We stayed home for Thanksgiving this year; just the immediate family gathered around the table. I love big extended family gatherings, but I felt incredibly contented to just be with my husband and kids, all together under our roof. We had a lovely traditional Thanksgiving feast and I even brought out the good china and crystal... I think for the first time since the littles have been with us.
We started our Halloween "season" off with a trip to Vala's Pumpkin Patch, which is more like an Autumn Extravaganza of family fun. Haunted houses, the pumpkin mine, Bunnyville, Story Book Barn, the corn maze... there is really too much to mention. Also, there is a lot of food.
Danger at the pumpkin mine.
And a nice photo for mom.
Did I mention food? Candace has a real way with a turkey leg.
Thomas with his pumpkin picked fresh from the field.
Candace and Sarah hang onto their pumpkins during the hayrack ride.
A neighbor dropped by with early Halloween treats... including these classic wax lips.
Next, we had some good old-fashioned pumpkin carving. The kids were helped out by our very own Halloween-style black cat.
The final jack o'lanterns!
Halloween Day brings the elementary school costume parade...
Candace the sassy samurai!
Hello Kitty nerd Sarah and friend.
... followed in the evening by the big event: Trick or Treating!
This weekend was very busy for us. We had Thomas's last soccer game of the season. It was a chilly morning, but bright and sunny. Thomas finished out his season with four goals in the game and a win for the Panthers.
Soccer mom in Ethiopian gabi. It was chilly, but I was warm.
A blurry phone picture of the mighty Panthers and their participation medals.
We also had a big first this weekend: Candace and Sarah had their first real meet competing for Nebraska School of Gymnastics. We traveled to Ankeny, Iowa for the Jump Jivin' meet hosted by Triad Gymnastics. The girls had some rough routines on beam, but they had some bright spots and the meet went okay on the other three events as far as a first meet goes. Most importantly, they had a blast! Looking forward to watching them improve over the course of the season!
Sarah performing an arabesque...
... and a nice handstand in the first half of her beam routine.
Candace prepares for her handstand...
... and overshoots it, but look how nice and tight she is!
Sarah starts her floor routine while her teammates look on.
One fall activity we haven't done for a long time is picking apples. Tom got a good coupon for a local orchard, so we spent a beautiful Saturday enjoying the orchard. Everyone enjoyed picking some nice fresh apples and working our way through the corn maze. Afterward, the kids enjoyed caramel apples and the playground while we adults had some locally made wine... pretty good. I think we'll go again next year.
The orchard and surrounding area... those are kites in the sky.
Emily and Candace on the wagon to the apple trees.