::The mantel is full with seven little pumpkins and our fall corn husk angel.
::This is what the laundry looks like after it is folded. I have learned that piles of clothing categories work best, especially given the fact that three of the kids dress themselves, and clothes will get jumbled in their drawers anyway. It may not meet the approval of Martha Stewart, but it works just fine around here! I should note that when my mom comes to babysit, despite our urging, she always ends up folding all the laundry, in which case it is much more tidy. Maybe there's hope for me down the road.
::The other day we got some little push toys for the twins, and Dorothy immediately pulled up and started pushing around. With each step it looks like she will just barely stay up, but then she takes another, and another. Her three eldest siblings, watching from the sidelines, burst into the most genuine, heartfelt, loud applause. There was cheering and clapping and jumping and smiling and yelling from joy. The jubilation continued for the duration of her pushing around the living room, and she just stared from face to face with the biggest grin, clearly quite proud of herself. It was one of those moments that filled my heart to the brim for these siblings that love and encourage one another.
::Clara, on the other hand, is quite happy just to pull up and stand. She does this for many seconds before collapsing back down on her bum.
::Bath time has often moved into the afternoons, which is a great activity for a family full of people who love to take baths. Our schedule doesn't allow for it every day, but when it works out, our evenings seem to be more relaxed, and bath time can last for a little longer, which makes everyone happy.
::I tried this apple pie the other day, and it was tasty! Sour Cream Apple Pie, doesn't that peak your interest? I'm not ready to abandon a regular old apple pie, but it was a big hit, and a nice way to spice things up (no pun intended) during this abundant apple season.
::Some beautiful fall flowers from Ben's parents, who came by this weekend for the first time since Ben's mom's hip replacement surgery earlier this month.
::The babies are almost exclusively finger fed, which works pretty well for the sake of practicality, but has meant a shift in how we feed our babies. Usually, we just keep a food grinder at the dinner table and mix up whatever we're having. But for these babies, favorites are cubes of cheese, frozen vegetables (eaten frozen!), tiny pieces of apples or grapes, and goldfish. I would say they have pretty hearty appetites.
::We enjoyed our first outdoor fire of the season, which means fall is really here!
::I have finally picked up some knitting: a red sweater for Hugo, who is the only child of mine who currently does not have a single handknit item. Red, because it's his favorite. Spidey colors, you know. It feels so good to be knitting, and even when much of my daily work is immediately undone (dishes? laundry? tidied living room?), I can look down on a few rows of knitting and know that these will stay put for quite some time.
::And in another indicator of fall season, we have started bundling these babies up! I have learned that when cold weather strikes, the way to go is a fleece warm suit that has flaps to cover both hands and feet. There's no way babies can kick off shoes or pull of mittens, and it has a hood, so they're good to go. I ordered a couple for the babies thinking that I was planning way far into the future and then bam, the weekend hit us with temperatures in the 40s. I think it's going to be another chilly winter! I have always been a huge autumn lover, leaning unhesitatingly into the cooler days and beautiful colors. Fall is spectacular in Virginia. But I must admit, this year these seasonal changes are striking me with a tint of melancholy. Shorter days, changing seasons, there's a way that they bring on a feeling of solitude that can be rejuvenating or lonely depending on how you receive them. My prayer is that each day I will reach towards rejuvenation and gratitude.