September 25, 2012

Fall is in the air

Finally, after a long, HOT, mostly dry summer, autumn has arrived! Thank God.

My favorite season was highly anticipated by, it seems, the whole country. Pinterest was covered with autumn themed ideas/photos back in July. I assume that was because summer started in March this year and thus threw everything off.

Anyway, this year we celebrated Labor Day with our first ever family movie date.
We're not fans of bringing babies or young children to the movie theater. Probably in part because our children are usually insane. I like to think it's because they are highly intelligent. And boys. But that's probably just denial.

But this year, we figured that S would do OK because he can sit through movies he likes at home on a pretty regular basis. Especially if he has snacks to keep him happy. Kid loves to eat! (I claim credit/blame for that one.) We went to see Brave at a local theater that we already had two free tickets for. S was free, so we only had to pay $7 to get K's ticket! Plus, oh, $50 for one drink and some popcorn. Just kidding, but not by much. We are bad and usually sneak in our own candy, because it's $1 for a movie sized box at Target instead of $3-5 in house. It went pretty well and the movie was decent. I now want to name my imaginary daughter Merida. And I can tell that a great deal of my personality can be traced to my Scottish blood (at least according to the stubborn, independent, brave, sweets-loving characters in the movie).

The other fun fall-y thing we did this year was to go apple picking for the first time. My best friend and her family have gone to a place in Michigan City, IN for a few years called Radke Farms. The apples were only $1 a pound and they don't spray the apples with chemicals. 

The day was absolutely, perfectly beautiful! About 75 degrees, partially sunny, big fluffy clouds, a bit of wind. I couldn't have manufactured a better day.

We used these ingenious little tools to pick the apples out of the trees. It was a recycled 2 liter pop bottle with a hole in the side and a notch at the top attached to some PVC pipe. You caught the apple stem in the notch, then the apple fell into the bottle and you could check it, eat it or put it in your bag. K got very good with his!

S thought it was some kind of toy.

And, of course, I had to tell them repeatedly that the sticks were NOT swords. They occasionally agreed.
Here are my boys with my friend's little girl and her niece. S is not interested in pictures so we barely got one with him standing still. :) 

K's bucket.

Tasting the merchandise. He did a lot of that.

We all had a great time. Only a little bit of attitude from S (he's very two) and some "don't eat that rotten apple!" and "watch out for the tractor!" 

After picking all our apples, we a tractor pulling a wagon gave us a ride back to the store. I ended up with 29 pounds of apples! It was two tote bags and one bucket full and I did not expect it to be 29 pounds!
My best friend, Sarah, and one of her daughters on the tractor wagon ride.

So far I've made apple pie, two kinds of apple crisp, crockpot apple butter, and carmel apple pork chops. As well as eating some. And we still have some left! Definitely worth it.

Funny side note was the port-a-potty at the farm. They were just for us. Ha, ha!

Now, I will leave you with my favorite picture from the day. My darling boy overlooking the orchard on our perfect day. This is now my phone background:


I read Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas about two months ago and it was FANTASTIC! A little dense in places since it's a biography of a very prolific, intense man during a very intense, complicated place and time (World War II Germany). Bonhoeffer's life was very inspiring and I highly recommend the book. I'm now planning to read some of Bonhoeffer's own work. Especially after reading excerpts like this one:

It is only the cynic who claims "to speak the truth" at all times and in all places to all men in the same way, but who, in fact, displays nothing but a lifeless image of the truth....He dons the halo of the fanatical devotee of truth who can make no allowance for human weaknesses; but, in fact, he is destroying the living truth between men. He wounds shame, desecrates mystery, breaks confidence, betrays the community in which he lives, and laughs arrogantly at the devastation he has wrought and at the human weakness which "cannot bear the truth."

                                                                                       ~From Ethics  by Dietrich Bonhoeffer