Thursday, September 27, 2012

He Knows What's Good

Connor spends a lot of time hugging Vern when we visit my in-laws. At one point, I said to him, "You and Vern sure seem to like hanging out together, don't you?" Connor's reply? "Yeah, he knows what's good." SO CUTE!

The kids had a sleep-over with my MIL Saturday night, and when we arrived Sunday morning to pick them up, Connor was hugging Vern and said to me, "Vern still knows what's good!"

I love him!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baby Hats

Baby hats are probably my most favorite thing to crochet. They whip up so quickly, and purely based on the small size (though I'll toot my own own and claim some skill and design involvement as well! LOL), they're adorable! They're useful, cute, and parents love receiving the hats.

Here are two I made recently:

This is for my friend Kristina's son. She really likes the owl stuff for babies, but most of it is geared towards girls, so I said I would work on an owl hat that wouldn't be girly. I picked traditional boy colors, and left off the braids that normally dangle down from the ear flaps.

I made this one for a friend's new niece. I made it a little big so it would work better further into the fall/winter, instead of making a newborn size that only lasts the first month (if that).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fishing Fun!

We took the boat out over the weekend to attempt some fishing. We've had the boat all summer, but spent more of our time touring around the area, and letting me get more comfortable driving, etc. Finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a shot!

Em wanted to bring a friend because she wasn't overly interested in the fishing portion of things, so wanted someone to hang out with. I got a kick out of the two of them, shoulder to shoulder, giggling away!

attempts at an artistic shot, using a cell phone camera... ha!

Someday when I'm a millionaire, go ahead and just plop me down into something like this along the water...

Connor was dying to help me drive, so while we were trolling along, I sat him in my lap and let him have at it. He's squinting for the picture, but was full of giggles and smiles otherwise!

Jared was snuggling up to Dan (who, in case you don't remember, is opting NOT to be photographed on my blog any longer)

HEY! What happened to our flasher and squid-thingy?? Must have been a HUGE fish that totally snapped the line in the fight to reel it into the boat! That's our story, and we're stickin' to it! (Couldn't possibly have been that we got a little shallow and snagged the bottom... We'll never know for sure!)

But look, we caught something! Hahahahaha! We all felt it was quite exciting to catch SOMETHING, even if we couldn't keep it. *grin*

And I think I'll work harder at finding a "pee bucket" to have on board for our longer outings, because I REALLY did not enjoy hanging bare-bummed over the edge of the boat to pee!

Friday, September 21, 2012


When we showed up at school earlier this week for Open House, there was an "all about me" writing project hanging up along the walls in the hallway near Jared's classroom. His is missing a few words, but you know what he was getting at. It made me laugh! I absolutely love this sort of stuff.

His teacher also set up a neat photo area right near the classroom door, where all the kids look like they are rock climbing!

I'm so excited to see what the rest of this year brings for Jared. His classroom runs a school supply shop a bit later in the year, and he is SOOOOOOO excited! He said they've already gotten their loan from the bank, and are starting to discuss what items they want to sell, and how much they need to sell the items for to make a profit, etc. They'll also learn how to balance a checkbook. I think it's going to be a really great year for him.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baby Hats

There is a teacher at my kids's school, who is due to have her first baby any day now. I love an excuse to craft, so decided to crochet a few baby hats as a little gift. I did two newborn-ish sized hats, and two that are a little bit bigger, so hopefully at some point, they all fit for at least a little while!

I couldn't resist doing a monster hat; it's so close to Halloween, and they're so much fun to make!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blackberry Pie contest

We take our pie contests and blackberry picking seriously around here! (haha!)

While at my parent's house, dropping off the kids for a sleepover, I went out back and picked some blackberries for the pie contest the following day. Connor kept asking Grandpa Jeff about the bucket truck parked near the blackberry vines, so Grandpa ended up letting him go up in it. Connor was THRILLED!


And higher!

Connor would have happily gone even higher, but it's not a super secure platform/bucket and, let's face it, this is Connor we're talking about, and we didn't need to encourage any extra risk-taking/thrill-seeking!

