We headed up to the little farming community 20 miles away to take advantage of their fun harvest festivals. It was a GORGEOUS fall day, we beat the crowds, every one was getting along. I had $40 in my pocket.
(Life Lesson: $40 is not enough money to budget for a morning at Greenbluff).
The first farm was super fun—the kids did the cheap straw maze, petted ponies that were scary (to Faith at least), watched the Chunkin Punkin machine (a pumpkin gets hurled by an air gun a million feet, right before your very eyes). We decided, in the interest of time, to forgo actually picking the pumpkin from the field and headed over to the our favorite farm.
(Life Lesson: if you must buy pumpkins at Greenbluff, pick them out of the field at Knapps, instead of waiting to purchase at Harvest House).
We headed over to the next destination, while visions of pumpkin donuts, haunted bouncy houses and caramel apples bounced in their heads. We unloaded and the kids headed down to the “pumpkin patch”, while Ryan went to stand in the pumpkin donut line.
Everyone began to find the biggest pumpkin. I began to worry about how much they would cost. “Hey guys, It’s really annoying to carve a HUGE pumpkin, you know. So many seeds, thick walls, etc. You may want to find a medium sized one”. Of course no one listened. I pulled out my next tactic: “Okay. You may pick a pumpkin that YOU can transport to the cashier and to the car. We are not getting a wagon.” Everyone began rolling, kicking and bouncing their HUMONGOUS gourds over to the cashier.
(Life Lesson: If you are worried about cost per pumpkin—just TELL THE KIDS THAT. Don’t assume they can read between the lines and be persuaded to pick a little boring pumpkin over the glorious 20 lb monstrosity.)
We plopped those big babies on the scale and the lady asks for $32 dollars! For 4 pumpkins. I handed over ALL OF MY MONEY to the lady and said, in complete irritation: “Okay, guess we’re done. I have no more money. No play area, no caramel apples, no lunch. You do, however, have pumpkins larger than baby elephants.” Ryan returned with donuts to sad, mopey kids and an irritated wife.
(Life Lesson: Pumpkin donuts can slightly elevate the mood of disappointed kids. But not much.)
We drove home in silence. I’m wishing I planned better and that the kids were better at catching my hints. The kids are wishing their parents were richer and/or nicer and/or explained their options to them better.
We stopped at McDonalds and buy a bunch of cheap food to take to Jane’s soccer game. We sat down on the beautiful field and began to peel the Monopoly stickers off of our large fries and Big Macs. Everyone started to cheer as we won lots of Free Medium Fries.
(Life Lesson: While horrible for your body, apparently McDonalds and their gimmicks can do a lot to lighten the mood in the 5-11 year old crowd.)
Seth, upon hearing that we were getting Free Medium Fries, ran up to me and said “Hey MOM! These must be the free medium fries. See? They aren’t huge and they aren’t tiny.”
(Life Lesson: Every mom needs a hilarious 5 year old to make her laugh when she is annoyed that her Big Plans went South.)
We ended up cheering Jane on, hanging out in the sun, admiring the leaves and the mountains and drove home contented.
(Life Lesson: You do your best to be with your kids and, mostly, it all ends up okay.)