Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Because Life Is Just Better When You're Wearing A Bike Helmet

Recently we spent a weekend camping and Summer had access to a couple of bike helmets that belong to her cousins.  You better believe that if she was awake, the bike helmet was on.

(The bike never actually moved while she was on it.  But the horn got honked over and over again!)

Helmets make food taste way better.

It makes watching people chop wood so much more exhilarating.

And footballs are much easier to handle while wearing a helmet.

Watching people chop wood, you ask?  Why yes, I did give it a try!  And it went about as good as you can possibly imagine by the looks of this picture:)

This guy didn't care about helmets or chopping wood.  He did, however, sample his first pudgy pie and he's a huge fan!

The following weekend we got to witness this gal get married.  It was a beautiful and God-honoring day and so good to catch up with some Alabama friends and other people we have connected with through them.

October is flying by and I'm still waiting for the real fall weather to arrive.  I keep thinking I'm going to switch out the kids' clothes but then I look at the upcoming weather and put it off just a little bit longer.  One of these days I'll need to, though, and pretty soon I'll be dreaming of sunshine.  But until then I will just keep burning my fall scented candles and imagine the air outside is just a little bit more crisp.

Ah, fall..... how I love you!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

We had a really fast and busy weekend- we piled the kiddos and a few bags in the van and off we went!

We celebrated Steeve and Sarah's wedding:)

Sawyer spent most of his time at the reception taking a nap under the stairs while Summer enjoyed the cupcakes and dancing.

And by dancing, of course, I mean taking giant steps around in a circle while flapping her arms.  She gets her moves from her mother, you know:)

She also participated in Sunday morning turkey chores with grandpa.  He's got her carrying dead ones already!  That saying of how you can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl... I decided the country part of the girl gets passed on to her daughter, too:)

Then we left church right after lunch to get back in time for our Sunday evening Perspectives class.  We dropped off our two very sleep deprived children with child care, said "Good luck!" and sat for the next few hours listening to the speaker who thankfully was very dynamic.  Otherwise we might have settled in for a little involuntary nap:)

And now we just catch our breath before the next adventure starts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Summer Photo Dump

When the night gets chilly but you have no extra clothes with you, grandma's extra girly clothes do the trick!

Campfires and swimming

Watermelon party

A walk to DQ surely justifies the consumption of ice cream!

My handsome hubby being the best man in a wedding

Corn on the cob!

These two really started playing together this summer:)

A meet in the middle picnic with my parents.  And some friends that live in the middle who joined in the fun.

Potty training chart!


A trip to the zoo on a beautiful September morning.

One of Sawyer's favorite toys currently...

Applesauce time

When Summer wakes up before we are ready for her to wake up, she gets sent to the couch to read books

And just like that, Summer is over and FALL IS HERE!!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Kick Off To The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

When is the most wonderful time of the year, you ask?  Well, it begins on September 1 and doesn't end until December 31.  Starting off with a holiday weekend which also is my birthday weekend and ending with New Year's Eve.  All the in between with fall being amazing, Thanksgiving, and Christmas make it hard to say which part is the best.  So I say it's just all the best time of the year!

So this year we had thought we would take a little getaway with our little family but as it turns out, every one jacks up their prices over a holiday weekend.  Since we had already taken a trip to Alabama over Memorial Day weekend, we decided to just head out to Illinois to be with my family, and to have my mom babysit while Danny and I just did a day trip.  Turned out to be a great decision!

I chose to open my presents from Danny on Friday before we left rather than haul them with us.  He did good!  I got my favorite chapstick that I have been out of and unable to find for a long time, tickets to a Christmas concert, and a fall wreath for our front door!  All things I love.  However, after he ordered our concert tickets, we had a family Christmas get scheduled for that same night.  So they are for sale!  Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey on Friday December 15 in Ft. Wayne.  Let one of us know if you want them!

Anyway.  So Saturday morning we got up and headed just about 45 minutes north of my parents to Starved Rock State Park for the day.  There is a horse back riding place just a little way from the park and we have been talking about doing that since we got married.  We finally did it!  It was your typical follow the trail in a single file line place but that's alright with me.  I'd rather do that than try to ride around unguided just waiting for my horse to start galloping somewhere!

Then we headed to the park for a picnic lunch and some hiking.  I've been there plenty of times and have never seen it so full!  Holiday weekend plus people trying to fill up the last days of summer meant for really full trails.  But it was still fun and really pretty!

There are lookouts over the Illinois river to climb up to,

and canyons with waterfalls (which were all dried up) to hike down into.

Which means that all the in between parts are filled with stairs.  OOOOHHHHH the stairs!  Back in the day before I ever had kids and was in shape, the stairs weren't too big of a deal.  They're kind of a big deal now.

While on a trail that followed the river, Danny found this place in a rock formation that he thought I should climb into.  So I did, with much effort.  While he was taking this picture, a family walked past and their little boy said "the mom is stuck!"  Yes, little boy, the mom is stuck:)  At least, she felt stuck at the time!

Meanwhile our kiddos had a great day with grandpa and grandma.  They got to be outside a lot which is a dream come true,

and Summer got to try out the new massage chair which she thought was pretty funny!

Once we got back, we finished off our day with supper with some of my cousins and their kids.  It was fun but there was much chaos and a few very grumpy children which kept our relaxing socialization to a minimum.

Sunday was my actual birthday and we had plans to go to one of the local homeless missions where my brother took his turn having their evening service.  Due to a busy weekend and plans to go out for ice cream after the service, I had no birthday cake.  (A huge shame because cake is my very favorite dessert and I can eat several pieces some guilt free on my birthday.)  But since my mom thought I should at least blow out a candle, I got a birthday tomato while the family sang:)  Oh, and if you'll notice, I even was wearing the birthday shirt!

