Sunday, July 31, 2011

More of Day 2 - Family Visit

I cannot forget to mention that on Day 2, we started the day with build your own omelets and toast, sandwiches for lunch, and we had grilled BBQ chicken, fresh corn on the cob, and pasta salad for dinner. Then after dinner, we roasted marshmallows in the fire pit that Rich built and had S'mores for dessert. My children and I had never had them S'mores before ... so it was an exciting first for them. I tasted Aaron's, but one bite was enough for me ... wow ... sickening sweet!!! It was such a fun night for everyone and very exciting too! In case you were wondering where Rosalie was for all of this excitement ... she was already asleep in bed.

Day 2 - Family Visit

On Day 2 of our visit, we played miniature golf. Rosalie fell asleep on the way there, and slept for the first part of the game.

It was somewhat overcast, but it got to be pretty uncomfortably hot.

The children had so much fun! The last time we did this, Jonathan wasn't even 2 yet!

We played with our own set of rules and we didn't keep score.

This wasn't the easiest miniature golf course ... but everyone had fun!

Rosalie eventually woke up and joined the fun!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 1 - Family Visit

Last week, Aunt Lisa, Ryan, and Nicole came for a visit. We were all excited about the visit ... and the children could hardly sleep the night before they arrived! Day 1 - they arrived in the late afternoon. We ate a meal of pasta, sauce, and meatballs with salad. For dessert, we had chocolate cake, with buttercream frosting. We had a late birthday celebration for Nicole. The birthday cake pictures are the only ones that I took of Day 1. The entire week was so much fun and the memories made were priceless. (and we ate a lot) Rich and I both felt the need to fast for a little while once everyone went home! I'll have more posts coming over the next few days about the things that we did the rest of the week.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shish Kebob

We have been having so much fun with our grill! I marinated some stew meat(venison) last week and made shish kebobs for dinner. We all loved how they turned out! Martin said, "There is a party going on in my stomach!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Black Widow

Align CenterThe children told me about a spider and an egg sac that they found in the playset. I didn't think much of it. I even climbed up and looked at it. They were excited about it because they wanted to see the baby spiders come out of the egg sac. Martin and Aaron told me not to touch the egg sac. Rich got up in the playset to work on it a little and he immediately said he thought it was a black widow. So, he sprayed it and put it and the egg sac in a bag. Sure enough there was a red hourglass on it. I was a little stunned that the spider our children had been observing was a black widow. I am beyond thankful that it was identified and dealt with before we had a thousand more black widows in our backyard!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Martin won!

This summer we have been going to the library once or twice a week to stock up on books. Since I began "rest time" in our home, I have been intentional about taking trips to the library to stock up on books. Martin and Aaron also go to the summer reading program once a week. The summer reading program has an incentive reading program for the children. Each child puts a sticker on the chart for each chapter that he reads. (there are about 50-55 boxes on each chart) Both Martin and Aaron easily fill out one chart per week with all the reading that they do. For each 5 boxes they complete they get their name entered into a drawing. So, they've been getting about 10 entries per week. Martin won the drawing this past week and won a watch!
I am excited that they both love to read. Martin has read just about every space/astronomy book available at our library. He also loves biographies and mysteries. Aaron also likes biographies and mysteries.
Reading(inside a cool home) is the perfect activity for a stifling hot day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Enjoying our "new to us" grill!

A friend of Rich's found a grill at the dump that looked as though it had barely been used. He took it home with him and discovered that the starter was broken. He fixed the starter and called Rich to tell him that he had a new grill to give us! We gladly accepted! We have had a grill on our wish list for sometime now, but with everything else on our list it kept being pushed back. I sure can't complain about a free grill!
We have already used it numerous times and are so excited about it! The first time we used it we cooked up some deer tenderloin. I am so glad that I saved the deer tenderloin for the grill. They were delicious! All 6 of us loved them. We've also had BBQ chicken and burgers on the grill.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Big Red

We see hot air balloons all the time flying in the sky out where we live. It's fun to watch them from a distance. Last week, this particular hot air balloon was flying very low over our neighborhood and then much to our surprise ... landed back behind our house! At first I thought that something had gone terribly wrong, and they needed help. After they landed, we realized that they had to land because the sun was going down. They never know where they will land, they just look for an open space. Another person follows them around using a GPS system to keep track of them. So, it was a matter of minutes before the van was driving up to help them. Our entire neighborhood came out for the event. The people who owned the hot air balloon talked to the crowd, answered questions, and handed out business cards. Then they packed up the balloon and headed out. What a fun night. Rosalie and Jonathan were already asleep in bed ... Martin had just finished his shower ... Aaron was in the shower. Martin got to see the air balloon land. I ran up to pull Aaron out of the shower, so that he could see it too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Aaron got new glasses!

