Search This Blog

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apples, apples and more apples

Fall has quickly become one of my favorite seasons. In most part, it's because we're so close to half a dozen apple orchards and pumpkin farms.

Every year, we go to one of the busiest orchards in the Midwest, just 10 miles from our house, but this year, we went to two that are even closer to our house and much less busy. Very quaint and relaxing.

The first trip was with Liz's preschool. That was a bit chaotic with dozens of kids but still fun. We made an apple pie from that visit as well as a few apple crisps.

Then, we found an orchard that's been around for many years, but hasn't been a U-Pick for several years. This was the first time as a U-Pick in about 6 years. So, many people aren't aware that the orchard is open for U-pick business. We had the pick of the orchard and got 23 pounds at a bargain price.

I made more than two dozen apple dumplings from that haul and have frozen most of them. For now, we'll look at the preschool pictures and I'll post the other pics. in a few days.

Here's Liz waiting with the pals from preschool for the events to begin at the apple orchard. Before we picked apples, they spent a long time educating the kids about apples and of course, Johnny Appleseed.

Our little Happy Camper

It was interesting to watch the kids behavior. Liz got really restless waiting to pick apples. But during the learning sessions she was captivated. After each learning session, then she'd get bored waiting for the next activity. We were there almost two hours before we began picking apples. That's enough to test anyone's patience - particularly a 4-year-old!

Finally - picking an apple. There she is in action. She's carefully twisting to take the apple off the tree.

Yes, this is what she'd been waiting for all morning! One delicious bite of an apple...OK more than one bite.

Here's an apple pie that Liz and I made together. She's quite the excellent helper. Oddly enough, she didn't really like it that much, but Brian thought it was one of the best pies he's eaten. I'm not just saying that either. I only make 1 or 2 pies a year (if that) so I guess it's possible that you can get lucky and make an excellent pie once in awhile. I told him if I made another one tomorrow, it'd probably taste totally different.

Oddly enough, here's a picture that Liz took of me baking. Yes, Liz took the picture. Pretty impressive. Brian and I have a whole blog idea of pictures that she's taken. We'll get to that eventually, but for now, here's a good one from our little photog.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Snack Girl

At Liz's preschool, each child brings snacks for one week. Last Friday, we talked about the fact that this week would be her turn as "Snack Girl."

When I asked her what she wanted to bring, she didn't hesitate to answer: carrots and lettuce.

Yes, that was really her answer. I swear I didn't prompt her. In fact, I kind of wanted to take the lettuce out of the option, because I just wasn't sure any 4-year-olds (other than Liz) would actually eat lettuce.

I'm raising a child with unique tastes at age four. She eats green peppers whole, will gobble down an entire little sack of cherry tomatoes and loves carrots and celery. I could be wrong, but I'm always under the impression that other kids don't eat those types of veggies.

Of course, Liz makes up for it during the rest of her meals. She'll hardly ever eat any main-dish that I prepare such as grilled chicken, tacos or patty-pan squash.

Even though I was slightly concerned her snack wouldn't be well-received by the kids, we brought carrots, cut up lettuce and included the Ranch dressing for the carrots and as a topping over the snack - like a mini-salad.

I had a weak moment and at the end threw in vanilla wafers - just for those kids who are "allergic" to healthy food.

Brian reported the teacher's aid gave a slightly puzzled look at our items. But when I returned to pick Liz up, they thanked us for the snacks and said that several kids did in fact eat the lettuce and carrots. The ranch dressing, of course was a hit. I even in sneaked in a reduced fat dressing.

I was surprised that they ate the lettuce and actually they didn't have any leftover lettuce. Of course, Liz was quite proud. I had given her several chances to change her mind, but she remained adamant about what she wanted.

When we were driving home, she said: "See Mom, I told you, they'd like lettuce."

That's our girl.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lizzy phrases

Ever since I've known Brian he teases me because I'll take a phrase or word and instead of saying the typical phrase, I'll put a "Lisa" flare on it and make it sound a bit goofy or funny.

