Monday, October 29, 2012

The best of what's around...

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, we've battened down the hatches and holed up in our warm little house to wait out the storm.  We're not supposed to get hit hard, but school was cancelled today as a precaution, and the wind and the rain is starting to pick up.  The irony does not escape me, therefore, that the post I've planned to write is on the adventures we've had in what has turned out to be the most glorious fall we've ever had.  Seriously - there's never been a more beautiful, colorful, perfectly seasonable fall weather as we've enjoyed this year.....

Early in October, just after the camping trip, the kids had the day off of school and Jeff was in Wisconsin for work.  I was itching for adventure, nature-adventure.  I packed up the kids, our lunches, lots of water, extra layers, and the camera, and we headed to our favorite hiking spot in Shenandoah National Park.  I felt brave and daring, committing to a 2 mile hike in the woods with 3 children, solo, but I was determined.  And so were they.  It was an unforgettable day, with gorgeous views even amid the clouds and chill and early color.  Mostly, it was the unforgettable adventure I shared with my three loves.  Some pics:

 Love these awesome hikers!  Turk Gap Trail, 2 miles round trip.
 At the summit!

On another beautiful day, Jeff and I decided to attempt a family photo shoot, self-portrait style.  In short:  there's a good reason people hire other people to take their pictures, especially when said pictures involve tiny subjects hellbent on NOT being photographed.  Although we might not have the "money shot" we were hoping for, we definitely had some good laughs.

 (Doesn't Pax look like the most cooperative little thing here, with his hand all posed on his knee and all?)
 (Hands clasped.... with death grips to keep them from straying.)

 (Almost a nose-picking shot from Leo.  Almost.)

 (Love this one!  Jeff looks like he's flying through the air; Pax is boneless.)

Later in the month, we took the kids to visit the biggest corn maze in the area - WOW!  We had three different mazes to choose from, and I demanded forced sensibly advised the group to do the one-hour, medium level blue maze.... that took us almost twice that time to complete.  Toward the very beginning, Jeff had to take Pax back to the car to change his diaper.  Before leaving, he handed me a map, pointed to a dot on it and said, "Okay, I'll meet you here.  You all go on ahead."  And then he turned and walked away.  Initially, I thought, how hard could this be?  But then suddenly I was seized with the same feeling of dread and disaster I feel pretty much anytime I'm driving somewhere in the car:  where am I?  I fought my rising panic and tried to act calm as Aidan impatiently urged us to get us going.  Thankfully, a maze employee wandered by, took one look at me and my panic-stricken face, and quickly led us back through the maze until we met up with Jeff again.  After that, I designated myself the permanent caboose of our little train and offered nothing more than encouraging words to keep on going - not a single turn or direction came from me.  Still, it was an aMAZEing experience, one that I'd love to become a tradition:
 Cool play area, separate from the corn maze....
 Oversized checkers.....
 You want me to do what?  Follow a map? 
 Future Navigator
Using the compass to steer our course...

This past weekend, we hosted our kind-of annual Halloween party.  Many weeks' worth of preparation led up to this awesome event, including tons of baking.  Pax has proven himself, time and time again, to be the most competent and capable little baker, and I absolutely love this time I spend with him.  This month alone, we've made cornbread, cupcakes, pumpkin muffins, brownies, caramel corn, granola bars, apple dip, pumpkin dip, biscuits, soups, and cookies.  I do believe that this will the the Year of Baking with Pax.  I don't think anyone will mind.

Fittingly, I suppose, the October that began with wonderful weather is ending with wacky weather.... along with some wacky hair.

1 comment:

Susan said...

love the pics. You are making wonderful memories along with a lot of delicious baked goodies.