Not sure what it is about this time of year, but I’m in a good mood for three whole months.
Corn stalks and hay bales.
It’s probably the sweaters. I look really good in a long, loose sweater. If it covers my butt and my gut I’m quite a vision.
Fall Fun with the Neighbors
There’s a few traditions I love about this season, too. Our caramel apple tradition began about fifteen years ago when we moved into a new neighborhood in California. I was pregnant with number four and my other three were 2, 5 & 9.
I never made caramel apples as a kid and thought it would be a fun thing to do. So, I told my kids to go out and invite any of the kids in the neighborhood to stop by–and they did.
This year, my youngest is fourteen and isn’t much interested in making caramel apples. Which meant I didn’t have kids who were interested. But, Grace has a few very favorite families she babysits for in our new neighborhood. So, we started there.
Tips for a Great Caramel Apple Extravaganza
The Dollar Tree is a great place to grab bags of cheap candies to decorate with.
Want to save time? Purchase wrapped caramels. It’s waaaaay easier than trying to make homemade caramel. Two bags make approximately 4 apples. I enlisted my fourteen year old to stand and stir the gooey concoction on low heat so it didn’t burn.
Have stations ready before the kids show up. We put out paper plates so they could take their
messyahhhmazing apple home.
Have baby wipes on hand! I text my friend to bring a bunch. My baby wipe days are over–thank you Jesus.
Have a parent on hand by the table when the kids are creating. It helps to have two adults on hand. One to handle the dipping and one to oversee the table of tiny creatives.
Don’t forget to warn the kids that caramel is HOT. Like melted cheese or candle wax–it can burn. I was the official apple-dipper. They waited a couple minutes for it to cool a bit before they began decorating.
As you can see, a few of our neighbors came over with the kids. WHICH I LOVED. It was fun to visit while our kids got their sugar fix. It only took about thirty minutes and they were wound like tops and burning energy outside.
Getting to know your neighbors is a lost art in America. Most of us drive home after work and keep to ourselves. It’s easy as a mom to focus on your kids and run from one thing to the next — never making time for the people who live right next door.
Make this fall season your good reason to open up your home. If you’re allergic to kids in your house too long, this project took thirty minutes. Your house doesn’t need to be spotless. As a matter of fact, it would probably bless your mama-neighbors to see you’re not perfect.
Mine are quite aware of this fact.