cinnamon rolls

Family Fall Extravaganza: 2016

We celebrated our 2nd Family Fall Extravaganza the last weekend in October 2016.  We are in the states this year, so we made the most of the “fall-ish” things to do!

If you haven’t read Family Fall Extravaganza from last year, our family started a fall tradition to spend a weekend doing “fall-ish” things.  (1) Because that’s my favorite season and it means a lot to me. (2) We have a family we can start traditions with. (3) I LOVE FALL!!!!

We had a short weekend because My Love was gone Friday and we had meetings Sunday, but we made the most of it!!

Without further ado, here was our itinerary for the weekend.

Second Family Fall Extravaganza

Collecting Colored Leaves

Last year, we cut out leaves because the leave don’t change colors in Africa.  But this year we only had to go to our back yard and collect many colored leaves.  Friday evening, My love was still out of town so we had the kids’ Nonna come over and help us start our celebrations.

Pumpkin Coloring Pages
Colored some pumpkins with Nonna.

Thank-FALL Gifts

One of the blessings we’ve enjoyed greatly being state-side is family and friends.  I wanted to make a point to show them our thankfulness before we got into the busy holiday season, where gifts often feel obligatory. So we decided to make Hot Chocolate Mixes and Cinnamon Rolls to give to our families and close friends.

Thank-FALL Labels

I made up some tags and printed and cut them out to put on the jars and pans.  (Click and print the labels here!) Only later did I find out I didn’t have any cute string to attach the labels…so I used tape 🙂 So fancy..HA!

Hot Chocolate Mix

My mom has a great Hot Chocolate Mix recipe she’s used for years.  So I got that from her and made a double batch of it.


5 1/3 c. Dry powdered milk

2/3 c. powdered sugar

3/4 c. coffee creamer

1 lb. (4 1/2 c.) cocoa mix (I used Nestle)

1/4 tsp. salt

**Add 2 heaping spoonfuls to 8oz hot water & enjoy!

Isn't she so cute?!
Isn’t she so cute?!

I had Honey-Bear and Bub help me out.

Making Hot Choc

They each did a full recipe. I wrote the instructions of the back of the tags that I had printed.

Cinnamon Rolls

We HAD to do these again!! I made The Pioneer Women’s Cinnamon Rolls.  They are SO amazing! We made two 9×13 pans for our family then filled nine small foil pans to give out.

The Cinnamon Rolls
Whom ever said, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” was totally talking about these rolls!

I started the dough on Friday night then cooked them all Saturday morning.

Making icing with Honey-Bear
Making the icing with Honey-Bear.

I think they will FOREVER be a part of our Fall Traditions! SO good and SO worth the time.

Corn Maze/Farm Fun

My Love really wanted to go to a corn maze this year because we are in the states.  So we did some looking around and found one near us that had that and more.

Corn Maze

They had a whole farm of hayrides, pumpkin patch, tire swings, slides, farm animals, a big bouncy inflatable, and more!!  So we hit the road Saturday morning and spent the whole day out there.  It was a BLAST!

Family selfie
Family Selfie
Family selfie take 2
Take two

We almost needed more time to play, but when it hit 3pm the kids were so tired and slept all the drive home. 🙂 yay!

Yummy Dinner

A meat I crave often is Little Smokies and they can’t be found in Africa…yet! So I decided to make that the main course of our Yummy Dinner.  I added mashed sweet potatoes, which are a favorite of Honey-Bear’s.  Then we had peas and potato salad already in the kitchen so it worked out. I added some classy, candle light which the kids enjoyed and finished their plates just to blow them out. Ha–what ever works!

Yummy Dinner

I didn’t realize till I filled my plate that this Yummy Dinner was also Fall colored themed! We had the  green, yellow, red/brown and orange all in one meal–perfect!

Fall Movies

I didn’t do any looking around this year for movies, so we did the same from last year.

Curious George--A Halloween Boo Fest

“Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest” was on Netflix this year.

Amazon--You've Got Mail

And, “You’ve Got Mail”.  We rented it from Itunes to play on our AppleTV.  But My Love said we could buy it if it going to be a yearly tradition! Yay!


