Monday, July 31, 2017

Costco Run & Michael's Birthday!

Friday July 14th was Michael's birthday...he had to work of course. The kids and I had some errands we needed to being going to Costco to get some more chicken. 

Of course there was no way I was going to be able to make a trip to Costco with all 4 kids and not get pizza for lunch! 

It seems like I do this at least once every summer! 

Last summer Ga-Ga was with me! 

Instead of ordering individual stuff for everyone it ends up being cheaper to buy a whole pizza to split. 

I had called right as we were leaving to order the pizza and by the time we got there it had just finished. It was piping hot and so yummy! Also the best part was Michael didn't have to eat it...he hates Costco pizza!!! That and we had leftovers which is always nice! 

To celebrate his birthday I made one of his favorite meals...spaghetti surprise. I also made a homemade carrot cake. After dinner he wanted to play Catan and if I remember correctly he won.

On a side note....about a month and a half ago I was so excited because I saw the Seafarers expansion for Catan was on sale on Amazon for only $15! I ordered it immediately and couldn't wait for it to get delivered. Once the box showed up at the house I knew there was something was way too small! What I actually ordered was the 5-6 player expansion pack for the Seafarers version of Catan. I was so sad! Now I need to actually order the Seafarers EXTENTION!!! Plus if we want to play with 5-6 players I also have to order the 5-6 player expansion for the original Catan. Ugh!!! I tried!!! 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Homemade Applesauce!

A few weeks ago I watch some friends of ours kiddos for them. When Brandon dropped the kids off he gave me a bag of apples. Elaine was so funny because she actually put them in an Apple from The Apple Store. It was funny! They are from Yakima and they got this box of apples that had literally been picked the day before they got them. Super fresh Fuji apples. 

Once I saw they were Fuji apples I knew right away that I was going to make homemade apple sauce with them. A couples months back my mom found out that she has this condition that limits her to eating certain foods. The only apples she can have are Fuji, Jonagold and Pink Lady's. Unfortunately the apple sauce you buy from the store is made from a bunch of different apple varieties so she can't eat those. 

Enter homemade applesauce! 

I'm actually surprised I've never made homemade applesauce before. I might have when I was making baby food for the kids, but it wouldn't have been this much and it would have been pureed super smooth. I ended up having enough apples that I had to split them between two pots. 

I don't own one of those nifty apple peeler, slicer, corer things....I know that I could have borrowed one from a friend, but sometimes I like to do tedious things like peel apples. I'm being serious by the way! I do like mindless work like's kind of relaxing! 

I added a little water to the pot so the apples wouldn't scorch. Then I cooked them down until I could start cutting them into smaller pieces with the wooden spoon. 

Once they were soft enough I used my potato masher to smash them up even more! 

I know my mom likes chunky applesauce, but I thought it looked a bit too chunky so I took about 1/3 of the applesauce and pureed it in the blender and then mixed it back in. After that I felt like it was the right consistency.


I was hoping to get enough applesauce to fill 6 jars, but I ended up with! 

After 20 minutes they were finished and I took them out. Almost right away 3 of the lids made the popping sound. That is music to a canner's ears!!! 

Just to note...I didn't add anything to sugar, no cinnamon...nothing. I tasted a little from the pot after I canned them all and it was yummy! I'm not an applesauce fan either, so I'm excited for my mom to try it and see what she thinks! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Backyard Fun!

Our whole family has had so much fun playing corn hole with the boards Michael made. 

Michael is amazing at if he wouldn't be! 

The kids love to play too. Of course they get to be closer. We usually use some sort of toy as a barrier so they know where they are supposed to throw from. 

However if they start to land every single bag we moved them back a little bit just to keep things competitive. 

The kids love it when I capture the bag they are throwing in mid air! 

I think Ella is just hanging out on one of the hoppity balls waiting for her turn! 

Jackson is hilarious because he swings his arm back and forth probably 7 or 8 times before he lets go of the bag. 

Ella loves to gather all the bags up into a stack. 

All the kids are getting better and better! 

This picture is the best. If you click on it you'll see the bag hovering right over hole. It actually went in perfectly!!!! 

Sometimes Zeke will play, but sometimes he just wants to play on the play structure. 

Being a goofy boy! 

Such a big guy! 

It's definitely been fun getting outside with the kids and having fun! 

Jackson did not want to lose this particular game so he ran up and put this shirt on! 

He was a little disappointed when he did in fact lose!!! 

Zeke's turn! 

I'm sure these boards will bring us many, many memories through the years!!! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

What A Beautiful Life!

