How to Tell When October Has Happened

I know when October is happening because the afternoons are suddenly clogged with giant herds of gangly teenage cross-country teams running up and down my neighborhood. This is what I get for living within walking distance of a middle school and a high school.

(Okay, I secretly admit that I love it.)

Eleanor really enjoyed running cross for the first time. She won the “most improved” award for her team. I hereby admit that I never got to see her run. I made a valiant effort to make it to a meet, only to have it cancelled owing to windstorms knocking branches out of trees. Grr.

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You also know October is happening when your kids are cuddling in sherpa blankets:

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And you have an overwhelming desire to put on a costume and prance around hay bales in a picturesque fashion. This is from the Sky Nursery Fall Festival:

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And if not hay bales, then at least giant pumpkin piles:

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know that it’s October because my life is consumed with Scout stuff. Somehow this year I managed to running a Girl Scout troop AND a Cub Scout den. I did not do this on purpose. It’s exhausting. But at least I got to teach the Webelos how to make Minecraft self-portraits. Here’s mine:

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I also did the Outdoor Overnight training with the Girl Scouts and my awesome co-leader, Brittany:

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We’re trying to get our Daisies outdoors as much as we can before the rains come back. Here we are working on the Outdoor Art badge:

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October is also the month when reading finally began to “click” for Katie. I’ve been teaching her how to read with the help of a homeschooling reading primer called The Ordinary Parents’ Guide to Teaching Reading. Since we need to arrive at school early for William’s safety patrol duties, we work on reading lessons in the car while waiting for school to start. It’s now one of my favorite parts of the day. This has been gratifying for me; Jeff’s reading difficulties were so immense, and my focus on him was so intense for so long, that I kind of missed out on teaching Eleanor and William to read. It’s nice to have one more little one to teach! I’m really relishing the process. Katie has found excellent friends in Frog and Toad. Thank you, Mr. Lobel.

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And of course Halloween lets you know that it’s October. . . or at least that the end of October is nigh. This is the first year that Jeff decided not to dress up at all. (Sniff.)

In the meanwhile, Katie was a witch, William was a penguin (oh, he loved that costume), and Eleanor combed through the racks at the thrift store to find what she needed to match her Minnie Mouse ears from Disneyland.

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We carved pumpkins (yes, that is an upside-down face you see. And a Seattle skyline)

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And then the piece de resistance, as always, is Trunk-or-Treat at church. This year Brian and I finally got around to making a shadow puppet show for the carnival. We had a “haunted house” story with lots of volunteers from the audience. I’m not certain that everyone in the audience understood what was going on, but it sure was fun to do. Brian even used a stick of cotton candy as an improvised “tree.”

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