Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Patch 2016

One of my very favorite yearly traditions in the Autumn is visiting the pumpkin patch. While this isn't something I remember doing much as a child, Chris and I did it several times before having kids, and every year since we've welcomed children into our family. 

For the past three or so years, we've been visiting several pumpkin patches every Autumn . . . like three or more. As much fun as that's been, there just wasn't time for it this year with moving and traveling for my friend Amy's wedding (more on that in another post). Instead, we just carved out time to visit our favorite one, Carmichael Pumpkin Patch. 

The children get super excited when we tell them we are visiting the pumpkin patch that evening (we never tell them until the day of in case plans have to change), and it makes my heart so happy to see them loving and enjoying something that is my favorite. The big kids also know Mommy's rule - when we first arrive at the pumpkin patch, we take pictures first. Once Mommy has the pictures she wants, then we get to have fun and explore! I use these photos to decorate my house in the Autumn, so it's important to me to get good pics of all the children, as well as a good family pic. So far, we've always been successful!



Brooke Ellie

Brecklyn Sarah 
(She's my most difficult picture taker right now, but we pulled it off!)

A decent picture of all four is a lofty task, especially with all the distractions around us. This one is just okay, but I was tired of taking photos and ready to move on!

Every year, we find a random stranger who looks like they are capable of operating an actual camera (this is more difficult than it should be, unfortunately), and ask them to take a family photo for us. I generally have to do some serious cropping and editing to make it work, but we've had decent luck with this method. The children (especially when they're toddlers) are so intrigued by a stranger yelling for them to look at the camera that they actually do it, ha!

This year's photo makes my heart smile!

Once we're finished taking posed photos, it's time to explore the grounds! We get a wagon every year, and this year Brianna insisted on pulling her sisters. 

Some displays are pretty much the same each year, but this one changes frequently. This year, it was a dark maze that the children could walk (or in the case of my children, RUN) through. Brianna's spunk for life keeps me laughing!

Daddy took the twins through, but I'm not sure they liked it too much. I opted to stay out and take photos :-).

Haha . . . I love having kids old enough to pose in funny ways for photos. This was their idea :-).

With the little girls, just getting them to sit STILL is a huge challenge. This was the best I could do. 

Seeing and feeding the animals is always a huge hit with my crew. Brenson is probably the least likely to really embrace this activity (like his Momma), but sometimes he finds himself accidentally enjoying it. The little girls were so fun this year . . . just look at how excited Brooke is!

Brecklyn is a BIG animal lover and just kept screeching and running around just FULL of excitement. 

Daddy had to help her be calm enough to hold still so the animals could eat out of her hand. 

This look of pure enjoyment on Brooke's face is priceless!

Brianna is a pro at feeding the animals and loves doing it. 

She would even stop to help her siblings feed them. She's such a sweet big sister!

It's always a challenge to keep two one year olds corralled when outside, but I just love holding their little hands in mine. 

My sweet, sweet babies <3 p="">

Brenson was less than thrilled to be feeding the animals . . . I tried to help him, but eventually just gave up on it!

That face, haha!


Brenson, Brianna, Brecklyn, and Brooke

Love my boy!

I don't remember the pumpkin patch having tortoises in years past, so that's another thing that was maybe new this year (or my memory is bad . . . either are a good possibility). It was fun to see them so close. 

WHY does this girl look so big?!?

Daddy and Bren

Brecklyn and Momma

Momma and Brooke

Brianna and Momma

After we picked out and paid for our pumpkins, Chris and I decided to let the children have one more little adventure before we left. They had been asking to ride the ponies (and camel and hayride . . . ), but these are all activities that cost extra. Our general rule is that we don't do anything that costs extra because it just adds up so quickly. However, we decided to go ahead and let them do the pony ride this time. Brenson and Brooke went first, and they both thought it was great!

Brooke looked SO big riding that pony by herself. She was great to sit still and hang on the whole time.

Brecklyn also did well sitting still and hanging on. She enjoyed herself, but - in typical Brecklyn fashion - took it all very seriously. 

Brianna, as usual, was a champ. She's always up for an adventure, and we can count on her to be excited about almost anything. 

After visiting the pumpkin patch, we typically go to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. This year, however, we broke tradition and went to Hideaway Pizza. The food was good but the meal was kind of a disaster (dining out with four littles is always a risk). I think next year we'll stick with old faithful . . . a fast food restaurant made for little kids, ha!

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