Thursday, August 21, 2014

Making the most of our SUMMER days!!!

We have been craming in as much as possible before school begins ... well, so it seems!  School will begin in only a few days and we are not at all ready to say good bye to summer.  The summer vacation went by so fast but I am so happy to look back and see that we had a wonderful summer!

Last week, Ashlyn and I went to a tea party for girls.  She looks a bit timid because she was.  I'm not sure what her problem was at first.?.  She wanted me to be right beside her.  Eat with her.  Everything.  I enjoyed being her side kick but I was finally able to join the other moms while the girls had their own little party.  Thanks Anne and Sierra for the fun time! 

Sunday morning I went into Matthew's room to wake him up and open his window blinds.  I quickly told him that there were eagles right outside!  Two of them!  Matthew jumped out of bed to see.  Mike said to get the camera!  They didn't stay long because they were scared by the road traffic.  Neat!!!

With it being the last week of summer vacation, our calendar kept filling up!  Not that we tried to leave fun events for this week, no, it just happens that way.  We've said on and off all summer about doing something with my mom and sisters.  It happened that if we really wanted to get it done, then Monday it would have to be!  After our very busy weekend with helping at the Nicaragua Fundraiser, church, baptism service and then ending by a camp fire with friends ... Monday came fast!  I got the laundry going early and then met at mom's to go to French Creek Pool with family!  The kids had a blast and the sunshine was nice and sunny for us to all get another dose of that good ol' Vitamin D!  :)

We made the most of our day and did not rush home.  Thank you ladies for sharing the day in the sun with us!!!
Tuesday we were home for most of the day catching up with house chores.  We are still picking some green beans and our tomatoes are doing well.  The green growing lawn needed mowed too!
We were up bright and early again on Wednesday morning to head to the shore!  We have not taken a family trip to the beautiful ocean this summer and so Hadassah, Matthew and I were excited to get our toes in the sand!  :)  (Thank you Jody for keeping Ashlyn for me!  And thanks to hubby for keeping her in the eve!)  The mom's and their girls (some from Hadassah's school class) planned day to all go the beach together.  We had it planned for last week but it rained.  We rescheduled and what a lovely day it turned out to be!!!  Full sunshine!  Wild waves!  Tanned skin!  Appling plenty of sunscreen!  Pizza! 
The girls had a total blast in the water all day! 

I took Matthew along too and he had fun with Andrew.  I'm sad that I forgot to get a picture on the boys together!  :/

Once again, Hadassah and Courtney had a fun day together!!!

When it was time to leave, the girls requested that we pick them up at the curb!  :)
We stopped for pizza on the way home.  Mike and Ashlyn beat us home after watching the final ballgame in town.  It was late when we got showered up and finally to bed.  We had a great day at the beach and with school friends!

Now today it's a day at home cleaning and trying to take a breather!  I'm tempted to make some peach salsa with the extra peaches we have right now?.?  The kids are playing with cousins one more time before school begins.  Our weekend is still open and event free ... and that sounds just perfect to me!  Enjoy the few mornings of sleeping in and the summer free schedule for a few more days!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lapp Family Day!!!

Usually, we do a three day mountains trip with Mike's family but the dates got mixed up and the cabin was not available.  We decided to just do a day gathering at a local pond and recreation fun! 

We started early with all meeting for breakfast and that got me stepping in the morning with frying bacon and sausage.  I enjoy breakfast so an all out breakfast spread is yummy to me!!!  After that, it was swimming, games ... even a baseball game with most of us helping!!!  (We had mom watching the littles!  We had dad be our pitcher!  :)  )

Mom brought each of the children a swimming gift.  Lot's of splashes and ball throwing after that!

Ashlyn learned to love the water and swim! 

Sitting around the campfire always makes good memories!

Mommy Lapp loves the water too!

There were two different slides.  Ashlyn chose the smaller slide to go down!  :)

Matthew is going up the big slid!

All a board ... why not all go at once?  :)

Ashlyn loves babies ...

James ...

Janessa ...

Hunter ...

Hunter wanted so bad to go down big slide ... so he did!!! 

"Trash Can Supper" was fun!!!  Everyone dug into the shrimp and yummy foods!
Family gatherings are always a blast!  We missed Steve & Linda and their cute kiddoes but we hope Texas is going well for them!!!  Thanks to everyone for coming!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More canning!!!

My day of much canning ...

We load up all the ingredients into the Yukon.  We unload at sister Jody's.  We measure.  We mix.  We cook.  We time.  We stir.  We fill tons of pints and quart jars.  We put on all the many lids.  We label if necessary.  We put all the jars into a water base and time again.  We set all the jars on a very large table.  We smile.  We tired!!!  :)

That's the simple version!  :)  Our original plans today were to spend our time at the beach.  But the weather changed our plans!  It was a rainy day all day long ... perfect for the lawn and garden!!!  Mom called me and said that if I don't go to the beach, she could help me with some canning!  Again, perfect!!!  I wish on anyone to have a mom like me and it's a huge blessing to have her help!!! 

