Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cell Phone Dump

Right before we left for our camping trip my cell phone died. Completely. Needless to say I was completely unplugged during our get away. I can't complain, it's hung on for almost 4 years of use and abuse and I knew it was going to go soon. Luckily, the folks at Verizon were able to save my pictures for me and I have to share a few. I didn't realize how many were on there! Keep in mind, these are not iPhone quality pics, but there are some precious ones all the same.
Emma rocking in Granny's chair
My little moo-cow
Emma and Papa Spence
Swinging at Timbertown
The 'Big Daddy' chair at Menards
Emma's first time bowling
Emma and Great Grandma Doyle
Emma and Grandma Jen on a picnic at Tunnel Park
My two little loves
Some of Easton's first smiles.
Trying on head gear- such a good sport!
Emma may not have a future as a beautician...
Enjoying Daddy's coffee during church
 

Emma modeling some hats at the Gap, looking very stylish.
Easton sleeping while the mommies watch 'The Bachelorette' during a camping trip

Easton's first time in the swing outside
Our little 'Wild Child'
Checking out the turtles at the library
 
Easton's daily morning hair do thanks to syrup
Emma's so excited to announce she's going to have a little sister!
 My handsome young man all ready for a wedding
Playing at Sandyview
 Happy Mother's Day!
Easton likes his new helmet- and may have to wear it all the time to prevent mommy from having a heart attack!
 
It was so hard to choose a fraction of them to share, but these are a few of my favorites!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lone Camping Trip 2013

Sadly, we only had one trip planned for this year. July is fairly booked and there is no way I'm going camping with an 18 month old and newborn in August. Luckily we are blessed with an awesome group of friends to camp with. I know the kids are making awesome memories each year. Here's a quick peek at our week.
Between getting hit in the head with a football and falling over in the kiddie pool numerous times, Easton was a bit hesitant around the water. I think he spent as much time doing laps around the pool as he did in it.

Taking after daddy already, Mt. Dew in hand.

Emma and Grayden feeding the horses.

Part of our crew during the church service Sunday morning.

Easton's first sucker, courtesy of the Leegwaters. We typically don't allow sugar at 9 in the morning, but we never would have made it through the service without it!
Happy campers waiting for their breakfast.

Definitely time for a diaper change!

The nasty spider bite I got on my back. Only downfall during our trip- the bugs were terrible! My poor kids looked like they had chicken pox by the time we got home.  
Jason referred to the Cozy Coupe as our redneck stroller. I never even got our actual stroller out- this worked so much better! Easton loved riding around it in, even though he looks less than thrilled in this picture. It was nap time for Batman.

The lawn mower also got a ton of miles put on during the course of the week.

Emma bean was thrilled to be still at the table eating her peas while the other kids play as you can see :)

3 Little Monkeys
I'm still not sure who enjoys Jason's RC car more- the kids or the men?!?


 Here is a brief video clip of Jason's brilliant plan for Easton and his Cozy Coupe. Don't worry, no children were harmed in the making of this video. Although this momma did have to walk away at one point because I couldn't watch anymore! Grandma, you may want to skip the show :)
video
 
Here's a group shot of all the kids Friday morning as we were packing up to leave. We've been camping together as a big group for about 5 years now. There are currently 12 munchkins ranging in age from 8 to 16 months. Next year we will have 3 more additions to our crew! I wish we started taking a group picture from the beginning, but we'll have to keep up this tradition from now on. As you can see the kids were thrilled with the idea as well.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Terrific Freezer Jam FAIL

I'd like to preface this post by saying I have never canned anything in my life. However, with all the talk of fresh jam I decided it was something I would like to try and tackle. Plus a friend of ours has a strawberry patch where I could take the kiddos to pick our own. Sounded like a great idea in theory...

Thursday afternoon I put the kids down for a nap and went straight to washing the strawberries and running them through my food processor. I had found this super simple recipe via Pinterest. Maybe the ease of it should have made me question is validity, but as I said, I've never done this before.

