A Tiny Peek Inside My Autumn World

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As I may have mentioned, ad nauseum, I love autumn.  There are many events I get excited about (football, leaves changing, boots and scarves, my wedding anniversary, Halloween, my birthday) during this stretch of the calendar.  One of my favorites is driving up to the north Georgia Mountains to visit Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.  That’s where we buy our pumpkins each year and of course, enjoy a hay ride.  As has become tradition, we go with some close family friends and try to make a day of it.  The kids are getting older, and I think some of them may be over the ritual – but tough.  My children are going until they no longer live at home! 

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Seriously though, I’ll be sad when it’s just R., Bear and I.

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After the farm, we drove to Amicalola Falls and had picnic.  We’ve found a cool little spot that I cannot tell you about.  Selfishly, I love that it’s usually all ours – and if it’s not, I can guarantee you that my Bear will clear it out for us within fifteen minutes!  We had a great lunch, but it was unseasonably chilly on the day we went.  Some of us (moms) had gloves on.  Another bummer was that the leaves really hadn’t changed yet.  It was still pretty, but not as vibrant as I’ve seen in the past.

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I don’t know about all of you, but this year the season has been extra busy for me, especially with Hunter’s cross country schedule. I have no one to blame but me.  I’ve totally over-committed myself with conferences, classes and writing obligations.  Alas, I’ve been rather quiet here the last few weeks, which bums me out.  I’ve also had to deal with a few unexpected parenting issues.  Don’t you hate when you believe all is well, and then life decides to keep it interesting?  We had a Barrett incident that was very upsetting.  He’s fine, but he did go MIA on us for a short period of time recently.  I feel like I jinxed myself because I’d recently posted a blog about how great he was doing.  My husband’s been hot on the case to improve our security measures.  We’ve discovered that there are more options available to us now than there were a few years ago, when this was last an issue.  I’d like to thank those of you who emailed me after that post with your stories and suggestions.  It truly helped.  I’ll share more later, but thanks to our local Sheriff’s office, I’m breathing a little bit easier.

My youngest has been struggling quite a bit in school this year and I’m really sick over it. You would think that, given our history with autism and learning disabilities, it would take a lot to ruffle me, but Cammy is my baby.  I’m tired, exhausted really, of fighting battles on the school front.  Do you ever want to gather your children together and go live off the grid?  No?  I know it seems out there, but in my dream world we live on a big ranch and a patiently serene (and brilliant) version of myself home schools the children.  There are no emails about failing assignments, or issues on the bus, expensive extracurricular activities, or drama about clothes.  Just wide open spaces, perhaps even a protective (PABA free) dome, happy children and no worries.

Back in the real world, I have to ask – why are we constantly changing the way our children are taught? I have four kids (although one has always been on a modified special ed curriculum) who have had vastly different curriculum experiences for first grade, in the same school system, over seven years.  I hope I’m making sense.  What I’m trying to say is that teacher and student aside, for Hunter, Audrey and now Camden, first grade has not been the same.

Okay, off my soapbox. Now for an update…

If you recall, I posted in this blog hop a few weeks ago about being late for a very important date.  It’s time for me to come clean – I do not have a friend named Nancy.  The unfairly ticketed victim was me.  I was protecting my identity in the unlikely event that the post would come back to haunt me in court.  Yes, I know – a long shot.  But you never know.

I did decide to fight the ticket, but once in court I was quickly intimidated. It was not a pleasant experience.  So when I was given the option to plead nolo contendere, I went to for it.  I didn’t even have to ask.  The clerk looked up my record and basically told me to leave.  After the grumpy judge’s speech and spotting the officer who gave me the ticket in the courtroom, I didn’t have to be told twice.

At the end of the day, I paid a fine that was less than the ticket. It’s wiped off my driving record and no points on my license.  So I guess it was sort of a win.

I will leave you with this picture, of one of my favorite autumn views:

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 Amicalola Falls

How are you?  What’s going on in your autumnal world?  Have you been on a hay ride this year?  Are you ready for Halloween?

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This post is a link up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.  The prompt that I chose was to share a picture of my favorite fall view.  My apologies for taking it off the rails.

25 thoughts on “A Tiny Peek Inside My Autumn World”

  1. Can I come live in your protective (PABA free) dome?
    I’ll teach science and reading!!!

    Your first picture of all the pumpkins begs one to be in the autumn-mood!!!

  2. OMG I knew it! I knew Nancy was YOU!! Love that but hate that you had so much stress recently with Bear going missing – OMG the heart. The heart I also know exactly what you mean about just wanting to go somewhere and live off the grid. I want that all the time but I also don’t think I’m equipped to help Tucker thrive the way that others are or maybe I am, I dunno. What a week, Allie!! Seriously!

