“But there’s a full moon risin’
Let’s go dancin’ in the light
We know where the music’s playin’
Let’s go out and feel the night.”

-Neil Young, Harvest Moon

The harvest moon is a yearly holiday for us. We make apple strudel, both to honor the season and also to pay homage to a line from Katie’s and my special song: “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. This was the first song I ever sang to her that first night in the hospital, a song I still sing every night to her, and the theme of her first birthday party.

Our McGaugh Family Movie Night (a weekly event) happened to coincide with the harvest moon and our apple strudel. We’re working our way through (again for Katie, though for Eric many are new) most of the main Disney films in anticipation of our upcoming trip to The Grand Californian, Disneyland, and California Adventure. Naturally, on a night when we were having apple strudel, we chose to schedule Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


After her morning soccer game (we brought the treat bags this week), Katie changed and did her own hair. She was so proud of dressing herself and styling her own hairdo, so I took a picture.



She was in the middle of working on her Draw Write Now workbook, something I did not prompt. She likes to work on schoolwork for fun… The girl is just like her mommy that way. 🙂


Making apple strudel…


Cozy movie night: pizza and strudel. I love to cuddle with them on the couch. Bill watches, too, from the big chair.



After the movie, we went out to dance and play in the moonlight.



Shadowy children underneath the moon…



Wild dance! I think it is so important for children to experience the outdoors at night and to be connected to all of nature’s cycles. It’s these kinds of whimsical moments that are worth breaking bedtime to experience. If there is one hope I have, it is to give my children the gift of whimsy, fancy, and imagination. Be serious and practical when you need to be (school, and at work), and be silly the rest of the time. I want to give them the tools to create their own magic, invent their own excitement. It is a way of looking at the world that, I believe, ensures a person is never bored. There is always something in which to engage and something to explore.

This afternoon we went to the birthday party of my brother and sister-in-law’s other niece Anna. So, Ashley’s niece by blood. That’s the way we roll in our family. Everyone adopts the relationships of everyone else, a bit like Eastern Indian culture it would seem. I think it is beautiful when families do that… My cousin-in-law Marshall started bringing his family to all of our events, and now Marshall’s brother and sister are like more cousins (in fact that’s what we call them) and Janie and Rob are like an aunt and uncle. My brother’s mother-in-law often feels like my mother-in-law, but with only the good feelings and not in the stereotypical way we see on TV. This is kind of a new world to me, since we’ve only discovered the idea of merging families now that we’re (the cousins) are all getting married. And it just so happens that Beth’s in-laws (the Booths) and my brother David’s in-laws (the Rybas) are super open to merging. I am sure that if Hannah’s or Fon’s family lived here, we’d hang out with them all the time, too. It probably helps that the Booths and the Rybas tend to be friendlier people on the whole than the Maticses generally are. 😉 I cannot speak for EVERY one in the Matics family, but several of us have inside jokes about how standoffish we can be. We know we’re slow-to-warmers, but once you have us, we’re very, very loyal. We just want to get to know you…



Anna is ready to blow out her candles! Her smile while we were singing to her absolutely was one of the sweetest smiles I’ve seen in a long time. It went right to my heart. Anna’s namesake is her great-grandma Beatrice Anna (to the right of the picture), and I think they have a similar spirit. Anna gives the best and most heartfelt hugs just like Grandma Bea, an open spirit, like there is nothing in the way of their connection…pure.



Anna and Eric play at the piano. Birthday party duet?




Ready to open presents!



Eric laughs with Amie-Nani.

We had a great time at the party. Lorraine and Steve have chickens, and we went outside for a bit to visit with them. Their soft gutteral sounds remind me of childhood. Chickens are so peaceful and mellow.

Tomorrow is October 1st! We’re having a decorating festival (just with ourselves) in the afternoon. We really go to town with the Halloween decorations… And we’ll make our first pumpkin bread of the season tomorrow, also. My favorite month begins in just a few hours…!!