Fun fall day

It started in college. A whole day off during the best season of the year soaking in all the goodness of life. Leaves crunching under your feet with the wind starting to chill and blow at your back. Picking apples off the trees and devouring raspberries. Celebrating the art of baking and creating food from scratch by spending the afternoon in the kitchen and then sitting down with friends to enjoy the spoils of your labor. An all day event celebrating life, friendship, inspiration, and love.

I love fall, like so many others. This past Saturday we celebrated once more with friends with a harvest dinner after a morning of picking apples and raspberries.

our day is best described in photo's but I will disclaim that the best parts of the day were moments to be enjoyed, not worrying about capturing on camera. So there are photo's but they were taken quickly for the benefit of friends who couldn't join us and grandparents to see cute grand kids. If I were an artist, the pictures would be better, but alas, welcome to fun fall day.

***Side note for Laura. If you aren't Laura, than you can pass this paragraph and move forward. Or read on and share this intimate moment with me and my friend. Remember in college when my tooth was going to fall out and I couldn't bite into the apples that we were picking? You would find the perfect apple, bite into it and then give me the bite. We ate a handful of apples that way, and I believe we said, a true friend would eat your apple. This year, Big is missing two teeth and another one is loose. He couldn't bite into his apples, so I did for him what you did for me years ago. My soul always long to be near you this time of year more than normal, but you were especially close to me this year.

When we got to the orchard, we discovered a lot of fun can be had by building a tower out of tires.

Or just dirt. Yes he is saying he is king of the hill.

After we played, we picked raspberries. The fact that food grows on short bushes just her height was like a dream come true for my daughter who is ALWAYS hungry.

Then came the hay ride to the apples.

And the traditional godmother/godson photo on the hayride. Happens every year, and their just so cute.

Look mom, its perfect!

My daughter won't eat an apple at home, but she will off a tree. Guess I need to get an apple tree!

This photo seems a little out of place for her disposition for the day. Considering she was queen cranktastic, it's ironic we are both smiling as if we liked each other. Pretty sure she was mad at everything, even at this moment.

Then here is our attempt at a family photo. Paul and I doing our job, being ready for even slightest chance our children will comply and behave. Middle is hiding behind Paul, Big is the star of the show, and little is watching it all wondering how she got there. It's our best effort, which should tell you something.

After apple picking, comes crab apple ball. Find a large stick, find a sucker who will pitch to you, and practice your swing to see how many apples you can obliterate into tiny pieces.

The cheering section doesn't get any cuter or any more indifferent.

After a wonderful morning outside harvesting apples and raspberries, we went home where we greeted 30 friends with a harvest dinner. I was characteristically unprepared, but loved having all the company in the kitchen to prepare the soup feast. We had soup, summer squash, corn bread, veggies, fruit and enough wine and apple cider to serve an army. We threw blankets over tables and on the ground, put candles in mason jars and for the next five hours, just relaxed and enjoyed each other's company while the kids ran around.

I'll be honest a big part of the fun was being surrounded by all things homemade. Here are the boys pumpkins they made for centerpiece filling a little harvest basket.

Here is a look at the pumpkins I made from fabric that I picked out two years ago! I finally did it! I used to say I only sewed straight lines, but that is no longer the case.

Here is a small look at the food to be shared by all. Food brought by friends, and food prepared from our gardens. It was delicious!

Our yard may be small, and we may be surrounded by boarded up houses, but it didn't dampen anyone spirits! Fall harvest was still in the air.

The moms and babies gathered together!

My kids have a costume trunk filled with outfits to transform them and they love inviting their friends to dress up with them. I think it's just an excuse for them to dress up, though they never needed an excuse before. I think you can pick out two Iron Mans and spider man. No there are no girl options yet.

After supper, we moved the tables, hung the twinkle lanterns and started the bonfire.

While we enjoyed the bonfire, the kids played glowbowling. We took 10 small plastic bottles, filled them with water, added a bit of food coloring and dropped in a corridinating glow stick. The bottles glowed, and the kids bowled. They loved it! Look how cute these little ones are. Didn't capture a photo of them playing, we were too busy enjoying watching them.

They kids also entertained themselves with the bean bag toss. I took old scrap fabric and made some bean bags the night before and it was a huge success. They were competing with boxes, special squares on the quilt, bowls... you name it and they were trying to launch the bean bags into it for points. Here's the fun bean bags. I was pretty happy with how they turned out.

We used primarily real dishes instead of plastic to reduce our garbage waste.

(This is a SMALL taste of piles that also took over the other two counters in my kitchen along with empty wine bottles and cider containers.) That meant the clean up was monumental, but while I was sitting by the fire, my husband did an hour of dishes. While I was saying goodbye to friends, other friends put all our tables and decorations away in the garage, and the clean up was as much as an event as the preparation. We all came together to create and participate in fun fall day.

I remember sitting by the fire, looking around at the incredible people God has put in my life and I was overwhelmed with feeling thankful. It was a celebration day of God's beauty in life. Nature and people alike.

It was a good day.

A very good day.