Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Farm

As many of you know, I have become a Home school Mama. It's been a bitter sweet road, to be sure. Thankfully, however, I have quite the support system of family members and other unsung angles who keep boosting my self confidence and reassuring me that it is possible for me to do this and maintain my sanity and the love of my children. Enough of that though. I could spend an entire post just gushing over the ups and downs of home school...but I won't. Instead, I'll tell you of the GENUIS idea my mother had to take the kids to an Apple Farm for a field trip. :)

We've actually been studying's been a very fun theme and a nice creative outlet for my sanity in this craze I call "home school". So going to an Apple Farm was PERFECT. We packed a picnic lunch, loaded the kids up and headed off to Cover's Apple Ranch.

Carter in front of a killer truck. Wouldn't look at me. (Surprise.)

Jemma and the ducks.

Gavin and the goats. He was totally amazed by these guys, but refused to get any closer to the fence.

The three chillin' on the haystacks.

Cool windmill...I think I want one in front of my house someday...reminds me of the Wizard of Oz.

Carter pushing Gavin in the swing. Carter was totally making Gavin know the kind that jiggles their whole belly? PRECIOUS!

I have high hopes that one day, these two will be inseparable.

Jemma in the funky, fun play structure...see her in the window?

The 4 of us with the apple. (Mom & I agreed that it needs a new paint job.) I LOVE Carter's face right here...but mostly because I know why he's smiling so big. He was refusing to be in the picture cuz all he wanted to do was ride the train, so we told him that if he smiled really big, then we'd go ride the train. Boy did he smile big. :)

And, there they are (Carter, now smileless and Gavin wolfing down the rest of his Oreo from lunch) on the train. This little train ride was ADORABLE! It took us around the property TWICE! We saw frogs in the pond, the apple orchards that are original from the 1800's and went through two AWESOME tunnels...don't know why I don't have a single picture from the ride...must have been enjoying it too much. :)

Gavin, snaggin' a pumpkin from the gift shop.

Here's what we came home with. A massive box of apples...cannot remember for the life of me the variety...but they are DELICIOUS. Mom & I have already made 9 batches of apple pie filling to store in our freezers. (I only have 3 batches left cuz we needed an apple turnover the other afternoon while we were sewing.;) Guess we better whip up a few more.)

And, I cannot say enough about that spiced apple cider and the taffy. SO GOOD!

Thanks Mom for taking us up there! Cover's Apple Ranch was FUN. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We went to a pumpkin farm with Brandon's family a couple weekends ago and had a BlAsT! We did everything under the sun while there (minus actually purchasing pumpkins...sorta got caught up in everything else and forgot about worries though, we went to another little pumpkin patch the following weekend and came home with 4, so we are NOT lacking in the pumpkin department. :)

Here's Gavin watching his brother and sister ride horses.
When we first arrived, Brandon's mom (Nina as the kids call her) asked the kids what they wanted to do first. Jemma promptly responded, "Ride The Horses!"
So, they did. :)

His face looks so chubby here! LOVE IT!

Next was the petting zoo. This is probably the best petting zoo I have ever been to. Tons of different kinds of animals - most of which had a baby with them (ADORABLE)...they even had an ostrich and a zebra! A little random for a farm style petting zoo, but cool none the less.

Jemma was pretty comfortable with the animals...that rabbit looks pretty uncomfortable. She asks regularly for a dog. Not happening.

There was a section inside where you could actually go in with the animals and Nina and Papa were brave enough to venture in with the grandkids.

Papa with Carter & (cousin) Trey...darn goat wouldn't get out of the way.

This is perhaps the first picture EVER taken of all 4 grandkids where NO ONE is Crying!!! Score.

Gavin kept calling the pumpkins "balls"...he was intrigued by them for sure.

All 4 AGAIN!

Playin' around.

The train.

Me & the boys...Jade, Jemma & Trey were a few seats back and we didn't get a pic of them. :(

This was possibly the highlight of the trip for the kids. If you paid a couple bucks, they could go out on these bouncy things (for lack of a better description/name) and jump their hearts out. They had a ball!

