{mommy//daughter evening}

Last week, Harper and I had a fun mommy/daughter evening while Will and his daddy went to a monster truck show with Aunt Kathy (one of our babysitters) and our neighbor’s son. I rarely go out and do something specifically with just one kiddo.  I should, though, because we had a blast! The only main activity I do with each kid separately is music class, which starts back up next month after a break for summer, so it’s been a while.

Our first stop was Target (mommy’s favorite store!!), where we looked at the new fall clothing that’s starting to come out and all the back to school deals. I’m addicted to the dollar tins and use them for a variety of things around the house. I picked up a few more to use as storage for our craft supplies. 20140727-114946-42586279.jpg

20140727-114946-42586492.jpgI decided to check out a {new to us} frozen yogurt place in the area. Harper loves getting her mini frozen yogurt! I will definitely be back-they are very kid friendly (they have a kids’ area with toys and coloring sheets) and have lots of seating. The employees were really friendly as well. 20140727-115207-42727999.jpgAfter froyo, we stopped by a local park (one of my favorite parks in the area). It was so nice to just focus on one kiddo and give her all my attention. Usually, I’m back and forth between the little play area and the bigger play area where Will climbs around. Harper enjoyed the extra attention as well. 20140727-114946-42586914.jpgWe even went down by the river and threw rocks!20140727-114947-42587385.jpg

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20140727-114947-42587153.jpgHarper and I had a super time! I plan on doing more of these individual kiddo excursions in the future! Will had a good time at the monster truck show and didn’t get home until almost midnight! He was exhausted and ready to see mommy (he’s such a mommy’s boy, ha!).

I’m linking up with Jess and Ashley for “It’s the Little Things.”20140727-115045-42645620.jpg

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{oh hey Friday!}

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Happy Friday:) I’m linking up with Karli and Amy for oh hey Friday! I love having a place for a random brain dump each week, ha!

{one} Are my kids the only ones who act up and goof off at story time? All the other kids sit quietly and listen to the story.  My kids, on the other hand, are rolling around the floor, taking their shoes off, and not paying a bit of attention to the librarian read a story about sharks. See Harper there in the pink on the floor? She decided to roll around on the floor and refused to wear her shoes. Will attempted to do the same thing but he looked back at me and I gave him the look.  Otherwise, he would have been right there with her, ha! Anyway, I love taking them to story time and other events. It’s just amusing to see how they behave versus other children. 

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{two} On Tuesday, we had a movie and park/picnic day! Our movie theater shows $1 movies during the summer, so we went with our neighbors to see The Croods. Harper and Will did a pretty good job during the movie, though they got a little restless towards the end. Both were definitely ready for some fun park time afterwards! We checked out a (new to us) park that had a really fun wooden castle. 20140723-205737-75457327.jpg

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20140723-205737-75457115.jpg{three} Zucchini bread! We picked a huge zucchini from our garden the other day, so I whipped up a new chocolate chip zucchini bread recipe. It was good, but not as delicious as the chocolate zucchini bread recipe from This Week for Dinner. Do you have a go-to zucchini recipe?20140723-205737-75457810.jpg

{four} From our garden, we have also picked several green peppers. I made some yummy chicken cheesesteaks with peppers and onions this week. They were so good and easy to make…they will be part of my go-to meals from now on:) 20140723-205737-75457611.jpg

{five} Ten years…my hubby and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary yesterday. We got married what seems like so long ago, on July 24, 2004. Here we are, ten years, two houses, and two kiddos later:) Love ya, babe! I recently saw this idea on Young House Love and started digging back through our old pictures trying to find one of us each year on/around our anniversary. I wish we would have started this from the beginning-taking a picture of us on 7/24 each year. I plan on starting now and finding pics from previous years to frame. However, it’s been tough to find many pictures of us pre-kiddos. My siblings and husband call me “Mamarazzi” since I constantly have my camera with me and take tons of pictures, ha! So we’re good on pics of us as a family since 2010. Anything before that…not so much. I couldn’t find a single picture of the two of us in 2007:(20140723-205738-75458035.jpgHappy Friday!

