A Short Week and Some Pumpkin Patch Antics

This last week was kind of a shortened one because Paul didn’t have work on Monday and the kids also didn’t have school (because of Columbus Day). We plugged through the week and then today we drove out to the pumpkin patch for some fall fun. We’ve had a couple good rainstorms move through, which was nice. We need the moisture for sure!

Since there was no school on Monday, Joseph came along with me and Abigail on our walk. We got to this part of the walk and Joseph said, “See, Mom? This, right here, is why I love Texas. It’s just so pretty!” I have to agree.
No school also meant no having to go back and forth, so I had time to make rolls (and make them big enough to use as sandwich buns…so I also made meatballs).
Cut a roll in half, pop on a couple of meatballs and a slice of cheese…and serve with a side of steamed broccoli. One of my favorite dinners!
Tuesday was picture day. I realized Abigail’s bangs were rather long and hanging down in her eyes, so I fashioned some side French braids to pull them out of her face. I got this side really well (probably because my left hand was reaching for the new strands to add into the braid)…
…but this side didn’t turn out nearly as well. Luckily, she really wanted her octopus clip put into her hair, so I used it to cover up the messy braid, haha. I would have redone it, but I ran out of time.
This is what happened when I told her to smile. 😀 I remember thinking that I hoped she wouldn’t smile like that for pictures (but also thinking it would be kind of funny if she did), haha.
Here’s a good smile!
October means bat earrings!
It also means getting to wear one of my favorite shirts. The caption for this says “Mother of Nightmares” (and yes, the kids know it’s a play on the movie and that I don’t really think they’re nightmares). Paul found it for me a couple of years ago and I love that it has a mom with a boy and a girl.
An October rose. 🙂
A fun wildflower that Abigail and I saw on one of our walks. I love it so much! It’s spherical and looks like it has fluff like a dandelion, but it doesn’t. I also love the sparkly tips!
Yup. That’s just a group of seven vultures just hanging out on the roof of one of the houses across the street from our house.
Crazy-looking fungi that we spotted on a tree by the school. I posted this picture on Facebook and had a friend tell me that they were called “turkey tails” which I think is the perfect name for them.
One of my friends went to Disneyland a few months back and bought these towels for me. Now that it’s October, I can put them out!
One favorite part of the pumpkin patch is dressing a scarecrow.
Abigail maneuvering the hay bale maze.
These were some fun painted tires that the kids could climb on.
Barrel train ride!
I was so glad Joseph could ride with Abigail. My hips and back still remember the last time I rode that thing, haha.
She scooted back and wanted him to hold onto her…which was pretty cute.
I love watching them walk. She sure loves her daddy!
I love this sweet boy!
I also love this sweet girl (and her wild side, haha).
This is such a beautiful place!
Petting a pony.
Climbing on the hay tractor.
Smile for the camera!
Watch out! Abigail’s behind the wheel.
On the hay ride.
Watching the music show.
They were really fun to watch. They got the audience involved a lot and sung some fun songs.
Abigail was eating it all up (she was also munching down on the kettlecorn there…we still have quite a bit of that left over to snack on for the next few days).
Joseph and his tambourine.
Baby pig “races”. They didn’t really have a winner…the three little piglets just ran some laps while a pre-teen looking boy encouraged them to keep going by chasing them a bit and sprinkling some food out for them, haha.
 

Another Week That Just Flew By

This past week seemed to go by in an eye-blink. It was full of walks, exercising, school, work, errands, piano teaching, cooking, baking, friends, and a spontaneous trip to Buc-ee’s. It went by so fast that I even forgot to do this post yesterday. Enjoy the photos!

Last Saturday and Sunday were General Conference (a semi-annual event where the head leaders of our church address the entire worldwide membership of the church…it’s broadcast over the Internet, so we can watch it from home). One of our traditions for conference is cinnamon rolls. I found out that my sweet roll recipe is perfect for cinnamon rolls. Here they are fresh out of the oven.
I found a really simple icing recipe (powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk). I was able to simply pour it over the top, so it was perfect!
I had a craving for something curry-based, so I made mulligatawny. It has chicken stock, half and half, curry, chicken, onion and garlic, and apples. I serve it over rice and have some sort of flatbread with it. I had forgotten to get the na’an that I normally get at H-E-B, so I asked Paul to get some from the Neighborhood Walmart on the way home…but he said they didn’t have any, so he grabbed lavash bread (a Middle Eastern flatbread that’s more tortilla-like). I think we prefer na’an more, but it did the job in a pinch. Sometimes I forget that it can be hit or miss sometimes with different international foods.
We also had National Night Out. This is the night where our neighborhood gets together at the neighborhood park to hang out…there are booths for local businesses, food trucks, the middle school band plays, and the firefighters usually show up and let the littles in their truck. Abigail got to try on a helmet, which she said was really heavy, and sat in the different parts of the truck.
Mornings have been a little tough for this one. Luckily school for her doesn’t start until later in the day, so she has a few hours to really get herself good and awake.
I thought the windmill that’s over by our mailboxes looked really cool against a totally cloudless sky. It was so, so blue and beautiful.
She came up to where I was sitting and snuggled up to me. Joseph came over and sat down with us and she grabbed my hand to cover her eyes. She said, “I’m too nervous to see people.” (I’m still not sure why she said that), but what I heard was, “It’s too early to see people.”. I couldn’t agree more. 😂
Octobers mean jack-o’-lantern lights and fresh popcorn for evening treat.
If I have to be up at sunrise on most days, at least it’s pretty.
We had friends over, so I made some treats. Treat one was rice crispy treats. I used orange food coloring to dye the melted marshmallow mixture orange. Then I sprinkled both mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips on top.
The other treat I made for our friends night: apple cider doughnuts. The dough had flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, apple pie spice, an egg, apple sauce, and some frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed.
Once they were baked, I tossed them into a mixture of sugar and more apple pie spice. They were pretty tasty!
One of my favorite sights during this time of year!
The obligatory picture with the Buc-ee statue.
 

