Preschool Week 1: Apple Week (and apple leather recipe)

So we kicked off our preschool curriculum this past week (you know, again…don’t judge) learning all about apples. The week before, we decided to go ahead and drive to the closest apple orchard, which was almost 2 hours from my home. But it was well worth it!

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This place was at the top of a mountain in Charlottesville and was breathtakingly beautiful!! We ate peach ice cream, donuts, and apples for lunch. Don’t judge…I’m never prepared for these things. Oh and the peach cider was quite possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. Ever.IMG_0048IMG_0054IMG_0055IMG_0060

We picked $13 worth of apples. Not sure how many pounds that was, but it was quite the challenge to keep the toddler from eating all the rotten ones off the ground. For her it was a smorgasbord!

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They had a lookout area where I could experiment with my new phone on how to do a panoramic. Doesn’t do the view justice at all, but I tried!

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I had so much fun learning about apples with my little preschooler! Of course a few days into it I realized I missed an important milestone that every other mother was reminding me of on Facebook. Mom fail.

IMG_0123Our “preschool” days are really only 30 minutes to an hour. And it’s incredible how long it takes me to plan for that 30 minutes to an hour! We practiced writing the letter A, learning about the lifecycle of an apple and the different parts of an apple, making apple leather and apple chips, learning about oxygenation, and did apple crafts all week. Everyday we started with some exercise and a song. It was so much fun!

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It's difficult to tell, but that was supposed to be apple prints. You know...you might need to use your imagination to see it...
It’s difficult to tell, but that was supposed to be apple prints. You know…you might need to use your imagination to see it…

I’ve had some requests for the fruit leather recipe…it’s too easy and kids can help!

For more ideas on how to create your own apple-themed preschool week, check out my pinterest board!
       Follow ReliableRoots’s board Apple Week – Preschool on Pinterest.

Apple Leather
Print Recipe
Really easy, kid-friendly apple leather
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Apple Leather
Print Recipe
Really easy, kid-friendly apple leather
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, then turn down to 180 degrees. If you have a gas oven that doesn't go down that low, preheat to 400, then turn off and just keep the pilot light on. This is how I made mine, and I had to keep it in the oven overnight.
  2. Lightly spray baking sheet with oil spray.
  3. Spread applesauce over baking sheet, just enough to barely cover the sheet (about 1/8th inch).
  4. Place in oven for at least 3 hours to overnight, or until you can peel off the applesauce.
  5. Peel off applesauce into a roll, cut, and enjoy!
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Sometimes It’s Good to Remember and Reflect

In the city of Petersburg, there is a battlefield. It is a National Park, complete with acres upon acres of beautiful forest and trails. Inside it’s sacred ground are Civil War signs and plaques as well as a road tour and a visitor center. I’ve been visiting The Battlefield a lot lately. It is a very quiet place to get away and go for a run, or just reflect.

Today, however, it was not quiet at all. Today was a reenactment of the Battle of the Crater. I have heard about the crater from everyone, and indeed there’s a pretty major street named after it, but this was the first time I actually saw it and soaked up it’s significance.

In the midst of The Battlefield is this crater, with beautifully mowed grass that signifies just how close the confederate and union solders were to one another…a few hundred feet, maybe? The story goes that the union army dug a very large tunnel, about 450 feet, to where the confederates were camped at. They then loaded the mine with explosives and lit the fuse, creating the crater.

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The explosion had a double effect. Yes, it killed 400+ confederate soldiers. However, it also sent debris and shrapnel flying through the air towards the union soldiers, who were only a few hundred feet away. They did not escape unharmed in the blast.

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I took a picture of this photo…the crater became a tourist spot in the 1860s. Notice the scull at the bottom of this picture.

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In the midst of all the racial tension this past 12 months has brought, The Battlefield is a sobering reminder of a very scary past. I cannot fathom going to war in our own backyard…our enemies being our neighbors and cousins. Living in fear of our own houses being caught in the middle of a cross-fire. Having to choose sides, knowing that your side could loose and you and your family would forevermore be considered an enemy of country.

The Civil War had more American deaths than any other war…an estimated 750,000 Americans lost their lives. It’s staggering, and quite humbling, to walk on such hallowed ground. It amazes me, absolutely amazes me, that we did not fall as a country at that point. Loosing close to a million Americans, with countless more wounded and disabled, and with the countryside tattered and torn, we still made it through that period of history! We rebuilt! We reconciled!

What an amazing testament to our nation to be able to overcome such diversity! I only hope that we remember our past and strive to learn from it.

And we’re back!

Sincere apologies for being absent while we had a death in the family. While we are still mourning, we are finally getting back into a normal flow of life again and looking forward to the days and weeks to come! I’m taking a break this week from any kind of pre schooling to try to get back into a flow…aka my RV is a disaster and I feel the need to do some extensive cleaning.

In about 10 days time, we made not one but 2 car trips up to Boston. The first to say goodbye, and 2 days later to go to his memorial, which was more like a party than a memorial. My father-in-law was a very loved man, as evident from the people who came from all over to pay their respects at his party. He had a short, fierce battle with alzheimer’s. My sister-in-law put out jars of Worther’s candy all around, his favorite. In his last month, my mother-in-law would bring the candy to him all the time, the jar constantly running empty. Finally the nursing staff asked her to stop. She inquired if it was too much sugar for him, which they replied no, but he kept throwing the candy at them whenever he got upset. This will always make me smile.

My favorite picture of my father-in-law holding my firstborn.
My favorite picture of my father-in-law holding my firstborn.

The girls were amazing during our 2800-mile-trip that spanned the course of 4 days. A-MA-ZING! To stick a toddler and a preschooler in the car for that long is torture for everyone, but they really did so good! And I got to see NYC, though we weren’t too happy about the $14 toll to go through the Bronx during rush hour. Then again, is there ever an hour in NY that’s not “rush hour”? That’s probably as close as I’ll ever get to the city, and I think I’m ok with that….

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Somehow we passed right by Hershey, PA 3 times and never got a chance to stop. Being that that is unacceptable, The Hubs made it right.

20150712_095725I’m excited to get back into the swing of things again! July is looking to be a very exciting month indeed!

A Brief Break In Bloggin

My apologies for the break in blogging as of late. I’m heartbroken to say that my beloved father-in-law passed away after a fierce battle with alzheimer’s.  As such, we’ve been traveling more than I ever have before to make arrangements. My youngest is now 14 months and has been to 21 states….which now that I think of it is how many I’ve been to.

So I am sorry for the lack of blog posts. As soon as things get a little more settled we’ll be getting right back into preschool activities, exploring Virginia, crafts and recipes. But for now, you’ll have to settle for pictures of my youngest experiencing her first New England lobster.

Enjoy!

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The Dolphin Remodel

Happy Throw-Back-Thursday! I wanted to share this little pearl we loved living in last year. Though we’re in our 3rd rig, this was the only one we remodeled.  I really hated to give it up, but I’m so glad we have a bunk room now! There’s nothing worse than stepping on building blocks while trying to make coffee. Ouch.

RV remodel before and after RV remodel before and after RV remodel before and after RV remodel before and after RV remodel before and after RV remodel before and afterAnd yea, that was my mini-me, LV, with me in those pictures. I guess she was around Autumn’s age now. She took her first steps in that rig! Oh such wonderful memories!

If you like these, check out my friend Sara’s RV remodel gallery. Her and her husband are RV-makeover-extraordinaires! And they’re just plain fun to read about!