Well, Liz has started doing that too. To her credit, I think it's just because she's four and learning her words, but she's made some cute phrases.

The other day she told me: "I need to take a bath with Minnesota."

Now, you can imagine what I was thinking. Why Minnesota? What about the other M-named midwest states such as Michigan or Missouri?

I'm sure it'd be lovely to take baths with any of those states too.

What had happened was she'd been to the doctor earlier in the day, and he told Brian that Liz should take a bath with Baking Soda or mineral water - so she did a classic Lisa and combined the two to make it Minnesota. Rather brilliant - don't you think.

She also was puzzled as to why Dr. K gave her a "fluid shot." "What's a fluid shot, Mommy?"

Well, I'm not sure. But a FLU Shot is something to help prevent you from getting the flu.

And, the beat goes on. We're so fortunate to have such an entertaining girl.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last weekend of summer

I've been meaning to post the Labor Day pictures for some time and keep forgetting. Now, what could be a better opportunity to think about a gorgeous weekend at a cottage in Aus Gres, Michigan than during this weekend - when the entire country's getting pummelled with rain from the impact of Ike hitting Texas.

For the first time in several years, we had an opportunity to head to my sister-in-law's family's cottage in Michigan. Brian always went in the summers when he was growing up and I've been with him several times. This was our first time with Liz.

The cottage is absolutely perfect with gorgeous views of Saginaw Bay, right near the area where it meets Lake Huron. You can hear the waves crashing ashore.

Here's some of those sunny pics.

If you've read this blog even once before, you'll know we just can't resist a good shot of Lizzy's back. She's scrambling to collect all of the rocks she can get her hands on.

Here's a nice shot of Daddy and Lizzy walking on the beach.

Lizzy's off to build a sandcastle or maybe a sand-rocket ship. You never know with this one.

And here she is molding that "masterpiece" right now.

It doesn't take a lot to make you happy on the beach, sun, sand, warm water and of course the green watering can.

Ah, beautiful scenery - compared to the pouring rain we're facing right now. This is more like it.

Liz and I are checking out the "animal" park at nearby Tawas, where all of the swings and objects to play on are shaped like animals.

A perfect pose.

That's our happy girl.

Amazing how quickly that smile changes to a more serious pondering or reflective look.

Rather than going inside the animal, I opted for the more grownup, albeit slightly more boring photo standing beside it.

There's Brian at one end of the same park looking out on Lake Huron.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

She's writing....errr...kind of

On Liz's second day of preschool, she proudly proclaimed that she "writed." Don't worry. We're working on using words in the correct form. All in good time.

But in fact, I've got proof that she kind of, sort of, well tried to write. As Brian and I predicted - once she's in the school environment - she's all for writing. With us at home - not so much.

And, for those of you who have had the privilege (sad experience) to read my chicken scratch on Christmas cards and other correspondence you might even see a slight resemblance.

Here she's tracing and learning how to try to make a straight line.

Now, this is what it's all about. Hey, who was the wise-guy to give her such a long name - that's 9 letters. Most of us just had to deal with 4 or 5 letters.

And, who doesn't love a nice drawing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School Days

Today was Liz's first official day at her new preschool, which is much closer to our house. For those of you who haven't checked the blog, you can scroll down to see "the back to school" post to read some of the early drama we had getting her signed up at another preschool.

But we're past that. And, everything went quite well here. In fact, when I ask Liz her favorite part of school today, her reply was: "everything."

But she was quite disappointed when she reported to Brian that she didn't learn to write. We've been trying to get her to write her name, and she keeps saying that she'll do it in chool. Apparently, she thought she'd learn it in one day. Ha!

There was a little trauma walking up to the school and leaving school because it just so happens a construction crew was working nearby. You'll notice Liz's hands over her head. She cried leaving school because of the noise and the teachers said she can leave out a different door so she doesn't have to encounter the loud noise.

Yikes, Loud construction nearby!

Past the construction and heading in.

Hanging on to Mommy's knee. But a quick hug and she's fine!