October is My Favorite

Ah…that’s better. Are you seeing any malware warnings? I hope not. My friend Spencer seems to have cured what’s been ailing this blog for awhile now- so welcome back, and have a read. This is a post I wrote as an Indiana Family of Famers Table Talk Ambassador. It originally appeared at bgkahuna.com during my quarantine.

After much consideration, I think October may be my favorite Indiana month. There is so much to do, and so many ways to celebrate fall in central Indiana, I actually schedule it all in so we don’t miss anything (Calendars. It’s what I do). October is a big month for agrotourism in Indiana and all across the midwest- it’s finally time to enjoy the fruits of the farmers’ endless labor.

There’s pumpkins and corn mazes and apple picking and so many hayrides it’s hard to keep track. I love bringing the kids outside in this long pants-short sleeve weather, where they can soak up the sun and  marvel at the change of seasons

Taking a break on an actual pumpkin.

This year, we took the kids to a real pumpkin patch- a field where pumpkins were actually growing on the vine. They wandered happily for nearly an hour, exploring the field, moving the pumpkins around and generally soaking it all in. There is something about being in the moment, being in the place where food is grown, that is centering in a way nothing else is. To find a pumpkin patch near you, check out My Indiana Home’s Pumpkin directory.

We also made it to a corn maze, where they trekked for another hour. Not only was it an adventure, it was a good lesson in the way our food depends on the weather. Last year, the maze was lush and green, with stalks so thick there was no cutting through. This year, the stalks were short, thin, and dry. The corn that did grow was unusable, and there were bald spots in the maze where nothing grew at all. While they may be a little thinner than in years past, it’s still fun to get lost in a field. Find a corn maze near you using My Indiana Home’s Corn Maze directory.

My son had the thrill of apple picking for the first time with my parents. We typically shop at the store rather than a farm market, and by doing so, I think we’ve forgotten what fresh produce tastes like. When I bit into that Rome apple grown in northwest Indiana, my mouth was shocked at the flavor. So delicious. Because they are detail oriented, the kids have had a great time taste-testing apples this season- in a blind taste test, they know the difference between a Golden Delicious, a Gala, and everyone’ most favorite, the Honeycrisp. For everything apple, check out My Indiana Home’s Apple Page.
For a list of seasonal crops and where to pick them, see this handy pdf: http://www.in.gov/isda/files/Harvest_Calander.pdf.

Thanks to Indiana’s Family of Farmers Table Talk program for providing me with some fall-themed goodies, passes to Kelsay’s Fall Fun on the Farm  and handy information about Indiana’s agrotourism. October is also National Pork Month- can you say BACON? Learn more on Indiana’s Family of Farmers website, and connect with them socially @FamilyofFarmers and www.facebook.com/familyoffarmers.


First Day of School! First Day of School! (Almost. And a Giveaway)

[This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for playing}

Some kids have finished a week of school, some start this week and some start in the coming weeks, but there’s no denying it, summer vacation is winding down in Indiana.

Monday night we took MaM to her new school to see her classroom and meet her teacher, and she was mightily impressed with the classroom library. There were easily 500 books on the shelves, including a shelf full of the Magic Treehouse Series, which she loves, along with the Rainbow Fairy books, which she also loves.

After that meeting, I went down to the Fox’s Montessori school for their orientation and was delighted that the first thing they had us do was make a little something for our kids. The teachers had cast plaster of Paris in shallow bowls, and stuck a paper clip in it as a placecard holder. The parents all got to decorate their child’s place card holder for lunch with paint and ribbon- isn’t that fun? Then, instead of giving the parent orientation talk, I got to listen to it (and nod my head vigorously at all the good parts).

Unfortunately, both kiddos are under the weather, and MaM actually missed her first day of school. It was kind of devastating. I’m hoping with one more day of rest, she’ll be ready on Thursday.

When she does finally get back to it, I have a few surprises for her, including a couple of fun things sent to me by my friends at Hallmark. Their Back to School Confidence Care package features items from their Kids Encouragement collection,  including greeting cards from their kids collection, little lunch box notes, and a recordable storybook . The lunchbox notes are my absolute favorite- this set of 50 notes have sweet, funny, inspirational sentiments, and few to help on those rough mornings when getting out the door wasn’t easy. I plan to keep them with the lunch making supplies and use them as much as I can!

Aren’t they cute?

{The Giveaway}

I am giving away a Back to School Confidence Care Package with the same items to one lucky reader this week. If you, or someone you know, is getting kids out the door for school, please enter to win by leaving a comment about your favorite thing when it comes to back to school. Be sure to fill out the email field in the form so that I can contact you if you win!

The second way to enter is to cut and paste this tweet, and then leave an additional comment telling me that you did, “I entered to win a Hallmark Back to School Confidence Care Package from @Gotchababy and you can too! http://wp.me/pVbJS-DO”

Comments will be open until Friday night around 9pm. The winner will have until 9pm Sunday night to respond to my email, or I will pick a different winner.

Disclosure: Hallmark sent me my own Back to School Confidence Care Package, and I was happy to give another one away. My opinions on the products are expressly my own.