Apple picking...in the backyard

We have an apple tree in our backyard. Our first year in this house we got zero apples due to a late frost. This year there were so many apples growing I was dreaming of homemade apple sauce, apple cider, apple pie, apple butter, apple crisp & apple jam. Little did I know there were others in the hood who had their eyes on our apples also.

At the end of the season (today, as proclaimed by Dave) we picked 35 good apples off the tree, and we think we got maybe 1% of the apples. So, we estimate the rest of the apple harvest was divided as follows:

2% or 70 apples went to "the kids." Brig and his friends liked to pick the apples, throw the apples, roll the apples down the slide, you get the idea. For some reason the hundreds of apples laying in the grass held no appeal. They insisted on doing their own picking.

16% or 420 apples went to worms. So many apples looked nearly perfect from the outside but had that little black spot indicating some creature had inhabited this apple for a time. Argh.

85% or 2975 apples went to the most obnoxious gang in the hood, the squirrels. Have I mentioned how much I hate squirrels? Perched on the highest tree branch they would pick an apple, eat a bite, and drop it in our yard. Pick a new apple, eat a bite, and drop it in our yard. While Brig was playing in the backyard I would pick up the ruined apples and throw them at the squirrels. I never even got close enough to make them flinch. After hucking about 100 apples over the course of the summer it occurred to me my neighbor might not be a big fan of me throwing apples directly into his backyard.

Well, the apples are fantastic. They are crisp, sweet, and organic. I'll be lucky to get 1 apple pie and a few apple slices. Next year I'm going to be a little more defensive about protecting my crop. That's right, some squirrels are going to die.


Week 1

It's been a crazy week. CRA. ZY. We made it through though, in one piece... but man, are we tired. Overall Croz had 3 rough days at school and 2 good ones, but he ended on a high note (his teacher today told me he was an angel and had a great speech session) so I'm calling the week a success.

For some reason, when I learned that Oz would be in a full day school program, I thought I would have gobs of time on my hands. I pictured myself leisurely reading in the middle of the day, going to the temple, meeting friends for lunch. So far, none of these things have happened. I've been running around like mad each day, trying to pack the millions of things I have to do in before it's time to go and get him. Hopefully things will settle down soon because I've got Mockingjay to read! And the Bachelor Pad finale to watch. And, yeah... I need to go to the temple.

Let's reflect back though to happier, simpler times. I'm going to do several posts on our summer vacation, since I just synched my iPhone and got all my pictures off. Some examples of the fun we had in Zion:

We got to hang out with George. The sweetest little baby, but not a fan of sleeping at night. Poor Amy and Brian were thrashed.

Riding the carousel with Brian, Ella and Vera. This was at the base of the Alpine slide. Right after this we ate ginormous shave ices.

Someday I'm going to make a book, filled with all the pictures I have of Scout on carousels all over the world. The only thing she likes riding better than a fake horse is, of course, a real horse.

Ye-Haw! You'd think by this awesome pose Calder rides carousels as often as Scout, but in fact, he NEVER rides them. I think he was pumped from his Alpine slide adventure and that's why he agreed to go on the carousel. He's a natural, no?

Sadly, the only picture I have of the Alpine slide. And it's not even of the slide. We rode the chairlift up and then cruised down the mountain. Look how peaceful and happy these two look. What you can't see is Calder freaking out to my left as I took this shot. He insisted on the bar being put down, and had both my arm and the back of the chair lift in a death-grip. Apparently, he's afraid of heights. And Alpine slides. We forced him to go down though (all by himself!) and after two turns he was racing Scout and loving it. When we got to the bottom he asked if we could go again. Uh, not for another 70 bucks. Sorry bud.

Croz and Scout sleeping together. So cute! I love that his head is on her chest.

Calder trying on his jumpsuit to prep for his baptism.

Oh look! There's two jumpsuits. I guess Scout should try one on too... but why?

Hot! Trav's jumpsuit. (Or is he in Calder's?!) He opted for a white shirt and his temple pants instead. Probably a good choice.



Today is Sara's 37th birthday. She brings so much light to everyone's life that she touches. I stand in awe at her strength as in 2009 alone she faced among other things:
  • Crosby's diagnosis
  • Lice
  • Death of T Gordon Lewis
  • Multiple squatters who she opened her home to for months (we love you Palmers)
  • Psycho neighbor
  • Broken refrigerator
  • Possible cancelling of Friday Night Lights

But through it all she still laughs, takes her children to do multiple fun activities, religiously applies sunscreen, follows Perez Hilton and showers on a regular basis (something some of us may or may not do). She leads the Lewis family in fashion and I couldn't survive without her.

I love you S



First day of school

Last Wednesday was technically the first day of school for Crosby, but I was way too emotional/stressed to take any pictures. Here we are walking down the steps to put him on his little bus.

Here he is on the steps of the bus, about to go get in his car seat. He looks a little stunned, but trust me, he was fine.

An artsy shot of him in his car seat, taken by Trav through the window. Bye Oz! Have a great day at school! Mom's going to try not to cry all day long while you're gone...

Then we have these two. (The gnome/dwarf is not going to school this year.) Calder couldn't have been less thrilled, but it's a far cry from the crying/screaming/anxiety of school 3 years ago, so I'll take it. Scout was PUMPED.

Walking to school with dad. I'm realizing more and more that we wear a lot of black. It just shows the dirt so much less than any other color! Except maybe brown. But we wear a lot of that, too.

Bye guys! I miss you already!


3 seconds before a timeout

He really has the innocent look down, doesn't he? You can almost hear him thinking, "I have no idea why my cousin is crying! I hope he is ok..."

And I would almost believe him if we hadn't caught this on camera 3 seconds prior:


A special day

On Thursday, September 2nd (or to you hard-core crafters, Swiss Days EVE), Travis baptized Calder in Grandma and David's pond in Midway, UT. It was such a simple, beautiful evening. Nana came from Colorado, Grampa and Oma came from Ephraim, the Barkers were there from D.C. (and blessed baby George), the Defords from Grand Junction, and Calder, Starr and Stella came all the way from 3 blocks away. All the hymns and songs were done by guitar and mandolin by Sally and Willie, and Scout sang "When I am baptized" while Willie accompanied her. George was blessed and Hank wore pretty pants that were filmy, pink, and jingled when he walked. There was of course a Costco cake (Calder's favorite).

Sally took some beautiful pictures. See them here.