Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Handmade Christmas - Week 3 {Barbie Clothes}

 Good morning!  Welcome to the 3rd week of "A Handmade Christmas". This past weekend Mara and I spent every extra moment in my office/sewing room working on making things. We are making things to donate to be sold at a Christmas Bazaar Fundraiser. So we have been making things that others can buy to use as Christmas gifts.

 One of our projects was Barbie clothes. This is something I haven't made that much of for a while. It was fun to work on but eventually I got a little tired of the putsyness of it as doing things like sewing on itty bitty snaps isn't my favorite activity.

  Here are the results of some of our work:
 These three ladies are dressed and ready to go to church. I made the green dress using the shirt front and back pattern that are below, attached them to a skirt made by cutting a circle and attached lace on top to work as a collar and sleeves. I also added lace to the bottom. The pink sweater was made using the shirt pattern and then I made a simple gored skirt. Mara made the other beautiful outfit.

She had made the lined skirt earlier using the basic elastic waist method. Then I made the shirt pattern for her and she made it using 3/4 length sleeves with snaps in the back. The hat she crocheted using doily thread and then added a beaded flower to it. I was quite impressed with the pretty outfit that she created! (and her patience at working on it!)

The pants I made using the basic pants pattern with an elastic waist. I simply sew the front seam together. Then I hem the legs and put elastic at the waist (either turning it over to make a casing or putting the elastic on top of the fabric). Next step is to sew the back seam together. Then I sew the inseam together and turn them right side out and they are all done.

The shirts were made from t-shirt fabric and the shirt pattern- one long sleeved and the other short sleeved. I sewed the back opening partway together and then just used one snap to close it at the top. On the t-shirt I simply finished the edges by zig-zagging over them while I stretched it slightly to give it a unique look.

Megan made the one girls headscarf and I made the scarf using the same method for scarves that I make for me- just in miniature.

Here are the pattern pieces. Simply right click on the picture and then click on print picture and it should print out the correct size.(That isn't working for me- I will try to find a way to make it work when I have more time.- meanwhile if you would like them just e-mail me and I will send it to you in an e-mail.) Seam allowances are 1/4 inch. I know my instructions have been very minimal. I don't have a lot of extra time at the moment to go into detail but if you want to make this and have any questions just feel free to ask and I will come back and add more information in as I have time.

I am just curious- are barbies still something that is played with much in other homes? My Megan enjoys playing them with friends but I wasn't sure if a lot of little girls still do or not.

 Have you been working on any Handmade Christmas things lately? I would love to hear about what you have been doing! If you have a post telling about things please leave a link which I will then move up into this post so that more can see. Otherwise I would love it if you would leave handmade ideas in the comments!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jesus is full of Compassion

  In my desire to walk more like Jesus one thing that I need to work on is having compassion the way that He does.

 "Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36

Jesus was able to look at the hustle and bustle of people and see the real needs among them. Not only did He heal the sick but He saw their real need and that was their need of a Shepherd. They were lost and needed leading. The world is full of people like that today too. When people have physical ailments we can often easily feel compassion but the spiritual needs we can often overlook and not worry about. Jesus wasn't like that. The spiritual needs were what were really important to Him.

 Lately I have been reading a book about people turning to Jesus in the Muslim world. I will be writing more on that later but this verse and the application to it reminded me so much of what I have been reading. Often we can feel like ignoring any Muslims around us because we don't know how to relate to them and perhaps sometimes there is a fear as well - but Jesus would look at them and see their desperate need for Him and love them. We need to do the same.

I want to be like Jesus and be more compassionate concerning the many people around me who are spiritually lost. I hope you will join me!

Above is what our world looked like this morning. Mara and some deer were out early before breakfast and Mara took some pictures. God can sure make things look beautiful!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I don't buy..... Magazine Subcriptions

Something I used to buy every so often was magazine subscriptions. I have long loved to read and I like seeing new ideas so magazines would often fill the bill. I am not opposed to magazines at all I just have decided that they are not something that I need to currently spend money on. Someday I might change my mind but that is what I am doing right now.

