(Pssst! I'm part of this week's Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers! Click over to check out all the other posts, full of tips and tidbits that work in real life.)
We are definitely an “autumn family”. We really, really enjoy it. We love the temperature and the changing colors. We love settling into a school routine and choosing from the myriad of special activities that autumn brings. We love the harvest bounty and the special foods of the season. We love the feel of approaching holidays and the dutiful days that precede them. We just love fall!
This week was busy, but in a good way. Daddy’s still been battling the last of the cold that most of us had last week, but the rest of us have been pretty healthy and back to normal.
We’re doing pretty well with our new exercise routine, and this week I ran a whole mile without stopping for the first time in my life! Woot! Woot! (I know, I know…a lot of people can do that…but it is a really big first for me, so let me be crazy excited, will ya?) Bo’s already had some experience with running 5K’s and Rooster, Bird, and I are hoping to run one with him next month. :)
Bird and I have been taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and autumn colors with photography outings together. We’re slowly but surely deciphering the world of ISOs and f-stops, and enjoying great one-on-one time in the process.
I get the “art project itch” in the fall, for some reason. Add to that the fact that our hallway in the new house was sporting a gallery wall full of empty frames just waiting for the boys’ artwork, and you’ve got one momma quite antsy to have some art days. This week we tried some fall art project ideas from artprojectsforkids.org. You can see all their fall projects here: http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/search/label/fall
Here are a couple of the boys’ pieces from the week:
Pretty much all the seasonal autumn foods are awesome, and apples are no exception. There’s not much better than visiting your local orchard, selecting bushels of freshly-picked apples, and bringing them home to bake away with! (Sounds nice, doesn't it? Yeah...we didn't do that this year...we bought apples at the grocery store. But it is nice when you can hit the orchard!)
It’s so hard to pick our favorite way to eat apples. We took a family vote, and compiled our own Top Ten list:
Our top 10 favorite ways to eat apples:
10. Baked with cheddar
9. In grilled cheese sandwiches or Panini
7. Freshly sliced
6. Cooked with rice and cheese (I put a pdf of our favorite recipe at the bottom of this post - you could do any number of cheese/grain/protein variations with browned apples tossed in!)
4. Baked with just a touch of juice, cider, or water & butter
3. Browned in butter, topped with fresh cream or whipped cream, served in a bowl or spooned on top of oatmeal, whole wheat shortcakes, waffles, or pancakes
2. In apple crisp or apple pie, with vanilla ice cream
1. Homemade Cinnamon Apple Streusel Muffins
By the way, this week we tried a slightly modified version of this Apple Cider Chicken recipe, and it’s outstanding! It’s best served right away - the sauce does not keep well for leftovers. It goes great with pretty much any cooked grain or rice, and with salad or cooked Brussels sprouts or green beans. Definitely a keeper for the autumn dinner menu!
Here's the recipe for our favorite rice, cheese, and apple combination:Apple Sausage Rice