Saturday, October 5, 2013

Apple Hill

Our Trip to Apple Hill

We are trying to get all the fun holiday activities in before Stephen has to leave for training, so this weekend we decided to visit Apple Hill. I have heard several people talk about how nice it is so we decided to check it out!

Apple Hill is an association of 55 ranches set on a small mountain at 3000 ft. elevation. The association consists of orchards, vineyards/wineries, pumpkin farms, Christmas tree farms, shops and activities for kids. It's close to Tahoe so you can even see all of the beautiful Tahoe mountains in the distance!

Just a little taste of the sweet desserts they had

This is a trout pond that you can pay to fish in.
It is surrounded by picnic tables and this is where we had lunch!

I decided before we even got there that I was not coming home without picking my own apples! There was lots of venders selling freshly picked apples, but I wanted to pick my own. Several places didn't have a big enough harvest to support their yummy treats and picking so they opted for the treats. :) We finally found one that had a great selection!

This is one of the orchards that didn't have enough apples so it was used for parking

This was the orchard ready for pickin'!

Now that we made it home with the apples I had to figure out what to do with them! Apple pie, of course! I was not in the mood for making that today, I'll probably save it to brighten up my Monday.. :). I decided to make apple chips for Paisley and Stephen and applesauce for Liam. Applesauce is super easy in the crockpot and very delicious! It was my first time making apple chips and (since I don't have a mandolin) I had to do the thin slicing by hand. Luckily, my expert cutting skills did the trick!
Just core and thinly slice apples

sprinkle a little cinnamon (it's hard doing a little cinnamon)
Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours
 Paisley ate them up! I was a little disappointed at how little you got for the amount of prep time it took and then cooking for 2 hours, but they were still delicious!
Now for applesauce!

Cored and diced the apples

 Sprinkle a little cinnamon and cook on low for 4 hours in the crockpot!

Then you just mash with a potato masher and you're all done! Liam liked them and so did Stephen :)
And.... still enough left over for pie....
So it was definitely a fun and productive California day!
Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 30, 2013


My current favorite song would have to be "Oceans" by Hillsong. Every single time this song comes on the radio or they sing it at church I feel this overwhelming sense of.... peace... come over me. It is indescribable. 

Here are the lyrics in case you have never heard it:

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

 I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

I would classify myself as a worrier and a planner, maybe even fearful at times, of situations or circumstances that I have no control over. Over the last year God has really been dealing with me about truly letting go of these things (not just saying it, but truly living it). One way was, without a doubt, moving across the country. I moved from Florida to California (somewhere many warned was full of "hippies and democrats") in July 2013. I left my family, friends, memories and the ability to get around for daily errands without using a GPS, to set out on a new journey with my sweet little family. A journey that has, without question, been ordered by God (not just the USAF).

You know those memories that are etched forever in your mind? The ones that when you think about them you feel like you are reliving them? Well, I had one of those while moving to California. Picture this: We are on the last leg of our 8 day journey across the US. In the car there is me, my loving husband and our two wonderful kids (2 and 5 months). This day was going to be our longest, 10 hours, but our LAST. We are about one mile from the California/Nevada border and on the home stretch, when we realize that we are being rerouted for what we later find out was a mudslide on the interstate. No one telling us the way to go, we pick HWY 49 which will end up taking us another 4 hours (that will make this car ride a grand total of 14 hours). By this time, we had all had quite enough of traveling especially my two sweet little babies. I remember being so ...... scared. The situation was completely out of my hands... I couldn't control the crying babies or the mud or even my own emotions. My poor, sweet, saint of a husband was trying so hard to make the situation and the experience the best it could possibly be, he said "look, there's the California state line! Take a picture!" Only to look over at me bawling and all I could muster to say was "I just want to go home!" Not this new state we were going to CALL our "home." I wanted MY home. The home I have known and loved! Up until a week before our move I had been so positive about moving, ready to move in fact! I knew there was so much I was going to miss about my home, but the excitement of a new adventure outweighed the nervousness. Then it set in... the fear.

You see, this is where I truly began to realize how small circumstances, things and I truly am. I realized that all I want in this life is to just have a simple heart. A heart set on God and the things He has set apart specifically for me. I want a heart that has no hidden agenda, holds no record of wrongs and loves, just loves.. When I have this, I know that I will truly have no fear or worry because it will all be given to Him.

Now how does this all tie in to this song? With this move I have truly had to just live every single day by faith. "So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves." Faith that I will find friends, faith that we can find a good church, a home, a grocery store.. "You've never failed and You wont start now" - We've made some great friends, found an amazing church and home, and I have even found a grocery store! We truly love it here! The people are awesome, the food is incredible and there is so much to do and experience! Without His direction, grace and faithfulness, despite my failures along the way, I would have missed out on some incredible things if we had just gone home (not that that was an option) and not let faith lead us.

I am truly ok with the fact that not many people will read this.. after all, it is just ramblings of a simple heart.