I did finally get dessert on my birthday, and it happened to be one of my very favorite ice cream places that I only get once in a while when we are out there.

Monday we were able to have a laid back morning around the house then went out to lunch with my family before hitting the road.  So?  We didn't get our little family getaway like we originally planned.  But I'm sure glad things turned out like they did!

Things I wish I had a picture of:

Saturday night after the kids were in bed, we went to my brother and sis-in-laws house where all her sisters were for the evening.  When Nate and Jamie got married, they kinda became like extra sis-in-laws to me.  I love being able to spend time with them!

Saturday evening at my cousin's- she, her sister, and myself took a little walk together to deliver some dessert to our parents where they were having their own little get together.  My uncle came driving by, thinking he was supposed to be picking up the dessert himself.  So we stuck our thumbs out and he gave us a ride in the back of his pick up the rest of the way.  We were hootin' and hollerin' and acting like a bunch of giddy high school girls.  It was only about a two minute ride but it was fun while it lasted!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Run, Paul, Run!

This past Tuesday we had an out of the ordinary experience!  About two weeks ago now, some friends from back home met up with a man from England who is running across the United States.  He started at the Golden Gate Bridge and he is headed to the Brooklyn Bridge.  He has been mostly camping with the exception of getting one motel per week.  

His route took him along US 24 and he made a stop in a park where our friends saw him setting up camp in a park while out on a family jog/bike ride.  They started talking to him and ended up offering him a place to stay for the night.  He mentioned that in his daily update on facebook which then started a domino effect you could say of other friends who lived along his route offering to host him.  I didn't think he probably would be coming too close to our house, but just in case, I messaged him and let him know we'd love to keep him if he was going past.  And sure enough, he did!

It was an honor and a lot of fun to have him here!  He has no shortage of interesting stories to share from his journey thus far.  AND, I had the privilege of introducing him to the American classic PBJ sandwich:)   

Paul, I don't know if you'll ever see this, but if you do, know that you've got a whole slew of people cheering you on til the end.  Keep going, mate!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Not Always A Fairy Tale: The Non Sleeping Family

 Once upon a time, there was a dad and a mom.

They lived with their little girl

and their little boy.

One day, the mom put both kids down for a nap and neither one of them went to sleep.  She decided to just leave them in their beds though so she could enjoy a little alone time.  Even though it wasn't peaceful and it wasn't quiet because she could hear them alternately playing and crying.  But still she left them.

Suddenly, the smoke alarm decided to go off for just a few short seconds for no reason.  This caused both the girl and the boy to be very very sad and the mom decided to get both of them up and snuggle a little bit.  So she did, but the snuggles only lasted about 30 seconds before the boy and girl moved on with their lives.

Time went on and eventually the little boy did take a nap, but the little girl never did.  While the boy was napping, the smoke alarm started to chirp periodically, signalling the need for a battery change.  The mom did not want to risk setting it off full force again while the boy was sleeping, so it continued to chirp until supper time when the dad came home and fixed it.

Meanwhile, the girl decided to come down with a cold out of nowhere and by the time bedtime arrived, she was sniffling and coughing all over the place.  The mom gave her some Tylenol hoping for sweet dreams.  Unfortunately, until about 3:00 in the morning, the girl kept waking up crying because she couldn't breathe very well.  Each time, either the mom or the dad would go in and try to comfort her and give her something to help with the sickies.  A melatonin gummy... a drink of water... vicks vapo rub... another melatonin gummy... a different kind of medicine...  at last, the little girl calmed down and was able to sleep peacefully and the mom and dad also fell into a deep sleep.

THEN, approximately 4:11 in the morning, what should rouse them from their sleep but the chirp chirp chirp of the smoke alarm that was thought to be fixed!  So the mom went to the garage and got the ladder and the dad took the battery out.  FINALLY,
they slept happily ever after.

That is, until the alarm clock went off.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

This Year At The Lakes....

Another great year at Lake Webster has come and gone!  We sure appreciated our time with the family and have some good memories to look back on.

We had two little awnings set up for some shade.  Holding onto the two posts was Saywer's favorite spot to watch all the action.

On the boat with my honey.

Maybe in a year or two Summer will be game for holding the turtles.  But for now just touching them is quite enough for her thankyouverymuch!

Lots and lots of cousin time!

A little family bike ride to Dixie Days in town.  We were planing to get ice cream at a booth we saw right when we got there, but when we came back just 20 or so minutes later it was already closed:(  But root beer floats were on the menu for that night's supper so all was well.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay....

Those nets were a HUGE hit!  And they also were the cause of an increase in my blood pressure from watching Summer almost topple head first into the water all week long.

Summer's first jet ski ride- she was a little unsure but she did go for a second ride later on so it must not have been too bad!

This was Sawyer's hang out when he couldn't contain himself and kept heading straight for the water.  Pack-n-play in the shade.  He was only sort of okay with it.

Tubing time!  Don't worry- me and Cassie joined them for the actual ride.  They loved it!  Even Summer, who has her mother's wimpy overly cautious genes had a blast:)

A family friend who lives in the area has a mini old time town in their backyard that we went to see.  Complete with a general store, barber, doctor's office, church, jail, and more- it was so cool!

That is one patient dog.

No non-life jacket wearing babies were actually taken on a ride in the kayak.  They just sat there for a quick picture.

Those nets again.

And now my final excuse to hold off on potty training is over:(