Tag Archives: Pumpkin Patch

So spoiled

I’ve written a few times about the epic pumpkin patch my mom’s cousin used to own just outside of Redlands, CA. We started going there when my now 8 year old was a month old. Being family we did all the activities for free and basically for the years before we moved here, I had all the fancy (and tasty) heirloom pumpkins I could stand for free. Well change comes to us all and we, um, moved across the country. Last year I just couldn’t bring myself to pay for a pumpkin patch, plus we were super busy so we just picked up jack’o’lantern pumpkins at Walmart and called it meh. This year a friend invited me to go with her and her son to a local Pumpkin Patch (one of about 87 in a 5 mile radius of our house…turns out when you can grow things like corn mazes, people do.) I finally got my spoiled self in gear and made peace with the fact that no it wouldn’t be the same, and yes it was going to cost me both my arm and my leg. Sigh. The munchkins were beyond thrilled with the experience so I’m thinking we may be back in the proverbial holiday tradition saddle once again.


People either love these things or hate them. I hate that I love them. And the disembodied cow/sheep heads? fuggetaboutit.

I’m not sure if I can adequately express the magnitude of my gratitude, that my kids are both easily entertained and easy to please. Tire and dirt? We’re set for hours, Mom!

Not pictured is the huge silo fort with air cannons. Not sure how I was so negligent in my picture taking that I have no pictures of it’s magnificence.


But the real star, the real icing on our fall extravaganza cake was this little barn thing filled with corn. We spent a solid hour in here and they probably would have stayed longer. True I had to fish corn out of pants and skivvies, but it was the best sensory exploration activity of the whole season for all the ages. All of the things we did just reminded me and threw into stark relief that 99.9% of the time, simple is the right answer (and not just for kids).

We rounded out the day with a haunted hay ride to a field of perfectly placed (if not exactly grown) pumpkins to find our Jack’o’lanterns. Corra had a huge (fake) spider almost land on her head and ghosts came out of the trees. It was pretty great.

So next on our tradition documenting docket: Halloween itself!



Leave a comment

Filed under crafts, Holidays, homeschool, life the universe and everything

moral dilemmas

You know how texting created a whole new realm in the world of etiquette? One that involves the subtle nuance of which winky/smiley face is appropriate in different situations? Well blogging has brought me brand new moral dilemmas about self-aggrandizement and humility. On one hand I feel like apologizing for my almost two week lapse in posts. But that assumes that 1) people read my blog and 2) people care enough to register a longer space between posts than usual. That seems really presumptuous to me. However, to ignore the fact that I’ve been taking my sweet time about writing this post seems flaky and I hate to be a flake about anything, let alone something I care about very much (this blog). So I’m hoping that the previous sentences somehow rectify this whole issue without actually requiring that I solve it. Good, Great, On we go!

We made it to the pumpkin patch this year by way of Santa Monica beach. Last year Corra was just over a month old and I was barely hanging on to my sanity so we didn’t go down, but I missed it. Neil got Friday off work and Corra has never been to the beach so we headed down early for a picnic lunch. Then we went and found my dad, crashed at his house that night, then got to the Pumpkin Patch first thing Saturday morning. Turns out cameras don’t like sand in their innards…I know, right? We didn’t bring chargers for our phones so I had to suck it up and put on my big girl pants when I realized I wouldn’t be photo documenting the whole experience. Don’t laugh…It was a lot for me to not totally freak out. To be honest though, it was good for me. I had to be more present in the moment and not worrying about capturing it. Not that I’m going to stop taking pictures. Ha! I just might learn from the dead sand-filled camera and stress a bit less about every cute opportunity that doesn’t end up on my hard drive.

062   061

070    066





Not Pictured: Epic wave chasing and soaking wet everything because I thought “Pssshh. we don’t need no stinking swim suits! It’s September, it’s way too cold for swimming.” Pssh indeed. Mom fail.

