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Every August, my cousin, sister-in-law and our kids all get together at our Grandma's place to pick crabapples from her trees and enjoy a potluck lunch all together.  I love this yearly rhythm that has developed and can imagine the warm memories that Yummy is building from this growing tradition.  It surprised me that she had visual memories of putting apples in baskets and following her cousins through the tree rows from last summer (a whole year seems very long for a four-year-old), but she mentioned these things before I did, after I told her we would soon be going to pick apples again.  
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I got to Grandma's earlier than the rest, and after putting Dooter down for a nap in the house, Yummy and I spent about half an hour on our own, picking apples.  This is a memory I will especially cherish, as Yummy talked to me non-stop the whole time, "I love apples.  I love picking apples.  I really like apples...."  
After the gathering, we go home and make many batches of apple juice, and often applesauce as well.  The glowing jars in varying shades of pink make me all warm and fuzzy inside.  Sweetened with honey, I love having this tart juice to enjoy throughout the year.  This year I also made a batch of Apple-Raspberry -a new and VERY yummy delight!  
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I haven't done many apple-related activities in past years, but Yummy was so loving the idea of Apple Festival this year, that I wanted to extend the theme and joy a little longer.  I made a big lump of red cinnamon-spiced play-dough for the kids to play with, including twigs and leaves from outside to make play-dough apples.  The recipe is from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.  They smelled excellent and looked good enough to eat!  Which of course, Dooter did.
While I was busy washing jars and filling them with hot juice, I set two bowls of apples on the floor for Yummy and Dooter to taste, smell and play with.  Along with a lot of eating, the two spent a good 30 minutes without screaming once.  I call that a success.  Yummy loaded a little shopping cart full of apples for Dooter so he could go shopping.  He had no idea what she was talking about, but thought it was super fun to race it back and forth while Yummy pretended he was paying for his apples and taking them home.  
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To add a little music and literacy into the theme, I made a big visual poster of the chorus lyrics to Johnny Appleseed, so Yummy could see the "words" and learn to sing the song with me.  I love this song for Apple Festival -it's about apples and it's just so NICE.  
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Here are the lyrics, without pictures: 


The Lord is good to me.
So I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
Like the sun, the rain and the appleseed;
The Lord is good to me.

And every seed I grows
Will grow into a tree.
And someday there'll be apples there
For everyone in the world to share.
The Lord is good to me.



And you can hear the tune and see the sheet music here.
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And I also made the Apple Smile treats from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas (same place I got the play-dough recipe) for the kids which were VERY well received.    

Happy Apple Picking & Eating!



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