Monday, October 26, 2009

Apples From Roanoke

This past weekend we traveled to Roanoke, VA to visit my mom and dad. We had hoped the trees would be showing off their brilliant colors...

and we were not disappointed. Each day, they seemed more colorful than the day before.

The drive home ended up being the best view of the weekend.

Joshua took this picture. Kinda cool, isn't it?

On Friday the plan was to go to an orchard and pick our own apples. We had a hard time finding an orchard near by that still had apples left on the trees. And since it was a little drizzly we decided to go to an orchard and buy apples already picked.

not as much fun, but we still got apples!

And boy, did we get some apples! The orchard we ended up at had apples for about $0.50 per pound. So we bought 1/2 a bushel of Brae-burn apples and 1/2 a bushel of Golden Delicious apples.

what can I say, we eat a lot of apples!

Beyond eating and juicing them, I had a few more ideas of how to use all those apples...

I found this blog where the lady cooked in her crock pot everyday for a year. One of her recipes is homemade applesauce. Cooked in the crock pot of course! You can find it here.

First, we cored and cut our apples...

The quick way

I love this cutter from Pampered Chef!

We then put the cut apples in the crock pot with a little water.

While Seth took his turn cutting apples...

Noah rolled the lemon around on the floor to loosen the juice.

He rolled... and rolled... and rolled it.

sometimes you just have to put a little elbow grease into it, ya know!

Next Seth cut the lemon...

and squeezed it in on top of the apples. We also added some vanilla extract and cinnamon.

This is what it looked like after about 3 hours.

After another hour or so and a quick run through the Vita mixer this is what we ended up with from 12 apples.

I'm not sure I will ever be able to eat store bought applesauce again!

well okay, I guess when I have to pay $2 per pound for apples I will buy store bought... it's not soooo bad!

But until then I'll be goin' to town on all this yummy homemade goodness!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy 11th Birthday, Seth!

Happy birthday buddy. It is hard to believe you are eleven today. We are very proud of the young man you are becoming. I can't wait to see the special plans (Jeremiah 29:11-14) God has for you in the future... we love you. Dad, Mom, Joshua and Noah Oh yeah, and Mordecai and Spike too!0)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Garden Update

I had big plans for my first "Fall Garden". Unfortunately when school started everything including the garden fell by the way side. So here is what we have to date... lettuce (which is growing pretty good), cauliflower (which has been half eaten by rabbits) and 1 radish (which is not pictured here because I had already pulled it.) Even the mum I planted in the center is dying. :o(

Here is the one radish that made it... well sorta...

look closely and you can see the teeth marks from some animal.

It was a tasty little radish though! you don't think I'd let a little squirrel or rabbit stop me from eating my first home grown radish do you? of course there wasn't much left after cutting away the teeth marks!

Now remember the surprise cherry tomato plant that grew out of my compost bin? Well it is growing like crazy!

Look at all these cute little guys... in a few days they will be perfectly ripe to go with the lettuce from the garden.

I peeked at Seth's sweet potato plant and I actually saw a few buried in the dirt. Shhhh don't tell Seth I want him to be surprised when he goes to dig them up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Book 7/12

Yeah! I finished another book. The end of the year is quickly approaching. I'm not sure if I can squeeze 5 more book in by then, but I will not give up. I will keep pressing on and do the best I can.

Okay, so I don't usually read fiction books, but this one is great. We ended up getting "The Vision", which is the first book in the series, free with an online purchase we made. It's an end-times kinda book, but it has real facts intertwined in the story. Within the book there is an underlying theme of good vs. evil. It is packed with mystery, suspense, and an unfolding love story. Many times I caught myself wondering..."Could something like this really happen?". With stories like this it's comforting to know we have a God who does know the future. He's always there to care for us no matter what we are going through. When we cry out to Him, He hears us and delivers us from all our trouble. (Psalm 34:17) and that is real security!

To find out more about "The Vision" series and the many other books written by Mike and Debbie Pearl check out their websites here and here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fair Days

Last week we went to the Fair. For many, many years I have desired to go to the fair, but for one reason or another we hadn't been able to go. I was really excited that we made it to the fair this year. Monday was school days so we were able to get in for free. We spent most of the day walking around looking at all of the exhibits and animals. It was neat to see all the things people made for the fair. The photography section was my favorite. The boys liked the huge gourds and pumpkins. One pumpkin weighed over 1200 pounds. I don't know why I didn't think to take a picture of it? Anyway here are a few pictures that I did take...

Each boy found their Kindred Spirit in the petting zoo barn.

Can you believe this guy?... he really took a likin' to Noah! Of course it had nothing to do with the food he had in his hand.

And this Guy...

he tried to give Seth...

a big ol' sloppy kiss! Can't you just see the love in his eyes? I'm talking about the camel of course!

Then there's Joshua with his llama-llama. As he called it.

In the look-a-like contest, hands down, those two are the winners! :0)

I really liked this little guy. Would've taken him home except I didn't think Mordecai would be too happy with me.

Next stop... bumper cars.

We all rode the bumper cars except daddy, because he is still recovering. So he took lots of pictures for us.

We had a lot of fun on this ride. Some of us got a little more aggressive than the rest of us.

Thank goodness for those bumpers!

The boys also liked this fun house.

We didn't want to spend a lot of money, so we told the boys in advance we would only ride a few rides. And they were fine with that.

We stopped by our favorite radio station's booth and the boys had their faces painted. Noah chose baseball...

Seth got a snoopy dog...

and Joshua got a tarheel.

This was a fun day together as a family making memories that will last. We spent less than $50 and that included our lunch at the fair with dessert. Mike and I split a deep fried snickers... I just had to try it. If we go next year I will have to try the deep fried butter...YUM!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Noah's Spiritual Birthday

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

Noah has been asking us questions for a few weeks about wanting to make sure he was going to heaven and wanting to be baptized. After a few discussion about being baptized, we decided he was ready. The next step was for him talk to our youth pastor. After speaking with Noah, he too felt that Noah understood the commitment he was making.

He really wanted his daddy to baptism him so we had to wait another week for Mike to heal enough from his surgery. So today was the big day. Noah's favorite number is 4. Both times that he has played baseball his shirt number was #4. (without him picking that #) He realized this morning before we went to church that today's date is... you guessed it... the 4th! Cool huh?

So anyway let's get to the good stuff. Here is some video footage I took. It's very shaky at first (can't help it if mama was a little nervous... that is my baby up there ya'know!) but it does get better so keep watching cause it's a good one!

And here is my favorite picture... him coming out of the baptistery. Cold... wet... yet still beaming!