Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Blueberry Patch

Fridays are my favorite. I mean, I know everyone looks forward to Fridays. But fortunately, my work week ends about 9pm on Thursday night and so Fridays are completely open, which means they are best days to do fun things with the kiddos!

Yesterday morning during our lazy morning of cereal for breakfast, followed by an episode of Daniel Tiger or two, I had the random thought to take the kids to the blueberry patch! It's something I've always thought the kids would enjoy, but we've never actually ventured out to pick anything! It was an overcast, breezy morning which was a nice change from the sweltering heat we've had the past few days. We traveled a short 20 minutes, packed an easy picnic, played a bit in the hay maze, and ventured out to pick some berries.

As we left the house in the morning, our intention was to get out in the field to beat the rain. Only for us to get to the field in time for the sun to come out and get super hot. But it didn't slow us down!

The kids were great pickers!

Blueberries (aka "ba-be-ee") are Caroline's favorite. I was a bit concerned she would eat every single one she picked. But, once she saw that we all picked and put berries in the bucket-- she did the same thing! 

Belle picked enthusiastically for a little bit but then spent time in the shade with Caroline. She did provide a "tasting" sample from each plant we stopped to pick. They all passed her inspection. 

Jackson was a great spotter of ripe berries. We worked well as a team. I'd get berries up high and he'd get the ones that were lower.

Caroline only picked for a bit. The heat was beating down so she just mostly sat in some shady spots between bushes. But it didn't stop her from picking berries within reach.

And maybe eating a few. This was after she DUMPED the berries we had both picked like it was some game to fill up the bucket and then pour them out. I picked up what I could from the ground (fortunately it wasn't too many!) and proceeded to share a bucket with Jackson instead. 

We picked until Caroline had enough. We were dripping with sweat and tired from the heat and I knew it was passed her normal nap time. But when I got to my car and looked at the clock-- it was an hour earlier than I expected! Ha! It felt like SO much longer. :) 

We brought home almost 3 pounds of blueberries.

Earlier this spring, I did plant two blueberry bushes. To date, we have one single blueberry. Three kids. One blueberry. This is how wars are started. Or years of future therapy. Who knows. Hopefully more berries start to pop up! 

The kids did each enjoy some fresh strawberries from the garden today. Along with making a few different blueberry treats. We made two batches of blueberry muffins and made frozen yogurt-covered-blueberry kabobs. We still have about half of our blueberries left. Do you have a favorite recipe we should try? 


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I'm baaaaaaaack!

Hi friends!

So it's been a long 7 months, but I have made a summer goal to invest more of my time into this space! You may or may not have even noticed that I haven't been around, but I know that I have sure missed it.

I figure too much has gone on from when I last blogged to try to catch up. I mean, it was before Thanksgiving. So I'll just start with a quick rundown of our family life these days.

Jackson, still 7. Finished first grade. Loves paper airplanes. And "electronics time". We've been going to the pool several time each week. He loves his freedom, now that he can touch and swim and spends tons of time going down the slides! He has lost a few teeth, reads chapter books, and rides his bike without training wheels.

Isabelle is 5 and lives so wonderfully in her own little world. She finished preschool and is looking forward to kindergarten! She plays pretend doctor to all of us in the family, has started reading basics. She likes to ride bikes, tell jokes, and play pretend!

Caroline is 21 months, officially. I always tell people she's a little over 18 months. I certainly don't tell people that by baby is almost TWO! She traveled to California with me earlier this month and loved "the bubbles" which most people just call the water. She's an excellent copy cat of anything big brother or big sister do. She's affectionate, funny, and has started saying several words. The most popular is "Mama" about one million times a day, but she also says blueberry "ba-bee", "num-num" -- which is any type of food, and "ball". 

Derek and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this month! We celebrated the actual day apart while he was at annual training and I was in California, but we had a date night last weekend. It was wonderful. I'm still doing therapy three nights a week for teenagers, Derek's still working his computer nerd stuff. And really, the rest of the adulting stuff is far too boring to blog about! 

Thanks for visiting this space once again! I'm glad to be back! :) 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Grandparent's Day (and a pseudo Aunt's Day)

I'm not sure if the kids or the grandparent's enjoy Grandparent day at school most! Either way, there are smiles all around! 

