How Tall This Fall?

I know I just posted about how much my kids have grown
but just look at this please.

The one on the left is 2007 (a couple months after we moved out here) 
and the one on the right is this year.

It just confirms what has been hitting me lately...
that I need to be grateful each day for the time I have with my kids because they will be grown and gone before I know it!

"I try not to let the good things go by unnoticed."
-from Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Lord, help me to notice and remember the good things
and not focus on the little, fleeting frustrations.


At the Pumpkin Farm

This has been an annual trip for us since moving to California.
Aren't these pumpkins beautiful?!

It is quite the operation.
They have talking chickens that say things like:
Why did the rubber chicken cross the road?
'Cause he wanted to stretch his legs.
Ba dum chick.
What is a chicken's least favorite day of the week?
Ba dum chick.

The big kids got to try out the corn maze for the first time.
I made Jono go with them.  I am directionally challenged so put me in a corn maze and you won't see me again until the new year.  I probably shouldn't have revealed that tidbit.  It could probably be used against me.

There are animals to pet and feed.  The piglets had not been born yet and that is the only time pigs are ever cute so I purposely neglected to take their picture.  But the goats were pretty sweet.


We accessorized a couple shirts for the occasion with puffy ghosts and iron-on letters that I had found on clearance last year.  Amazingly, I was still able to locate that stuff to use it.
Trek was so proud of his letters.  He kept saying "O-O-B spells boo!"

The finale was trying to get a cute family shot in the giant pumpkin patch...

So maybe not.

It was a good day with the fam even if they wouldn't cooperate for the picture.
We came home with several sugar pumpkins for baking.
Any pumpkin recipes you'd like to share???


Last Minute Costume Ideas

We happened to be in Ukiah for their annual Pumpkinfest!

It was cute.  They had a hometown parade where all the local peewee teams and dance classes and karate classes had a float.  And--what a stroke of genius to do this kind of thing in the fall instead of a Christmas parade.  You know the temperature is guaranteed to drop below freezing if you even think about scheduling a Christmas parade.

If you are looking for a last minute Halloween costume, you might find some inspiration in the following pictures.

1. Mariachi band member  2. Shriner  3.  Scary Hobo Clown  4.  Zombie Roller Derby Girl or Super Roller Derby Girl  5. Any Star Wars character  6. Super-serious Dirt Biker

There was other entertainment.
We watched our lost balloon fly away.

We played in the bounce houses.  Always fun.

Climbed the rock tower.

With the very foam-muscled purple superhero. 
I would have thought he was the LSU Superfan but he didn't have a cape. 
And that, folks, is costume suggestion number 7.


DIY Nature Finds to ???

Today I have a tutorial for you.
But it isn't here.

It's about taking the treasures you have found outside and turning it into
a special souvenir or great holiday gift.

I used these treasures...

Go on over there to see what I made!
Except if you are expecting a Christmas present from me maybe don't go look.
You may or may not be getting one from me come December. ;)


Annual Park Pic

There is a park in town that has these four little balancing mushrooms to play on.  When we had Big D that made four kiddos.  Fun place for us to take a photo with all of them. 
We have been able to do it three years in row.
(quite a feat for us since that means having been in one place for at least that long) 
Check out how much they have grown!




Those of you with more than one child can attest to the fact that it is difficult   a physical challenge  
a great test of patience and fortitude to get all of your children looking pleasant and natural all in the same shot.  I don't know how professional photographers do it on a regular basis.
 The one I shared was the best one over all but here are a few more shots
that just make my heart glad...


Autumn Brown

Thanks to Jono for filling up the wood shed so we'll stay warm this winter.
He takes such good care of us!


Autumn Grey {glass beach}

This is Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA. 
It used to be a dump (don't we pick great places to put our trash).
So, the sand is full of bits of glass that have been tossed around in the waves for the last how many years.  The glass is all smooth now like pebbles.  You can just search for treasure to your little hearts content.  I could have stayed all day.

The boys liked finding live treasure.  There were fish in this tide pool.

As Joe was climbing around, he left his apple sitting on a rock which this squirrel claimed immediately.

Abby was the only one of us that found any blue glass.  But mostly she was discovering what happened to Anne Frank.

Look at all the great treasures we found!
*note: not all treasure came home with us

We did find some beautiful pieces of glass but I was most excited about these...

