Monday, October 27, 2014

Maple Ridge Pumpkins (because doesn't everyone drive 60+ km for pumpkins?)

With a rare free weekend afternoon (and with our farm-phobic family member at work), the kids and I headed to Maple Ridge for pumpkins.

It was a dull, grey day...but Laity farm was lovely, even in the rain (photo intensive post to've been warned). 

Hello, goats!

It was the weekend of Thanksgiving, so the kids were relieved to think that the turkey below had been spared the fate of many of his/her kin. I am not sure what Finny is up to here...

My little pumpkins...

The grounds of the farm were really beautiful. There were little details all over. We really enjoyed exploring.

There was a hilarious hayride, which was mostly just a, totally just a circle. I thought it was the parking area. It wasn't. We were off it before I realized the ride had even started.

Bizarrely, the kids didn't even blink. The circular two-second ride was all they needed.

There were gardens and mini pumpkin patches.

Butler kids train...

Molly's legs are so long, so could have her feet on the ground.

My three turkeys:

Molly shows off her wooden cow.

And since you don't want your wooden cow to get a sore udder, so obviously have to milk her...

One of the best features of this place was the amazing corn maze. Here are my girls at the start:

Our first impression was that the maze was small and we'd be out in no time. We quickly ended up separated and very lost. All you could do was look up at the sky.

Every once in a while, we would run into each other again.

I found Finny investigating the corn. Maybe she was checking on her survival options if we never found our way out.

I ran into Lukey and he was complaining about a very sore foot due to a blister, caused by wearing a pair of snow boots (!!) that were too small.

We all found each other at the dead end right in the middle of the maze.

Even Lukey ended up there...

Eventually, Molly and I found the exit at the same time. We decided this made us the winners. Finny came out a while later. Then I sent her back in to try to find Lukey. He finally emerged close to tears. His blister slowed him down and he might have been quietly checking into the edibility of the corn himself...he thought he was never getting out.

It started to rain pretty heavily right around then, so we moved towards the forest, where a series of trails were decorated with a strange but charming collection of story characters.

Believe it or not, we took pictures on nearly everything. I will spare you the gory details and just include a few here.

Pirate Butlers.

Molly as "Rose" from Titanic.

Okay, now this cracks me up. The best part is you can see Moll's feet at the bottom.


It was truly pouring by this time. You can really tell, but we were soaked. And notice Lukey's bare foot...he had given up on the offending snow boot.

We sought out our pumpkins in the fields, but Lukey was a little handicapped by his one bare foot. Bad mother...right?

Once our pumpkins were chosen and loaded into the wheelbarrow, the man of the group took it upon himself to wheel our pumpkins out. Unfortunately, the wheelbarrow loaded up weighed more than our wee Lou. It didn't take long for the wheelbarrow to take him out. Pretty hard. Poor little buddy was a bit banged up...bare foot, wet and a little wounded, he wasn't having the best time...

So, we stopped into the little cafe attached for something warm to drink. Nothing a little hot apple cider couldn't fix.

...until the wobbly table caused Lukey to spill a good glug of our cider all over the table. Note his sad face above.

Nevermind. We still had lots of nice warmth to enjoy and we paid for our pumpkins (very cheap!) and headed home.

Finny and Lukey were really excited to give Molly her early birthday present (our excuse was that due to the time difference, that night was really her birthday...nine hours back from Stuttgart time).

So, Playmobil was gifted. A gift that they knew Molly would love, but more importantly, they would love, too. Playmobil is one thing that they still really love to do all together. So there is no better gift.

An epic session of fun.

A wonderful day and a great way to usher our girl into 12...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

E- Luke's first x-country race

Lukey loves to compete...but has always been hesitant to join the cross country team at school. Maybe it's because of his competitive nature that he holds back, knowing the pain he'll have to endure.

I can certainly recall many afternoons sitting in class with an upset stomach, in anticipation of a big after school run. I don't think anything has made me more nervous in life than the anticipation of a competitive run. Even big games in basketball were never the same feeling.

Lukey dealt with it well and finished 12th in a big field of competitors. Molly made us proud by competing in her grade 7 heat, at a age when most girls have already quit. Finny raced really hard and came in 4th.