IMG_3214 Hopefully you have had a chance to tidy your home, and have begun festooning your rooms with the golden touch of Autumn. I know it is hard to get in the mood when the heat of Summer lingers on….but I encourage you gals to go ahead and cozy up your kitchen, family room, or fireplace mantel with chubby little pumpkins, candlelight, pine cones, acorns, and caramel colored leaves…because before you know it, the air will turn apple-crisp, and the sweet scent of wood smoke will bring such delight that you’ll be glad the decorating is complete so you can cuddle up in a comfy chair, with a good book in one hand, a mug of creamy coffee or spiced cider in the other, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. 
Fall 2008 174Gathering the beauty of Autumn and thoughtfully arranging it throughout your home also brings such sparkling joy to young hearts. Just the other day my daughter said “Mama, I am so glad you decorate for fall..it’s so fun coming home!” Hugs and kisses followed after that! Decorating for the seasons adds a merry mix of enchantment and excitement to our everyday surroundings. It creates a home that says “welcome”.Fall decor 2008 062
As mothers and grandmothers, we are setting the stage for a happy (or unhappy) home life. The things we do today will contribute to our family’s memories tomorrow. This quote by Gina Pearson is so thought provoking…. “It’s impossible to harvest something you don’t plant.” Gals, if we want to look forward to a bountiful harvest of joyful blessings and thankfulness, let’s plant joy, goodness and a festive celebration-of-life in our homes. Fall 2008 160“I value this delicious home feeling as one of the choicest gifts a parent can bestow.” ~ Washington IrvingIMG_2596 Here are some ways to cozy up your nest during this delightful fall season and a few thoughts on gearing up for Thanksgiving:1.) Gather your favorite cookbooks, sit at the kitchen table, pour yourself a yummy drink, and go through them, using post-it notes, picking out some new recipes to try or old favorites…..a hearty soup…smothered chicken…roasted vegetables…..snickerdoodle cookies…..pumpkin crunch bars….apple-pumpkin pie. Make up a menu and then a market list of ingredients to buy. If, after you try making it, and it’s a winner, you can make a copy of it and put it in a special seasonal recipe scrapbook, so it’s easy to find the next time you want to make it. My scrapbook is just a three ring binder with page protectors and dividers for, Everyday… Winter.. Spring…Easter….Summer…Thanksgiving… and Christmas.
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2.) Clean out the refrigerator and freezer to make room for make-ahead meals, soups and Holiday cookies to freeze. Discard old salad dressings…. the jar with one and a half pickles in it….the thing that’s wrapped in foil….the bottle of mustard with one squirt left. The pantry also needs to be gone through, throw out expired goods and make room for new ingredients that are part of your autumn menu tradition.
3.) Stock up. Each time you go to the market, begin to stock up on items you will need for Thanksgiving or other gatherings…canned pumpkin….sugar….spices…flour….cranberry sauce….jugs of apple cider….hot cocoa and marshmallows. It’s also a good idea to get extra foil, jars,  and other glass containers for holiday leftovers.
Fall 2008 159It’s much easier on the budget to purchase these items a little at a time rather than all at once.
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4.) This is also a good time to clean out the medicine cabinet and re-stock it, so we are prepared to care for our dear ones when they aren’t feeling well. Make sure the thermometer is working, and you have the essentials, a fresh bottle of Tylenol or Motrin, Imodium, Pedialyte (for kids) Cough medicine, updated prescriptions. It’s so much more convenient to have these on hand, rather than having to run to the Pharmacy at 10 pm or during a storm.

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I like to keep the makings for soup on hand, crackers, canned frozen juice, and Popsicles, for those unexpected bouts of colds and flu.

Fall 2008 1825. Be prepared. Keep a couple umbrellas in your car and a couple hanging in the garage or mud room so you are not caught in a downpour…I learned my lesson the hard way. A few other things we should have ready in the car are….a First Aid kit….bottled water…flashlights and batteries….ice scraper….jumper cables. I also keep antibacterial wipes in the car. Use them especially after touching a grocery cart. I saw a documentary on what was found on the handle after being swabbed… you don’t want to know (Ew!). We need to stay healthy to enjoy this glorious season!

Fall 2008 1836.) Have some Fall fun! Go on a nature walk and collect leaves, pine cones, acorns, and twigs. Enjoy the fresh crisp air. Go for a drive in the country, stop at a farm stand for a gallon of fresh apple cider.

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7.) Check on the Internet for pick-your-own apple orchards, Harvest fairs or pumpkin patches near you for a family outing. They often have hay rides and other down-home entertainment. If your kids have flown the coop, take a gaggle of girlfriends with you! Take home some happy memories.
“Create a memory that you will still be talking about 5 or 10 years from now.”~ John Maxwell

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8.) Count your blessings everyday. I call this Thanks-living. Having joy is a big priority for me, and one of the best ways to cultivate it is to be thankful for God’s goodness and His blessings. This is something we need to think about intentionally. Deliberately.

“If you haven’t got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don’t have, that you don’t want”. ~unknown
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9.) Tend to the five senses of your home. How do you want your home to feel, to look, to smell, to sound, and your food, to taste? Create a vision for how you want your home to be, then make a plan. Just remember, the little things you do, can mean a lot. Even if you live alone, remember, beauty inspires. Adding seasonal beauty in your home reminds us of God’s glory and His ever-loving presence…and that my dear, is so comforting. Take care of your emotional, physical, and spiritual self, as well as your family’s.
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10.)The main thing is to stay balanced, stay thankful, be prepared and have fun! Make sure to keep family a priority. When you are asked to commit to something outside of your home, before you answer, ask yourself “will this benefit my family?”, if the answer is no, then your answer should be no. (Our children are with us such a short time, and we can’t get that time back. ) For harmony in the home, I have found that morning’s run a lot smoother when you prepare the night before…lay out clothes… backpacks…papers….even set the table for breakfast if it will help.
For more Fall goodness you might like these cozy posts:
Thank you so much for stopping by my Autumn Housewarming!
God Bless your darlin’ heart!
Love, Aunt Ruthie

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