Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall is For Family

Fall is always a beautiful time of year to not only enjoy the season changing right before our eyes, but a perfect time to spend with family too.
As military families, we especially need to take advantage of any time we have when our soldier is not deployed. Making memories for my family is a priority because it will be those precious moments we spend together united that will carry us through our sepearations during deployments.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with my family at a local pumpkin farm here in Kansas. We were immersed in the cool weather and  fall like atmosphere of the falling leaves, pumpkin patches, hay rides, and smell of hot chocolate and chili cooking. For us it was an added treat because we just came from two years in the Mojave Desert at NTC, in California.

Here are some affordable fall activities that maybe your family can consider this season. Make this season count for more than just cooling temperatures and cozy fires, but rather allow it to be a time where you can harvest the relationships  in your own family! Don't forget to invite new neighbors and begin to kindle connections within your community too.

 Go explore at a local state park. Most of them have walking trails and playgrounds. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate and dip some green apples in caramel and enjoy the blessings of the outdoors. Collect leaves and acorns for fall decorations at home. Also, bring the camera for some quick family photos that you can look back on over a lifetime!

 Visit a local pumpkin farm or apple orchid. Many have extra activities such as petting and feeding farm animals, hay rides, corn mazes, and much more. You can call ahead for the fees and plan according to your budget.

Visit a local farmers market and enjoy all the fresh produce for this time of year. Take advantage of the harvest of pumpkins, apples, jams and ciders. Make it a point to try out a new recipe together as a family and enjoy the fruit of your hands preparing it homemade.

Do you ever remember as a child seeing a huge pile of raked leaves and feeling the need to just run and jump in them? Well, most kids love it! Rake some leaves and make it happen- be a kid with your kid! Your kids will enjoy seeing you romp around and will remember it for years to come!

Get one with nature and feed the birds. Make a bird feeder using a pine cone, peanut butter and seeds and hang it where you and your family can watch and enjoy nature at its best.

Some of my favorite fall memories were around a cracking warm fire, melting smores and enjoying the entertaining conversations that came with gathering together in the name of love. This is a perfect time to connect with your children, sharing memories or just making some of your own.

Host a family and neighborly backyard movie night. Gather blankets and comfy chairs, cook some popcorn and settle in for a night of entertainment and fun. Assign people snacks and drinks to keep the cost down.

Last but not least, carve or paint some pumpkins together. Get creative and have a party doing it!Take pictures and start a tradition every year of taking each person's picture by their creation. It will be fun to look back on it and remember.

I hope that some of the suggestions I gave you will help this fall season be a time of connecting and getting back to the things that really! Cherish the times you have with them and make the best of the moments given.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness till all our striving cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace.
                  John Greenleaf Whittier

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