Every Friday is Wild Card Weekend day! Here you'll find inspiration for enriching your life and home in thoughtful, yet fun and realistic ways. You never know what might turn up here...could be a music review, seasonal idea, book recommendation...so make sure to stop by every weekend to get some fresh ideas and join in the conversation!
My two older boys are out at "hunting camp" for a few days with their dad and grandpa this week, so it's been just the three younger boys and I. The pace of life has definitely been much slower around here. Sometimes I look back on what life was like for us five or ten years ago and I wonder why we don't have more time for "fun stuff". We used to do a lot more nature walks, art projects, and--one of my favorites--homemade decorations from things we find outside. But having four school-age kids (plus a toddler!) means that most of my time is spend planning, executing, and overseeing their education...or cooking and doing laundry! The last few days, however, have been a sweet reminder to me of how nice it can be to let yourself slow down now and then and just enjoy the season.
Solomon (age 6) decided he was interested in decorating our house for fall. So on Wednesday, he, Levi (age 9), and I took a long walk around our property gathering interesting things to work with. We live on 20 acres, but you could really do this anywhere. The edges of city parks, un-mowed areas around parking lots, vacant lots...you can find fun things to work with wherever you are! All you need is a basket, some scissors or pruners, maybe some jars and twine, a nice fall afternoon, and of course your children!
One of my favorite projects is making grapevine wreaths, so we made sure to gather a bunch of them.
Once you have gathered a bunch of items to work with, bring it all inside and lay it on a table or counter. Be prepared for a large but temporary mess. We found bright red sumac leaves, pretty red berries (NOT edible!), some black eyed susans that were still in bloom, dried seed heads that most people would call "weeds," and picked some mint and lavender from the garden.
I got out some old glass milk bottles from the basement and washed them up for some dried fall foliage arrangements. We loaded them up with a variety of dried leaves and flowers. Then we tied the herbs and black-eyed susans into bunches with twine and hung them up in the window. I'm really not sure how well the herbs will dry in that location, but it looks nice. Besides, we've been reading The Little House in the Big Woods, so it just felt like the right thing to do!
After that we got to work on the wreath. If you haven't tried this before, there's really not much to it. Just start by making a circle out of a thicker piece of grape vine and continue weaving in more vines, wrapping them around the "frame" piece as you go. It doesn't take long to make one this size, but it does take a surprising number of vines!
Then comes the best part: decorating your handmade wreath! We used some of the little red berries, fall flowers, and more red sumac leaves. The nice thing about making your own wreath is that, although the decorations you put on it will dry and fade, the wreath itself should last for years. Just pull out the old decorations and find new treasures! Come to think of it, this could be a great way to display things your kids bring you from outside without having to have them laying all over your counter. Unless, of course, they bring you living things like snakes and frogs. Please don't try to weave them into your wreath...haha!
I'm thinking we need to do this more often, even when the older boys are home. It was so refreshing to all of us to just relax and enjoy the beautiful fall season without worrying so much about the list of schoolwork to get done. So go ahead, give yourself a little break this weekend and let your kids help you bring a little autumn beauty into your home!
Take the next step:
What is available in your area right now that could inspire your home?
Set aside an afternoon this week to do some natural fall decorating! Share a pic your projects on the facebook page, or tag us on instagram @fullandgenerouslife!