Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Apple Picking

          It seems like every year during Labor Day weekend we end up going to pick apples.  It's usually the only time we all go together as a family.  I just love going.  The smell of the apples, wandering the orchards and talking about all the things we see; the rotten apples that have fallen on the ground, the sizes, colors, and shapes of all the different apples.  We talk about how to pick them the "right" way by twisting the stem instead of pulling (that way only the apple in your hand comes off and a bunch of others wont fall to the ground).  I'll take the boys several times throughout the fall because to me there just isn't anything else that says "fall" nearly as much as going to the orchard.  Between the apples, candy apples, cider, mums, hayrides, and pumpkins too (in another month or so) it's just the best.  Especially when it's just cool enough for sweaters and jeans. 
          On the way to the orchard I asked them to tell me everything they remember about apples, orchards and the growing trees.   They knew apples grew on trees, that the apples started out as flowers.  They knew the red apples had green spots from whenever a leaf covered the skin blocking out the sun.  They knew the trees need soil, rain and sun to grow.  We talked about how they make cider by pressing the apples.   Mostly they talked about the stuff we can make with apples... pie, applesauce, strudel, crisp but they really only like to eat apples.  They seem to especially like to eat them while we're picking the apples.  However, today there were quite a few bees around and that made Alec panic and throw his half- eaten apple.  Then he started crying because he was scared.  Ian pouted because he didn't want to go to the orchard at all.  He would rather stay home and go swimming.  So while it wasn't the idyllic trip I pictured we did still have some fun.  We quickly filled up our bags with fresh Mac's and Gala apples.  Alec went up on my husbands shoulder to pick some of the bigger, redder apples from the top of the trees.  We bought some cider and a few pieces of peanut butter and chocolate fudge for the boys.  That certainly cheered them all up! 

Picking up high 

Picking down low
        We played the A,B,C game on the way home and for today they had to think of words that had to do with apples and our trip to the orchard.  Some of the letters were really tough and they got pretty giggly on occasion (like when Evan shouted Kangaroo for k and I replied.. "hmm.. I don't think I saw that Kangaroo!").  They did argue at times and Evan got mad because whenever my husband or I tried to give him a hint, one of his older brothers would shout out the answer.  My husband asked if that was usually how it went and honestly it often is.  Even my husband complained that some letters were really hard to think of things and argued that if we couldn't think of one the boys wouldn't either.  I explained that it doesn't have to be easy, they don't ALWAYS have to have a word for every letter but we try not to give up.  It's just a fun word game like Scategories (that we used to love to play in junior high) and yes, some learning takes place but the boys just see it as a game. 


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