Our first fall frolic of 2010 was to the Nelson Farm. It was a mild weathered day, having been so rainy the weeks before.
The girls quickly ran from animal to animal, petting and feeding what they could. Here's Nora and Rosa with some chicks:

Nora and Rosa with some chicks

Nora loves Emus, and was thrilled to discover they enjoyed eating dandelion leaves she held up to them. Soon everyone had to try. Here's Anna with Lee feeding the emus:

Anna and Dad with the emus

The grounds were pretty muddy from all the recent rain, but the kids still braved the play area's large slide. Here's Nora and Corbin (what a ham!) coming out of the long slide tube:

Nora on the slide

Corbin on the slide

A highlight was a tractor pulling wagons, which was like a slow roller coaster ride. The wagons zig-zagged back and forth as they went.

The kids on the ride

They had an ag-olympics for kids this year. The kids won various events. Fun was had by all. Here's Nora and Corbin waiting for the sack race to start.

Nora and Corbin in sacks

After snacking on the cotton candy and mini donuts they'd won, the girls headed over to the barrel ride.

They look so sweet when they don't know the camera's pointing at them!

I wonder where they get such ham-it-up antics?!?

Alex with some gourds

The pony rides are always the girls' favorite activity. Here's Nora:

Nora on a pony

Anna on a pony:

Anna on a  pony

Anna again feeling a bit more confident:

Anna smiling on a pony

And Rosa on a pony. She was thrilled to learn her pony was named Princess.

Rosa on a pony

Finally the boys got to take a run down the hill in a wagon, their favorite thing to do. It had been closed down due to all the mud. It wasn't as fun as past years, though, as the muddy hill made for a slow ride. Here's Caleb, Corbin, and Nora coming down the hill:

the kids in a wagon

Caleb lead us through the corn maze as usual again this year. We were in and out in no time. I was amazed at how tall the corn was. Here is Anna in the corn:

Anna with corn behind her

Here's one last shot at the farm:

the kids posing at a cut-out

Most of the apple orchards in our area were closed this year due to a late spring frost that froze off the blossoms. Thankfully we managed to find one that wasn't affected and had my favorite variety of apples ready to pick. So on a wonderfully warm day in early October, we set off for Carlson's Orchard and Bakery.

While waiting for the wagon ride to take us out to the apples, the kids climbed on the hill of hay and other playground equipment they had there. Here's Rosa at the top of "hay hill":

Rosa on a bunch of hay

Caleb and Corbin saw something moving in a crack on hay hill, and quickly caught a garner snake while people around them screamed and ran in terror. Leave it to our kids to clear out a place! Here's Caleb with the snake:

Caleb holding the snake

Right after the photo was taken, the boys escorted the poor creature somewhere less populated.
Once the wagon arrived, we climbed on. Here's Lee with Caleb, Rosa, and Corbin. The kids say his eyes are closed because the glare off his head is so bright!

Lee with the kids

The kids had fun picking lots of apples. Nora couldn't wait to try out an apple.

Nora eating an apple

Anna loved that she could even reach some of the apples.

Anna picking an apple

Soon our bags were overflowing, and it was time to head for home again. Here is a final shot of all the kids at the orchard:

the kids

The leaves were magnificent this year. We headed over to Sibley State Park in the hopes of seeing some great colors. While in our town was still very colorful, we were saddened to see over there the leaves were past peak, and most had already fallen. We still enjoyed our wanderings that day, though.
As we walked around the pond, I showed the kids the pleasure of releasing big seed pods full of silky fuzzies. Soon it was all out war as they tried to get each other full of fuzzies.

Corbin and Nora with fuzzies all around

We hiked up Mount Tom, where I took a couple shots:

view from on top of Mt Tom

another view

Here's a shot of the kids:

the kids

The kids took to vine swinging as we walked the forest trails. Alex decided to climb a tree, just to show he could.

Alex in a tree

We ended the afternoon at Lake Andrew to get in some rock throwing.

Anna by the lake

Our local fire station had an open house in October. We took the girls over to check it out. It was a lot of fun. They got to climb all over all the big trucks, snack on some cookies, and even meet Sparky the Fire dog! Here's Nora in a big ladder truck:

Nora in a fire tuck

The girls try out the back seats:

Nora, Rosa, and Anna in a fire truck

Nora tried out the big hoses. It took a lot of work!

Nora with hose

Even the uniforms were heavy!

Nora wearing a fire hat

They took turns "driving" the big paramedic fire vehicle:

the girls at the front seats of the fire vehicle

Anna's favorite part was getting to meet Sparky.

the girls with Sparky

One final shot: the girls on the ATV the fire fighters use to get into wooded areas:

the girls in an ATV

One cool windy day we went off to visit another farm, the A Maze 'n Farmyard. The kids had fun feeding and petting the farm animals, jumping in the big moon jumpers, sliding down the big slide, and going on more pony rides.
Here's Caleb feeding a baby goat:

caleb feeding a goat a bottle

Even though we couldn't touch them, we still thought the wallabies were neat.


The girls had to ride more ponies! Here's Nora:

Nora on a pony


Rosa on a pony

And Anna:

Anna on a pony

Anna loved the camel, and we think it loved her right back!

Anna with the camel

And one final shot of this farm: Farmer Anna on the tractor:

Anna driving a tractor

Our last outing was in early December. We took the girls to see Disney on Ice's Mickey and Minnie's magical Journey. The boys were given an option of coming, but chose not to.
We had backstage passes, so the girls got to meet Mickey and Minnie. Here they are with the famous mouse couple:

The girls with Mickey and Minnie

Anna was so excited!! She loves Mickey Mouse.

Anna hugging Mickey

Here we are waiting for the show to start.

Shannon and the girls in their seats

The first act featured the Lion King, with silly Timon and Pumba. Here's Timon.


Donald Duck and Daisy were there, too.

Donald and Daisy

The next act featured the Little Mermaid and all her undersea friends.

Some of the undersea creatures

The third act featured Lilo and Stitch. Even though the girls had never seen that movie, Anna decided she really liked the "blue guy."

Lilo and Stitch

We all took a break at intermission. The girls got a kick out of watching the Zamboni clean the ice.

Nora and Rosa

The second half of the show featured the Peter Pan story. Here's some photos of Mickey and friends in London.

The gang in London

another shot of Mickey in London

After the Peter Pan story, the whole cast came back out for one last number.

All at the end

All at the end again

The big bang at the end:

The big bang at the end

Once Anna realized that was it, she cried for more! We arrived back home tired but happy.
Thus ends our autumn. The snowy winter is soon to arrive!

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