Storytime- Fall

We are reading:

book jacket Mouse’s First Fall

book jacket Who Loves The Fall?

book jacket Old Bear

book jacket A Friend for Noodles

We are singing:

“Five Little Leaves”

Five little leaves on the tree next door,

One fell off and then there were four.

Four little leaves all over the tree,

One fell off and then there were three.

Three little leaves where the wind blew,

One fell off and then there were two.

Two little leaves sitting in the sun,

One fell off and then there was one.

One little leaf in the tree all alone,

The wind blew and blew and now there are none!

We are making:

Go on a leaf hunt!

Walk around the yard or neighborhood and collect pretty fall leaves.  Bring them inside and glue them on a piece of paper for a fall collage, or put them under paper and make leaf rubbings with crayons.  Talk about what your favorite fall leaf colors are!

Some tips for you:

Kids can help with yard work!  Get them involved:

  • Visit your local hardware or toy store and get child sized yard tools.  Raking is a lot more fun with a tool your size!
  • Try to turn each yard project into a fun game.  Who can get the biggest leaf pile?
  • Make sure you give your child plenty of breaks.  It’s a good chance for you to stop and get a drink of water too.  Don’t forget some yummy fall snacks!

Happy Reading!

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What did you do?

We’re coming up to Emma’s seventh birthday, and I can’t help but remember how Ethan adored his baby sister when she was born.  He loved helping me with her, and I’d hear pleas to hold her all day long.

Just look at this proud big brother:

One of my favorite Ethan stories comes from the day we brought Emma home from the hospital.  He wanted to help me change her diaper, so he was right there when I took the wet one off.

Now, remember, he had a little brother, but this was Ethan’s first sister.

When I took Emma’s diaper off, his eyes got wide, he looked at me with a look of disdain, and said,


Ethan had a little chat with Daddy that night about how God made us.  

And I still giggle about how he thought I broke his little sister.


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My dad has had some ups and downs since Mom passed away last month.  Mostly downs…he’s been very lonesome.  I worried about him for a while, thinking that he just might not bounce back from this.  He tended to sit in his chair all day, thinking.  Spent a lot of time reading Mom’s funeral sermon and looking at the sympathy cards.  He’d go to meals and church, but that was about it.

I call him daily, usually in the afternoon before dinner or in the evening.  We got into a little routine, talking about Mom, talking about our days, and I’d ask him if he read any of his books or went outside.  The answer was always, “No.  I just didn’t feel like it today.”

Yesterday, when I called him, he was in a great mood, and excited to talk to me.  HE HAD GONE FISHING.

His assisted living home takes the residents on pontoon boat rides/fishing trips about once or twice a month in the summer.  This was the last one of the summer, planned at the last minute.  Dad said that when they asked him if he wanted to go, he said, “What the heck?  I’ll go.”

He had a fabulous time!  Between the 5 or so people that went, they caught 31 sunfish.  Dad said they were “little buggers,” but they “sure did like to fight.”  They didn’t keep any of the fish, but he talked about how much fun he had, and how good it was to be out on the water again.

This, folks, is BIG.  This is my dad, realizing that his life does go on.  Is he still sad?  Of course, and I am too!  We both have our moments from time to time.  That’s going to happen a lot, for a long time.  BUT.  He’s finally getting out there, doing things like this, living his life.  My biggest fear was that he’d waste away, not wanting to go on.  I wasn’t ready for him to go yet, too.  

He’s making it, my dad.  Day by day, he’s making it.  And I’m so proud of him.

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Peruvian Chicken Soup- Who Knew?

Our church had a Mission festival this past Sunday.  Our synod president was there, and he spoke on his mission work in Peru.  As part of the festival, a small group of us were asked to provide an authentic Peruvian dish.  I took to the internet, and found a recipe for Peruvian Chicken Soup.  

You know what?  It was delightful!

I’m very traditional when it comes to foods like chicken soup, but this was a delightful change–almost a chicken stew.  My husband gave me his compliments on it, which means it will be served again!

Peruvian Chicken Soup
  1. 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut in small pieces
  2. salt and pepper to taste
  3. 1/2 cup olive oil
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  6. 1 tablespoon seeded, minced serrano chile (I left this out because of the spicy.)
  7. 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  8. 1 cup green peas
  9. 1 cup corn
  10. 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  11. 10 cups chicken broth
  12. 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
  13. 1 cup uncooked white rice
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and serrano chili; cook until the onion has softened, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cilantro, peas, corn, and red pepper; cook for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth, potatoes, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is opaque and the potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
  1. Instead of simmering in a pot, I simmered everything in a crock pot for 8-10 hours. If you're home to do it, the rice can be added in the last couple hours or so.
Essie's Blessings

And there you have it–a new recipe for a cold fall/winter night!

Do you have a fun chicken soup variation?

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