This isn’t a part of our Traditions, but since our Extravaganza weekend and Halloween were the same time I thought I’d add in our Family Halloween Picture.  Really, I just wanted to show it off!! 🙂

My kids LOVE Zootopia and Bub was SO excited to be Nick!  Honey-Bear liked the idea but once in costume, would not wear the ears. And look at our Little Brother!! So cute!!!!

Zootopia Halloween
We were the cast of Zootopia–Chief Bogo, Assistant Mayer Bellwether, Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, and Baby Toot-toot.


It was a great weekend of fun and tradition making!  We enjoyed being able to do more “fall-ish” things this year! We are grateful for our family and friends and the blessings we have!

I wonder what we’ll find next year?!

Family Fall Extravaganza

I remember the first Holiday Season after we were married (2009) telling My Love I wanted to make some Family Traditions. His answer was, “We can start that when we have kids.” Ha! So I have been patiently scheming in my head for a couple years of Family Traditions! To my surprise, two weeks ago My Love announced to me, “We should do a Family Fall Extravaganza.” 😀 In sheer joy I yelled, “YES!”

Fall is probably my favorite season: the change in weather, trees, school activities, sports, pumpkin everything, etc. But in Africa the trees don’t change colors, I’m not in school activities, Futball is the sport here, and they don’t even have orange pumpkins!! The weather does change—thank goodness—so we can escape the heat. And they do have pumpkins, they are just green on the outside.

So we compiled our list and this is what we did last weekend!

First Family Fall Extravaganza


We can’t find applesauce here so it has to be homemade and luckily 2 kilos of apples are only $4.  My Love found a great recipe here. We didn’t have enough juice left over this time for apple cider, oh well.

Cut out colored leaves

Fall leaf cut outs

My Love cut out leaves from colored paper.  Bub picked out what kind of leaf he wanted.  To our disappointment they weren’t too interested in coloring on them, but oh well, they’re always next year!  We hung them up on our door.


S'more supplies     Roasting Marshmallows

S’mores are My Love’s FAVORITE!!  This is what we found.  The marshmallows were not marshmallows, but it worked. You had to burn it to make is swell! HA!

Bub with s'mores               Honey-Bear with s'mores

Bub didn’t like that his hands were sticky, but Honey-Bear didn’t seem to mind!

Cinnamon Rolls

My mom used to bake a ton when we were little and I always loved her Cinnamon Rolls.  I couldn’t find her recipe but I found this one and let me tell you…they are AMAZING! The original recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. And the icing is killer!

Cinnamon Rolls--makes 48

This recipe makes 48 rolls, so I made half and froze the other half for a later date.

Bub helping with the icing.

Bub wanted to help! So he poured the icing over the rolls!

Yummy Dinners

Over the weekend, we made two fall meals (did you notice most of the things on our list are food?!).

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Saturday Night we made some Bacon Wrapped Chicken (a recipe from my sister-in-law) and mashed potatoes.  It was SO yummy!! Bacon is real treat here so we made the most of it.

And on Sunday night, we had a traditional Pumpkin Soup.  It was my first time to make Pumpkin Soup, and it was pretty good.  A spoon full of plain yogurt on top added some good favor.

Fall Movies

Curious George--A Halloween Boo Fest

We found “Curious George: a Halloween Boo Fest” in Amazon and in Netflix for the kids to watch.  Bub is a fan of Curious George.  I’ll have to look into some more fall movies for kids next year.  Any ideas?

When I thought of fall movies I could only think of football!  So…

Amazon--Remember the Titans

“Remember the Titans” was a must and we found it in Amazon too.  And with some investigating I found…

Amazon--You've Got Mail

“You’ve Got Mail” in Amazon. Which was great! They have beautiful fall and festive scenes that help ‘make the moment.’ What great movies, and CLEAN!

Lots of dishes
There were so many dishes, but it was worth it!

It was a fun weekend for our family to stop, enjoy intentional time with each other, and the wonderful gifts fall brings! Making Family Traditions is really fun!! What does your family do?