Thursday, September 15, 2011


There are lots of pick your own apple farms around here. Recently my son went to one of these farms for a birthday party. The kids had a great time picking apples and sharing them with each other. My son came home with a huge bag, over 25 pounds of apples. Now I like an occasional apple as much as anyone. I prefer red delicious apples. But do you know, in a bag of 25 pounds of apples there was not a single red delicious. There were big apples and tiny apples. There were red apples and green apples and even some spotted apples but not a single red delicious in the bunch.

I knew that I had to do something with all these apples. If they sat for very long I would have nothing but apple mush and a bad smell in my house. So I decided to make apple butter. I peeled, cored, and chopped apples for more than an hour. Finally I had enough apples to fill my crock pot. I added sugar and cinnamon and then just let them simmer. I left them in the crock pot all night and most of the next day. That next evening I put the apples in jars and processed them. I now have enough apple butter in the cabinet to last us all winter.

I still had apples left so I decided to try my hand at applesauce. I have never made applesauce before so I scoured the internet for recipes. Finally I came up with one that sounded so much easier than any of the others. You put about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot and then fill it up with chopped apples. I let it cook for about 20 minutes. Then I took a potato masher to the apples. They mashed up so quickly I couldn’t believe it. I put them in jars and processed them. I then added the jars of applesauce to the jars of apple butter in the cabinet.

We made apple muffins and a French apple dessert. And finally we hit the bottom of the bag of apples. So my son picked the apples and helped wash them. I turned them in to wonderful canned foods for the winter. My son’s favorite thing was listening for the jars to pop after they came out of the canning bath. The pop lets you know that they have sealed well. I’m sure his next favorite part will be eating them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reading For The Third Grade

What does your third grader read? My son doesn’t like to read. In fact he doesn’t really want any part of reading. He says he can’t read. But I’ve discovered that it’s not that he can’t. He is afraid he will make a mistake and someone will laugh at him. I have done everything I can think of to help him get interested in reading. Before he was even born I had an entire book case full of books for him. As he has gotten older I have added more and more books. We have finally started to give away the baby books because we just don’t have any more room for them. Well, all except the “Hug” Book. He don’t think he will ever get rid of this book. Daddy has read this book to him every night since we got off the airplane from Guatemala. Even if Daddy is out of town, he reads the book to him over the phone. It’s not hard to read. Basically it says, “Hug.” Repeatedly throughout the book. As the poor lost elephant goes by all the different animals with their babies, looking for his mother. Finally he sees her, “Mama” he cries. “BooBoo” is her reply. That’s it you have now heard all three words in the book. But my 8 year old still loves to hear this story read.

I read to my son on a regular basis. I encourage my husband to read to him every night. He loves Harry Potter. Even though this book is way above his reading ability, I read it to him. Currently Daddy is reading books about the Greek and Norse Gods and Goddesses to him. We are still struggling to find books that he can and will read to himself. I just ordered the Captain Underpants books for him. I’m hoping the grossness of the topic will capture his attention. I also just ordered the beginning series of Percy Jackson books to help with his new desire to learn about all of the gods and goddesses. I’m really hoping these will be the books that will stir up that tiny light of reading good books deep inside him.