Today Erick and Jenny came over this afternoon to help us carve, and Nick finally felt good enough to carve a couple himself. Kate did one more today, and Vickie really got busy with her carving today. I managed 10 myself. In all we cranked out 24 pumpkins today. It was an awesome day!
This year has been pretty difference from many of our pumpkin carving years. It's been so HOT in Texas, we have been very concerned about our carving endeavors. We purchased 40 pumpkins, and before we even cut a single one open we lost 3. It's always a sad day to lose a pumpkin early, but Nana made the best out of it and cooked up the biggest one. She ended up with 9 bags of pumpkin stuff so we will have plenty of pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, and muffins. I'm ok with that.
On Saturday, I carved a pumpkin to take to church for our Autumn Festival. We sat it on the registration table and it was a huge hit. This was an original pattern:
We started tracing patterns onto the pumpkins on Friday and finished up on Monday. We decided to gut our 37 pumpkins starting on Tuesday. I was pretty much a one woman carving machine all day. I managed to get 25 gutted and ready to go, then finished the final 11 on Wednesday morning. At about 1:30, I began carving. Kate did her first pumpkin of the year with Yiayia's help, and then Vickie and Bill each carved one. I finished 9 for the day.
Kate wanted to go to the pumpkin patch this year, and quite frankly none of us thought about it until today. I normally take her early in the month on a nice, quiet weekday so we don't have to put up with all the crazies. Not this year - this year we went on a Sunday afternoon the weekend before Halloween. Never again!
We went back to the Flower Mound pumpkin patch, which I took Kate to in 2012. They have tons of yard art characters for photo opportunities, and she loves all of those characters. We did't have to take a photo with every single one like the previous visit though - only the ones she actually likes this time around.
We made our way out to the pumpkin field and then back up to the character area and by that time, we were pretty much done. It was so crowded and insanely busy that it wasn't even enjoyable, so we snapped our photos and then left. I'm just glad it was only $5 to get in.
Since it was still early in the afternoon, we headed over to Cabela's on I-35 and found a spot to park and watch the Thunderbirds perform at the end of the Alliance Air Show. We pulled up pretty much at the exact time they were taking off, so we got to see their whole performance. It's extremely loud, so Kate and Nick stayed in the car (and Kate still had her hands over her ears). We were situated so that on a couple of occasions, one of the jets came right over our head pretty low. The second time it happened, I literally felt it fly over too - it was deafening! They do all of their maneuvers at 450-500 mph, or so I read, so I literally didn't have to time react and get a shot when they flew so low and close. BAM - they were gone in an instant. It was a cool show and I got a few decent photos, although the limitations of my cheap telephoto lens kept me from getting anything I would consider great. One of these days though....
Kate started gymnastics in the beginning of September and really loves it! A local cheer and gymnastics coach offers classes once a week at the Saginaw Community Center. They have all kinds of mats to use, and although it isn't a full blown gym set-up, it offers a great introduction for the girls. Miss Julie is a tiny little thing and just a blast. Kate liked her the minute she met her.
Classes are closed to parents, but we are allowed to go in the last 5 minutes of class to watch them do a trick for the day, whatever they happened to work on that day. This past week I took a few pictures with my phone while I watched.
Kate is able to do a bridge on her own now, whereas when she started she had to have help pushing herself up with her arms. I'm proud of her! She's still working on getting her feet up in the air on a cartwheel, but I think she will get there soon.