apple season

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I should be packing right now for our trip to the beach (leaving in the morning!) but it’s a rainy afternoon and I just have to share these sweet pictures from last week with you before we head out of town.  (I am the worst packer–always leave it until the last minute.)

It’s hard to believe we’re in the last week of September already, and that by the time we get back home from our trip, we’ll be into October!  The weather has already turned here in the mountains of North Carolina as of this last week, officially.  We are in apple country and we are thankful to be surrounded by a ton of awesome orchards + farms!  Recently we went with some friends to a local orchard that has a great spot on the top of a mountain, with lots of play areas for kids, animals, tractor rides and of course, apples!

That man in the last picture above was giving us the low-down and handing out buckets, and I have to say he was a true artist.  He was super kind and sweet and genuinely interested in chatting with our kiddos and being helpful to our little crew of three mommas (one pregnant!) with seven little ones between us.  Things didn’t go 100% smoothly, with all of us having disaster mornings as we attempted to get out the door (at my house, the washing machine was flooding the basement and a glass fell off the counter shattering glass everywhere near my crawling baby girl), and a few melt-downs and tears from the kids.  You know, all the usual things. Not to mention, we actually couldn’t find any apples to pick off of the trees because of a late frost and children who weren’t willing to keep hunting down rows of trees.  But it was still such a fun time, Phoebe loved hunting for apples to pick, and Noah was both terrified and fascinated by the tractors making rounds of the orchard.  We plan to go back in October, get an earlier start and actually pick some apples this time!

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(I’m so bummed that my camera decided to focus on the dirt behind this cute little man because he posed so nicely and smiled so sweetly for me!)

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We had a picnic in the shade of this big pine tree and it was the perfect end to the busy morning, where my friend Kim and I could actually talk for a bit while our kids refueled and then ran off to play on the swings and playgrounds.

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We only came home with one peck of apples, using half for a yummy gluten-free crisp to share with our small group last night, and my kids actually ate it (which is a victory, if you knew them!)  We hope to put up some jars of apples for the winter, so we’ll be back!

(ps. here’s the crisp recipe I used, subbing apples for blueberries and adding about 1/3 c. of shredded unsweetened coconut flakes + a dash of cinnamon.  i’ve made this recipe ever so many times, usually with blueberries, since reading her book a few years ago and it’s delicious every time!)

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