076   077


078  KIMG0425

KIMG0422   KIMG0424


I hope you are happy dancing that it is officially fall. Not that it is any cooler out our way, but the thunderstorm we just had is helping me believe that it really is almost October. And picking up a fake sword for Little man’s Halloween Costume helped too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, life the universe and everything

Tradition! TRADITION!

Ok if you actually sang the title of this post in your head (or out loud) like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof…I love you. You get life in a big way. Thanks for making me feel slightly less geekish. If you didn’t, it’s ok…you just missed a grand opportunity to rock it like an old Jewish guy.

We went on our yearly pilgrimage to The Pumpkin Patch and as always, it did not disappoint.


Lots to do this year even without all the rides being up. It was great to go on a Monday and not have to deal with huge crowds. Pictures taken, we headed to the Corn Maze which is twice as big and 3.7 times more awesome than last year.



You have to make it to 4 sign posts to get numbers that are a code to open the door to the second corn maze. On our way we saw some cool stuff…like the biggest roly-poly I’ve ever seen in my life!



The petting zoo was a bit of a different experience this year. Less “oh look at the cute goat!” and more “huh. I wonder what breed these are? how old do you think that doe is? (severely inbred pygmies and really old…in case you were wondering which you most likely weren’t).” The pigs were cute, the emus got really close but the best was the aviary. They have about a dozen exotic breeds of pheasants and pigeons and ducks that were beautiful and just out in the open doing bird stuff. Their rabbits also have an amazing habitat that, were I more masochistic, I’d probably try to replicate.

Yay for anything big to climb on. Naomi told me in her excited, high-pitched squeaky voice, “Mom! Look at Dad! I bringed him up here!”


A sand box but with corn instead of sand. The most brilliant thing ever, right?! All three kids were in sensory exploration heaven. These guys happily would have spent the rest of the week in the “Farm Village,” which had a few of these corn-boxes and super cute playhouses that Naomi claimed as her own (The pink and purple one anyways). Neil may have found his next summer project…corn boxes and playhouses.



And you know, the real reason we come. Well, the one that makes me giddy with excitement and anticipation over feeding my pumpkin habit. Greg and Willie are always so generous, I’m glad this year I could send them soap as a thanks for all of this fall loveliness. We got 12 pumpkins in all (Well, for us. We also got some for my mom and grandma) including a Cinderella (big orange and yellow on top of the cart), a Fairy Tale (greenish pinkish one in the corner) and a banana squash that is longer than my arm and thicker around than Little man’s waist (it is supposed to make the BEST pies). As soon as we started looking around Little girl started running and dumping baby pumpkins in the cart. That’s my girl! So we have some cute mini ones too.

Loved it. Can’t wait for next year. Happy Fall/Halloween/Most-Perfect-Time-of-the-Year to you!

1 Comment

Filed under Food stuffs, Holidays, life the universe and everything

i. love. pumpkins.

And that is because of The Pumpkin Patch and Live Oak Canyon. It’s nice to be related to the owners and to get free pumpkins (thanks Greg and Willie!) but we would totally go even if we were just one of the hundreds of families that makes this place a tradition. It’s amazing. The best part was watching my babies make memories and I love that Garyn will ask me weekly for the next 11 months if it’s time to go back.

So pumpkins. I don’t know what it is but they just make me happy. I love the different varieties and how a pumpkin just slams home that it is fall and you really should have a cup of cider in your hand. Go get one….seriously…right now. Not to mention baked pumpkin goods rank really high in my all time top “I would eat this ’till I died” list of desserts. We got some to carve but mostly I’m going to have pumpkin goo in my freezer for the next year. [glee!]

Ok I’m not one to publically gush about my husband but he’s a stud and is such a great dad I can’t help it. He really made my weekend.

Grandma and Grandpa Ballard drove with us and it is always interesting to me how fun it is to just sit and chat with them. Just because I remember being a kid, rolling my eyes and vowing that I would never ever be so boring as to enjoying sitting and talking. that vow? epic fail.

There is something about traditions fall traditions fall traditions that involve pumpkins, that makes me sigh and smile and stop to look around just a few minutes more. Anything that makes you stop for a few minutes and look around…is magic.






Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, life the universe and everything