So I have wanted to write something about the crazy evening we had this week. One day a week, we try to get together as a family and have family time or Family Home Evening. This is a time to share gospel-centered messages, as well as just be together. Sometimes we do projects or sing together, it really just depends on the week.
All of these things we do are to follow the Prophet and teachings of Jesus Christ to strengthen our family. We believe that as we live our lives worthy of temple blessings, that after this life, our family will be able to continue to be a family in the eternities. Through special priesthood ordinances in the Holy Temples, this is made possible dependent upon our worthiness as individuals and as families. We do all we can to strengthen our relationships and build our family. It’s definitely not easy! Our big family has lots of personalities and abilities, and faults! We are NOT perfect! What we are trying for is to be the best we can and through Christ’s infinite and eternal atonement, we can someday be perfected. We are all a work in progress!
So on Monday, I was desperately trying to can some apples into apple pie filling. I had started about 8 in the morning and by about 3:30 pm when my kids had gotten home from school, I had only just prepared my third batch to cook. Each batch would process 7-quart jars in a water bath canner. They take about 20 to 25 minutes for each batch to process. While one is processing, I was busy getting my apples ready to go into the jars for another batch. Each step was so time-consuming that it was a VERY SLOW process!
When my husband showed up after a long day of work, he could see I needed help! I already had a sticky mess everywhere and if you’re going to get the kitchen that sticky and messy…..well, let’s just say you might as well do a million jars! So my husband wanted to do 100 jars and he put each kid to work! Everyone had a job. Everyone was helping. My 2-year-old Allie was the official “apple-bobber.” She sat on a stool next to the sink and “bobbed” the apples! She figured she was really helping, and she was so cute about it! (The apple-bobbing job was just to get the dirt off of them.) Next, my little 4-year-old Hannah was helping my 14-year-old Abby put apple slices in the dehydrator. (This was a totally separate project I wanted to be done.) My boys Tanner (9) and Tad (7) were running the apple skins and cores to the chickens and the cows, bringing in more apples and getting more supplies when needed. Emily (11) was filling the jars with apple slices.
My husband and my son Jacob (17) were slicing, peeling, and coring the apples with devices that do it all in one action when you turn the handle. My job was to cook the sauce, fill the jars with sauce, get the lids simmering, wipe off the jars, process the jars in the canner, and then keep repeating and trying to keep two canners going at the same time! My oh my, was my kitchen a busy mess! What a happy mess that was, too! Everyone was helping, everyone was happy, everyone had a job to do! Everyone was needed! What a glorious night that was! I think that will go down in history as one of the best family home evenings we have ever had!
When it was all said and done….. we had canned 87-quart jars of apple pie filling!!!! Yes!!! This was an amazing accomplishment for our family! I loved it! What a wonderful family I have! I have been very blessed. Thanks to my sweet hubby who ran downtown for more supplies after he had gotten home from work and bought another peeler/corer/slicer and another water-bath canner as well as cornstarch with all the regular groceries we were out of. (like Milk!!)
This is what family is all about. It’s the crazy with the good, the sticky with the sweet, the happy and the sad….that’s what makes this life so worth it. It’s sharing all those moments along the way with the people you love the most.
I love my family so much, they are so fun, crazy and amazing! Those 87-quart jars of apple pie goodness will be a sweet treat for our family for some time to come! The memories, I hope, will last a lifetime!
Happy Family Time my Friends!