Monday, October 24, 2011

Farm Adventures with Grandma and Grandpa (Knott's Berry Farm that is!)

Ever since I was a kid, I can remember driving past and on a few occasions going to Knott’s Berry Farm. There are so many fond memories that bring back excitement and joy when thinking back. From the “E Ticket rides” to the “Western Stunt Show”, panning for gold and the famous Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinners, great memories come from these words. Although Knott’s in the 1970’s and 1980’s was far different than it is today, however, it still has that great fun feeling. Knott’s Berry Farm has had a very long history, starting out as a very simple business concept and emerging into America’s first amusement park. Now, I know what you are thinking…Knott’s isn’t for small children and Grandparents with all of those speedy roller coasters and huge dropping devices! That could not be further from the truth….Knott’s Berry Farm allows Grandparents to re-live their youth and enjoy memories with their Grandchildren. Sit back and enjoy the rides.

Our Adventure to Knott’s Berry Farm
Last week, my parents came into town from Fargo, ND to visit with their Grandchildren. My Dad, remembering how we kids loved Knott’s wanted to take our kids for their first trip to the park! Honestly, I think he was excited himself to go remembering all of the fun times our family had in the 70’s and 80’s attending the park. Not sure if he was looking forward to the trip for himself or for the Grand kids alike!!! I took the day off work simply to help them with the boys. The aches and pains Grandmas and Grandpas have don’t cooperate with the excitement and quick legs of 7 and 4 year old boys. 


We arrived to the park and discovered that a small, soft sided cooler was allowed in the park for water and juice boxes. When we walked in, we were greeted by photographers wishing to capture us, excited for the day and allowing us to collect a memory photo later in the day. We dashed off to Camp Snoopy and Grandma quickly jumped on several rides with the boys. They were so excited to have them there, especially since it was my kids’ first visit to Knott’s Berry Farm.


Next we headed through the Old Ghost Town and straight to the Calico Mine Rider and the Timber Mountain Log Ride. These were our family favorites when I was a kid and it brought back many conversations and memories that we shared with my boys. Grandma and Grandpa were having a great time, talking with the boys, teasing them and playing in the park. Soon, we found ourselves playing some of the carnival games and my youngest won his first stuffed animal throwing a ping pong ball into a bowl floating in a water pond. It was a proud moment for Grandpa! Next, my oldest and I played a game of chance tossing small balls onto a board with colored circle cut outs. He won himself an “Angry Bird” stuffed animal. 

Grandma was ready to visit the old fashion candy shop and the boys were attached to Grandma’s hip like they had been glued to her. We walked the complete park, hopping on the Merry Go Round, the Fiesta Village rides, and more Camp Snoopy rides. We finished our day in the Old Ghost Town looking at all of the wears for sell. 

It was a great day, my kids were exhausted, Grandma and Grandpa were satisfied and I was proud of the moments we got to share together! It was a great day. Thank you Knott’s for the past memories, providing my parents with more great times and for the fun my kids had at your park. I know we will be back soon!!!! 

Tickets
Tickets can be purchases on the website or at the box office in front of the park. Group discounts and annual passes are available. Be sure to look for discount offers provided by local Southern California retailers or with the Automobile Club. For the latest discount offers, please see Knott’s website. Go to www.knotts.com for more information.
How to Get There:
Located at 8039 Beach Boulevard Buena Park CA, 90620. Knott’s Berry Farm is easy to find from the 5 and 91 Freeways. Exit either of these 2 Freeways at Beach Blvd, head South on Beach Blvd and Knott’s is conveniently located on the corner of Beach Blvd. and La Palma Ave.


Scan this QR code with your smart device for quick and easy address information about Knotts.


Special Thanks Are a Must 

Special thanks to Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, OC Blogger Bash, Moms LA, Cedar Fair and Knott’s Berry Farm in which this piece is dedicated. Without their support, generosity and very exciting events, this piece would not have been possible. Knott’s Berry Farm knows how to show its’ guests a good time. Again, on behalf of my parents, my kids and I, Thank you Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau and Moms LA for the OC Blogger Bash and Thank You Knott’s Berry Farm and Cedar Fair! You are all one of a kind!!!!

Apple Farm - Riley's Apple Farm Adventure

October is the perfect month to visit the apple farms in Southern California. One of our favorite places is Riley's Apple Farm in Oak Glen, CA.  On a beautiful October day, I headed on a family field trip with my two kids.


My plan was to meet up with a group of friends and their kids for a fun filled day of picking apples and drinking cider.  The drive was really easy because we made a few stops to rest and stretch our legs.  My two little ones were very cooperative and super excited to see apples on a tree. 

On the way there, I encouraged my boys to look out the window and tell me what they saw.  Making fun games out of reading road signs and giving directions helps pass the time with longer travels.  I gave a few instructions on signs to look for and how to read them.  My plan was to cover maps, roads and apple education all in one day.  Of course, I made it into a fun game with music and dance (light movement).  The dance was more like moving your upper body to the song while in your car seat.






