Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun in the Fall

I am a summer girl at heart; it will always be my first love. But as I've grown older I've been practicing being content at all times and learning to find the good in all situations. Fall is a beautiful time of year. I love to see the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. I love to spend time outdoors, and fall is still a great time for exploring. I just throw on a light jacket, get myself a steaming hot cup of tea, and I can bask in the beauty that surrounds me.

This past weekend, we hosted a fall party for our Friendship Group. Right now our group is rather small, but we really love spending time in each others company. We had a wonderful time celebrating the season together. It was a very simple, inexpensive evening where we relaxed, played a few games, and just worked on our friendships.

We had some hot apple cider simmering on the stove, giving off a very inviting smell. This is the only time of year that I regularly drink apple juice. In fact, as I sit and write this blog post, I have a cup of hot apple cider in my hand.

If you've never tried this brand of mulling spices, you should! You can find a box of it at the Kitchen Gallery in Fairlawn plaza for only $4 a box. You can make as much as a gallon with the box, or you can just add a few teaspoons to your cup. It tastes wonderful!

We started off our evening by heading to the backyard to break open a piñata. Lately I've been spending a great deal of time playing around with paper mache. This is an acorn, if you couldn't tell from the picture.

We took turns starting with the youngest in the crowd, trying to break it open. I love that Zech has to have his tongue out whenever he really concentrates!

I don't have any pictures to share of Ariel and Gabe taking their turns. It was getting a little dark outside and my camera was having a hard time keeping up.

Notice the bat bending backwards... Titus took quite a swing!

Nile broke it open, so Cynthia didn't even get a chance to try. I don't know how well you can see it in the picture, but we filled our acorn piñata up with ACORNS. How appropriate! The kids helped me gather them at their school. I had a surprise for them too by adding a package of Hershey candy bars inside.

Our next game was rather fun. We had a relay race between boys and girls to see who could get dressed the fastest. I had some old clothes so we could take turns dressing up like a scarecrow. You had to run, get dressed, take a picture, undress, then tag the next person in line to go.

We said you had to make sure to button all the buttons on the shirt. It was really quite funny because Gabe doesn't know how to button, and then Ariel's shirt we didn't notice it only had one top button. So neither of them could do it very well!

Pretty amazing that we could have the same smile, huh?

The boys team ended up winning the game, but only by a few seconds because Nile kept cheating.

The kids really enjoyed this game. We filled a bucket up with corn cob (bird litter) and hid a rolls worth of pennies inside. There was a surprise quarter inside that we called the jackpot. Ariel ended up finding it. They loved this! They felt so rich by the end with each of them finding about 20 pennies.

Mark found 5 pennies, and Zech was very content with his 2 "monies" he found!

After our games were done, we all headed back upstairs and out to the backyard for some very yummy smores. The kids each had a Hershey bar from earlier that they saved just for this. There is nothing like a hot fire outside in the cool weather!

We all brought out our cups of hot apple cider to enjoy by the fire. A perfect snack for me because I LOVE marshmallows. I don't need the chocolate or graham crackers, just give me a marshmallow and I'm in heaven.

I made some caramel popcorn to snack on too. Delicious! It tastes so good when it's hot out of the oven. It sticks together a little bit, but that just helps you pick it up all the easier!

Just in case you've never tried making homemade caramel popcorn. It's the best!

Caramel Popcorn

Make 3 batches of popcorn. I only do 2 in my Whirley Pop.
Bring to boil for 5 minutes: 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 2 sticks margarine
Add 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pour over popcorn.
Bake in 250° oven for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.

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