Monday, May 30, 2011

Baseball Game

Kayden had her 1st sleep over a few weeks ago......I know the parents so we were completely at ease with it which made her 1st sleep over experience a fun one....for her & her parents! It's tough, I think, for the one {s} left behind so we deemed it date night with Emery & she invited her oldest cousin!
It was a perfect breezy night to sit back, relax, & watch our home team {the Lookouts} WIN!
I'm pretty sure that 99.999% of why the girls enjoy going is cause dinner consists of nacho's & ice-cream!
The girls were up WAY too late {did not go to bed till almost 1200!} but thought they were WAY cool & that made the night even better!
Date nights are mandatory......for kids & parents!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Visit to the baby sister

Yesterday we spontaneously decided to drive over the mountains & through the hills.....or is it through the mountains & over the hills?? Hmmmm at any rate we ended up in Knoxville, which is where my baby sister & her boyfriend live! We met in Market Square for lunch at Cafe 4 {where she works} & then spent the next few hours meandering through the Farmers Market which is also located in Market Square. You can't help but enjoy yourself! There are people singing on the sidewalks, artists showcasing their creations, along with farmers & bakers sharing their fresh produce & baked goods! OH & it might help that there is a water fountain for the kids to play in.....short break for some icecream eating......then back in the water to rinse off before calling it the BEST afternoon!
Karlie's boyfriend "Umple Matt" {no typo.....that's what my youngest niece calls him & so it's stuck!} He's ADORED by all 4 kids & so we can't help but love him too!!
I find a trend when downloading my pictures from camera to computer....I have a poser which makes me laugh & then I have a silly one which makes me laugh!

This one is completely content to always be at her parents side.....we'll eat it up while we can!
Farmer's Market in Market Square
Water Play
It was "International Biscuit Festival" week
Bird Houses
Shea Butter
Apple Butter
When we found our way back to the kids & guys this is where they were! LOVE that these young artists can come out & express themselves & LOVE that my girls {& husband} can just sit & enjoy them!
Post ice-cream face
Mid ice-cream eating
Then after a fun afternoon outside we headed to dinner
SO much fun to be had with the sticks!
........AND again a poser & a silly one!
Who doesn't heart a horse butt in the center of your photo???
LOVE these girls.....MUCH fun the day was!
Home we went......back through the mountain & over the hills.....or whatever! The sun was setting mid trip & it was a GORGEOUS ride home!
BLESSED with family & the ability to enjoy life with eyes, ears, nose, mouth, feet, hands, legs.......ALL of it & MORE!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Water Hoses & Watermelon

My car was getting fixed yesterday which meant we were stuck at home for the day......being stuck at home for the day is a really good thing! We had no where to be.....the day was ours! So 3 girls {my niece came & spent the day with us} slept in a little, ate breakfast & spent the rest of the day {minus 1 1/2 hours inside for lunch & cooling off} outside playing!

I went outside to check on them at one point & they had rigged up 2 hoses to recreate "Splash Mountain" from Disney
They would take turns getting in the wagon riding down the driveway through the hoses which were spraying at each other! Hours of endless fun......the laughing was never ending!
But in between some water hose fun they munched on some watermelon
.......and then back to water hose fun!
A child's imagination will never cease to amaze me along with the joy they get out of simple play! AND it gave this momma, who felt like she was drowning in laundry, a chance to catch up on some house work! WIN WIN situation!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Strawberry Season

I grew up in the north where summers were spent playing & laying on the sandy beaches of Lake MI! Didn't realize at the time how lucky we were to have to beach so close! The other parts of our summer {when we weren't being kissed by the sun, building sand castles, & playing in the water for hours} we were picking fruits/vegetables which was followed by canning & freezing! Again, didn't appreciate a SINGLE part of any of fact I'm quite certain I did a LOT of complaining during the whole process. Even though I griped about it then I still, to this day, have good memories of those days! We worked together as a family, got the job done, & then we were rewarded with beach time! I'm finding with age I'm longing for those days.....picking your own fresh fruit & veggies, preserving them & then enjoying those yummy foods on into the winter months! Now if only we had a beach to be rewarded with!

I forget every year how early strawberry season starts & this year was no different except we were able to find 1 & only 1 small farm who still had some left! The berries were smaller as we were catching the last of the season! This strawberry farm was in the middle of NO WHERE! PERFECT! They don't have a name, they don't advertise......rather word of mouth is how we found them! AND we will return next year FOR SURE! The sweetest old lady greeted us with a HUGE smile on her face, red & white polka dot shirt, & an old strawberry apron!

With these 3 helpers at my side......
we walked down a dirt path.....
enjoying lots of nature along the short walk!
They got to work right away....I really didn't even have to do any teaching! They're natural berry pickers!
We certainly had to dig to find them but once in a while we'd hit a whole bunch at once.....
unable to resist eating a few
just like candy!
We ended up with 3 gallons.......
of this yumminess!!
AND left with strawberry stained hands.....
and clothes!
Fun experience......even if my oldest was more interested in picking grasshoppers than strawberries!
To our excitement the navigation took us back home through the mountains........we rolled down the windows, cranked up the music, & happily enjoyed the 1 hour drive home!
My mom met us at home to get the jam process started! We reminisced about doing this many years ago......she told me that when my twin & I were babies she'd take us out to the fields in bouncy seats & sing to us while she picked fruit!

It was a fun jam making afternoon of washing......
cutting the strawberry tops off.....
smashing {FUN FUN FUN!!}......
boiling, skimming, & ready to be transferred to jars.....
We ended up with 12- pint size jars, 12- 8 oz jars, & 4- 6 oz decorative jars....enough for us, my twin, younger sister, & mom!
I'm excited at the thought of much more canning & freezing this summer!
{any deep freezer recommendations?}