IMG_0014-1Apple picking! And eating, and chucking (the header photo to this blog is actually Charlie running for his LIFE from fallen apple artillery) ….and I think there was a firework involved. But apparently it was Charlie’s idea…yeah, right. There was a full moon too, yet it was 11 in the morning…imagine THAT.IMG_0043

Strawberry Hill Farm in Chesterfield, NJ is hands down the best apple orchard we have ever been to, and we LOVE apple picking. We have picked out random farms anywhere from North Jersey to Pennsylvania Amish Country and who knew the best spot was right near by. IMAG0059We picked 65lbs, yes SIXTY FIVE POUNDS of the little bits of natures candy. And we ate them ALL! I made apple bread, apple pies, apple crumble and some toxic sludge that was SUPPOSED to be Apple IMAG0064Butter. But since I had a helper (and I use the term helper loosely here) that apparently had an issue recognizing the subtle yet epic difference between the IMAG0104cooking terms tsp. and tbsp. the hours of  boiling, straining and stirring actually created roof tar that can double as a paint remover. IMAG0108

WARNING: there is no way to get around STRICT and ACCURATE measurements of spices such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

But I digress, back to the farm-

Things you don’t expect to hear while apple picking:

1. Kasey! Your not a secret ninja!

2. Get those apples out of my socks!

3. Kasey- “Moooom! Codys got his hands in his pants!”

                   Joe-”Again?”IMG_0126

4. Me-“Put your sister down and stop using her to nock apples out of the tree.”

5. TylerLee “OMG! Is that a TOOTH?”

and many many others I just cant remember, or choose not to… But somehow these things all seem normal  for Joe and I to overhear on an early fall afternoon at a local apple farm.

         IMG_0248 Joe and I have noticed recently that the older they got, the less we did together and have recently been stricter about certain teenage children’s participation in family outings. And they may talk big about how horrible we are and how evil and mean we are to force them to “do stupid really stupid, lame things” like go to a local farm and pick veggies to make with dinner,  apple picking, visiting older brother up at college,

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even a walk around a local park on the beach,

but I have photographic proof, that they actually enjoyed themselves…

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And wherever we are and whatever we are doing all together, despite all the whining and bemoaning, at the end of the day we all trudge back to our 15 passenger van tired, but happy, chattering away about the days activities. Usually worn out, probably a little dirty, sometimes a little frazzled, but always feeling loved and glad to be a part of this crazy family…I hope.

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