Apple Pickin’ with Lacie

Re-posting this because it’s apple season again! Happy pickin’!

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One of our favorite traditions every fall is a field trip to the orchard a few miles down the road. We always go to pick Haralson and McIntosh apples for baking apple pies. But I really can’t tell you about our annual apple adventures without telling you about Lacie the Red Wagon, a faithful companion throughout most of our family’s 10 year history of apple picking.

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The first year we went apple picking as a family of four, my youngest was not yet walking, and so Lacie the Red Wagon helped haul her around the orchard. DSC_0855 She loved getting to chew on her very own apple, and legend has it that she ate the entire thing, stem and all.

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My oldest wasn’t quite 4 then and still preferred that we regularly address her as “Cinderella,” but she could already reach a few apples to pick right off the trees.

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I don’t remember exactly when or how it happened, but somehow the girls decided finding Lacie the Red Wagon among the fleet of more than a dozen wagons at the orchard was essential in our annual apple picking adventures.

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One year, the girls’ great-grandma came all the way from Oklahoma to visit us during apple season, and the girls were sure excited to introduce her to Lacie.

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Another year, my youngest was thoroughly enjoying a crunchy, fresh-picked apple in the orchard until she realized her wiggly tooth was suddenly missing — as in completely-never-to-be-found-because-she-swallowed-it lost.

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That was quite upsetting, and thankfully the wagon was able to console her with a ride as she adjusted to her new smile.

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Her sister’s teeth, meanwhile, were safely secured with braces.

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The next year, the smiles had changed again.

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Now my youngest is almost 9 and quite an experienced apple picker.

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My oldest is still delighted to help pick and especially enjoys climbing into the trees and up the trees.

fallbegins043x The trees have grown bigger now and the girls have grown so much taller. My baby barely fits inside a wagon these days! But Lacie the Red Wagon remains constant and faithful in hauling fresh-picked fruit, posing for pictures and helping us make memories. fallbegins 080

“Keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.” Proverbs 7:

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Let Heaven and Nature Sing!

Joy to the world! The Lord has come

Let earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing!

Joy to you this Christmas!

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Nature sang in 2015 as God blessed us with many memorable outdoor adventures like snowshoeing,

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snow skiing,

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ice skating,

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boating,

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swimming,

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and hiking.

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We delighted in God’s amazing creation while watching Trumpeter swans on the Mississippi River,

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spotting dolphins in the wild in the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston,

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feeding wood ducks in the backyard,

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gazing at the gorgeous lilacs

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and the dazzling dahlias at the Arboretum,

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being wowed by a pair of red foxes up on the Gunflint Trail near the Boundary Waters,

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and admiring some of the 18 baby snapping turtles that hatched in our front yard flower bed.

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We tried to subdue some of God’s creatures during our too-close-for-comfort encounters with a snoozing nighthawk,

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bandit raccoons,

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a sleepy bat, an angry squirrel, a peeping goldfinch,

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a topsy-turvey mama snapping turtle, a strong-minded chipmunk and a brave back-to-school mouse that trapped itself inside our basement wall! Eeeek!

We also marveled at God’s wondrous creativity while gazing at the brilliant autumn colors,

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picking juicy apples,

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and plump pumpkins,

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and most recently, while picking a lovely-smelling balsam fir tree to decorate for Christmas.

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Romans 1:20 says,“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Nature clearly points to its wise and powerful Creator. And that lighted Christmas tree in my living room, it points heavenward, toward the Light of the World.

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It points to Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

May we all join heaven and nature in singing our praises to Him this Christmas and throughout 2016!

Merry Christmas!

 

Apple Pickin’ with Lacie

fallbegins061x

One of our favorite traditions every fall is a field trip to the orchard a few miles down the road. We always go to pick Haralson and McIntosh apples for baking apple pies. But I really can’t tell you about our annual apple adventures without telling you about Lacie the Red Wagon, a faithful companion throughout most of our family’s 10 year history of apple picking.

xfallbegins034x

The first year we went apple picking as a family of four, my youngest was not yet walking, and so Lacie the Red Wagon helped haul her around the orchard. DSC_0855 She loved getting to chew on her very own apple, and legend has it that she ate the entire thing, stem and all.

applepickin5

My oldest wasn’t quite 4 then and still preferred that we regularly address her as “Cinderella,” but she could already reach a few apples to pick right off the trees.

applepickin4

I don’t remember exactly when or how it happened, but somehow the girls decided finding Lacie the Red Wagon among the fleet of more than a dozen wagons at the orchard was essential in our annual apple picking adventures.

DSC_0041

applestrip2008b

fallNapples094

One year, the girls’ great-grandma came all the way from Oklahoma to visit us during apple season, and the girls were sure excited to introduce her to Lacie.

octoberoutings 004

octoberoutings 029

Another year, my youngest was thoroughly enjoying a crunchy, fresh-picked apple in the orchard until she realized her wiggly tooth was suddenly missing — as in completely-never-to-be-found-because-she-swallowed-it lost.

appleorchard 077

That was quite upsetting, and thankfully the wagon was able to console her with a ride as she adjusted to her new smile.

appleorchard 087

Her sister’s teeth, meanwhile, were safely secured with braces.

appleorchard 062

The next year, the smiles had changed again.

applepicking 043

applepicking 004

Now my youngest is almost 9 and quite an experienced apple picker.

fallbegins046x

My oldest is still delighted to help pick and especially enjoys climbing into the trees and up the trees.

fallbegins043x The trees have grown bigger now and the girls have grown so much taller. My baby barely fits inside a wagon these days! But Lacie the Red Wagon remains constant and faithful in hauling fresh-picked fruit, posing for pictures and helping us make memories. fallbegins 080 “Keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.” Proverbs 7:2

“Is It Christmas, Mommy?”

