Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8: Martha Stewart Fall Fun Weekend

This past weekend was our annual Martha Stewart Fall Fun Weekend with our friends.  This was our sixth year of participating in this weekend about all things fall.  (You can see previous posts about this here, here, here, and here). 

Our group has gotten bigger and bigger each year.  This year, for portions of the weekend, we had about 20 adults and 14 kids (age 5 and younger!).

We stayed in a hotel Friday night.  The past few years we have just made this a day trip, but it makes for a really long day on Saturday to try to squeeze everything into one day.  So we all hung out on Friday night in Tuscola.  We did some outlet mall shopping, ate pizza in the hotel lobby, and went swimming!
Saturday morning, we went to Curtis Orchard first.  Traditional activities here include:  pony rides, eating apple cider and doughnuts, and feeding the goats.
 I love doing these same activities every year, because it is fun to compare pictures from year to year.  Here is Isla last year when she was about 5 months old.  She was getting ready for a bottle, while the rest of us enjoyed our apple doughnuts.  This was also her second day wearing her helmet.
 And here is Isla this year, helmet-free and enjoying her donut just like the rest of us!  Such a big girl!

We headed to Arthur next, which is in the heart of Illinois Amish country.  We went to a unique bulk foods store called Beachys and stocked up on some spices, grains, candy and cinnamon rolls!

For lunch, we needed a restaurant that would be big enough to accommodate our group of 30+ with many small children.  (Just in case you haven't been to a restaurant with small children in a while, it is not always a pleasant experience...especially when you are talking about 14 small children in one restaurant!).  We made a reservation at Yoders Kitchen in Arthur.  And it was the PERFECT setup for our group!  They have a large room in the back to accommodate groups just like ours.  We had a huge long table, and plenty of room for the kids to run around, as well as our own bathrooms.  They offered a buffet, which again was perfect for a large group with small children.  I was so excited to find a place where we could all eat together in a fairly enjoyable way!
After lunch, it was time for the main event (and the inspiration for the whole weekend):  the Great Pumpkin Patch.   It was pretty cold and windy, so that put a slight damper on an afternoon at the pumpkin patch.  But it didn't stop us from having fun or taking pictures.

Big news at the pumpkin patch!  Isla (who hadn't walked at all since the previous Wednesday) took quite a few steps by strange place and walking on straw!  She had a big audience, and everyone gave her a huge cheer when she finished.
Here is the "must take no matter what" picture at the pumpkin patch each year.  I love watching how they grow!

And the other "must take" picture:


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