Friday, October 10, 2014

Friends and Fun

Last weekend we went to our friend and neighbor Jaime's parents' cabin in Girard, IL for their annual Apple Butter Festival.  After a few weeks of 80 degree temps, I was hoping the weather would be cool enough for sweaters and a cup of coffee (because doesn't that sound like how you should make apple butter?)  Well, I got what I asked for and then some, because that Saturday was barely 50 degrees, windy and sunny.

The point of the festival is that Jaime's parents make apple butter in a huge copper pot over an open fire.  They've been doing it for years, and each year, the festival has gotten more and more eclectic. They begin around 9 am, and serve a ham and bean lunch at noon, with each family bringing a covered dish.  There's fishing in their private pond, hayrides, and a bluegrass band,-whom I understand is mostly impromptu- but still added to the fun.

Jacob and Carter were totally in their element.  Jacob took off with two of his good friends as soon as we arrived, and I barely saw him for hours.  He said they played "Ski Leaf," which is a game consisting of jumping off a picnic table, grabbing a tree branch, and trying to "ski" to the ground.  Oh, to be a 4 year old...

The apple butter was ready around 2 pm.  We each got a biscuit, and then Jaime's mom ladled a scoop of warm apple butter on top.  I really like apple butter, but I really, really like warm, homemade apple butter.  The whole drive was worth it just for that first bite alone!

Our friends Kenny and Kari were also there, and we enjoyed hanging out with them as well and Jaime and her husband Shannon. As an adult, I think we tend to make lots of friendships, but very few progress beyond the social or surface.  We've been very fortunate to get to know these couples, both of whom care about us like family. (and vice versa)

The kids just had to try out the tractor and wagon before we left!

By late afternoon, we started for home, making a stop a Scheels in Springfield..  I've heard this store compared to Bass Pro Shops, and while I do think that's accurate, since this was the only indoor ferris wheel I've ever seen,so Scheels has my vote for coolest outdoor store.

Guess who wanted to ride the ferris wheel?  I'll give you a hint... it wasn't Frank (in orange. below), although roped in to riding with him.

Jacob wasn't scared at all and thought it was super-fun.  I'm not sure which he liked best: ski-leaf or the ferris wheel!

It was a great end to a great day!

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