With the scent of pumpkin spice floating through the air at my house today along with the current “cold” front that’s sweeping its way across Central Florida, it finally feels a little like fall around here. So before our temps spike back into the 80’s (like mid-week) I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things about my favorite season of the year…fall!!
The Food. I can’t talk about fall without discussing a few of my favorite “warm your belly” treats. Just this morning I made egg sandwiches for the entire family (minus Jude of course). It, along with a cup of hot cocoa, is my go-to breakfast on chilly fall mornings (it’s one of my dad’s favorites too!). Although, lately I’ve replaced the hot cocoa with a cup of Santa’s White Christmas coffee…Barnie’s puts it on our supermarket shelves this time of year and I love it so much I might single-handedly keep them in business. Ask my family, I even travel home for the holidays with at least one bag of it. Truth be told I also picked up bags of Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla Nut (both by Dunkin’ Donuts) too! Any temps below 70 and I also feel like I have an excuse to make chili. And a big pot of it I made just this week. Topped with a heaping mound of cheddar cheese and a side of saltines…delightful! I know, I know…now that I’ve made you all hungry, take a minute, grab your favorite “warm your belly” treat and get comfy.
Farmers’ Market. Just about every town around us has a farmers’ market. On a Saturday morning a few weeks ago we decided to check one out. When we pulled up we were delighted to find a small pumpkin patch and some friends from our neighborhood there. Ben picked up just about every pumpkin and said, “See, this one isn’t heavy.” He was very proud to show off his muscles. After strolling through the market and looking at all the booths, we made a selection of barbeque for lunch and found a nice picnic table to eat at before heading home for nap time.
Fall Festival. This year’s theme for the fall festival at our church was cowboy! After donating a couple of pairs of jeans to help out local shelters, we made our way into the festival packed full of activities: bounce houses, line dancing, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, games and food! After Ben dismounted from the pony he got to ride he looked up at me with a very serious look and said, “I’m a real cowboy, Mommy!” Another funny highlight from the evening…without our knowledge Ben ordered his own snow cone. Jake and I were talking with someone when we turned around to find a woman handing him a snow cone. When Jake asked the woman behind the counter if she just gave him one she told us Ben came up and ordered it all by himself. Sneaky little thing. The cotton candy he’d just eaten was supposed to have been his special treat for the night!
“Booing” friends. It’s become a tradition that a couple of weeks before Halloween we Boo our friends. So one afternoon while Jude napped, Ben and I secretly delivered our goodie stuffed pumpkins to our two next door neighbors. As we walked Ben slipped his little hand into mine. I just love it when he’s in a hand holding kind of mood! As we walked we talked about how it’s not only fun to get Halloween goodies, but to give them away as well.
Pumpkin Carving. Another tradition…for the third year in a row we’ve carved pumpkins with friends from our neighborhood. In a nutshell, the daddies do most of the carving while the mommies talk (and eat) and the kids run around and play. It’s a lot of fun for everyone!! Well, maybe not as fun for the daddies…carving pumpkins is hard work after all! (The second picture is of Brock and Bowen…they are Ben’s good buddies and our former neighbors…thankfully they didn’t move too far away and we still get to see them!)
Halloween. It’s no secret that we like to dress up as a family and have lots of silly fun on Halloween. I ordered Ben’s costume at the beginning of October and he wore it a lot. I’d say we got our money’s worth out of it! I wasn’t sure how Jude would react to his own costume. You might recall this from Ben’s first costume experience. But, in typical Jude fashion, the kid had a cute little smile on his sweet little face almost the entire time he wore the costume…headpiece and all!
Falling Leaves. It wouldn’t be fall without a few falling leaves. And (just) a few we have. These are from the two crape myrtles in our backyard. Since everything stays green all year long here in Central Florida, we cherish our little sprinkling of leaves!