Fall dropped in the other day. It suddenly became crisp and golden outside. That was the day AFTER we went apple picking! But it was beautiful, sunny and warm on the day we went to Cider Hill farm. The orchard is up near the New Hampshire line, beautifully situated in the hills, with foliage and even a New England country church spire adding its picturesque touch. We always go there with our friends the Celentanos and the O’Callaghans on one of the fall Jewish holidays, when the kids are out of school. The kids are all friends, and we always have a wonderful time. There’s just nothing like cider and freshly made cider donuts right in the orchard!

So we have ALL these apples (and fresh peaches, too!) and I still haven’t made a pie or anything. AND, we’re going again this weekend for a family outing on Quinn’s birthday. Will and Clay both missed it last week, so it’s definitely a repeat… for the donuts if nothing else! But what am I going to do with more apples?

The other sure indicator of fall around here is the appearance of mums everywhere. We have, indeed, done our planting. The hardest part is pulling out the by-now-pitiful summer flowers to make room for the full, hardy mums. I had a little private funeral for the salvia, impatiens, and daisies we took out. Didn’t admit it to Clay, though!

Quinn and I are home this morning after taking Claire to school and then playing, playing, playing in every park on the way home (there are 3, plus the play vehicle fleet in our own driveway). If I had a nickel for every minute I’ve spent in the park with my kids… Anyway, we’ll reverse the route in a little while and walk up to get Claire. Then later this afternoon is Chloe’s first cross-country meet. She’s excited, but a little worried. She’s having severe ankle pain again this season. And you all know Chloe well enough to know that if she’s complaining about it then it really does hurt! So getting a doctor to check that out is on our to-do list. I also must mention that there are some fun pictures from Chloe’s class raft-building event last week: They divided into teams and had to construct and float rafts on the harbor using a pre-set package of materials. Chloe’s team won, and it looks to me like she was in charge! There are a ton of photos, but look for a triangular-shaped raft. Chloe has on a dark red t-shirt (but sometimes a black hooded sweatshirt over) and gray shorts. My favorite picture is this:

I’ve just remembered that this was almost Quinn’s birthday! We checked into the hospital on Sept. 19, 2005– all ready to meet our little boy. Then they sent us home for various reasons. So Q got a 4-day reprieve, and we had to wait, wait, wait. Either way, we just missed Uncle Todd’s birthday (Sept. 20)– happy birthday tomorrow, Todd!

Needless to say, we can’t wait to get Will home this weekend. He had a great time at school last weekend (but I suspect he didn’t get much sleep)! There are pictures of the weekend activities on the Brooks website (– look under “headlines” on the right-hand side of the page for “field day” and “casino night.” I didn’t spot Will in any of them, but it’s still fun to see what he was doing! In general, I think he is loving it at Brooks– in fact he has told me so several times. He’s really working hard, though. The other night was his first homework crisis– overwhelming load for one class made him stay up late and get up early to finish. But he handled it well– I’m really proud of him. (Hope I’m not embarrassing you, Will!) His days are packed full. I’ll try to link to a copy of his schedule if you’d like to see: Will schedule.doc. It has been hard to get used to the fact that many days we talk just long enough to say hi– especially now, when I really want to know everything that’s going on. But learning how to manage all of his commitments is part of this experience, and I’m trying to give him room to do that. (Although, Will, if you’re playing video games right now, stop at once and call your mother!)

Quinn has just fallen asleep on my chest. He got into a little– well, a lot– of trouble for messing with the Bose. He just can’t keep his little hands out of the electronics! Anyway, as I comforted him after the trouble, he just dozed off. At first I thought he was keeping his eyes closed to hide from me, but I guess he was just a sleepy guy. So I’ll sign off now to go get the stroller ready to wheel him up the hill for Claire’s pickup. Life seems so mundane when you’re a stay-home mom… and then you realize how precious it is to have them fall asleep in your arms.

My friend Amanda just stopped by with some pictures on CD, so I’m making a late addition to the site… Quinny has a little nap on the trail. He was so crashed when we got there, he slept all the bumpy ride up the hill. And below, all the kids (minus Will this year) pose at the entrance to the Peach Trail.

Happy fall, everyone. Love to all!

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