It’s not the way it was…and it never will be.

This past weekend my family went apple picking.


After dragging our feet to get there for the past two months, we finally made it.


I knew that going was the right thing to do because the last time my family went apple picking we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  After all, it’s a family friendly activity that centers around enjoying each others company and the great outdoors.


But the reason I dragged my feet getting there was because this time only half of our family would attend, and that saddened me to no end.

You see, the last time we visited an orchard was five years ago, and all my kids (minus one) were present; but this time we would be missing my two boys – who are now grown men: one is away serving our country and the other is too old to be interested in such an outing. So the whole time we were planning to go I kept lamenting over their absence. I felt like my car would be too empty; like something just wasn’t right.

I invited several other families to fill in the “missing kids” gap, but none of them were able to make it. So, I had to press forward with just three of my own kids going.  Still, something inside of me longed for my boys to be there.

My heart ached for them.

I just want things to be the way they used to be – the way it was before they grew up and (one) left home and they became so independent.  You know?  The way it was when they were still young enough for me to carpool them to the movies and the mall and to their other activities.

Though I loathed it sometimes – the way the boys made what seemed to be endless demands on my time – when kids grow up, you actually miss that stuff. You miss the way they used to need you. The way they were always around – even when you wanted to swat them away like a fly!

So yeah, we finally went apple picking – after a five year hiatus – after disappointing my girls several times and rescheduling because “it just wouldn’t be the same without my boys.” (Duh, Mom!)


And we actually had a great time making new memories, but I kept looking back to yesterday.  I kept looking around every bend, around every tree to see if I could find where we made those fabulous memories when all of us were there.

I went looking for that log, the one my boys rolled on in this picture five years ago…


We couldn’t find it. It was silly, I know, to even try. But we were sure we found the exact place where it had laid.  That memory is so vivid in my mind – the two of them rolling on that log. It sort of reminds me of this picture I took of Autumn and Alexis just this past weekend…


When we’re with our kids in “real time” going through the motions of parenting them day-in and day-out, it doesn’t always seem so magical. Honestly, the whole parenting gig can feel quite laborious and overwhelming. But then they grow up, and we often wish we had done more, said more, poured ourselves into their lives more; sacrificed more. That’s when our memories of yesteryear are not just precious, they are sacred. And we long, sometimes, to just have another try at it. But we can never return there again.

I took some precious pictures of my family this past weekend, similar to the ones I took when we visited years ago.  Here’s my trip down memory lane . . .

IMAG0108Maskers Orchard 2010 (Alexis {far left} is only 3. She’s too cute. It’s killing me!)



Maskers Orchard 2015


sleep in the car 2010

Kids sleeping away that 2 hour car ride on the way to the orchard. (2010)



Some things never change (except the half empty car). (2015)


Alexis then and nowAlexis then (2010) and now (2015).


Autumn then and nowAutumn then and now.


Copy (3) of IMAG0129

Completely irresistible! Alexis and Autumn are only 3 and 5 years old! Too Cute!



Apple Fight!! (Boys will be boys.) 2010



For King and Country!!!!



Good throw, Jon. (2010)



 Mom gives it a try, too! (2015)


That classic picture when everyone is bent over picking up apples.



Those beautiful kids. (Geez!) 2010



The Adams family, minus two! (2015)



And this . . . just because I think Eve must have looked like this in the Garden of Eden.

My Big Fat Beautiful Family is thinning out.

Kids grow up and move out and move on. And so it is.

Five years from now, should the Lord tarry, and I visit the orchard again – hopefully with a few younger adopted kids – I will probably brood over the new changes that life has brought to my family.

I will look around and wonder how Autumn and Alexis grew up – without me noticing.

I will look around and long for Angel, who probably would have already left my home to leave and cleave with her “Adam.”

Things will be new. They will not be the same. And they’re not supposed to be.


Let’s flourish in family life together!

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  1. Good Morning, Tiffiney,

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve been praying about a way that I could encourage other bloggers who have been encouraging me. Through your ministry, posts, words, comments, and faithfulness—your life has been a blessing to mine, and I wanted others to know about you!

    So, I compiled a list of those bloggers who I’ve personally found to be the MOST INSPIRATIONAL on the web.

    You are ONE Of these bloggers – in my estimation!

    You can find the link to the list where you are featured here:

    I’ve also signed up to get your emails, and tried to follow you on your social media outlets!

    I pray that God will encourage you today through these simple acts~

    • Hi Melanie!

      What an honor to be featured as one of your most inspirational bloggers! You have definitely succeeded in encouraging me and I know you are blessing many others as well. I’ve prayerfully looked over your top 100 list for new bloggers to get acquainted with and I believe I’ve found several. Thank you so much for your effort to be a blessing to the Body of Christ. I could only imagine what a labor of love it was. I believe your hard work has paid off.

      Blessings to you!

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