Pumpkin Painting

I confess, I’m a party pooper. I’m simply not a Halloween-lover! You can have all the spooky/scary you want, just leave me the cozy fall touches.
As an alternative to making a Jack-O-Lantern, I thought I’d paint a pumpkin.
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The inspiration was the splendor of creation during this glorious season. 🙂 Acorns, oak leaves, ginkgo leaves and more.
How are you preparing for this Halloween/Harvest?

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Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭37-38‬ ESV)

Small Group Fall Gathering

We are blessed beyond measure to have a Small Group at church of people we love to pieces. Nothing sweeter than friends who encourage you in life and faith, and most importantly, who crack you up. There’s no lack of laughter when this group is together. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

IMG_4584Our amazing leaders are a husband and wife who have been in the lives of Mr. S and I for many years now. Since we were 19 and 20, they’ve taught us God’s word and hosted various groups in their beautiful home.

This weekend was her birthday (and our anniversary), so we decided to have some fun! We went to Shuckle’s Corn Maze, then everyone headed back to our place for some goodies, hot chocolate, spiced apple cider, coffee, pumpkin cake, cupcakes, and cookies were all enjoyed.

I think birthdays are the perfect excuse to have a little lot of sugar, don’t you? IMG_4581.JPGIt was so much fun to get our little apartment ready to host people who have hosted us time and time again.

IMG_4585.JPGCinnamon stick for cider and marshmallows for hot chocolate were the first things on my shopping list.

IMG_4583.JPGA thoughtful parent gave me these sweet paper tags, and they have brought me so much joy. Today, they were labels. They’ve also been place cards for dinner guests tied around napkin rings. I can’t wait to use them for gifts, too.

I searched desperately for pumpkin creamer, but alas, none could be found. IMG_4586.JPGNext was a local pumpkin patch. We played some games, and one couple was hilariously lucky and seemed to win everything. We took a hayride, watched the boys fly out of the biggest slide you’ve ever seen, picked out pumpkins, and got lost in a corn maze.

IMG_4587.JPGOne of the sweetest little baby girls you’ve ever seen in her Mamie’s arms. She took it all in and was probably the best “attraction” of the whole outing. 🙂 IMG_4563.JPGOne of our wonderful couples is expecting their first child. It is such a blessing to be able to rejoice with them! IMG_4594.JPGThe whole group! These faces make me smile.

IMG_4588.JPGWe gave one of our Bible teachers (the birthday girl) a card, and a dinner-and-a-movie date night. 🙂 My friend presenting a cupcake was the mastermind behind that idea. IMG_4589.JPGShowing her (happy-go-lucky, energetic, superhero, break-dancing) grandson the card. 🙂 IMG_4590.JPGLucy was thrilled to have a living room full of people. I was thrilled to have a living room full of people who tolerate and enjoy my hyper little pup.

Thankful to share life and celebrate seasons with these folks.

So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Romans 12:5

Fall Around Here

Friends, I am yearning for Autumn to arrive. It has been a long, sometimes difficult Spring and Summer (whose lessons I wouldn’t trade for the world), but good things are in store, Lord willing, in this season.

Before Mr. S came along, this summer-loving “brown” girl couldn’t stand Fall. It meant the end of summer, no more of that sunblock smell (the best perfume there is), and the beginning of Tennessee winters. You may laugh if you’re from the North and think our winters are mild, but my Southern California roots couldn’t disagree with you more. Over 15 years in Tennessee and I still don’t like the cold.

My fair-skinned, blue-eyed man, though, LOVES a crisp chill in the air. He enjoys jeans, jackets, blankets, bonfires, s’mores, hot chocolate, and homemade pumpkin anything. Somehow, his adoration of the season has totally changed my mind.

Sorry for the dark pictures. In low light, my iPhone just doesn’t cut it.

IMG_4308.JPGI resisted going full-out Fall until mid September, but caved today and picked up these pretty little pumpkins. IMG_4310.JPGI swung by Mom and Dad’s on the way home to lop off some Japanese Maple and Magnolia branches for my little wooden “toolbox.”IMG_4306.JPGI nestled the pumpkins into the foliage. I love the slight tinge of purple just being revealed in a few of the maple leaves and the lovely rust on the underside of the magnolia leaves.

Magnolias are truly a favorite of mine. I adore driving by Vanderbilt’s campus downtown and admiring the majestic, giant ones lining the streets. IMG_4312.JPGIMG_4314.JPGIMG_4316.JPG

IMG_4196.JPGIMG_4318.JPGIMG_4304.JPGLooking forward to scarves, boots, plaid, cozy sweaters, knit throws, nature walks, cooler afternoon runs, apple cider, and all that loveliness.