Monday, September 30, 2013

Fort 4 Fitness 2013

Ahh, at last all the training and miles we put in were finally put to the test:).  On Saturday, September 28th, 2013 Erica Gutwein and I did our second Mini Marathon.  We have been training for the past 3 months and it feels nice to know we don't HAVE to go out and run if we don't want to right now:).  Although we both agree we want to keep up on our running.
We could not have asked for a better running weather day.  Erica did an amazing job by increasing her speed to the finish line by a good 8 minutes compared to her first mini.  Way to go.   My goal this time around was to complete the mini in 2 hours or less. I practiced 3 weeks ago here at home and completed the 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 58 minutes so I was thinking it would be a breeze.  Much to my disappointment I completed it in 2 hours and 1 minute.  Man, that stinking ONE minute!!  And the hills that this course had....I am just very use to FLAT ground!!!

'til next time.....if there is a next time???  We will just have to see what next year holds:)

Making progress!!

17 months and we are finally thinking about taking steps!!  This was her very first 4 steps of her life.
Since this video she has taken a total of 9 steps in a row.  Making progress!!!


I have some super sweet neighbors down the road from us.  They have several dozen apple tree's. This year I asked her if I could come pick some apples if they weren't going to use them all and she gladly let me come.  I picked 3- 5 gallon buckets worth of apples and my dear mother came over and helped me make applesauce for the first time ever.  Ive always wanted to do it and now that I know how and I have access to apples hopefully, I'll probably be doing this yearly.  Thanks to Lacie and Tyler for the "FREE" apples.  They wouldn't let me pay!!
Liam helping by putting dirty apples in water for me to wash.
 And the cutting process starts.  Lots of cutting, cooking, grinding and bagging.  If I remember correctly we were completely done in 3 hours.
 Liam tried his hand at the crank!!  Thanks to Stephanie for letting me borrow your applesauce maker (sieve).

 23 quarts of applesauce complete.  Thanks mom for your help. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What a Character

One night at supper Ellie started making funny faces at us.  It looks like we have a character on our hands. 

This little girl sure does bring a lot of joy to our lives!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Taylor, MO

On a wednesday night, nick was to be in Taylor, MO for a topical bible study.  Our original plan was for him to sadly drive the 5 hour drive by himself, as I was needing to stay home with the kids. Plus they had school the next day.  But then nick gets a brilliant idea and asks Brad N. if he was busy and would want to take a flight to Taylor with his plane.  It was super fast, instead of a 5 hour trip, it was an hour and 15 minutes and the boys got the privilege of their very first flight outside of the state.  They were beyond excited.  It is a nice plane, holds 6 people, and our pilot was great!!!  Thanks Brad for taking us to Taylor and getting us home in record time:).

 We got home at 12:30am so this was how Caden was when we touched down at the airport.  Thankfully he got some sleep since school was the next day, but man, that just looks uncomfortable!!!
As we were leaving and thanking Brad for the flight, Elijah goes up to Brad and says "whenever you are ready to sell the plane, just ask my dad to buy it".  Elijah kept telling me that his "dad needs to buy a plane and that way it can be handed down to him when he is finished with it."  Smart boy, smart boy!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

6th and 3rd

What, really????  A 6th grader and a 3rd grader????  How is that possible.  Am I really old enough to have a JR High Student????  
 Tuesday, September 3rd was the kids' first day of school.  Its SO VERY NICE not starting until after Labor Day.  I love that we have the entire month of August to still enjoy summer!!!  Nick stayed home a little longer this morning and made the boys French Toast.  Its what they asked for.

 All ready to walk out the door and thankfully they both were super excited.  I had my doubts as Caden isn't a fan of school normally, but on Monday(the day before school started) he said to me "I am so excited I wish I could go to school today".  I was thrilled to hear that as hopefully his excitement will help him excel this year.  He struggles a great deal with reading (but so did I) and I keep telling him to have a positive outlook on it because he will catch on, and he will become a great reader one day.

 Elijah was ready for school probably a month ago!!  He was so excited to have a new classroom AND a new teacher this year.  He is a smart boy if he wants to be.  When he is pushed and challenged he excels.  He LOVES to draw and write stories.  In fact, just yesterday, he sat down and drew up a layout  for our back patio.  Of course when he was done he wanted to know when we would build it, and I sadly told him "in like 8 years when we have the money".  He wasn't happy with that response.
I pray you two boys can be Godly examples at school, showing love and kindness to those who you are around during the day.  I remind them that when life is hard and people are not kind, to learn from it, and remember how it made them feel.  "Turn the other cheek" is something I remind my kids often.  I love you boys and I love watching you grow!!!  Have a fabulous 2013-2014 school year!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Labor Day Camping

Our annual Labor Day Camping took place this year at Mississinewa State Park.  We had the privilege of taking our boat this year which made for a mighty good time by the kids I do believe.  We took different groups out at a time as pretty much all the kids are of age to go(minus Ellie and Josie who are the two babies).  I sadly don't have any water pictures, but all the kids either skied, wake boarded, knee boarded, or went tubing.  Nick said some of those little kiddos wanted to go so FAST when tubing, but he obliged and away they went.  FAST!!!
The first year we went, we tented it.  (only had 3 boys then)
The second year we went we rented a pop up camper (Ellie was 4 months)
This year we upgraded once again and rented a trailer.  It was really nice to have this, but we aren't sure it is worth the xtra money that we had to pay.  We shall see what next year brings.  Maybe we will go back to a pop up????
 We always find time to eat:).  Here are the kids all going first and getting their food.
 Ellie patiently waiting for her food to arrive.  She was such a good girl camping and I think she really enjoyed it as you will notice in the pictures at the bottom of this post:).
 Our little setup.  We had the perfect spot really.  Big grassy area in the center of the campers where kids could play, run around, have a fire pit, and eat our meals together.  The nice thing about our group is the size.  Its small enough to all eat together and its small enough that everyone gets a great amount of time on the boat(since we only have one boat for our group of four families).  Any bigger and meals would probably be on our own, and boating would become less and less for each person as the time it takes to get everyone out there and given a turn.
 This was absolutely priceless.  So Tate couldn't get his meat cut, and Liam so kindly obliged and offered to cut it.  Liam worked about 15 minutes on that meat!!  He sawed and sawed away with the plastic knife and did it all with a smile on his face.  I offered to help him 3 different times but each time he said "no, I can get it".  Liam, you are so sweet to offer to cut Tate's pork chop.  What a good friend you are:).  BTW, after I told him to press harder with the knife he finally got it cut in half!!!