I followed the instructions completely, word for word. I didn't have any canning jars, but figured I could finally put all those old baby food jars to use that have been sitting in my basement. Besides, I didn't want large jars since we don't go through jam quickly. I was so proud of the results.
The directions said to leave the jars on the counter for 24 hours or so to let the jam set and then transfer to fridge or freezer. We were leaving to go camping the next day, but I thought it would be done in time for me to throw them in the fridge before we left. However, Friday afternoon they didn't seem to be any more solidified than when I started.

I left them on the counter when we headed out and figured I'd stop back home at some point to put them away. Jason came out to the campground Saturday evening and informed me that one of my jars had exploded. What, what?!? I figured it was a little bit of an exaggeration on his part and would worry about it when I came home Sunday afternoon to do payroll.

I was not prepared for the mess that awaited me. Pictures don't do it justice. I spent over an hour cleaning strawberry sauce from the floor, cupboards, walls, ceiling. Another four jars had erupted in the 24 hours since Jason had been home and 2 more exploded while I was cleaning the jars up. I'm assuming this is due to the temperature of our house, among other issues.
I stuck them in the fridge and plan to do a search on 'jam set fail' in the future. I have to give it one more shot- I'm not ready to forfeit all that work and end up empty handed. On the up side, I ended up with more strawberries than I needed so I tried this recipe for drying them. While they didn't end up looking anything like the ones in the picture and took almost twice as long, Easton loves them!

If you have any suggestions for my jam 'sauce' I'd love to hear them!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Another Busy Week Flys By

Emma was able to participate in a VBS program at Christ Memorial Church this week. I figured it'd be a good way for her to get out of the house to socialize and learn more about Jesus while giving mommy some time to get a few things done with only one kid in tow.

The program was awesome and Emma had a great time, but in the end it just made this momma crazy. We spent a lot of time running to and from with very little time in between for me to get anything done. Add heat, stress and many unexpected complications that cropped up through the week to equal one emotionally spent and exhausted crew.

I was thrilled to attend the program CMC set up at the end of VBS. While it was a little tricky to manage both kids on my own through the ordeal, I was so proud to see Emma get up  on stage and sing with the new friends she made. I was unable to get good pictures since I was juggling a crabby- pants boy along with my camera. And the ones I did get depict the little bit of sass we see daily in Miss Emma. Show time here she comes!

Yep, that's my girl down in front with the pink cowgirl hat on. Gotta' love her!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Mud Run Fiasco

First I'd like to say happy Father's Day to all the wonderful guys in our family. I am blessed to have a wonderful dad, step-dad, father-in-law, numerous grandpas and hubby in my life. Thank you for all that you do, we love you!

We decided to let Jason have the say for the entire day. However, he had a very strenuous week at work compiled with extra work so he was a little burned out by the weekend. He had said he wanted to go to the Bear Swamp mud runs for the afternoon originally so we decided to stick with the plan even though everyone was a little on the grumpy side.

Within minutes of our arrival Emma was having a melt down and Easton wanted nothing more than to go play in the mud instead of watch the trucks. We had to take turns holding the kiddos while standing in the hot sun.

Needless to say we only lasted about an hour before we finally decided to call it quits. It wasn't exactly the way I had the day play out in my head, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches when you have little ones along. Even though it wasn't picture perfect, I hope Jason was able to enjoy his day. We love you babe and appreciate all you do for our family!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Busy Begininng of Summer

This week has been crazy- I love summer and always look forward to it, but this week has flown by which reminds me how fast the rest of it will go.

I have to share this pic first though. This was after bath time on Thursday night. I walked in to discover Emma reading to Easton, so precious. Love the bond that these to share and the rare glimpses I get of sibling love.

 
Wednesday morning we took a trip to the farmer's market downtown. We enjoyed story time, crafts, the beautiful weather and some donuts of course. No trip is complete without those :)

 
In the evening we headed to the circus at the fair grounds. Not super exciting, but the kids get a thrill out of it. I look forward to heading to the real circus when they are a little older! Emma did really well with it, but Easton was done after the first half hour.

 

On Friday we went to downtown Holland for the classic car and cruise show. We walked around to check out all the cars and then lined all the kiddos up along the curb to watch the cars cruise down 8th Street.
 

What a great way to start the month of June, plenty of time spent with family and friends! Looking forward to more summer fun as the months progress.