  I do still get a few different magazines coming to our house. One comes as a gift (and by they way I do think that is a nice gift to give) and some come free for various reasons.

Here are my alternatives to buying magazine subscriptions:
  • Read things on that topic online. This was the big reason that I decided it was unnecessary for me to spend money on magazines- I was already reading the things like what I would read in magazines online in blogs and such. For example- I like homesteading and crafting magazines but I can find so much information of that nature online that buying a magazine seems quite unneeded.
  • Sign up for free Magazines. I have enjoyed receiving "No Greater Joy" and "Above Rubies", both which come free. There are others like this as well if you look around.
  • Take advantage of free opportunities for magazines which normally do cost money. For example we are currently getting "Family Fun" because I saw a free offer for it one day when I was reading Money Saving Mom.
  • Gratefully accept 2nd hand magazines. I enjoy "World" now and then because my parents get it and then pass it on to us. A lot of magazines are still very interesting and informative even if you don't read them the week that they were published. Also in this topic- once you have read a magazine why not pass it on to someone else to enjoy?
  • Check them out from the Library. If there is a magazine that I would really like to look at I can either read it at the library or check it out (though it can't be checked out if it is the current copy). They have a very large selection- at least at our library.
 I am happy with my decision to not buy magazines because not only does it save us money but also we have less mess to deal with as well. I very much like the idea of "sharing subscriptions" because of all the paper that gets saved as well as money.

What are your thoughts on Magazine subscriptions?

I am linking this to Frugal Friday at Life as MOM.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Living for God as Courageous Teens {Book Review}

 Not long ago I was asked to review the book: "Living for God as Courageous Teens" written by Micheal Catt with Amy Parker. The book is from the creators of the movies Fireproof and Courageous and since I liked both of them quite a lot I figured I would quite likely enjoy the book as well. I also said yes because we now have a teenager in our house since Mara turned 13 this past month. She loves to read so I am always on the lookout for good reading material for her.

  I love the message of this book - the call for people to live Courageously for God. God is not seeking lukewarm Christians - he wants people who are on fire and willing to do whatever it takes to follow Him!

 In the book Micheal shares many of the stories from the Bible that tell about people that were courageous for God. He then talks about the stories and perhaps will make the reader see them in a new light that will make them understand it better and be able to apply the lessons in it to their own lives.

The book is divided into 4 sections: Courageous Faith, Courageous Leadership, Courageous Priorities and Courageous Influence. Many good and encouraging words on those topics are in this book. Through out the books there are questions for thought and also some journaling areas.

Here are a couple of quotes from the book that I like:

   "The courageous live a life of obedience, doing what is right, no matter what."

"By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place eh was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going." Hebrews 11:8

"Courage and strength are grounded in an ongoing relationship with God."

 I, as an adult, was encouraged by the book. I hope the teens who read it will be as well! It is my hope and prayer that my children will be courageous in their walk with Jesus all through their lives.

Speaking of my new teenager....

Not only is she getting older but also taller. Who do you think is taller now? Some said her and others said me- obviously we are very close in height!

Disclaimer: I received this book without cost for the purposes of reviewing. I was not required to write a positive post and what I wrote is my own thoughts on the book.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Handmade Christmas - Week 2 {Apple Butter and Extracts}

Good morning! Welcome to our second week of "A Handmade Christmas"!

 Today I thought I would share some edible gift ideas. I really truly love the concept of edible gifts. Our world today (much of it anyway) has way more stuff than we need. Our homes are often cluttered (at least in this country) and we can often feel overwhelmed with "Stuff". There are many times we would like to give a gift because for us it is a way of celebrating and also lets the person know that we care about them but we often don't know of any "stuff" that the person needs or will like.

