It was both exciting and anxiety inducing to stroll down memory lane and see what all our elf Criddle was up to last December. I mean, my heavens - it's almost time again and these pictures made me realize I need to get my creative juices (read: Pinterest Elf on the shelf board stalking) flowing.
My kids get crazy into this whole tradition and truthfully my biggest one is probably THE MOST into it. It's really cute and honestly, I have more fun with it than anything else. Tim and I crack each other up "participating" in the elf's schemes each year.
Our elf doesn't necessarily watch for good behavior but we try to tie him into kindness and sharing the love of Jesus.
These next pictures (and there are a lot) pretty much just document his antics. No explanations really necessary. Enjoy!
This - this is the kind of kindness we want to see during Christmas and all year round. Kennedy wanted Criddle to give this pencil to someone whose birthday is on Christmas.
He even fixes broken Christmas toys.
I mean, if I could get in there...I would too!
Notice Olaf in the middle. I can just hear him now saying "could you hand me my butt?"
^The marshmallow barricade. Ingenious!
Now that the flashback portion is covered, here is our other exciting Fall Break adventure from last week. We took a day trip with K's best friend and drove up to Hendersonville, NC to Skytop Orchard.
Let me set the scene for you. We arrive around 10 AM and the place is literally crawling with pre-schools and elementary school field trips. It is gorgeous though and we set out to pick apples and make the best of things. Our plan was to pick as many different varieties as we could. Here's the thing about this orchard: it's GINORMOUS! I mean, they have tons of apples but that means there are tons of apple trees and tons of ground to cover. 2 adults, 4 kids and 1 baby - yeah: piece of cake! I loaded Micah in the Bjorn because the place was so muddy from rain the previous week that apparently wagons and strollers weren't navigating the grounds well.
All these kiddos were adamant that they have their own basket for apples but that meant we had LOTS of heavy baskets and relatively quickly. Once we traipsed out a bit and I was ready to take a picture I put my basket down, I pulled the huge camera bag off my shoulder and turned my camera on and took the lens cap off and aimed it at the amazing scenery in front of me and can you guess? The battery was dead. Here we were, like three hills and umpteen rows of trees away from where we began and I had a camera that was useless. Sigh. Thankfully the other Momma had her cell and therefore it had to suffice but to say I was sad to be without my camera in such unspeakable beauty is just the understatement of the century. Insert dramatic sobs here.
We've made applesauce and apple butter the last several years, but this is the first time we've actually PICKED apples and it was really fun but it was not easy work. The kids were really into the whole thing. To get "prime apple pickin'" you had to get to the trees that were WAY out so we were super tired when it was all said and done because we were committed!
After lunch I could Bjorn the babe no more and so I said a little prayer over my BOB and hoped for the best as we set out to tackle more of the orchard grounds. It was hard to push these boys but it was better than wearing a baby, carrying 3 apple baskets and practically dragging your 3 year old around. Whew!
These two just adore each other and it makes my heart so happy. Every gal needs a BFF and I'm thankful they are each others'.
Up towards the barn and the kids play area there is a random Bamboo Forest that you can walk through. Kind of cool really and the kids thought so too.
By the time we picked until we could pick no more and headed back up to the barn/building/apple stand/amazing apple cider donut place, all the preschools and schools had abandoned the premises (hallelujah) so the play place was all ours. We got one last apple treat and then loaded this tired and muddy crew up for the 2+ hour drive home. It was a fun day but a napless and long day so Momma was ready for a break. We and all of our family enjoyed delicious (and I mean DEEEE-LICIOUS) apples for days. I'd love to go back again when baby carrying isn't necessary: ha!