Monday, June 19, 2017

End of the School Year Campout at First Landing State Park

Thursday was Pete's last day of school for the year, we do finish up later here than back home but school didn't start until after Labor Day so it makes sense we go so long into summer.  Pete had been asking about going on a camping trip so Phil reserved a campsite at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach-like 20 minutes from our house.
The traditional last day shot
We headed out after Pete finished up his last half day of school and got there just in time to set up our campsite.  The temperature dropped that day for us and was around 70-75 that day while the day before had been the mid 90s.  They had been calling for rain, but it stayed dry for the whole time we were camping and didn't start raining until just at the end of vacuuming the mud out of the van.  The campsite was mostly mud, but worked in our favor for keeping Nora entertained while cooking and setting up the tent, though didn't stop her from constantly asking when we were going to eat.  (if you are wondering this proves she is my daughter...)


Relaxing watching dinner cook

Kids watching the fire while cooking

Her pose cracks me up

For dinner we had corn on the cob, baked potatoes and sausage peppers and onions. All turned out perfectly 

This grill is a true Indiana girl with how much she loves corn

Pete has lost enough teeth that I have to cut his off the cob to eat, Phil finished it off for him though
We had an interesting experience while hanging out at the campsite, a military base borders the park, a ton of helicopters started circling around fairly low and loudly.  A ranger came by to check on everyone and make sure everybody understood everything was fine and it was just a training for the base.  The kids were a little freaked out but once we explained they were practicing and would be done in a little bit they were ok.  

After going to bed at the normal time of 8pm and waking up at the standard time of 6am (I felt a little bit sad for our neighbors that stayed up partying until 1am, because my kids are not quiet upon waking) We ate breakfast from the fire and went on a celebratory doughnut birthday run, except Whole Foods was out of Nora's safe ones and we got a cupcake instead-she didn't complain.  Afterwards we headed to the beach for a bit.  It was cloudy and bit foggy and cool that morning so we only stayed for an hour and a half, but going to the beach isn't that crazy for us since it only takes 5 minutes to fit the coast for us.



Camping with the kids was totally doable and a fun time.  I prepped all the food before leaving the house and next time will do more for breakfast prep because my kids wake up hungry and didn't like waiting for the charcoal to turn white let alone for bacon to fry up. Next time the breakfast will be precooked and just warmed up and melted over the fire.  


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Nora Turns 3!

Nora turned 3 the other day.  This year she got to celebrate with cake 3 separate times even!  The first cake was with Grandma and Grandpa while they were visiting, the next time as a breakfast treat on her actual birthday and finally today on her family birthday party.  She had a fun time and got lots of legos, which is what she wanted.  She loves the disney princess lego sets and now has a couple frozen sets, cinderella and an ariel set (which she used her birthday money to buy), she also has the standard batgirl lego set. 


It is hard to believe that you are already 3 years old.  You are so fun to have in the family and fit in perfectly- you do a great Darth Vader impression, love legos and super smash brothers, have fun during dance parties, can take down Pete in a wrestling match, but still like to be the family princess-though armed with either a lightsaber or sword depending on the outfit.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Spring with the Calls

Ok so I just blew off the last 3 months as far as blogging is concerned.  Life has been busy, between traveling, end of the school year stuff, sickness it has just been down right crazy. So here is a quick overview of that time, a whirlwind tour of our lives the last couple months.

Phil shaved his head for St. Baldricks, along with a visit from Matt and Tashina's family!

We've built stuff at Home Depot


they built easter baskets

Nora became an astronaut

We got a new to us sandbox


 
 Pete had his first school concert

Played with legos

Played with more legos

Visited the Capitol

Visited the DC Temple

Played at the beach

We've watched waffle cones being made at doumars.
 We've had guests and done fun stuff the last couple months.   Hopefully I'll be better at updating the next couple months, though I make no promises.  Phil was accepted into grad school at the University of Virginia and Pete was accepted into Norfolk Academy! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Egg-free Coconut Chicken with Fruit Salsa

1 1/2 -2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts- cut into strips

Breading 
1 cup coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Dip
4 TBL water
2 tsp oil
4 tsp baking powder
1 TBL brown mustard

Preheat oven to 425. Grease 2 cookie sheets. Mix up the breading and place in a bowl suitable for dredging.  Mix up the dip in shallow bowl.  Dip prepared chicken, coat in breading fully and place on cookie sheets.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until done.

Fruit Salsa
1 Mango-diced
2 cup strawberries-diced
1/2 onion-diced
Cilantro to taste (I don't use much-I'm not a fan)
TBL lemon juice
(optional) 1/2 jalapeno-seeded, membranes removed and diced

Mix together and let flavors mingle for a couple hours.  I mixed it at lunchtime for dinner in the evening and it was perfect!


Overview
We made this tonight for dinner and it was a huge success!  Nora loved it all we served it with basmati rice and a side salad for some veggies. Tortilla chips would also be tasty but I wanted it lower calorie for me. I'm trying to be good... below you'll find the option for the egg version for the dip.  I loved how well the dip/breading adhered to the chicken, normally I have issues with the breading not sticking-not an issue with the egg free version. I also ran out of baking powder and made my own out of soda and cream of tartar. I've altered this for our tastes and how I knew we'd like it from here.


Optional dip recipe using eggs for the chicken:
1 TBL water
1 TBL brown mustard
2 eggs

Thursday, February 16, 2017

MommyCon Chicago 2017-Giveaway!

MommyCon.  One of my favorite events of the year.  This year I'll be traveling extra far to get to Chicago but with family living a couple hours away it isn't too bad and I love it so much!  Pete is really excited about it too, not that he is going, but because "you're going to learn all about how to be a better mommy".  Thanks kiddo, though really I think he is mostly excited to spend time bacheloring it up with daddy for a couple weeks, since they already have tons of plans of things to do while the girls are away.  But he does hit at the heart of what MommyCon does for me, it helps be learn how to be a better parent for my kids. I've learned more about cloth diapering, breastfeeding, caring for myself, creating lasting bonds and not beating myself up with mom guilt.  The classes, vendors and just the other parents I spend the weekend with all help me recharge my batteries ready to take on the next parenting challenges.  It is also really fun to run away for a weekend and geek out on lots of natural parenting goodies as well!  The other moms (and dads) are a great group, we share common interests and concerns and are always willing to help out if you need it.

This year I'm looking forward to the How to Teach Boys vs Girls about Money, The Mob Party, Potty training, redefining motherhood and finishing it up with What happened to my pelvic floor.  The classes are great this year and I love that they aren't all overlapping.  I'm just going for Saturday, because it is my dad's birthday weekend and since I'm in town I want to be there to celebrate.


Now for the good part! A giveaway!  I'm giving away two (2) 2-day passes to MommyCon Chicago+WEAR.  You'll have a chance to win one of the two passes I'm giving away!  Good Luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!
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