October 31st, 2010 by

Where the Deer and the Pumpkin Eating Dinosaurs Play

Somehow we managed to cram in our annual trip to the local pumpkin mega-center farm before October came to an end.   Weekend schedules and mercurial weather had been collaborating to waylay our journey, but last Sunday we had a fortuitously activity – a free day when the rain held off just long enough for us to enjoy a few hours of Fall fun.

We’ve been frequenting the same family empire farm since Hayden was a baby, and the only thing that’s changed are the prices (higher!) and the range of activities (dozens more!).  Our area is rife with similar attractions, but this place has become our tradition.  Even though we get fleeced every year, the folks that run the farm are super friendly, and everything there is top-notch.  I like to be treated well when I’m getting robbed, you know.  Seriously – Goebbert’s Family Farm always guarantees a wholesome day of family fun with just the right seasonal overtones. Plus, where else can you go to find Fallow Deer, Giraffes, Capuchin Monkeys, and a pumpkin eating dinosaur frolicking in the same place??  Top that!

My mom and dad, or “Ama” and “Papa” as the kids call them, came over to join us which was a bonus.  Kellan particularly adores both of his grandpas, and both of them are good sports with all the kids.  Patience of saints, I tell you…


Down vest? Check.  Baseball cap?  Check.  Sunglasses?  Check.  Okay, we’re ready!

Last year our littlest pumpkin looked like this:

Oh, the plumpness.  Give me a moment while my reproductive system weeps.

This year, Larissa reached the age of participation, and she took full advantage.  Our first stop was to a newly installed play area for preschoolers were Larissa did this about a zillion times.

Seriously?  How can this be the same kid as last year?
P.S. Check out the mini Olivia Newton John in the background.


My mom was there to ensure that someone chronically worried about Larissa injuring herself on this towering structure.


Uh.  This looks awkward.

When she wasn’t playing, she was eating:


She plowed through 2 entire ears of roasted corn in record time.  The next few days of diapers were awesome!


Of course, you must save room for apple cider donuts!


You gotta eat fast with two donut-loving sisters around.

Of course, the main attraction is the pumpkin eating dinosaur.  My mom and I attempted to pose in front of it, and then became the unwitting victims of its shenanigans.  The dinosaur, much like the Wizard of Oz, is controlled by a little man in a booth, who also provides the voice – a cross between Darth Vader and Isaac Hayes.  While my husband took the photo, the dinosaur crept in behind us and started heavy-breathing commentary….at MY expense.

Is it just me, or do I suddenly sense the smell of a thousand rotten pumpkins?


Here he was complimenting my vest and asking for a kiss.



The crowd demanded the sacrifice of my dignity.

Thankfully, right around this time, they started firing off the pumpkin cannon, which allowed me to make my getaway AND get a photo of all five of my children at the same time!


Man, this thing can shoot a pumpkin.  It’s incredible!


Really, it’s pretty amazing.  Don’t let my children’s faces fool you.

Of course, we made our cursory tour through the house of infectious diseases (petting zoo), watched some pig races, shot the pumpkin guns, and watched two bunnies mate like…well…bunnies.  (Love those teachable moments!)  After that, it was off to pick some pumpkins.  Some of us took it more seriously than others.


Just my size!


This is what happens when I tell my husband, “Honey, take some pictures of the kids.”


Yup, you just can’t trust that guy with a camera.

And of course, since this is MY family we’re talking about, we can’t leave out the requisite photo where someone is crying….


Much like Cinderella, Larissa’s coach turned back into a pumpkin at the nap time hour.
This weekend is going to be a doozy.  Friday is when Eliza and Weston have their class parties and costume parade.  Our downtown merchants have candy handout, and one of Eliza’s best friends is having her Halloween birthday party that evening.  Saturday we work our magic on the pumpkins and rest up for “the big show” on Sunday.  By that time, I hope to be in a deep Milk Dud coma….


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