Thursday, August 9, 2012


We've been trying to make it a habit of going camping as a family. Erik and I both went camping a lot when we were younger and we just like being outdoors. Yes, it's stressfull at times, but really when is there every not stressfull times when you're a parent?
We stayed at a campsite called Shady Shores out by the Great Lakes.  It's literally right on one of them and you can hear the waves lapping on the shoreline at night when it's quiet.  During the day we went to the Sterling Renesance Festival. The kids had a good time and they both showed a like for bagpipes. Which I have to say, made us both happy.

Ethan was excited to go down the slide, but decided that the liked the maze they had there much better.

We sat and listened to these musicians perform while we ate our lunch. Bells and Motley, they have been part of the fair since it first started almost 30yrs ago.

Queen Elizabeth actress being carried along during the midday parade.

Stuck in the tent during a rainstorm that hit the second day. Luckily we didn't get the hail that also came with it.

Marching back up the hill at toddler speed.

Sophia had burned her hand the second day there. The sites had cast iron fire pits. She fell while playing when a fire was going. I was giving it some air before wrapping it back up again. I took her to the ped when we got back just to make sure it wasn't infected and that I was treating it properly.  It's doing much better and is starting to heal up. She is going to have a big scar there now though.

Playing follow the leader around the empty campground.

Visiting the lake before heading home.

All in all it was a great trip and we can't wat to go camping again next summer.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day at the Beach

We went to the beach a few days ago with my aunt and my two cousins.  We pretty much well spent the whole day there. Getting going was a calamity though. I had spent almost an hour looking for our hard red/white cooler to put food and drinks in without success. I had called Erik at work to see if he knew where it was, he asked if I had looked in the eaves and I said I'd looked everywhere. So I ended up buying a new one, only this one has wheels on it. Which proved to be MUCH better when lugging children and toys from the parking lot to the beach front.
Either way, it was worth it and the kids had a total blast once we got there.

These other ones are a bit older. Erik eats Kiwi's with the skin on them, just like an apple and I just think that's completely disgusting! So does Ethan, he likes his sliced and peeled. Well, Sophia likes to eat hers like daddy. The look on her face is priceless when she is trying to eat the skin and I had to take a picture.

She's also been staying cool just wearing her woolies. I snapped this when she was napping.

And this is Ethan, oblivious to the heat, washing dishes in the toy room.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Fun

So we've been loving that summer has finally come. We have the pool set up in our backyard as well as a sprinkler. Ethan has been a water mammal most of the days, whereas Sophia just started to like the pool today.

Sophia doesn't like the sprinkler much either.  So I changed her back into a diaper while Ethan kept on playing.

She loves to play with the sidewalk chalk. Putting it in the container and taking it back out again.

That and pointing, her new thing is pointing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My cousin's 4th birthday

This past weekend we joined the celebration of my cousin Lukas's 4th birthday and we all had a great time. Before anyone really noticed, Lukas had opened all of his presents and was playing with the toys and eating the treats. My Aunt and Uncle had pizza, hot wings, and a fantastic cake for aftewards. They have a large corner plot and my Uncle took the kids for a ride in the trailer attached to his riding mower. He drove them around for a good 15-30 minutes before the kids had had enough.  It took a big of coaxing to get Ethan to go with them, but he had a great time and that was all he talked about the rest of the day. That and how I forgot to grab a piece of cake for Daddy.

Sophia playing with one of the floor scooters the boys got for Christmas.

Two trailers full of kids ready to go.

And their Off!

My Oma and Opa had a great time sitting and watching Sophia toddler around the deck.

My Aunt Linda and Aun Daiva were snapping pictures.

Black Forest Cake. YUM!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ethan's Secret Room

This past week, Erik has been working on Ethan's secret room. Our house has these magnificent storage spaces in the eaves with little enchanting doors. They remind me of something out of 'Lord of the Rings'. Hobbit Holes if you will.

So Erik took the time to clean one up, put some kid friendly insulation in and he used the left over wall from our bathroom remodel two summers ago. Some carpet remnant, an old futon cushion, some old sofa cushions and a unused side table. The only downside is that is can get very hot when the sun is out and Ethan has been told not to close the door when he is in there. We will probably have to put a vent window in down the road, but for now fans will help in summer and a space heater will work for winter.

Ethan hiding from the camera.