As we drove through the cities, the boys would point out funny signs or things that were different.  As we approached Beaumont, I suddenly heard my boys say, ”Mom look at those trucks?  There are a lot of them on the road!  They look like the ones in the movies?”  I looked over and there were several Military Humvee's driving down the freeway.  It broke my heart to see the young faces inside those Humvee's.  It gave me a lump in my throat.  I decided to be brave and tell my boys about war, something I did not want to discuss.  I explained that not everyone likes Americans so we have soldiers to protect us.  The military Humvee's carry very brave soldiers, who fight for our freedoms.  America needs them; otherwise without them we could not go on these field trips or any other fun adventures.  I asked that they wave to the soldiers and wish them well.  We said a little prayer and off we drove past them. 


We finally got to our destination and headed up the mountain using my phones GPS.   A few miles into the drive up the mountain, my cell service started to fade.  We turned to the old Thomas Guide Map for the rest of the way, (always carry one).  Up a winding road to Riley’s Apple Farm we went.  No phone service meant I had no address or contact information.  So I stopped at the first place that said Riley’s Farm. 


It was so beautiful from the parking lot.  The clean air, the waterfalls and all the trees that surrounded the farm.  We walked up to the farm lawn there we saw people doing a civil war reenactment.  It was really educational.  I then realized that this was not the tour I had signed up to attend with my boys and the moms group.  I went into the office and asked about where my group was stationed.  They were not able to tell me, because they did not keep a list of the groups for all the different Riley Farms tours.  The lady behind the counter told me that Riley’s owned several farms.  She told me to start up the road and try the next one over.  We all got back in the car and headed up to the next farm.  I still did not have cell service, so calling anyone in my moms group was out of the question.  As we drove to the next farm, we saw the moms from our group and were excited.  We quickly parked the car and jumped into our farm tour.


At the farm, the kids learned many things.  One of them was how to make rope and smooth out the loose threads.  Next, they got on a hayride to visit the apple trees and pumpkin patch where the driver narrated to us about the farm.  He would point to the apple trees and their history, sharing stories about the farms water system and how they cared for the apple trees.  He also shared how they pruned the apple trees for easy picking.   As we drove through the apple orchard listening to the history and how to care for apple trees, a little stream of water seemed to flow throughout the apple orchard.  The scenery reminded me of the Little House on Prairie.  Our final stop was feeding the mama pig that had just given birth to her babies.  The driver feed her a fresh apple from one of the trees.  All of the kids loved watching the pig family.  After the hayride tour was over, we headed over to lunch. 

The picnic tables on Riley’s Apple Farm were next to a wall of raspberry bushes.  Large trees hangover as canopies to the picnic tables.  In the distance, you could see the sun trying to share its rays of light.  In the background, you could hear the stream of water traveling throughout the farm.  We all sat and ate lunch surrounded in these wonderful conditions.  After lunch, the kids played by finding rocks, leaves and sticks to use as toys.  When the playing was over, we headed back to the apple orchard to do our apple picking.  For only $2.55 per pound, you can pick your very own fresh apples and we did!  Each child asked for a bag and off we went to pick apples in the apple orchard.


Walking up and down the rows of apple trees made the kids thirsty and tired.  We paid for our apples, said our goodbyes, and headed home.  As the kids said good-bye to Riley’s farm, our feet started to feel tired.  Both kids fell asleep the minute I began to drive off.  On the way home, there would be no dancing or singing.  The only sound I heard from the back seat was snoring.  The time flew by and it seemed to take only a few moments.  We spent about seven hours in driving and walking around the farm but what an amazing day.  Where does time go when you are having fun?

Want to see more pictures of gorgeous places....go to Facebook and type in Field Trip Mom.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Pumpkin Decorating ideas-Non-Carving #Pumpkin Carving Art

Pumpkins and hardware go together this Halloween season. Get creative and try this new way of carving pumpkins. Your children will enjoy working with tools, wires, washers and nut bolts to make an art piece. 
   