PLEASE NOTE: Happy Advent! I’m re-posting this sweet tale from five Christmases ago.

 

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Every day this month, my youngest has asked at least once, sometimes more frequently, “Is it Christmas, Mommy?” I keep saying over and over, “Not yet! It’s Advent.”

For some reason, my answer isn’t getting through to her 3-year-old brain.

This afternoon I wrapped all of my gifts for the girls and my hubby while the girls were playing in their rooms. When my youngest came downstairs, I told her to look under the tree. She noticed the gifts but didn’t seem too excited. Then I explained that all the gifts in the red wrapping paper with gold stars belonged to her. Her eyes bugged out and she put the most shocked expression on her face. “For me! What did you put in them?” As if I would tell her!

I explained that the gifts would be a surprise that she would unwrap on Christmas Day. She started jumping up and down with the child-like Christmas excitement you’d expect from a 3-year-old.

Later the girls wrapped a gift for their daddy. They almost used all the Scotch tape in the process. When he arrived home from work, my oldest met him at the door reporting excitedly that she had wrapped a present for him and it was waiting under the tree. My youngest, not to be out-done in the reporting, said, “Yes, Daddy! We wrapped you a present! It’s pajamas!”

As you can imagine, big sister was pretty upset with little sister for ruining the surprise. Tears were shed. But I’m sure they both will be telling this story over and over again for Christmases to come; someday it will be funny to them.

My Golden Girl

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Frost said gold is nature’s hardest hue to hold. He was referring to spring’s earliest gold-green leaves. Nothing gold can stay, he said.

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Aye, fall’s golden leaves are nearly just as quick to flee. They linger just long enough for a photo or two.

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My baby, with her golden locks, celebrates her golden birthday the same week all the yellow leaves glow and glimmer in the trees. So we crown with her a golden wreath of laurel.

And we dig through a closet full of boxes to find the gold leaf tea set my grandparents used on their golden wedding anniversary more than 40 years ago.

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We set the table in shades of gold, pour amber-colored tea, and sing along with Britt Nicole as nearly a dozen kids masquerade through the living room. And the golden girl, she glows and shines.

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She lingers just long enough for a photo and a short interview because even golden birthdays cannot stay.

1. What makes you happy? That I’m turning 8! {Giggle.} I have another one for you. That I am going to heaven.

2. What makes you sad? That people get sick.

3. What makes you laugh? Daddy! And videos of my sister when she was little, like 2, running around the living room.

4. What is your favorite thing to do? I like to swim and read and play with my stuffed animals and dolls. I also like to nature bake.

5. What are you really good at? nature baking

6. What are you not very good at? Knitting and crocheting – that’s not my talent.

7. What is your favorite food and drink? I like Kraft macaroni and cheese and cream soda.

8. What’s your favorite color? Dark, dark green

9. Where is your favorite place to go? I like to go to the Children’s Museum.

10. Who are your best friends? Naomi, Noah, Grace, Joellen, Mommy, Daddy, my sister, and Jesus

11. What are your favorite movies or TV shows? Liberty Kids and The Emperor’s New Groove

12. What verses are you reciting lately? Philippians 2:1-6

13. What are some of your favorite books right now?  Cul de Sac Kids Series, Imagination Station Series, The Bible

14. Who are your favorite people? My grandparents and relatives

15. What are your favorite toys? Honey (my bear), my tea sets

16. If you were a character in Wizard of Oz, who would you be?  I would like to be Toto.

17. What does Mommy do when you’re not around? Wrap birthday presents!

18. What do you do when Mommy isn’t around? Go to ballet, piano, art class, play with my sister, play with babysitters, play with Daddy

19. What is something Mommy always says to you? “Goodnight, I love you!” “Good morning, I love you, but I’m busy doing my hair.”

20. What do you and Mommy do together? Read, hug, and bake

21. How are you and Mommy the same? We kind of have the same smile, like to bake, and we like to read, and we like to take pictures.

22. How are you and Mommy different? Mommy is a mommy. She has a computer. She has a phone. She has an iPod. Mommy can drive a car. I can play piano way better. I’ve caught fish and she has not.

23. How do you know Mommy loves you? Because she says it every night, and she hugs me and reads to me and I can just tell.

The Voyage of a Tidy Little Ship

Reposting this from June 2011 in honor of Father’s Day.

This is the story of a tidy little ship that sailed on Father’s Day.

O it’s I that am the captain of a tidy little ship,

Of a ship that goes a-sailing on the pond;

And my ship it keeps a-turning all around and all about;

But when I’m a little older, I shall find the secret out

How to send my vessel sailing on beyond.

— from “My Ship and I” by Robert Louis Stevenson