Friday, October 21, 2011

Apples & Pumpkins & Sunshine, Oh My!

At this point it's been a number of weeks, but awhile back we visited the apple orchard/pumpkin patch that we like so well, Stuckey Farms, down near Indianapolis. Such a great place! This visit was by far the busiest, and the absolutely most gorgeous weather. EVER. We spent pretty much the entire day down there which really wiped out the girls... but we went to my parents' house for dinner, which helped them get through the evening! This post might be picture overload (might? Let's face it: It is.) but I had trouble weeding out. The sky was so blue, the light was so bright, the leaves were so green, etc.

This is what we do for entertainment while waiting for the tractor ride to come and take us back from the pumpkin patch.

The best part of this trip was on the tractor ride back with our pumpkins, Greta was getting pretty restless, so I was trying to make conversation with her in an effort to distract her and keep her from throwing herself from the wagon in a fit of rage. I said, "Greta, we'll carve our pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. What do you want yours to look like?" She gave it a good long thought. "Ummm.... I think a bottom."

With Halloween comes Anja's favorite candy: Candy corn. This stuff nauseates me. I can't ever remember liking it, and about once a year I think "Maybe now I'll like it" and I'll taste a piece, and, no, I still find it disgusting. But Anja can't get enough of it. Yesterday she told me, "Mama, the candy corn with the brown on the top? Don't worry, it's just a different flavor, it's not rotten!" Thanks, Anja, I was worried!

And speaking of Halloween, I am rocking the frugality contest this Halloween! I've been really striving to get the best deals on stuff. I had 3 Jo-Ann's coupons, which only work for regularly-priced items. (Annoying, since most of their store is on sale.) So I've really been working to get the best deal, coupon or no coupon. Which included making two trips out there yesterday. But it's worth it! So far I've gotten all I need for Greta's costume, a booklet of fall stickers for the girls, and a little Halloween decoration for our door, and the pattern for Anja's wolf costume (best deal: originally $13.49, I paid .99!) all for roughly $10! I am SO proud of myself. Now I just have to get the hairy fabric for the wolf costume, and I'll be all set! I'm excited! Anja is most excited. It was her idea to be the Little Red Riding Hood characters!

I apologize for the incomplete birthday post. My birthday was most wonderful, as I said, but my post erased the whole part about the second day when the girls had pony rides. When we were returning the cabin key Martin saw the information for the stables, so we drove out to see what was available. It was a slow day, so we were the only people there (it was early, too) and the guy at the stables just kind of handed us a pony and told Martin to keep him on the gravel and don't let him eat the grass. He didn't tell him how long to go or anything, so Martin just took the girls one at a time on a nice slow pony ride on the nicest, softest, MOST ADORABLE PONY EVER. I wanted to take the pony home with me. Seriously, it was so cute. And SO SOFT!!!!!!!!

Now this outdated post is posted.... and tonight WE ARE GOING TO SEE TIM O'BRIEN AND I CANNOT WAIT HE IS SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, one of my long-time loves. I loved Tim O'Brien WAY before I loved Martin (shhhh, don't tell Martino!) It's a family-friendly show, and we've been trying and trying to convince Greta to come with us--I think she would absolutely LOVE it. But she says she wants to stay at Ooma's house. Whatever. Someday when she's older and Tim O'Brien is too ancient to perform anymore I'll tell her about the chance she passed up when she was 2. And she will have to live with the regret for the rest of her life. But, whatever; it's her choice.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ugh! Incomplete!

So that last post did not publish completely!! It only published what I'd written and saved up at my parents house and then I finished it on my phone, but it didn't publish what I'd done on my phone! And now I'm so irritated I don't want to type it all out again! Grrrrrrrrrr....... Maybe another time soon. With more pictures. Sad faces. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Birthday Goodness

Every year for my birthday Martin tries to surprise me with something. Every year he pretends he's going to work, when really I know he's scheduled a vacation day. Every year I guess his gift well in advance. (This happens every Christmas too.) He's just not very good at surprising me, and I'd like to think it's because we know each other so well! However, this year, he succeeded. Now, to give myself credit, I had originally, long ago, guessed that we might be going camping, but then I thought it would be too expensive and troublesome, and cold, etc., so I thought that couldn't possibly be it. And after that I had no guesses. So I guess I did kind of guess it, but since I didn't believe my own guess, I think Martin wins. Anyway. On to the story of the event.

He waited until the night before my birthday to tell me he'd taken not one, but TWO days off of work and had reserved a cabin down at McCormick's creek for a night. Hooray! We put the girls to bed and got straight to work packing up blankets and pillows and a little bit of food so we could head out first thing in the morning and get down there in time to enjoy the park before our check-in time at 4:00.

I'm going to omit the story of our morning and how we couldn't convince the girls to get out of the house and then once we did, all they wanted to do was go to Barnes & Noble and play on the train table. So we did that. And then they wanted to go home and eat hotdogs. (!?) We ignored that request and headed down to the park instead. (Oops, I guess I told you all about the morning..... but I did leave out the fit-o-meter levels throughout the morning.) Once we were on the road, Anja was ready to go! The drive was beautiful and when we passed the Elk farm some of the big elk were right up by the fence, and one of them was vigorously shaking his huge antlers! Those are amazingly huge animals! Beyond the elk farm is the buffalo farm, but they were too far out in the field for the girls to see.

We ended up getting down there around 2:00, which ended up being perfect because by the time we got there everybody had to go potty and we couldn't find a bathroom anywhere. We did find a little picnic shelter so we grilled some lunch, ran around in the leaves, played on a small little playground and walked a little bit on a trail that ended up being pretty overgrown with thorn bushes, so we turned back.

Then we noticed a bigger field and a bigger playground across the little drive. I don't think we actually made it over there until the next day though.

I wishe my photography skills had been more "on" while we were here. I just couldn't get fabulous pictures like I sometimes can.... and it's too bad because the lighting and the leaves were so beautiful! The next morning was even more perfect, and of course, I left my camera in the car.

At about 4:00 we drove back to the main office to pick up our cabin key. We had no idea what to expect with the cabins.... it was pretty cheap, so we were not expecting much; a cement floor in a bunker-style room was about what we'd been envisioning. Boy, were we wrong! The cabin was ADORABLE, with wood floors, a large sitting room with a gas heater that looks like a wood stove, rustic furniture, a bedroom with two sets of bunkbets, a kitchen with a fridge and stove, and an extremely clean bathroom with a shower, toilet and sink. It was awesome! There was also a little screened in porch with two rocking chairs at the front, where Martin and I sat after the girls went to bed. It was so perfect! All the cabins (I think there are 12) are in this little neighborhood-y kind of place, which is a paved road, and at the end is a trail. We took a little walk down the trail, ran around the road (It is a loop at one end) and just really enjoyed ourselves. There's a deck with a picnic table outside the cabin so we had dinner outside.

A small tour:

Anja played "little deer lost in the woods" a lot, under the dark bunkbeds. This is kind of her "Deer in headlights" look to go along with the game.

Martin fixing dinner. Next to the counter was a funny wooden door-window that opened onto the screened in porch. When we got home from one of our walks, Martin handed me the girls in through the window. They thought that was hilarious!

Martin mixed up some dry hot chocolate mix and brought it along in a jar, so the girls got hot chocolate before bed.

The view from the pull-out sofa bed.

The girls looking at their new Highlights magazine while Martin were cleaning up the place and getting ready to check out.

The kitchen and bathroom beyond. See the cute shelves above the fridge? We put all our food there and it looked so cozy.

It was SUCH a good birthday surprise!