Okay, here I am, here I am! (she says waving her arms madly in the breeze.)
October has been a busy month so far. Even though we are done harvest (Yay!) the level of busyness has not dissipated at all. There is one way to slow life down, though: get a migraine or, to be more accurate, get a series of migraines. I am now in the middle of migraine # 2 and am praying that this is the last one but this last batch of headaches have forced me to slow down a tad. These migraines have switched our week off. We were supposed to take the first week of November off but I decided to up the week off to this past week so I could recuperate at a leisurely rate. It didn’t really help but it was nice mot to have to worry about school.
I have been focusing this past week on bringing wonder back into our days. Now that the kids are older, my focus has been on writing essays, tranxcripts, textbooks and whether we will be getting into college (yes, I did use the royal ‘we’ because at this point it feels like a joint venture.) These things do not inspire wonder and enchantment so I have been musing on how to bring back the joy without forfeiting the needed requirements for the high school years.
Autumn is the best time to start bringing wonder into the home. There is so much right at your fingertips, you don’t need to think hard, you just need to use a bit of creativity….and maybe Pinterest. We have been taking more nature walks this fall during our learning time. We have stopped our walks (they used to be a daily occurrence) due to the insurgence of coyotes and recent sightings of cougars close by. But we make sure the dog is with us now and we stay close to home which puts a damper on the walks but common sense must prevail. A few weeks ago, Tessa found some leaves (I know this sounds silly but where we live, leaves are extinct so the discovery of leaves are a big deal) so she collected a bunch and made a centerpiece for our nature table. Every once in a while I find scattered leaves on the island or the tables and I know that Tessa has been back to that leaf-baring tree.
We have also taken advantage of pumpkins this past week. I bought a package of 6 mini pumpkins, pumpkins to paint, glue, create. The girls were heavy into this one afternoon. They made designs with washi tape (we used washi because it is narrow enough to make a design on these small pumpkins) and then painted over them with brushes and fingers. Once the paint has dried, the tape was stripped off to make cool designs. We also cut shapes out of tissue paper and then glued them on to the pumpkin. The girls used crayons to colour on their pumpkins as well. We now have pumpkins of every colour and texture lounging around at our house. The girls had a grand time just creating.
We also have been doing some autumn-inspired baking this past week. We made pumpkin spice latte in the slow cooker. It is easy peasy and it doesn’t taste half bad (this coming from a non-coffee drinker.) We also made caramel apples–our first try. It didn’t work very well but I found another neat way to have the caramel apple experience from Pinterest. I don’t know whether we will try that this year but we will definitely be doing it next year. The Pinterest version is to cut the apple in half, scoop out the flesh and then pour melted caramel into the apple shell. Yes, it is a lot of caramel but you wouldn’t have to scoop out all of the flesh so there would only be a thin layer of caramel to inhale. It looked yummy.
Another thing we are intending to make this coming week is whoopee pies. I purchased a mold tin in the shapes of leaves and pumpkins that we can use for the cookies. We spread a layer of cream cheese mixture in between the two cookies and, voila! a whoopee pie. These sorts of things are once a year treats for a seasonal celebration.
The kids and I were talking about other fun things we could do in our week and we came up with watching old movies once a week. I was surprised that they were so excited about this suggestion. They used to think of old movies as boring (‘where is the colour? You mean they made this movie in black and white on purpose?’) so I don’t press this type of movie watching. Emma brought up the suggestion of watching Audrey Hepburn movies, Tessa wanted old mysteries and Caleb was all for Indiana Jones. I don’t consider Indiana Jones an old movie but I guess when you are 13 they do fall into that category. So we watched The Thin Man with William Powell and Myrna Loy on Wednesday afternoon. I had watched it once but enjoyed it even more the second time around. Even the kids loved it but they did notice the different attitude towards drinking. We now have on hold at the library all of the other Thin Man movies. Oh, joy! I have to say that I have been waiting a long time to enjoy these types of movies with my kids. I am so happy that the time is finally here.
These are just a few ways that we have sprinkled fun and wonder into our days. I am enjoying this time.