Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal

Last month a friend of mine that I met through Dayton Mamas, and has a foodie blog (check her out at One Girl's Taste on Life) posted about having a "Foodie Pen Pal." I was intrigued so I investigated further and signed up immediately! What an awesome oppertunity to meet new people form around the country with similar interests and new ones too! You are paired with 2 different people. One who you send food to and one who send food to you. 

This month my Foodie Pen Pal that shared her favorite things with me was Cass at Ready~Set~Get Fit. She is a mom to an active 3 year old, a detective on the police force and a Beachbody coach. She loves a great workout and healthy yet fun food to go along! She recently started running more and training for a 10K. I have been struggling with my workouts in the past couple of weeks since finishing P90X and she has motivated me to start training for a 10K as well! Check out her site, she has so many great inspirational quotes and ideas!

I was so excited the day my package arrived! I immediatly brought it in a ripped it open.

   Here's what was inside:

  • Organic All Natural Almond Butter
  • House Blend Coffee from a local press
  • Local All Natural Sarasota Honey
  • Granola Bark (which was gone in 24    hours! All 6 of loved it!!!)
  • Sweat Pink shoelaces

I took the honey and almond butter and mixed it with some oatmeal, flax seed, chopped peanuts and a handful of mini chocolate chips and made them into granola squares! YUM!! The freshness of the product makes a huge difference!

I LOVE my new laces!! I put them in immediately and I had an extra spring in my step at Sports Camp this week when I looked down at my fun bright laces. I also started back into running more this week, I ran 3 mornings this week and I am looking forward to running a bit more. Thanks for the Inspirations Cass!

Now, don’t you wanna join in the fun?! 

Here are the Foodie Penpals details:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Science Experiment for all ages

Today it is 102 degrees, so we beat the heat this afternoon by doing some experiments.

Blowing Up Balloons!

The first was using baking soda and vinegar to create carbon dioxide and blow up balloons.
We started with these items:
Baking Soda, Vinegar, Water Bottles, Balloons & Funnels
We poured vinegar in the water bottle and baking soda in the balloon.

When they mixed together, the balloons blew up!

The little kids loved it because it was just cool and
Logan understood the science behind it, which was pretty cool too!

Showing off their balloons!

 Frying and Egg… or not!

We tried on the driveway…it did not work

So we tried on the street…it didn't work there either.

 Mini Volcanos

We then put baking soda in pans (one for each kid, so there was no fighting) and made 3 bowls of colored vinegar. Using eyedroppers they went at it and then started to get very creative as they went one. As I am writing this they are still at it (45 minutes later) using their imaginations and creating scenes. They are even starting to add action figures to their scenes and then tomorrow we are going to print the pictures and they are going to write stories about there scenes.

Its cool how one activity is turing into 2…stay tuned for part 2!

Happy Anniversary

             9 years, 
             7 houses, 
             5 cities, 
             4 kids 
             and lots of good times 
             and bad times 
             I love you more than ever.

Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crossing things off the list

Ride Bike to Ritters

One of things on our Summer Bucket List was Ride Bikes To Ritters Frozen Custard. So yesterday while we had fantastic weather we decided to cross that off our list. We hopped on our bikes…or as you might notice from the picture the kids swapped bikes (nice pink bike Logan!) and rode over. Logan did great following the traffic rules and riding over…Melina not so much! She was not trying to be defiant or anything its just that the girl is in her own world and doesn't think things through. I say, "cross the street" and she crosses, but then does not go onto the sidewalk, but turns and rides up the street. Meanwhile, I am screaming "Melina!" and she turns to say, "What?" and goes into the middle of the road…ahhhhhh! And then she kept apologizing because she knew I was frustrated.
The poor girl…and her poor mommy (who got a couple gray hairs on this bike ride) made it to Ritters in one piece thankfully! The little ones enjoyed their ride in the bike trailer and kept telling me to go faster!

I really don't think they enjoyed their ice cream…do you?

