Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Taking Our Zoo to THE Zoo

Our family took our first trip to the zoo. As part of this trip, we also camped for a few days, adding yet another camping trip to our list of the adventures from this summer. We had such a blast and I found myself being a bit sad that this could very well be our last family vacation as a family of 4. Baby #3 will be joining us in December, making us a party of 5. Trips may become a lot more complicated then and maybe even more of a rarity.
Monte took a few days of vacation so we could take an extra long weekend vacation. The morning we were supposed to leave we woke up to trees blocking our road. This delayed our leaving by several hours!
That was really the only wild event that happened though. We arrived at our campsite a few hours later than planned, but that was no big deal since we weren't going to the zoo until the next day.
We love camping and all that comes with that experience. We went for walks throughout the day but never miss the opportunity for an early morning walk, even in pajamas. I have posted before about easy meals we make when camping, but we tried something new and made breakfast sliders. They were very good but a little messy. My kids ate them well but Payton doesn't do the greatest with messy foods so it was harder to convince her to eat them. I do think I will be making them when we have large groups visiting us (like family for the holidays).

On the second day of camping we went to the zoo, the highlight of our whole trip.
We rode horses, fed goats, touched iguanas and snakes, observed the sloth show, dug for  dinosaur bones (in the sandbox), saw all sorts of animals, and hopped on the train. Payton took on the opportunity to hold a butterfly and showed us, once again, that she is truly an animal whisperer. Payton claims everything was her favorite part of the day while Riley loved the monkeys and choo choo train ride.

As we were about to leave, Monte allowed each child to pick something from the gift shop to remember the trip. Riley grabbed a pop up toy that disappeared before the end of the trip and Payton chose a set of butterfly wings. She is now claiming she wants to be a butterfly again for Halloween.
Our zoo trip ended with the train ride and by then Riley was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open. He made it through the ride though but was asleep within minutes of getting into the truck.
He slept right through the ride home, complete with a stop at a drive-thru ice cream shop. We didn't have the heart to wake him so I sat with him in the vehicle at our campsite while he continued to sleep. I think it ended up being an almost 2 hour nap! He was tired.

This vacation took place in the area we went to college so each evening while camping, we had friends stop by to visit. All our visitors were friends from college (or high school) and people we still hold dear to our heart. We hadn't seen them in so long so it was so good to catch up. We were thankful for our time with them but the late nights and early mornings quickly caught up to me!

The day after the zoo, we made the trip home. Payton spent this time planning her return trip to the zoo.
We are back home now and trying to relax after taking the first 24 hours back trying to unpack and get the house caught up. Vacations are always a good reminder to me of how important family time is and how much I treasure my time with my babies. I am also so thankful for this man in my life:
I would never want to do life with anyone else and am so grateful for our time together.

For now, it's back to the daily grind! Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Weekend Recap and the start to our week

As I was flipping through photos from the last week and a half, I can't help but notice we are almost always outside. That truly defines our little family. Until the weather gets too cold we basically live and breathe in the fresh air. That can also explain why it's so hard for me to find time to sit down and write a blog post, because during the times we are inside for quiet time/nap time, I am typically taking a nap myself (thank you pregnancy #3).

A few days ago, we were blessed with the opportunity to pick fresh sweet corn. The kids had a great time and we are working on slowly harvesting what we picked along with harvesting apples from our own tree.
 We spent Friday at home, enjoying the sand box and play set in the morning. When it got too hot (and humid) to be outside, we headed inside for 101 Dalmatians.
 We don't watch a lot of tv but I allowed it on Friday because I knew our weekend would be super busy. My husband's work had a company picnic and they always go all out. There are small carnival rides, a free buffet lunch, cotton candy, funnel cakes, sno cones, bounce houses, rounds of bingo, face painting, a magician's act, and a photo booth. It is all free and available to company employees (and immediate family) only. It's always a great time. After the picnic, we headed to the lake for another camping trip.

 We were so tired after our busy weekend that we have slowed down quite a bit the last few days. Breakfast on the patio is always a huge hit at our house and jump starts our day with fresh air.  We eat outside for one meal almost every day when the weather is nice.
 Yesterday was the eclipse and we watched it from our house. I loved the scenery views we got just a few minutes before totality. It was gorgeous!
 Yesterday afternoon we took the kids to a traveling museum our community was offering. It will only be there for a few days so, despite our need for more quiet and slow time, we decided to see this while we could.
 The kids had so much fun. Their favorite activity was building houses and testing them to see if they could continue standing against high winds, tornadoes, and earthquakes. With a little help from daddy, they both made safe houses that stood up against the tests.

The kids did so well, we decided to treat them. They still have coupons from the library reading challenge they did over the summer so we let them use those to get some ice cream and cookies.
We may have slightly regretted this special outing when we hit the sugar high.

The rest of our week will be quiet as we prepare for our big family vacation to the zoo next week. We are so excited and can't wait to introduce our zoo animals to the other zoo animals! It's all Payton can talk about right now.

Monday, August 14, 2017

August Life Update

We have been up to so much fun stuff around here. I went through my pictures and pulled some that I wanted to make sure were put up on here. We kicked off the month with our annual fair in town:
Riley got a dog balloon animal while Payton picked a rainbow. She also had a rainbow, flower, and unicorn painted on her face. Riley is still afraid of the face painting so he skipped that part. Payton wanted to ride all the rides while Riley was a bit more selective. It was so crazy to see Payton on the ferris wheel, looking suddenly like a big kid. We were extra blessed to have Grandma accompany us to the fair as she was staying with us for the week to attend her annual quilt guild event.
Monte got to work and built a swing set for the kids in a weekend. They have been loving this swing set, called the "Minnie swing set" by Payton. We celebrated our first week with it by having several picnics next to the house on the top.
The kids (and I) love having a dad that is so handy.
Riley moved to a big boy bed and I may have shed a few tears. It is hard to see the crib get taken down, but the transition has gone very smoothly for our little Riley bug.
It's apple season again and our 3 trees had a small harvest. I've started making applesauce and putting cored apples in the freezer to enjoy this winter. The kids love having fresh applesauce around!
They will eat all that I make for snack if I don't keep an eye on them.

Our last bit of news for this month. We unfortunately had the stomach bug hit 3 of the 4 of us very hard at our house. We have taken about a week off from everything from being so sick and recovery.
We are just finally starting to feel better and having more energy, as well as having our appetite return. I expect our schedule will return to full craziness sometime this week.
As you can see, the first half of August was fairly eventful at our house. Things don't really slow down for the rest of August. We have another camping trip and our first trip to the zoo. Also, we may find out the gender of baby #3 at our first ultrasound. I don't know what's to come that I'm most excited for!

I'm already seeing pictures of kids starting school and love viewing back to school shots. I'm taking time this year to thank God for the extra time with my littles. We won't have a school shot for Payton as she will continue being home schooled for preschool. She didn't even let me take the summer off from her school work. We hadn't originally intended to do any homeschooling at all but it has been the path we felt God was leading us down. At this time, we do intend to send her to public school for kindergarten but we will see what path we believe we are to go down as time gets closer.

I hope you are enjoying your Monday! Have a great week!

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