Fall 2018 Bucket List
I almost didn’t do a Bucket List this season. Sometimes it feels like added pressure that we just don’t need. But this Fall, we DID need that little extra pressure. Three kids ages 1, 2, and 4 seem like a lot sometimes. Sometimes, it’s just easier to stay home. Sometimes it’s just easier to let them run around and make messes here at home. We’ve been in the thick of transitions, it seems, since May when we brought our 13 month old home from India. Adding a third child who is mobile right off the bat is a whole new ballgame, friends. Then, just when we felt like we were getting into the swing of things, school started and threw our new routine a curveball. It was back to work part time for me and daycare and school part time for our kids. There were new stresses, new meltdowns, new routines, and new insecurities for us and our kids.
Was it easy to go do everything on our Fall Bucket List this year? No. Are we glad we put it on a list, stuck it on the fridge, and kept it in sight so our girls held us accountable? Yes.
Looking at our list, it might not seem like much (I know I’ve told you before that we like to keep it simple), but it was as much as we could handle for this season. Memories were made, laughs were shared, and the girls were so excited each time we got to cross something off of our list. (Full disclosure, they fought about who got to cross it off each time too.) Here’s a glimpse into our fall fun.
We had never done this before, so we put it on our list. We went to Alldredge Orchards. The orchard is pretty big, but they rope off the area that you are allowed to pick from, and it’s pretty small. It was fine for us, though. We went early and it wasn’t too crowded. We all picked some Fuji apples and filled 2 small buckets. We fed the chickens, pet the baby goats, jumped on the bouncy mat, and played on some equipment. Overall, it was a fun morning, and the weather was beautiful.
The girls and I took those apples and made apple crisp (because I don’t make pie crust). We discovered that Hattie and I are the only family members who actually like apple crisp, but baking with the girls was pretty fun (although much messier and more time consuming) anyway.
Going to a pumpkin patch has been on our list for the past 3 years. We may need to figure out something to replace it with next year because pumpkin patches keep getting more expensive! We went to Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch for 2 reasons: 1. It was close to our house and 2. Children 2 and under were free. Everywhere else, children under 2 were free, so we got our 2 youngest in free AND got a group rate because we went with some friends from our small group. There are tons of things to do at Carolyn’s that don’t cost extra money: animals to see, playhouses, slides, a corn maze, a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch, and a new carousel (that went really fast -yikes!). We enjoyed letting the kids run around and play, and Judah got to pick out his first tiny pumpkin. The pumpkin patch itself gave us a lot to laugh about as well. Because it had rained for several days prior to our visit, it was nothing but squishy mud. I’m pretty sure Hattie fell down in the mud at least 10 times. Eliza also fell OUT OF her boots twice because she was running and ran right out of them once they got stuck in the mud. We were a mess when we left, but they still talk about playing in that squishy mud and, as I had to remind myself, mud washes out.
We left with a nice big pumpkin from the patch (which we never found time to carve or paint) and a tiny Judah-sized pumpkin that he picked out of a bin. Eliza also had a preschool field trip to Pumpkin Hollow at Deanna Rose Farm (pricey but fun), so we had 2 more pumpkins at home. All three kids got nice and messy painting pumpkins in an array of colors, but they were so proud of them. The girls were especially proud when they added a layer of glitter paint on top. I added their initials once they were complete.
Trunk or Treat:
Every year, we participate in Trunk or Treat at our church - Antioch Bible Baptist Church in Gladstone, MO. It’s a good excuse to come up with a family costume. If you know me, you know I’m allllll about that business. This year, per Eliza’s request, we were all characters from The Little Mermaid. Eliza, of course, announced immediately that she would be Ariel - as a mermaid and NOT a human. I asked Hattie if she wanted to be a mermaid too or Ariel with legs. Hattie surprised us all when she announced that she wanted to be Ursula. What!? After several weeks and several times of asking her, she stuck with Ursula. It was hilarious because she is so sweet and happy- definitely not the villain type - but she made an adorable “sea witch.” Judah was the cutest little lobster, I took the easy way out with a Flounder shirt, and Marcus humored us and was Prince Eric. It’s so fun to hand out candy and see the hundreds of trick-or-treaters who come through our church parking lot. Don’t worry, the kids got some candy too as they went through the back 1/2 of the trunk-or-treat maze. Eliza loves chocolate, Hattie loves peanut butter cups, and Judah is a big fan of suckers.
