Saturday, August 27, 2011

Swim Party

We had an amazing church swim party. One of the church members was gracious enough to let us use her home for the party. The kids had so much fun. Even though they were exhausted they still were upset when we left.

Caitlin on the way to the party. I have no idea why she has an umbrella.
Caitlin's previous swim suit was a tad big and so we changed her. Couldn't have a wardrobe malfunction.
The water was pretty cold. So Dominic would play for a while and then come warm up, before heading back into the water.
He was so excited that I lifted the little/no sugar rule.
Chilling with Daddy.

Caitlin wanted to play with the older kids so badly, but I was afraid she'd get hurt. Once everyone was back in the pool she went over to test things out. She learned very quickly that the ball was a bit hard to control.
Dominic wanted me to take a picture of his scratched eye. It's the result of a game of "swords".
My handsome husband!

Friends, food and fun - It doesn't get any better!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stealing and Canning Pears

Our pear tree is over flowing with pears. So I decided to try canning some of them. The kids eat applesauce faster than I can buy it so my mom gave us some homemade applesauce. They love this kind even better. So I had the idea to make pear sauce.

One of my neighbors kept mentioning that she was going to come over to pick pears when they were ready. She didn't ask if it was okay, she just told me she was coming. I tried to tell her that I wanted to can some and I'd call her if there was any left, but I could tell she wasn't going to listen. So I picked them before they were ripe and kept them in the house to ripen. We also pick up the rotten pears that have fallen to the ground because we don't want the bees to sting the kids while they are swinging.

One day after we'd picked the pears off of the lower branches and cleaned up the rotten ones I was cooking lunch and Caitlin asked me why there were people in my back yard. I didn't believe her, but after she continued talking about it for a few minutes I went to check. Sure enough, my neighbor and her daughter were out in my back yard picking up pears. It really weirded me out. They hadn't knocked on my door or called to ask if they could come over. They knew I was home because they'd been in their yard when I returned from taking Dominic to school. I was right in the middle of cooking and couldn't leave the stove so I waited until they came up to my back door so I could talk to them about it. They NEVER came. The next thing I know they are walking past my kitchen window and out the back gate to return home. 
Apparently, around here,  it's okay to do something if the previous owners allowed you to do it. You don't have to check with the new owners because you are "grandfather'd in" Arghh!

Last week I headed to my mom's house to borrow her strainer and canning equipment. Dominic is so curious and asked me tons of questions about the process. He begged to skip school so he could watch, so I promised to take step-by-step pictures so he would know what we had done. 

Caitlin wanted to help so badly. So she climbed up on the table and was handing us pears as we cut them up.
My dad took the day off of work so he could get some work done on the house. But I think he spent more time with a little girl than he did working on the house. =)
My mom wasn't much better.
After a very long day, we finished.
I ended up with 24 quarts of pear sauce.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I found this post in the drafts. I wrote it some time this summer. Even though it was written a couple of months ago, I thought I'd post it.

In some ways it seems like forever since Dominic was born. And in other ways it seems like just yesterday that I was dreaming of my someday family.
And then the kids were born and it was a constant stream of "taking care". Little babies and children are so dependent upon us for everything. Every bit of food, every sip of water, every change of clothes is a long process. Then they become "independent" and want to do everything themselves. But since they are learning there is either a lot of helping or a lot of cleaning up after involved.

But I realized something this summer. My kids are almost past this stage. Oh, they still need a ton of help with things, but they can do so much themselves now.

There have been a couple of very scary mornings. For some reason I didn't wake up with the alarm. So I woke up later to a quiet house. I went to check on the kids and couldn't find them. They had woken up, gotten dressed and gone outside to play. They didn't wake me up because they didn't need me. I now make sure that I'm awake before them and they know to come check with me first.

They can get their own water, go to the bathroom, get dressed, clean their rooms and can even feed themselves (although I don't allow that). We are entering a whole new phase and I'm relieved that I'm not always cleaning up messes and mopping up spills, but a part of me misses those little moments when I'd help them get dressed or reach something they wanted.
I wouldn't want them to stay the same (at least not forever), but I'm loving the sweet little hugs and kisses that I still get. I know it won't be long before those are gone as well and I want to make sure I cherish every moment.

Canoe Trip

We have this really cool and amazing friend. He's a quadriplegic due to an accident quite a few years ago. But he does not let this stop him. He's a really fun guy to be around. I stopped noticing a long time ago that he's even in a wheel chair. We've gone camping with him and yesterday we went canoeing. 
It wasn't super hot yesterday, but warm enough that I thought I'd need to get wet while canoeing to keep cool.
When we got down to the boat dock we could feel the cool air rising off of the water. The water was so cold that after a few minutes I could feel my feet going numb.This didn't seem to bother the kids at all. In fact, Dominic took a tumble several times and got completely wet. The look of shock on his face was comical, but it didn't keep him out of the water.

Waiting on the guys to finish shuttling the vehicles.

 Getting the boats in the water.

 And we're off.
 Riding in a canoe while someone else paddles is very fun!
The mist on the water was beautiful. 
It was a beautiful afternoon. I'm so glad Mike convinced us to go.
We are now looking for a canoe or a couple of two person kayaks. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

County Fair

We took the kids to the county fair this last week. I wasn't sure what to expect.
But the kids had so much fun.
The first area we went to was the "farmer for a day" section.

Caitlin loved feeding the calves. 
 Dominic was a bit more reluctant.
Caitlin wasn't afraid to touch any of the animals. We fed animal crackers (I know, slightly ironic.) to the goats and petted the rabbits who tried to bite our toes.
Dominic was more comfortable playing with the fake animals. The kids were given juice and bags with  school supplies in it.
Then Caitlin begged us to ride on the Ferris wheel. Ugh! I'm not crazy about heights, but Dominic and I braved the heights so we could all go together.
Then we took a turn on the carousel 
before heading to the main arena to watch the mud pull.
(At least I think that's what it was called. I'm still learning country.)
Some of the trucks were typical redneck.
And others came with groupies. =)
I guess the basic idea is to make it through the mud without getting stuck. Even though I stood beside the girlfriend of one of the drivers and watched quite a few trucks, I still don't really get the point. Maybe there isn't one. =)
 The kids liked it, but weren't sure about the noise.
 But regardless of the point, the kids had a ton of fun.

Summer fun continues

We've been so busy lately. I know, you've heard this before. But when I went to post some pictures of our morning it dawned on me that I have hundreds of pictures from different events that I just haven't had the time to blog about. So I'll try to keep everything in order and not date back too far. 
Some of the things I'm not going to post about, but will make honorable mention -

We all went to my parent's house to help with a new addition they are putting on. The kids and I helped with the meals and housework before heading to the pool. The poor guys worked hours and hours on demo and roof stuff. Hopefully it made a small dent in the mountain of work my dad needed to accomplish.

I took the kids to Jumpville, the museum and the movies several times in the weeks before school started. I wanted to cram a ton of fun in before we settled into a routine and Caitlin and I were all alone. We were also able to cram in a couple of Coffee girls with Dominic before we went without him. We had fun and the kids are still talking about those days.

We played quite a bit at home as well. The summer has been a lot of fun and we miss the extra time to play. But Dominic is loving school so much that I seriously doubt he would trade it for more play time.

Some pictures of the kids playing in the yard with a friend.
 A storm was building and I was out taking pictures.
Caitlin is scared of thunder and was a little apprehensive.

The older kids were too busy making noise.

Then Dominic decided to scream and run for the house.
Caitlin thought the storm was going to get her and it freaked her out.

A mommy hug seemed to help a little.
More blogs about our fun summer to follow.