And of course after our ice cream we had some play time before braving the ride home. All in all, it was a fun time, but I think we need to work on safe street riding a bit more before we attempt it again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

It grows with abundance….

It has been exactly 4 weeks since we planted our garden and we got our first harvest today!

Here's how it is looking...

The tomatoes are going like weeds!
I can not wait until we see the first speck of red!!

The cucumbers are all over the place with a couple
baby cucumbers just starting.

We have a good number of zucchini starting to get bigger!
And our first harvest is a sweet banana pepper!!
Only wish we had 10 more to stuff and grill!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our Summer Adventures ….so far

Here's some things that we have been up to so far this summer.

We have been working on our list, having FUN, and doing our chores too!

We had a Nature Scavenger Hunt.

I made different lists for each girl of things to find. The lists each had 10 items and included things like: 

* Find something brown
* Find something hard
* Find a seed
* Find a Nut
* Find 2 different leaves

The girls had a blast and we even had some science and nature lessons along the way.

Later the girls took their treasures and glued them. 

Meeka took her list and glued it on the paper and then glued her treasures on top of it.

Melina took hers (she had tons of acorns in addition to her list of items) and glued them in a heart shape for Michael for Fathers Day.

We climbed trees and Grandma and Grandpap's house and played hotel in the trees! Even I climbed up with them and played. It had been a long time since I climbed a tree! It was FUN though!
And hung out with the cousins William and Aubrey for a couple of days. It was nice to see them since we don't get to see them very often! 
We did a little Tie Dying this week. 

We went to this playdate on Monday, our first day back in town. I really debated going since I was in the midst of laundry and getting my life back together again, but I knew the   kids would enjoy it. And I was right…they had a blast and have enjoyed wearing their shirts!

We did a lot of swimming!
And we got to hang out with our great friends from Cincinnati for the day. We have 8 kids, all under 7, so it was an adventure at the pool, but it tuned out to be a great day and dare I even say RELAXING!!

We did a Tike Hike. These are sponsored by the Five Rivers MetroParks and we LOVE them! They are always a Fun Adventure!

We always end up DIRTY and HAPPY! What a great combination!

And yesterday we took a field trip with Aunt Shendy and Sammy Reese! 

We went to The Indianapolis Children's Museum! 

We spent almost 6 hours there and the kids had a BLAST!! They all said how FUN it was when we got int he car to come home. And they all slept on the way home, so it must have worn them out!

One of their Special Exhibits was Hot Wheels. This was a BIG SUCCESS for all of the kids!! I have to say it was a little overwhelming for us adults though…so many kids, so much stuff, and so many exits to everything!
Their other Special Exhibit was Legos…whats not to love about Legos? 
Logan LOVED looking at the big scenes that they had created and he cam home and has been creating his own scenes!
The Exhibit that kept everyone's attention in one place for the most time, hence which created the most relaxing time at the museum, was Ancient Egypt

NOT what I was expecting, but a very pleasant surprise! 

Logan put together a puzzle of the life size Mummy Tomb 2 times and the girls played with rocks and tunnels and buckets.

And Carson climbed and played with these goggles.

We have a SUPER FUN start to our summer!!

What have you been up to?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yes, I have my hands full!

"My, you have your hands full."

I have said it before and I will say it again…this statement drives me NUTS!

Yes, I have my hands full when I take them all to Target, stop to talk to someone I know for a minute, and I turn around and my cart is full of nail polish and animal crackers.

Yes, I have my hands full when it takes me 30 minutes to get everyone out the door, only to stay somewhere for 15 minutes and then it takes 30 more minutes trying to corral everyone back out to the car.

Yes, I have my hands full when I am sitting on the soccer sidelines by myself trying to entertain 3 kids and watch one play for the 3rd time that week because Michael is working late.

Yes, I have my hands full when we go out to dinner and one kid is throwing silverwear on the floor while another kid is throwing a fit because I won't give them any of my beer to drink (you can imagine the looks we get for this one) and another is talking louder and louder because no one is listening to them.