 Food gifts are a good alternative. Everybody eats (though of course not everybody likes the same foods) and when you get a gift of food you can enjoy it but it doesn't linger on for years cluttering up your home.

  Here are a couple of things that I have made (or am in the process of making) lately that I think make lovely gifts:

 Apple Butter and Honey in my opinion make lovely gifts. Honey we get from our bees and since we were blessed with so many apples this year from family and friends we were able to make Apple Butter as well.

Here is my Apple Butter Recipe:
  • 16 cups Thick Apple Pulp (core and slice apples but don't peel. Add only enough water to cook apples until soft. When cooked, puree. I like to use my immersible blender for this.)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 8 cups sugar (I actually used less sweetener than this and some of it was honey. It was still very sweet.)
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon.
Combine all ingredients into a large pot. Cook until mixture remains in a smooth mass when a little is cooled (About 1 1/2 hours boiling). Stir frequently to prevent burning (be very careful though, it loves to pop!). Pour into jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. I processed for 5 minutes in a water bath.

  My newest experiment is making extracts! I know this is a lovely gift however as I have been blessed to receive homemade vanilla extract from my sisters and a friend. I love the homemade stuff! As I have been so blessed with gifts of vanilla I actually didn't need it but I had already had purchased some beans so I decided I had better use them up.
 To make the extracts you need an alcohol base (at least usually - I have heard of some alternative methods but haven't tried them). We do not drink alcohol so this was not something we have on hand but one day while out of town I ventured into a liquor store and was pleased to find (at least for my purposes) that Vodka wasn't very expensive. I was able to get a liter for around $7 which makes a lot of extract.

To make the Vanilla Extract I simply cut down the beans a little while still leaving the seeds intact and put them in a jar. I then covered them with vodka. I am now shaking it regularly and will let it set for a couple of months before using it.

To make Peppermint Extract Megan and I simply chopped the leaves up small. Put around 1/2 cup of them in the jar and then added 1 cup vodka and 1 cup filtered water. This we will also shake regularly. I think after a few weeks it is nearly ready to use- it smells wonderful! (Very different from the original vodka smell which was like rubbing alcohol- yuck!). We will strain out the leaves before using.

I got some of my extract making tips from The Family Kitchen and would recommend looking over their fun article which has ideas for 10 different extracts.
I am also attempting making Almond Extract from old peach pits. I guess peaches are in the same family and for making extract bitter almonds work best- and peach pits work for that. To make it you want to shell the small little nut out of the peach pit and then I read various ideas from putting the nut in whole to grinding it up. I basically left mine whole but some go a bit broken as I was shelling them. Then I covered with vodka and will shake regularly. I just got these started so I have no idea how well it will work out.

My inspiration for using pits to make extract came from a post written at Penniless Parenting.

My extracts in the making.
Have you ever made extracts? I would love to hear your tips and ideas!

What are some favorite food gifts that you have received or given?

I have decided to abandon the linky as I just can't seem to make it work for me but I would still love to have you share your ideas!

Please join my by leaving your ideas or links to Handmade Christmas ideas (gifts, decorations, food, etc..) in the comments. If you leave a link to a post with an idea in it then I will move your link up into this post so that everybody will be sure to see it!
Please Check out:

I would always appreciate it if you would be willing to spread the word about this series. Feel free to grab my Handmade Christmas Graphic above.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Using Up Leftovers {The good and not so good}

  One thing that I really dislike is wastefulness. Among the wastefulness that I don't like is wasting food. In my normal cooking usually we are able to keep up with food pretty well by eating leftovers for lunch and I am a fairly creative cook (that might be putting it mildly in Ken's estimation- he loves to tease me about my creativity but he seems to generally enjoy my cooking anyway) so if there are little bits I can usually figure out something to do with them. If I have large amounts of leftover food I will often freeze it so we can then enjoy it at a later time and it will make an easy meal when we are busy.

