HARKER HEIGHTS — Sadie and Dane, both 4, ran between seven rows of pumpkins searching for the perfect one to glue fake eyeballs on.

“I want to make a princess pumpkin,” said Sadie, as she held one she picked out specifically for its long stem.

The twins’ mom, Trina Patrick of Fort Hood, brought her children out for the third time Saturday at the First United Methodist Church of Killeen’s pumpkin patch in Harker Heights.

“It’s a nice size pumpkin patch for kids,” she said. “We always get our pumpkins as a family and then carve them and afterward we usually cut them up and cook them to make pies.”

She said it feels like fall is in the air and her children were excited to get out of the house.

The chilly and windy weather prompted Ixtchel Olalde, of Killeen, to bring her three children to the pumpkin patch for the experience of picking out pumpkins from a larger selection than what’s available at a grocery store.

“This is our first time coming out here,” Olalde said. “The weather is perfect for it. You can tell fall is here.”

Debra Longley, director of children’s ministries at the First United Methodist Church of Killeen, said the patch has more than 2,000 pumpkins in varying sizes, which arrived Thursday from a Navajo reservation in Farmington, N.M.

She said she loves getting to know the community and seeing families interacting and spending quality time with one another.

Olalde said her family carves, paints and decorates pumpkins every year.

Her son, Dyami Salinas, 12, picked out a huge one that he plans to carve a “monster house” into.

“(My kids) have been having fun challenging each other, seeing who can pick up the heaviest one,” Olalde said. “When we carve them, it’ll probably be very competitive.”

Patrick said she plans on picking out more pumpkins with her family throughout the month at the patch in Heights.

“It’s just a nice quaint place that’s close to home so it makes it really special for our family,” she said. “We just made it a tradition.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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