fall-family

Hooray for fall! Falling leaves … and temperatures. Football, festivals, and fabulous food with family!

Here is our list of must-do activities for November. All you have to do is choose one (or 10!) from the list and concentrate on making memories with your family. Have fun! Every MOMent counts!

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back on Sunday, Nov. 4 (in 2012), and “fall back” for the ending of daylight saving time.

  • Put the kids to bed early, and spend that extra hour connecting with your husband, or in a long leisurely bath.
  • Reuse your leftover pumpkins.

Take your leftover uncarved pumpkins and turn them into turkeys for Thanksgiving with a little felt and construction paper. If you have carved pumpkins quickly decaying on your porch, use them to start a passive compost pile; just put them in a corner of your yard, cover with dirt and fallen leaves, and let them be. Or return them to the pumpkin patch to be mowed over with the other pumpkins.

  • Add flowers to your decor.

Forced bulbs are a lovely and simple way to brighten up your home; not only do they look beautiful on the windowsill, but the lower temperatures near the window will help them stay in bloom longer. To make things easier, you can buy pretreated bulbs or kits — just pot them, water, and wait for them to grow. Don’t forget to pick up some mums for your front porch, too!

  • Celebrate November 1st–All Saint’s Day.

If you have older kids or tweens, have them pick a saint to tell you about. If you have younger children, find some story books about saints. Here is a Catholic site about saints.  If you’re not Catholic, you can still enjoy learning about martyrs or heroes of the faith.  Here are a few books to get you going: Caedmon’s Song, The Life of Saint Brigid, The Ravens of Farne, and Saint Nicholas.

  • Bake cookies.

Make your favorites or try something new. Try making a giant sugar cookie and decorating it to look like a pumpkin pie by using orange frosting and halved pecans around the edges.

  • Get a head start on gift shopping.

Spend an afternoon shopping online now and avoid the holiday rush in the malls come December. Better yet … think about ways you can truly bless the people on your list with gifts of service and time instead of things.

  • November is National Adoption Awareness month!

Do you know anyone that was adopted? Or has children that were? Thank God for your friends and for His adoption of you as His child. Consider what you can do to help the fatherless–even some as simple as baking a dinner for a family with their hands full with newly adopted children. It makes a difference.

  • Celebrate Black Friday/Cyber Monday or Buy Nothing Day–that Friday is called the same thing now.
  • Make or start a gratitude journal.

If you haven’t made it a habit to count your blessings every day, begin now. Write down the little things you are thankful for each day and see how this simple exercise changes your heart.

  • Think about people you know who are far from their families and invite them to Thanksgiving dinner.
  • November 17th is Homemade Bread Day!

Try your hand at making a loaf of bread from scratch and enjoy the wonderful aroma (and taste) of freshly baked bread in your kitchen.

  • Plan to volunteer together as a family. Serve Thanksgiving dinner in a homeless shelter or deliver meals to elderly or ill neighbors.
  • Bake gingerbread and get ready for Advent.

In the rush from Thanksgiving to Christmas, don’t forget to take the time to prepare your heart for this special season.

  • Clean out your pantry and donate to the food bank–just in time for Thanksgiving.
  • Test out a new soup cookbook. Chilly weather is here, folks!
  • Help in a soup kitchen or church ministry to provide Thanksgiving to the homeless or those without family.
  • Make s’mores in a bonfire or the family fireplace.
  • The second week in November is Children’s book week. So go to the library, snuggle up on the couch with your kids (maybe some hot chocolate, too) and read aloud.

These things are leftover ideas from last month, but they still apply!

  • Take a nature walk with your family and collect colorful leaves, acorns, and twigs. Fill a wooden bowl or basket with your fall treasures, small gourds, or mini pumpkins, and sprinkle in a little fall-scented potpourri.
  • Take a snapshot for your family Christmas card and develop early to beat the holiday rush and get early bird specials.
  • Serve Hot Spiced Cider with your popcorn on your family movie night or after raking leaves.
  • Plan a weekend away in a remote cabin with your husband to unwind and enjoy nature. Make sure your cabin has a fireplace, and don’t forget the hot chocolate!
  • Give your kids a stack of fall leaves and encourage them to design a picture around the leaves. Does that leaf look like a bird wing? Or the feet of a deep sea monster?
  • Tailgate in your driveway or living room. Make the great tailgating food, but avoid fighting the crowd with young kids.
  • Introduce your family to the seasonal joy of pumpkin ice cream! Visit your local ice cream vendor, buy Edy’s at the grocery store for a limited time, or make your own!
  • After the nature walk to collect leaves, make crayon rubbings by placing the leaves under the paper and scribbling back and forth with crayons until the imprint of the leaf is revealed. The kids will think it’s magic!!
  • Put leaves and crayon shavings in between a folded piece of wax paper and iron on low heat; it makes a “stained glass” effect.
  • Rake the leaves together as a family and enjoy jumping in them together. Take pictures and video.
  • Find a favorite spot where the colors of fall are beautiful, create a tradition, and go there each year to take photos of your kids and family.