  Lately we have had a lot of extra food on our hands. When we had our fall party we made a lot of food and then others also brought food to share (and many of them left it here afterwards) so we needed to figure out how to use things up without wasting. Also a couple of evenings after that we were involved with helping with a Republican event which we brought food along with others. Again there was a lot of extra food and so not only did we bring home a lot of our own but others also sent some of their stuff with us as we were the family with kids who of course can eat a lot (the rest are older couples or singles).

I thought I would share some of the ways that I used up leftovers lately besides of course just eating it or freezing it as is.

~After our party we were left with a couple of loaves of bread (one with raisins and the other with sunflowers seeds and other nuts) that were very dry. I found two very yummy ways to use them up:
  • French Toast. That is of course a pretty normal way to use bread but with extra dry raisin bread it was even yummier!
  • An Appetizer for our event on Monday. The one on the right in the picture above. I followed this basic recipe and it was very yummy! (By the way the other appetizer pictured was a cream puff that I made basically following this recipe- it worked well too.)
~ After our party we also had a lot of chili and rather dry cornbread left over. Here is what I did with some of them:
  • I made a hotdish by putting a layer of chili down, putting chunks of cornbread on next and then putting shredded cheese over that. Then I put it in the oven until all was warm and the cheese melted. It was pretty successful.
  • I used the rest of the old cornbread to make chicken dressing/stuffing. It actually turned out fine but I discovered that Ken wasn't the only one in our household that doesn't like dressing (I made it on purpose for a time he was gone), most of the kids don't like it either. The girls thought it was okay but the boys really didn't care for it.
~On Monday I brought home from our even some dip that somebody had left behind that had horseradish and some cheeses in it. It tasted good and I thought it would be good on fish. I decided to bake a fish that I stuffed with it. Unfortunately that was not successful - nobody really care for that.

~Since the fish wasn't really appreciate the first time around I had a bunch to use up some other way. Tonight I carefully deboned it and used it in a "Tuna" noodle hotdish- the fish was much more appreciated that way.

Using up leftovers can be an interesting challenge but I think it can be rather fun. I also love the fact that we are avoiding wasting food!

  How do you use up leftovers in your household?

I am linking this to the Homestead Barn Hop at Homestead Revival.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Following Jesus into loving the unlovable

Please join me as I search God's word to learn better how to walk in Jesus' steps....

Today I want to share some verses from Matthew chapter 9:

 "Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why is your teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?" But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not the healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means; "I desire compassion, and not sacrifice," for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Verses 10-13

The lesson that I learn from the actions of Jesus in this record was the fact that he spent time with people on the basis of whether he could be of help to them, not whether or not it would make Him look good or important.

  Most of us can find it pretty easy to be influenced by peer pressure. We want people to think well of us. Even as adults we often still want to be seen with the "cool people". I wish I could say this wasn't something that ever affected me but unfortunately I am not immune either. Though I like to be my own person much of the time I can still find myself thinking about how I look based on who I am with. As we have gotten more involved in politics it has been kind of fun to have chances to visit with current and former elected leaders and I have caught myself thinking about how that made me look kind of important too. I hate to think back on these thoughts of mine - but unfortunately they have happened.

  But in the future it is my goal to be like Jesus. I want to focus not on how I look when I am by any certian person or group but wether I can be a vessel that carries God's love to them, whoever they are! I want to be one that seeks out the "unloveable" and share God's love with them.

On another note....
I was blessed to be able to work with some gorgeous fall flowers this weekend. Often I like to share a photo of something beautiful that I have enjoyed this past week. Flowers are high on my list this week of beautiful things. We have a wonderful Creator!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

You make a difference

Here in the United States we are in the thick of the election season. I know many of you are probably totally sick of it but I want to just share a few quick thoughts. (Personally, for the record, I enjoy elections and politics - I don't hear all the negative advertising because I don't watch TV or listen to anything but Christian Radio, I watch the caller ID and don't answer calls that say they are from an 800 number, I just meet candidates in person and then even if I don't agree with them they are usually pretty polite and nice.)


