Thursday, August 29, 2013

the bomb that must have exploded in our house

I miss Avery being here during the day.........
yes, I miss knowing what he does all day and having him around to talk too, 
BUT another BIG reason is because of this........

and this....

and this.....

and this....

and this.....

What you don't understand?  You see when Avery is here the mess doesn't quite get this big or this broad!!!  I guess it's because when the 6 year old is here he usually controls what is being played at all times in the house and the play is more structured??  I'm not really sure, but I know it doesn't look like a bomb exploded downstairs when he is here too?!  Maybe it's also because I could get away with "entertaining" Avery for a bit with TV or a game....but not with E&E!!  They don't watch TV and apparently they don't play one thing for more then 2 seconds before moving on to the next thing!  

So after spending a whole day at home and not constantly picking up after them this is what our house looked like by 3 pm!!  Oh wait, we can't forget the MASSIVE pillow fort!!

Pillow fort making is their current most favorite activity!  They like to remove every pillow from all couches and sometimes they throw in the upstairs couch pillows, pillows off everyone's beds, and even their "snuggies" for good measure!  Talk about a HUGE mess!

There's the culprits now....but you can't help but love them! {Yes, Ellie has a pacifier in her she doesn't take a paci and never did....her current favorite thing is to play "baby" all the time and suck on a paci....}

So if you ever thought my house was always neat and are VERY wrong ;)!

Monday, August 26, 2013

first day of preschool

Today was Evan's first day of preschool!  I can't believe he is such a big boy already!  He was SO ready for his school to start...especially since big brother started a week and a half ago.  No tears from this boy at all!

This is his first year at preschool, but you couldn't tell because he was ready to go!

A Skylanders backpack like big brother :).

Evan chose pancakes as his breakfast of choice this morning.

My matching boys!  They both get to go to school at the same time in the mornings on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  I think Avery was just as excited for Evan to start school!

Evan's preschool.  He has a unique is actually a training class for high schoolers who are interested in the education field.  This means not only does he have a certified teacher and a para in the room there are 20 high schoolers in there too for the 20 preschoolers!!  Yes, that is a lot of "teachers"!  I think Evan will take full advantage of this...with his charm I think he might get away with a lot ;).

He's ready for me to leave :).

After just 2 1/2 hours we come back to get him.  He says he had a great day and has lots of friends...although he doesn't know anyone's name :).  His favorite part:  recess!  He also enjoyed library and says that it was too short and asked if he gets to go longer the next time!

Celebration lunch out on the "playground" {as Evan calls it}.  I don't think Ellie really missed her brothers too much this morning...she enjoyed being a big girl and going into the child watch at the gym by herself :).

I think this is my FAVORITE part about my boys going to school...they come home and want to play school!  This is Evan playing library with Ellie and showing her the parts of the book!  Love it!

Here's some stats on Evan as we begin the new school year:

Favorite Color:  Golden and Red
Favorite TV Show:  Milo & Otis {actually a movie}
Favorite Subject:  Recess
Favorite Book:  Turtle Splash!  Countdown at the Pond
When I Grow Up I want to Be:  I don't know
I really Like:  Bella
I really Don't Like:  dolls

Saturday, August 24, 2013

our "new" swing set

I think I have told you over and over how we {love} our backyard now because of our new fence.  It is just so nice to have an area to contain your kids :).  The problem was we didn't have much for them to play with because it didn't really seem safe before the fence.  Well after the boys kept asking for their own swings and Ellie just wanting to spend hours at the park swinging, we decided to be like the rest of suburbia and get our own swing set!  I think you know by now we don't ever buy anything full price around here so Ryan searched Craigslist for one.  We found one right down the road from us that seemed in pretty good condition!  

Now you might think hauling off an already built play structure from someone's house would be a lot of work, but I think it is WAY easier then buying new.  We didn't have to take many pieces apart and it only took us a little over an hour to get it loaded on our truck.  And yes, it did all fit on one load :).  Luckily, we didn't have to go far!