We had so much fun hangin' with the family! When and where is the next PaRtY!? :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Behind on Blogging...and a 60th Wedding Anniversary

I have been seriously neglecting the's partially subconscious...I've just been busy, but mostly, I've chosen to put it on the back's just been "one more thing" lately...I'm sure none of you can relate. ;)

However, because I keep this blog primarily for the purpose of documenting events important to our family, I better do some catching up here.

So, here goes:

Two weeks ago, Brandon and I had the opportunity to attend a 60th Wedding Anniversary party for his Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Ron. Brandon's mom and aunts worked tirelessly putting this together, and it was beautiful from start to finish.

I have a little disclaimer...I, of course, had my camera, but because the party was primarily when the sun was setting or already set (and I DO NOT like having my flash on auto), many of the pictures turned out blurry. Lame, so here are some of my favorites that actually turned out.

This is Brandon's grandparents outside the courthouse they were married in. She was SIXTEEN when they were married, and told a little white lie that she was already 18. Wish I could document their whole story on here, but it would be an outright novel. Suffice it to say, they were separated right after their marriage because he left to serve our country for approx. 2 years in Korea, they were incredibly poor with 4 small children and through diligent hard work, and a little faith I'm sure, they trecked across the United States to Cali to start afresh and make their own way...and guess what? They did!

Here's the dress Ruth wore when they were married. Isn't it adorable!

Brandon and his sweet sister, Jade.

Grandma Ruth...this is the only shot I got of her that (sorta) shows her face. Pathetic.

Jade and Grandpa Ron. He has had some real trials with his health lately, and that night he was not doing very well...especially with the COLD. (That lasted only a couple days...we're back up to 85+) They had him stretched out on a lawn chair and bundled to the hilt in blankets.

Here's his army jacket and her dress.

Jade slaved over the dessert for that evening, and can I just say, they were divine! Cream cheese filling with chocolate & strawberries on a flaky pastry. DeLiSh! She has culinary arts in her blood. :)

Are you salivating yet?

Brandon and Grandpa Ron at the end of the night...inside where it was MUCH warmer.

We felt so fortunate to be in the area so we could be a part of this event. 60 years, in today's society, is really a remarkable accomplishment. Congratulations again you two!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jemma lost a tooth!

Jemma lost her 1st tooth Tuesday night!

It had been wigglin' and wobblin' around in her mouth since before we left Oregon. I encouraged her to twist it and wiggle it all the time, but she mostly just thought it was cool that it was loose and generally left it alone.

Well, we ate this for dinner that night,
... and after just a couple of bites, that tooth was hangin' outta her mouth! (There was quite a bit of blood too...I kinda forgot how much it bleeds when you lose a tooth.) I ran to grab her a paper towel and by the time I got back, she had pulled it out. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with her bravery. Jem generally doesn't like blood, but she didn't freak out at all!

She is LoViN' her new smile. She shows everyone, everywhere we go. It is pretty cute, huh.

Big hole. :)

Right after dinner, I ran and snagged an envelope for her to put her tooth in for the Tooth Fairy...that thing is so little I was afraid it would get lost. :) We put it in and talked about putting it under her pillow so the Tooth Fairy could come and give her money in exchange for the tooth! (That was the BEST part of losing a tooth, right!?! My little sister, Jewels used to bang her teeth with her toothbrush cuz she wanted the cash so badly!!)

Anyway, Jemma was not real excited about having to give her tooth away, so this is what she wrote on the envelope:

It's a little hard to see in this picture, but is reads, "not to the tooth fairy".

So, that night, she went to bed and didn't put her envelope under her pillow cuz she was terrified that she might take it.

Next day, we talked it over and decided that maybe if she just left a note with the tooth, the Tooth Fairy might just look at it, but not take it and still give her a monetary reward.
Here's her note:

"I want to keep my tooth, but still want money"...and it says "Love Jemma" on the back.
That night, the Tooth Fairy brought her $1 (this Tooth Fairy is on a budget), and left the tooth as well. Phew! Would have been in big trouble if she'd taken it! :) Jemma did an entry in her journal today about losing her 1st tooth, and the tooth is taped inside next to a picture she drew of the Tooth Fairy...shoulda taken a picture of it to stick in here.

Anyhoo, it's a little bizarre to me to think that Jemma is old enough to be losing teeth! Permanent teeth always change the way kids look SO MUCH! Not sure I'm ready for that.

Ready or not, here it comes.