Today was one of those days. Today was *the* day that I had described with such sweet cheesiness just a few posts ago. Today was the Grand Parade for our town's big Neewollah celebration. Today was the day we were supposed to get up early, and the best mama in the world would have the hot chocolate hot and ready, and the kids all bundled up perfectly cute to eat delicious perfect cinnamon rolls while we wait for the biggest parade of the year. It was the day I was supposed to have something yummy simmering in the crock pot for when we came home...well...it didn't quite go like that. Today was just not my day...and I failed...so many times...in big and small ways...some that I will share here...and some that I will just tell you were not pretty. So...here is how our day actually looked...I woke up late this morning, because I coughed all through the night, and just overslept. I hurried the kids to get them going and sort-of dressed, and we ended up getting to the parade route at 20 minutes until the parade started. Our town grows from a little under 10,000 people to 70,000 people on the Grand Parade day...so needless to say, we had to park a mile away from the parade route, and I pushed the stroller, with two large folding chairs and a 45 pound baby uphill to the parade. We got to a spot that I thought might work, and I nicely asked a man if we could set our blankets beside his pickup truck so my kiddos could see. He gave me a very grumpy answer, so we watched the parade from about 4 rows back. Asher was able to squeeze through the people to watch it a little closer up. So...we were late, with no hot chocolate, no cinnamon rolls (you have to get there early and stand in line a long time to get one). This mama grabbed a bottle of water and 3 bananas out of the fruit basket on our way out the door...so we had bananas and water on this glorious morning that was supposed to be filled with the most delicious calories of the year...anyhoo...so we watched the parade, Asher collected about a million pieces of cheap candy, and we headed back to the car as soon as it was over. Claire was tired and hungry, and Asher was trying to eat all of his candy before anyone else could and Katie was thinking of reasons we should not have gone...and honestly so was I. We finally got through traffic and got home, and I decided that since I had failed at getting something yummy in the crock pot beforehand that I would just whip up some taco soup...it's one of our favorites...and so easy and yummy. Well...I am sure you can guess...that didn't work out. I opened up the package of ground beef and it smelled horrible...I am not sure why, but it just was not right. Katie was about to gag very dramatically...and again...honestly so was I. So...I got back in the car, drove the stinky meat all the way to Walmart for a refund, picked up some new meat...and GREAT NEWS...this is where the story turns around. Kris was working, so Asher and I got to visit him a little bit. He walked with us outside and told me how much he loved me and how much he loved the kids and appreciated us. He literally turned my day around with his words. We got home, got the soup going, turned on the Christmas music, and the kids kicked off their shoes and promptly proceed to play...aka...destroy the living room...but they were happy. We had a pretty good rest of the day. Katie had plans with her friends downtown so the little ones and I snuggled in, watched The Polar Express, and then they had a warm bath, and we read some books. They are both sleeping now...just snuggled in so warm and snuggly. So...this day...that I thought I had ruined...turned out pretty sweetly...not because of the world's most delicious cinnamon rolls...but because the words of my husband...who I love so very much. He turned our day around. I am so incredibly thankful for him.
I have just been humbled by so many little blessings lately...and I can't help but share them! As I mentioned in my post a few days ago, Neewollah is upon us...and for the past two years we had been blessed by a friend giving us tickets to attend the Queen's Talent competition and Coronation. Katie and I have really enjoyed it, and decided that we wanted to make going to one of those a yearly tradition. Well...this year we were just not seeing that it was possible with our budget. We are still trying to recover financially from our move to Wichita and back. It's been tough, but I have just felt really blessed to have groceries and school clothes and all of the amazing comforts of home and with still being able to be a stay at home mama. Eventually things will get better, but we have everything we need! We got a call the other day that our friend had tickets for us again this year! Just amazing! We are so excited! So Katie and I have two girls nights in a row planned, and I am just really looking forward to it!
Another little blessing...I entered a blog giveaway contest the other day for a sweet fall bunting, and I won! I can't wait to hang it by the fireplace and enjoy it! Isn't it pretty? So excited!
Today was Kris's last day of vacation, and we have had a nice day together! We went to the little park and zoo that's in our town, and enjoyed it so much. I set the timer on my camera and got a family picture of the five of us...we look a little rough...hadn't planned on taking these, but I am glad we did! Then we came home and warmed up leftover soup from last night and I made some quick rolls for lunch. Now Kris is taking a little nap, the kids are playing, and I am blogging...it has been a blessed day!
This morning I am thankful for...
the soft cool rain
Claire singing her heart out in her high chair
the hints of red and orange on our trees just outside my dining room window
that Kris has a good job
that our home is cozy and comfortable (not clean by any stretch of the imagination...but it's ok!)
that we have enough groceries for this week and next
for the little pile of pumpkins and gourds that decorate our table
that Asher and Katie are snuggled in with great teachers at their schools
that Neewollah is only a week away
that a fun day of trick or treating is only a couple of weeks away
and that the beginning of all things Christmas begins very soon
the joy and excitement of Asher being visited by the tooth fairy last night
the laughter of our family this morning when we all heard Claire "toot" at the same time (we are gross...I know...but it was a big loud one from such a tiny person!)
and lastly...but certainly not least...I am so thankful for the hope and joy that I have from knowing Jesus as my savior...I would be so lost without him.
Today I just wanted to share some fall traditions for our family. October is always an exciting month in our town, because of Neewollah! Our favorite part of Neewollah is the grand parade on Saturday. There is such a demand for seats along the parade route that you have to arrive early to set up your lawn chairs...so we snuggle up with our blankets and hot chocolate and share a giant cinnamon roll early on the day of the parade! There are so many bands and floats that the parade sometimes lasts 2 hours or more! After the parade, we usually come home and warm up with yummy soup or chili that's been simmering in the crock pot. It's the *official* beginning of the holiday season for us!
Halloween is usually just a few days after Neewollah and we usually have dinner a little early that consists of "mummy dogs" and whatever fun foods that I can come up with. We usually trick or treat just around our neighborhood and at a few friends' homes. Last year our church had a Trunk or Treat and the kids loved that, so it will now be part of our tradition too!
Something my mom always did was make pumpkin shaped sugar cookies. She always used this recipe and it's the recipe I use for cookies too. The kids seem to love these. I always sub some of the vanilla flavoring for almond, and it makes them just wonderful! They are never beautiful or fancy...but always yummy!
About a week before Halloween, we carve our pumpkins. We have had lots of different faces and characters, and like our cookies...they are not beautiful or fancy, but we really enjoy scooping out the seeds and creating happy faces in our pumpkins!
Claire, Fall 2011
Claire, Halloween 2012
Katie, Fall 2012
We almost always visit a pumpkin patch, usually with my sister and her kiddos, and usually in Missouri, but this year we met in the middle and visited a patch in Pittsburg, Kansas. It was really fun! The kids loved the little train ride the most!
Fall is just full to the brim of so many happy things and memories! We really enjoy this time of year!
Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you will grab a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea and stay a while! I started this little blog in 2005 and am amazed sometimes to look back and see God's hand, his blessings and his mercy in the course of these last 11 years! He has truly blessed our family beyond measure! My husband Kris and I have been married for 18 years and we have three amazing kiddos, Katie, Asher, and Claire! I enjoy homemaking, crafting, trying new recipes, and mostly just being a "mama" all while on a super tight budget! Please feel free to browse through our archives! I hope you'll leave with a new idea or just a bit of joy! Thanks again for visiting!