Field Trip Mom
This weekend we attended a very special art class hosted at the local grocerystore "Produce World" in the city of Orange. The art class was offered by "Dragonfly Shops and Garden". We arrived a little late to class, because my kids wanted to stay home to play the Wii. It was Saturday and they did not want to do anything. To get them in the car I promised them a fun time with pumpkins. As we drove to the class my kids asked many questions. What is non-carving pumpkin carving? Why do we have to go? Are we going to get candy? I answered the questions as best as I could. We finally arrived and I was ready for the kids to get curious.
We walked up to the table and noticed that there were no paint brushes or paint. The tools and decorations were from the hardware aisle of Home Depot or Lowes. There was a table full of  bailing wire, thumb-tacks, washers, nails, screws, bolts, pipe hangers and hammers. I am sure there might have been more hardware items on the table for decorating the pumpkins, but I was busy helping the kids to notice anymore. The instructor was Libby Williamson a soft spoken lady with a great smile. She quickly gave instructions and off we went to create our own "Non-Carving Pumpkin Carving" creation art piece.
In that second the kids forgot about the Wii and thought it was really great to use a hammer on a pumpkin. My (4) year old had the screw on the pumpkin in seconds and made it look like it was the pumpkins eyes. The (7) year old saw the fun in adding hair out of bailing wire.  Both kids wanted to make the pumpkins themselves. They used washer for eyeballs, screws for feet, paperclips for ears and pipe hanger for a nose. My kids were naturals at creating pumpkin art with nails and pipe hangers. I watched and held the pumpkins while the kids decorated the pumpkins with hardware. We all had so much fun.
Non-carving Pumpkin carving in a produce store with hardware as your paint. Who knew?
When we were done with our non-carving pumpkin, we walked over to see the other pumpkin creations. The little girls on the other side had made cat faces, princess and cute fun faces from the hardware. The pumpkins all seemed to have their own personalities. It was really a great class for the kids and adults. In that moment I saw that art is in all of us and in everything.
The pumpkins were fresh and came from "Produce World" in Orange, CA. The art class was held in front of  "Produce World". It was a rare event, because most classes are held at their location down the street from "Produce World". What a great idea! 
Inside produce world there was a 92 lb pumpkin waiting for someone to take it home. It is the biggest that they had in the whole store. If you are in the area stop by and  see for yourself. Maybe you will want to take it home. Make sure you visit the produce area as well as the selection of gourmet foods and coffees. Produce World has been in Orange, CA for 30 years. I was very grateful to them, Dragonfly Shops and Elite Social Management for inviting me to this great event. Thank you!




Produce World
1885 North Tustin Street
Orange, CA 92865
(714) 974-1830
The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens
260 North Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866
Telephone: 714-289-4689
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. All thoughts and ideas are all my own.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mystery Reader

 I had the privilege to volunteer for Mystery Reader for my son's 2nd grade classroom. There were clues that were given to the kids about who the mystery reader might be. The classroom had to guess who would be reading that afternoon. To make things interesting, I decided to dress-up in a funny hat and funny glasses. The book was themed for the Halloween season. I had bought erasers, pencils and silly bands to give out after the read. In my head I had it all planned out. But it did not go as I had planned it. I am glad it did not.



My  husband had surprised me and took time off work to be the mystery reader and take my place.  I later realized that he knew I would be very nervous.  I became aware of my fear once I got there and all eyes were on us. In that moment, I was super glad I was not reading and that my husband had decided to take over.  I think what caught me so off guard was the surprise look from the substitute teacher, when we entered in with our disguises.  She looked almost in shock! The kids became so quiet you could hear a pin drop. As my husband sat there and read the book "The Three Bears Halloween", the kids began to breath again and smile. The kids in the classroom realized that we were there for them  to read stories and entertain them.  My husband read wearing big clown glasses and a cape becoming the Super Mystery Reader. He stayed in his character until the end. It was so successful that the kids asked for another book to be read by Super Mystery Reader. Mystery Reader was a huge success. I am glad my plans changed and my husband decided to read instead.  I hope I get to volunteer my husband again. :)


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Get Inpsired and Decorate...




Decorating for Fall  is a great way to get your family to feel inspired.  There are many ways you can decorate.  You don' t need to spend lots of money or go to a special store to find in season items.  Your house will be warm and inviting just by adding a few touches. 




Because in California we don't have much of a weather change, decorating for the fall is a great way to make your family feel inspired.  Visiting the pumpkin patches, fall festivals and other fun fall events add to getting inspired.



A few of the ways you can decorate is with food and plants. The grocery stores carry a variety of pumpkins, gourds, squash and flowers that are in the season's colors. Home Depot is another place you can find plants that are in season. Just by placing them in the kitchen or living room as decoration will help bring the feeling of Fall. You can place them outside your door as well to give your house a fun look.





Hot apple cider, soups and homemade breads are great ways to remind the sense of smell, why Fall is a great season to celebrate. Baking and cooking away will help make your house cozy and warm. Fall is a great season to celebrate and enjoy. Here is my favorite bread receipe to help you get started:



1 1/3
cups mashed very ripe bananas (2 large)
2/3
cup sugar
1/4
cup milk
3
tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2
teaspoon vanilla
3
eggs
2 2/3
cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2
cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom of 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Stir bananas, sugar, milk, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in Bisquick mix and nuts. Pour into pan.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 day.

I Love Fall......
It gives you so many more chances to turn over a new leaf.
Esty Pidgapeg Cottage
http://www.facebook.com/pages/PidgApeg-Cottage/126230314097761