On Saturday, a few of my brothers, a brother-in-law, and a couple nephews went over to my dad's house to cut down a dead tree. My dad thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have them help move the playhouse he fixed up for Riley over to my house as well. The plan was to have the guys come over and start working at about 9 am, I would make lunch and then we'd transport the playhouse.
One tree was supposed to come down, but if you looks close many of the trees in my dad's yard got a haircut. I am very grateful that the guys helped my dad out. My dad is one of those people who everyone seems to owe. He's helped so many people out and has been so generous with his time. I don't know how he did it as I never feel like I have enough time, but it's something I aspire to be more mindful of.
Lunch served. Nothing fancy - just some brats, burgers, salad, fruit, chips...
While the guys were in the last stages of cleaning up cut branches Riley checked out her playhouse. In case you haven't read my comments on this play house before I'll bring you up to speed. My dad originally built it in the '60's for my sister. He painted it to match our house and each of us three kids spent many a summer day playing here. That drop down window was perfect for playing drive through McDonald's. The space, in general, was a nice private place to hang with my friends. When I was nine we moved further out in the suburbs and brought it with us (and painted it to match the new house). Overtime, I outgrew it, as did the grandkids. My dad built a slightly larger playhouse that looks like a barn and this one became filled with random stuff. I figured it was a lost cause, but my dad recently asked if we wanted it. My dad had to replace the floor and some of the lower boards, but it is still sturdy as ever. He slapped a coat of primer and it was ready to be moved.
We put the house on the back of my brother Chuck's truck and followed him the 14 miles to our house. Riley sat in the back seat commenting the whole ride home how Chuck was bringing her the playhouse. The last few blocks we drove ahead of him and Riley could no longer see his truck. She kept repeating "is Uncle Chuck coming?"... and the next morning she told me that Chuck brought her playhouse. Apparently, Chuck is getting all the glory on this one.
First coat of paint. Of course, it is red to match our house.
Kitchen installed! It was quite nice to move this out of the house so we have more space in the living room. More pictures to come once we finish painting and update some of the hardware. I wish there was more warm weather yet this season because Riley seriously loves this thing.
On Sunday we went to Sponsel's Minnesota Harvest Orchard with grandma and grandpa and Riley's cousin, Maddie. It was a little on the chilly side, but these pumpkins alone were worth the trip. Five bucks for each of these monster size pumpkins.
The orchard had this cute, little gift shop area.
Rather amazed that we got this picture to happen and in one take. Apparently, The Thing is a part of our family now.
The apple launcher. Riley even got a turn.
Grandpa was being silly with the corn silk by creating a mustache and then talking in a funny voice. We all got a kick out of it.
Maddie tried doing it too (you can see the silk falling in front of her jacket).
We were surprised at how green this corn was yet.
Ok, so it wasn't the best corn maze I've been too. It looked like a combination of a storm and a bunch of drunken teenagers had their way with the field, but we still had fun here. In fact we probably wouldn't have engaged in a game of hide-n-seek with Riley if it was better maintained.
As we were walking out of the maze we heard Riley from behind talking in a funny voice. We turned around to find that she had picked up some corn silk and was attempting to copy grandpa from earlier. It was pretty darn hilarious.
And it lead to even more hilarity when grandpa set Jesse up with sideburns.
After the adventures in the corn maze we headed over to the tractor wagon, aka the Orchard Limo, to go pick some apples.
Remarkable Riley sat and waited and waited until the tractor started moving. She's not one to sit for more than a few seconds so this was impressive.
Excited to get an apple. This kid loves her apples and has been known to eat through the core.
Many of the trees were picked over on the lower side so Riley came in useful for picking some apples up high.
Got ourselves a peck of apples - mostly Fireside and Connell Reds.
Awe, a kiss for mommy as we wrapped up our day at the orchards.
Overall, a fabulous weekend spent with family and a new tradition of going to the apple orchard with grandma and grandpa. Now my dilemma is whether to make grandma Val's delicious apple crisp or this delectable dish. Maybe I'll just make both.