Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 in Review

Our family had quite the year! I've been keeping busy with our crew thus, the blogging has been put on the back burner for a long while. I haven't been on for over a year. So here is a recap of all the fun we've been having. Also, my kiddos are HUGE! Let's just pretend that isn't happening. K? Great. Here we go.

We kicked off the year with a fantastic addition.

This precious girl is Phoebe. She was in a shelter. We decided to see her on a whim. We fell in love, and she's been tearing up our house ever since. Truly, I don't care what she eats she's so stinking cute I just love her! She came to us the first weekend of January 2016. So we really did start the year off with a bang. 
 Speaking of adorable. Bubba made this a very fancy year. This was his uniform for the better part of the year. He loves having people tell him how nice he looks. He feels very presidential when he is in a suit. Which is exactly what he wants to be.

 This kid was our first to take on public school. He took on Kindergarten like a boss. He loved mother son day, was student of the month, and won big in the St. Patrick's day drawing.

I love all of his energy and joy. He is always excited and enthusiastic. He is back home for first grade. I love watching him learn. He is just a sweet blessing.
 This spunky girl had quite a year! She turned five, started gymnastics, went to a daddy daughter dance, got pedis with her cousin, and showed me what sass really looks like. Goodness, I love her. Pray for me, girls are much different than boys, and there is a steep learning curve, which I adore.

 This handsome boy is getting far too big. He  is my helper in so many ways. He is funny, kind, joyful, and smart. He reads all the time. He loves his friends. He rides his bike anytime the weather allows. He gives great hugs and is killing it at fourth grade. I'm one blessed mama.

Our family grew this year by more than just our precious puppy. We gained a sweet niece. Isn't she just adorable! I'm going to be her BFF. It's all planned out.

We also had C live with us this summer. We had lots of fun. She traveled with us and kept up with our crazy like a champ. She ate junk food like a Gilmore girl and watched Netflix with me all night long.
For the fourth of July we went up to my hubby's parent's cottage. There were fireworks, S'mores, swimming, boating and family. It was a great time.

We were treated to seeing a South Bend Cubs game. We love baseball games. It was lots of fun. Bubba even caught a shirt from a cannon.
During that trip we made a stop up to my Aunt's house. We rode horses, went to a festival and all the cousins got some hang out time.
Of course, a summer isn't a summer without National Cow appreciation day. So, here we are getting our free chicken.
Oh, and my baby went to camp. For a week. It was like I was dropping him off for college. I may have cried. Dan was thrilled. So was Isaac.

 We also went on the big Disney trip. I want to go back! The food, the rides, the happy kids. It was amazing! Like so so great. We had a great time as a family.

 Seriously, they are precious. Their bond is just the best thing ever. She loves her daddy and he loves his girl.
 Oh my crazy boys.
 This girl loved being a princess. Dreams do come true.

Oh, and check out my prince charming. We were in Belle's castle. Yep, he's the best.
 My bestie surprised me with a visit. We got pedis and did a corn maze and all things fall. It was great. I miss her. She should move back. The end.
 These two! I mean, come on!
 So, we played soccer. Lots of soccer. Some mornings it was early. We were not always thrilled.
 But in the end there were trophies. Isaac's team took first. It was a big deal. It was a long day.
 We joined  a home school co op we love. It is in Cinci so it's a bit of a drive, but we love the people and the atmosphere is wonderful. We are all thankful for a community of people who get what we do.
 Then there was Halloween. That's us as Mary Poppins and Bert. I know, we're adorbs.

We have the best neighbors. Our kiddos all get to trick or treat together and it is a great time. They are all pretty cute aren't they.
We had a great holiday. We did all the holiday fun. We are currently in recovery mode. I love Christmas. I love January, too. Here's to 2017! The past year was so much fun. I can't wait to see what the next year has in store.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Making Applesauce

Oh Fall, how I love you so! One of our yearly fall fun activities is to make applesauce. We have a local orchard that sells seconds and we buy them up and make as much sauce as we can to get us through the winter. This year it was a group effort. I decided to try and use this as a homeschool lesson.

 We split the apples up. Some were peeled and cored by my helpers.
We had a lot of apples.

The apples that didn't fit in the crock pot I cut up and did the old fashioned way in stock pots on the stove. 

The crock pot is such an easy way to make the applesauce. Just throw them in with as much cinnamon as you like and just a few Tablespoons of water. Let them cook on low until they are ready to be mushed. My first go round I just used a spoon to stir and mush. The next time I used my immersion blender. The blender is the better option if you have one. But either will work.
 Meanwhile on the stove the apples were cooking down. I used Macintosh apples which really don't need much extra liquid. My sauce was almost too watery. But you can't mess up apple sauce so it was fine. I have a really poorly designed strainer I used for the apple sauce in the pans. It was much more labor intensive to get the seeds and skins out, but we got a lot more sauce this way.

I used this as a lesson to work on following directions. We also talked about the parts of the apple. My littles collected the seeds and worked on counting and my older kiddos used it as a botany lesson to review some of the concepts we had learned this year. It was a fun way to break up our routine.

I ended up freezing about 10 pints of applesauce and keeping out 2 to eat right away. The kids love eating things they make, and there is no added sugars just apples and cinnamon. Oh, and as a bonus my house smelled amazing!