Tiny pieces of pottery!  They still have bits of glaze on them.
I can't wait do something with them.

You can check out others' autumn colors in the flickr group HERE.


Autumn Orange {the pumpkin harvest}

I wanted to wait to harvest the pumpkins when we had all the kids there at the same time.
Amazingly, that was hard to do.  My kids aren't that old.  It's not like they are driving themselves places.  We might have to re-evaluate.  I like us together.

They each picked one and carried them over to the hay bales.
Dylan picked the squash because they were easier to carry but it's all squash really.

Yea! That was fun.
Then we played with the camera a little.
This one of Abby...Jono put his sunglasses over the lens of the camera.  She's pretty much amazing in any tint.  I'm allowed to say that, right? She is my daughter.  I can be just as biased as I want.

I love this series of Joe.  He was trying to bury himself with the pumpkins. 
He's such a goofy kid and a lot of fun when he's not trying to be Mr. Tough Guy. 
The last picture is his favorite. 
Of course.

Oh!  One last Autumn Orange...
the holiday truck in Forbestown!
They grew their pumpkins up onto the bed of the truck.
And.  There's a goat.
Love it.

If you missed it the past couple days, here is Autumn Red and Autumn Yellow.


Autumn Yellow


Remember Jono's poem--Yeller Pianer
This is our yeller pianer. 
I love the how the angle of light changes in the fall.

We don't get a lot of color changes in the fall because most of the trees up here are evergreens.
These cat-tails around the lake are one of the things that does change.  The boys want to collect all the "corndogs" on top but those buggers are not easy to snap off!

And lastly...my sweet yellow vest that I scored at the thrift store is my new favorite thing for fall!


Autumn Red

This is Autumn Colors Week over at Poppytalk.  They have done other colors in other seasons but I thought I would jump in on this one.  It's just good creative exercise.  Focus in on colors that are happening in your everyday life.


These are all tomatoes out of our garden.  We didn't get any red ones until the very end of August and we are still pulling a few off the vines now.  There has already been one cold snap.  We'll see how many more we get before the rest of the green ones become relish!

This is the Falck House.  It was built in the early 1900s.   It is built on a foundation of redwoods and has watched Woodleaf through all of its changes.  From mining town, to logging company, to camp for high school kids.  Just part of the history here.


News from the Coop

We ended up with chickens this summer kinda by default.  They needed them to be part of the entertainment for summer camp and the birds had to have a place to stay, so...the old greenhouse shed is next door to our house and was easy to convert into a chicken house.  Since they were going to be living so close to us, I requested that we get all hens.  And that's what we thought we had
until recently.
One of the girls was starting to look a little suspect--going red in the gobbler and comb region.
This week it was confirmed.
There is definite cockadoodling.

we got our first egg!!!

So at least one of them is a hen.

Any suggestions on how to get her to lay IN the chicken house?


Harry Potter Wands

Remember the thrill of July?
The warmth of the summer sun.
The giant splash as you race into the water.
The great, last battle against Volde--
I mean, He Who Must Not Be Named.

Ask the Big-uns what was their favorite part of summer and, without hesitation, they will tell you
The Deathly Hallows Part 2!!!

The excitement has not waned.  We have had multiple conversations about which parts were changed and what was left out or added to the movie.  Repeated favorite lines...
("that went well" and "i've always wanted to use that spell")
Re-enacted whole scenes. 
I can't tell you how many sticks have been gathered to use for wands and how many times I've heard "expeliarmus".   Even the toddler is saying it (actually he says it more like his father--"smellyourarmpits")

And, of course, we will be dressing up as characters from Harry Potter for Halloween. 
Not surprising, I know.
So, in preparing for this fantastic event, we needed certain wands.
You know that the wand chooses the wizard and each wizard has a specific wand.

Can you believe these wands were made with paper and a glue gun?!!  I got major mom points for coming across this tutorial on Pinterest.
Much safer than a second grader trying to whittle them with his dollar store pocket knife.

It's really fairly simple:
Roll the paper.
Glue it together and let dry.
Add details with the glue gun.
Definitely check out the complete tutorial here.

We still have to make a mad eye for Professor Moody but at least the wands are ready!

By the way, anyone know who it was that said the quotes from above or just knew from looking which wizards' wands we made???  Just wondering how many other Harry Potter nerds are out there!