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 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.

Love,

Daddy

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.

Love,

Daddy

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

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

This past weekend my family visited Walden Farm in Smyrna/Nolensville, Tennessee. (It’s a 30 minute drive from downtown Nashville, TN.)

I have a feeling I could pretty much type anything I wanted to and no one would notice, because obviously, the pictures really tell the story here.

In the process of seeing these 14 picture collages below, you’ll get a good idea of why your family would have a great time if you were to visit Walden Farm.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

But in the event there’s actually anyone actually reading the words to this story, not just checking out the fun pictures, I’ll do a quick narrative.

Parking is free and so is admission, but you do pay a couple of bucks per activity. We spent a total of $18 on all you see below, including the pumpkins.

I think my son Jack’s favorite activity at Walden Farm is the hayride.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

It’s sort of like a mobile scavenger hunt, as your family tries to find all the semi-hidden spooky objects; like an eyeball, Frankenstein, a spider, etc.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

There is also Toddler Town, a place that I am convinced Jack could hang out at all day and never even think about food.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

It’s basically like a backyard, equipped with a gravel-filled toy table. Jack enjoyed scooping up the rocks in bulldozers, alongside dinosaurs.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

There is also a dirt hill that he enjoyed rolling the bulldozers up and down.

Like any good pumpkin patch/farm, there are animals to see and feed.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

And a tractor pull…

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

And those cut-outs where your family can transform into farm-themed characters.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Don’t forget the hay maze!

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Jack wanted some pumpkins, so we paid just $1 and he was able to choose 2 really strange-looking ones; which he used as “lasers” the whole ride home.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

As we were loading up back into the car, I pointed out to Jack a hedgeapple tree.

In case you’re unfamiliar, hedge apples (also known as Osage oranges) are basically a prehistoric fruit that no longer serve as food for animals today.

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Hope you enjoyed learning about Walden Farm. Maybe your family can check it out in person!

Walden Farm (Pumpkin Patch): Family Friendly Review

Dear Jack: 1st Day Of Fall/Mountain Biking Selfie Explanation

3 years, 10 months.

mountain biking selfie

Dear Jack,

You almost got to see your 1st tow truck in action yesterday morning. As I was driving you to school, the radio cut off, I lost power steering, and the fuel gauge dropped to empty.

I warned you that we may have to stop driving.

By a miracle of God, I was able to make it to the parking lot of KinderCare and drop you off. But from there, my 2004 Honda Element wouldn’t start.

So I called a tow truck and ran back inside to get you so you could watch my car get towed.

Fortunately, my car started back again once the tow truck arrived and I was able to drive it around the block to Firestone; it needed a new alternator, for starters…

Car Trouble? Need A Tow? No Problem... I've Got A Mountain Bike!

Also fortuately, I had access to my mountain bike, which fits into the back of my Honda Element along with our jogging stroller, so I was able to bike back to work until my car was ready several hours later.

It was an adventure of a day for us! And that’s how we started the first day of fall.

Autumn is by far my favorite season and it appears it is yours as well. For the past two mornings before walking you into school, you have asked to walk over into the school’s front lawn and pick out a fallen leaf.

Monday morning, you saw two baby deer on the way to school and two more on the way back, explaining to me, “It’s getting colder now so the deers come out for food.”

Well, even though it appears to be the shortest of seasons, I’m glad that the two of us can truly appreciate the subtle yet undeniable beauty of Autumn.

To celebrate it even more, we’re planning a family friendly road trip to Asheville, North Carolina in the next couple of weeks. I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty awesome!

Love,

Daddy

Annie's Halloween Snacks