Busy Life!

It is a beautiful sunny day here and we just finished school! Some days we get done sooner and other days we fit school in and around errands or visitors, of which we had 3 today! Most of the time, visitors are a welcome break!!

Here is a picture of our cute house!! We really are loving it here. The space is so nice and is just working better for us, all the way around. The only thing that is bugging me is that we are trying to locate the source of an unpleasant rotten egg smell. The landlords had the plumber out but it hasn’t been fixed yet. Hopefully soon!  

This is the only picture I have taken of the inside so far:) We are still finishing up unpacking a few last boxes, finding homes for belongings and hanging up pictures. It is really starting to look like a home! Our home;) This is a picture of one wall in the bathroom, where we have tons of built in storage! This takes the place of a hall closet, which we don’t have. I do like the large bathroom a lot.

We had a chance to go apple picking the day after our move briefly. We were really tired but we absolutely cannot pass up a chance to get fresh apples! We may possibly have gone twice this year:)

Cute Mr. Z!

Samuel pretending to eat an apple to make daddy jealous!

Cutie Patootie!

My mom adores her apples, too!

This was the first apple picking. It was much warmer that day!

Zakkai enjoyed trying to climb up to find the most perfect apples!

Checking out how tall everyone is! (or isn’t….:)

Getting taller….

And taller!! This kid is catching up to me quickly!

We have a cute backyard to mow now. We were able to get an old push mower at an auction for $6! Zakkai LOVES to mow the lawn and begs to do so any chance he gets. This was the day we got it and he seriously spent at least an hour mowing that day:)

Z letting Eliana help:)

Mr Z also belt-tested last week for his green belt!

He did really well and is very proud of his new belt (which he was about to receive in this pic!) He is starting some new fun things with this next belt, including using sticks for special routines. We are so thankful that he has the opportunity to do this!

We have officially entered the “busy season” of our life. We were in denial for awhile, fooling ourselves into thinking it was temporary but we looked at each other this past weekend and said, “I think it’s going to be this way for the next several years!” (possibly with a sigh and a groan!

Between settling in to our new place, school, TKD, baseball, ballet, and Awana, our days and evening are really full. We may or may not be looking forward to the end of baseball season so we can have a couple of our weeknights back again. Thank the Lord for fall and winter!!

Remind me I said this when we are knee-deep in snow in a few months:)


Apple Picking (part one!)

 If you know me well, you know that apple picking is my absolute favorite fall activity! Well, that and making and consuming all things apple:) Sadly, we have to transfer to a new orchard this year since we are no longer close to our favorite Indiana Orchard (sniff!). The one thing we will miss terribly are the doughnuts.  You can find apples anywhere but pumpkin and apple spice doughnuts? Not so much….

This past Saturday, the kiddos and I went with my mom to her lifelong orchard (actually where I went growing up!) since Ben had to work. I was able to snap a few great pictures of my trio!

Sweet Zakkai! Such a pleaser and sweet-hearted boy!



Our little golden girl:)

Mr Toothless! Who, by the way, lost his other front tooth due to apple eating;) Picture coming soon!

My beautiful Mama!

Everyone has to taste an apple just to make sure they are good for making pies! (and applesauce, apple butter, apple muffins, apple dumplings, etc.)


And I had to get my proof that I was there! I only wish Ben was in the picture:( We will get another chance soon, as our other favorite kind of apple is ready in 2 weeks. How many people get to go apple picking twice?!

And when we got home, our couch was there! Ben and my stepdad went to pick it up and we got to help pull of the wrapping when we got home:) We really didn’t like our other couch and are not quite sure what we were thinking when we bought it all those years ago, aside from the fact that it had a sleeper which came in handy for guests. Little did we know that sleepers are not only ginormous, they weight about a million pounds…
We didn’t get the best quality couch and it showed by the time we sold it. We found this one at a discount outlet from a nice furnishing store. It was a good deal and should last a long time! Especially if we keep enforcing our no drink/no food rule:) This is the first nice piece of furniture we have ever bought!
It’s been nice to have a real living room the past few days, without 3 or more of us hanging off of our big stuffed chair:)  Hopefully we can get some pictures hung soon and it will all come together. We are really liking it in our little home so far! 

Fall Weekend!