I happened to see this quote by James Garfield (20th US President) today and it really speaks to why I feel it is so very important that we are informed about elections and are involved at least as far as voting and not just try to stick our head in the sand.

The quote says:
"Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature."

 We are the ones that chose the people that will represent us - let's chose wisely!!!

Another thing that I wanted to mention....

Would you please be praying with me for our country?

Our country is at a crossroads. We as a country have left so many of God's guiding principles and we are also terribly in debt. We are told to pray for our leaders and pray that we might lead peaceful and quiet lives (1 Timothy 2:1-4) - I am asking you to please join me in praying for our country!

I pray daily for our leaders, that they would chose to seek God's will and wisdom. I am also praying for the election, that God's will would be done and that I would do what I should do to help His will be accomplished here on earth.

Even as things look very uncertain what I rest in is the fact that God truly is in control. Sometimes we do not understand what He is doing but He will always be with us and His word is always true!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Don't Buy..... Egg Roll Wrappers

Something I make for a treat every once and a while is Egg Rolls. The filling is very fun to make using up all sorts of garden veggies and then we wrap them in a thin piece of dough and deep fat fry them. The deep fat frying probably isn't so good for us so that is why it is a treat (also because it is the sort of meal that is a bit time consuming) but I do enjoy them when I get them.

  In the past I have generally bought the egg roll wrappers to use. Growing up we did try making them a few times but they just didn't seem the same so we would generally go back to buying them.

Sometime earlier this year I was hungry for egg rolls, I didn't have any wrappers on hand however and It is against my policy to run to the store just so I can make a certain something for supper I prefer to figure out how to use what we have instead. So I goggled Egg roll wrapper recipes and came upon one at Cooks.com. It was so easy to make, it was stirred up in moments by using my food processor. The only ingredients are flour, water and salt. I did "Cheat" however and use white flour instead my normal whole wheat flour. (I don't like using 100% whole wheat when deep frying- it seems to soak up the grease.) Rolling it out makes a little bit of a mess of course but it didn't take to long as I just split the dough in two sections- and then rolled out a big piece all at once and then cut it into somewhat square shaped sections.

 To make the egg roll you put some filling near the middle of the square. By the way there is lots of room for creativity when it comes to the filling. I use whatever I have on hand and try to use up any produce we might be getting from the garden. For this time I had purple cabbage, onion, garlic, beets, hamburger and zucchini plus seasonings.
 Fold the wrapper like and envelope and then roll it into the flap. Seal by moistening the flap.
 Deep fry them just until browned at a 350 to 400 degree heat.
 Prepare to enjoy them!
These wrappers taste just like the ones that we used to buy at the store. They cost much less, a really quite simple to make and don't leave any packaging to throw away.
We used a little purple cabbage that had come from our garden. Mara and I were admiring it's loveliness and she took the above photo. God certainly put beauty everywhere!

  Do you make your own egg rolls? Have you ever tried making your own wrappers?
What is something that you like to make that most people buy?

I am linking this to Frugal Friday at Life as MOM.

If you would like more money saving ideas don't miss my Handmade Christmas series that is every Tuesday until Christmas. The first post in the series for 2012 was last week. You can see it here. I am looking for others to share your handmade Christmas ideas too- either in a comment or sharing a link!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Handmade Christmas- Week 1 {A button headband}


Welcome to the first week of "A Handmade Christmas 2012".
I am so glad you stopped by!

Throughout the coming weeks I plan on sharing various handmade gift ideas (most of them simple and economical- just because that is the way I work) as well as some decorating and holiday food ideas. This carnival will also have a linky so if you have blogged about something that is handmade and goes along with Christmas (and is family friendly) I would love it if you would leave your link here so that all of us can see your idea too!

