Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our First Fall Outing

This Saturday, the kids and I went on our first fall outing. We headed to our town's Fall Family Fest. It's put on by the park district each year. We've gone since Levi was just a little baby. It's held at a local park and has some simple fall activities to enjoy.

There were pony rides-a highlight for our little cowboy...not so much for our cowgirl. She was content to watch the ponies rather than ride them.

We spent a little time in the petting zoo with the very hungry sheep, goats, ducks, and a potty-bellied pig.

We picked out some pumpkins. Lillian's very much on the move so I can hardly get her to sit still.

We went on a hay ride. It's nearly impossible these days to get a picture of both my kids looking at the same time.

Last stop was the balloon lady where she fashioned Levi a sword and belt. Before heading home, we also stopped by a new shop in downtown Crystal Lake. It's called Reclaimed and features things made by a variety of local artists. It's a nice mix of upcycled furniture, rustic wood signs, and lots of great gifts.

We are just getting going with our fall outings--lots more to come in the next few months.

If you visit the park district's website, you can catch a glimpse of Levi with his balloon sword on the second page of the gallery.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Labor Day Weekend: A Break From Work

The daily tasks of taking care of Levi and Lillian and running a household can be tiring at times. In addition, I'm on our church's MOPS leadership team and we're gearing up for our group's first ever meeting tomorrow. Let's just say, I've been a little busy. So, when the three-day Labor Day weekend rolled around, I was more than happy to set aside my to do list for a while and have some fun.

We finally got to have my brother and his girlfriend visit. They had planned to come in July, but an unfortunate car breakdown in New Mexico messed that up. So, we rescheduled for this weekend. Our plan was to go to the beach, but Hurricane Isaac decided to come along too. It was windy, cloudy, and cool. Still, the kids had fun playing in the sand. We hung out and Nathan and Steffoni tried out our canoe.

John and Levi caught a few frogs too.

We headed back to John's parents for lunch and got there just ahead of the rain. The rest of our time with them was spend lounging, playing, cheering on Iowa and Northern Iowa in football, enjoying some Portillo's, a fire outside, some really amazing stuffed french toast (thanks, Steffoni!), and a nice walk.

Our weekend wrapped up with a birthday dinner with John's parents. I made a cannoli cake for John, Sr. I have never even had this cake before, but I guess it's one of John's dad's favorites. I think it turned out pretty well for the first try--tasted delicious. I have plans for some recipe changes the next time I make it: double the cake recipe and use Grandma Ardente's cannoli filling recipe. Also, I may need to improve my piping skills.

It was nice to take a little break before getting back to work on Tuesday. It's even nicer when you get to take a break with some of your family.