Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever!

  Summer vacation!  Tomorrow is the first full day.  This past year, I have had two of my guys still learning at home. With M. in public school, I'm excited to have a little more of his time now that break is here!  It's a bittersweet summer.  Next September I will be sending B. off to public High School.  I'm going to miss B., so I want to make sure that we make the best of the summer!  (despite all of our crazy schedules)
  Today was a family outing that marks the beginning of summer.  Strawberry picking!!!  I love seeing how different activities have turned into tradition.  The kids expect to kick off the summer this way.  It wouldn't seem right if we didn't do it.  Our first year, M. hated strawberries.  However, he had only tasted the ones in the grocery store, that had been picked green and left to ripen on a shelf.  Sitting in a field full of berries, ripened by the sun was a whole new thing! Sweet, juicy, and he couldn't stop eating them!!  It was warm today, but not too hot, blue skies and a breeze.We spent the afternoon picking way too many strawberries!  The first season we went picking, we had so much fun, (and the weather was similar to today's), that we just kept picking!  (I don't know what I was thinking!)  When we finally had them weighed, I just about choked when he told me my bill came to $75.00 worth of those ripe, red berries!!  It seemed like a good idea at the time!  We are experienced pickers now, and are far more self controlled.  We leave the strawberry fields with red stained lips, fingers, bottoms and knees.  A perfect afternoon made better only by a trip to the local dairy freeze for some soft serve.
The fist step in a successful berry picking trip, is testing the product to ensure it meets standards.

Poor attempt at self portrait, esp. when I'm not looking at the camera! 
But I thought the reflection in the glasses was cool!

Looking for good ones.

Our job is to fill the box!

Dear Santa, please bring me a REAL camera for Christmas!!

B. lost in the fields.  I had to keep them from whipping the rotten ones at each other!

It's exciting when you find the perfect, plump, red berry!

Our reward!

  Later I will scour the Internet for strawberry recipes.  Breakfast on our first camping trip of the season is already planned.  Pancakes with homemade strawberry syrup!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  (By the end of the week the kids are begging for scrambled eggs!)  Welcome summer!

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