Saturday, July 28, 2012

Peaches in the Summertime

Last Saturday we visited Eau Claire, MI to pick some peaches.  Those big fruits are great to pick with kids because you can get as much as you want in very little time.  We picked 43 pounds to mostly can but we will definitely eat a few too.  Somehow we managed to visit the orchard on the most pleasant afternoon all summer.  We arrived (during this extraordinarily hot summer) at about 4pm (usually the hottest time of the day) and the temperature was 78 degrees and cloudy.  What luck!
 We weighed the kids before going into the orchard and when they came out to see how many pounds they had eaten...haha!

 We were looking for firmer ones since those are much easier to work with when canning.  I came across the most perfect peach on the planet.  Big and just soft enough so when you bit into it juice dripped onto your chin.  I'm still thinking about that peach and will probably dream about it tonight.

You can tell Henry is teething when he is constantly sucking on his bottom lip.  The poor guy has a terrible time getting teeth.  When we took him in to have his 6 month pictures taken he would smile but mostly with that lip sucked in.  He now has both of his bottom teeth in but I know the top are going to be just as painful for him.
 The fruits of our labor.

What's your favorite fruit?  Blueberries and peaches are hard to beat, for me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Outdoor Activities #3 (Indoor Edition)

There was a heat wave around here that kept us all indoors for about a week.  100 degree temperatures and me don't mix unless there is a pool involved.  I wasn't even suggesting that the girls do out to play for any part of the day except the early morning.  So we got creative inside instead.  We made puff ball/marshmallow shooters.  Easy and fun.  Cut a plastic drinking glass in half with a pair of scissors.  Tie the end of a balloon without putting any air inside and then cut off the untied end.  Stretch the balloon around the rim-edge of the cup (the side you would drink out of).  The tied part of the balloon is what you pull back on the launch whatever you put in the cup.

Older kids could get more creative with aiming and distance games but we were just enjoying trying to hit the ceiling and each other.  And then gathering up all the puff balls on the floor before Henry got to them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

(Fake) Oatmeal Cookie Dough Bites

It's been forever since I've posted a recipe on here.  I struggle to keep up with just updates on the kids that the rest of the things I would like to blog about gets passed right up.  But these, THESE bites have been made so many times this summer that I had to take some pictures the other day.  I love these things and with a mad sweet tooth and 5 extra baby pounds holding on for dear life they have been a life saver.

Here are the usual suspects:
 Grind 1 1/3 cup each raw almonds, raw walnuts, raw rolled oats; 1/2 t. cinnamon and 1/4 t. sea salt.  It will turn into a coarse meal like this.
Next put the lid back on and stream in an almost full 1/2 cup of maple syrup.  A full half cup was a little much when I used that much.  Stir in a handful of dark chocolate chips.  Again don't use too many or the balls will be hard to roll.  Now grease up your hands and roll into ping-pong ball sized balls.  Store these in the refrigerator to firm up and keep.  Makes about 2 dozen.  You will be shocked at how good they are.  Your diet will thank me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shirley Temples

The girls had their first taste of curlers the other night.  After bath while their hair was still wet I rolled 'em right up.  I thought for sure one of them would have a melt down as they were going to bed because it would feel funny to sleep on them.  But nope.  And now I think they are hooked.  I had to do them on Saturday night so they could wear their curls to church.

Remember Glamour Shots?  Seriously, people!  Name something from our past that is more embarrassing than that...I narrowly escaped the humiliation since I never was glamoured up and then photographed, but you all know I wanted to.

 Ready for bed.  They can't wait to see how their hair looks in the morning.
 Cute as a button...
 And pretty as a peach!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blueberry Ranch

We visited the Blueberry Ranch early last week for breakfast.  It was 8 am and I said, "come on kids, we're going to have blueberries for breakfast."  They ate their hearts out and I actually felt a bit queasy from my consumption when we left an hour later.  With these 90-100 degree days in July and Henry being at that "can't-sit-still, crawling-and-into-everything" stage, I knew picking this year was going to be tough so we didn't push it.  The farm has plenty of prepicked for only a few dollars more for a 10# box.  We ended up picking 9 pounds ourselves and bought 20 more pounds already picked.  We will probably go back for more next week after we eat the 9 pounds of fresh berries just to have more fresh to eat.  And because after getting out there finally and starting to pick, I realized how much I enjoy picking blueberries.  Strawberries, not so much.  Apples, take it or leave it.  But blueberries connects with my inner OCD and I become driven to collect every blue ripe berry on that bush.  Next year will be better for picking when Henry can wander around and eat right along side the girls.

This is not a picture of me coughing, but shoveling a handful of blueberries into my mouth.  It was breakfast time and a girl's gotta eat.  Who eats just 1 blueberry at at time, really!
 My helpers.  I say that because I dominate the blueberry picking every year and my bucket always outweighs Dan's so that qualifies him as one of the helpers instead of the leader, the boss, as I like to call it.

This was either our 3rd or 4th year of picking blueberries at the Blueberry Ranch.  I love that it's organic.  I love that it's right here in Mishawaka.  And I love that my kids will grow up with an appreciation for where their food comes from.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tennis Lessons

Magnolia is taking tennis lessons this summer and just loves it.  She has been taking them with Dale Campbell, a tennis pro and family friend, since the beginning of June.  Dan is quite the tennis player and it looks like Magnolia is taking after him.  It's just such great exercise and something that we can all play together as a family once Boothe and Henry are a little older.  Hopefully this winter Magnolia and Dan can get over to the racquet club a few times to hit balls together and bond.
 Check out that follow through....

 Look out Wimbledon...
 Boothe doesn't even care that she isn't the one taking the lesson.  She has way too much fun collecting all of the balls laying around!

 I showed this picture to Boothe and she said "I'm all the way up to the sky!"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Vintage Henry

Remember when I found this baby seat at a garage sale when Boothe was a baby?  Now Henry is big enough to use it.  I love this chair.  I love that it's simple, that it works and that it's vintage.  I was at a garage sale the other day and there was an old 1950s-ish baby walker, clip-on high chair and wooden potty seat.  The vintage lover in me wanted them all, but since I already have those things (just new and not nearly as cool) the frugal me had to pass.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 4, 2012

 Like every year, we spent Independence Day at my cousin Sandy's house for a cook out and pool party.  This year was extra special because we had several out of state relatives that made the trip to Indiana for the holiday.  I love raising my kids to experience family the same way that I did growing up.  Although the get togethers don't happen as often as they used to when my grandparents were alive, we all still designate The 4th and Thanksgiving as big Risner days.

Magnolia got to show off some of her newly learned swimming skills.  Boothe got to be her fearless little self and scare her mama.  And Henry enjoyed bobbing in the pool for a bit since the water was so nice and warm.

 The girls with Sydney.  Even though they only see each other twice a year, they are buddies.  Magnolia always says that she wishes Sydney lived right across the street so we could see her all of the time.  I agree....Jason...
 I learned how to pick a sweet watermelon at the market.  Did you know there are male and female watermelons?  You want to buy the female one because of course they are sweeter.  If you look at the end of a watermelon that wasn't attached to the vine, you will notice a circle.  The smaller the circle, the sweeter the melon.  We tested and proved the theory.