Our Family Visited the “Down On The Farm” Pumpkin Patch in Rainsville, Alabama

The very next day after our family Jeep drive to Noccalula Falls for our son’s Fall Break, we took an even shorter drive from Fort Payne, Alabama; to the neighboring town of Rainsville to check out their “Down On The Farm” pumpkin patch.

While we indeed go to a pumpkin patch every fall as a family, there’s a chance this might have been our kids’ favorite.

I think this had a lot to do with how the whole place was pretty much one big fall-themed playground.

The highlight would certainly have to be what my kids referred to as the “corn swimming pool”. They enjoyed taking turns going down the slide… into a pool of corn. It was also fun to get buried in the cool pool, as well; similar to getting buried in the sand at the beach.

So check out these pictures of the fun our family had if you are considering visiting “Down On The Farm”. I have a feeling your family will have a great time too!

Learn What You Can Do with Pumpkin Carving Leftovers 

We’ll all soon be carving pumpkins at this time of year. However, when the scary faces are made and the jack-o-lantern sits on the windowsill – what can we do with the innards of the pumpkin? Well, here are some solutions:

1) Pumpkin Pie:

Once you carve something silly or scary into a pumpkin, you shouldn’t let the innards go to waste. Why not make your very own pumpkin puree? You can bake a homemade pumpkin pie using it. Pumpkin has a nutty flavor that pairs well with nutmeg and cinnamon for a delicious aroma lingering around your home. Get the details on Foodal.com for the most incredible puree

2) Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted pumpkin seeds are a tasty and healthy snack full of fiber and nutrition. This is why you were advised not to toss them when you carve out a pumpkin.

To make your seeds truly crispy, just clean them all out of the flesh before boiling them for about 10 minutes. Spread them out over a baking tray before drizzling them with oil and sprinkling them with salt. Bake them for 10 minutes at 175F, but stir them occasionally to be sure they do not burn.

If you’re not keen on actually eating them yourself, remember that birds love them. Clean the seeds out of your pumpkin flesh before letting them dry out on a flat surface. Then just lay them out for your birds outside. Just make sure you don’t season them.

You might even choose to keep a few of the seeds to the side so you can plant them when the temperatures start warming back up. Read more about what it takes to grow an edible garden of your own.

3) Pumpkin Soup:

Making a nice batch of some pumpkin soup for your fridge or freezer means you have something handy later on a busy day, and it might just be the most efficient use for your carved pumpkin.

4) Pumpkin-Infused Vegetable Stock:

If you use both the seeds and flesh from your pumpkin, you might be wondering what to do with those stringy insides that you might just typically compost. Try adding them to other various veggie scraps which accumulate in your fridge so you can make a flavorful veggie stock. It’s a great way to use wrinkly carrots and onion ends. You might even freeze a lot of it for use later on in the winter.

Back Seat Space with Child Car Seats in the 2017 Lexus IS 350; Plus, How to Adjust the Driver’s Seat- Videos Included

In case you are considering buying, leasing, or renting a 2017 Lexus IS 350 and are curious as to whether you could fit an adult in the back seat between two car seats, then you’ve come to the right place.

Through my practical and realistic video, I show how I am able to successfully fasten my seatbelt while sitting between a child’s car seat (for my nearly 18 month-old) and a child’s booster seat (for my nearly 7 year-old).


I serve as the perfect model human being, as I am 5’9” and around 165 pounds. I am arguable the average sized American; if you combine both men and women.

The results? While I did have to sort of lower my head since it grazed the ceiling, and I did have to either put my arms directly down on my knees, the positive aspect was that in addition to being able to fasten the seat belt without much trouble, I had plenty of room for my legs.

I know sometimes in the 3rd row seat of SUVs, there is barely enough room for my legs, as they hit the 2nd row seat in front of me. But that is definitely not the case with the 2017 Lexus IS 350.

So in the event you are needing to fill the vehicle to full capacity, with two adults up front, 2 children in the back, and still need to squeeze in another adult in the backseat, I am proof it is possible. It is especially possible if that adult in the backseat is shorter and/or lighter than I am.

I also made a video for anyone who is curious to adjust the driver’s seat. There are several buttons and several options to cater to the comfort level of the driver.


Thanks for reading and watching today. I hope you found my work to be helpful as you plan your next drive in the 2017 Lexus IS 350.

Our Family’s 2017 “Pumpkin Spice” Lexus IS 350 for This Week

Autumn is here- and everyone knows it’s the best season of the year. The welcomed change in weather and accompanying outdoor activities are undoubtedly enhanced by making everything “pumpkin spice.” Because when anything is pumpkin spice, it is understood it is automatically better.

And if that’s the case, then our family’s mode of transportation this week has definitely been pumpkin spiced.  (Is that an official verb now? If not, I’m helping to legitimize it as one.)

Our family gets to drive a 2017 Lexus IS 350 this week; as we tackle some fun fall activities.

This weekend, my sister and her family will be driving up from Alabama to visit. We will all be heading to Gentry’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch, where there will be plenty of great activities for the total of 4 kids; including a hay ride and a corn maze.

Afterwards, we will be making our way to our son’s soccer game. This will make my sister’s family’s first time to be able to see him play.

The day I brought home the Lexus IS 350, the kids loved checking it out in the driveway. My wife exclaimed, “Whoa! This is a really sporty car!” My son declared, “I love it when your cars have windows in the ceiling!” As for our daughter, she was convinced she was actually driving; especially when she successfully turned on the hazard lights.