Aaron got new glasses this week. He got two new pairs. These are dark brown. The other pair is black. He was so excited to get new glasses. Having worn glasses my entire life ... I know that feeling well. His eyes showed improvement at his last appointment! This is the first sign of improvement that we've seen since we first started on this journey, so we are excited! We will continue to patch him for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, we'll be able to stop patching him around the time he turns 7. (and hopefully we will see more improvement)

Monday, July 18, 2011

A first ...

Martin and Aaron had their first soft drink. I knew the day would come ... and I actually struggled with the decision. Martin asked several times, and I finally decided to let him have it. You know I had to take a picture of this momentous event! Martin chose to have a caffeine free coke. (okay - so I drew the line at caffeine ... certainly the amount of sugar is good enough to have him bouncing off the walls, right?)

What did Martin think of it? He said that it burned his tongue. He drank about half of it and wanted to be done. He hasn't said another word about it.
Aaron approached me a little later in the day and asked if he could try one as well. So, he chose a Sprite ... and didn't seem to be all that crazy about it. His comment was that it was sour.

So, how does a kid get to be 9 years old without ever tasting a soda? It was only about 2 months ago that he chewed his first piece of gum. It was only a month ago that he ate his first Dorito. Aaron had his first Cheeto. Eventually, my children won't have someone around to make their food choices for them. Hopefully, over the years of being exposed to delicious and nutritious food, they will desire them as they grow older and begin to make their own choices. So far, they are not too impressed with the gum and soft drinks. (although they do think that Doritos and Cheetos are pretty awesome!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fun with Uncle Bill

Jonathan is a cautious little guy. He is so cautious that sometimes he misses out on fun. I tried to get him to go on the monkey bars, but he wouldn't even let me help him. He was too fearful. Uncle Bill made his way over to the playset and was pushing the children on the swings, helping them climb, and playing with them. Jonathan immediately bonded with him and trusted him to help him even on the monkey bars. I got some great pictures of Uncle Bill and the children. It was such a sweet time ... and a precious memory.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Party

Here is a fun slideshow of the big event!!! The Party!!
The day included lots and lots of eating, swimming, and more eating. The day ended with a wonderful and unexpected fireworks display put on by a private party in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gearing up for the Party

We love the 4th of July! Rich grew up having a big family celebration every year on or around the 4th and the tradition is continuing with our children. I love how much they look forward to the huge family party each year!! The following slideshow includes pictures of the children in their 4th of July festive attire ... early on the day of the of the big celebration!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pool Play in Pennsylvania!!

We had a fantastic time visiting with our family in Pennsylvania. The boys spent most of the time in the pool. Rosalie had a difficult time adjusting to the cool 81 degree water. She didn't want to do much more than stick her toes in it. Martin, Aaron, and Nicole spent hours pretending to be on a diving expedition - oh how I love their energy and imaginations!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Traveling to PA

Every year we travel north to visit our family in PA. We look forward to a huge 4th of July celebration, reuniting with family, and eating lots and lots of yummy food! We left at about 4:30 AM and headed up north. I always spend the day before the trip making bread, muffins, and snacks to take with us on the road, and cleaning the house (I can't help but want to come home to sparkling floors). We buy a case of water, pack our muffin breakfast, pack our lunch, pack our snacks and hit the road. I prefer not to eat out for nutritional reasons ... and I especially prefer not to eat out for financial reasons. So, we pack a cooler full of food, a couple loaves of home baked bread, and go on our way. We pulled it all out when we stopped at a rest stop. Everyone had the chance to get out of the car and stretch legs, walk around, and eat lunch.
I didn't get any pictures of our lunch on the way home, but once again we were able to take lunch with us on the road thanks to Rich's Dad. He packed us 8 chicken salad sandwiches! We also took a few PB & J sandwiches, and a very special meatball sandwich for Aaron. Rosalie ate 2 1/2 of those chicken salad sandwiches on the way home ... Jonathan ate 2 of them and would have had more if we hadn't run out of them! What a blessing it was to be able to make the trip home without having to stop for food!!
We had a very special time and I love how much my children look forward to and love to visit our family in PA!