Grandpa and Connor picked some large plump berries that would have otherwise been out of our reach

My pie:

The two pies:

First taste-tester (who refuses to have his picture on this blog) being a good sport and letting us blindfold him

One adult and one kid did a blindfolded taste-test before we all just stopped taking it seriously. Two more kids opted to be blindfolded for the heck of it, but the contest pretty much just ended very anticlimactically.

I'm going to go ahead and say that I won by default because I had a home-made crust and my neighbor had a store-bought one. LOL The general consensus is that both pies were good. Mine was sweeter and his was more tart, so it's all in how you like your pie. Since I don't like blackberry pie either way you make it, I don't really care. Except, I did win! *grin*

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pulling Teeth

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Jared needed to have two baby teeth pulled to make room for two permanant teeth that couldn't drop down. Jared was pretty nervous, but very brave. My aunt works at the dentist we see, and assisted with the extraction, and she said Jared did awesome! He was really uncomfortable at first, and we had a hard time getting the bleeding to stop (I don't think he was biting down on the gauze hard enough, because he said it hurt too much). After I finally convinced him to swallow some Motrin, and the feeling came back to his lips/cheek so he was allowed to eat, he perked right up and it's been super smooth sailing ever since.



He keeps teasing me with his "bunny teeth" and saying he's going to smile with the only remaining front teeth sticking out over his lip for school pictures in two weeks. LOL


Huge teeth when the roots are still attached!

I guess it's still somewhat tender when biting into foods, so I've been either cutting up his food, or he's been ripping it up (or he's choosing softer food items). He lisps a bit when he's talking now, too, with barely any teeth to help form the sounds!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mom's blanket

I had originally planned to crochet my mom a blanket as part of her Christmas present, but then had the genius idea less than a week prior to her birthday that if I gave it to her as a birthday gift, she'd have more time this fall/winter to use it, so then I made a valiant attempt at completing it in time. In less than a week, I was able to complete half of it (kids were off at camp so I sat around most of each day working on it!), but it took me almost three weeks to complete the last half with the kids being around again. Better late than never, right?

I forgot to take a picture of it with my good camera, so snapped one with my cell phone from my mom's house. Washes out the colors a bit, but you get the idea. I love how it calls for four colors, but is a three row repeating pattern, so the colors alternate through the pattern differently. Mom's favorite color is green, so I did the blanket in four shades of green.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here Fishy, Fishy!




We caught NOTHING (unless you count me getting nauseous from all the waves rocking the boat, and Jared getting a bloody nose!), and truthfully weren't really set up to try all that hard. We're inexperienced, but the boys really wanted to use their poles, and had fun in the attempt.

One of the kids' favorite parts of boating is driving under the bridges!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Down on the farm

Connor got invited to a birthday party at a local park this past weekend, and included in the party was pony rides and a petting zoo! For my little animal lover, this was about the coolest party he's ever attended.

From the minute the pony showed up, Connor was attached to the owner's hip, asking questions, petting the pony, offering to help brush it, etc. Once the petting zoo was set up, Connor couldn't get into the pen fast enough!

I don't remember what this thing is, but it's the 2nd largest rodent (a Cavy or something like that?). It was super friendly and Connor happily pet it for the longest time.

FINALLY got a turn on the pony!


Testing out some goofy glasses which were decorating the party tables.

The party was for a little girl who just moved to the area. VERY nice family, but wow, did they set the bar high!! LOL I had to drag a crying Connor away from the animals when it was time to go. He loved the experience!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blackberry Pie

A couple of years ago, I picked a bunch of blackberries from the alley behind our house and made my very first blackberry pie. The recipe I used came from the Internet, and the only reason I chose it was because it was the simplest, most basic recipe I could find.

Dan raved about the pie. The neighbors raved about the pie. The kids raved about the pie. I don't even eat blackberry pie so I couldn't put in my own opinion, but apparently it was good.

I've made it several times since and it's a hit each time.

From this:

To this!

