It seems like we visit the pumpkin patch later and later every year. I was really starting to think we weren’t going to pick one this fall, but we decided to head to Braeutigum Orchards to try to beat the rain after school on Thursday, and we were rewarded with what was one of the most perfect fall days we’ve had for pumpkin picking…it was just the right amount of chilly, which around here, can be hard to find in October!
Each week seems a bit crazier than the last!
Turkey and Bunny did begin conjugates in math, as promised. Fortunately, they mostly thought they weren’t too bad. Their history lessons focused on medieval India, particularly Java. They had their choice of writing either a horror or crime short story in creative writing. In science, they began dealing with polyatomic ions. They also finished the second act of Romeo and Juliet.
Ladybug thought math was interesting, because she got to work with base-2 this week. She finally got to meet the title character in Misty of Chincoteague. She learned about the Vikings, and a bit of Norse mythology in history. (I discovered how much of my knowledge of Norse mythology comes from the Marvel movies!) She also worked on rewriting sentences without using clichés.
Chickadee started subtraction in math! She began her second I Can Read It book, and was very excited to discover that the first story is about a family of her favorite animal (the elephant). She had her first handwriting lesson that was not straight review, and got to use one of her fancy pieces of handwriting paper, which was very fun.
Yesterday, we had a field trip to the most sincere pumpkin patch we could find, where we picked out what Turkey thinks is our best pumpkin yet (not the biggest, but the one with the most perfect shape), and his standards are very high! Since we waited to go after Moose was done with school, I’m not sure it counts as a school field trip, but I’m going to share a picture anyway!
I have a few fun things planned in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, including our annual nature walk, but I’m still hoping that we can keep going without taking a full fall break!
We finally made it to the pumpkin patch today!
Chickadee had a great time inspecting all the pumpkins…
…until she discovered a few burrs stuck to her boots. She started shrieking, and would barely stand still long enough for me to pull them off. Once she finally calmed down, I was able to figure out what the problem was. She had never encountered a burr before, and thought she had “baby porcupines” stuck to her! In the end, she still had a great time, and I don’t think any of us will forget the porcupine story!
I was on the hunt for a new pumpkin patch this year…the one we used to go to just wasn’t sincere enough anymore. I was beginning to think that we were going to run out of time to find one, and then I remembered Braeutigum Orchards, a place we’ve visited a few times in the past to pick apples and other fruit (including a school field for Moose about eight years ago!), and even once to pick pumpkins. So after we went to Legends and Lanterns on Saturday, we headed out to the pumpkin patch!
I wasn’t disappointed…the pumpkin patch was very sincere, and even though it was warmer than I like for pumpkin picking, it was a beautiful day. I’m glad our pumpkin picking tradition survived, and now I know where we should head next fall!
Today after Moose was done with school, we headed out to the most sincere pumpkin patch in Belleville to search for our “Great Pumpkin.” This is a little earlier than we usually go, but the weather today was perfect (and Eckert’s was offering 50% off on pick-your-own pumpkins), so I figured there was no time like the present!
It’s always fun to see the children rush off in search of the perfect pumpkin. Especially Chickadee, who still can’t lift most of them off the ground! It’s also fun seeing how seriously Turkey takes the search…he puts more thought into what the pumpkin should look like than any of his siblings!
After much searching, finding, replacing, and arguing, everyone had their idea of the perfect pumpkin. In the end, we only took one home (I decided a few years ago that buying 80-plus pounds of pumpkins every year was a bit much), but we certainly had a good selection from which to choose! Our prized pumpkin weighed in at just over 15 pounds (if you’re wondering which one we brought home, it’s the one in the picture with Ladybug).
We spent some time admiring all the fall decorations in the store while we were there:
This was the nicest day for pumpkin picking I can remember, and we had a great time at Eckert’s!
We headed out to Eckert’s this (chilly) morning, to look for our Great Pumpkin:
Because buying between 80 and 100 pounds of pumpkins every year was getting a little ridiculous, we tried something new. The children all looked for the perfect pumpkin, and then we chose the best one of those to be our family pumpkin. (They each got to choose a mini pumpkin when we were done, too.)
I think this was a great way to handle pumpkin picking, although I will say, it’s hard to get five children to agree on a single pumpkin!
2014 has been another good year for our family at Eckert’s. It all started in March, when we stopped by to see their STL250 cake. We went on to visit it many more times, and enjoyed seeing how it changed with the seasons, but there was something special about seeing it that first time with the snow around it.
In May, we went strawberry picking for the second time…but it was the first time for Chickadee! She loved it because the strawberries were right at her level.
June found us picking blueberries for the first time ever. I loved the way the nets covered the bushes to protect them from birds…it looked like a fog over the blueberry patch!
We picked blackberries more times than I count from the end of June through July. Most of them were eaten plain, but I did make a few special desserts with some of them, including the conclusion to our Fourth of July feast!
Sadly, due to weather-related reasons, there were no “pick your own” peaches this year. Eckert’s made up for that with “pick your own” vegetables, though, and we had a great time doing that in July. Picking corn was everybody’s favorite, although it was also fun to find ripe tomatoes, summer squash, and cucumbers!
In September, we finally visited Eckert’s restaurant. It was the first time for the children, and the first time in over a decade for Ryan and me. The biscuits and apple butter were just as good as we remembered, and all of the food was delicious!
Of course we had to go apple picking in September…another first for Chickadee!
And October found us in the pumpkin patch, where we picked a family record of 70+ pounds of pumpkins!
In November, we celebrated a family birthday at the restaurant for the first time…Moose has decided it’s one of his two favorite restaurants.
And the end of November meant time for the Holiday Open House, where we got to try lots of samples, see all the pretty Christmas decorations, and do some crafts.
Eckert’s has become such an important part of our family’s year that I can’t remember a time when we weren’t constantly visiting and doing something fun there. I still haven’t taken an Eckert’s class yet, but that’s about the only thing left on my list of things I haven’t done at Eckert’s yet, and I look forward to finding a fun learning opportunity to take part in sometime in 2015!
Today we headed out to Eckert’s, and the most sincere pumpkin patch we know, to find the perfect pumpkin times five. I think we set a new family record–Turkey picked about 21 pounds of pumpkin, Bunny picked 17 pounds, Moose also picked 17 pounds, Ladybug picked 11 pounds, and Chickadee picked a whopping five pounds–over 70 pounds of pumpkins!
We’re about out of fun family activities for this year at Eckert’s, but I’m sure there will plenty more fun to be had next year!