Life has been full these past few months, and I’ve gotten behind on blogging. This blog serves several purposes, one of which is a record of sorts for our family. I love to look back and see where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and where we are now, and I hope that my kids will one day enjoy these records, as well.
And to that end, there are some fun memories I’d like to make sure I document this year for us!
Naturally, I am an introverted, intellectual homebody. My idea of a perfect day would have to include some time curled up on the couch with a blanket and a mug of tea and a good book. But I’m trying to grow in being more of a fun mom, creating memories for my kids and having special outings and adventures, and this fall we had several.
We took a morning and went with some friends from church to Hickory Ridge Orchard and took a tour and visited some animals. The chickens were a bit over-enthusiastic in their pursuit of the food Atticus was carrying, and he was not pleased!
The girls took it more in stride 😊
And then we enjoyed what was definitely a highlight for us – apple picking!
Having 5 apple-pickers, we’re able to get quite a few pretty quickly, and we came home with a respectable haul, to be used to make apple pie, applesauce, apple butter, and other assorted apple items!
Another Saturday this fall, Matt had to work, so the kids and I made the drive out to Longmeadow Rescue Ranch, where our friend Courtney works training horses, to enjoy one of their Wagon Days. We saw Twister paint…
…we enjoyed some of the biggest slices of pizza we’d ever seen from a food truck there for the afternoon…
…each kiddo got to enjoy a pony ride!
The littles, in particular, were thrilled with that experience. They’ve watched their older sisters taking horseback riding lessons, and they loved getting to participate in something similar. Atticus talked all day long about how was now a horse rider, too, and FangFang now refers to the pony she rode, Pal, as her best friend.
We also enjoyed some snow cones…
…and a wagon ride…
…though Miranda was not thrilled about having to wait for the wagon ride, and her expression shows it!
We walked around and visited many of the animals at the ranch, and the chickens were a particular favorite.
Miranda made this drawing of her favorite chicken on the way home!
The next week, we took an even longer trip, this time venturing up to Wisconsin to see the China Lights. In recent years, each fall a group of artists from China have decorated Boerner Botanical Gardens with lanterns, and this year the theme was pandas. FangFang is obsessed with pandas, and we knew she would be beside herself with excitement to see the exhibit, and it was taking place around her birthday. We’d looked at our calendar to see if we could fit in a quick trip to Wisconsin to make it work, but Matt just didn’t have any free blocks of time to do it. Courtney agreed to go with us, and plans were made! The trip was almost de-railed last minute, as three of our kids came down with strep throat (everyone but Madeleine CaiQun), but we were able to get everyone on antibiotics before we left so that they wouldn’t be contagious, and though we had a bit of anxiety about it, we went ahead with the trip, and we were really glad we went. There were some hard parts – sleep wasn’t great for kids who had sore throats (or their mama) – but it was neat to see this exhibit, and I always love giving our family the opportunity to experience different aspects of Chinese culture – and we got to see my mom a bit!
The next weekend, my dad and his boyfriend and my brothers and sister-in-law all came to Columbia for a visit, and we crammed in several fun fall activities! We all went out to Peach Tree Farm, went on a hayride, saw animals, and looked at some gigantic pumpkins.
That afternoon we had some fun at home, with Atticus using my brother Danny as a jungle gym and FangFang practicing her independent standing with my sister-in-law, Sharon!
Matt led the kids in their pumpkin carving endeavors, and the results were much more impressive than if I had been involved with the process 😉
We also enjoyed some outside time – David raked leaves with the big kids, and Danny taught Miranda how to ride her bike without training wheels – a big milestone for her!
We also took in a visit to the big tree.
Close on the heels of that visit was our Halloween fun – this year we had a dinosaur, a cat, a dragon, and a panda – pretty adorable!
I hope you had a fall full of fun activities, and I’m looking forward to seeing what our next season will hold for us!