We have a nice sized yard and between our playset and the neighbor's - Evie is not lacking for swings and slides. So we haven't ever needed to go to a park. In fact the first time we took her to a park to play was for a birthday party of a family friend. Evie was 23 months. Kind of crazy to think about. And really- other than that party she hasn't been to a park since. That was until last week. It was a gorgeous morning and I had to run errands. I was trying to think of something fun for her so she wouldn't break down on me. I took her to the park near Corynn's old elementary school. She had a blast. She had all the equipment to herself. She really liked the rocking frog.
This week we tried out Antelope Park...which a ginormous playset with 10 slides, a tire swing, climbing walls and all sorts of fun stuff. Evie was in heaven. In hindsight, I maybe should have worked my way up to this park. Because now she is going to want to go to this one all the time. And none of the smaller parks will compare. We lucked out and no one was there either- usually it's full of children running around all crazy. We'll see how that works. The things we endure for our children. :)
My goal is to try out a different park each time. And if fall cooperates maybe do picnic lunches while we're there. Something fun for her to look forward to each week and help wear down all that energy.
The twins are done with braces!!! Woooohoooo! Almost 2 1/2 years of orthodontist appts, avoiding toffee and snickers, having to floss after every meal to make sure nothing was stuck, whining about ugly smiles, broken brackets etc....we're done!!!! They had them removed on 8/28- they got them removed the same day. Kwynn has a permanent retainer and Kynna is wearing an invisalign retainer for the next 6 weeks to ensure her bite doesn't shift. But they are super excited and so are we! It was a long expensive haul, but so worth it!
Corynn is having fun in middle school. Her lockers are still giving her problems...she's left handed and has to spin them opposite of what feels natural or how the instructions show. She gets easily frustrated. But I suppose if that's the biggest pain of middle school- then she's doing just fine!
McKynna and Kwynn are officially licensed drivers as of Monday. Finally their provisional driver's permits came. They were added to our policy and are insured. Kwynn is willing to drive, but McKynna is hesitant. She just doesn't have the confidence. And she's stubborn. I know it will come, but it's frustrating. They both passed their driver's ed class and driving test- so I think they are good to go.
John and I celebrated 16 years on Friday. We went to the shooting range and out to dinner. We also stopped and grabbed some dessert to take home to the girlies. It's been a crazy fun 16 years. I remember every part of our wedding, the day and the people. It was a small family wedding in his parent's backyard. Thinking about it makes me miss Nancy terribly. She is intertwined in so many memories and occasions. But Friday was fun and it was nice spending time with John- just the two of us. That doesn't happen nearly enough.
Evie is pacifier free! This is a HUGE milestone for her. She has had one literally since day one. And it's always been attached to her. Anytime we didn't have one within five feet of her I would start to have a panic attack. She NEEDED her bink. It helped her cope, provided comfort and calmed her. I truthfully didn't think she would ever get rid of it. I didn't even know where to start. Her pacifier had started to wear down and break. And we told her when it broke completely that we would have to throw it away. Well the stupid thing wouldn't break. And weeks wore on. Finally, the week of her birthday, we lost it. She wasn't happy. Not screaming crying, but sad and whiny. It's a good thing we REALLY lost it because I may have broke down and gave it back to her. But once she made it through that first night- I was on the hunt for it. Not because she had a rough night or was inconsolable but because dang it...we are not going back. I didn't want her to find it the next day and we'd have to do this all again. Luckily a few days later we did find it and tossed it out in the dumpster. She's done great and adapted just fine. Now onto potty training. She's a very bull headed stubborn child so we'll see.
Oh and did you notice FALL is practically here!!? Yeppers. Evie and I went to the park Friday and we noticed that the maples are already starting to turn. I'm predicting an early winter. The farmer's almanac says we can expect our first snow in September and a long cold winter similar to last year. Blah. But I will take fall weather! I love fall... the colors, the cool evenings, pumpkins, turning leaves, football and family. Love it!
My sister in law and I are making homemade vanilla extract for Christmas gifts-from-the-heart. It takes 8-12 weeks so we had to start the process. Several friends and fellow bloggers have been making their own vanilla for years...so I thought we should give it a try.
It's super easy!
All you need is vodka, quality vanilla beans and a jar. That's it! The actual recipe calls for 5 beans per 8 oz of vodka. Slice each bean down the middle to expose the pulp and pop it in the jar. Store the jars in a cool dark place for at least two months. Be sure to give them a shake every few weeks to help mix it all up. AND THAT'S IT! When buying your vanilla, know that vanilla flavors can be different depending on what part of the world you buy from. We chose Madagascar for this batch.
Bourbon Vanilla - mild, well balanced
Madagascar Vanilla - rich and creamy
Mexican Vanilla - bold, dark, smokey
Indian Vanilla - full, chocolate
Tahitian Vanilla - floral, cherry-chocolate
Tonga Vanilla - earthy, fig, raisin
I recommend buying your vanilla from Beanilla.com. They have a history of providing high quality beans. Vanilla beans are expensive so you want to have confidence in the quality.
We are storing our vanilla in larger 12 oz canning jars for now. Once it's ready we will transfer them into cute little 4 oz round jars. We are also printing off custom labels for each jar.
I think it should be a fun gift to give this holiday season!
Friday evening we had a low key affair to celebrate our little bit turning 3! She was quite adamant about NOT wanting to have a party, but decided that having a few people over for dinner would be ok. So we obliged. We invited a few family and close friends to indulge in a taco bar, cake and ice-cream.
I sent Corynn upstairs with Evie prior to the get together...so she could get Evie ready. This is was her first outfit...
Eventually she went up stairs and changed into something a bit more casual. While waiting for our guests to arrive, she fell asleep.
We hated to wake her, but this was her special dinner and she was the guest of honor. This is what you get when you wake up a sleep deprived 3 year old. Pretty, isn't it!?
She warmed up a bit, but still wouldn't blow her candles out or talk to anyone. Good thing her friends stepped up to help her blow out her candles.
Oh and notice what John is lighting the candles with...so redneck! Nancy would have gotten a kick out of it.
She was little bit happier once it was time to open presents.
Speaking of presents...check out these wrapped by my father in law! He is awesome! Our grandma Tillie would save all the wrapping paper from the gifts she received. When she passed away and we cleaned out her place, we found this pile of neatly folded wrapping paper. Nancy must have kept it, because this is what Jeff found when we went looking for wrapping paper to wrap bday gifts. It made me smile!!!
It was fun, small and perfect. Low key and casual. Happy birthday, little bug!
p.s. My mom informed me that I also threw a little fit during my third birthday party. Too funny!