I'm not sure if freezing and then thawing the berries will change the taste of the completed pie, but I picked enough berries this year to freeze and use for two more pies, which I figure I'll make for Dan and the kids this winter when we need a taste of summer!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Jared had a free consultation with the orthodontist last week. The ortho was running super late that day, so the gal that put us in the room came back and got out some toys/games for the kids. The boys happily played tic-tac-toe!

x-rays show that Jared's teeth are a bit of a crowded mess. He needs to get the two baby upper cuspids pulled to make room for the permanent lateral incisors to FINALLY drop down. The permanent upper cuspids don't look in great alignment to me, but the orthodontist said we'd focus on one problem at a time, and that with any luck, with the baby teeth extracted, the permanent teeth can shift and come down properly.

They baby teeth will be extracted as soon as we can schedule an appointment (dentist is closed this week so we have to wait), and then we go back to the ortho in 10 months for another consultation (unless myself or our dentist have further concerns before then).

And so it starts... $$$$$ aughhh!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Even MORE geocaching!

As the summer vacation from school was coming to a close, I realized we had hardly done any geocaching all summer! While Dan was at Burning Man, I took the kids to some local trails for a hike, and mid-way through the hike, we realized there were probably a lot of geocaches hidden nearby (and we were right!). We were on a pretty limited time-frame, but looked for two and found three!

The first one we were staring right at without realizing until I finally decided to read the hint. Gotta love hints!

The second one was located on a part of the trail we'd already passed through, so we decided to hit it up on our way back to the car (so just continued exploring the trails for awhile and THEN headed back towards the car and the 2nd nearby cache). Based on the description, we were were pretty sure we knew where it would be located, and sure enough, we found this cutesy painted birdhouse, complete with a log book and some swag items.

As we were walking away, I accidentally hit the "photos" option of the geocaching app, and it took me to several pictures of other people holding up a totally different cache, near something entirely different than where were standing. Upon further exploration, we found the REAL geocache (Jared didn't want to be in this picture)

We are still pondering what the heck the bird house one was all about, because there were NOT two caches listed on the app that close together--we're talking maybe 10ft apart. We figure it was a nice two-for-one surprise! ha!

This past weekend, Dan and the boys were building stuff together, so Emily and I took Charlie and hit up another set of trails to do some geocaching. The bulk of the caches were hidden on a stretch of the trail that was pretty rough going in some places! I was glad we didn't have Connor with us...

Of the 7 caches hidden on the trails, we found 4 of them. Not bad!

One of our successes!

A few nearby to another one of our successes. This was a VERY old (HUGE) tree which fell down a long time ago. It was very splintered and twisted, and covered in moss, etc. It was really neat to see in person. Wish the picture did it justice!

The first cache we didn't find had us heading away from the main trail system and out along the main road (either that or down the REALLY steep embankment). Either way, we decided we didn't want to bother with it! The next cache we didn't find was another one we basically decided to skip. Best we could tell, we either had to bushwack through some pretty thick foliage, or walk in the stream to get nearer to it, and we didn't want to do either.

Here's Em at the stream we opted not to walk in!

The last cache we couldn't find drove me NUTS because the coordinates kept being so jumpy (due to the dense tree cover overhead). It would show us being really close, and then would suddenly jump and show us being 200-400ft away. So then we'd start backtracking and it would do it again. After turning around and backtracking several times, and considering we'd already been walking through the trails for close to two hours (there were a LOT of trails to wind through!), we were pretty tired and decided to go ahead and pass on that one as well. I always hate ending on a failure, but we were POOPED!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

1st day of school

There was NO talking the boys into anything even remotely nice for the first day of school...

Jared, entering 3rd grade

Connor, entering 1st grade

Emily was happy to froo-froo herself up! (But where are her glasses?? The little stink!)--entering 5th grade

She sure loves Charlie!

Can't get by without taking some silly photos as well...

Emily Grace gave Jared bunny ears, so he flashed some bunny teeth to go with! ha!

Some obligatory sibling photos...

I love Charlie and Heidi sniffing noses in the bottom corner. LOL

Bummer about the hair flipped up over Em's chin (which I didn't notice until the kids were gone!)