Sunday, September 25, 2011

Best part of the weekend!

This weekend we jumped in Joshua's truck and headed out of town with him...half because Joshua needed to do some work stuff between here and Salt Lake City and half because it would be fun family time to get out of the house...yanno--two birds, one stone.

Well this is my favorite part of our weekend out of town. We got to our hotel after dark on Friday night. It wasn't the nicest of hotels we've stayed at (with all of Joshua's frequent stayer club deals, he usually can put us up in SUPER nice hotel suites for nothing...but we were stuck with Reese, so = lesser accomodations haha). Anyway, we parked around back and walked around a central garden area toward our room when we were VERY surprised to see a full volleyball court! Joshua chuckled at the odd don't usually see a volleyball court at a Holiday Inn or Hilton...and the kids started jumping up and down saying "looky looky!!" (they had lots of pent up in-the-car energy). And then Emilee chimed in with a shocked tone of voice "Hey!! I brought my volleyball!!" There I was unpacking suitcases and I see Joshua grab Emilee's ball and head out the door, all the kids in tow. Tickled at the spontaneity, I followed. So our family spent about half an hour playing volleyball in the dark in the garden of an odd hotel...and we had a BLAST! We played Em & Trev VS Dad & Mom for a while...and then switched to Dad & Em VS Mom & Trev. Who knows what the score ended up being, but we had a ton of fun running around in the sand chasing a ball we could barely see! And Carter, not to be left out, just hung out on the court with us making "sand angels" and running all over while we played over and around him!

The other hilarious part of this volleyball court was it was meticulously groomed when we got there...meaning the gardener had used a special sand rake and made super straight and pretty lines along the length of it. It looked like one of those sand zen gardens that people play with on their desk to de-stress...only super sized! Anyway, I can't imagine too many people play in this volleyball we all got a good laugh out of imagining the gardener's face the next morning when his perfect lines were all replaced with crazy footprint marks.

(If you click to zoom in on the picture, you can just barely make out Emilee in the top left corner about to serve her pink and white volleyball...Carter is wearing orange running around near here, and Trev is waiting for Daddy's volley at the top right.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Suzy Homemaker

Today I dabbled in a world I've always wanted to play in...canning!

The other day I offhandedly mentioned to Emilee's best friend's mom (Meg) that I would love to try canning sometime. She looked at me sort of surprised and said "Really? Well, come on over, I'll show you how!" They own several acres and have all sorts of animals and farm type things going on at their house...all three of my kids love to go over there and visit since it's quite the opposite of our "city type" living. They have an abundance of peaches ready to be picked right now so Carter and I excitedly accepted their offer and headed over this morning.

We got started picking about 20lbs of's Carter eating a peach with one hand and holding up a just picked "perfect" peach with his other.

One of the many steps to canning...sorting the peaches and getting them ready for a quick dip in boiling water, followed by a dip in iced water, so you can peel them.

After peeling, they need to be pitted and cut and sprinkled with Fruit Fresh.

Then they need to be packed into the jars. This step is a tricky one I learned AFTER it was all said and done, as some of my jars came out not as tightly packed as they should be. Oh well, they should still taste yummy!

Next step is boiling the lidded jars...this takes 45 mins...and the time waiting is best passed by heading over to the canal that runs through Meg's front yard and floating the toy lego boats that were built by cute 4 year olds while Mommy was chopping peaches.

45 minutes is up and SUCCESS!!

The jars are done and set out to cool.

I had a blast today trying out canning...a huge THANK YOU to Meg for sharing her peaches and her time with us, and letting us make a mess out of her kitchen! And also to her daughter, Amy, who helped a ton with the peach peeling and with keeping Carter entertained!

And this picture wraps up my Suzy Homemaker Day. Not only did I hit the farm, pick and can peaches today...but I also put a whole chicken in the crockpot, ate some for dinner and pulled apart the rest to freeze for enchiladas later. And THEN I put the leftover bones/meat back in the crockpot, filled it with water and added seasonings and vegetables and now it's going to cook overnight making homemade chicken stock to freeze for later!

I'm feeling like a VERY accomplished housewife today!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ooooh, Regular Fish...

