Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall At My House

 This was several weeks ago...which is amazing because it looks so vastly different after the attack of Hurricane Sandy.  The cold and snow wiped out all that was left of the fall leaves and color.  For the sake of remembering and for enjoying it one last time, here's some photos I took around our house.

 I thought this pumpkin was adorable.  It was grown by a friend (9 yrs. old) who brought it to us as a gift when Bronwyn was born.  What a lovely gift.  I will be cooking it soon to make it into pies.

This is the hill in front of our house.  It was stunning this year.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Games and Fellowship and a Ball

 For the month of October, we had a games and fellowship event at the home of one of the families from church.  We had a potluck-style meal of sauerkraut and sausage on hoagie rolls.  The weather wasn't very nice, but we managed to do a three legged race and a gunny sack race outside.  The men and boys played some football too.  One of the special things planned was dessert.  We joked that this picture above was "Cooking with Kellen."  Kellen is standing on the left and about to amaze everyone as she fries funnel cakes!

 Kellen even brought an apple filling that could be served on top, as well as the traditional powdered sugar.  Yum.
 The hosting family asked a coworker to come and play his accordian as some back ground music.  Boy, was that fun.  The kids loved to watch him play.
 He was a very nice man and let Ben try to play a little bit.
 All the little girls enjoyed dressing up and playing with dolls.

 Here's how Bronwyn and I enjoyed the party.  Isn't she cute all curled up in there?
 Last Saturday was the annual fall ball hosted here in Morgantown for homeschooling families.
 Samuel is dancing in the white shirt on the far right.

 Sarah Grace, from church, and Samuel, ready to do the Salty Dog Rag.
 Miss Hannah and her niece, Jemima.
 A dancing break for refreshments.

The Jones family at the 2012 Reformation Ball.  All 10 of us this time!


I didn't get a great picture of the pumpkin-carving masterpieces this year.  This is the best I've got.  
If you've been following my blog for a while you probably have seen me post pictures of the pumpkins in the past.  Some people have likely wondered at us celebrating Halloween at all.  I don't have much to say about it, but I thought I'd put a brief statement here this year.  

Basically, I have WONDERFUL memories of Halloween from childhood.  My mom made this holiday super fun with traditions my sisters and I highly looked forward to.  She had a box full of costumes, mostly made by her, that she'd pull out just once a year.  I remember working it all out with my sisters every year, who would be the bride, who would be the nurse or the indian girl, etc.  SO MUCH FUN.  Other fun things were the decorations she put up each year, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins and of course going around the neighborhood to collect candy.

When Peter and I got married, we needed to choose.  We didn't have any objection to the activities of putting on costumes and carving faces into pumpkins as evil in and of themselves.  Whatever the origins of those traditions, we couldn't see any harm in them.  But since people generally DO associate much more than this with the holiday, including lots of gruesome, scary and intentionally evil-mimicking costumes, decorations and activities, we had to make a decision about how we would approach it.  I don't think that there's any pressing reason for people to adopt any of the traditional Halloween activities if they don't want to.  For me, it was a part of my history and a very positive part that was very natural to continue.  So, we kept the fun and good traditions, while ignoring and avoiding the rest.  We have tended to treat the fun things as "fall activities" as opposed to Halloween activities.  For several years, we attended a church Harvest party on Halloween.  We got all the good, fun things without the bad.  Here in Morgantown, we chose to let the children Trick or Treat for a couple of years because of the opportunity to interact with our neighbors who are rarely outside otherwise.  In our situation, there was no real threat posed by doing this.  At the same time, we began to shift our family celebration towards celebrating the Reformation, instead of Halloween, using some of the same fun, fall activities to celebrate it.  In a previous post, I linked to a brief, but helpful article by Douglas Wilson about Christians celebrating this holiday.  The article can be found here.  We don't live in a neighborhood anymore.  For the future, we plan to host or attend Reformation parties, even if they're just with our kids. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012


There's a very good reason for this mess.  Several weeks back the boys received one of the best and most fun packages in the mail that they will probably ever receive.  My dad got a hold of a number of used fishing rods, including one fly rod and an old plastic rod case and shipped the whole bunch of them to the boys.  The key to unlock the rod case came in another package, that came slightly later.  Boy, were they anxious to get that key!  When they got it open there were fishing rods all over and all the tackle came out and lots of sorting and organizing and planning began. 
Happy boys with their rods.  Thanks Papa!!!
I have no explanation for this.  I just walked in the kitchen and the girls had made up some game where Millie was dancing around Cecily on the bedspread from her bed.  They're so funny.
Ben and Cal had some fun in the sandbox.  They brought out some toys from the train set.
I thought it was pretty creative.  They made the tunnel and cut out a blue piece of paper for a pond.  They created a forest and a city of buildings in the top left corner. 
A couple days after Bronwyn was born, I came out in the morning to see Peter cooking pancakes and bacon...with a lot of help!  I don't even let three at once cook with me.  He's so brave.
This one is actually very skilled.  She's a big help.