Saturday we headed out to go "punkin' patching," as Aiden says. We returned to the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in Celina, TX this year, inviting Aunt Cathy and Uncle Wayne to join us. It was a great time. The kids delighted in feeding the goats and other livestock (although Aubrey kept trying to eat the goat food) and Aiden thought it was great fun to pet the animals. After some petting zoo fun, we hopped aboard the barrel train. Although it is meant for kids, I wanted Aubrey to ride, so I jumped in behind Aiden (a tight squeeze, let me tell you) and went along for the ride. By the end of the 5 minute ride, my butt was sore from bouncing along the hard, narrow wooden 1x6 board that they called a seat over rough terrain, and my ribs were bruised from banging into the sides of the car as I tried to hold onto Aubrey, who threatened to bounce right out as we pitched over ruts and giant holes in the ground. Never again will my grown-up butt try to ride that train!
torture train ride, we attempted to get a few fall pics for the family album. Jeez, talk about a nightmare! Aubrey kept throwing tantrums, we'd finally get her to smile, then Aiden would make goofy faces and act like a clown. After about 80 attempts, we managed to get a great shot where we are all smiling and looking at the camera--but Aiden is flipping the camera the bird (no, not intentionally, he was just "shooting" at the camera with a pretend gun that happened to be his middle finger).
I finally gave up on my dream of having a family picture that didn't involve an obscenity or someone's tongue hanging out, and we headed over to the barn for a lunch of hot dogs, chips and root beer out of a bottle. Aiden loved this part--he kept making us clink bottles and yell "Cheers!!" And Aubrey was finally happy, since there was food involved (the kid isn't happy if she isn't eating, although you'd never guess it by looking at her). After lunch, Aiden hit the inflatable slide. At $1 per slide, this diversion didn't last long, and we were quickly steering him toward the pumpkin patch to choose one to take home. The deliberations lasted quite a while, and after a lengthy negotiation, we walked out with just 4 pumpkins in our basket--3 for us, one for Cathy and Wayne to take home.
By this point, Aubrey was heading for a meltdown, so we headed for the hay ride to finish out our day. We bounced along the road on hay-laden trailer, enjoying the silly tale of a lost farmer who we later found with his legs sticking right out of a bale of hay. We did our best to enjoy our taste of the country life, even taking a moment to literally taste country life, as we chewed on pieces of straw. Then we loaded up, shelled out way too much for our tiny pumpkins, and headed home.
What a beautiful day we enjoyed! Gorgeous weather, fun times with family, and the joy of sharing in an annual fall tradition.