Long Overdue - Fall Festival

I know, I know - we JUST celebrated Thanksgiving and I'm just NOW posting pictures of our Fall Festival. What can I say?? My sweet girl has been keeping me so busy I don't have time to update - SORRY!!! At any rate, on Tuesday Oct. 28th our church, Gateway, had it's annual Fall Festival out at Dragon Stadium in Southlake. It was A-MAZING!! They estimate almost 20,000 people came through there throughout the course of the night. UNBELIEVABLE! To say that our church goes ALL OUT would be a complete understatement. They had a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses GALORE - some with zip lines, some with giant slides, some large, some small - tons of games, Chick-fil-A, Cici's Pizza, BBQ, and they even had an area designated special for kiddos Jorja's age called "Tyke Town". We had SUCH a great time!! I took Jorja last year when she was only 4 months old and while she was the MOST adorable Chicken known to man (see pic below) she wasn't able to do anything but let me hold her while we walked around - and I'm pretty sure I remember her falling asleep about 30 minutes into the night. SO, needless to say I was SUPER pumped that Jorja would be able to enjoy the Festival much more than she did the year before.

However, I was a bit nervous about the costume as everytime we'd try it on at the house this was her reaction...

What it is even better is that the hood on her costume says "Bee Happy"... umm... not so much! HA!

Luckily, once we got to the stadium and she saw the Festival in all it's glory - and noticed all the other kids in their costumes - and of course, realized how many people were commenting on how cute she was - she perked right up and was all smiles the whole night!! YIPPEE!!

Here's the Queen Bee & her Drones... :)
Entering the Festival - and yes, I put a bow on her hood so people would know she was a girl!! :)

This is actually Jorja dancing to the music playing in Tyke Town - it was adorable watching her shake that big ol' belly!!

My sister and her family came to the Festival as well and we made sure to meet up with them at the gate so Evie & Jorja could hang out. We didn't know what each other had used for costumes but I think the flower & the bee go perfect with each other!! Aren't they just so SWEET & CUTE?!?!
And here is my BUSY LITTLE BEE at Tyke Town. She would hardly look up for a picture! She had SUCH a great time and so did we!!!

Unfortunately the thing Jorja had the most fun playing on I don't have any pictures of because it was too dark and we were going too fast!! What she loved most was the HUGE bounce house slide! She made me climb up that thing FOUR times (and would have gone 100 more had I not almost passed out)! I huffed & puffed climbing that slide while carrying her in one arm (remember she's 30 lbs PLUS had on that huge BEE outfit) and hanging on for dear life with the other. We'd get to the top, I'd put her in between my legs and we'd both yell "wee" all the way down. The second we stopped she'd immediately yell "'gin" (again) over and over until I climbed my happy rear up that thing AGAIN!! When I got home I had a HUGE bruise on my knee from using it for leverage as I climbed up the steep steps of that bounce house. I SO wish I had pictures so you could understand how big this thing was - and so you could see how happy it made Jorja! Oh, the things we do as mothers to make our children happy... and I'm sure I'll be doing it again next year, bruises and all!! I can't wait! :)

Jorja at Gateway's Fall Festival in 2007


Our Little Pumpkin goes to the Pumpkin Patch... A LOT!

WARNING!!! This is a long post because there are A LOT of pictures on here... however, isn't that what most people want to look at anyway?? :) And, as always, you can click on any picture to make it bigger if you can't see it. I know you will be surprised by the # of pics and you'll probably wonder why I couldn't cut out some of the pictures I took - but if you only knew - these ARE the ones that have been narrowed down from the 251 pictures that I actually took... at what point do I need to be admitted into therapy??

During the month of October Jorja and I went to 3 different pumpkin patches - and actually, Jorja went to 4! While I was out of town and she stayed with my parents, they took her and her cousins to the Pumpkin Patch near their house - however I don't have pictures from that patch! :( Overall, Jorja seemed to really enjoy all the pumpkins (but not so much all the hay) and at every Pumpkin Patch there seemed to be a theme which consisted of Jorja refusing to stop and smile at the camera because all she was interested in was trying to pick up abnormally large pumpkins and move them from one place to another. After I thought she was going to give herself a hernia, I began pointing out the smaller pumpkins so she could actually lift them and move them without too much strain. :) At one Pumpkin Patch I found myself sweating like a champ and at another we got rained on for about 5 minutes! We went to one with our Mommy & Me group, one with Jorja's "boyfriend" Cole and his mom Katie, and another with my sister and her kiddos! We went on hay rides, went in bounce houses, flew down slides, petted some farm animals, and inevitably Jorja passed out not even 5 minutes after getting in the car & would sleep the whole way home. While Jorja might have been a little young to fully appreciate all the fun festivities of celebrating Fall - I have memories (and hundreds of pictures - ha!) I will cherish forever. It didn't even matter that every time we got home we would have the sniffles for a few days from all the hay - it was worth EVERY second of bonding and memories!!

