I have been trying to figure out a way for us to mark jump in a pile of leaves from our bucket list, where we live there are mostly pine trees. Unfortunately the maintenance crews have been doing a great job at the nearby parks, and there are almost no leaves on the ground. This morning a friend was a blessing by allowing us to be a blessing for someone else. Her father's health hasn't been well for a while and he had a lot of leaves that needed cleaned up, and invited us to help. After catechism and a quick lunch we set out to tackle the leaves.
The boys hopped out of the van and got right to work, there were more leaves than we thought. A short time later my friend and her children came out and helped us out. We started off my making a giant pile, but the wind was making that a bit of a challenge and made two piles, one for each family to play in. Having 16 hands helping to pile up the leaves it didn't take long before your piles were large enough to play in. both families chose a pile and jumped in, then just laid there. Waiting for the others to bury them. I was thinking, that's not how it done. I took it upon myself to call all of the kiddos over to the side of one pile and on the count of 3 we would all jump. I only made it to 2 before they took off and dove in, I jumped in anyways. I did the work of raking I should get to play too, right :) After throwing leaves at a couple of the kids they got the hang of it and was an all out leaf war. I was even tackled a couple of times. My poor friend has horrible allergies and wasn't able to join us in the leaves, she was kind enough to take pictures for us. After the leaf war we re-raked the leaves and Jordan helped me toss each kid into the pile. I left the leaves and the kids continued to play for a while, before it was time to bag up the leaves.
Having three boys I have learned the best way to get them to help with cleaning up after having a great time is competition. The kids were paired off and handed a yard bag and they raced to fill their bags first. Jacob and our friend Branden thought they were the winners until I crunched down their leaves and they had plenty more room until their bag was full. We filled more than 6 yard bags. My friend's mother invited us in for some hot chocolate and a short visit before we headed home.
We had planned on collecting the filled bags we had left last week for Scouting for Food, but decided to let some of the scouts who weren't there last week have the neighborhood we had. They well still get to help donate to a food pantry both through our church and when we shop for donations as a family for our local pantry.