Fall is full of adventure! I may have taken a writing hiatus, but our fall sure wasn’t lacking adventure and small town Iowa fun. While we’ve already had several inches of snow, it isn’t officially winter for a more than a week. That means I have plenty of time to share the fun we found this fall, right?! So, here are 5 of our favorite fall moments:
Along with apples and squash, pumpkins are a must in the fall! Every year we hunt for the perfect orange spheres to grace our home. We’ve painted, carved, decorated, and played with many different shapes and sizes of pumpkins over the years. This year, we were invited to a very special pumpkin patch. This patch was full of pumpkins of all sizes, fun memories, and was grown with care by my uncle and grandma.
The girls scoped out the pumpkins and each picked their favorites. One little gal spied her favorite right from the start-it was the biggest, roundest,
orangest (if that’s a word), pumpkin in the patch. She giggled nervously as I told her she had to carry it to the car! My uncle came to her rescue as the pumpkin weighed nearly as much as she did! We went home with several pumpkins, one gourd, and many memories of finding the best (and biggest) pumpkins we’ve ever seen!
We enjoyed carving our pumpkins and watching them glow in the dark of the night. This year we tried a new method: drilling holes in the hollowed out pumpkin. I’d highly recommend trying this fast and easy technique next year. As a special treat, we tried roasting the seeds using this yummy recipe from the Simply Recipes Blog.
There is nothing better than the changing colors of fall leaves. I love the vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds dotting our yards and hillsides. The crunch of freshly fallen leaves is hard to resist. The crisp fall air is perfect for sweatshirts and jumping in the leaves!
Before my husband had a chance to rake, the girls and I found a pile of fun in our front yard. The girls went to work making a huge pile of the crunchy multi-colored leaves. Then in a matter of minutes, the leaves were tossed and scattered across the yard again! The giggles and laughter floated down the street as they squealed with delight. There is just something special about a giant pile of leaves. You’re never too old to jump in the leaves, right!
There are so many fun Halloween activities to enjoy in our area! We trick-or-treated on the campus of Buena Vista University (BVU). Costumed kids enjoyed games, candy, and trick-or-treating in the dorms. Storm Lake United (local chamber office) sponsored the annual Chills and Thrills event downtown. This included face painting, activities, games, photo contest, and of course, more candy at various businesses! It is great to see the community come together to provide family-friendly fun!
That left door-to-door trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed a nice fall walk as our bunny and bumblebee collected even more candy! About
halfway though our route, the girls decided they had enough candy and wanted to hand out treats at our house (as long as it wasn’t the candy they just collected). So, we spent the rest of the evening sorting candy and waiting for the doorbell to ring.
We sure made the most of the Halloween holiday and this year’s costumes! Be sure to put some of these events on your list for next year, or check out the small town Halloween fun found in your area! You’re sure to have a ‘spooktacular’ time!
Fall isn’t complete without enjoying time on the farm. For me, harvest is the best and most anticipated part of fall. As an Iowa farm girl, I have many memories surrounding harvest and rides in the combine. I cherished this time with my dad as a little girl and enjoy it just as much now (if not more) as an adult. I love being able to involve my husband and kids in this wonderful time of year.
Harvest is meant to be enjoyed by the senses. And if you’ve been a part of this, you know what I mean! There’s the sights of bright headlights as farmers work tirelessly through the night and the glimpse wildlife moving about the land. There’s the sounds of grain drying and the hum of big engines. Then, there’s the feel of dirt on your hands, dust in your teeth, and the crunch of corn stalks under your feet. The smells of freshly spread manure, diesel fuel, and homemade cookies are just a few of my fall favorites (call me crazy, but the smell of manure is always a happy reminder of farm life). The tastes of fall are by far the best part of harvest. I love helping prepare the meals and delivering them to the people in the field. Whether it is pizza from town, a comforting casserole, or brats off the grill (or staying warm in the crock-pot), sharing a meal in a field is one of my most favorite things!
It is during harvest that I am most proud of my farming background. I love watching my dad, and now the younger generations too, bring in the harvest. If you’ve never experienced farm life, you need to ask a farmer for a ride in the combine. Most farmers would be happy to give you a taste of farming! You may be put to work running for parts or cleaning up a pile of spilled grain, but trust me, it will be well worth it!
Often overlooked due to the rush to put up a Christmas tree and decor (I’m guilty of this), Thanksgiving often marks the end of fall. It is a time we reflect upon what we are thankful for and the blessings we have encountered throughout the year. Thanksgiving also means spending time with family and eating entirely too much!
This year an ice/snow storm put a damper on our Thanksgiving plans. As much as we enjoy spending time with extended family, we tried to make the best of staying home. We decorated for Christmas, wrapped presents, played games, and snuggled together to watch football. I discovered that in a pinch, I can make a pretty decent Thanksgiving meal, including pumpkin pie! Although we didn’t do anything spectacular, we’ll always remember the Thanksgiving we got snowed in and ate pork loin instead of turkey. We’ll remember the fun we found when we least expected it. We’ll remember our fall adventures. And for that, I am very thankful!