Today I have a simple idea to share. It is something I made this Summer and I think it would make a fun and easy stocking stuffer. It uses buttons that you can cut off of old dress shirts or any old clothing that has small buttons. This craft is a perfect accompaniment to my making of rag rugs- the fabric part of the old clothes goes into the rug and the buttons I can turn into headbands or bracelets.

Here is the Headband that I made:

To make the headband you need:
~ Sturdy Elastic Thread (start with around 4 feet and then you can cut off excess)

Take your first button and put your thread through it as shown with this first button at the middle of the thread.
Then add another button, place it so it overlaps the first button.
Put the threads through the next holes on the button and then you would add another button.
You want the buttons to go back and forth as shown here.
When you get to the end (keep checking the length on your head to get it right) just simply connect up with the first button and then tie it securely.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Would you like to share a Handmade idea? I would love it if you would link up or share your thoughts in the comments!

If you would be willing to use my "A Handmade Christmas" picture in your post and link back to here so that more people can learn about this and join us I would be very grateful!
I cannot seem to get the linky to work- I have had trouble with this in the past and I don't know what I do wrong or maybe it simply can be a challange to use- anyway- Please just leave your link in the comments and then as I get time I will move it up here myself. Thank you!
(And you have trouble using my comments then feel free to e-mail your post's URL to me.)
Please Check out these ideas that others have shared:

I am linking this up to another Handmade Christmas Carnival that is going on over at Schneider Peeps.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Rectangular Woven Rag Rug for October

 I am still attempting to get a rag rug (each one a different variety) done for every month this year. I have now skipped a couple of months because life was simply to busy then but I am hopeful that I might be able to make up for it now that harvest time is over and life seems to be slowing down a bit. Anyway I did get a rag rug done for this month and I am kind of excited about my new method.

  My inspiration came from making the Hula Hoop Rugs but thinking it would be nice to have a bigger one and it would also be nice to have one that was rectangular. I figured I could fulfill both of those ideas if I had some sort of a frame...
I started doing some thinking and I realized that Ken had made these frame things which he had used  for the framework of his business' booth at various shows. He had bought a new backdrop and frame however and all of his homemade frames (there are several that would all connect together) were hanging unused out in the garage.

  I decided to put one of them to work. I tied strips of cloth around the ends of the frame in loops. I did make it so I would be able to weave with both sides of the loop.
 I just tied the ends around the end of the frame.
 I attached a rag strand and the top of the frame and started going back and forth just attaching a new strand on whenever I would run out.
 The weaving really went pretty fast and I found it very fun.

When I got to the end I simply cut (or untied) the loops so it was no longer attached to the frame and then I tied them together in a knot holding the woven strands in place.

 The rug turned out pretty nice sized - nearly 4 feet by two feet. It is not at all perfect (including the fact that one end is wider than the other) but I think it looks rather neat, it was made just using odds and ends of worn out/ stained clothing, it is sturdy and I made it!

I am rather fond of it.

By the way if you ever made woven hot pads on those little looms this is fairly similar- it is just much bigger and you don't have all those little pegs. You simple tie the strands on for the long ends and go back and forth on the short sides.

I am not quite sure where I am going to put this rug or if we are even going to keep it but currently it is in our upstairs hallway and at this moment it is being used as a tool for fun. It works quite nicely for sliding down the hallway. Here are some pictures that attest to that:

And a video which I forgot and took sideways - Sorry!

Other Rag Rugs I have made this year:

I am still missing a rug for August and September but I think maybe I will be able to catch up someday soon. We shall see!

 Do you make rag rugs? I would love to hear about any methods that you might use to make them!

