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Hey There Pumpkin!

Happy Fall!! Well, I guess I'm a day late and a dollar short (or a few!), but oh well! It's finally here!! Yay!!

Phew! It feels good to be sharing on here again! This past month has been a crazy one, which is pretty normal for us, but this one had some extra stresses like health issues with our Elizabeth and school starting, but now she is doing better and we made it through! Praise God! And I finally have a little time to stop in here and say hello!

For me, when I'm carrying stress (like this past month), I need to do something a little creative to burn off some steam. I take 15-20 minutes to do something I enjoy. Maybe it's drawing a little pumpkin on a chalkboard, or rearranging some pillows, or fall-ifying my front porch, it all helps keep me happy! So with the extra stress around here, all of the fall-ification of my home is complete!

I love fall so much!! Summer was wonderful, but I need variety. When it's still 90 degrees at the end of September, I'm done with it! Bring on the cool air, the smell of the leaves, the campfires, the hayrides, the baking and the yummy foods, and seeing the richness of the beauty that the earth is dressed with! I usually want to start decorating for fall pretty early. This year I held myself back and I made myself wait until after September 1st before I got started. It did have my family rolling their eyes at first, but I'm ok with that.

I'm going to share some of the autumn touches I have around my home, but today I thought I'd start with the outside. I've got my front porch all decorated and my garden is looking so pretty with the mums blooming that I had to share!

All the decorations I have out here on the porch and stairs are mostly re-used from years past. Even the mums, I dug up from the garden and planted in my pails to save money (I had a lot last year). But, the outdoor decorations take a beating with the weather and the bugs, so I try to pick up or make a few little things. Plus, sometimes you just want something new and fresh. And I think that's ok!

Here is the view when you come up to the house...

Please don't mind the fact that the leaf garland is not hung evenly over the front steps. I promised my husband I wouldn't put any more holes in the house for decorations. There used to be some bamboo shades that hung on the porch and the hooks I'm using for the garland are what was left over. It's really annoying that they weren't centered over the opening, isn't it? Can we still be friends? Pretend you don't notice. Oh good, thank you! Annnnyway, I added some some mums, grasses, and kale to the planters at the bottom of the steps. I've never changed my planters for the fall season before. I left the ferns and some of the flowers that were still blooming, but I took out the petunias that were pretty tired and replaced them with some fall color. And now, I love it so much I want to marry it! (well almost!) Those little changes go a long way!

Up the steps you are welcomed onto the porch, my favorite place to be! I love to sit up here and watch the changing of the seasons! We have the most beautiful view (at least in my opinion!). I was sitting up here yesterday and the walnuts kept crashing down through the forest and the squirrels were jumping from tree to tree making all kinds of commotion. There was a great breeze that was blowing across here and the wind was knocking off some of the dry leaves (we haven't had rain for months and everything is so dry!). My 3 youngest kids were playing a game of catch the leaves before they hit the ground. They love that game! And I cherished sitting up on the porch watching them, hearing their squeals of delight, and taking a few blessed moments of solitude!

To help freshen things up around here, I decided to make some new pillows for the porch. Even though you can buy cute pillows at Walmart for like $5 or $6, I always talk myself out of them and think, I can make 'em cuter and cheaper. Then about 1/2 way through I'm talking to myself through gritted teeth, "Why didn't I just buy the stupid pillows!!!" It's not that it's hard, but it always takes longer than I thought it would, especially with the million distractions at my house. Anyone else ever do that? But they are done and I'm happy with them! I made the two for the rocking chairs, the two on the bistro chairs, and made the plaid table runner on the black table.

I love to eat breakfast out here in the quiet mornings and the younger kids and I eat lunch out here many days. So, just for fun, I made a little tablescape on my bistro table. I was imagining making some warm soup on a chilly day, but truthfully, it was like 90 degrees out when I took this picture! At least I can pretend!

The one thing I would like to add around here is some corn stalks. I grew up in the Midwest surrounded by fields and fields of corn and soybeans. Some of my favorite memories as a kid included playing hide and seek in the corn with my brothers. My Dad was a farmer and he grew a number of things, including popcorn. He passed away almost 3 years ago now so the cornstalks help me remember him and what a good Papa he was!

And now, if we go around the side of the porch, past the toys that I have hidden from the pictures, and up the hill to the garden, we can see all the blooming fall color up here. Every year when I buy mums, I hate to waste them and throw them away when they are finished blooming, so I plant them. They come back every year and get bigger and prettier.

I also planted the leftover grasses that I had put in my planters in the front. I'm looking forward to it filling in nicely over the years!

Hopefully, you have enjoyed my outdoor fall tour! I'm so excited fall is actually here! We already had our first campfire last night, although we still didn't even need sweatshirts. Pretty soon we will be getting some hay bales so we can have hayrides pulled by my husband's tractor. We have a big field out front that we use for hay and, when fall comes around, I always wish we would have planted it with pumpkins so it could be like a real pumpkin patch around here (and a really cute wood barn where I could sell chili, and apple donuts, and cookies!). Oh well, maybe next year!

Take care!



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Hi there!

I'm Maria (sometimes called Mama Ria by my little ones) and welcome to my home and my life! I hope to encourage you to find practical ways to Make Home Sweet!

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