All About Nature This Week

Last Saturday night we had a gecko get into the house. It kept going under the furniture, but with me moving whatever it went under, Paul was able to catch the gecko pretty quickly and get it out. I remember thinking, “Man, I hope that doesn’t happen again!” Well, Monday night, Abigail hopped into the bathtub (she likes to get in before the water is filled up) and I heard her go, “Augh! A LIZARD!” Sure enough…there was another gecko, this time it was a different, larger one and it was most definitely in the bathtub. Don’t ask me how it got all the way upstairs and into the kids’ bathroom (which is right at the top of the stairs) without any of us noticing, because I have no idea. Paul tried to catch it for a bit, but it somehow disappeared. 😬 A couple hours later, I went to go up the stairs and noticed it on the wall in the stairwell. I grabbed the sock basket (a cloth rope basket that I keep in the stairwell for people to toss socks in if they think they may wear them again the same day) and managed to chase it down the rest of the stairs before trapping it under the basket. Paul took over from there. The poor little gecko did lose its tail (I totally did not realize that if a lizard loses its tail, the tail flops around independently for at least a couple minutes afterwards 😳 but now I do 😂). Paul got the gecko outside (and also tossed the tail outside). Crazy!

One crazy story about one of the morning walks I took with Abigail this week: we encountered what we thought was a dead baby rattlesnake in the middle of a street we were crossing (I drove back to the area where we saw the snake after I dropped Abigail off for school and it was no longer there…so either someone moved it, or it wasn’t actually dead…just too cold to move and it was sunning itself. 😱😬😱) and Abigail got up close and personal with a patch of mud. She was not happy and wasn’t going to walk any further until she was clean (an issue since we weren’t anywhere near home), but luckily she allowed me to use her shirt to clean her up a bit. What an experience!

We’ve also seen an anole lizard hanging out on the back patio. We thought it was a brown anole at first, but then we saw it again and it was green! At first we thought we were looking at two different lizards, but then realized it was the same exact size. So I looked it up and apparently there is a Carolina anole that can change colors between brown and green.

The toads continue to frequent our yard and really like to hang out in the planter on the front porch. I love that they keep the bug population down!

The other bits of nature we’ve been enjoying are pretty flowers, a couple of good, soaking rainstorms and pretty Texas skies. So, just as a warning, there are a ton of sky pictures coming!

I love my geraniums!
The coral is so pretty!
I love the contrast of the red against the green.
Enjoying a pretty sunrise on our walk.
I have a weakness for pretty clouds. It’s going to become even more apparent as we progress…
Toad! I really zoomed in. He’s still pretty big, though. I think he’s about the size of my palm.
This is what our mornings are like most days, haha. Neither of the kids are really ready to get moving right away.
Can you spot the windmill? This is right next to our subdivision (across the street from our mailbox, actually).
A super-cool cloud.
I added all the spooky!
I was mesmerized by the contrast of dark and light right next to each other. No rain in those dark clouds, though!
I love the contrast of the darkness of the trees against the sky.
I also love being able to see the rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds.
The sky was so blue on Friday!
This sight actually took my breath away for just a moment.
I love my little walking buddy! She lasts the entire two miles, which is pretty awesome for a four-year-old.
She found this awesome leaf. She had to bring it home because, “Mom, it has so many colors!” The side that is facing her even had a bit of red on it.
Such a pretty sky! I love living in Texas!
I was picking up some new pants for Joseph and found these jammies. I think she likes them just a little bit.
I changed up the contents of my large galvanized jug. I love the look of the grasses and the cattails!
Here’s the Carolina anole. I took this picture yesterday. It’s kind of a brownish-green.
Here it is today.
It’s definitely more green, but I think the tail is still a little bit on the brown side. They can change color depending on how they’re feeling (mood, stress level, etc.), how active they are, and even as a social signal (showing dominance). Right before I took this picture, we even saw this guy extend his bright red dewlap (throat fan) which let us know he was a male (female dewlaps are lighter in color). He also bobbed his head up and down (apparently they’re closely related to iguanas, who do the same thing). I’m not sure what he saw that made him do that, but it was neat to watch.