Monday, October 6, 2008

Here's to Autumn...clink!

We drove to Delta last weekend for Loren's grandmother's funeral. We will all miss her very much, but, because of who she was, it felt more like a celebration of her life than anything. She was a remarkable woman, but she modeled humility and patience and, most of all, contentment. It was such an honor to know her and to see how she lived her last years in joyful appreciation for all that God had blessed her with.

On the way there, we got to see the aspen trees changing colors all along Monarch Pass. If you haven't experienced that,'s too bad cause I didn't take any pictures. Left the stupid camera at home, dang it! It is breathtaking, though. There are thousands of aspen trees, in groves, situated within all these Colorado evergreens (which, of course, remain green all year in case the name didn't give that away) and come September, they just burst into flame. The mountainside is covered with what, all of the sudden, looks like a patchwork quilt of fall colors. It is amazing. Then, as quickly as they come, they disappear.

I was so glad that we happened to be driving through there because I had really forgotten all about the aspens. There are people who come from all over to see the them. They get out and take pictures and drink up the beauty of it all and here they are in my backyard and I just forgot. I'm really not trying to be profound here, though you are welcome to insert your own little lesson about enjoying the beauty around us, etc. Mostly, the trees were my first real clue, my wake up call, that it really was Fall...hmmm...I just decided to call it Autumn...doesn't it just sound prettier?

I love this time of year. I love the smells...leaves burning, fireplaces going, the can't-quite-put-your-finger-on-it smell that comes along with the crisp, cool air. I love the sights...turning leaves, kids outside all the time, pumpkins patches, kids playing football and soccer. I love the tastes...vegetables from the last harvest in the garden, finally ripe apples and pears, cider, soups and stews. I love it all. It is probably my favorite time of year, even though, for us, it always seems like the busiest time of year. Maybe it's beauty is compensation, in some way, for all the hustle and bustle that comes along with it in our house. And even though it is busy, we manage to take time out to enjoy what is happening all around us. For instance...

Hope is playing soccer this fall and, let me just tell you in the most objective way I can, she is GOOD. I'm serious. If you read my posts last May you may remember the timidity, the tears, the drama of soccer. She seems to have gotten over all that and is playing her little heart out. I just sit out there, all open-mouthed, with ridiculous tears in my eyes the whole time because she is all over that field. She is scoring goals right and left and it is a joy to watch. And it's not a joy because she scores goals. That is inconsequential to me, though I would never offend her by saying so. The thing is, I see her come alive out there. I can sense her little heart, fully engaged, full of joy and I can tell that this is the same heart that will be her gift to the world. Whatever she finally decides to throw it into, for the sake of Christ, will be her offering...her way of inviting those around her to experience His abundant life. Oh, I can see it and I could just weep for joy at the thought of it.

Can you see the huge smile on her face?

We also went, again this year, to the beautiful orchard that some friends of ours here own. Unfortunately we were a bit late for most of the apple picking, but we did get a few and we got some sweet pictures as well. We are determined to go earlier next year. Thankfully, another friend with a few apple trees came to the rescue and we got a big box of them. We are all set to make some apple sauce and apple butter...yum!

When is it that they start caring about the brown mushy spots in apples. Bella doesn't seem to mind.

Hope is using the apple picker here like a pro.

I could just eat this girl up. She is the sweetest thing...even when she doesn't have apple juice on her chin.

You need to notice that in this picture I am confidently wearing a shirt that, earlier that morning, had caused someone to ask me, "Oh, Amanda...when are you expecting?" That's right folks, she said it. I mean, come on! It's the style, right? RIGHT? Am I right? If she only knew how hilarious that was on so many levels. Oh well!

Mmmmmm...freshly picked apples. I climbed up in the tree for those bad boys!

So, all fashion problems's to autumn. Enjoy! I know we are!


Melodie said...

1) i love fall also. i just enjoy the changing of the seasons, period.
2) i love that Hope is sticking her tongue out with that smile. she always did that as a tiny baby!
3) i could eat Bella up also, preferably without the sticky chin.
4) i have already assured you that the shirt DOES NOT make you look pregnant. yes, it is the style and people shouldn't ask those questions when we wear those shirts!! keep on wearing it!

Amy said...

Yay to autumn, Amanda! And to all the great things that are happening in your life right now. And "what the heck?" to the lady that asked about your shirt. Has she been living in the states long? Come on! (And, no, you don't look pregnant in that shirt, just adorable and gorgeous.)

The Coopers said...

love the autumn pics! save us some apple butter. that sounds so yum! love you

Jennille said...

Here, here to the whole autumn thing! We're lovin' it, too. And no you don't look pregnant.:)

What's Going On... said...

That looks like a fun time! Cute pictures of the family! I think it's so funny how things our children do bring tears of joy to our eyes! I never seem to notice it with other mothers though! I'm always little embarassed that I'm so emotional! They are just little gifts!