Thursday, August 23, 2012

We went a tent.

This past weekend we went to our church's annual Family Camp! We get together one weekend a year at a campground overlooking Ontario Lake in North Western NY. We have been going to this particular campground for....9 years now? And it is always so much fun. We come home super tired and very sore from all the sports and games we play.

You have the option to stay in a tent, rv/camper, bunkhouse/cabin or a lodge. So, for 6 years now, with the tenting being the cheapest option we, of course, have always opted for that. This is the first year that my whole immediate family wasn't there. My parents wanted to send my 3 youngest sisters, and stay back to get some work done on their house. Although, my mom ended up spraining her ankle a week before, so she hopefully spent the weekend resting. Dean and I offered to take my sisters, and we all crammed into my parents big red 12 passenger van. In the past we usually just pitch our tent back in our little corner, and then spend most of our time at my family's cabin where they have the whole set up: Canopy, picnic table, grill, food, electricity! But this year...this year we took over the tenting site...

And I took on the role of resident mom, taking care of the planning, packing, food making and clean up. Big props to my mom who has been doing that for all these years. It's a LOT of work! But in the end everything came together well, and we all had a great time.

When Will was a baby, and now for Sam, we'd stick a porta crib in the back of a van (it used to be Deans work van) and hope for the best. Thankfully my boys are super sleepers, and it has always worked out great!

 Our home away from home.

There are always a bunch of planned activities that you can choose to participate in, whether it's water games and relay races, volleyball and dodgeball tournaments, kids crafts and swimming. There is always something going on. This year I led one of the kids "craft" times, and we made some good ol' cornstarch and water...goop. As you can see the kids had a great time making a big mess.

We had beautifully perfect weather. Warm in the sun, yet nice and cool in the shade. The nights were crisp and a bit cold. Perfect for wearing sweatpants and hoodies and huddling around the campfire with friends.

Will and Sam haven't been huge fans of the water so far this summer, but were more than ready to get in the pool. Which, of course, I wasn't fully planning on. I packed Will's swim trunks just in case, but nothing for Sam. He went right in regardless, and'll see.

Uh, hott?

We also played mini golf...

And air hockey.

Played volleyball...

Ok, tried to play volleyball.

Made silly faces.

And watched the beautiful sunset.

Switching to color for this one ;-)

On our way back from camping it has become a tradition to stop and get ice cream at a certain little spot right down the road.  It's always fun to get all packed up and say bye to your friends, only to see them again 3 minutes later for one last hoorah before heading home.

Ice cream and curly fries.

He always has something to say.


Sunglasses. Oops.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Trying to get a good picture of my boys together is pretty much impossible these days. Between them either crying or running away or someone (ok me) having their eyes closed, it takes a lot of effort. And snacks. And bribes. We were at the park last week, and I wanted Dean to try to get a few good pictures of me and the boys for this post. We were able to get a few OK shots for that post, but most of them looked like this...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One day

One day my boys won't run to give me a hug with a big smile on their face when I return from being away.

One day they'll be too embarrassed to give me kisses in front of their friends.

One day they won't need me to rock them to sleep.

One day they won't ask for me to hold them.

One day they won't want to cuddle in bed when we first wake up.

One day they won't ask me to read them a story on my lap.

One day they won't need me to kiss their boo boo's.

One day they will be all grown up.

But they will always be my babies.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What I done did

At end of this blog post I wrote a list of things I wanted to get done last week, and said that at the end of the week I would post what I actually accomplished from that to-do-list. Well, I'm a little late in posting that, but better late than never.

So, I did not get everything crossed of my list. Shocking, I know.

I didn't get around to cleaning out our window seat storage, and I took a look at the top of the filing cabinet and deemed it wasn't that bad. So, it remains untouched. Oh, and the toys. Nothing happened there.

But I did get my fridge cleaned out.

And got my food cupboard organized.

I organized the shoe basket, getting rid of shoes that no longer fit my big foot of a son, and went through all the boys clothes (Although not all the bins made it downstairs yet. I just hate going down there.)

I also got a lot accomplished that wasn't on my list though. Like 2 batches of chicken stock, 4-5 batches of yogurt (I lost track), made a big pot of sauce using fresh from the market tomatoes and soaked like 10lbs of beans. Well, more like 3-4lbs. But still. That's a lot of beans you guys. Now I just need to make bbq baked beans and refried beans with them!

So, I am pretty satisfied with what I got done. I definitely still need to finish that list though, but it will have to wait until next week. This weekend we have our annual Church Family Camp, so this week is FULL of writing lists, shopping, baking/food prep, packing...oh the packing. Just writing that makes me wonder how I am going to get it all done without pulling my hair out. If only we could just live on cereal all week. Life would be so much easier.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My secret love

I have a secret.

I love cereal. Yup. Now you know. Any cereal. All cereal. From Cheerios to Captain Crunch. Raisin Bran to Waffle Crisp. Organic Peanut Butter Puffins to Puffed Kamut. I never met a cereal I didn't like. In fact, I am drooling just thinking about all the yummy cereals there are to eat. But here is the thing: I don't eat it. Oh, I have eaten plenty of cereal in my day. I grew up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). I'd have cereal for breakfast, snacks and sometimes dinner. But not anymore. I have rarely bought cereal for about 4 years now. Because, now that I know what I know, I just can't buy it.

You see, cereal. It's not good for ya man. Yes, most of it has HFCS and processed white flour which are obvious red flags. But what about Organic cereal you ask? Sure there is no HFCS. It's made with "whole grain" and organic ingredients. That's all fine and dandy. But the issue here isn't necessarily about the ingredients. It's how it is made. ALL cereal is made using the same process called extrusion. Which is basically using high heat and pressure to make corn take the shape of a "flake". Or whole grains in the shape of a hexagon (Crispix anyone?). It destroys all the nutrients and messes up the protein structure making them toxic to our bodies. You can read a lot more about it in this great article here.

I have been thinking about cereal a lot recently. Don't ask me why. Just dreaming of what used to be, I suppose. Then today a blogger I love re-posted that article, and I was again reminded that my relationship with cereal just isn't meant to be. And then, out of the blue, just minutes after reading that article Dean sends me this picture saying "I'm getting you one".

Thankfully Lucky Charms is not high on my list of fave cereals (although I can't say I hate it) so I was able to turn him down without much despair.

All this said, I must confess. Even knowing what I know, I have occasionally given in to the temptation and have...gulp...eaten cereal. Sometimes while at my family's house I will grab a handful from their pantry. And a couple months ago when Dean and I had our anniversary trip....I brought a box of cereal with us for my i'monvacationguiltypleasure snack. In the evening, when we came back to our room after the entertainment for that night was over, I'd have a glass of wine and some organic gluten free Envirokids peanut butter and chocolate Leapin Lemurs. It. Was awesome.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Family fun day: Riding bikes

Today was our family fun day! Although it would have been a perfect beach day I just wasn't feeling beachy today. Instead we decided to take a bike ride around our neighborhood and up to a close by park, and break in our new to us bike trailer. It was quite hot out, but the boys enjoyed the ride and Dean and I got a good workout in! We will definitely be doing more of it, as long as my bike hangs on a little bit longer. I got that bike when I was 12 years old for $60 at K.B. Toys with my own money. It's just a little sad that I still have it. About 3 out of the 10 gears still work, and I am counting on only the front brakes to stop me. Not the best situation for riding downhill! Here's hoping I don't go flying over the handle bars!