Pumpkins and Turning Eleven

Selling pumpkins at St John's church
I always know it's Fall when all the pumpkins arrive at our church.  This is the fourth year we've been doing it at St. John's and it's our biggest fundraiser. The church sits up a hill at the top of a lawn across the street from the main shops in downtown Barrington. It's so cool to see all the pumpkins on the lawn as your drive through town. Emma and I always sign up to sell pumpkins and have a great time.  Lots of parishioners sign up to sell for two hour shifts and it's one great way to meet other people. I managed to get a photo of Emma last time we worked this past Sunday, during the one slow period.  I know I am biased, but I think she's pretty cute.  I also enjoy watching all the little kids running around looking at pumpkins. Emma enjoys giving out pumpkin patch stickers to the kids too. I've noticed that it's also a favorite spot for photo taking -- everytime I work there are several kids being posed by pumpkins for photographs -- sometimes with cell phones -- other times with big SLR cameras and tripods.
Emma's big gift from Mom and Dad. She can borrow my iPod for now.
In other breaking news, Emma turned eleven years old yesterday.  We had a small family gift opening celebration followed by dinner at Billy's Restaurant here in town. It's a family favorite with kid friendly food, but also adult friendly food and ambience -- and most importantly for me -- wine.  Emma was excited because it was going to be her first time ordering off the adult menu since their kids menu is for 10 and under!  The downside of this was that we didn't get crayons.  Now that wouldn't normally be a problem, but Billy's has bistro style tables covered in plain white paper upon which Mommy (me) likes to doodle while waiting for dinner.  I may have to start bringing my own crayons. Last year I embarrassed Emma by writing "Happy Birthday Emma" with a big arrow pointing to her -- right on the table!  Emma chose to have the cheese pizza and then chocolate cake for desert. This was a treat for me too since I didn't have to cook dinner, or have leftover cake, and I enjoyed a yummy meal.
Mommy's table doodling from last year's Billy's Birthday Dinner.

Emma's main gift from Mom and Dad was the boombox pictured above.  She often borrows my iPod and docking station and I thought it would be neat for her to not have to move the docking station around all the time.  I don't use my iPod that much so she can borrow it most of the time she asks, and lots of her music is on it anyway.  Since she got birthday money from several relatives she is at least half of the way to buying her own iPod anyway -- if she wants.  She also got an IOU for re-doing her room with more tween appropriate bedding. Right now she has pink and purple ballerinas and fairies!
Eleven pink roses
My Mom really outdid herself and sent these absolutely gorgeous pink roses -- it was only later that I realized that she had sent eleven roses -- for eleven years.  Now we are all enjoying them!  She also sent some Lands End clothes and Emma is wearing the cozy wine colored hoodie with furry lining today.
Opening the flowers while Daddy watches


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