It’s The Little Things: Apple Picking

Last week when I shared my Dutch Apple Pie Bread recipe I mentioned having more apples than I knew what to do with. I never shared the story of how we came across those apples so today I am sharing the details of the very first time I took the girls apple picking.

When my mom called me up and said the apples were ready, we were ready to go. I had told her I wanted to take the girls to help this year with hopes that they would enjoy the experience.

We started out picking pears.

Marissa immediately seemed a bit nervous/ unsure and I wasn’t sure how “into this” she was going to get. 

Emily was Emily. Often oblivious or aimlessly drifting along plucking the occasional pear from the tree.
We quickly finished and moved onto the apple tree.
We picked and picked and picked.
I was pretty sure it was going to take us all day.
The girls were helpful, but not as helpful and I expected them to be.
See how happy they look posing for this photo ;).

Finally I ended up climbing up into the tree branches on a ladder so I could shake the tree.
Definitely not the best way to pick an apple tree, but it was pretty effective.
*Note to self next time take bicycle helmets.
The end results were well worth it.
And those little girls may not have been the best apple pickers but they did help out and have fun.

“Look Mom!”

They know I love creative thinking and team work.

We ended up with 30 jars of applesauce 10 loaves of apple bread and enough apple pie filling to make 10 pies and around 20 jars of pear butter. And that was just what we did with our share!

About a week later all stocked up on apple goodies I probably would’ve cried if I had to peel another apple. 

But when life gives you apples….

Linking up with Jess

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The Little Things I love…

This year I added a new tradition to our Valentines Day celebrating. 

A simple way of telling the girls the little things I love about them. 

Everyday I would take a paper heart, write something that I love about them on it and stick it to their door. 

They loved finding their new heart and reading what it said. 

Definitely a tradition I plan to continue for years to come.

Today I wanted to share the lists I made.

Those girls might make me a little crazy some days, but I sure do love them.

It was really nice to sit down and think about the little things that I love so much about them. 

The things they say, do or just the things that make them who they are.

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It’s The Little Things: Date Night

Date nights are pretty few and far between at the Newman house. Mostly because we’re parents of young kids and they really frown on you leaving young children unattended at home ;). So anytime an offer is made to watch our girls we take it. I think the rule on that one is unless the babysitter making the offer is an ax-murderer, you accept.

Thankfully we live in the same town as both sets of grandparents so finding a sitter usually isn’t too hard. Saturday night Grandma and Papa came over and we were free!!!

First date night stop was a local favorite. Hacketts Hot Wings. Hands down the best wings you would ever eat in your life. If you ever came to JoMo this would be one of the places I would bring you. Hot and Honey and Lemon Pepper. Oh my goodness, I could eat here everyday!

After Hacketts we finally made it over to Baskin Robins. Sure they opened like 5 months ago, but I told you that we don’t get out much. Since we were “stuffed” we just shared a scoop of Jamocha Almond Fudge that we scored for free with a birthday coupon they sent Russ. 

Next up was a trip to Starbucks, because apparently all we do is eat and drink. This stop was another birthday freebie, YES! We always feel the pressure to make this freebie count. Let’s get the biggest cup of coffee and load it up with espresso shots because it’s free… and clearly we didn’t want to fall asleep for 48 hours. 
Our last stop was a trip to Home Depot. I know, we’re lame. Russ needed a new grinder and I had plans of my own. Remember the home school room I have started talking about. I drew up a plan for a desk and I wanted to start picking things out..

We explored all kinds of options for the top and materials. We aren’t quite ready to begin the construction phase but I am getting excited just thinking about it. 
A nigh away, the best wings ever, birthday freebies and scheming projects with my guy.
Sadie Sky Boutique
Linking up with Jess

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Thank You Notes

When was the last time you received a thank you letter?

Please note I did say letter… as in a physical piece of paper that came to your mailbox. Not an email, not a Facebook status or message and certainly not a text.

Are you stumped? If you can’t remember you are certainly not alone.

Thank you letters have sadly made it to the list of things that people just don’t do very often. With endless options available for communication we usually pass the old fashion methods up and take advantage of modern technology.

And just to clarify where I fall with the above mentioned conveniences…

I would like to confess that I am so guilty.

Recently I have became more aware of my neglect. Neglect in my life that I was consciously or unconsciously passing onto my kids. After all there is truth in saying “If I don’t teach my kids, who will?” Do I really want my kids learning to say thanks through sending a text message or even worse not saying thank you at all?  I do think that modern conveniences can have their time and place, but at some point I need to draw a line. 

Last week one of our big back to school projects was to learn to write thank you notes. Christmas was over, there was so much to be thankful for, it was the perfect opportunity.

Thank you notes for a 6 year old look a bit different than thank you notes from a 3 year old. Marissa worked hard on writing proper letters where Emily colored pictures and COVERED them with stickers. But the one thing they had in common was they were both very proud of the work that they had put into their cards and they were both so excited to share them with those they had made them for. 

Skills were taught and thankful hearts were encouraged.

It’s the little things.

Linking up with 

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It’s The Little Things: Snow Day

Sunday morning brought a small snow storm and the girls screamed with excitement at the huge falling flakes. On the way home from church the only thing they talked about was playing in that snow.

How could I say no.

We ate lunch, bundled up, dug the sled out of the attic and headed out.

The sled was a Christmas present, from last year, that I had to cut the tags off of. Last winter was a bit of a disappointment in the snow department. These girls were ready to finally put their sled to use. 

Never in my life did I ever imagine that I would be thankful for this hill. It is TERRIBLE to mow. I tried it once, almost ran myself over with the mower and swore to never do that again. Years of despise led me to this day when we finally had a sled and girls big enough to really enjoy playing in the snow. 

Not everyone is luck enough to have a great sledding hill in their front yard.
Fun for the girls, mom and dad! 
My pretty little snow angel.
And my ornery stinker who clobbered me with a snow ball. Next time, she will regret that decision. 

It’s only mid November, technically still “fall”, and we have already played in the snow. I am guessing this probably won’t be the last time this year either.

And of course the best part of playing in the snow is coming inside for a cup of hot cocoa.

Linking up with Jess

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It’s The Little Things: Our Thankful Tree

Last year we started a new November family tradition with our girls.

I have seen so many options of how to make a thankful tree on Pinterest for several years now. After searching I decided something simple would be best for our family. I found a stick from the tree in our front yard, a vase and some rocks to fill the vase holding the branch in place. 

Ta-da, our thankful tree was complete.

For leaves we cut simple shapes out of colored construction paper, punch a hole and tie a string of yarn to hang them. 

Every day I spend a moment with the girls talking about thanks. What is it, why should we give thanks, and to whom should we be thankful?

Then they tell me what they are thankful for that day and we write it down. 

I try to encourage Marissa to be thoughtful in what she chooses. So far a few from this year have been: Emily, Daddy, Awana, Papa and her friend Jonathan.

Emily is a bit more unpredictable but she melted my heart the day she said mommy. A few others have been, the sun, food, Minnie, Meme and God. 
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good ~Psalm 107:1
After our leaves are made, we go hang them up on our tree.
 Somedays Most days this requires a little bit of help. 
Such a simple tradition that has brought so much joy. I love walking by the tree and catching glimpses of thanksgiving. 

I definitely see this tradition sticking around for many years to come.
Do you do something special to give thanks with your kids?

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