Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Harvest at The Farm

Ah, summer harvest.  What’s the first image that comes to your mind? 

I know!  It’s this, right?


Well this just happened to be one of my favorite spots at the summer harvest festival at The Farm last weekend.  Summer weather along the California central coast is certainly not what I expected when we got orders to “sunny California.”  I am still holding out hope for the Indian summer I’ve heard about that we should be seeing the next few months. 

The cold, not-so-sunny weather didn’t hamper our spirits though.

I’m pretty sure this little boy would like a hay ride in any kind of weather.


We saw the end of one crop and the beginning of another.


After the hayride, a puppet show was next on the agenda.  Nearly an hour sitting and watching Hansel & Gretel, and my kids did great!  Charlotte sat with me and Jarrod, and Trenton had a front row seat.


My kids would eat watermelon with every meal if I let them, so they were pretty pumped about the watermelon eating contest. 

Especially Trenton.


Charlotte must have missed the memo about eating fast, but Trenton meant business.


Trenton didn’t come in first place, but he was close.  And this served as a good lesson to teach him that he can’t always win. 

After watermelon, it was time to move on to corn.  My corn lovers were excited!


This was our first time visiting The Farm, and you can bet that we’ll be back for more of their upcoming events (many of which are FREE).  What a fun place!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Carmel Mission

Visiting Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, commonly known as Carmel Mission, has been on my to-do list since we first moved to the area back in the spring. 

My mother-in-law has been in town visiting, and we decided to sneak over to the mission one morning after dropping the kids off at preschool. 

This mission is OLD.  It was founded in 1770 – six years before there was a United States of America and 80 years before California was a state.  The church building itself has had to be rebuilt a few times due to structural issues, but this is still a really old place.

And I fell head over heels in love with it.

DSC_0197_1carmel mission

Oh my gosh!  And I didn’t even get pictures of most of it.  Like a gorgeous nativity scene, or the paintings of the stations of the cross, or the museums behind the church.

I really want to visit the mission again for Sunday Mass.

This is the only thing holding me back.


Yeah, just a teeny bit nervous about that…

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Who Needs SeaWorld?

My mother-in-law is in town for a visit, and we took her up to Roaring Camp Railroads today to ride the steam train through the redwoods.

As we were making our way back down to Monterey after a fun outing at Roaring Camp, I decided to pull off at Moss Landing State Beach.

The kids and I had seen the harbor’s resident sea otters before, and I thought that Jarrod and his mom would enjoy seeing them too.

The otters were out again today!


They weren’t the only ones loving the calm, sunny harbor though.

We also saw a couple groups of seals laying out on the sand.


Then looking across the harbor, we noticed this -


The public dock had been overrun by sea lions!

We decided to drive around to the dock to get a closer look.


How amazing is it to get an up-close look at these wild animals in their own habitat?  Super amazing!  And also amazingly stinky!  But, what do you expect when you have 200+ animals crammed into a small space?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The School Bell’s Ringing

photo 1

These were our bedtime reading selections Tuesday night.  Yes, that’s right – it’s back to school time!

This is Trenton’s second year of preschool, and boy was he excited to be getting back into the school groove!


And he’s grown up so much since his first day of school last fall.


And he wasn’t the only one that went to school yesterday.

It was Charlotte’s very first day of preschool.


I’m not sure if she was more excited about going to school or about getting to wear the new dress that Mimi made for her.

Or maybe it was the garbage truck that was driving down the road.  Have you ever tried to get kids to look at the camera when there’s a trash truck making its way down the street?


Both kids had a wonderful time at school.  They were somewhat upset that they couldn’t go back again today though.  I hope that they keep that enthusiasm about going to school!

photo 2

Down on the Farm

grain sorghum
One of my favorite things about going back home is getting the kids out on the farm.  I don’t think anyone gets more excited about getting the kids in the fields than Pops though.

photo 3

Rains the weeks before we got to Texas threw harvest off, so my dad and Uncle Greg were just starting to harvest grain sorghum/milo when the kids and I arrived in Texas. 

Trenton and I went out to one of the fields while Charlotte napped one afternoon.  Pops was pulling the auger cart that day.  Trenton loved riding the tractor, watching the combine cut the milo and then dump it in the auger cart, and then watching the auger dump the grain into the grain trucks.

Pops is already talking about teaching Trenton to drive a tractor when he’s a little older. He might rethink that if he were to see Trenton’s battery powered jeep driving skills!

photo 4photo 2

A few rain showers delayed harvest again, and it was a few days later before we were able to take Charlotte out to the field.

Pops was driving his grain truck on this day, and was on his way to the grain elevators when we left the house.  We met him in the line at the elevators so the kids could see the truck.  Charlotte was scared of the big loud truck, but Trenton hopped right on up!

United Ag Grain Elevators - Hillje, TX
I spent 5 summers during high school and college working in the scale house at the co-op’s elevators.

truck driver

After visiting Pops and his truck, we went out to the field.  Uncle Bradley was in town for work and had finished early.  It probably didn’t take much arm twisting to talk Bradley into helping out by driving the tractor (his summer job while he was in school).

Mimi and Charlotte hopped on up to hitch a ride with Uncle Bradley.

auger cart

Don’t let that sad face fool you.  Once the tractor got going, she loved it!

Trenton and I hopped on the combine with Uncle Greg where Trenton kept trying to convince his great-uncle to go FAST and race the tractors! 

My little farm-loving kiddos had a great time!  They can’t wait to go back to Texas again to have more fun on the farm!