The beginning of October (the 2nd) found us arriving home from our last tour of the year! 
Morning sunrise of champions. So beautiful.
October started out green and gorgeous. It actually stayed beautiful all month long, even though the green began to fade as the grass grew brown and the corn turned golden.
We began clearing out the gardens…
As I mentioned, the weather in October was amazing. Our peppers produced so well this year! Some days it felt like we were never going to finish canning jalapenos. There were SO many. 

Allison left the beginning of October for her missions trip to Mexico. (full post coming soon on that by her!) Before she left she had many meetings and goodbye visits with friends and also finishing up work projects. She loved spending a little time with this angel and her family. =)

Speaking of jalapenos? Try stuffing them with cream cheese + seasonings, wrapping them in bacon, and then throwing them on the grill. Oh MY…
Gluten-free, sugar-free dessert goodness right here.
Mother + daughter chicken cutting duo after getting a batch of butchered chickens from our Amish neighbors. 
Carson designed new business cards for one of our family businesses. 
Elizabeth is our up and coming decor queen. She and Rebecca and pinterest had a little meeting of the minds one sunny afternoon…
Finished product! Sweet!
We celebrated two birthdays in October-Moms + Hudsons!
Birthday Blitz, anyone?! Pretty sure the neighbors heard about it that night…literally. =)
Tractor rides with Josh, hauling grain!
A good morning out for Carson!

Such a treat to be able to attend two weddings in the north, back to back! A friend’s wedding in Minneapolis on Friday, and our cousin’s wedding in Wisconsin the following day. It was a grand sister trip. Pictured above with our cousin, the groom…

Never a dull moment spent with our beautiful cousin loves!

Sunday dinner + company + good food + what more can you ask?

Music practice! Taylor, teaching himself the dobro.

Oh, you know, just letting out a pen of cattle for their routine daily stroll gallop across the countryside, and the gardens, of course. Apparently some absent minded (or absent hearted? =)) Bontrager son left a gate open. Name withheld to protect the guilty. =)

Pizza party + movie night to celebrate Hudson’s 11th birthday!

He decorated his own cake. True farmer style. And true Bontrager style with NO frosting. =)
Denver loading out hogs!

Mitchell and Carson, getting the equipment ready to go once again.

There are always those days when things just don’t quite go as planned. As is our custom, names shall remain unspoken to protect the guilty. We shall just say that two certain middle brothers were the, er, first on the scene. Or that they WERE the scene. Or something of that nature.

Beautiful Iowa landscape outside my window while out driving one day.

Carson wielding something…and sparks flying.

Flowers from dad for moms birthday…

Rebecca has been growing up and stepping in to help with more chores around the house. She recently started mopping the dining room floor, and she does a lovely job of it!

Our church hosted a Sunday service on our town square. The idea was to make the “church experience” more comfortable + easily available for people who wouldn’t normally step foot inside a church building. It was a great day; lovely weather, incredible food, and a good crowd.

October was full-blown harvest season! The combine started early in the mornings and ran til late at night. Denver + Carson both spent several days running the combine this year, in addition to Dad, who always does most of the harvesting. They loved it. 

Story time with the infamous “Miss Denver” (inside joke)
So these dear kiddos…their mother has been teaching them to call their babysitters/helpers,
“Miss ____”. Well, naturally, Denver is the very wildest and most fun babysitter you could imagine. So you would probably call him “Miss Denver” too. =) =) =)

Our hard-working farmer crew. These guys spent days working almost around the clock, hauling manure for large-production hog farmers across our state. I drove with them a few times to bring an extra vehicle with moving things around and so I got to get a few shots of them on the job.

Moving equipment from one job site to the next…

Our Sunday noon table, filled, more often than not, with friends and family. We love this sight.

AMAZING feast.
Taylor, hard at work feeding those hungry babies!

The end of the month, Josh headed out to Indianapolis to attend the fall “Harvest Fest” at his college. He had a fabulous time connecting with old friends and making new ones. He especially loved spending time with his fellow student/amazing cousin, pictured above with him right after the 5K run.
Doesn’t get much more precious than this. He’s gonna make a great daddy someday!

Facetiming with Allison after a big family party one night. Ah, how we missed her. Gotta love Rebecca’s expression in this picture. =)

Push ups happen everywhere. Thankful for this workout leader brother who keeps us all daily inspired to “in whatsoever state/place we find ourselves, stay fit!” =)
Mitchell singing in an ensemble with some of the other young people from our church.
Mom organized a homeschool history + music class that lasted for six weeks, several hours each week, taught by a friend of ours. The younger five participated along with a number of other homeschoolers. It was a great experience for them and they learned a lot!

Boys and football. This never grows old around here.

Matching friends, working in the kitchen together!
Four-man pushups with workout friends. This goes along fine as long as you don’t start laughing. Its also proven that it is harder to do if you have approximately ten sisters looking on and laughing while videoing. =)

Our orchard produced abundantly this year. We thought we might be eating apples until 2020 at the rate they were growing!

Elizabeth is becoming quite the proficient chef. She helped out with a lot of the cooking while Allison was gone. 
School continues for the littles. Taylor is in high school and works mostly on his own, but mom still has these three little chicks under her wing!
Carson got this picture out in the field one morning. So much to love about this view!
Love this shot one of the guys took from on top of one of our barns. 

“Home is where love resides, laughter is plentiful, 
friends always belong, memories are created, 
and love never ends.”



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  1. "Miss Denver"…so hilarious! And that picture of Mitchell with the baby is absolutely precious. Looks like y'all have had a wonderful fall! Hope y'all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Fun and exciting and amazing and funny post lov the pics lov it can't wait for the next one hugs lov u an God bless u guys happy thanksgiving so thankful for y'all

  3. Leading the class of 14 in the study of the founding of our nation while also trying to expand the musical horizons of the same 14 was a challenge I looked forward to each week. Teaching Denver, Taylor, Elizabeth, Hudson, Rebecca, Kaylee, Chloe, Kyle, Levi, Berend, Jurgen, Jaden, Sydney and Jayse was the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. The most funny part of the class was watching Rebecca try to play my trumpet. I wish I had captured that on video.

  4. Tell Rebecca that a fun way to mop is to get a large-ish pail of soap and water, don some socks, step into pail, then go scooting around, scrubbing with your feet. A fun diversion, if nothing else! 😉

  5. Precious memories! I love Liz & Rebecca's decor project – simply beautiful! We were blessed by the apples you all shared. 🙂 And the Denver babysitting story…I'm dying. xP Much love!

    1. I know that no matter who they will be one very happy man or woman. I can say that all have been raised well and all have much more to offer then outer appearance.

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