Farm Days

Kelsey wanted to go to a Pumpkin Patch. What Kelsey wants, Kelsey gets. Nah, not really. I really wanted to take the kids somewhere fun, too, so I did a search and found a couple of farms in the area that had pumpkin patches. One of them looked like it had lots of fun stuff without being too terribly expensive or too crowded, especially during the weekend after Halloween. So we went to Blessington Farms to check out the pumpkins and the rest of the attractions.

We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of fun things there were to do there.

We had to pay $10/person to get in, but we didn’t have to pay for any of the rides or anything once we were in.

The big slide was a lot of fun.

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Garrett came down laying down.

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Abby came down slightly sideways.

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Garrett on his back again. I think it slowed him down a little bit and made him feel a little safer.

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Safer, that is, until Kelsey came down and almost ran into him!

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Here Garrett tried it sitting up.

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He tried it on his belly and almost crashed into the side. Abby was standing right there, but she was too busy looking up at the top to be of any help to him.

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Sitting again.

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Kelsey on her belly.

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Kelsey at the bottom after a fun slide down on her belly. Abby went down lots of times, too, but I couldn’t really see what I was taking pictures of. I just had to point and shoot because the sun made it impossible to see what was on my camera screen. So the pictures I tried to take of Abby didn’t turn out too well.

Emma was with Gary on the other side of the hill, going down the slide there, so I didn’t get any pictures of her.

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The little girls really liked the big sandpile, but we had lots of other things to explore, so they didn’t get much time to play in the sand.

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We went through the petting farm.

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The camels were 6 months old. I thought it was very nice of them to smile for the camera!

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There were goats that were tiny.

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They were so cute!

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Nobody was afraid to pet them. One guy picked one of them up and carried it over to his son so he could pet it.

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There were chicks.

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My kids can’t wait until we can have our own baby chicks.

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Garrett and Abby and Scooby rode on the pedal bikes.

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Kelsey got in on the pedal bike action.

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We finally found the pumpkin patch! But it had already been pretty well picked.

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We were able to get some nice pictures with the few pumpkins that were left.

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Garrett tried his hand at lassoing a steer.

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Then we rode the barrel train.

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The little girls rode in cows. And so did I. I rode in a cow behind them. It was so much fun! Riding on that barrel train was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I threw my hands up in the air and yelled, “Wooh” just like on a roller coaster.

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Kelsey and the twins brought up the rear.

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The twins were the caboose.

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The little girls were having a lot of fun. Almost as much fun as their mama.

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And the sun goes down on the barrel train.

The next weekend, Gary and I wanted to celebrate our 26th anniversary. So I looked for a Bed and Breakfast in the area. To my great surprise, I found a FARM that was also a Bed and Breakfast that was only about 12 minutes from our house. It’s called Honey Farm.

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And on that farm there was a cat. E – I – E – I – O!

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There were also 2 llamas, a pony and a donkey named Rufus. They told me that the pony is the boss.

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This is the back porch of the main house. There is a screened-in porch where you can sit away from the mosquitoes if everybody remembers to keep the screen door closed.

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Side view of the main house.

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Front view of the main house. Great front porch!

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This is the door to our cozy love nest. 🙂

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We had a bathroom inside. We did not have to use the outhouse in the picture.

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And this is where I spent the majority of my time. I slept most of the time! I think I was fighting something off.

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But it was very beautiful and comfortable and quiet and peaceful.

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And the breakfasts were terrific. We had wonderful hosts who met our every need.

Gary and I had a wonderful time. It was the perfect place for our getaway. God really blessed us during our time together, and we both came away refreshed and rejuvenated. A lot happened for us spiritually, but I will write about that in another post in the future.

Texas Bluebonnets – We Found Them!

Since moving to Texas, I have learned that taking pictures of Texas Bluebonnets every Spring is a Texas Tradition. So I decided we needed to do that this year. We are second year Texans, so we should act like it! So I asked some people who know about such things where to find Bluebonnets. They told me to head toward San Antonio on I-10, and I should find some. So we loaded up the van and started driving west. Gary is never very comfortable with just driving without a specific destination, but he was a good sport. We drove a long way. We passed some grassy hillsides that had lots of Bluebonnets, but they were right next to the highway, and I didn’t feel it would be safe to stop along the side of the road and let my little ones wander around on a hillside so close to a busy highway.

We kept driving, and I could tell that Gary was getting tired, so I said we might as well go to the one hillside we saw. We turned around and drove a ways when I saw a flat stretch of grass with a lot of Bluebonnets and an access road that we could park the van on while we looked at the flowers. So I asked Gary to take us over to the access road. He got off the highway, and then I saw a sign for Stephen F. Austin State Park. I said we should just go to the park and see if they had some Bluebonnets. So we headed for the park.

On the way there, we saw this quaint white church with a steeple reaching up to the sky, and out in front of it (or back of it really) was a whole field of Bluebonnets and other wildflowers – orange ones, pink ones, purple ones. I got excited. “That’s the place. That’s perfect!”

 

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So we turned into the parking lot and parked our van, and Gary took our picture on the steps.

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Then we attacked the Bluebonnets!

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We knew we weren’t allowed to pick the Bluebonnets, but we hadn’t heard anything about the Indian Paintbrushes or other wildflowers, so I let the kids pick all of them that they wanted.

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We found many more flowers than just the Bluebonnets. There were Indian Paintbrushes. They were very prominent.

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Entireleaf Indian paintbrush, Texas paintbrush

Castilleja indivisa

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Texas Bluebonnets

Lupinus Texensis

But there were also lots of pretty purple and pink flowers.

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Drummond’s Phlox

Phlox drummondii Hook

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I still haven’t been able to identify this white flower.

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Gary and Katie preferred to watch from a safe distance. Something about spiders and snakes – and ants!

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Fearless Emma ran through the field barefoot!

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We did see quite a few anthills, but that’s to be expected here in Texas. We just watched where we stepped. Some of us did anyway.

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We just enjoyed being out in the great outdoors where we could breathe fresh air and run around free. Emma wanted to climb a tree and was disappointed that none of them had branches that she could reach.

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I just savored our time out in nature.

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Garrett got to practice his photography skills. All of the pictures with the time stamp were taken by him. He did a great job. He seems to have a good eye. Many of his pictures were better than mine! His time stamp was off, though. It is only March of 2014, but his camera said it was January of 2015! I said that Garrett was somewhere in the future and he was taking pictures of Bluebonnets better than his Mama! A hat tip to Kim Clement’s song, “You’re Somewhere in the Future”.

Here are some of my favorite shots of the Bluebonnets.

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We loved our adventure with the Texas Tradition of photographing Texas Bluebonnets. It makes us feel like real Texans now.

Now all we have to do is get us all cowboy boots and hats.

And train ourselves to say, “Howdy y’all!”

Ya’ll come back now, hear?