Director Jewels: October 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Need A Clone. Or Five.

An accurate representation of my kitchen table right now.

Is it already Wednesday? Yikes.

It's come to my attention that I try to do too many things. I've always been this way. My Timehop this morning had 4 years of Facebook statuses declaring that I need more time. Apparently I am stressed out on this, the day before Halloween, every year.

You'd think I would learn. I even thought I was preparing early this year. However, I'm freaking out because there simply are not enough hours to accomplish everything. And I can't even stay up all night (my normal solution) because my baby won't sleep without me.

I don't WANT to be a stressed-out, spastic, exhausted, grumpy mother who pleads with her kid to watch one more episode of Curious George so that I can sew. I don't want to lie in bed, snuggling my almost toddler and just be worried because I didn't get emails sent regarding dress rehearsals for my students next week.

I need to find a better balance. Or maybe stop doing some of these projects. But what do I give up? Crafts? Blog? Drama? I love it all. So that's a pretty big dilemma.

I'll be back when the crazy calms down a little bit!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Adventuring at Shuck's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch {Fall Bucket List 2013}

Disclosure: Shuck's provided us with passes to visit the farm this fall. All opinions expressed are my own.

Is it even fall without a visit to the pumpkin patch? It's one of the most important things on our family's fall bucket list, for sure. There's just something about the smell of the great outdoors mixed with kettle corn and hearing leaves (or corn husks) crunching under your feet. If you're in Kansas City, please add Shuck's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch to your weekend itinerary before the pumpkin patch season ends! It's our favorite!


Every family adventure has been more exciting this year, since Lincoln is a lot more involved in whatever is happening and remembers the events (like apple picking) enough to beg us to do them again. Lincoln has been asking to look at these photos every time he sees my computer open today. His word for pumpkins is "cump-kins" - could it be any cuter?


We headed to the patch on a sunny afternoon and were all set for some serious fun. I tried really hard, but had no success whatsoever in getting a photo of both kids sitting with the pumpkins. Lincoln was just too excited and continually jumped up to run around and find another pumpkin to hold. Addie was a little more compliant.





She was pretty fascinated with the pumpkins, too - she didn't even try to crawl away when I sat her next to them. She doesn't move as fast as Lincoln, but she doesn't sit still for just anything, either, so they were obviously pretty special pumpkins.

Notice Lincoln running and Andrew chasing;
AKA what happens when we go anywhere as a family.

We also learned that the kids are still not quite old enough to grasp the concept of these adorable photo opps! One day they will, right? For now, I'm still laughing at my little turkeys.



The Corn Crib at Shuck's got a huge makeover this year! By my guess, it's over 4x the size of the original, and it now has a canopy above it to provide shade for optimal digging and playing in the corn kernels!

Best photo of the munchkins together.

With lots of shovels and toys to use to move the corn, this was definitely a big hit. I climbed right in with the kids to get some photos. There was corn in my shoes (and other places), but it was worth it!




Playing in the corn crib reminded me of the first time we took Lincoln to Shuck's. He was so tiny back then! Parents of small babies be warned: yes, to an infant this is like a giant game of "let's see how many of these I can get in my mouth while mom is not looking!"

chickensBaby fashionista.

Shuck's is owned by some dear friends of ours and they offered to let Lincoln and Addie pet the chickens. They were both pretty fascinated!



I was incredibly pregnant when we visited Shuck's last year, so I did not get to experience the barrel train. I hopped onboard with Lincoln this fall and went for what was possibly the bumpiest ride of my life!



Daddy & Addie

Lincoln - of course - loved it and wanted to go multiple times. I was only up for one ride, but he got to climb in with our friend Miss Emmie (the owners' daughter) and go for another round. While we waited for him to come back, we tried to get Addie's photo next to the "How Tall This Fall" sign. She was not incredibly cooperative.


We hadn't been in a corn maze since before the kids were born, but we thought Lincoln might enjoy the 'Lil Shucks maze this year. It was no great surprise that he completely loved it and took off running as soon as he let go of Daddy's hand.




Lincoln did not want to leave the maze or the farm and would probably have continued to run until he fell over from exhaustion if we had let him. We managed to pick out some pumpkins and get them to the car without anyone having a complete meltdown.


It was another super successful pumpkin patch trip! I think it gets more fun every single year. And once we had our pumpkin selections at home, we had even more fun carving the big one - the first time we have carved a pumpkin since the year Andrew and I were dating. Yay for new traditions with our little ones!

Disclosure: Shuck's provided us with passes to visit the farm this fall. All opinions expressed are my own. We would go to Shuck's every year whether or not we received a free family pass - we love it that much. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Apple Picking at Wagon Wheel Orchard {Fall Bucket List 2013}

This is a photo heavy post. Don't say I didn't warn you!


When I was a teenager, my parents owned a house out in the country with 30+ acres of land and a mini fruit tree orchard right in our backyard. Like most teenagers, I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have back then. Now that we are trying to make healthier choices about the food we put into our bodies, when I learned about a local orchard that does not use any pesticides or sprays on their fruit, I said - yep, that's going on our fall bucket list for sure.


We told Lincoln we were going to go pick apples and set off on the long drive to visit Wagon Wheel Orchard in Kansas. It turned out that we were visiting on the last day they were open to the public for picking, but we didn't let that dissuade us.


Once we arrived, I popped Addie in my carrier and we headed off into the orchard that stretched as far as the eye could see. Lincoln had the time of his life running down the trail.





Along the way, we saw apples here and there, but the trees were mostly picked clean. Remember - this was the last day they were open to the public. After a little while, we came to the realization that those who had come before us had likely cleared out all of the fruit.

Nevertheless, we persevered and managed to find one small bag's worth of apples to take home with us. I had planned to spend days and days making cider and applesauce and anything else we could dream up, so the scenario didn't go exactly as planned. But you know what? I don't mind. I didn't have the time for all that cooking, anyway.



Lincoln didn't notice or care that there weren't tons of apples to choose from - he was too busy shrieking "APPLES! PICK APPLES!" and running from tree to tree with Andrew on the search.






Lincoln enjoyed putting the apples in our bag so much that we may have switched out the apples from time to time and let him load them again. He was getting such a kick out of it, we couldn't resist.



He was also fascinated with the ducks and other animals on the farm. He tried to share our apples with the ducks by throwing them at the cage. Whoops.


And when it was time to go home? Well, somebody was less than pleased. The entire way to the car he wailed "PICK MORE APPLES!!!" I guess if we're looking at the bright side, we found an activity he really enjoyed!



And this little miss? She was perfectly content to just hang on for the ride.


Next year, we'll be the first people in line at the beginning of apple-picking season. It was a great first experience for all of us! We still made some delicious things with the bag of apples we did bring home - these homemade healthy Krispy Kreme doughnuts (in muffin form because we don't have a donut pan) were really yummy with diced apples on top.


And, my mom helped me make a big batch of apple and pear sauce for Addie to eat with her Sili Squeez with Eeeze.


Apple picking is definitely going to be on our fall bucket list every year! What other fun family activities do I need to institute as traditions while our kids are young? Let me know your favorite in the comments below!
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