Friday, October 28, 2011

My Youngest Miracle Child!

I think children are pretty amazing.  Yes, I know that I sometimes tell you all of the outrageous things they do and how they may drive you to drink, but they are amazing!

I am blessed to have each child that I have and I think it is awesome how each of my children came to me in a very different way.  Being that it is Tyce's birthday, I thought I would tell you about this miracle child!

After Jackson was born, Ryan and I tried for about four years to get pregnant.  Believe me, we tried EVERYTHING!  If someone would have told me if I ran around naked clucking like a chicken for an hour and it would have resulted in a baby, I would have done it!

When we decided to adopt it was a decision we had already been praying about and discussing long before we became "infertile".  In fact, we both can clearly remember a conversation we had in our first year of marriage where we talked about adopting some children and having some biological children.  I believe strongly that this was God's plan for us, but I am a bit stubborn and want to do things my way and in my time so it just took a bit longer for me to listen!

We were getting ready to go meet Lola for the first time in Guatemala and getting everything ready for our trip.  There was a lot to get ready because we were leaving Jackson home so we had to prepare for him and bring clothes and anything we would need for a baby with us! 

It was a Friday.  I had been working, came home, and was doing odds and ends before picking up Jackson.  Because we were going to Guatemala and going to the rain forest and would be out in the sunshine I thought that maybe I would like to go tanning that day.  As I was packing and going through things under my sink I found a pregnancy test from a long time ago.  Since I was "late" I thought I would just take the test.  I didn't figure I would need it anytime again anyways and I wanted to be responsible just in case. (you shouldn't tan if you are pregnant)  I actually attributed my being late to the fact that I was stressed about meeting my daughter for the first time in a foreign country.  It never crossed my mind that I could be pregnant!

It was the middle of the afternoon.  That line came up dark dark dark pink as fast as I could blink!  I must have stood with my mouth open staring at that thing for ten minutes!  I looked at the box and read the directions to be sure I had done it correctly!  Um, yes, I had been peeing on sticks almost every month for four years and I had to check that I was doing it right! ha!

I actually cursed the stick out with a string of words that have never ever left my mouth before!  I shocked myself that I could even come up with that filth!  I hurled the cursed stick in the trash and looked back at the box.  Ok - here was the explanation.  The test had expired the month before!  That must be why it showed I was pregnant!  Just to be sure I raced to the drug store and no lie I bought four different tests! 

I raced home in a daze and took one after another.  They all said the same thing.  I actually was in a panic.  This was not something I had expected!! EVER!  I called the doctor and the nurse said, "Congratulations!"  I said, "No.  You don't understand!  I was told this wouldn't happen unless I had surgery!  I am coming in for blood work and you will do a quantitative BETA and then I will come in on Monday and you will do it again and see if the numbers are increasing!"  The nurse most likely heard the panic in my voice and had me go out to the doctor's office right then.

I told the nurses exactly what tests to run on my blood work because I had been through it many times before and knew how to tell if the pregnancy was going to stick and how far along it was according to the numbers.

On Monday I went in again to have them take blood and the nurse called me at work.  I remember taking my cell phone and going into my speech room, which is semi-sound proof, to take the call.  The numbers were increasing!  I was in such shock that I had not even told Ryan!  I just couldn't believe it!  We were actually leaving to meet Lola the next day!

That night I wrapped up one of the sticks in a gift bag with a little poem to announce I was pregnant.  Ry was working late because it was tax time and we were leaving.  I gave him space and time to digest the news.  He walked into the living room and said, "Well, I guess you can go on Cobra for insurance."  My practical husband always thinking ahead!  I'm sure he was in shock too!

The next day we left for Guatemala with me being already six weeks pregnant!  We really didn't believe it would "stick" so I climbed all of the ruins and hiked and did everything I would have normally done!  Ironically, I was the only one of the people that we met in Guatemala who didn't get sick on that trip!

