small pumpkins and other low key, low cost activities. I have to say, this is the best pumpkin patch experience I've had in my LIFE.

It's a little hard to find, and it looks like you are pulling into someone's driveway. Which you are. But, they have lots of parking in a field behind the house.

The first thing that you encounter is a small corn maze. It is the perfect size for the kids to find their way, and easy for mom to see everyone at the same time.

The girls enjoyed that for just a few minutes before they were racing off to the next activity.

The girls took some time to look at the animals. Both Ginger and CoCo opted out of the donkey rides (which were only $2 a piece - not a bad price, if you ask me). They liked watching the pigs and goats and chickens. We even saw a bunny that was as big as CoCo!!! No kidding!! I couldn't get a picture because my camera focused on the cage (rather than the bunny).

Our next order of business was the Haunted Hay Ride. WOOOOOO!!!!!!! So much fun!! The hay was exactly like Ginger likes it - covered in plastic!! :) The ride was haunted just enough to be funny, but not enough to scare even the most easily spooked.

Ginger's favorite part was the ghoulish wedding (Ginger is ALL about weddings!!).

CoCo tried to look scared, but she was having too much fun.

After the hay ride, we played for a while in the large, farm-themed play area. There were so many fun things to do.

Maddie "roped a steer."

They all rode horses.

How does Ginger do that with her legs.

They crawled in and out of spiders and black cats.

Finally, it was time to choose our pumpkins. They were small pumpkins. Gourds, I guess. But, they only cost a few dollars AND you could decorate them right there. That was one of the best parts!!! No messy carving! Nothing for mom to clean up!!! Loved it!!

Happy Fall!!!!

Fall Fun

4 whole days without the boys!!! I needed to make this weekend fun, or else the girls would have missed their brother too much (and been a little sad that they were stuck in boring old NC).

We had a BEAUTIFUL weekend - sunny with a cool breeze, never more than 80 degrees. One of the most perfect North Carolina fall days, ever.

We spent a lot of time playing outside. The girls especially loved swinging without having to fight with their brother over who has had more time on the swing!

CoCo loves this swing the best. It is situated on the hill so that it feels like you are swinging right off the edge of a cliff. She is a girl who lives for excitement.

Ginger was very mad at me for some reason - which explains the lack of her signature smile. She's not much of a risk taker (unless it comes to fashion!!!), so she rarely gets on the swings.

And my beautiful Maddie. Practicing to be a model or something.

We are so lucky to have such a great yard and live in such a beautiful part of the world.

More face painting

This year, it was just us girls on the Durant Road Halloween trail. We look forward to this all year. The girls wanted to wear their costumes, but they weren't finished yet (ugh!). Anyway, I agreed to face paint.

My results weren't so good this time. Ginger flat out refused. CoCo wouldn't sit still, so she ended up a blurry mess.

And Maddie wanted to be a "white cat." I told her that it would work better if she was a grey or orange cat. Even a pink cat. But, I was worried that the white would look like a ghost cat or a cat zombie.

I was right.

Oh well, Maddie was very happy and that's all that really matters.

Anyway, the Durant trail didn't disappoint. We made crafts, got to pet snakes, went on a hay ride (Ginger doesn't like hay - no surprise - so she had to sit in my lap), and saw 5 nature oriented skits. The teenagers that put the skits on were as cute as ever. The girls loved walking thru the woods with their flashlights. Ginger's favorite part was the magic show at the end. It was cheesy, but she truly believed that the magician was going to cut the little boy in half. She was totally tickled that the magician somehow ended up with the boy's underwear on the end of his 'knife' rather than cutting the little boy in half.

Owen's Boys Trip To D.C.

Owen and his dad took their 2nd annual "boys only" trip to Washington D.C. last weekend. Last year, Owen was excited to go but didn't really know what to expect. This year, Owen knew EXACTLY what to expect -- and, he could barely contain his excitement!!! These pictures were taken at 5:30am the morning of the trip. We were on our way to drop the boys at the train station.

Somehow, I can't figure out how to work my camera at 5:30 in the morning, so these pictures aren't so good. But, I couldn't believe how grown up my guy looked, and I had to get some shots.

They were gone from Friday morning to Monday night. They stayed at our good friend Ingrid's house. Owen had many stories to tell when he got back, but once again it seems like the highlight of his trip was the TRANSPORTATION! He loved riding the train there, loved taking the metro around, and loved riding in Mrs. Ingrid's car (even if she did, apparently, run a red light!! :)

Owen is already looking forward to next year.

Happy Birthday Owen!!!

Owen always seems to be moving at the speed of light. I cannot believe that he is already 7!

We celebrated his birthday in the usual style - just a small gathering with Pap, Nana and Mrs. Amanda. With these wild children of mine, less is ALWAYS better.

Owen picked out his cake this year. I think his opinion was swayed by the large amount of candy involved.

The cake, by the way, looked much better than it tasted. There was not a single person who ate their entire piece - especially unusual for a 'junk food free' family like mine, where the kids devour any sweets that come into the house for fear that they may never see any more ever again.

It was a fun day. Owen especially enjoyed going to the Lego store with his gift card.

And, what birthday could be complete without a visit from Smokey, the wonder dog.

Happy Birthday, little man!

Mom's new hobby

It's not as if I don't have enough to do. Really. There is always something that needs to be fixed or cleaned, or someone who needs to be fed (or cleaned)! I have no time for hobbies. None.

And yet, I keep discovering things that suck up my time.

Oh well. At least I got some good pictures!