When Life Gives you Apples (August 12)

When life gives you apples, you make apple cider!

Oh my goodness, the joy and wonder of picking apples! The trees are heavy with them, sunny days bringing more and more ripening, reddening apples, and the kids love to harvest them! The boys climb high in the branches, and Vivi scours for low-hanging fruit…

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Of course, it’s much quicker to pick the apples than it is to make the apple cider! Each tasty apple is pretty small, and so the amount of time it takes to wash, slice, core, and remove the bad spots is pretty significant…Happily, the kids are now old enough to form an assembly line, and so, while Joe and I work outside, our automatic-cider-processing-machine is humming along inside!

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The cider is incredibly delicious, fresh out of the juicer, or popped into the freezer until it is refreshingly chilled, or happy-accidentally-forgotton-about in the freezer until it becomes a decadent cider-slushee!

Outside, the wood pile has begun, yay! We finished leveling a large, flat area, ready to store 10 cords of firewood, and soon we’ll be making our way through the forest, filling it up!

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However, that project is on hold, as something more important has bubbled to the surface, quite literally. Turns out, our septic system leach-field experienced a failure sometime in the far distant past, and over the course of almost a year now, we have filled up the tank enough to discover that it’s not properly draining! It was not a very pleasant discovery, but it is manageable, and I am so grateful for the Lord’s planning and provision that He revealed this to us exactly when we could work on it, and well before winter when it would have become a real disaster! Praise Him for His perfect timing! And so, since the Lord directs us to work with our hands whenever we can, we will be digging out and repairing and improving the leach-field. Armed with our shovels and wheelbarrow and sifter, we’ll be digging out a very large pit, pulling out the old broken pipes, removing clay and dirt, installing a new pipe-system, back-filling with gravel, installing septic-guard fabric, and then topping with a layer of dirt for an expanded wildflower field 🙂 

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This job will not exactly be a bed of roses, but will be another great comfort to complete, once-for-all, fixing it up the right way for many years to come!

The very first hints of fall are in the air, as a chill morning dew set everything to sparkling in almost-frost-like splendor!

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But still, new blossoms are appearing, summertime coreopsis…

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…plenty of cosmos, and lovely little forget-me-nots…

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…and late violets! These little beauties grow only-more-amazing the closer you get!

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Springtime babies are growing up a bit, filling out nicely in their journey to grow into a properly plump little Robin-Redbreast before winter’s chill…

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…or to fuel up for winter hibernation, dreaming of emerging in the spring as a lovely Black Zigzag Moth!

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One night, as we were gathered for dinner time, Vivi was distressed over having bad thoughts. She said, “I keep trying not to think ‘worst’, but it keeps always coming in my head!” It was really upsetting her. So, I started explaining to her that we can’t control all of our thoughts, and that the bad ones can come into our heads from the enemy, even when we don’t choose them…You don’t have to be upset, because it’s not your fault, it’s just what he does, and he’s always doing it. But when a thought like that comes, what you have to do is choose to have a thought about the Lord. So, I was asking her if she could think of a favorite Bible story, or if she could tell me her memory verse, or a favorite song, or if she could just repeat, “I love you, God, I love you, God.” Then Spencer pipes up, “Whenever I have bad thoughts, I think about John’s vision of the kingdom of God! (from Revelation) I usually think about God and Jesus on their thrones and the Holy Spirit standing in front, ready to do the Lord’s will,” and he smiled a big smile. Amen, brother! Then, Asher, my little analytical man, adds, “Sometimes, the enemy tries to tell me God’s not real. But I just point out all the facts that it’s obvious that God’s real, like how God creating everything makes so much more sense than evolution, and how the Bible was given by God, and all the time they discover things that prove the facts in the Bible are true.” Oh my goodness, the joy in my heart to have my little ones learning the difference between the truth of God and the lies of enemy, and what to do about it!

I guess that’s what late summer’s all about – picking apples, making cider, stacking firewood, digging holes, watching the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, and growing in the knowledge and love and understanding of the Lord!

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