So, in every sense of the word, Tyce was/is my my miracle baby! 

My story is a rare one.  Please don't tell people that now that they are adopting they will get pregnant. I know things like that are said without thought, but they are hurtful. Trying to build a family is a very difficult process for many people.  I cringe when people say that that is what always happens when people adopt.  I'm sure you have all heard of someones story where they adopted and then got pregnant.  I have to tell you, that those are the rare stories!  This does not always happen!  There are thousands of couples out there who tried for longer then we did and who have adopted and have never gotten pregnant or carried a baby to full term.  You don't hear about those stories because they are the norm and are sometimes hard to hear and tell.

We were very blessed in how God decided to build our family. I could have missed some of the painful parts, but all of those parts led me here which is where I am supposed to be and I couldn't be happier!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Tattle Tale Game...

I have come to the conclusion that my children's favorite game to play with one another is the game of "Tattle".  They have practiced it so often that they are pros.  Being the referee in this game is the worst possible position to be in and I hate to play - day after day after day after day after.....

To play, you need the perfect high pitched whiny voice.  You must start each statement with a drawn out "Moooooommmmm!".  You must look super pathetic so all those around you will take pity on you.  You must catch your sibling doing, saying, or thinking something that may get them in trouble.  If they are looking at you, breathing on you, in the same room as you, or sharing space on earth with you it is time to tell on them!  To play correctly you must continue to find faults in their existence at least every 20 minutes.  If you want to step up the game, you can call out "Mooooommmmm!" more frequently.

If you run out of things to tattle about you can simply make up things about siblings who are not home at the time.  (Seriously, my children have tattled on the 16 year old while he was at school and could have in no way completed the task he was being accused of!  Maybe they had forgotten you had to be present to win the game!)

Children get points for creativity in their tattling and in their Mother's reaction.  Five points for Mom's eyebrows going up and eyes bugging out - Ten points for Mom pulling her fingers through her hair and sighing loudly - Fifteen points for Mom putting her head against the wall or on a hard surface a few times - The ultimate winner is the one who coaxes Mom into yelling at everyone in the house and sending them all to separate corners for an undetermined amount of time-  Extra points are awarded to the winner if Mom then goes and pours herself a glass of wine, looks into the refrigerator and grabs out something like a chicken leg to gnaw on, or opens up the bag of Halloween candy and eats half the chocolate!

This game is pretty much the game that never ends.  If you know where the off switch is, I would love to know!  I'm running out of chocolate!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tyce's Birthday Celebration!!

It is finally here.
I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.
I no longer officially have a "baby" in the house.
Tyce is now a big four year old!  Gone are the days of rocking a tiny baby in my arms, getting up in the middle of the night, and of chasing a toddler covered in goo. 

LOL!  I wish I could say that with a straight face!  Even though his age says that these things should no longer be occurring, they are!  Now the difference is that he is bigger, can talk back, reason, and run faster!

He was super excited for his party and cake!  I made a dirt cake with gummy worms and creepy crawlies on the top.  He had to show everyone his special cake!  He thought it was so cool!

As he opened each gift he yelled out, "Awesome!" and quickly riped open the next gift!  It was a whirlwind of flying paper and toy bugs, spiders, and snakes!  He moved to fast to get pictures of him all day!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sometimes Too Much of a Good Thing Really IS Too Much!

I was put in exile on Sunday and was forbidden to speak for our entire ride to church. I found this very mean on the part of my husband and was not happy about it in the least, but I can understand where he was coming from.

I went out with a friend who I hadn't seen in years to a restaurant I love! It was the perfect combination and I enjoyed myself immensely! I hadn't been to the restaurant in forever and now I can remember why that is! It seems I get a bit carried away there.

No, I don't get carried away by dancing on tables (that's at a different establishment) or drinking sangria (although their sangria is really really awesome). I get carried away eating. It isn't just eating in general. It is eating a particular type of food that gets me in big trouble!

