Fall is beautiful in Ohio. We have cool mornings and evenings, sunny days, and the changing leaves make everything look spectacular. We spent a fun day with Kellie and Dawson at Mapleside Farms for their "Pumpkin Village", which was lacking in actual pumpkins but full of other entertaining things to do.
Mapleside Farms is a 122-acre apple orchard, owned by a young family with three boys. They also grow corn (you can see the corn maze in the photo below. The view from the top of the hill over the valley is amazing. The owners are building an enormous house with wrap-around decks on this hill - you can see why!
Grace is standing in front of a giant slide. You can choose to walk down the hill or go the fun way - SLIDE! What do you think we did?
We ALL rode the slide - even Kellie and me! At the bottom we checked out the teepee, "amateur" corn maze, pig races, and water pumps that gave rubber ducks a little ride.
Into the maze....
And back out!
We all got dusty on the pig train...barrels on wheels pulled by a tractor. Dawson chose the back row so it was extra bumpy!
I took this photo during the ride! I think our driver was entertaining himself along with us since he sped up around the turns to give everyone a little thrill.
One of their main attractions is a giant 70-foot inflated "pillow" that the kids love to jump on. It is surrounded by sand so there are no injuries if you happen to slide off.
All that running, jumping, and sliding made for some hot, tired girls.
So we took a rest in the shade, did a little shopping in their store for caramel apples, maple syrup, and a pumpkin and then called it a day!
We work hard and play hard at our house. Lately, there has been a lot more work with school, soccer, and Grace's evening piano, ballet, and church activities. I haven't had the "big" camera out in a while. My iPhone is always handy and it seems I tend to take more photos of our life with it. So, here is the iPhone update since the summer.
Grace has developed a nice friendship with a sweet girl named Brooklynn. They were in the same first grade class last year and Brooklynn is the first friend to spend the night at our house.
After a lot of pleading and trying to be responsible, Grace got a kitten. She named him Buddy and he has been a pretty good addition to the family. He fit in right away.
Kyle says he knows he was rescued and sometimes I agree. Especially when he is sleeping like this and seems so content with life.
Buddy finds comfortable places to rest all over the house...even in the dollhouse and on Daisy's bed!
Poor Daisy is really not too sure about this new animal that has moved in. Even after 2 1/2 months, Daisy seems skeptical. But she gets more attention now because we are worried about her feeling left out. That means more walks and even a few visits to the dog park.
See? We do find a little time for fun amid the busy schedules we all have! But Friday nights look like this at our house.
And that was early in September before things got really hectic! Now that it is officially fall the weather and the leaves are changing. We had a cold spurt where long sleeves and hats were necessary. Grace and I went to the Kent State Aviation Fair and Kyle's soccer game in the same afternoon.
That brings us to today....the last weekend in September. Kyle is headed to Dallas for a bachelor weekend to see the Cowboys play tomorrow night. So the girls went in search of Halloween costumes. We didn't find what we wanted but got the bonus of a balloon butterfly and face painting at the costume store.
A few weeks ago Grace declared that she wanted to take ballet lessons. I started to call the different dance schools and then found out about the Hudson Conservatory of Ballet. Their location was convenient for us and the fact that they concentrate on ballet only fit what we were looking for. A visit to their new, state-of-the-art facility convinced us even more that this was the right dance school for Grace.
She needed to get a certain type of leotard (in hunter green), tights, and shoes which took us to a dance supplier in Akron one Sunday afternoon. Her hair also needs to be in a tight bun so I have been watching You Tube videos all week about how to do a neat, ballet bun in less than 8 minutes. I am still trying to master the "neat" part.
I think Grace is a beautiful ballerina. I hope she loves every minute of class and finds something she can be passionate about. But, if she just has fun and develops a sense of confidence in her body (that is a hard thing for girls!) then I will be happy.
I know my parents are looking at this and remembering when I took ballet lessons...ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe - to be exact. But I was fat and ungraceful. Grace already has more "grace" than I ever had!
The couch became our makeshift barre as Grace tried her dance outfit. And Buddy got into the action - as he always does these days!
Mommy and Daddy love you, little ballerina. Dance like no one is watching!