just kidding. he regularly beats me, as he did tonight, 2 games to 1. you can see he’s trying hard to conceal his delight at beating his old man.
since fall is fast approaching ( or, rather, technically here ) that must mean halloween is not far away which means it’s time for our yearly trek to a local The Pumpkin Patch to search for the perfect pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns.
it’s a seasonal ritual made all the more special this year because grandma and grandpa snowdeal came for a visit and got to partake in the pumpkin hunting fun.
the pumpkin patch we really enjoy has all sorts of fun stuff beyond pumpkins, including a barn with many different kinds of animals including very curious goats who like to nibble on anything they please.
odin isn’t quite sure whether or not he’s going to lose his whole glove to one particularly nibbly goat.
i think the sheep would like to taste the camera.
since we live in a small town it’s certainly not unusual for odin to run into a few friends who are on their own Pumpkin Patch Adventures. it’s mighty nice that the old tobacco drying barn has a slat missing that’s just the right size for posing.
this is gunner. he’s one of the nice folks who drives a group of pumpkin patchers to the patch in a wagon pulled by a tractor.
you know it’s time to leave when he blows in the horn.
he asked odin to look after his horn when he jumped into the tractor. see if you can guess what happens to the horn.
and we’re off! gunner is happy to not look where he’s going and tell you all sorts of stories about the history of the area, including the fact that the very path we’re driving on was originally a horse and buggy trail that connected two nearby towns.
since halloween is approaching you never know what spooky, scary stuff might appear on the trip. since odin is a seasoned veteran he knows to keep on the lookout.
one year they had a gorilla jump out onto the trail which i think freaked too many kids out since they haven’t done it since.
the ol’ riding the tractor like a bronco through “raging” stream bit never gets old.
every year, even though it never happens, i think there’s a small chance we’ll get stuck in the stream.
finally, it’s pumpkin huntin’ time!
it doesn’t take long to find The Perfectest Pumpkin that’s all the more perfect ’cause it’s easy to carry.
and even the bigger ones are perfect when grandpa offers to help carry them on your head.
odin poses in The Wilds of the Pumpkin Patch with his Prize Catch.
i almost think we should have it “stuffed”.
grandpa and grandma caught documenting the adventure with their camera phones :-
we were lucky enough to find a few gourds which was a treat because odin really, really though grandma would enjoy taking a few back home to michigan.
back on the wagon, odin says, “hey grandma, how about how put the horn on my head like a hat. that’d be funny!”
the request, i think, was all a set-up for his next request to put the horn on her head so he could could talk into it and she could tell him if it was loud.
to the bemusement of the rest of the wagon riders, she complied.
of course, we can’t leave without saying goodbye to the goats!
such a fun annual tradition, much better than just picking up pumpkins in a parking lot. highly recommended if you’re in the area.
“tucker and becky’s pumpkin patch” on oboe road off PC between highways 27 and 33.
amusingly, our Pumpkin Patch Adventures take place a hop skip and a jump away from odin avenue. in fact, i think we first stumbled upon the road when we went on our first Pumpkin Patch adventure.
sigh. the day finally arrived. odin’s last day of kindergarten. a bittersweet day to be sure. of course, odin is nothing but excited because not only is it the last day of school, but the Summer Birthday Kids also collectively celebrate their birthdays.
the parents of the Summer Birthday Kids are also excited because they get to have a special morning with the kids where we hang out with them in the play yard before the bell rings and go for the children on their morning walk and watch a special little celebration filled with laugther and songs and stories.
i’ll bet he’s climbed this tree every day for the past two years ( for those that don’t know, in a waldorf school kids usually don’t start first grade until they are seven, so odin is finishing his second year of kindergarten ).
he’s looking for a caterpillar that he discovered in the tree yesterday and was very eager for us to see it, but alas, the caterpillar had wandered off.
looooooots of running and laughter in the morning. it’s seems like A Proper Way to start the day and i can’t imagine it any other way ( sitting at a desk?! ).
then we went on a walk and watched the children empty their compost into the compost buckets and even got a little tour of the greenhouse where the older kids are growing all sorts of green things for the school garden.
and then it was time to take off the outside shoes and light candles and listen to songs and a wonderful story told by Miss Shannon about birthdays and make music and watch odin walk over a “Rainbow Bridge” laden with silk scarves to mark the passing of The Kindergarten Years ( no cameras allowed for that part 🙂
’twas, indeed, a wonderful morning.
happy mother’s day!
odin was up very early putting his new finger knitting skills to good use as he wanted to make his mother a Very Special Bracelet before she woke up. he’s getting so good with the required eye hand coordination that i have to ask him to slow down to take a good picture.
he can crank out a nice 4 string bracelet or bookmark or whatnot in very short order while i still struggle with the basic concept of how to finger knit.
the finished product! he thought it would be a nice touch to take the picture with it shaped like a heart. i like his thinking. i’m sure his mother will love it.
now, let’s see, if i can get him to work 12 hours a day making bracelets and bookmarks…
then it’s time to wrap up a super secret gift we both got for her that she’s been wanting for A Really Long Time. odin thought it would be fun to wrap and color the entire box to make it super special.
i love, love, love that he whistles while he works. and a kind-of lonesome cowboy tune to boot that i can’t remember the name of at the moment.
aaaaaand done! just moments before mama comes downstairs to what will hopefully be a big surprise 🙂
whether you’re almost seven or thirty seven(ish), there are few things more fun than finishing up swimming lessons to find that it’s still snowing in a freak mid-april storm and that there’s enough snow on the ground to build a snowman when you get home.
and between then and now on the trip home you and a friend ( and your poppi ) have time to sing all the songs in the johnny cash children’s album while it’s cranked up to 11!
i’m once again reminded how time flies. it seems like just yesterday that i was lamenting almost being done with another season of cross country skiing lessons. and maybe the day before yesterday was the last day of lessons last year. ah, the bittersweet moment of celebrating the last day of lessons since it means that winter fun is almost done and spring is to be sprung!
it was a pleasure and a privilege to be asked again this year to take a group photo of the crew. see if you can spot odin “hamming it up” for the shot. like father, like son 🙂
odin sports his new toothless grin.
an action shot without poles! this is a lot trickier than it looks with kids of varying proficiency going up and down the ski run. bonus points are awarded for not running into the guy the camera.
the older kids and The Young At Heart played a round of “tag”. odin eyed it with interest but passed this year. i’m sure he’ll get in on the action next year.
after and hour or so outside, it was time to go inside for a wonderful potluck including hot chocolate to warm the bones. odin and a friend are sporting the f excellent commerorative hats given out by the fine folks at mt. borah who help organize and sponsor the lessons.
and as if that wasn’t enough fun, then it was time for a bonfire with s’mores!
i have no doubt, with an ending like this, that odin will happily be back next winter for another season of lessons!