They serve Tapas and many of their dishes have garlic in them. I felt a bit of a cold coming on so I ate A LOT of garlic! It was so yummy and it's good for you right?

It is also a food that is unforgiving! By morning, I reeked of garlic! The stench of garlic followed me like a cloud wherever I went! My pores were dripping of garlic. If I had started to cry, my tears could have seasoned any dish!

I showered, slapped on the smelliest lotion I had, and poured on perfume. I brushed my teeth multiple times, gargled, and chewed gum, but nothing helped! As soon as I opened my mouth, Ryan cried foul because apparently an explosion of toxic, garlic gas escaped from me with every breath!

Of course I had to go to church and teach Sunday school that morning. Of course my husband was no help and only ran away from me. Of course people wanted to stop and say hi to me as I tried to race back to my room without being seen. Of course a guy I graduated from high school with had to sit next to me with his son who is in my class. Of course my youngest son's birthday party would be that day. Of course!!

The cloud of garlic has continued to follow me, even though I tried sweating it out, soaking in a tub of smelly salts, and drinking enough water to drown myself! I thought in time it would wear off, but that stuff is tough! So a word of advice: Sometimes too much of a good thing is too much! Everything in moderation!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Airing "it" out

I really don't need a television or any other type of entertainment in my home.  My children seem to be an endless source of entertainment - whether it is a positive source or not!

The other morning Lola yelled from Tyce's room about his "privates". I went in to investigate what was going on.  Tyce was taking a pillow and putting it down his pants.  Quite a feat for a 3 year old with tiny little jammie pants on!

When I asked him why he was doing that, he told me, very matter of fact, that his penis needed some air.  Hmmm... while I can't personally relate, I have heard of such matters, so I told him that it was fine to give his penis some air, but that next time he should do it when his sister and other people were not around.

Not sure how the pillow factored into the entire equation, but I'm sure he had some good reasoning behind that one!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I am a dreamer plain and simple.

When I dream, I dream big!  More times then not, Ry has to pull me back down out of the clouds!  That's ok because more times then not, my dreams become a reality!  They may not happen exactly when or how I wanted them to, but they do happen!

I am also a person who remembers my dreams!  If you would have had the privilege of seeing me every morning, you would have been the recipient to many bizarre stories.  All of these adventures of course occurred in my subconscious, but with such clarity that they made for great stories!  I used to sit at lunch and entertain my co-workers with my dreams and I will often wake Ry in the middle of the night to tell him about a dream! (of course he loves that!!)

I've dreamt about talking animals, wolves with glowing eyes, dogs rising from the dead, people having babies, going on trips or adventures around the world, and just about anything else you can imagine!

There have been times I have dreamt about people I know and the things I have dreamt have come true - no kidding!  Once I dreamt my Opa was driving his motor home and suddenly stopped yelling that he had a pain in his leg.  The next day they called from Florida saying he had a blood clot in his leg.  I once dreamt that a girl at work had her water break during the work day.  A week later her water did break at work while she was working with a parent!  (she blamed it on me because she said I put the idea in her head) Then there are times where I will have the same dream about a subject each night for weeks.  The events around the subject may change but the meaning is always the same.  (or what I wake up thinking is)  I once dreamt about a boy I knew as a child.  I dreamed about him every night for two weeks.  I had not seen him or talked with him in over 10 years!  The dreams were always different, but he was always the center of the dreams.  Finally, I sent a letter to his parents' home just checking in.  The dreams stopped and when he called me he said that he had just had surgery on his knee and was depressed.  My little note was just what he needed at that time to get moving again!  Weird....

In all of these dreams, I have never once dreamt about a celebrity, until last night!  Last night I dreamt about Ashton Kutcher.  I don't follow what is going on in his life.  I haven't seen him in a television show or movie in forever and I don't have a fascination with him.  But, he did end up in my dream! (and I can tell you about it because I didn't decide to dream it and couldn't control it so...)