When Matthew and I had our "school date" on Monday afternoon, I grabbed some ingredients for all my foods!  (Matthew and I had such a blast together getting his school supplies and new clothes.  We ate at Red Robin for lunch!!!  It was great to have some one on one time together!  I love this kid!!!)  Meanwhile, the girls were at Jody's and she said she wanted to can some soups while I do my tomato canning.  So we decided to use her huge garage to do all our canning together.

I got the kids up earlier than usual and we got right to our chore!  We started with my pizza sauce.  Then salsa.  Then marinara sauce.  Then tomato juice.  Then vegetable soup!  I'm telling you ... we don't have the slightest clue how to do things simple when it comes to our foods!!!  Every time we seem to always do tons and tons all at once!  But why not do it all when the helping hands are available and the supplies are all there?  :)

We had three cookers going at once.  Jody did two soups while mom and I mixed all my different recipes!  We filled dozens of jars!  The kids played well else inside or out in the rain!  Two, five gallon buckets of tomatoes were all used up!!!

The tomatoes were huge and great for my recipes!  We washed the tomatoes and then started the cookers!

Salsa ...

Pure tomato juice ...
 Pizza Sauce ...

I thought I had all my ingredients but we kept having to send Hadassah and Morgan right next door to the grocery store.  We asked them one time to go for more peppers and onions and three boxes of pint jars.  They decided to push the shopping cart right over to our canning area and then took the cart back.  It was a good laugh!!!  :)))

I only wish I could send this Marinara Sauce smell along with this picture because it smelled so, so good!!!  Yum!

LOTS of filled jars!!!

We mixed one batch of vegetable soup for me and one for Jody.  Here's what goes on my shelves!!!

After our hard working day of tomatoes, I came home to a basket of soft peaches.  I cleaned them and cut them in small pieces.  The peaches got mixed with sure gel, sugar & fruit fresh ... then put in small containers and now are in the freezer for an easy lunch add in!!!  I think the kids are really going to like these!!!

It's funny to say that my day was much more rewarding doing all that canning than sitting on the wet beach, but it's true!  Our beach trip got changed to another date, so we hope to still get a beach day in before school starts!!!

Now my hands still smell from peppers and onions but I will sleep well knowing that my canning shelves will be well restocked!!!  I am thankful to God for our fresh foods and knowing how to preserve foods!  Peaches, apple sauce and a few more small items are still be done! 

Enjoy the harvest time of gardening!!!  There comes such a fulfilling feeling when the cellar shelves get filled up!  We are so blessed!!! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Just lovin' the weather!!!

I just love this kind of weather that we've been having all week!  It's August and the grass is shades of gorgeous green and the air has a chilly briskness in the evening and mornings!  It reminds me of Fall but yet still very summer like after the dew leaves us each morning!  The AC is turned off and the windows are open!  Perfect!!!  I will try to enjoy the fresh window breezes before my dear hubby's allergies kick into high gear!!!  :/  He's doing a month of no sugar and breads ... hoping that that will help with the allergies each August/September!

I've been so busy this week that getting out and exercising in the morning is not happening.  I hope to start again before the kids get back into the school routine!  Having to take Hadassah to volleyball camp each morning really made it hard to get something like a walk in before 7 AM!  To have to rush out and back and rush to get the kids up and about to go rushing to school by 8:30 ... no thanks!  I just didn't even attempt that lifestyle!  Getting up early is not something we are used to around here anymore.  I love when my mornings are quite and I can be up awhile before the children arise.  It gives me a start to a good day!  It's been a stretch to have the kids all awake by 7:15!  I am reminded that school will be starting soon and that's why I was so happy when knowing last night when everyone was tucked in ... that they could all sleep in this morning!  That's such a fun summer feeling!!!

Talking a bit about school here, Hadassah and I went out together yesterday to school shop.  Just her and I.  We love doing this every now and then!  I usually take the two school kids and buy all their supplies together.  This year I decided to do two different "dates".  Hadassah had fun picking out new folders, pencils, a calendar and lots of other school supplies!  She needed some clothing too so we for that too!  I picked her up after her last day of volleyball camp (which she totally loved!) and we took our time going from store to store to find the things on her list!  Thanks Hadassah for making this a fun time!!!

This type of weather makes it perfect for the pools too!  We planned to all meet on Tuesday at a huge pool with Mike's sisters/children!  Linda and Mary Sue missed out but the rest of us had a blast!  Even since the Dienner weekend at the pool cabin, Ashlyn has become a water duck!  She loves to float around the water with her floaties on each arm!  She's still not a big fan of a whole lot of splashing and water in her eyes ... but she loves the water!

There was a sprinkler area too at this pool!  So fun!

 Hunter loved it too!

 Matthew taking a plunge ...

 Ashlyn and Janessa ...

OK ... so I ask for a picture and this is what they do!!! 

She takes a break before going in again!

Enjoy the lovely weather!!!  Have a great weekend!!!