Yes, I have my hands full trying to get four kids bathed, teeth brushed, potty, stories, etc at a reasonable hour when everyone is just plain tired and melting down, including me!

Yes, I have my hands full, but on my own accord. I chose to have my hands full and I would have it no other way.

Because I have my hands full of FUN, ENERGETIC, LOVING, FORGIVING and BEAUTIFUL children and I am blessed that they are mine!

I turned around to see this yesterday and I was quick enough to get a quick shot!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The first thing to be crossed off our 
Summer Bucket List….swimming after dinner.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Camp Highlight Reel

Last week Logan, Melina, Meeka and I trekked out to the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania and went to Pine Spring Camp. The girls and I and my mom stayed together for 2 1/2 days and Logan stayed for the whole week by himself. We all went on an "Epic Journey" with Saul / Paul as we studied his Journey and transformation. A lot of FUN was had by all, but by the end of the Moms & Tots camp I was ready to come home. Logan on the other hand, at the end of his week, wanted to know if he could stay all summer…he was NOT ready to come home. 

Logan's Camp Journey

I led Logan to his cabin, placed his pillow on his bunk (he choose a top bunk), and then he was off….
only to be seen at meals (where he gave a small wave if I was lucky). When I packed up to go home it was a weird feeling knowing I was leaving my child in the hands of others, who I didn't really know, and trusting that they would take care if him. I was not worried or sad or scared…In fact I can not describe my feeling…it was just different. Of course he was fine and had the time of his life swimming, playing, rick climbing, hiking and studying God's word.  He won the Spider Monkey award for being the only camper in his camp to make it to the top of the rock wall. He talked the whole way home and then got home and crashed. I made him take a shower (he told me he only took a shower 2 times all week!!!!) and I scrubbed him from head to toe. Then we opened his suitcase and he has all these "clean clothes" left (really nothing is clean once it has been at camp even if it was not worn), so I know he not did not shower much, but he wore the same things over and over. And then the kicker…he pulls out his toothbrush and asks me to help him brush his teeth because he never found his toothbrush all week at camp, so he never brushed his teeth. Ahhh BOYS!!!!
Logan in front of the Pine Spring Camp sign…showing his enthusiasm for camp!

Logan and his counselors.

The Girls Camp Journey

The girls and my mom and I stayed together with 2 in a cabinet (as Melina called it) with 2 other girls and a mom and grandma. We had Mom/ Grandma only time in the morning studying Paul's Journey while the kids went off with their counselors and had Bible story time and craft time, etc. Then we met up for lunch and had pool, nature, craft and optional time in the afternoons. Then dinner and campfire and the counselors put the kids to bed and moms and grandma's has relaxation time. Melina won the High 5 Award, for always wanting to High 5 everyone. Meeka won the Enthusiasm award…can you guess why? It was a FUN two days with my girls. I think they enjoyed their time at camp. This was Melina's 3rd year in Moms and Tots and I think she is ready to go by herself next year. 

Game night after dinner on the first night

The Confidence Course…a mini obstacle course for the little ones.

Meeka going over the wall

Melina loved the zip line.

Meeka, not so much!

Bubble Blowing at the Campfire


It rained off and on while we were there.
Made for a stinky laundry when I got home!

They loved to walk through the puddles.

The girls went on a scavenger hunt one morning and collected items in their sacks from around the camp.

Craft time

One of the items they collected on their hunt was bubbles.
Meeka could not wait to blow them!

Melina was the Hoola Hoop Queen at the Carnival.

Meeka with her butterfly

Melina wanted to be a clown…how fitting!

Singing songs at their closing program.

During Mom time, I got to do the Giant Swing.
You are lifted 30 ft in the air and then you let go of the cord and swing!

And I climbed the Rock Wall.
I have to say I was proud that I made it to the top!

And I did this too. I made it to the top of this side too.
It was harder than the rock wall side because the ropes are not steady and you have to use your muscles to pull up form board to board on the top.

It was fun to be able to do "Kid Stuff" and just have FUN by myself!!