Trying to escape before I take another one.

It's his new favorite place to sit and read books.

Insulation to cover the shingles and roof nails. Erik pounded in the real long ones. Last thing we need is a bloody concussion.

Our left over bathroom wall.  Erik is going to have to add some more at the top, the other insulation is peaking out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Outside Overhaul.

The front of our house has been an eyesore, since we bought. There was so much to do inside the house that I was fine letting the outside go with minimal maintenance. Well, after it being a pet peeve of mine for the past two years, I attacked.  Our front garden started out with GIGANTIC bushes, that had grown massive and overbearing.  A few years ago I had taken down the ones at the far corner, hoping that I could have flowers in there. While I was recovering from having Sophia, the weeds took over. Some friends of ours had also given us some plants from their yard, that I just kind threw in without any thought or reason. I wanted to keep them, but didn't want them to die and didn't have the energy to think of anything better to do. 
Friday afternoon, I attacked the Rhododendron and the bushes near it. I love the purple flowering bush, but it had grown up past our bay window and was mostly dead underneath. So, I hacked it down and snapped off everything that was dead. The bushes that were around it, I had originally thought were just one massive beast of a bush. Turned out they were 5 bushes that had grown in together. I pulled out 3 of them and left 2 brutally mutilated. I'm thinking they were supposed to be cute little low bushes that went crazy with no one to trim them.  I hope they recover, if not they will go next year and be replaced with something smaller and prettier. I then dug up and replanted the ones our friends had given us. One I have nicknamed "The Hairy Beast". It grows up into this huge grassy plant and sprouts out these beautiful dark purple orchid looking flowers. I love it, but it needs a haircut every spring. The other was just an ornamental bush  that I moved to the far end.
This process also involved digging up and moving the bulbs I had planted previously. All my Tulips and Hydrangeas were moved to the front corner where my Daffodils live. Then there is this beautiful bright pink bulb that had appeared on the side of our house that I moved to underneath our Flowering Pear tree (no pears, just flowers).  On the side of the steps that you don't see, I just trimmed back the other green bush and twin green/white bush to the one in the above picture. 
After all the replanting was finished, I put down weed blocker cloth. Then it took 17 bags of red mulch to cover everything.  We also bought some nice small ground flowers in blue and some Dust Millers for the other side of the steps, they are Erik's favorite so we had to.  So now, the front of our house looks like we love it.

Today, I worked on my veggie garden, which I've decided to make into a Salsa garden. I'm able to grow tomatoes like nothing, so if I can grow: Jalapenos, peppers, and some cilantro, I'll be all set. We go through salsa like crazy in our house and I found a great recipe last year. So I'm going to attempt canning it and see how that goes.

While I was at Lowe's, I had spotted 'Organic Garden Weed Blocking Paper' which you can use in your veggie garden and then till into the soil after the season is over.  It took 3 rolls, but after the madness of weeds that took over when I was pregnant, I'll try anything.  After Erik mows the lawn, I'm going to use the lawn clippings as mulch to hold moisture and the paper in place. I put it down today since the weeds are starting to have fun growing again.
All that is left is the corner by the driveway. We had planted some decorative bushes there, but it's an eyesore and drives Erik bonkers when he is trying to mow.

So, that's what we've been up to this past week. If there's any money left over after this, we still have windows to replace.
Oh the joys of home ownership.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Winter 2011-12

We went to a big Chrstmas party at our friends Kris and Megan's house.

The kids had a great time dressing up and playing together.

Santa stopped by and left a bag of presents. Ethan got a Darth Vadar candy dispenser.

This is of the house down the street that caught fire. Got a nice action shot.

Sophia turned 1.

Ethan turned 4.

They both had a great time opening presents.

Ethan and Lukas romping in the snow.

They get along well most of the time.

The Christmas party at my Oma and Opa's house. Klaus wrestled the younger cousins.

Ethan and Sophia both got a present.

We had a small Christmas.

Sophia was not happy about being in her big brothers old snowsuit.

A simple snowman that melted 3 days later.

Her newest thing is climbing into her walker and whining for us to get her out.

At Grandmas house.

Doing sticker books.

With Erik's cousin Erin's daughter, Rayanna.

Apart from being sick just about every few weeks this winter, we did have a nice time. Christmas brought the usual family mess of who is going where and for how long. Who is staying with who and what not.