I am linking up to the Homestead Barn Hop with these great ladies:


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fearless in Faith

  In my desire to follow Jesus and walk like He did I am noticing His actions in Matthew 8:23-27 today. It says:

  "When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing! He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

  So often in our lives we are faced with various circumstances that leave us worried and afraid and often instead of giving our fears or worries to God we lay awake at night or in some way get all worked up. Jesus did I admit have an advantage where He was able to take care of the fearful situation but we, though we might not be able to take care of each situation ourselves, have Someone (God the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit) who is watching out for us every single moment of our lives and He can take care of every situation.

  Jesus admonished the disciples to have faith! We can learn from Jesus how to not worry but have Faith as well.

   We can be fearless because we have faith in One who can do anything!

What are your thoughts on these verses?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Fall Party

Some of the Indian corn from our garden
 Last Sunday my younger sister Keren came over after church to eat lunch with us and we were talking about the season and she and the kids and I decided it would be a lot of fun to have a fall party. We came up with all sorts of ideas of things that could be done. When we sat down to lunch we asked Ken what he thought and though parties are not so much his thing he thought that would be all right if we wanted to do that. So we quickly started doing some more planning.

We choose Friday evening for the time and decided to start at 5:30 so we would at least have an hour or so of daylight.

  The weather was supposed to be around 53 degrees, a bit chilly but still warm enough to have some outdoor activities.

  We invited everybody at church that night and on Wednesday night (we are in a fairly small congregation) as well as quite a few homeschooling friends and some other friends. It was fairly short notice and so quite a few already had other things scheduled but we did end up with a nice group of around 40 people that came to our party.

We planned a few games.....
We had a relay race where each person had to stick a squash between their knees and then hold it there while they walked or jumped across to the other end up the line and then give it to the next person. It was rather fun and humorous.

 Other games that were played were:
- A fall scavenger hunt where the teams had to find things like 3 different types of leaves, a flower (dead or alive) something beautiful, something blue, some string, a glove, etc. That ended up being pretty fun.
-Hide and seek after dark. Originally we adults had wanted to play too but the temperature never did actually reach 53 degrees that day and by dark time it was quite a bit cooler than that so the majority of the adults chickened out and the kids didn't play all that long either.

Aaron and Megan did also make a nice beanbag toss games (a scarecrow drawn on a box with holes cut out and then they sewed cute little beanbags) but I am afraid it didn't end up getting played at the party but it did get used quite a bit ahead of the party so at least their work wasn't completely in vain. We had also thought we might try a "Ring the Squash with a hoop" game but didn't and the boys set up the horseshoes but they didn't get used either.

 For the eating part of the party we set up a "buffet" table on the deck. I made a big pot of chili and cornbread, Ken grilled hot dogs and brats, Keren brought Hot chocolate and veggies and we had a lot of s'more stuff (and other odds and ends) and then we said everybody could bring a dish to share if they liked. We had oodles of food!
 Some ate around the campfire,
 some ate on the deck,
 Some at down in the yard and a bunch ate in the warm comfort of the house but I didn't take their picture.
 We put all the s'more stuff in a basket down by the campfire. It was handy to have it all ready to go.
 Aaron's pumpkin looking pretty on the deck. One of the few candles that stayed lit outside. I put a bunch of them around but most of them blew out even though I tried to put them in something so they would be protected from the wind.
 Some of the small ones had fun playing with Megan in her room.

 Some of the bigger ones played a game in the dining room.

I had a lot of fun having everybody here. I hope others were blessed by the time as well.

The kids and I did have fun adding some extra decorations to the house before the party. Here are some photos....
 Some of my different candle centerpieces. I am loving having all this Indian corn to decorate with!
 On top of my cupboard. Some of the extra squashes and honey are being stored up there while they look pretty too.
 More dried corn- the misfits- but I still think they look pretty.
Extra toilet paper disguised as a pumpkin in our bathroom. It is pretty easy to wrap it up in fabric, tuck the excess in the tube and then stuff in a stem from a squash that I cooked.

  I am so thankful that God gave us the wonderful season of Autumn - It was pretty fun to celebrate it!

I am linking this to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special
Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


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