Fall Gatherings

One of my favorite things about Fall is gathering with friends on the weekends. Over the summer, when the weather is warm, we're all scattered to the winds, on trips, outdoor adventures, and generally busy. With Fall, the options are limited a bit by the cooler weather, and we find gathering at someone's house for a meal, a sleepover for the kids, and wine for the adults is an attractive, and more frequent option.

The other thing we've been taking advantage of in particular this year, are all the free natural art materials to be gathered. Leaves, acorns, and grasses have all been collected, dried, and used in tons of art projects. I love that the boys now see "materials" all around them and brainstorm their own projects even without my input. Silas picked up a nut shell the other day and said --"let's bring this home for a nature collage." Made my heart sing.

We've been talking a lot about the days growing shorter and one way we've been adjusting to the darkness is by lighting our candles at dinner. We haven't done it every single night, because the boys like to insist that all the lights be off, and sometimes i don't feel like arguing. But when we all get on the same page and enjoy our meal with a little candle glow, it almost makes it feel peaceful-- at least until i have to tell Silas to sit down for the 10th time or his plate is going to be taken away.

We're readying for Halloween, putting the final touches on costumes, and preparing to attend Henry's Halloween Assembly and costume parade and Silas' preschool party. We've also got a weekend party and the actual trick-or-treating with friends to look forward to!


The Circus

When i picked the boys up from Brenda's this afternoon, Henry excitedly waved a flyer for Barnum and Bailey's Circus which is coming to some huge coliseum outside of Chicago in November. It made me so glad that we had already "done" the circus in a way that fits just a bit more with our preferences.

The Midnight Circus performed in five Chicago City Parks the past few weekends. The shows were fundraisers for the parks that participated and we had the pleasure of going with the Smerry's a few weekends ago. It was everything i like about the circus without any of the stuff that i'm a little creeped out by. First of all it was intimate. We were in the first row, but there were only two rows to choose from. There were no elephants or vendors, just acrobats, juggling, clowns, magic and other circus fun. There were snacks but no $10 cotton candy of $25 flashlights. And did i mention we walked to it? All the things i love about the city and our neighborhood-- positive, creative, local and affordable.

Oh yeah, even on the "normal" size and quality setting i had to delete a boat-load of pictures twice, because Henry and Silas filled the camera up with a frame-by-frame account. Who needs a video camera!