I don't recall all of the specifics, only that we were making out and I was waaaayyy into him!  We were like a true couple holding hands and doing things that new couples do!  In my dream he had to leave me and wasn't coming back.  I was devastated!!  I woke up crying! 

So Ashton, I hope you feel privileged that you were in one of my dreams and had an impact on me!  Maybe this means some of my dream will come true in real life!   I wouldn't mind you visiting again some night either....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A trip to the mall...

I rarely go to the mall and I am only about ten minutes away!  I thought that being so close I would be there often, but when you factor in that I have to take children with me, it kind of takes away the pleasure of it all and becomes more of chore then anything else!

First, there really is no shopping when all of the kids go with you.  You better know what you want and where it is so you can get in and out fast or you spend an extra 30 minutes in each store corralling bored children out of clothes racks! 

Second, there are too many temptations like sugary foods at the mall.  I do not want to have to buy a pretzel each and every single time we go there!

Finally, the play area just plain creeps me out!  There are so many kids with runny noses slobbering all over the place!  Big kids plow over my smaller ones and parents are sometimes non-existent when their kid hauls off and smacks someone.  Don't even get me started on trying to get the kids to leave the germ pit!  I lie each and every time and say it is closing down!

Now, let me tell you about my shopping experience at a mall just last week.  I had only one child with me so I thought, "Fabulous!  So much easier to shop and way more fun then having to watch all of them and keep track!  I'll actually have one hand to hold and one hand for purchases!  Woohoo!"

Things were going very well.  I made sure to explain before going into each store that we were not going to buy anything in the store, but were just going to look around.  If there was something that the child really really wanted then I could take a picture of it with my phone and send it to Santa! (yes, I am a genius)  Unfortunately, the euphoria of my successful trip to the mall was shattered when we had to leave.

I can't even remember exactly what happened that triggered the chain of events, but it doesn't even matter!  My child began to scream at the top of their lungs. (you would have thought I was breaking their knees with a hammer!)  Next, it was time to run from Mommy.  Mommy doesn't play that game!  I walked the other way, being careful not to be caught watching where my child was!  Soon I had a banshee possessed child racing toward me!  It clung to my leg and shrieked! 

I did stop and explain that when their voice sounded as calm as mine I would love to talk to them about what was going on, but that only got responses of, "I hate you!  You have no brain!"  So, I continued to walk dragging a screaming child clinging to my leg and once in awhile flashed a smile at the people watching the show.  (not feeling like a genius at this point)

We get out to the car and get in it with a bit of a struggle.  Child begins to kick everything in sight!  I rest my head on my steering wheel.  I feel defeated and deflated.  Now what?  I try a hug, I try calmly talking, and yes, I even yell - we all have our breaking points and mine was when a shoe smacked me in the head!  Oh.. I wanted to drop kick that child right out of the car, but I didn't.  Instead, I called Ryan and told him to tell me I wasn't an awful parent for thinking such thoughts!

The drive home I repeated the mantra that if their voice sounded as calm as mine I would be happy to talk about things.  Unfortunately, their mantra was, "I want to go back to the mall!" in very shrill tones.  Things continued to fly at my head and I was surprised to see my child not completely naked by the time we got home!  I guess I need to clean out my car!  I would have pulled over and waited it out, but I had a child to pick up at school so no such luck!

And that ladies and gentlemen is one example of why going to the mall with any child at all is my last resort!!

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By the way, this child doesn't always act like this!  I think it was a combination of a cold, anxiety from school, and being tired.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Anti-ticket Drills

I have written about my little run ins with the police before and getting tickets for going five over - yes FIVE MPH over the speed limit!  Really?  Don't you have some bad guys to catch instead?  This weekend I was talking with my mother in law and she got pulled over for going too slow!