Three guesses as to what this picture is all about...

We wanted to spice up Regular Fish's living arangement...nope!

We were drunk and put Regular Fish in the wrong spot after cleaning his tank...nope!

Aliens came overnight, bypassed our home security system and this is how we found poor Regular Fish...nope!

This, my friends, is what a fish hospital looks like. Yup, you read that right. Regular Fish is in the hospital. I've been scouring the internet to find out what's wrong with him (since taking him into the vet is LAST on my list of things to do). Seems he's either caught a nasty fish disease called Velvet or we have accidentally contaminated his living quarters with a mystery poison...either way, he's sick. Over the last few weeks he's developed a brownish ick all over his body and he's lethargic and won't eat much and he buries himself under his coral thingie and acts dead. So some nice (crazy) people on an internet message board devoted to betta fish suggested that he needed to be treated with salt, tannins and quarantined in a small space to save his energy and allow him to recover. Yup, people, we are still talking about a fish here, not a human or even a dog...a fish! Previous to this, my only fish treatment has been something like this..."oh look, Swimmy is dead, guess we gotta flush him..." But not now. I guess we spend alot of time paying attention to dear Regular Fish, so now that we've noticed he's not well, how can you ignore that? So I mixed up a special concoction of water conditioner and salt and moved Regular Fish to a wine glass (cuz that's all I could find of the appropriate size) and he's been "in the hospital" for about a week so far. I will say his attitude (betcha didn't know fish had attitudes, did ya?!) is much improved. He isn't "acting dead" and is swimming around more. He is finally eating happily twice a day instead of just staring at his food in a trance and not touching it. But the brown ick is still all over his once beautiful blue body. I'm sort of at a loss. The one issue I've had in his "treatment" is that I haven't added "tannins" to his water yet. Supposedly fabricated tannins (yanno, like if you buy it in a jar at the pet store) are expensive and don't work. And to get natural tannins...well you have to find an oak tree that you are positive hasn't been treated with pesticides, collect up some fallen dried leaves, crush them and steep a tea out of them which you then add to the fish's water. Is anyone rolling their eyes yet?! Not only am I thinking "are you serious?!" but in my pet fish mommy defense, we don't have ANY oak trees around here. Pine trees abound and that's it. So admist housework and running the monkeys around to all of their sports practices and games, I haven't had time to drive hours into the hills around Boise and try to find an organic oak tree. Ughhh...

So, for now, that's Regular Fish's health update. I'll post again with any good or bad (ooooh let's hope not for poor Carter's sake) news.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Emilee!!

A quick shout out to our favorite (and still not quite awake when I snapped this picture!) girl...who's 14 today!

Happy Birthday, Emilee...we love you!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of Preschool

Carter's first day of preschool was yesterday and it went great! He's back at the same preschool he attended last spring but this time in the "big 4 year old classroom"!! Over the summer Carter has been pretty clingy to me so I was worried that dropping him off in his class might involve a few tears (from him, not me haha!). But we've been talking about how much fun school is and how awesome it will be to play with friends again, hoping to calm his "leave Mommy to go there" worries...and it seems to have worked! I dropped him off without any issue and when I picked him up he was all smiles!! This year he is going MWF to figure out what to do with myself with the house so quiet!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Second time out at the lake, Emilee got right up on the wakeboard!

Trevor of course had to take things up a notch and went for one-handed and a little hot doggin' feet action...

Then Emilee got back on and gave one-handed a try!

Reese had his fun too. We anchored the boat near a shore area and the kids swam in and played on the beach with Reese. As you can see, even foo-foo dogs can play a decent game of fetch the stick!

Trevor is our current lego maniac and his newest theme is building boats. He brought a couple out to the lake to see how they'd hold up under real conditions....

His creations did well!

This one even got tied off to the cute!

Back out at the lake and Emilee is one handed AND "outside of the wake"!!

The boat also came with a kneeboard, which we have no experience in...but Em and Trev gave it a try and quickly figured out how to have fun on it!

Trevor again is leading the way with trying new tricks...he catches some pretty awesome air jumping the wake!