We celebrated Audrey's 11th birthday this Monday. We have a few birthday traditions in our family that helped to make this day extra special for our birthday girl.
Our birthday traditions actually start the night before the birthday. I say this birthday verse as I tuck the birthday girl into bed:
"When I have said my evening prayer,
and my clothes are folded on the chair,
When mother turns out the light,
I will still be ten years old tonight.
But before the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold,
Tomorrow I will be eleven years old.
Eleven kisses when I wake. Eleven candles on my cake."
Every year we visit the pumpkin patch to pick out the most perfect pumpkins. We like to pick out big pumpkins for carving and smaller pumpkins for painting. It takes a little while to find just the right pumpkins, but we always do!
We had fun with pumpkins during our pumpkin week. We read Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White and created finger paint and glitter jack-o-lanterns. We read Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor and make pumpkin play dough. We also read Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell and wet-felted a pumpkin house for a pumpkin mouse!
Today, for our pumpkin celebration, we read Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall. Then we used yellow oil pastels to draw jack-o-lantern faces on our pumpkins. We washed over the pumpkins with orange watercolor paint so the jack-o-lantern faces shined through and seemed to light up.
One of our favorite poems to recite is:
"Pumpkin, pumpkin, round and fat,
Turn into a jack o lantern, just... like... that!"
One of the songs we love to sing is from Sing a Song of Seasons by Mary Thienes Schunemann:
"Jack o lantern, jack o lantern, how your light it does shine.
Sitting up upon the window, how your light it does shine.
You were once an orange pumpkin sitting on a pumpkin vine.
Now you are my jack o lantern, and your light it is mine."
October is pumpkin time at our house. That is why our baking days usually include some sort of pumpkin treat. So far this month, we have made pumpkin bread and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
We have baking day on Mondays. I gather all the ingredients ahead of time. Then everyone gathers around in the kitchen and helps to measure, pour, mix, and stir.
Everyone's favorite part...enjoying our work!
Every year, we celebrate Michaelmas on September 29th. On this day, we celebrate bravery, courage, and doing what is right. It is our tradition to make dragon bread and dragon soup (vegetable and orzo soup) for dinner. We have apple pie for dessert. We hold a pretend knighting ceremony, complete with crown, cape, and sword. At dinner, our new knights slay the dragon (bread). We also enjoy Michaelmas themed arts and crafts and songs and poems in preparation for the day.
"Brave and true, I will be,
Each good deed sets me free,
Each kind word makes me strong,
I will fight for the right,
I will conquer the wrong."
This was the perfect way to end September and our celebration of apples...a trip to the apple orchard!
Our September was filled with apples...baking with apples, books about apples, art and crafts with apples, apple songs, and apple poems. Here is a look at some of the fun we had.