When you were born near Halloween, my darling girl, Autumn forever changed for me. My sweet Pumpkin June, a name of two seasons, you gave October a magic that never will subside. All cozy days are wherever you are. You were the start.


My silly yahoo at Target, playing around with the Medusa head! Last week we made a Target run to get some new orange lights for our playroom and our patio and Celestial Seasonings Pumpkin Spice tea. At $2.39 for 20 bags, it is a bargin that helps me to cope with PSL season (only had two so far, both at Disneyland, and “cope” is not an overly dramatic term—I love those, and this is a difficult and tricky time of year for me as I continue to monitor and maintain my weight loss). Yet now I have this tea, which is far less caloric, far less pricey, and far less caffeinated (although it is made with a black tea so there is some). I have a cuppa almost every morning!

eric and mommy


My smart and handsome and kind-hearted, witty boy: you are loved for an eternity. You are…everything. The way you smell, the sound of your voice, your thoughts… As I tell you every night: anywhere you go, I want to go, too.


We went to Riley’s Apple Farm in Oak Glen on September 29th



My little family in the orchard


Pull, Eric, pull!


Eric gathered apples to make apple cider



Katie helped Amie and Boppa with their gallon of cider



Go, farm girl, go!



Mommy and Eric made a gallon of cider together!


Listening to bluegrass at Riley’s


We made apple butter with some of our apple harvest from Riley’s.



We also made baked apple donuts with maple glaze. (I am running, running, running, by the way, or I wouldn’t do this. My half-marathon is this coming Sunday)!


And with another part of our Riley’s harvest, we made a jar of plain applesauce and a jar of pumpkin applesauce…


In Autumn, this happens: lace dresses and chicken coop chores.


And we had our first egg…and our second…and our third…and now one or two almost daily…from our girls. It has been magic. They are delicious! I remember fresh eggs from my childhood—-what a treat! Katie loves checking for eggs throughout the day as we work on our studies.



More eggs!


There were batches of pumpkin muffins (no sugar, no butter/oil) with shards of 72% cacao.



October haul from the secondhand bookstore in Temecula. I found the last of our FIAR books that we needed (Ferdinand by Munro Leaf), plus Jan Brett, a Caldecott winner, an illustrated version of part of a Longfellow poem by an illustrator we adore, Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice, another Patricia Polacco book that we’ve checked out before and to go with our Polacco book we’re using for FIAR this year, several Magic Treehouse books, bios on Anne Frank and Rosa Parks, a book by Jane Goodall (a current interest of Katie’s after we finished her biography), and The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, which we’re in the middle of right now at Katie’s request. I have noticed that several former teachers bring books to this particular secondhand store, so when they are cleaning out it is the perfect time to augment our homeschool library. I am a children’s lit nerd, and it is the one thing I collect without too much reservation!

eric mumskatie mums

sarah mums

We had our annual planting of the mums, a McGaugh tradition even pre-kids!

pumpkin soup

Roasted apple (from our apple picking harvest) and pumpkin soup with homemade chicken stock as the base. Topped with 0% Greek yogurt and toasted pecans.



We used Trader Joe’s pumpkin pancake and waffle mix to make spiderweb pancakes (and not-very-awesomely-cut cantaloupe pumpkins) along with McGaugh eggs and apple sausage for breakfast yesterday morning.

‘Tis the season! It is time to be festive here in our house! We’ve decorated for Halloween and have been listening to some of our favorite Halloween tunes. I did make the mistake of showing Katie Michael Jackson’s Thriller video—she loves the song but is now scared to go outside by herself. Good one, Mommy, good one. I tried to play it off with, “Let’s learn the dance!” but I think all she can think about are the zombies punching their arms through the windows.

Sometimes I do get a wee bit zealous…