 It has been a lovely fall weekend for us, starting Friday night! Ben alternates heavy/normal work weeks and this past week was his heavier one, made even longer by the amount of traveling he does either by car or bus/train. He rearranged his schedule so he could get home right when it was time to pick up the boys after school Friday! It was gorgeous outside so we thoroughly enjoyed our walk and letting the boys play on the school playground for a bit.

Yesterday we made a mini apple-picking trip! We are planning to go again when “our” apples are ready but yesterday we just enjoyed picking one bag of Honeycrisp, which we have never picked before. And of course, there was the lure of amazing donuts and a wagon ride!

Eliana was a fuss-bucket yesterday because she just can’t kick this cold but she did enjoy munching on some apples!

The boys were thrilled with it all, of course! They can fit a lot of apples in their bellies:)

I love this picture! Right when I asked them to smile, Eliana took a big bite out of her apple:) She would halfway finish one, tell me she was done and then ask for a new one. She works it!

We got yelled at for doing this! The guy came over and apologized for yelling and was very nice but he was just afraid Samuel would fall. I guess he’s seen it happen before!

Today was rainy and chilly all day so after church, we all got in comfy clothes and just relaxed! We made chili (yum!!) and I just took a fresh apple pie out of the oven. Hmmm….it’s calling my name right now. Or maybe that’s just Ben calling me, hoping for a piece….:)

Hope your weekend has been good!

Apple Picking Time!

 We weren’t sure if we would be able to go apple picking this year for a few reasons. You may know that most apple orchards across the Midwest suffered devastating effects from the early spring/late frost back in March and April and many orchards lost up to 70% of their apple crop!

Our orchard that we’ve been going to the past several years lost 70% and raised their prices dramatically to try to compensate for it so we found a new apple orchard. It was a beautiful day and we got some beautiful apples!

Riding on the wagon out to the orchards to find our apples!

We had to climb through several rows of trees to find our Jonathan apples.

Eliana wasn’t too sure about the tall grasses everywhere but she loved the idea of eating apples! The farmer who drove the tractor pulling the wagon encouraged us all to pick some apples and eat them to make sure we liked what we were buying. He didn’t hear any arguments!

Zakkai and Samuel were the offical bag holders:)

Enjoying her first apple!

Ben and his pensive deep apple thoughts:)

 The girls:)

All 3 of my guys making some delicious finds!

We get Jonathans and Jonagolds every single year. They sure make delicious pies!! And applesauce, apple pancakes, applebutter…..pretty much anything;)

Ben found the most enormous apple ever and quickly claimed it as his “test” apple for the Jonagolds. This apple was practically the size of a small child it was so big! It seriously took him a good 10-15 minutes to eat it and he was full after he was done!

He’s very proud of his apple:)

Our 3 apple picking pros enjoying their 2nd or was it 3rd apples of the day?

Check back tomorrow for a very awesome new addition to our house, given to us by a beloved friend. Be prepared to be amazed….

Apple Picking 2011

On a cool, fall day, with the sky thick with clouds and the threat of a sprinkle that never materialized overhead, we went apple picking. Here is our story.

There were two little boys, who could hardly think of anything else but picking apples all day long,

 And their daddy, who lives for a freshly picked apple!

 There was the mommy and the baby sister, who, although miserable with a cold, experienced her very first apple picking and apple eating:)

 After a fun tractor ride, which the baby sister did not think much of, the family scrambled down at the sight of the lush trees full of unpicked shining apples, ripe for the taking.

 The strong daddy lifted up first one little boy….

 And he picked….oh, dear, let’s try that again…

 And he picked a red and green juicy apple, perfect for eating!

 Then the strong daddy lifted the other son high into the tree…

 And he, too, came down with a perfectly created apple!

 With the aroma of freshly baking doughnuts drifting towards them and the smell of tart, yet sweet juicy apples surrounding them,

 the apple-crazed father had to climb the forbidden tree one last time in search of..

the perfect apple to munch on. It went straight from its nurturing tree into the waiting and appreciative mouth of the man. He was happy.

The sad, pathetic, little baby girl decided she, too, wanted a taste of this seemingly glorious fruit that had the rest of her family closing their eyes in bliss as they munched. So the daddy eagerly searched one last time, for one last apple to present to his baby girl.

And she was happy. And it was good.
To enjoy past Apple Picking adventures..