On Saturday July 8th we celebrated the life of Michael's Mom. It was held at his parents church in Auburn.

The stage was adorned with pictures of Mom and flowers that had been sent to honor her! 

Later on after the first picture was taken they actually found another easel so the picture on the right didn't have to lean on the floor. 

Some of the pictures were from before her Alzheimer's had taken it's toll and couple were from the more recent years. 

The one on the far right is from years ago....Mom was quite stylish! 

In the foyer of the church there was a reception desk that we placed Rick and Carol's wedding album on. There were also bookmarks with Mom's picture the date of her birth and dead and also a sweet saying about Carol Dancing With The Angels. 

On another table in the foyer of the church we put more pictures of Mom, a scrapbook that was made for her as a graduation was all about her life. We thought it was fitting to display Mom's Americana Disney Jean Jacket since it was her favorite. My SIL Shana did all the flower arrangements that were on this table and all the tables in the reception area. She did a great job! 

After the emotional part of the memorial was over we ate wonderful food...thank you Jon and Becky....then we visited! I think that's one of the best things about funerals or memorials....they truly bring people together. I honestly think that this would have brought Mom the most joy! We are family, but lets be happens! Days turn into weeks that turn into years before you see some people. I decided that since we were all together we might as well document it.

It started with a few of the cousins! 
Camryn, Stevie and Avery! 

Then we got all the cousins involved! Back row L-R Paige, Camryn, Stevie, Avery holding Zeke, Cooper. Front row L-R Ella, Samantha, Little J is standing in front of Sam, Jackson and Owen. 

It's in the genes!!!! 

Then I thought why stop there we need a picture of all the kids and their spouses! 
L-R Michael & I, Becky & Jon, Shana & Steve and Rick & Michelle. 

Then we decided to toss Dad into the middle of the craziness!!! 

Then we took individual family pictures! 
Shana, Steve & Stevie. 

James was the only cousin that was missing...he's younger and Shana felt that it would have been hard for him to attend.

My brood! Owen is not quite tall enough to be standing behind Jack, but I didn't notice that at the time. 

Jon, Becky, Camryn & Samantha!!! 

Cooper, Avery, Rick Jr holding Little J, Michelle and Paige in front. 

It really was a beautiful day....celebrate the life of a beautiful woman!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

There's A Surprise Around Every Corner!

On Friday July 7th the kids really wanted to go out and try to find some garage sales. I was all for it, but unfortunately I don't know if people just knew they'd be busy over the 4th of July and not have time to put a garage sale together or what, but there were no garage sales. We did a sign for an Estate Sale and since it was one of only a few signs I actually saw I followed it. We drove down into a neighborhood in Federal Way where I've never been before. We went to the house and I quickly realized this wasn't going to be something that had anything for kids. There wasn't anything set up you just had to go through the house and thanks! When we were driving to the house I noticed this little park, but none of the kids did so I thought it would be fun to surprise them with an impromptu playtime. 

This park was absolutely deserted! We didn't see anyone while we were there. It was so nice! 

It had something for all the kids! 

It was very American Ninja Warrior like which is right up my kids alley!!

Go Spidey Go!!! 

Ella was wearing the dress I had bought her at Value Village, but that didn't stop her from climbing the rock wall. 

This big rope was fun to walk across...even I did it! 

I recently watched that movie called The Wire and the guy that balanced on the wire between the Twin Towers in NYC prior to them being opened. It was 1/4 of a mile up in the air and he had no harness. I couldn't even walk across this without holding onto the ropes. 

Cute big guy!!! 

Look at me! 

I remember a day when Jack couldn't barely hang from his arms and hold his own weight. 

The monkey bars were his nemesis! 

But look at him now! He's a pro! 

I see you!!!! 

The kids really did have so much fun and it was fun for me too! We had all been a bit short with each other so it was good to get out and have fun and lighten our moods! 

It was fun how all the different areas connected to each other. 

There was a big grassy area as was really a decent size park. No real parking though...I just pulled over on the side of the street. 

I thought this bridge would be a cute place to get a picture of the kids. 

Back at the playground I wanted to see how many kids it would take to lift me up on the seesaw.....3 boys! 

Poor Zeke looks squished! 

He's still smiling though! 

Ella's favorite thing by far on any playground is the turning bars. She could flip and hang all day long. 

I wanted to get going and see if we could find an actual garage sale so I told the kids to run and do their favorite thing one last time. 

Ella ran to the turning bar, Owen went to the giant rope sphere, Zeke is doing the rope ladder and Jack was all about jumping from rock to rock. We will most definitely be hitting this park up again! Funny thing is I don't even remember the name of it!