Grandparent day at Belle's school was in September and Grammy came down to visit. 

Jack's was in October was it was a little easier for more sets of grandparents to come! How fun are these pics?!?

Jack with his cousin Gabe, Grandpa Forrest, and Great Grandpa!

My sister, Laura, has voiced her complaint about the discrimination of special days for aunts. So, she tagged along as a helper for Belle's class when they visited the pumpkin patch. Again, I'm not sure which one had more fun! :)

We're so fortunate to have so many loved ones close by! 


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jack and Caroline's birthday party

Oh, hi there! I have been MIA for far too long and I have a lot of blogging to do to catch up! Since my last post-- we've had a birthday party, Jack finished a marathon, we took a trip to Texas, Jack turned 7, and we cheered the Royals on throughout the postseason and celebrated their World Series win. And that's on top of the normal day to day homework, packing lunches, parent teacher conferences, working, and of course, --- laundry. Ugh. Laundry! Also, I've snuggled, carried, and rocked Caroline in my arms about 78% of the time in between. This very post took an accumulation of the free time of three days to get out, but I'm determined to make it happen. I just love this space too much to hang up my hat. 

Hat. Ha. Get it? 

I left off right when Caroline turned 1. We had a joint birthday party for Jackson and Caroline in between their birthdays. It was a perfect set-up and we went to a park that accommodated both the big kids and toddlers alike! 

Caroline could feel the vibe that it was her special day.

She walked around like she owned the place. :)

She LOVED this slide. 

It's a steep hill to carry a baby up a million times in a row. Glad Grammy was there! :)

She had fun spending time with all the people who love her! :)

Caroline and her bestie, Yoona. Aren't they adorable? 

She was a bit timid with her cake at first, but was really into it once she got started.

While we did Caroline's celebration, Jackson and his friends were having a ton of fun climbing and playing on the playground.

I ordered Frisbees for the big kids and they each decorated their own with sharpies. 

They were a big hit!

Jackson and his friends! We are so blessed to be surrounded with great people in our lives. :)

Caroline's super loved coming home and finding all the tissue paper. Of course! 

The kids loved the park and the party pretty much threw itself! The kids climbed, ran around, zip-lined, and got out a ton of energy. The weather was BEAUTIFUL! I really enjoyed visiting everyone. I call it a combined birthday party success! 


Sunday, October 4, 2015

12 Months: Caroline

Caroline turned ONE YEAR this week. She was, of course, very excited!

Dear Sweet Caroline, 

This has been the quickest, yet longest year ever. Makes total sense, right? I remember holding you for the first time and listening to all you had to say right after you were born all like it was yesterday. The months of ear infections and not sleeping dragged on, but we all came through and things are so  much fun with you these days!

You were my easiest newborn! You gave us a smooth transition into welcoming a third baby. And you've kept us on our toes ever since about three months! :) You have a quite the opinionated, willfull little thing. Whew! But really, I'm glad to be your Mama because I know that you're going to move mountains some day. 

Things you love: 
  • berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries-- you're not picky!)
  • being swaddled
  • Mama! 
  • belly buttons (yours and everyone else's)
  • cat food and water
  • cell phones
  • taking clothes out of laundry basket

Things you don't love:
  • getting dressed
  • laying down to get diaper changed
  • be buckled in any thing (high chair, carseat, cart, stroller)
  • having to use a sippy cup instead of a bottle
  • not being held by Mama all day when we're at home
You weigh around 20 pounds, wear 12 month clothes, size 2 shoes, and size 3 diapers. We had your 12 month check up last week and the doctor ordered some blood tests. We learned that you are allergic to oats and the wheat/rye/barley combo. I think this might have to do with some of the cranky spells you've had from time to time. And the super red eyes. I'm glad we found out so we can try to avoid those foods. 

You've started walking and love the freedom to roam. You think you're pretty cool stuff-- and you are!! I have really been soaking up your snuggles lately. It's easy to do because you want me to hold you almost all the time. But, I know you'll outgrow that some day, so some mornings we just sit and snuggle the entire 3 hours while Isabelle is at preschool. Makes us both happy! :)

Love you Sweet Caroline! I can't wait to celebrate with a party next week at yours and Jackson's party!



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