October was a weird month. I very briefly had full-time employment, so the entire month I was working 40-hour weeks from home, often with one, but usually both, kids hanging off me, and it was mostly chaotic and stressful. We missed Floydada Punkin Days, which happened on a really cold and rainy Saturday, so we went the Monday after to Assiter Pumpkin Ranch and picked out a couple of pumpkins. Mike and I found a big jack-o-lantern pumpkin, and Charlie chose a small pie pumpkin. We took them home. And never carved them. The big jack-o-lantern pumpkin is still sitting in the dining room. Fail. We did roast up the pie pumpkin and made an amazing curry pumpkin soup out of it. Yummy fail!
Assiter Pumpkin Ranch was worth the drive. It was pretty abandoned when we got out there, but it was a Monday afternoon, so that wasn't too surprising. I'm sure it was hopping a few days before during the festival. Inside their big beautiful barn-style store, they had a huge variety of specialty pumpkins and gourds (Floydada is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capitol of Texas, after all), as well as different corns and other fall items. It took a lot of willpower to walk away with the pumpkins and nothing else.
Behind the barn are trailers full of pumpkins from the fields. We stuck Charlie in one. How could we not? There was also a little shelter and a bunch of white animals in a large grassy area: a dog, a donkey, and a llama, if I remember correctly. So that was a random bonus for Charlie's enjoyment. It was a really windy day or we would have spent more time exploring the massive pumpkins (up-to-my-waist massive) sitting out in the front of the barn. Lucy wasn't handling the winds well, and the rest of us were feeling pretty blown over, too. Next year we'll try to make the main event and enjoy it even more.
Charlie was a train conductor (engineer? whatever this outfit is?) for Halloween this year. He carried a train whistle and one of his toy trains with him. He already had the cute hat (thanks, Grandma!) and the clothes. Nice, cheap, multi-purpose outfit. Just my style. Mike's mom (thanks, Amy!) made him this cute Frankenstein trick-or-treating bag, which Charlie really didn't want to model, as you can see. Mike took Charlie to the ward's trunk-or-treat, since I had to work, and then the next night we went trick-or-treating in our friends' neighborhood. After the second or third door, Charlie realized that everyone was going to give him candy. For no reason. Everyone. It was a fun night with him, and it only took about a dozen doors for him to be totally satisfied. The next morning he banged on the bathroom door, presented a bucket from his room, and demanded "candy." He never really got the whole "trick-or-treat" thing down. Just "candy."
Other memorable moments in October: Charlie had a 10-day stomach virus. Both ends for 10 whole days. I had two bad nights of puking, and Mike and Lucy escaped unscathed, thankfully. Mike presented a paper at a conference down in Austin and also ran a 10k and did really well! Go Mike!