I couldn't help but laugh and then keep laughing after she told us the story!  Going too slow!  She was actually just accelerating onto the road after having turned on it and then trying to obey the rules of the road with construction around!  When she drank out of her water bottle the cop thought she was a drunk driver!  If you know my mother in law you would know just how absurd this is!  She didn't get a ticket and was told to step on the gas a little bit. 

Since my tickets, I almost get an anxiety attack when I see a police car behind me!  I actually start to have a feeling of loathing toward the car itself!  In order to combat that feeling I have come up with a plan.

Here are my ideas in a random order if I get pulled over:

1.  The children will all start crying and screaming.  My hope is that the officer will feel so overwhelmed and sorry for me that he will just let me go. (and let's face it, that's probably what they are doing already)

2.  I am going to have Lola cry of a tummy ache and have her make puking noises.  There aren't many people who can handle that sound for too long without feeling sick themselves.  I'll have Jackson then start screaming he has an upset tummy too and is going to throw up as well.

3.  Tyce will start to yell that he really has to go to the bathroom.  He has to go diarrhea RIGHT NOW!  An officer can't feel comfortable making me wait for a ticket when a kid is going to fill his pants right?  Maybe I can even get a kind of smelly fart spray to keep in the car and spray some just before the officer comes to the window...

Now the children and I will start having to run drills.  I think we will just start with talking about it at the dinner table when I can have all of their attention.  Next, we will have to do practice runs where I will randomly pull over to the side of the road and we go through our routine.  I'm not sure how Ry will feel about me using the kids in this way, so we may have to keep this quiet from him and I may have to stress that they only can play these games when it is only Mommy driving and no other adult is in the car, unless they get really really good with their acting in which case it is all about getting out of the tickets and no one has to be the wiser!!  Yup, I think I'll put these plans in action this week!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm changing my tune... I LOVE Homework!!

So I know I have been complaining a bit about how much homework Ry and I have to do with A each and every night and how difficult it is, but this afternoon I decided that I LOVE homework!

This is why...

I was checking over papers in A's folder to be sure everything had been completed and to see what else he needed to do and I came across this question and his answer:

Think about one person that is special to you.  In a paragraph (4-5 sentences) describe this person.  Who is he/she?  How or why do you know him/her?  What is his/her personality like?  What makes him/her special to you?
         Amy is special to me.  She is my mom.

I don't think anything more needs to be said in that answer.  At least not for me!  Homework is awesome!

Friday, October 14, 2011

What the kids say sometimes puts me on the floor!

There are so many times that my children say things that just floor me!  Whether I am on the floor laughing or on the floor because I fainted from embarrassment or on the floor out of total surprise, I wish I remembered to write them down each and every time!  Here are some that I remembered to record!

Mom, you know when Tyce hits me - that isn't love. - Lola

I didn't pee my pants.  The pee pee just zoomed out.  - Tyce

Turn off the music!  It is making my hips shake! - Tyce

I didn't pee my pants.  My penis just exploded! - Tyce

Lola to Tyce; "Did you eat chocolate? Let me smell your little cute little breath."

I hope my daughter continues having such great confidence in herself! Today she has told me that she is a beautiful singer, has gorgeous hair and skin, and is a rock star!! (all of which are definitely true!) 2/10/11

Lola just yelled at Tyce "Stop your behavior!" - sounds a little sophisticated for a four year old! 2/7/11

"Look Mom! The birdie is trying to get the boogies out of my nose!" - awesome.... 2/4/11

Conversation with a three year old: "Mom, I'm freezing!" "Are you for real?!" "No Mom! I'm just a Tyce!" (with a huff of frustration after the comment) 1/29/11

Tyce is upset that in Beauty and the Beast Gaston says to "Kill the Beast" - he thinks we should wash his mouth out with soap! 1/28/11

Trying to carry two bags, a purse, and a three year old on my hip and he yells out, "Ow! Mom you are hurting my penis!" 1/19/11

Lola collected money for a walk a thon they did at school.  She went to the neighbor's house and knocked on the door.  "Umm.. can we have some money?"  When asked what it was for, she put her hand on her hip, let out an exasperated sigh and said, "School!" (duh!)

