Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer fun at the park

In between Saturday errands and chores, we snuck over for a couple hours at the nearby park. Lovin' the summer sunshine....
I have been having way too much fun now that I have computer that doesn't take 20 full minutes to boot up. And, in photoshop, I can actually run an action set without it crashing... so, I had fun tweaking these photos in a not-so-traditional sense. :-)

And, Ry's first time in a swing by himself (I had to hunt down a park with a 'bucket' swing like this)...he was so content and just chilled in here for about 15 minutes.




Friday, June 26, 2009

So domestic!

So after picking 3 huge bowls of strawberries out of our garden, I decided it was about time to figure out this jam-thing. I was in shock when those strawberries produced 8 cups of pureed strawberries! (and to think I almost went to u-pick to get more because I didn't think our garden would have enough!...how is that for living off the land!?? hello, food storage.) Now, don't go getting too crazy thinking I did the whole boil the jars to seal, etc....nope, started with freezer jam, no sealing required...besides way less sugar and I simply like it better too. The kids had fun taking turns with the food processor and were actually a little astounded we were making our own jam (as in, is this really possible mom?!) And, I can't believe I haven't tried it before because it was so easy! We made 4 batches (about 25 jars total). I don't think I let the pectin boil quite long enough on the first round because it didn't set as well as the other 3, ya know, when I found my rhythm. I loved these cute little jam jars...but I also found some disposable plastic jars with lids that screw on...those worked too, just not as cute.

And, of course a few to give away....


How is that for domestic???! Of course my family has almost devoured an entire jar already...good thing my freezer is stocked so we can enjoy yummy jam all year!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Here comes trouble...

Ry is finding his independence this week (how thoughtful of him to coincide with Independence Day coming up). My little rolly polly boy is now crawling all over the place. His favorite activity is to squirm all the way across the room to mess with the DVD player or remotes. He isn't quite pulling up to a stand, but I had Trevor lower his crib to the mid-height because I was worried he was going to pull himself up and over any day now...but as soon as he got it secure in the middle position...this is what happened:

So, Trevor crawled back under the crib and lowered it all the way down. Ah, the beginning stages of having a toddler... I am scared...we have had 2 good years of no real need for baby proofing, and I have forgotten how much work it is, but it is fun to see him grow and find the world around him (or at least the world in our own home) ;-).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Washington DC in 24 hours...

We couldn't go all the way to the East coast and not visit Washington DC! I had visited DC a couple times when I was younger, and Trevor had never been. Since the family reunion ended on Saturday AM and Trevor didn't need to be back to work until Monday morning, we decided 24 hours was better than nothing, so we took off from NC early on Saturday for the 5 hour drive into DC. After struggling seriously for a place to park we finally found valet parking...thank heavens for valet! After driving around for what felt like forever, I was pretty much willing to pay anything to get out of the car! On paper the sites seemed much closer together, so I wasn't prepared for the walking combined with 90 degrees and humidity...but we made the best of it and bribed the kids with ice cream along the way. We spent time in the Air and Space Museum and Museum of Natural History (yeah for air conditioning here) and saw all the monuments on the mall except the Jefferson Memorial (sorry Jefferson, you were just too far of a walk), and walked by the White House on the way back to the car. Carson was really bummed we didn't get to go in the White House or see President Obama....especially after learning about him all year at school. He was checking out every car leaving the White House...
Car and Addy in front of the capital.
Carson at the Vietnam War Memorial.


Addy at the Lincoln monument.



Washington Monument.


My Aunt Amie and Uncle Scott + kids had the same plan after the reunion so we met up with them half way through the day. I love my cousins and it was so fun to enjoy the city as it cooled down for the evening. Here are the kids at the World War II Memorial.





Near the Korean War Memorial.



And, another reason we jetted up to DC was to see my college roommate, Karen! We felt so treated to be able to crash at their place on Saturday night. We kept them up way too late and occupied them on Sunday until our flight left. It was so fun catching up with their adorable family. My kids had so much fun playing with her boys. Thanks Jeremy and Karen for being such a great host and hostess!




And, after we made the journey home...which actually wasn't that painful, we came home to a strawberry patch full of strawberries! There is nothing like fresh-from-the-garden strawberries...yum!!




