Friday, September 27, 2013

Cider Pressin'

Mmm, fresh apple cider just "spells" fall, doesn't it?!? 

We took a last minute whirlwind trip to visit our good friends, a couple hours away, on Sunday! Little did we know they had an afternoon treat planned for us! :)

This is Aaron's apple chopper (I have no idea what it's actually called!)... powered by a stationary engine! 

Freshly washed apples... 

... and some very willing helpers to throw them in the chopper!

The littlest ones certainly didn't want to miss out either! :)

Soon the daddies decided it was time to speed things along... which upped the entertainment factor a smidgen! 

As you can guess, a couple apples got swiped before they made it into the bin!

In no time the apples were all chopped into teeny tiny pieces...

... and were added to the press. 

Caution - if you just ate lunch you might not want to look at this next picture! It has the potential to make you toss your cookies!

While the daddies were getting everything set up, Wyatt impressed the ladies with a little engine know-how!

He's so cute! Cartoons on TV, nah... not his thing! But a video of a stationary engine running, and he'll watch as long as they let him! :)

And if my girls are anything like their mama, they'll take notice of a guy who's not afraid to get his hands dirty!

The girls were so excited... they tried catching the little itty bitty drops of juice that trickled out!

After lots of turning...

... and more turning...

... and help from Daddy...

... we finally had a pail full of yummy goodness!

Mmmm, mmm, mmm... but Gramma and Grampa... I still haven't tasted yours for the season so be sure to save a couple gallons for us, please!! :)

Here's a video of the crew while they were pressing the cider...


... the way Alia yells and jumps out of the way when the apple "sch-tuff" is squirting out of the press
... how Aaron says not to let him get dirty when he comes closer for a better look


Right AFTER this video was taken Alia commented about "perfect timing" as she barely missed a huge squirt of apple "sch-tuff" spraying out... then got majorly whopped with "sch-tuff" only seconds later!

Hilarious! I know I should have been more compassionate, and I really did try... but I just could not stop laughing!

So next time we'll be sure to get a cloth to put the apple bits in before pressing... and I'm sure Alia will be reminding us about that all year long!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bus-ing a Move

*sigh* We did it. This was harder than I realized, but Alia has rode the bus THREE times now! :)

Her first trip on the bus was a whole family affair, as you can imagine!  

We all walked her across the road to the bus stop (which we can see from our house, so that's extra nice!)...

... and waited for the bus together.

Then slowly, memorizing each step, I watched her step up onto the bus.

And her sweet bus driver wished her a "Good morning" and said "Let's get a picture for Mom, shall we?!"

And I quietly praised the Lord for such a wonderful neighbor to be there greeting her each morning... and for letting me click click click away with my camera!

She beamed, and she waved, and she smiled...

... and Larren and I cried the whole walk back to the house while Daddy told us everything would be okay.

And then Larren, Caidrie, and I quickly got in the vehicle and we rushed to school to welcome Alia off the bus and greet her with hugs and "How was it?!" 

We did that for two days... and then she bravely went on the bus... on her own... and got off the bus... on her own... and walked to the door she's supposed to go in... on her own... and waited there with no one to wave to before she went into the school... on her own.

And us Alia admirers at home... we made it! We managed... and even had some fun!!

So yeah, if she said the word I would gladly whisk her to school every morning in our family bus (a.k.a. the Expedition!) but for now.... she loves it, and thinks it's the coolest thing to be going to school AND riding a school bus!!

Letting go one bus ride at a time... that should be a new country hit song title or something... don't ya think?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Officially a School Girl

Whelp... we've got one full week under our belts. This has been a HUGE adjustment, but Alia is now a school girl! She started kindergarten and is thoroughly enjoying it! 

The night before her big day, we read a letter to her that we'd written (inspired in part from this blogger), gave her a new book about school and had some prayer time together. 

Oh sweet Alia,
Tomorrow is a big day... your first day of kindergarten - wow! We are so proud of you and we know you will have a wonderful time. It might be hard at first to leave Mommy, Daddy, Larren and Caidrie, but the Lord will be with you and He will help you be brave! He will also help you make new friends and to be kind to the kids in your class who might not have very many friends.

Alia honey -  we do not care if you are the smartest, or the fastest, or the coolest, or the funniest. There will be lots of contests at school and we don't care if you win a single one of them. If you don't get straight A's, or have the most friends, or swing the highest at recess... that's A-Okay. It's not about having the best clothes or the coolest toys.

We don't send you to school to be the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly can and you can't to anything to lose that love or to earn more!

We send you to school so that you can show Christ to others. You have Him living in you and there are so many people who don't know Him yet. You, sweetheart, can show them His love... His kindness... His peace... and His grace! The Bible tells us to be a light in this dark world and we believe going to school is part of that!

So instead of being on the lookout for how you can be the best, do your best to be like Jesus! He loves you and He has big plans for you! Part of that plan is the opportunity to learn new and exciting things, to make new friends, to practice being kind, and to enjoy each day He's given you!

We'll miss you when you're away... we love, love, love you SO MUCH sweet pea... and we are so excited for this next phase of your like!

- Penguin kisses - 
Mommy and Daddy

She woke up on her own the next morning and had her clothes on and her bed made in record time! (Which if you know our family you know that we like our sleep in the mornings... so that's a big accomplishment!)  She wasn't excited or anything! :)

The rest of the family? We've all had our moments! I went through oh, half a box of tissues or so the night before her first day. Jon kept reassuring me that I would get her back at noon... but I think it was just the reality of everything sinking in! I got out all my tears the night before so that I could be full of smiles for day #1! Larren has taken it a bit hard too... everyday she has said how much she misses Alia and has a few sniffles as we drop her off at school. We've done all sorts of things this week to keep her mind off the missing!

Alia just waltzed on into her classroom, took the things she needed out of her backpack, and barely remembered that this here mama wanted a hug and a kiss! She gave a quick wave and sat down to start coloring!

The sad sisters and I did all sorts of things... 

we went to Tim Horton's for coffee and chocolate milk (respectively... though I should tell you that C. does indeed have chocolate milk in that there cup!)... 

parked at the park, walked around town and stopped at any place that tickled our fancy... 

then ended the morning at the park... again!

We arrived at school to pick up Alia and who surprised us all?!?! DADDY! 

We are so blessed to be part of a wonderful school with a Christian principal and caring staff. That has made this transition easier... but my oh my, I miss our lazy mornings! Mommy isn't quite ready to send Miss. A on the bus yet, but I was told that the bus is "super cool" from a certain little girl and was warned that I might need to start considering that in the next week or so from a certain daddy... so the letting go just keeps on happening. And as much as I think I'm ready... it still takes a bit of praying, praising, trusting, hugging, and remembering for me to pry these hands open, a little bit at a time!