Thursday, October 7, 2010

I love you, a bushel and a peck!

No one loves this time of year more than my oldest boy, Eric. He starts getting excited for fall about mid to late July when the humidity is so high that walking out your front door at 8 in the morning merits a shower. So, he packed us all up and took us to Tuttle Farms. This is the apple farm we've gone to as a family since Meg was ten months old. Unfortunately, this was probably our last year there. As they have grown, so have their prices. They now charge $3 a child just to play on their playground. So, we've spent $12 before we've even picked an apple! Since we were already there, we ponied up the dough and let our annual traditions proceed. They enjoyed all the usual stuff : the hay bale maze, the swings, the pedal tractors, sandbox, and the llama. Megan has had a special connection to this less than charming creature since she was a toddler. You would have to be there to believe it, but I swear that animal remembers her each year. It is truly amazing the connection she has with animals.
After the extortion, I mean playground time, we headed to the orchard. Another tradition we observe is the fight over who will pull the wagon. Megan has conceded this battle to her brother and sister and left our more bullheaded children to duke it out. Inevitably, Ian wins when Claire realizes that the ground is not perfectly smooth and pulling the wagon may strain her delicate nature in some way. Ian is happy to comply and takes on the burden of the Radio Flyer. Ten minutes later when they've all eaten their weight in apples and lost interest, we head to the gift shop for a treat and Daddy's apples. Yes, that's right folks, Eric doesn't buy the orchard apples. He opts for the Honeycrisp...the Holy Grail of apples. So, with our bellies full of apples, apple cider, cider slushies, and a few candy corn mixed in there somewhere, we head home to two week's worth of apple recipes. Happy Fall!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ian goes back to school

Well, I'm out of kids...two days a week, anyhow. Ian is back in preschool at East 91st Street God's Kids' preschool. It's at our church and this is our 8th year there. Both girls started there as 1 1/2 year olds and graduated from Kindergarten also. And now Ian is following in their prestigious footsteps. Last year was a little rocky as his teacher changed frequently throughout the year. I was nervous about this year being the same and having to hear Ian whine all the way to school about not wanting to go and listening to him cry as I left him each week. Fortunately, he has two teachers that my girls had and they aren't going anywhere! He is in LOVE with school this year. It's so fun to take him when he can't wait to get there and is so happy he doesn't even turn to say goodbye. As painful as that should be, I find so much comfort in knowing he's learning in an environment where he is covered in prayer, loved, and taught about God's love for him. It helps that there's 6 boys in his class too, as opposed to last year only having one other boy. Ian is a man's man and likes to hang with the guys. And by hang I mean play trucks and beat the tar out of each other.