Then it only took us about 2 hours to pick a spot and put it back together at our house {the original owner said it took him over 12 hours originally to put it together!!!}.  It does need some re-staining and a new tarp on top, but the kiddos are having a ton of fun with it already!!!

I am looking forward to kicking my kiddos out to play on it while I cook in the kitchen because I can see them perfectly from the kitchen window :).  Yeah for backyards!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

our jungle garden

We have had a garden for a couple of years now, but I don't think our previous gardens compare anywhere close to this year's garden!  I think it might be turning into a's insane!  After installing our fence this spring Ryan decided to TRIPLE our old garden's size....that along with optimal growing conditions this summer has lead to this...

Yes, those are all veggie plants of some sort in there...weeds don't even have room to grow!  Almost all of this was started from seed too!  Can you find the little girl behind the okra "trees"???

Okay have you ever seen a zucchini that is half the size of an almost 3 year old?  And this has not been our only one this size!  So far I have made zucchini:  muffins, bread, blueberry muffins, chocolate bread, brownies, fries, pasta dish, frozen a couple bags of it, gave lots away...and I still have the one Ellie is holding and another in my fridge to use right now and more coming....oh my!  If you have a fav zucchini dish let me know!

Then yesterday we harvested our first eggplant!  I would have to say they are one of the "prettier" veggies.  Today on the menu is an eggplant AND zucchini recipe I found here.

We also have cucumbers coming out our ears!  Don't you love my veggies model ;)?

Oh and I can't forget the endless supply of okra...that stuff never stops growing!

We do have tomato plants in there too, but so far no red ones yet, we do have lots of green.  Hopefully some will start turning red soon...but I am afraid the okra, zucchini, and cucumber "monster" plants are shading them too much! 

We might need a truck to haul away all the dead plants at the end of growing season....but fresh veggies are always nice!

Monday, August 19, 2013

pickin' peaches

Have you missed me ;)?  Since the summer is now over I am not forcing myself to keep a daily blog entry so you will see a little less posts and I will be more random in what I me our daily life isn't as "exciting" now with school in session.  I don't think you want to hear about going to the grocery store or time at the gym, but fret not, I will not be disappearing!

This weekend we decided to enjoy more beautiful weather around here with some peach picking!  Yes, we have picked strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries & raspberries this why not peaches too?!  I love having this fresh fruit, but it seems to disappear so quickly! 

We loaded up the car and headed out to the farm to get our picking on.  A fun tractor ride to the field!

I think the kiddos enjoy picking their own fruit because of all the eating they do while picking....I think their father is responsible for teaching them that one!

Peach picking is a little harder then the other fruit because you have to find one that's not hard, but not too soft either!

It is easier then apples, however, because the limbs are so low you don't need a ladder!

I did make some peach pies from scratch with some of our 13 pounds of peaches!  There is something very satisfying from making your own pie.....but someone needs to teach me how to make a pretty one!!

Okay I think we are done with picking fruit now....well at least until apples & pumpkins are ready :)!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

first day of 1st grade

Today was Avery's first day of 1st grade.  That seems so old to me!  I think this 1st grade thing is going to be a lot different then kindergarten.  Since Avery only went to half day kindergarten it really didn't seem like much of a change from preschool.  We still got to spend every morning with him and then he just left for a few hours during nap time before coming back home.  Well now we are big time and he will be gone ALL day for five days of the week and he will be spending more waking time at school then at home...that's a big change!  Oh boy!  Today was just a half day so the "big" day {in my opinion}  doesn't happen until tomorrow.  That is going to be one long day for E & E & me.  We will miss him, but will know that he will be having lots of fun learning new things.

This morning Avery got up bright & early....6:20 am to be exact.  Before the rest of the house...I had my alarm set for 6:30 so I could get some things done before everyone got up...well he beat me to it.  He hopped out of bed, got his clothes on, shoes on, and his hair combed in less then 2 minutes.  Then he started asking if it was time to go to school yet :)!  

