Sunday, October 10, 2010

October Festivities

In October, there is coziness, family, and adventure around every corner. We want to make the most of every October day, and our weekend has been blessedly filled with family and time together doing Autumn-y things!

On Thursday afternoon, my mom and I took the kiddos back to Peltzer Farms' pumpkin patch. Although we have already been once this season (haven't yet blogged about that, though the pics are already posted to Facebook), I wanted to take Katie on a pony ride this year. Readers may remember that she got cold feet at the last moment before her pony ride last year; however, this year she was the one to bring it up and ask for one. The October light made the afternoon golden as we spent a blissful hour at the farm.

Katie and Eric in the hay

My beloved little people. No matter that Eric has been with us for two months---I still cannot believe that the two of them are finally here together and that we are making these memories that I have dreamed about for so long.

Katie goes for a ride on Puddin the horse.

This was maybe a couple of turns before she announced definitively "I'm done!" She was the only child riding, and she made it around several times before she wanted to be done.

On Friday, we had a cozy-cousin-baking-crafting-talking day after music class. My cousins Kd Horne and Hannah Lambert drove up from Vista/Oceanside to spend the day with us. Hannah is Brandon's wife and just returned from a trip home (the first in 18 months) to see her family in England. Just down the street from her family's farm is the pub where both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein wrote their masterworks. Oh, how I long to visit England someday! Kd is my youngest cousin, and her life has been changing in amazing ways lately. We wanted to get together for some womanly heart-renewing time. Kd once made me a card that said it best: We Matics-Lambert-Horne cousins are cousins by family, friends by choice, and often like brothers and sisters. I am so thankful to have these relationships.

Eric visits with his beautiful cousins.

Hannah, Katie, Kd, and I tried a new recipe for pecan tassies.

After a lunch of various cheeses, breads, pumpkin butter, mulled cider, fruit, and ham, we had time to play and talk with each other.

We made more gourd people! (My mom, Katie, and I made gourd people on our first Pumpkin Patch Day---pics on Facebook). Crafting is good for the soul and healing for the heart. I am a firm believer in good food, fellowship, and crafting whenever there are bumps in the road for those we love. We must nourish each other.

Later Friday night, I took the bathed kiddos over to my mom and dad's to celebrate Ashley's 21st birthday! David and Ashley were spending the night at my parents' house on their way to Palomar Mountain for some camping and stargazing this weekend.

Eric hangs out with his aunt and uncle.

Family dinner. Happy birthday to Ashley!

On Saturday my mom came over with a new recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies.

Amie and Katie measure ingredients.

Yummy! The batter is the best part!

We have McGaugh Family Movie Night every Saturday, and now that we're in the month of October, we are choosing movies with October themes. This weekend we watched Ghostbusters. I remember that movie when it was new, when I was about the age of five. Watching it now with my own children is a little surreal...Where does time go? Katie liked it, but we had to cover her eyes at many of the scary parts (scarier than I remember!). She loved Slimer, though, as well as the "Stay Puft" marshmallow man.

I made a thematically appropriate dinner out of our food: mummified hotdogs, ghostly mashed potatoes, and vampire apples.

Sunday morning found us more restful, and we stayed in our pajamas much of the morning. Bill took charge of the kiddos while I slept in (thank you, Husband!). Considering that I have broken a couple of different glass items and managed to flood the kids' bathroom while filling up a bath for Katie all within a week, I think he realized that I needed some more sleep. Sleep deprivation for me results in total klutziness. I love having my two children, but I must say that having two children under three-years-old and one a wakeful newborn is not easy physically. I've never worked this hard in my whole life, to be sure. Thankfully, I love hard work and believe in it and also believe in chugging along even when my body is weary---the mind, heart, and spirit are willing.

On Sunday afternoon, I had a much needed mommy-daughter date with Katie. I hadn't realized how much she, (and I, as well) needed this time alone together until after we were back home. She was absolutely on cloud nine, and she was referring quite a bit to how things "used to be" when it was just the two of us. She even wanted me to "carry [her] downstairs like Eric," so I know she has been thinking about her babyhood. She has been so patient with my time with Eric, often content to sit nearby and play while I am doing something with him. So many times, too, we have sat down to read or play, and he will need to eat or be changed in the middle---and she never fusses or complains about that. But she needed this date with me. I think it is important to make time for siblings both together and one-on-one. Hopefully I will get another chance to do that again with her soon.

For our date we went to the Old Town Temecula Theater to see an operetta of Hansel and Gretel. One of my former students, Nichole Lohre, now a graduate of University of Redlands with degrees in voice and business administration, performed as the Dew Fairy. I loved seeing her and hearing her matured voice. She was my student before I married Bill and long before Katie was part of our lives. It was such a treat to remember her in my classroom long ago and to have Katie meet her after the performance.

Katie waits outside of the theater.

Holding her ticket.

Meeting Hansel and Gretel after the performance.

The witch was a bit scary to her, but she loved the guardian angels (ballerinas) who protected Hansel and Gretel all night in the forest. She did so well watching the performance and deciphering the opera. She sits quietly and still, and she is developing a liking for the rituals of theater-going: paying a visit to Will Call, holding her own ticket, watching the lights go down, taking intermission, returning inside at the bell, applauding at the end. I am so happy Temecula has this theater, an amazing educational and artistic resource in our own backyard. Katie has now seen orchestra, ballet, and operetta performances. We are excited because we have tickets to The Nutcracker next month, and in December we are seeing the play The Christmas Carol.

After Hansel and Gretel, we made a stop for gelato right as the cafe was closing. Gelato is our post-theater ritual, and we shared a mixed berry scoop this time. I loved my date with my firstborn, and Eric got to spend man-time with Daddy. It made for a perfect end to the weekend.

Happy Autumn!