I was trying to hold onto summer as long as possible and this year Mother Nature was on my side. We have had the most beautiful Indian Summer. Fall has come upon us gently, giving us glorious days in the 70's with warm sun. Many days the kids have warn shorts and flip flops. I am thankful that it was not like last year where we had a 17 degree freeze in early October causing our pipes to freeze and our basement to flood.
The freeze last year killed the leaves and left us with a muted fall coloring. This year it is as though the leaves have been twice a brilliant.
We went for a nature walk and collected many beautiful leaves and soaked in the warmth of fall.
We've Been Boo-ed and Spooked! The kids in our neighborhood Boo each other where they leave an anonymous goodie bag of Halloween treats with a note to post on your door and instruction to Boo to fellow neighbors or friends. This is one of those sweet things where it better to give than receive. The girls were more fired up to deliver their Boo gifts than they were about their gifts. They had so much fun leaving the treats, ringing the door bell and running as fast as they could to the car.
We took a trip with friends to the Berry Patch Farm to pick berries and shop their organic produce.
Since Hank out grew his Strawberry allergy, he could eat as many as he wanted this year. :0)
If there is a tractor in eye sight, Hank will find it and "want to ride on it!"
Today we headed to the pumpkin patch. This is normally a family tradition that my parents and sisters partake in, but each of our lives have gotten so busy, the one day we could all go, it rained. So this was our first solo pumpkin patch visit. We dashed over after church in hopes of picking our pumpkins before the weather turned bad.
Hank thought it was pretty fun and found a pumpkin that weighs as much as he does. :0)
Kaitlin searching for her pumpkin.
Karlie had a heck of time. She would find one and then find yet another she liked even better. After finding four pumpkins, she finally found the one!
Hailey found hers first.
My little pumpkins.
My whole world.
Sunday morning we took a drive through Arches National Park. The weather could not have been nicer. We learned October is Moab's busiest time of year and validated that at the park. At the Delicate Arch, it appeared as ants were marching.
The kids had a blast playing on the rocks and in the dirt.
The adults were captivated by the scenery. I have turned into my parents. I so vividly remember them encouraging me as a child to take in the beauty. As they exclaimed with excitement of the golden aspen or the purple mountains, I would roll my eyes and think, "big deal." Now I am the one urging the kids to appreciate the beauty around them and they just want to know when we are having lunch.
The colors in Moab are exquisite. I can finally appreciate what my parents were seeing.
Kaitlin and Hank enjoyed the red dirt on their own terms.
The trail is right along a cliff but what an amazing view.
So, I am hoping since they both survived and completed the course that they won't have to do it again next time. :0)
On Sunday the boys took Hailey and I to Slickrock, "perhaps the most popular mountain bike trail in the world!" I can tell you I didn't see many 9 year old girls out there. But I did see my little lady doing stuff grown men couldn't do. She was an absolute natural. She has never been mountain bike riding and took to it like a fish to water. She even had two really nasty falls, but after getting the needed hugs and kisses she hopped on her bike and said, "Let's do this!"
This ride was one of those rare times I have experienced the panicked feeling that you have asked your kid to do more than they should. However, your sheer confidence in them is making them bullet proof. If Hailey could have seen the fear welling up in me as I watched her attempt some steep descents, I don't know that she would have been able to conquer them. Max and my confidence in her worked like Dumbo's feather. There were a few times that I only attempted it because I had just watched my precious daughter complete it and she was calling to me that I could do it. This parenting stuff is a real mind blower. Hailey did the ride with Aunt Anna's shoes (4 sizes bigger) because she only packed flip flops and with the seat of her shorts completely torn open from a fall. She did the entire practice loop and was complemented as having the best wipe-out a fellow lady biker had ever seen. What a gal!
Max made it clear that Santa screwed up and bought her a tank of a bike and that he was going to have to take her out and get her a real bike. Way to throw Santa under the bus.
There was lots of snuggles and loves.
A little man to man around the grill.
A star lit stroll.
Some tired campers. All four of them were out for two hours of the drive home. Karlie was so crashed out that her head is hanging below the bottom of the picture.
The beauty of Moab was endless.
We drove to a spot along the Colorado River to play and soak up the views.
Kids and water. What more do you need?
The kids (Pops included) loved playing in the super fine mud.
Of course it progressed to mud every where. Look at Pop's shorts and Karlie's arm.
Max decided to cool off with a swim. It was very cold.
The little people liked the idea of taking their clothes off. I didn't want muddy kids in the car. Win, win situation.
We celebrated Anna's birthday with a king crab leg dinner and chocolate cake! I think I am still full from all that dinner. :0)
Braids were the in look.
Porcupine Rim Trail 2 - Max and Monty 0