When you wake up so early you can still fit in some play time before superheroes it was.

He requested french toast for his first day of school breakfast.

Then it was finally time to head off to school.  Ellie was also saying she was going to school this morning...notice her backpack :).

A skylander's backpack, of course.

Waiting to go back to his room.

At his desk!

And his backpack hung up.  He is again the last number in the class this year, number 17.  Yes, there are only 17 kiddos in his it!

Then ice cream is a must after the first and last days of school!  Even better when the ice cream is your lunch :)!

Ice cream with friends!!!

Here's some stats on Avery as we begin the new school year:

Favorite Color:  Green
Favorite TV Show:  Pokemon
Favorite Subject:  P.E.
Favorite Book:  Pokemon
When I Grow Up I want to Be:  Don't know yet
I really Like:  Skylanders
I really Don't Like:  Baby dolls

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#84 last day of summer break

Wow we have gotten to this day already....the last day of summer break.  I am pretty positive I was just working on creating our summer bucket list and now it is over already?!  Unbelievable.  It was a great summer and I cannot complain about the beautiful weather we had pretty much fact so much beautiful weather we didn't spend much time at the pool {we have got to squeeze in another pool day before this summer is over!}.  I think the kiddos will have a lot of great memories of our time together and I don't think anyone ever complained about being bored around here.  I also loved our new summer schedule we used this year and plan on using it again next summer!  It's a little bittersweet time.  I will miss all our time together and the long days, but I also love, love fall and am ready for all things fall {i.e., pumpkins, hayrides, apples, chili, playing in leaves....}.  I am also ready for more of a routine around here and my boys are so ready to begin school...well actually Ellie keeps telling me she is going to school too and wants to meet her teacher....I hope she's not too disappointed that all she gets is me ;).  So once again we begin a new chapter in our lives as school begins again around here.  I hope everyone has a great start to their school year!

Here is Avery tonight at his 1st grade Sneak a Peek to meet his teacher.  Is it me or does he all of a sudden seem so old in this picture?  

Don't worry more pictures will be coming about the first days of school!

#78 & #79 days 6 & 7 of trip to michigan

We have finally arrived to the end of our trip to Michigan.  Here's how we wrapped things up:

We woke up from our motel and headed out.  {Evan loved this place because of the owner's dogs there that he got to play with :)}

A little morning swim in the lake.

Some play time in the sand.

The boys created a little water hole for Ellie since she didn't want to play in the lake.

We then went for a scenic drive and saw another light house.

Playing among the rocks, mud, and times.

Then we did a little cherry picking!  You can't go to Michigan without some of their cherries {which we don't have here}.  Their sweet cherries were already out of season, but we did get some tart cherries.

We also did some raspberry picking!  These raspberries were DELICIOUS!

So we picked a lot :)!  {Does anyone know of a u-pick raspberry place near us??}

It's not a vacation without ice cream for lunch!

We then start making our way towards home.  We saw this family of turkeys slowly crossing the road.

On the way home we make one last stop at Lake Michigan.  This is Oval Beach, which has been voted one of the best beaches in US.  It was way busier then any other beach we had visited during the week!

A last family picture with our name in the sand.

And that's it.  So long Michigan!  Evan's view on the way home!  The kiddos did great on the car ride there and back.  On the way there we actually didn't watch a single movie the first night...instead we listened to 8 Magic Tree House chapter books :).  Avery was really enjoying the books on tape!!  I think we will have to get some more for our next vacation!

The next day, the kiddos got reunited with Bella!

We definitely enjoyed our vacation to Michigan and plan to return some day soon!!  When I asked the kiddos their favorite parts they told me:
Avery:  the snacks {that I packed in the car before the trip}
Evan:  the dogs at the motel
Ellie:  going to a friends house to play while mommy packed BEFORE the vacation :)
So you see the kids really enjoyed the money spent on vacation ;)...but I think they all really did have a great time!  Until next summer....