And the most recent:  My mother in law was changing my niece's poppy diaper.  Tyce was standing over her shoulder.  "Yuck!  She has a really stinky vulva!" 10/12/11 (if you want to know why my kids use such grown-up words for private parts you can have some fun reading this post!)

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Now Piloting a Helicopter...

Hi.  My name is Amy. It has been six months since I have become a "Helicopter parent".  That is the first step right?  -admitting there is a problem? 

A "Helicopter Parent" is one that hovers around the children to protect them and guide them in every step.  They don't let them take chances and learn from their mistakes.  The parent is always within reach.  If you saw my children play in the woods up in the trees and smashing pumpkins yesterday you wouldn't think that to be true.  However, I feel like I have become that way with A and his education.

Each and every day I either send or receive emails from his teachers about what they did in class, upcoming assignments, tests, and quizzes.  At this stage, with a child whose first language is not the one he is learning in, it is necessary, but last night when I found myself helping him with his Spanish homework - Spanish - the child is a native Spanish speaker for crying out loud!! - I was a bit in shock at myself! (and a little proud since I was getting the answers right)

Ok, so maybe I should back off a little now and let him work on his own and be responsible for his own recording of homework and completing it, but right now I just can't!  Because I communicate with the teachers so much I feel like if he doesn't do well it is because I am not doing my part!  If he fails I feel like the teachers will be mad at me for having them put in extra time to aid him!  He has the routine down and understands what is expected of him, but I feel like I am being graded as well!  If he acts like a teenager and gets sick of doing 3 hours of homework and refuses to study for a vocabulary quiz, (I honestly get sick of it before he does!) I should just let it go right?  How do you do that? 

(Big Sigh...) So I guess for now when you see me at 10:00 pm doing high school homework with A just know I can't help myself and you probably should give me a call, an email, a text, a glass of wine, a night out - something to make it so I'm not always accessible!! (and wine will make it so I can't pilot the helicopter - right??)

BTW - If you enjoy reading my blog, why not hop over to the right and click the follow button or follow by email!  I'd also love to read your comments and suggestions below about how to handle this helicopter!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Amazing Before and After Photos!

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The first picture is 6 months after she had twins!

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Time to Get back to Sunday Drives

The other day while we drove down the road and I listened to my son ask for a movie for his two minute trip, I couldn't help but think that I am doing my children a huge disservice by not forcing them to look out of the windows at what is passing them by.  I am very guilty of being in such a hurry with a goal in mind that I often don't take the time just to look around me!  I think it is time to go back to taking "Sunday drives"!

My grandparents used to take my two sisters and I on drives on the weekends when we were young.  The three of us would sit in the back and put on our "life jackets" (that's what Grandma called them) and beg for stories from Grandma and Grandpa!  Grandma would tell us how she grew up as the only girl in a house of boys.  One of our favorite stories was when she threw eggs at her brothers from out of her bedroom window!  We would laugh and laugh and laugh while we drove looking out of the windows at the scenery that flashed by.

Sometimes we would stop by golf courses and Grandma would have us get out and search for golf balls.  There were days we stopped at a park and walked the trails finding treasures in the woods and other days we would stop at my great uncle's farm.

My Grandma and Great Uncle Jake
On the farm, he had dairy cows, tons of cats, dogs, and an outhouse!  It never failed that as soon as we pulled up into his drive my sister would have to use the bathroom and my Grandma would plug her nose and dive into that outhouse with her!  We were fascinated with the little house that smelled of gas and had no bathroom!  We would run through the corn fields and explore the barns trying to steer clear of manure!

