What a strange year it has been!
We finally had our first frost for the year on Halloween...weeks after the usual one. I've seen people mowing lawns in November! We watched the caterpillar we named Pumpkin transform from chrysalis to monach in late October. (Poor thing.) I hung Christmas lights on a day when the temperature was almost 80 degrees.
Don't get me wrong~ I am not complaining. In fact, I've been LOVING it. I hope it continues right through December because...well, I don't want to be making wedding food for several hundred people that can't drive through snow to eat it! Somehow, I can't shake the feeling that perhaps we are going to make up for this unseasonable fall with a brutal winter...and then I remind myself "Do not be anxious about anything... but in everything, with prayer and petition and thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your life in Christ Jesus."
"Do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its' own trouble."
But I am not gonna lie- that is easier said than done! These are two pieces of scripture (among many) that I will be struggling to get a hold of my entire life. It doesn't come easily to me. In this season of my life, in particular, the Lord is giving me lots of opportunities to practice.
I remember hearing once that you ought to be very careful that when you pray for growth and stretching (patience, controlling anger, etc), that you be ready for the Lord to give you opportunity to grow and stretch (by testing your patience, giving lots of opportunities for you to be angry, etc.)... and this is one such time for me. I am very bad at worrying and being anxious and the Lord is heaping lots of opportunities for me to practice, practice, practice. Refinement is hard and uncomfortable (often painful) but I pray that through it, He is actively stretching me and growing me to be BETTER than I am.
Another perk of an unseasonably warm autumn: after several years of patiently waiting for money and time to align, Matt finally was able to pour concrete in the barn in mid-October. It looks amazing. The boys did such a nice job.
What else happened in October?
We found a volunteer pumpkin vine growing in the pasture and on it was 44 tiny pumpkins which were more than enough to line our entire huge wraparound porch (plus some!) making this our most festive fall porch ever. We grew enough pumpkins in the garden to carve- but only because two of my children did not find pumpkin carving to be an enticing activity this year. I have never had luck growing prolific pumpkins on purpose but those ignored, volunteer pumpkin plants are amazing! So now I have a plan! I am throwing all our pumpkins in the pasture and hoping that next year we have an awesome crop... without me doing a thing.
Judah, Adele' and Ineke are a part of Trail Life and American Heritage Girl groups which has added to our busyness quite a bit- but they've had a blast doing it. This month they had an old-fashioned Fall Fest and pie bake.
We did our annual Pumpkin farm visit. I got to visit my brother (the last picture).
I made possibly the most delicious maple pecan pound cake ever.
Our pigs, Faithful and Shenanigans are getting nice and plump. Have I ever told you the story of their names? Faithful is a sweet and friendly pig, my favorite we've ever had. She is a real sweetheart and comes right up to you for an ear scratch or rub on the back. Shenanigans, on the other hand, is a real stinker.
I continue to mark off checkmarks on my monthly lists and the scale continues to stubbornly hold fast.
The sweetest kitten, the one I looked forward to keeping, was hit by a car... I don't understand why it is always the ones that I want to keep that don't live long.
Our garden was destroyed by deer this year- so much was eaten. I think a fence will be necessary from now on. I got a chuckle that they ate all the leaves but left the hot peppers. In that particular case, it wasn't so bad- just allowed me to see the harvest better. The kale, though, breaks my heart.
I scored two matching quilts for $15 each at a flea market which make the girls room look so "put together". LOVE them!
I lined sinks with flowers, admired boys- big and little, I baked, went for walks, finished reading aloud The Railway Children and began The Chronicles of Narnia. Failed, succeeded. Laughed, cried.
And for it all, I am thankful.
PS. * photos were taken by Adele'- just know that from here on out. ;-)
PPS. There happened to be two other BIG things that happened in October... but they deserve posts of their own... which will come another day. In the meantime- HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you faithful readers who visit me here! You are wonderful!