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Oct 30, 2017 11:58AM ● By Rebecca Seidenspinner

Grateful for Fall and All that it Brings

By Rebecca Seidenspinner

I’m officially ready for the month of November. I love the crisp cool air as the weather starts to change.  When I get dressed in the morning, I try to balance layers of clothes and top my outfit off with a cozy plaid scarf. I like to cook hearty soups filled with root vegetables and homemade bread on Sundays. The days slow down with the change into fall, and it’s just what we need to refuel our souls. Here is a list of the top five things I will be doing this November. Join in the fall fun!

1.     Make Pumpkin Volcanoes Cover a table with newspaper and scoop out leftover Halloween mini pumpkins. Give your kids some baking soda, vinegar and red food coloring. This messy science project will keep them entertained for hours or until the baking soda runs out. Don’t forget your safety goggles.

2.     Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder I collected five big sugar pinecones on a recent trip to the mountians. I let the kids use paintbrushes to spread peanut butter all over the pinecones and then dip them in bird seed. Using string, we hung them by a window to watch as birds flew over to taste the sticky treat.

3.     Take a Nature Walk Exploring and collecting small treasures from outdoors is fun and they can be used as decorations for a fall table scape. My favorites are pinecones of all sizes, tiny acorns, eucalyptus leaves, and sticks. Spray paint a stick gold and put it in a vase and call it a gratitude tree. Have family members share things they are thankful for by writing them down on construction paper shaped leaves and hanging them on the gratitude tree.

4.     Bake a Homemade Pie If you’re not a good baker (like myself), try these adorable mini Mason jar lid apple pies. Directions: Roll out pre-made piecrust and use Mason jar lids to cut circles out of the dough. Put a dough circle inside each lid. To make the apple pie filling, peel and chop up five apples into small pieces. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of apple juice. Add two tablespoons of brown sugar and one tablespoon white sugar. Stir well. Add a scoop of apple filling to each lid. Add another dough circle to the top. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make it fancy. Bake for twenty minutes at 350 degrees or until the top of the mini pies are golden brown. Serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

5.     Make an All-scented Stove Simmer Fill a small pot with water. Add your leftover apple peels from your mini Mason jar apple pies, a few orange peels, a cup of fresh cranberries, and two cinnamon sticks. Simmer on the stove. The smell is delicious! You could also bring this as a hostess gift to any of your fall festivities. Put two small cuties, two cinnamon sticks and a cup of cranberries in a Mason jar.  Attach instructions along with the recipe for the stove simmer on a piece of paper and tie it to the lid.

I have so many things to be thankful for and not just during the month of November. The definition of gratitude is the feeling you get from being grateful. Sipping hot apple cider in an oversized sweater with my family close by gives me the feeling of fall, and for that I am grateful.