Make Trail Mix:
Okay, I’m not even sure if you can call our concoction “trail mix,” but my kids are picky. We threw together peanuts, candy corn, and m&ms. There was nothing to measure- 1 package of each - but my girls felt like they were really making something because we used measuring cups and a big wooden spoon. Eliza and Judah only ate the m&ms, Hattie ate the candy corn and m&ms, and Marcus and I got stuck with all the peanuts. Typical, right?
We only put this on our list because we were supposed to take our youth group to the corn maze this year, and youth pastor’s kids just go along for the ride when there are youth events. The weather did not cooperate, and it got rained out. It was going to just be an unchecked thing on our list until the pumpkin patch had a tiny, muddy corn maze. We totally counted it though.
Dress Up on Halloween:
How much simpler can it get? The girls had Halloween parties at school during the morning. I let them pick any costume from their dress up station to wear to school. Hattie went as Ursula again while Eliza mixed it up and went as Snow White. Judah wore a skeleton shirt with a belly full of candy. I’m glad they dressed up for school because Hattie got sick that afternoon, and we stayed home Halloween night. Eliza enjoyed passing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters. There were some tears, though, when she got ready for bed and realized that she hadn’t gone to our neighbors’ houses. Maybe next year, girlie.
Go on a Leaf Hunt:
This was my favorite day on our list. All 3 kids were in good moods, it was slow and relaxed, we got some fresh air and exercise, and it was just simple fun. Before leaving our house, the girls talked about what color of leaves they hoped to find. Hattie wanted to find a red leaf. Eliza really wanted to find a pink leaf. I let her know that we’d keep an eye out for pink leaves, but the closest we would probably find was red or orange. We grabbed our Halloween candy collection bags and headed out on a stroll around the neighborhood. The girls got excited about every.single.leaf that was seen. Judah found a leaf right outside of our house and refused to let it go for the rest of our walk. He wasn’t compelled to find any more, but he was content. Eliza and Hattie filled their bags with all the colors of leaves - except pink.
Once we completed one lap around the neighborhood, we took our leaves inside to make a craft. I cut the center out of paper plates and we glued the leaves around the edges to make wreathes. We completed them with bows made from pipe cleaners and hung them on the front door for the rest of the season. They actually held up surprisingly well for not pressing the leaves first, and they were there to greet any guests who stood on our porch.
Watch the Thanksgiving Parade:
After we made our list, we decided to travel on Thanksgiving Day, so we weren’t sure how we’d get this holiday staple checked off our list. We cheered for the encore showing that aired in the afternoon. Eliza loved all the singing and dancing, Hattie like the giant balloons, and Judah paid no attention to it at all. He was too busy eating and playing with extended family members.
Cheer for the Cowboys:
Their Texas-loving dad may or may not have influenced this item on our list. We are forced to cheer for the Cowboys every time they’re on TV - which is not all that often in Kansas City - but we cheered for a few games this season, including Thanksgiving Day. Any time any sport is on TV, our girls scream, “Go Cowboys!” Although, someone at church told Eliza that she should cheer for the Chiefs, and Marcus is not thrilled about her divided allegiance this year.
Well, that’s a wrap for the Mackey Party of 5 Fall Festivities. I’m sure there was more fun - and I know there was more screaming and crying and fighting and days spent on pajamas - but we are so Thankful for this season of abundance and our crazy crew. We also celebrated our first holidays as a family of 5. May we always praise God for these good gifts.