Our friend Laura gave Sonora a “spa day” for Christmas for her and a few friends. Today was the day all of them could come together at our house for their treat. Danelle and Laura set up the stations and prepared for the girls!
After delivering the pizza and getting this group shot, Corvin and I got out of there for our safety 🙂
I can’t even pretend to know all of the random things that were done to the girls, but there was lots of giggling!
Laura wanted to check out Tilles Park’s Winter Wonderland. We decided it would be best to visit on a carriage. So we split a large carriage and invited Josh and Jen to join us. We all met early as we were quite excited to get our ride. The kids were super excited and we all bundled up for the cold.
Once we got started, we had quite conversation as we took in all of the lights around us. Its impossible to get a good photo from a phone, but here is an idea.
After viewing the lights, we had everyone over to our house for dinner. Its amazing how much you can prepare for a group in a hurry. Luckily the house didn’t burn down while we were gone with the ham in the oven.
Josh and Jen invited us over to their house to make apple cider. Ok, the real goal was to get the juice so they could turn it into hard apple cider. But all good things take time and we needed to start with getting the juice out of the apples. Several of their friends showed up.
The process consisted of a few steps. First we had to clean the apples by cutting out any bad spots. They are then placed in the blue bucket to clean them of debris.
Then next step is to pull apples out of the bucket and on to the table. There, we’ll cut them in half and place them in the manual hopper. We take turns turning the wheel to grind up the apples to much smaller chunks and juice.
Once the bucket is full of apple parts, it is dumped into a cheesecloth bag inside of the press. Once the press was full, it was time to start turning the press to get the juice out of the apples.
The juice in the bowl is apple cider. When the bowl is full, it was moved into containers and put into storage until it could be brewed into hard cider. We of course had to sample each type of apple cider.
The spent chunks of apples were taken to the mulch pile while the rest of the process continued. Of course, it wasn’t all work. We had fun and stopped for lunch!
Danelle’s college friend, Mary happened to be visiting St. Louis for a few days. We were lucky enough to meet up with her and her sister at the Transportation Museum.
We didn’t have much time, but with several kids, it was probably better that way. My kids did a great job playing/watching the other four kids. Of course we had had to ride the train.
After the museum, Mary and her kids went in our van to Laura’s house. There we hung out with other college friends late into the night. Unfortunately, the night ended when one of Mary’s kids got suck and threw up. We took them home to her sister’s house. The whole time, I was a bit worried that her kid would get sick again in my van. While we made it without incident in the van, her son got sick again inside her sister’s house.