{summer bucket list // picnic and park fun}

Summer Bucket List Happy Fourth of July!

I’m linking up with Jenny from The Chronicles of We, Courtney of Sweet Turtle Soup, and several other bloggers for a summer bucket list link-up! This week, I took Will and Harper on an adventure to a new park.  Every week this summer, my plan is to take them on a fun trip someplace new and exciting, beyond the regular trips to the park and the story times at the library that we do throughout the week.  So far, we’ve been to a local lake, a peach orchard for their fun kids’ program, and to a creamery. I found a wonderful place approximately an hour from home-it’s a fun nature center/garden where children are able to explore in the coolest play trail ever.  It’s like being in your own little forest/playworld made especially for kids to explore nature.  So fun! And the best part was that it was free! Donations are accepted to help them maintain the grounds. I love their trail rules! IMG_5963 Climbing on the logs. IMG_5965 Running through the willow tunnel. IMG_5967 IMG_5970 This was Will and Harper’s favorite play area-the Dirty Bistro and Mud Kitchen.  They had bunches of old pots and pans set up for kids to play and cook in the kitchen.  In the kitchen was a sink and nearby was a bathtub full of mud and a bucket of water where the kids could make mud pies. How cool is that?! The Dirty Bistro consisted of tree stump chairs and a table where the mud pies could be served. IMG_5973 Harper climbing up to Will in the Dirty Bistro. IMG_5976 IMG_5978 The kitchen area. IMG_5980 Dale’s Creek, where the kids could splash around. IMG_5984 Going through Tiny House Mountain. IMG_5990 Exploring the tunnel. IMG_5998 Entering the woods to head to the Haiku House. Will especially loved opening and closing these doors (he’s obsessed with doors and door handles and has to figure out how different doors work). IMG_6005 The Haiku House. IMG_6007 Playing with the doors more. IMG_6019 Digging in the rock pit. IMG_6026 Looking for fish in the creek. IMG_6030 Making mud pies! IMG_6033 Eating a picnic lunch. IMG_6037 We enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch in the shade and were planning on staying for a while longer.  However, after Will finished eating lunch, he headed back to the kitchen and got stung by some yellow jackets.  He got stung several times on both ankles and screamed and cried for a while. Some nice people who were at the play trail helped me carry my cooler and blanket back to the car. I carried a screaming Will on one side and an extremely tired Harper on the other side. It was so kind of them to help me out! I found a nearby store and bought some itch cream for Will.  By that point, he had calmed down and we were able to enjoy some frozen yogurt before heading back home.  I plan on taking the kiddos back to this fun place! It was a blast and so fun for the kids to explore nature and to get dirty and messy! It was such a magical place!

{park discovery // summer bucket list}

Summer Bucket List

Hello! I’m linking up with Jenny from The Chronicles of We, Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup and several other bloggers for their fun summer bucket list link-up!

Since it’s summer, we’ve been spending lots of time at our local parks.  There are several parks within 20 minutes of our home and we like to explore all of them.  This particular park is lots of fun and the way it is set up, it makes it easy for me to watch Will when he explores on the bigger park set while Harper runs around the smaller play set.

This girl is very cautious about going down slides.  She refuses to go down any slide at the park but will go down the slide on our neighbor’s play set. Harper just likes to climb up and down the steps and swing.  She would swing all day if I let her, ha!

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Mr. Adventurer!

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For comparison (since I love taking pictures of Will and Harper doing similar activities each year to see how much they’ve grown and changed!):

Summer 2014

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Summer 2013-look how much smaller they both look!

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Swinging! I think Will’s a little too big for this swing!

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“Come on, Harper, let’s go see the ducks”

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At the park, there’s a fun bridge that we like to go on. There’s a great view of the river and of the ducks.  Harper was actually very resistant about going across the bridge. She kept looking down and was scared that you could see straight down to the water.

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“Up, Mommy”

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The view from the bridge…

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Will pretending to feed the ducks.

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“Look at the ducks, Mommy!”

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Now it’s time to explore more parks this summer!

