Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making a mess and picking pumpkins

Well, in the past I haven't let J1 play with Play Doh much because I hate the mess - funny coming from me because, as my step-mom pointed out this past weekend, I am a notorious slob! She was saying it about my room when I was in HS but it is so true. I think I mentioned before that my mom used to pay my sister to clean my room when we were kids and, well, let's face it, everyone who knows me before I got married knows it's a fact! I am *somewhat* better now since I have the mister and the kids but only somewhat. That all being said, I'm not too into kid crafty messes. It is better now that J1 is a bit older because his craft mess is somewhat contained. Anyway, he has been wanting to play with the Play Doh lately so as soon as J2 goes down for his nap we break it out. We drag this little table from the family room and get him all set up on it. We get a new can usually every time to replace the stuff that got thrown away the last time. He also mixes them all together which I don't care about - I know some people do! Here is him playing away and the mess on the floor afterward. The pieces are pretty small and they dry quickly so the clean up isn't bad - just sweep and done.

Here is his squirrel - doesn't the head look like ET? We made a great bird together the other day and I had a picture of it but it didn't download like I thought and I deleted it off my camera before I realized it! Darn it - but now I double check and at least it was *just* a picture of a Play Doh bird.
My MIL grew a few pumpkins in her garden this year - thank goodness since I blew it at our pumpkin patch visit. Here are some snaps I took while we harvested them the other day.

No smile from J1 but it is better than his fake smile!

J2 was barefoot because I forgot his shoes - better than ruining socks. It wasn't very cold!

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The pumpkin patch - not that you can tell that from the pictures!

So we picked a perfect day to go to the pumpkin patch - the weather was beautiful and we got out of the house early enough that it wasn't crazy with people yet. We go to this one near where we used to live in Orchards - it is quite the fun place. For $8 each (J2 is free currently) you get:
  • 1 pumpkin, any size
  • 2 pumpkins to launch in their big pumpkin slingshot thing
  • corn maze
  • hay maze (for the little ones)
  • animals to pet (goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, turkey, donkey - seems like there was more)
  • freshly squeezed apple cider
  • a hot cider or hot chocolate
  • hay ride to pumpkin patch
  • rubber duck races (driven by a water pump)
  • pumpkin washing stations
  • tractors to climb on
  • a hay tower to climb on with tunnels
  • a nice place to take a family photo

That might be all. Anyway, we got there about 1/2 hour after they opened on a Sunday and went to the pumpkin launch first because it gets pretty busy later. J1 and the mister launched all six of our pumpkins. They have some barrels in the field and if you make it in you get some sort of a prize - no idea what since we have never done it! Here are the boys attempting it though:

Then J1 tried out the rubber duck race (with daddy's help) - it was pretty cute.

Then the boys climbed on the hay tower and I took a bunch of pictures:

And then my camera batteries died. I had briefly thought about bring some with us but in all the craziness of getting out the door, I forgot. Oh well. I did get some pumpkin pictures later - thanks Gramma! Stay tuned for those.

So we finally got on the hay ride out to the patch and the mister and J1 picked out our pumpkins while I chased J2 around the patch. He was having a blast even though he kept tripping on all the vines. We got back to the tractor station to wait for our ride back and J1 ran into a friend from school. It is the friend he talks about the most so he was thrilled. They got to ride together on the hay ride back and had so much fun - it was very cute. We did let the kids wander through the hay bale maze, pet the animals and have some cider before heading out to get our pumpkins so once we were back we just headed to the truck.

Here is our pumpkin family this year. The little tiny one in the middle and the small one on the ground are from our second pumpkin adventure.

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Backyard fun - shhhh, don't tell daddy...

Well, you can mention the play structure but not the birdbath - they are not supposed to play in it. :)

So it was a pretty nice morning for early October and we went outside to play. J1 is still wearing his jammie bottoms so it was at least before noon! I don't remember why they were playing in the birdbath but I just let them because they were having fun and the pictures are great!

And both boys were playing on the play structure. They don't do that very often so I had to get some pictures. J2 was carrying around a tomato that he was sort of gnawing on. It was fairly orange so I can't imagine it tasted great but he held onto it practically the whole time they were on the play structure.

J2 is turning around to go down the slide responsibly - on his belly! And J1 is doing his "bat" imitation. His favorite thing to do since we saw them at the zoo.

J1 "cheesing" for the camera - ugh! I have had to stop telling him to smile and say "just be serious" or I get pictures with dumb looks! And there is J2 and his tomato! We were outside a few weeks back picking stuff so I had a colander out with us. J2 picked a bunch of tomatoes and put them in the colander. Then he carried that thing with the tomatoes the rest of the time we were in the yard. J1 and I were running races back and forth across the yard and J2 would sometimes join in, still carrying the veggies. He would trip, spill all of them, put them all back in and run again. Crazy boy!

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A dinner picnic and the Greek Fest

A couple of weeks ago J1 decided we needed to have a "dinner picnic" - basically eating outside on the deck. He loves a picnic and it makes for easier cleanup. Presumably the birds would eat the dinner debris and I wasn't forced to sweep yet again!

We also recently went to the Greek Festival in Portland. The mister and I have gone nearly every year since we met. We actually met at a Greek Restaurant (thanks Mo!) so it is sort of symbolic I guess. We really only go for the food though - so yummy! I think the servers are sort of disgusted with me, however, because I always order my gyro without tomatoes and onions - apparently some sort of affront to Greek cooking! I have been going to the Greek festival for many years, even before meeting the mister. My bff D took me with her family way back in the day.

Here we are just after eating. Trying to coerce J1 to look at the camera and not make a face - not an easy task!

Here is the church and the sign they have every year. I understand the intent - they have a beer garden as part of the festival and you aren't allowed to leave the premises, surely a condition of the alcohol license. But still, it is a funny sign!

You can't buy anything with actual cash, you have to buy "talents" and get your food that way. Maybe so it doesn't seem like you are spending a fortune for lunch? Not really sure. And of course, they always have kids dancing in their elaborate costumes. J1 enjoyed watching that a lot.

For some reason, we always end up parking near this playground so inevitably we have to hang there for a bit after we leave the festival. The boys had a blast though!

J2's first time on a merry-go-round - he liked it. Only fell off once!

And the slide - J2 was crazy about it. And all the pictures showed his reflection - way cooler than I knew when I was taking it!

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