 Here is our group of kiddos in the bunch.  We are missing Maddox as he was not in the mood to be in a picture. Looks like the girls just might be outnumbered.
 Well, on the day we were leaving(monday) I was out packing up stuff outside and looked back to see this ADORABLE picture!!  Ellie so sweetly propped against the camper with a very content look on her face.  I felt like she was thinking "now this is the life, oh how I love to camp!!"
 And we get home, and we put Ellie down to go play.....Nick and I and kids busy ourselves with getting the camping stuff all put away, laundry started, and you know how that goes.  I thought Ellie seemed awfully quiet so I went to check on her and OH MY GOODNESS.....this is how I found her!!!!  I am pretty sure she thought she was still camping and could play in the rocks she found near the "fire pit".  Just like camping!!!!  Our fireplace is now zip tied shut!!!

Free Fly

On August 17th we went Lafayette to attend a Free Fly hosted by the Lafayette Cloud Jockeys.  Nick has a coworker who is into remote control airplanes so we went to watch him fly his plane.  I tell you what, there were some BIG planes.  The two pictures below are of the largest remote controlled airplane that was there that day.  Sadly, when he landed it, a part malfunctioned and he ran it into a nearby post on the ground and tore up his wing, ending his day of flying.  The boys enjoyed watching them take off and land and do fun flips through the air.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Canning Season

Its that time of year when I pull out my empty jars and begin the process of canning to refill those jars that I used over the past year.  After blueberry season and we got our blueberries picked and frozen, its then time for the tomatoes to come.  So this year I canned 22 quarts of tomato juice.  I still had 10 quarts left from last year so it looks like 32 quarts is enough for now to get us through a year.  Im sure that will change as the boys get older and I have to make more food.
 The jars in the oven stay nice and warm so that I can put the hot juice into them.
 Ahhh.....delicious juice setting on the counter just waiting for me to hear the "pop" before putting them into the cupboard.

 Sweet Ellie just hanging around while I work in the kitchen. Don't mind her crazy hair day:)
 Two years ago I tried making salsa.  Sadly no one liked the flavor and I threw it all out.  So this year I decided to give it another go around and find a new recipe.  I'll be honest here....its still sitting in the cupboard waiting to be tasted!!!  I don't have chips around the house and I keep forgetting to buy them so we can taste my salsa.
 Hopefully its good because I made 9 pints this year.  Canning season isn't quite over yet....or maybe it is, but I did try my hand at making applesauce this year, and freezing it,  so more to come on that later.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Indiana Beach #2

So most years we go to Indiana Beach ONCE and that is when its free through Nick's work, however this year we went again with my aunt Val and her boys, then my grandma, aunt joan and my mom all tagged along as well.  I decided to let Ellie have a go at the rides for her first time ever.  BUT FIRST, I had to buy a pair of socks as she wasn't allowed to ride any rides barefoot????  The dumbest rule ever, as I'm pretty sure the socks on her feet did NOTHING since she doesn't walk anyways.
 I was concerned if she would scream and cry, but nope, this girl loves her rides.  She was grinning from ear to ear and was giggling.   The picture below is the exact smile she had throughout the whole ride.  Especially this particular ride since it was the fastest and she had to hang on tight!!!

 (notice her little gray socks??)
 This ride however started out good, but it was very jerky and about one round was enough.  She kept hitting her head on the side of the truck and was crying the entire time.  Poor little girl.
 So there is the part of Indiana Beach called Adventure Point.  It use to be that you had to pay extra to do it, but I found out this year throught Aunt Val that its now included in your ticket.  My boys were excited!!  I believe they did it three times before moving onto the next ride.

The kids had fun, but I can honestly say I hate spending money when it comes to Indiana Beach!!  Guess we will be sticking to the Once a Year from here on out:)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Family Fun Night

On Saturday, August 10th, Nick and I decided since we weren't doing much that evening and it would be fun to surprise the kids and take them to Lafayette to eat out and go putt putt.  We told them to get dressed and we were heading to Lafayette.  We went to Olive Garden first(had a gift card:) and ate dinner.  Then we drove over to the putt putt place and the kids were excited.  We don't do stuff like this to often so when we do, our kids get overly excited and usually have a great time.
 Daddy trying to get the ball in the hole.
 Of course the boys wanted to pose.  This is how Elijah told everyone to stand:)
 Elijah trying for a hole in ONE, but no such luck.
 Liam, well....we didn't keep score for him.  Lets just say I lost track of how many times he hit the ball!!
 Ellie wasn't the happiest baby girl in her stroller, although this picture is a bit deceiving:).
The last and final hole.  Of course after adding our scores, we weren't surprised to find out that Daddy won.

We then headed out and went to Cold Stone Creamery.  Another huge treat for the kids.  Once again we had a gift card!!