Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bright as a new penny, these days

Wisconsin is a beautiful place, but our visits are about the people.  Much of this family we see only once a year, for a few days at most, but we seem to pick up where we left off...

We were with Dan's brother's family at the beginning of the week, and again this weekend, as we near the end of our trip.  The game the girls look forward to - "Princess Anika" - resumed almost immediately, within 10 minutes of our arrival.  Mind you, the kids - 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 3 - had not seen each other since last August, but they wasted no time with donning costumes, figuring out new roles and reassigning old roles and getting down to it.

The girls' cousin E has written 14 chapters of a book called "Princess Anika and Other Stories", which the boys shared with us.  Amazing. 

An important part of this visit was meeting our newest niece, and storing up the snuggles and baby-ness to last us through the year.

Baby A with the block Ani made for her!
 Today's visit was all about the apples. 

E up with the apples
J wheeling the barrel up to the press
 We picked apples last year too, but this year was also about the cider press.  First it had to be cleaned and let to dry in the sun. 

Hey! Look where the press was made!! Back home in Ohio!!
Quick break for lunch

As you can tell, this was an all-hands-on-deck kind of operation.  Picking, sorting, cleaning, ogling the apple worms, pulping the apples, turning the press, catching the drips, avoiding the yellow jackets...

...and finally the rewards of tasting some of that good stuff.  Totally worth the hard work.

And where was Dan during all of this? Teaching Baby A the important things in life, like using her tongue for more than nursing.

And leading the gang through about a million verses each of  "Home on the Range" and "Freight Train". 

We try to squeeze so much in and we're never really satisfied, but we'll take these sharp, brilliant memories and savor them throughout the year.

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