If you ever want me to shut up about autumn, you’re going to have to cancel autumn. I mean, every single thing I love is in autumn. Just look at the colors in those picture books–they make me feel all warm and cozy and snuggled up next to a bonfire on a crisp fall night with a cup of warm cider in my hand.
Pumpkins are, of course, among my favorite things.
The Littles and I still carve a few pumpkins together every year. We still wait till at least mid-September to start using pumpkin spice creamer and stop using it after Thanksgiving. We make pumpkin pies, pumpkin donuts, pancakes, waffles, biscuits. Yeah yeah. I’m a pumpkin fuh-reak.
But my absolute favorite thing about pumpkins? Heading out to the local orchard to pick one. Oh, we grow them ourselves and we love to stop at roadside markets to check them out, but there’s nothing quite like going to a vast field of pumpkins, riding a hay wagon out to the center and rummaging through 100s to find the just-perfect one. We love it. Here’s one of my favorite picks of Littlest from a pumpkin-picking day. He was about 5 here. Wasn’t he too cute?
Our favorite thing to do is pack a thermos of cold cider for the drive to the orchard. Take a hayride, pick a pumpkin, have some pumpkin ice cream. Come home, have some pumpkin spice-spiked coffee and cocoa (what kind of mother do you think I am?!) and carve the first jack-o-lantern. It’s a wonderful way to welcome October and a great family tradition. If you don’t have a place near you that offers a big pumpkin field, try to find a farmer’s market or roadside market nearby. It’s just more fun than buying pumpkins from the store. And everything should be a bit of an adventure–even for you, mama.
After your pumpkin is carved, light it up from the inside, set it on the table in front of you, and snuggle up with a couple of books to read with your littles. Which books, you ask?
6 Sensational Pumpkin Books
Pumpkin Town by Katie McKy This is where I want to live. But the citizens of pumpkin town want all these pumpkins gone! Jose and his brother accidentally scattered seeds throughout the town and now the pumpkins and vines are Taking Over. The brothers feel bad about what they’ve done and they want to make it right, so they harvest the pumpkins and clean up the vines and make the town a little money in the process. The town is so grateful they give the brothers yummy watermelon as a reward.
The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha D. Arnold Want your littles to know why and how pumpkin is good for them? This tale of an old farmer who entered a famous Australian foot race (542 miles, in fact), and ate pumpkin along the way for energy is inspiring and based on a true story! Plus, most of us think of pumpkin as being in sweets, but Joshua Summerhayes will teach your littles that pumpkin is power food.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams Y’all know this is my All-Time, Very Favorite Book for this time a year. How could I leave it off a pumpkin list? If you don’t know this book, it is absolutely the funnest read-aloud ever as a brave little old lady walks down a path at night followed by articles of clothing that eventually make up a jack-o-lantern scarecrow. It. is. amazing. Oh, you want a Story Time with lots of crafts and activities? Done. Go get that sucker.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz I know, it’s such a cute cartoon that you just want to veg and watch it. But the book is just as cute and it gives your littles a chance to read! So much better than watching TV. (Though I admit, I own the cartoon. Can’t take the chance of missing it.)
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White Kids today might have trouble grasping what it means to be so poor you only get one type of food all the time–potatoes, pumpkins, whatever. But it was quite common as recently as in my mother’s generation and is not such a rare thing even today. You can imagine how much you’d hate pumpkins if that’s all you ate for your entire childhood. But when a large pumpkin falls of a truck and lands in Estelle’s yard, she is gifted with a bumper crop. Even though she hasn’t eaten pumpkin for years, she makes all those old recipes and shares them with her neighbors. A great story for showing your littles how to make the best of things.
The Littlest Pumpkin by R. A. Herman My boys loved this book. Especially Littlest who was littlest. It always reminded me of the Halloween version of The Little Christmas Tree. I love the spirit of the book–there’s a place and a time for everybody. Good stuff. So good, in fact, that you’ll want to come back next Monday for a Brand New Story Time for this book.
Not into coffee creamer? Try this awesome pumpkin drink instead. Like pumpkin cocoa. Ambrosia.
Pumpkin Spice Cocoa
What you need:
- 2 pints heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
What you do:
- Heat cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves
- Whisk in pumpkin, blending well
- Add pumpkin pie spice and vanilla
- Simmer 10-15 minutes until cocoa is warm
- Pour into mugs
- If you like, add a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
What to Read Wednesday
The most popular post from last week was:
And now for the link up!
Our hosts will still share a themed selection of our favorite books each week.
If you’d like to join us as a co-host for What to Read Wednesday, please contact Anne.
This list has our book themes for 2016, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!
If you’d like to link back to What to Read Wednesday, here is a pretty button for you!
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