Dear Holly: You are the Perfect Picture of What Autumn is to Me

6 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

This past weekend our family visited Gentry Farm, as is our tradition. One of my favorite pictures I took while we were there is of you holding a pumpkin.

Once we got back to the house, I asked you what your favorite part of our visit was, and you said it was when you got to pick out a pumpkin.

You are the perfect picture of what autumn is me:

Getting to enjoy the beautiful colors outside with our family, after the mosquitos have all disappeared and before the bitter winter wind starts blowing.

You and I agree that Fall is the best season!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Showing Your Sister How to Play at a Pumpkin Patch

10 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

It is our tradition as a family to visit one of the nearby pumpkin patches each Fall season. This year, with your sister being a 5 year-old girl, not a preschooler, it was clear she was interested in participating in more adventure than in previous years there.

You were sure to show her the way- and she was just as eager to follow you.

Whether it was going into the spooky house, jumping off the mountain of hay, and going down the huge tunnel slide together.

I loved being able to watch the two of you have fun together.

Love,

Daddy

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