It’s been almost a month since I posted last. Sorry about that! We’re still alive and kicking, don’t worry. We’ve had a busy month, with getting back into the swing of school and building our new school-year routine. Let’s see, what have we been doing?

Well, for some reason, going to pumpkin patches has become like going to see Santa at Christmas. This year we had the opportunity to go three different places — but we passed on one. The first place was really just our CSA, which grows pumpkins as part of our farm share. That was pretty fun, as Benji discovered the joys of riding in a wheelbarrow for the first time.
CSA Pumpkins

Then we could’ve gone with our church to a pumpkin patch, but passed, because that same week Benji’s preschool went to one (at least one parent/guardian required to attend). It was very wet, the beginning of several days of serious rain. Benji spent almost the entire time whining about being hungry (I should’ve given him snack on the way there) and wanting to go home. The only real break was during the hay maze, which he LOVED. Unfortunately, leaving that just meant one more thing to whine about.
Pumpkin Patch: Hay Maze

Pumpkin Patch: Hay Maze Slide

Pumpkin Patch: Tractor Wagon Ride to Pumpkins

Pumpkin Patch Glare

Pumpkin Patch Creamsicle

So that was pumpkins. We also have lots of delicious winter squashes to eat from our CSA, and I’m looking forward to some homemade pumpkin pie, and some mashed squash, and mmmmm, my favorite, spaghetti squash with sausage.

Speaking of pie, we made another apple pie that turned out DELICIOUS. Mine ended up looking a bit like a snail, but fortunately tasted like pie still.
Apple Pie Snail

Now time for an awkward segue… The pumpkins ended up on our front steps, but generally the yard–front and back–has really gotten neglected this year. We’ve done a minimal amount to keep it from being a total disaster, but we haven’t made it any nicer. Well, about six weeks ago, Benji noticed our across-the-street neighbors Howard and Sue spreading mulch and generally beautifying their yard. They are retired and keep their yard not only spotless but gorgeous year-round. Benji said he wanted to make our yard pretty, too.

Well, Ian went to Canada for a short business trip, so we decided to go for it and surprise him when he got home.
We did it for Daddy.
Benji helped me spread the mulch a bit; I also mowed (my first time with an electric lawn mower, and I managed to not run over the cord!) and even fixed our broken gate latch, with Howard’s help (our drill bit wasn’t long enough).

Feeling virtuous and accomplished, we retired in glory…. and none too soon, as it appears the rain may have started for good for the winter, putting paid to any more yard activity other than raking.

Now, in increasingly random news, some other things:

1. Legos have vaulted from “meh” to a top toy, much to our delight. Benji reads the directions himself, with a little help, and places the majority of the pieces himself as well.
Ice planet Legos!

2. “Spooky” things are fun right now too. He turns his trains into ghosts by having Ian cover them with paper; and he turned himself into a spooky laundry ghost.
Spooky Laundry Ghost

3. School has letter-themed show-and-tell every week. Last week was “F,” and Benji proudly came running with this to share:
"F" Show & Tell: "Phone"
Oops, gotta work on actual spelling.

4. Walking to Benji’s speech therapy, we looked for pretty leafs. This one was still attached, but we brought a whole pile home… which has now joined all the other leafs that blew off the trees in our latest windstorm.
Pretty Autumnal Leaf

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