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{third annual harvest party}

I think this year I did the least amount of planning ever for a party.
Maybe it's because I've done this event for three years now, 
or perhaps I realized that regardless of the amount of work I put into it, everyone has the same amount of fun.

I did one big shopping trip about a week before hand, 
and the rest I did the day of the party 
{with exception of making cake pops and unwrapping 9 bags of caramels.}
I like how I say that like I did all of the work myself.
My farmer hubs and his farmer pal did most of the outdoor assembling... tent, fire, hay bales, and some amazing light decor above the tennis court.
My farmer hubs, farmer pal's wife Karli, who also just so happens to be a bestie, was equally as helpful.

With all of the hubbub of the party beginning and people showing up, I always, without fail, forget to take a picture of everything in full swing.
Luckily a friend of ours had his camera out, so in addition to my detail shots, there are some party ones too. :)

cold drinks.

hot drinks.

piñata! I forgot to get bags for the kids to put their candy in, however I had a bunch of popcorn cups left over from last years popcorn bar... they worked like a dream.

8 big batches of chili, 6 of which are in the pot on the right. Needless to say, we had some leftovers.

 Instead of a popcorn bar this year, we did caramel apples. They were a big hit, and I highly recommend it.

cake pops.

All of the kids seemed to have a blast. Brody crashed and took a nap about a half hour before the party started. He looks a little dazed still in this pic, but after the sugar from that cake pop got into his blood, there was NO stopping him.

 This year we decided to do line dancing as an activity. Turns out that out of the 75ish people attending, only about 10 wanted to participate. I was a little underwhelmed. But regardless, I had a fun time... even while holding my 30+ pound two year old.

This was at the end of the night... moments before a MASSIVE wind storm blew in.
Pretty typical for our neck of the woods.
People scattered fast. 
I've never seen a party clear out quite so quickly.
My house looked like a hurricane whipped through it with everything from outside being thrown inside.
In addition to dishes, burlap and straw/leaves strewn about, my children were crying and ready for bed.
Fun end to the night. :)

The party was super fun though. 
Thanks to all of our friends and family for coming...
you guys are the best! 



{beckam - five months}

Wellllll.... that was the fastest five months of my life!
I can't believe that my little baby is already so big.

Beckam, you are such a happy baby.
I feel so blessed to be your mommy.

You decided promptly after you turned four months old, 
that it was time to start rolling over. 
You hate tummy time SO much, that you took matters into your own hands.
High five.

The day that you rolled over for the first time, you also sat up by yourself for a bit.
You still enjoy to do so.
I certainly can't plop you down on the floor solo for an extended time yet,
but you're getting real close!

You are getting really handsy lately too.
Putting you on the counter in your bumbo to watch me make dinner is getting a little trickier.
The toys I pile in your lap aren't cutting it. 
You immediately twist your body 180 degrees to grab anything and everything in sight.
It's impressive.
Sitting you on my lap while I'm eating isn't very productive either.
You think each bite needs to end up in your mouth.
Soon... very soon.

You've spoken your first word.
It's cute. You obviously don't know what you are saying, but watching you figure out how to use your tongue to make sounds is adorable.

Brody appears to be your most favorite person.
No one can make you laugh as hard as him.
I'm not sure why you love him so much, seeing as though he is obsessed with grabbing/pulling at your hands roughly and very frequently.
Perhaps it'll make you extra tough.
You are starting to maul his face for a bit of revenge.
Unfortunately for you, he likes a good baby maul to the face. 
I do too though. 
Maul away my little cub.

Another talent that you've gotten really good at is blowing out your diapers.
TMI? Probably.
Luckily we just got your shipment of size three's.
A few weeks and a few ruined onesies too late.
Let's get this talent under control ASAP. Yes?

In addition to your blanket over the face sleeping habits,
you also are a kicker.
I watch you on the monitor...
You randomly pick up both legs and proceed to slam them both down on the mattress.
It makes the loudest thump.
We can hear it all around the house. Seriously.
I'm attributing this to gas.
But really, I have no clue. :)

You love it when I sing and dance for you.
Nonstop smiles.
Most likely you are making fun of me... or just being polite.
Or maybe, I'm just super fun? 

Likes: sophie the giraffe, anything you can grab and put IN your mouth, being tickled and smothered in kisses {it can always get a giggle out of you}, dancing.

Dislikes: being hungry? being tired? you are pretty chill most always really.

Love you to the sun and back my little monkey.
And that is A LOT of lovin'!



{pumpkin patch}

A few weeks ago my parents were here for a visit.
We took a little drive down the street to our neighbors "maze"/pumpkin patch.
Usually we wait until late October to get pumpkins there,
so this time we decided to be the very first people in the patch.
I like having first dibs better.

For the first half hour Brody picked a "baby pumpkin" that was never fully developed.
{You can see it in his hand in the family picture on the bottom.}
Finally we found the actual baby pumpkins, so he could tote it around instead.

Pappy and Brody went hand in hand past the big machines... as Brody likes to call them.

Beckam was mostly concerned about keeping his pacifier in his mouth.

My hubby just so happens to be an all-star daddy.

As does our good friend.

This... this is Brody showing affection.
Not sure where he learned it.

I don't think Miss Kaye is a fan.

I mean how cute are all of my boys!?
I'm one lucky lady!!

On a side note... one of my dear friends could really use your prayers.
His father passed away unexpectedly this morning.
Thanks a bunch!



{salted caramel apple hand pies}

One of my besties was telling me about a recipe she was going to try.
It sounded so good, I stalked down the recipe and made them also.

They were amazing.
And were ALL gone approximately 40 minutes after I made them.
Do yourself a favor and make them. 
You won't regret it.

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies


For the dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream

For the filling:
2 cups small diced and peeled Granny Smith apples
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
8 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped
Large flake sea salt
Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)


Make the dough:
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
Stir in the sour cream {the dough will be very wet}, and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8x10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8x10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the filling:

In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Assemble the pies:
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14x14-inch square. 
Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. {You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.}

Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. 

Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie.

Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they're golden brown.

Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.

You are welcome.
Happy Monday!

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