Making Cider

October 2013

Picture this:  The perfect fall day.  Sun is shining.  Cool breeze blowing.  Early afternoon.  Leaves falling from the trees outside.  Driving in my van to run a couple errands while the Blaine is watching the babies while they sleep.  See my good friend Dean out in his front yard making cider again.  That delicious, wonderful, homemade cider that I crave all year long.  He invites me to come and watch the process. Quickly drive home and as soon as my babies are awake, the four of us head to Dean's house.  Hyrum rides his trike over there.  The trike he is in love with.  We get to Dean's, the magic begins.  Take a journey on our cider making tour with us.

Step 1: The apples are soaked in a large old washer full of an apple cider vinegar/water solution.

This guy is seriously so cool!

Step 2:  The apples are then placed into what we will affectionately call "The apple-nater" a.k.a. "The Apple Chomper" or "The Apple Dapple" or "The Apple Crusher."  Take your pick :)

My dreamy Blaine was loving this!

Afton was enjoying the process from her stroller.

Step 3: After the apples pass through the "Apple Dapple" they land in a net inside a wood barrel.

Step 4: Dean screws on press to barrel and uses muscles to press apples within an inch of their life.

Step 5: Juice then rides down what Hyrum called "The Juice slide" into a large metal bowl.

Step 6:  Apple Cider is placed in large cooking apparatus and is pasteurized at 160 degrees.

Step 7: Apple remains are collected from the barrel and are then fed to the turkeys pictured below.

Dean raises turkeys and says feeding them the apple remains makes them sweeter to the taste on Thanksgiving.

Fresh pressed apple cider is one more reason why Fall is the best time of year.  Yum!

Park Date in Malad

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My sister was in town from NYC.  So we met half way and had a picnic park date in Malad, Idaho.  I had no idea Malad was so charming.  The fall leaves and the great company made for a day of great photos and memories.  It was so fun to catch up with my sista and my darling nephew Huds.  I loved seeing the  cousins play together and watching Afton try to eat all the leaves in the Malad City park!

Adventures of a 2 (almost 3) year old little boy

November 2013

I am in love with this little boy that lives at our house.  Today just reminded me how much fun I have with him and how much he melts my heart.

Here are some of my favorite quotes that came from Hyrum's mouth today:

"Afton...she's a cute little girl.  I am a little boy, because I have a runny nose!"

"Is this long enough?" (Speaking of the toilet paper he got to blow his nose.)

We are trying to teach Hyrum to wipe his nose with a tissue.  As you can see from this picture, we haven't quite mastered it yet.  Blaine....skip this next photo :)

"I just bit my tongue and got an ouchie.  Dad, kiss it better!" Then Hyrum sticks out his tongue wanting Dad to kiss it.

"This is fun!" Spoken to me while we were snuggling in his toddler bed together before he went to sleep.  Did you know that you can fit a toddler and a mom on a toddler bed?  I didn't until Hyrum asked me to snuggle with him last week.

I love that my little guy wants to wear his "Tigger" costume to Walmart and loves to dip his food in sauces, and is so silly.  He makes my day every day.  It's days like this that make me realize that I am living my dream, and my dream is so good.  Having a toddler is so much fun!

8 Months Old

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Afton is eight months old today!  We set up a little photoshoot area behind one of our couches and snapped pictures of this beautiful little girl when we got home from church today.  I can't decide what is my favorite one.  All I know is that this little girl has stolen my's official!

Picture #1 below

Picture #2 below

Picture #3 below

 Picture #4 below

Picture #5 below

Picture #6 below

Which one is your favorite?  You can leave a comment and vote.

My Birthday

October 11, 2013

I turned 26 years old today.  I feel like when I was a teenager, 26 years old seemed so far away.  My, does time go fast.

I love birthdays.  My mom and dad made them a huge deal for us.  I just think birthdays are the best day of the year!  No matter how old I get, I will always get little excited butterflies come each October for my special day.

Here are some recaps of the day.

I woke up to faint noises of Hyrum and Blaine in the kitchen baking something.  I heard Hyrum say, "Can I have a cinnamon roll yet?"  I was hoping this is what we were having for breakfast.  I got excited and fell back asleep.

At around 9 a.m., Blaine and Hyrum brought me breakfast in bed.  Sure enough, it was cinnamon rolls with cheesy scrambled eggs.  YUM!

 We started a new tradition that on birthdays, we get "Breakfast in Bed" for the whole family.  Each member of the family gets to eat breakfast in the birthday person's bed.  So all 4 of us were piled on to our bed!  It was so fun!

Then I got ready for the day, and did something I had been wanting to do for a few weeks.  And that it, custom fit my shoes.  I found these sassy pink shoes at D.I. for $2 but they were a little bit snug.  My sister in law told me a trick that if you blow dry them for 5-10 minutes while they are on your feet with 4 pairs of socks on, it stretches them out.  I tried it and it worked!  I got to wear my new pink sassy shoes to the park!

I came out of the bathroom to find Blaine decorating some cupcakes for us to take to the park.  He was personalizing each cupcake.  He is so cute.

We then met my friend Darcy and her two boys at the park.  Darcy also has a birthday today, so we played at the park with our boys and then celebrated with cupcakes.  The party didn't last long because it was really chilly outside. 

Blaine came home after class and made me lunch.

Then I had one of my favorite friends stop by with a note and some delicious chocolate ice cream.  We got to visit for a few minutes.

I got to take a nap in the afternoon.

Then we went to the last Farmer's Market of the season.  We tried roasted corn on the cob for the first time.  Hyrum loved this, and practically ate the whole cob while I was chatting with some new friends.  Also at the Farmer's Market was this cute little stand that sold tons of headbands for little girls.  I found some good bargains for Afton to sport around.

We got Costa Vida sweet pork salads for dinner and made some french bread pizza for Hyrum.

Then I had an old friend stop by with some homemade pie!  What a labor of love.  I have never made homemade pie before so this was a tasty treat.

I got to talk to everyone in my family, excluding my siblings on a mission.  This was so fun to catch up and receive birthday wishes from the people that mean the most to me.  I also got to talk to some of Blaine's family.  They are so thoughtful and I feel so loved from them too.

I also got a couple of messages from dear friends.  I love birthday phone calls.  They make me feel so special.

To end the night, we celebrated with chex pie, complete with homemade hot fudge on top,  one of my favorites. 

We had a sleepover in our front room, because this is one of my favorite birthday pasttimes.

What a Happy Birthday!

Chilly but Perfect Park Day

October 2013

Met a friend and her son at the park this morning.  It was nippy, but we created some great memories there.  Swinging was one of my kids favorite today, especially for Afton.  It was her first time.  I am in love with all their different facial expressions and smiles as they were swinging.

Moments like this make everything in life worth it!