The Dallas Arboretum - Oct. 13, 2008
This was definitely the prettiest of the Pumpkin Patches that we went to visit however, it was the most crowded. We went with our Mommy & Me play group on Mommy & Me Monday and wow - there were a lot of moms and kiddos there! The neatest part & biggest attraction was the House made of Pumpkins! So cool. They also had a hay maze (which we didn't go through), a petting zoo and tons of really great pumpkins and places set up for pictures. They also had a professional photographer there to take pictures. I debated if I should have her take Jorja's picture because she was a bit expensive and I didn't get to see the pics ahead of time - she just sent you the best one... but, after my husband convinced me I would regret not getting it, I decided to do it. However, I apparently decided a bit too late... see, I had dressed Jorja in this really adorable "Daddy's Little Pumpkin" shirt specifically in case I decided to get professional pics of her at the Patch (and because I knew that the millions of pics I would take would be cute too) however, before visiting the photographer we went to see the fountain full of pumpkins and Jorja was so intrigued by it that before I could stop her or realize what she was doing she had leaned over the edge to - you got it - pick up a pumpkin and got dirt and water all down the front of her shirt! UGGH! You can see the picture below of her after getting in trouble for getting dirty (so sad and cute). Luckily one of the girls I went with was prepared and brought extra clothes so I got the picture taken anyway and it turned out cute! Disaster averted! :)

My Busy Little Pumpkin - such a big girl carrying all those pumpkins! Seriously, this is ALL she wanted to do the whole time we were there!

Pumpkins on the Praire - Oct. 14, 2008
This Pumpkin Patch was the smallest patch we went to - it was basically in the field next to a church! We got rained on while we were there but they had a hayride and lots of small pumpkins for Jorja to play with so we loved it! We went to this Patch with Katie and Cole (who are quickly becoming regulars on this blog :) ) and we had a great time. We went to lunch beforehand and then to the Patch where we got some amazingly cute pics of Jorja and Cole. I definitely think their hate is quickly turning to love. One thing Jorja loved was they had these bins full of small pumpkins and she would not stop playing with all those pumpkins. Right before we left, I let her go over and pick out 2 of the pumpkins to take home - she was so picky about what she wanted and if I picked up the wrong one she would say "no" over and over until I got the right one! So cute! Again, not any real pics of Jorja smiling for the camera because she was too excited to play with all the little pumpkins but don't think for a second that stopped me from taking tons of pictures anyway! :)

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch - Oct. 24, 2008
This Pumpkin Patch is probably the most special to me simply because I LOVE family and I LOVE traditions and last year my sister invited me to go with her and her kids so, of course, this year we decided this was a fun (albeit, a tad stressful) tradition we would do each year together!! At this Pumpkin Patch Jorja went inside a bounce house, rode down the huge bounce house slide with me - several times, went on a hay ride that she cried on the entire time, took pictures in silly cut-outs, and played with her cousin Evelyn - A LOT! And of course - you guessed it - PICKED UP PUMPKINS!! :) There was this small house that had small pumpkins sitting on the ledges and I seriously think Jorja could have stayed there all day taking pumpkins off the ledge and carrying them over to the hay bale and then back over to the ledge - then back and forth and back and forth. My niece, Evelyn, and Jorja are only about a year and 4 months apart but now that Jorja is walking and (clear my throat) the same weight and 2 inches shorter - they don't seem all that far apart in age and seem to play well together! So, my sister and I tried to let them just roam the Patch while we took pictures of them and I think we got some pretty fun pictures of them together. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two of them and a fun tradition for our families!

Last Year's Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch - Oct. 25, 2007
I can't believe how much Jorja has grown and how much she has changed. What a year!