We didn't require flashing lights, bells and whistles, or non-stop action to keep us happy and entertained all of the time!  In fact, if I look back, I can't begin to tell you what movies I saw as a child or the computer games I played, but I can tell you about the conversations we had in that car, the walks we took, and the natural simple treasures we found!

It was on these drives that we got to know our grandparents and the world around us.  We would have never heard how my Grandpa followed my Grandma home from church to begin to court her or how my Grandma thought the world was coming to an end when she went to see her first movie in a theatre that they not made us slow down a little. (Her dad never let them see movies and pretty much said they were evil.  She went to see her first movie in a theatre when she moved to California.  A earthquake occurred while she was watching the movie and she just knew her dad was right!)  These are memories that will follow us our entire lifetime.  My exciting game of Jumpman on the Commodore 64 just doesn't rank up there with my mental image of my Grandma's brother with egg on his head!

Try to remember to slow down a little.  Turn off the radio and the television.  Take the time to pull over at a park you have never explored and go for a short walk!  Tell stories and have conversations!  Take a "Sunday drive"!

“Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” -Eddie Cantor

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here an Apple, There an Apple, EVERYWHERE an Apple!!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but when you have bags and bags of apples in your home after a trip to the local orchard, just one apple a day won't cut it!  So, yesterday my helpful assistant and I peeled and peeled and peeled one apple after another and made yummy crockpot applesauce and apple crisp!

These are the times I am really thankful that I can stay home with the kids.  Yes, it would have been a lot faster and less of a mess had I completed the tasks on my own, but it would have been way less fun!  Just the conversation alone with an inquisitive three year old is worth more then anything I could ever hope to buy in my lifetime!

We are still up to our knees in apples over here though!  Any suggestions for some other yummy apple concoctions?

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Visit to the Orchard

We are experiencing in Michigan what some refer to as an "Indian Summer".  We are all back in our tank tops and shorts!  I don't know if it is the warm weather and all of the sunshine, but the colors of Autumn are spectacular!  The golds, reds, and oranges look even more vibrant then I remember from previous years!

When fall comes around in Michigan it means that local farms become venues for families to visit as part of their weekend entertainment!  A place of hard work is transformed into a kind of amusement park!

Many farms offer wagon rides, petting areas with the animals, corn mazes, apple picking, rides in little train like vehicles through the orchards, playing in hay bales, playing in piles of dried corn kernels, pumpkin patches, and refreshments like fresh cider and homemade apple or pumpkin donuts!  We love it and have been known to visit a few different farms during the fall!

On Sunday we ventured to Schwaillier's Country Basket.  I used to take Jackson here when he was maybe two.  At that time there were maybe three other people there as well and a couple of fun things to do.  Now the parking lot is jammed packed with people and there are a ton of things to choose from of how to spend some time there!

A had never been to anything like this so he was in awe from the moment we stepped out of the car!  He has never seen an apple orchard and loved picking the apples with Jackson.  I think they enjoyed eating a bunch of apples off of the trees as well!  He couldn't believe that this was actually a kind of farm with all of the children running around and the goats and bunnies being handled by everyone!  It must almost look like a circus to him and not at all like how he knows a working farm to be!

The children love it and were so excited to run from one thing to another!

Feeding goats!

Such cute baby goats!


We took a ride through the orchard on a wagon

Jackson and A picking apples

Daddy and Lola took a bumpy ride in a cow train!

Picking out pumpkins!

Picking apples

Getting the perfect apples!

No visit would be complete without donuts and cider!

And of course Tyce caught a grasshopper and a frog during our visit!

It was odd standing in the sun in shorts and a tank top and sweating in October while picking out a pumpkin!  I have pictures of the children in snowsuits getting their pumpkins!  I myself prefer our time in shorts!   After our time at the farm we did something that I haven't done since I was little.  We took a "Sunday drive" through the country roads.  We pointed out more orchards and farms to the children and enjoyed the stark contrast of the blue sky, green fields, and yellow, red, and orange trees.  What a wonderful Autumn day in Michigan!