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday! Since school is almost out and it’s practically summer (yay!), I thought I would share some of my favorite summer activities from last year.  I also created a summer bucket list full of fun activities we hope to accomplish this summer:)

{one} We started taking the kiddos on hikes last summer, which was so much fun! Will’s a pretty good trooper and Miss Harper enjoys her ride in style! We plan on doing more hikes this summer and getting outside more.

summer hikes

{two} Growing up, my husband and I went to our local state fair.  We took Will and Harper last year (Harper for the first time; Will had been once before when he was one) and they loved it! Will is a ride junkie…he wanted to go on all of the rides!

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{three} Catching fireflies at Grammy’s house last year.  Will’s cool aunt was helping the kiddos catch fireflies (or lightning bugs-what do you call them?) last summer.

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{four} Playing in the water! We bought a small inflatable pool last summer and the kiddos loved splashing around in it.  They also enjoy the water table.

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{five} Exploring our local parks…we have numerous parks in our area and I’m sure we will visit them all of them this summer.  Here’s Miss Harper trying to catch up with her big brother.  I can’t get over how small she was last summer! While she’s still petite, she has definitely grown a lot since last year.

playing at the park

What’s on your summer bucket list?!

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Christina and several others for 5 on Friday! We’re off enjoying our two days of spring break.  Since we had so many snow days this year, three of our spring break days were taken away. Despite that, I’m enjoying every moment with my kiddos and husband.

{one} Will had spring preschool pictures a few weeks ago.  He was so excited since it was a duck photo session and he was able to choose a duckling to hold.  He chose a little black duckling…so adorable! Even though I prefer to get digital copies of prints (the particular photographer they used only offered prints), I ordered a small package of prints to give to our family.

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{two} Spring clothes!  Pretty soon, Miss Harper will be too big to wear the adorable Carter’s baby/toddler clothing.  Carter’s makes some of my favorite baby outfits, so when I found these spring sets at Kohl’s, I just had to get them! I had a coupon, plus all Carter’s clothes were on sale.  Yay! (And yes, my 2 year old still fits into 24 month clothes…she’s very petite!)

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{three} Ramps! Any time I mention ramps, people give me a confused look.  Do you know what ramps are?  I grew up in Appalachia and my dad would go out in the woods in search of ramps each spring.  They are also called spring onions or wild leeks and are very strong tasting-kind of like a mixture between onions and garlic.  My mom sautés them up with a little olive oil.  Some people eat them raw, but they are way too strong that way.  Will and Harper took a bite but didn’t like them at all.

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{four} We took the kiddos to a new playground last week.  It’s just several minutes from our house and has two play areas for the kiddos.  Will and Harper loved it!

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{five} This picture is blurry, but I captured it the other evening in the car driving home. Harper was asleep and Will reached out to hold her hand.  Of course, he only held it for a minute and I had to rush to get this picture.  So sweet!  I love seeing how much they care for each other and love playing with each other.

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I hope you have a wonderful Friday:)

Outdoor Fun! // It’s the Little Things

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Hi! I’m linking up with Jess from Sadie Sky Boutique and Ashley from Words About Waverly for their fun link-up:)

As spring SLOWLY approaches (boy, it’s been a long winter), we’re soaking up every possible nice minute outdoors.  It’s spring this week, the same day that my baby, Harper, turns two!

The other evening, we took a stroll down our road to visit the neighbor’s cows.  Some of the cows are so friendly and will let you pet them and feed them grass.

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We joined our neighbors (not the farmer neighbors) and took a walk to see “Sha-sha” and “Dondee,” as Will used to call them. It’s actually Shadow, a horse, and Isaac, a donkey who live right up the road from us.  Their owners leave horse treats in their nearby horse trailer and every time we visit Shadow and Isaac, Will and Harper feed them.

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Blowing bubbles outside! Just look at that blond hair! Harper’s hair is getting darker, but Will’s has stayed very blond. He was born with brown hair that turned red, then around one it turned blond.  Harper had brown hair when she was born, but it has turned lighter over the past two years.

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Playing at a local park! We spent Saturday morning at a park, swinging, zooming down slides, and feeding the ducks.

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I hope you are able to enjoy some nice weather! Spring is almost here!