    I love the photos though. And your voice. And you.

    1. That’s because you know me (re: Nancy). I thought it was pretty obvious, but apparently it wasn’t. Maybe I should go back to fiction writing! And in my off-the grid fantasy, they wouldn’t need to thrive – they would stay with me forever. But seriously, I married a country boy and we talk about moving to BFE all the time, but it wouldn’t be fair to Bear, or the others, really. Thanks for the comment about the photos. I finally learned how to use PicMonkey and watermarks. Check that item on my conference action list. Love you too momma, and I’m so grateful for you friendship and support.

  3. I totally know what you mean about curriculum changes – my son’s class seem to be the guinea pigs for new curriculum every year. He’s in 8th grade, and he’s been taught math three different ways so far in his education career. Poor kid doesn’t know which end is up. Your photos are beautiful!

    1. Thanks Andrea. I guess what I don’t understand is – what was wrong with the way we learned? My daughter, who is very smart (of course!), has struggled with her multiplication facts and keeps drawing things out when she gets stuck. I told her to just memorize them. She told me she wasn’t allowed? What? I swear, that’s why I remember them now. They are burned into my brain from rote memorization. And then they teacher them algebra, with out multiplication facts – in the 4th grade!

  4. Great post Allie! Yes, I agree. Wish we could pack up our family sometimes and escape the craziness. I am one of the moms who actually loves it when kids are out of school. One less night of dealing with homework! Thank goodness we have the tools to help us live with gusto and enjoy every moment.

    1. Thanks Samantha. I love when my kids are out of school as well. Obviously because of the road trip, but also because of the open schedule and not home work! Trying to live with gusto, but it has been a crazy week. Just crazy.

  5. We really don’t have the concept of Halloween in India, so these images are an eye-opener! Simply beautiful… the raw colors and majestic lines. I am missing something major here.
    Your kids look so amazing btw :)
    Best wishes!

  6. Don’t get me started on Common Core. It is the bane of Abby’s elementary school education. And I still haven’t figured out the value of homework. We don’t take work home from work why should they from school????

    I’m sorry, so sorry, that Barrett went MIA. I just renewed Bridget’s LoJack and the comfort that brings me is worth every penny.

    1. I didn’t want to say Common Core – but yes, I do believe that is the issue. Thank you for telling me about the Lo-Jack! Bear is officially in the program. We’re also looking at some GPS/alarm options. I’ll let you know.

  7. So much to say…

    1. I can’t believe that you were missing your sweet Barrett. So glad that things are feeling safer for the time being…
    2. I day dream about living off the grid all the time! In my vision, we have a house boat and travel all around the world as I serenely and patiently (2 things I am not!) homeschool the girls.
    3. Our curriculum is changing all the time too. I have some big concerns about the public school system. Too big to really wrap my mind around… Hope you are able to navigate your issues easily and your littlest gets the help they need asap.

    1. Thank you Stacey. I like you vision of traveling all around the world. Maybe half the year traveling and the other half nesting in my hideaway oasis. As for the schools, I’m glad I’m not alone in my feelings, but it is very unsettling that so many are concerned. What are we doing to our kids!?!?!

  8. Yes, I do have fantasies about living off the grid, which we kinda almost do, but not having to worry about school and flu outbreaks and bullying and the like.
    I’d be a terrible teacher, though. Maybe my husband could homeschool! (in my fantasy world)
    Glad you came clean about Nancy! I didn’t suspect it, though.

  9. I also love fall!! That pumpkin patch picture is fabulous! I too have also felt particularly overwhelmed this fall. And I also feel like curriculum is constantly changing… hard to keep up!
    I’m sorry to hear your youngest has been having trouble and that Bear went missing recently. Even though I just “met” you, I already feel so connected to your world. I look forward to reading more!

    1. Hi Mimi! Thanks for stopping by. I lucked out with the pictures. We got to the farm super early, so I was able to catch a shot of the pumpkins before the crowd took over. I feel the same way about connection – now you need to get your blog launched so I can visit.

  10. Wow you HAVE been busy! I completely agree about how frustrating the kids schooling is and have definitely thought about moving to a ranch and away from all this madness.

    I’m so glad your son is okay, I can imagine how scary that must have been!

    And thank you for the ticket update! I can’t believe you used a pseudo name! I’m glad you can put that all behind you now!

  11. I used to have the same thoughts about going off the grid and teaching my children by myself and keeping them out of society’s clutches. I thought it would make my life easier. But now that my kids are grown I’m glad I didn’t yield to the mad desire. I know I wouldn’t have been calm, serene, brilliant or anything. I would have been ornery. I’m just glad I’m through raising teenagers. Hang in there. Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on

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