Friday, June 19, 2009

OBX Fam Reunion

We had the best time in the Outer Banks in North Carolina last week! My mom's family has a reunion every couple years and this year my uncle Doug, from DC, planned this amazing vacation for all of us West-coasters. I think we were all a little skeptical at first at the time and distance involved in traveling all the way to OBX, but it was SOOO worth it! I am a believer now. I loved this touristy area with all the beach houses, fun restaurants and shops, and of course, one amazing beach that was right outside our back door! We didn't want to leave! Definitely on my list of places to re-visit! Here is the house! Huge and fun!





View from the back of the house. The board walk was our own private entrance to the beach.




The pool. So fun, but a little scary too with all the little kids. By day 2 I think all the kids had the 'pool rules' down...day 1 was a little scary!




The pool never gets old. Addy begged to be here all day...I had to force her out to the beach each day because she'd just rather swim at the house all day!




3 babies in the pool! These three were so fun (all so close in age, less than 5 months between all three). Brynn, Ry, and Graham are fun cousins!




Carson




Boogie boardin'



Erin catching the waves. I got rocked on the last day and have the sore ribs to prove it, but man, was it fun!


Paige and Addy playing in the sand.


Carson taking a break.


Ry is not too happy about this photo op. He loved feeling his feet in the sand and ate his fair share of it too. Hey, a little sand never hurt any one.

Trev came for the last half of the week. I was so glad he got to come, even if for just part of the time. He flew on the red eye, but never complained once about being tired. The Dalley fam...we missed Bryce & Beck so much!





4 generations. Me, my mom, Addy, and Grandma Snow


Thanks Uncle Doug and Aunt Sara for planning this unforgettable trip! We had such a blast with everyone!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Animal Crackers in my Soup!

Addy had her end-of-year dance recital at the beginning of June. Her class runs a full school year, and she has loved her teacher, Ms. Nancy and her tap/ballet class this year. We lucked out with a small class of only 6 girls, which made it lots of fun each week. For the recital the class did a tap dance to the completely adorable song, "Animal Crackers" by Shirley Temple in the movie 'Curly Top'. I loved how age appropriate the song and costumes were this year...sometimes I feel like they 'dress up' these girls to look and act much older, but these sweet costumes and bobby socks were so sweet for our little 4 year old. The 'Animal Cracker' girls got lots of oohs and ahhs. Addy did great ... I never really know how well she knows it until she is on stage because she resists practicing with me.....and I am freakin' awesome at this dance by the way.
She was so excited to have her very own flowers for the kitchen counter!

Aunt Erin endured the long day with me for the dress rehearsal and recital...it was so nice to have her company and help! She flew up to help me travel to North Carolina the day after the recital and she was such a huge help (more on our trip soon). Thanks Erin!




Monday, June 01, 2009

Memorial Day Camping

We snuck away for Memorial Day and Trev's birthday last weekend! We loved having Bryce, Beck & Co. with us. In Washington you don't have to go too far for great camping. We stayed at Seaquest Stake Park in Castle Rock, WA. It is the main state park where people go to see Mt. St. Helens. Even though my parents say I have been here before...I don't remember it...so it was fun spending some time at one of the main attractions in Washington after living here for so long. It really was quite a sight! We drove all the way to the last view point...a little cold up there!




A little project for the kids...


Ry's first camping trip and first bath in the trailer!


My SIL has some great pics on her blog too! Thanks for coming with us!!

Grandpa & Ry

A good nap feels so good!

Mom & Me and Dad & Me

Addy has loved her preschool teacher, Ms. Cindy! I am sad this week is her last week of school....it is going to be tough to entertain this crazy girl all summer!! But, she is all signed up with Ms. Cindy for next year (that October birthday keeps her out of Kindergarten for another year). A couple weeks ago they had a special night just for kids and Moms...complete with a program of songs and dance, an art project, dessert, and some video clips of the kids telling their moms what they like about them. Then, the following week, the kids did it all over again with the Dads.
We have been feeling the squeeze on our individual time with kids since we increased our family size, so it was nice for Addy to have two special nights all to herself with mom and dad.






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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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