After the big reveal of the Lexus IS 350 to my family, it was time to take my son to soccer practice. While it almost felt wrong to take just a nice and shiny luxury car to a dusty soccer field, I reminded myself: Live this up- make the most of your pumpkin spice ride while you have it this week.

There is no doubt we will be making the most of my sister’s family’s visit to Spring Hill, Tennessee.

And during it all, my family of 4 will be able to travel in luxury, with our Lexus IS 350. I have noticed that with every vehicle we get to model here on my blog, my wife’s favorite feature is always the heated seats; and now just in time for the slight chill of autumn.

I suppose it goes without saying, I think there’s a pretty good chance that one of the upcoming activities in the Lexus IS 350 will be going out somewhere nice for coffee…

Pumpkin Spice, of course!

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch

5 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch

Dear Jack,

This past Saturday made the 3rd year Mommy and I have taken you to Walden Farm to pick out some pumpkins and to enjoy all the related festivities. Of course, it made the 1st time for your sister.

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch

Though we dressed for fall weather, it actually felt more like summer. Had we known, we would have all worn shorts.

We started out by going on the hay ride. You always love to find all the hidden objects out in the field.

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch w2 w3 w4

It was funny because just earlier that morning I was telling Mommy how I would like to take you to a “scary house” at some point. Fortunately, they had one there at Walden Farms.

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch

For 5 Walden Bucks, you and I got to access the playground area which included a scary house that was appropriate for you. At your age, I would have been too afraid to even enter. Not you though- you went through it twice. You thought it was really cool.

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch w7 w8 w10

You also got to go on the cool tube slide on the hill. Plus, you climbed the haystack mountain.

This also made the first time you rode the tractor train by yourself.

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch

I love how our visit this year was different than the others- because now, you are old enough to do the big boy stuff.

Before this year, you liked to hang out at the toddler table, playing with the toy trucks and bulldozers in the sand.

But this time, you just enjoyed exploring the parts of Walden Farm that you never had before.

Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch

Meanwhile, your sister Holly had a much more relaxed experience; enough so that she was asleep for part of it.

We had a wonderful time as a family. Maybe next year your sister can join you in the train.



Dear Jack: Our Family Went to Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch

Dear Jack: Our First Time to Carve Pumpkins Together

4 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack: Our First Time to Carve Pumpkins

Dear Jack,

At the age of 34, I have finally carved a pumpkin for the first time. It’s just something I had never gotten around to until now. Of course, I needed your help.

I had you draw on the faces of the pumpkins with a marker (practicing on a sheet of paper first), then I carved them with a knife, after gutting the pumpkin. These are of course the pumpkins you picked at Gentry’s Farm last weekend.

Dear Jack: Our First Time to Carve Pumpkins

You and I set up shop in the driveway, sitting at your Thomas the Train table.

I think we did a pretty good job for our first time carving pumpkins.

It brought so much more meaning to the act of going to pick out own pumpkins when we ourselves were the ones to “make them come to life.”

Now that I know how to carve pumpkins, I’m almost eager to do more of them. Since it’s just a once a year event, it’s not something we’ll have a lot of constant experience doing.

But maybe we should. Maybe we should regularly carve pumpkins together. I think we make a great team.

Dear Jack: Our First Time to Carve Pumpkins

After all, you are a very crafty boy.

When I was doing the dishes on Sunday, I grabbed a Fiji bottle of water that was next to all the other dirty dishes. As I grabbed it to remove the lid to wash it, I realized there were several google eyes floating around, looking back at me.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even question it. I just set it aside; assuming it was just some random project you came up with when you were hanging out with me.

Dear Jack: Our First Time to Carve Pumpkins

I know that often while Mommy is cooking, you set up your work station at the kitchen table and throw stuff together in a sort of artistic science experiment.

So whether you’re designing pumpkin faces, or making eyeball-filled water bottles, you’re using your talents and having fun in the process.



Dear Jack: Our First Time to Carve Pumpkins

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

4 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

Dear Jack,

Last week at school your teacher apparently had read your class a book that talked about a corn maze. So Friday morning as I was helping you brush your teeth, you requested we go to one as a family.

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

The closest “pumpkin patch” that had a corn maze was Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN. So Saturday morning we headed that way.

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

At Gentry’s Farm, the pumpkin patch is basically right across from the parking lot, so as soon as we arrived, you found the very best pair of pumpkins out there.

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

Amazingly, they were only $3 each. We also let you pick out an all-white “ghost” pumpkin as well, from the $1 bin.

From there, we hopped on the hay ride and checked out the farm. We got to see some very young calves with their mommies.

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

Afterwards, you played on some of the playground a little bit before we finally visited the main attraction, in your mind at least.

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

Before entering the corn maze, we studied the map first. We saw there were two openings into the maze; both serving as either an entrance or an exit, depending on which one you started with.

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

We were about halfway through the maze when I figured out the trick:

“Jack, just follow the line of people coming towards us; as they should go where we just came from as well.”

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

You enjoyed your first corn maze. Plus, we saw a lot of people we knew there.

I’m glad you decided you wanted to go. Lots of good memories were created there for our family.

It’s the happening place to be right now in the Nashville area, for families looking to participate in the token American traditions for the fall season:

Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN

Picking pumpkins, going on a hayride, and walking through a corn maze.

We also had a lot of fun actually carving the pumpkins, too. But I’ll save that for another letter to you.



Dear Jack: Our Family’s Visit to Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, TN