A Fall weekend with Grandma and Grandpa...

It has become a tradition for my parents to choose one of the football game weekends and make a full fall weekend out of it.  My mom comes early, we go shopping for my birthday and then my dad comes for the rest of the weakend and we tailgate at the ISU game and then do the orchard on Sunday together.  We look forward to it every year and always schedule it on the calendar early!

This year my dad was on business with some colleagues in St. Louis so it worked for them to drop him off at the Ankeny airport so we got to go and pick him up.  In an era of increased security, it was so fun to go check out the plane and run right up to Grandpa.  I have a similar memory of going to get my dad at the corporate jet as a little girl...

After we picked up Grandpa, we took everyone out to eat at Los Charros, Solon's pick and favorite before lots of playing around the house Friday night while daddy reffed.

The next morning was Vera's 4th birthday so we squeezed in opening presents before heading to the ISU game and celebrating with both sets of grandparents and watch ISU lose to the hawkeyes, bummer!  

Then the next morning, we learned the orchard had new hours but only email subscribers knew so I figured it might be light at the opening bell and we were right.  We were one of four families out there at 9am and had the place to ourselves.  I am turning into my dad and HATE crowds so this was a welcome treat.  We raced ducks, played in the corn pool, went down the slide (my dad and my favorite) enough times are quads were sore the next day and new this year we did the apple slingshot...we went through a lot of sour apples and had a blast catapulting them at the targets.

Some serious competitive duck racing...

Lucy's first time in the corn pool, she didn't mind it at all!

Of course I turn into one big kid when I can, I mean isn't that why you have kids so you can play and be a kid again?!  My philosophy anyway...a family that plays together, stays together!
And nothing says fall like a quintessential corn pool photo!

Of course we took some time to jump on the jumping pillow, mommy and daddy both joined in too! 
Then we rode the hay ride to pick some apples and it was Grandpa's lucky day because jonathons (his favorite) were available to pick that day.  We had lunch in the sun of the country and enjoyed the outdoors before my parents had to head out so my dad could catch his flight.  We decided to stay a little longer and visit the animals, reenact the 3 little pigs in the houses and visit the one room school house.  We sampled some fudge, got some apple cider doughnuts to go and 2 out of 3 kids were asleep as we pulled out of the parking lot!
It was a perfect way to kick off fall around here.  We hope to head back out and test out the new train they have and pick pumpkins with Auntie Ellen and Uncle K in October!
...and you know you live in Iowa when you find corn kernels in the laundry that week!  A good time was had by all.  I think this is the 5th year we have gone with my parents and we hope to go for many more years together!