Family Fun Day

J’s work hosted a big picnic/party today for all the employees and their families.  They pulled out the big entertainnment for the little ones including a bounce house, pony rides, DJ’s both dancing and hosting contests, face painting, popcorn, the animal guy, and balloon stuff.

The kids both got to touch a bunch of neat animals including a giant yellow snake named “Sponge Bob”.  My son got a ballon sword (well- 2 actually, he got another one after his first one popped).  My daughter got a ballon dog and a heart painted on her hand.  Both ate plenty of popcorn and cookies!  My daughter also got to ride one of the ponies a few times.  If J. ever gets pictures out of his phone, I will add one to this post.

It was nice to go to a casual event with his company.  Usually, we just go to the formal Christmas party and there aren’t any kids

Yum- Dried Food

We had the best dried pears at my dad’s the other day and he and my step-mom sent us home with a big bag full of pears from the farm.  I put my dehydrator to good use and made up a batch of dried pears for us 🙂

I also ordered a bunch of ground beef from our Amish farmer and made up a batch of beef jerky.  To make things simple, I bought a beef jerky gun (extruder).  After a few minutes prep time and a few hour wait, we had yummy homemade jerky.  This will definitely be a regular thing.

Sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa

The kids spent the night at my dad and step-mom’s house last night!  My son has actually gotten used to the idea of sleep-overs and was excited to stay the night.  My step-mom took the kids swimming and out to play at the McDonald’s playland and from what I hear they had a peaceful, great time.  I picked the kids up this morning in time to take them to gymnastics and my step-mom got to see some of their class.

I am really glad things went well for them.  For our part, J. and I headed out to eat and got to have a little time off :)</

Monday Night Fun

Every other week, one of the kids’ friends comes to spend the night.  This week the kids enjoyed making up huge lands out of blocks and attacking with marbles.

While the boys played, my daughter and I got in a round of “Where in the Wild”.  It is a neat game I found at the thrift store that has 4 different game boards covered in animals from around the world.  The point of the game is to search for animals matching the descriptions given on cards.  If you are the first one with a correct answer you get that card to put over the space containing that animal.  The first person to cover their whole board wins.

After the game, my daughter decided to show off some of her climbing skills.

Everyone had fun and went to sleep fairly easily.

The Things You See on TV

So, we are all about the infomercials around here…huge pieces of crap plastic that serve only one function and look endlessly useful to 5 and 6 year olds.  Today’s winner was a commercial for a funnel cake maker.  Luckily, I have actually made funnel cakes before and realized that I could make them with only 4 ingredients that we just so happened to have in the house.  I whipped up a bunch and we all chowed down.  The plastic on TV stayed in the TV 🙂

My daughter nicked one of my sweaters and came into the kitchen to eat.  I felt the need to capture the moment on camera so I would remember today.

Cleveland Zoo

I took the kids up to the Cleveland Zoo today to meet up with friends, but after a rocky start, we wound up exploring on our own.  We got to see the rays and sharks, talk with a few of the zoo workers about zebras and giraffes which was really interesting, we saw the butterfly exhibit, and we got to explore a new maze set-up about amphibians. 

Home Again

We are home and getting back into the swing of things.  The kids had gymnastics today (their first class for the fall session) and then we played for a bit with friends before taking Tom (the kitten) to the vet to have a check-up and get samples taken to make sure he is healthy before he comes near our other cat, Pandora.

ETA: All tests came back negative and the cats are tentatively getting to know each other.

New Kitten and Campout

A kitten followed us home from the park on the 2nd when we went to play.  After 2 days of keeping him in the garage and caring for him, wondering if we could find someone to take him, we fell in love and decided to keep him.  (I was sold watching my son hold him gently and whispering “I love you- everything is going to be ok”  Then the kitten fell asleep on him and he asked me to go get him a book so he could read a story to him) The kids thought it was fate that we found him on my actual B-day and decided in the end to name him “Tom” with a middle name of “Little One”. 

The campout for our local homeschooling group started today and we took him with us as we have a rustic cabin which allows pets.  Here are some shots of the camp.

Polish Festival

Back in Cleveland, we headed to the church where my FIL works and where both he and my MIL volunteer for the yearly Polish Festival.  The kids got to go through the church and see all the work that their Grandpa has done there and got to hear more about the school J. went to as a kid (which is attached to the church).  Yummy food and neat trinkets were also part of the night.