Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Thank You

This weekend we got to experience our first major holiday with the minions where they were mobile destructive forces.  It was fun, albeit exhausting, and Chris and I may have woken up this morning significantly more tired than we were when we entered the weekend.  All the same there are many things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful that both children slept through the entire night yesterday, for the first time in two weeks.

This Thanksgiving I experienced life at the kiddie table, for the second time in my life.  This time however, I was armed with a pair of mischievous toddlers. I got to witness a deju vu scenario where our children and their cousins played in the front hallway, with everyone's shoes and the door stopper because it was the only place where parents weren't watching and they could stay out of site and out of trouble.  It reminded me so much of Thanksgiving at my grandparent's house that I couldn't help but smile.

I am thankful that I was able to watch a tradition repeat itself - one generation later.

Thanksgiving often marks the beginning of tradition season for me and we followed suit by taking the minions to Downey's Farm for the second year in a row.  For the adults there's Downey's Estate Winery*, a gift shop and a corn maze - that you can book to do in the dark if you so desire.  For children, there is a cornucopia of activities including: the corn maze, a pirate ship, sandboxes, mini golf, a petting zoo, games and a skeleton rock band.

Skeleton Band at Downey's Farm

Baby Goat Eating a Corn Cob
Molly and Chris Navigating the Corn Ma(i)ze

Pumpkin Patch Kids
We had a blast at Downey's, don't get me wrong, however I think this is the last time we're going to be going with the kids for a number of years.  Next year our family admission cost will sky rocket from $27 to $54 because the minions will be over 2 and will have to pay to get in. That doesn't include the cost of buying pumpkins**  The impending cost of admission next year had me contemplating Fall traditions in my family and actually had us making the decision to purchase our pumpkins elsewhere this year.
On our way home from the farm I chatted with Chris about how every October my mom would drive us to Plant World where we would get to play inside a giant pumpkin for a while and then get to pick out our Halloween pumpkins.  Even if said pumpkins cost Chris and I $5 a piece, this is significantly cheaper, closer and will likely make a similar impact.  Heck we can even swing by High Park, go to the Animal Paddocks, donate $10 and then hang out in the playground for an hour before we head home. 
I guess my main point is holiday tradition doesn't need to be expensive, it doesn't have to be super stressful, but it's easy to lose sight of that.  It also gives us a destination for next weekend - Plant World here we come!
I am thankful for affordable family traditions!
Shoes and socks cannot contain Jack at the farm.  Thankfully I had my trusty hoodie to shove his feet into when it got cold!

*The raspberry dessert wine is amazing...even just as a few drops into a dry white.
**Although I am not above pretending that Molly and Jack have a November birthday next year should we decide we need our fix of good old farm fun.

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