Monday, December 30, 2013

Menu Plan Monday (12/30-1/5)

So I thought I'd start doing this because I really love meal planning.  It sames me time, money & calories every day.  I cook almost exclusively from recipes.  Most of my recipes come from a menu planning site called Relish that I pay for, and think it's worth every penny.  I will link to any other recipes I use from online, or type up ones that aren't online.  If they are from Relish, I will note that, but I don't think I can share their recipes, sorry.

The theme of this week's menu is a weird one.  We've been eating horribly whatever we want unhealthily for the past 2ish weeks & it's starting to take it's toll on our waistlines (and also my moods, energy level, motivation, etc).  The first half of the week is finishing up all the fattening food we have in the house.  The second half of the week is getting back to calorie counting.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Monday - Ham & Cheese Breakfast Quiche (using up the last of the frozen Christmas ham)
Tuesday - frozen appetizers & leftovers (New Year's Eve)
Wednesday - ribs & sauerkraut in the crock pot with pierogies (New Year's Day tradition)
Thursday - Chili Mac (recipe below)
Friday - Easy Cheddar Chicken (Relish)
Saturday lunch - Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa (Relish)
Saturday dinner - BBQ Chicken Hashbrown Casserole
Sunday lunch - Quinoa Salad with Asparagus & Beans (Relish)
Sunday dinner - Salmon on Greens with Ginger Dressing (Relish)

I try to cook a lot over the weekend so we have a lot of food leftover for when  the weekdays get busy.  That way if I don't have time to cook a dinner, we still have a healthy option & don't have to eat out.

Chili Mac
12 oz ground beef (I often use ground turkey or deer)
1 medium onion, chopped (I don't like onion so I sub onion powder)
14.5 oz stewed tomatoes, Mexican style
1 1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp green chili peppers
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin

1 cup dry elbow macaroni
15 oz kidney beans, drained & rinsed

In large skillet, cook beef & onion until meat is browned, about 10 minutes, then drain fat.  Stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili peppers, chili powder and cumin.  Bring to a boil, then stir in macaroni & beans.  Return to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer until macaroni is tender, about 15 minutes.

What are you eating this week?  Any new, interesting recipes I should check out?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Family Week in Review - Christmas Vacation

Since Adrian had a ton of vacation time saved, we decided a while ago that he would take off the Thursday & Friday after Christmas so we could enjoy all the kids' new toys.  Then his office decided to close on Christmas Eve so he took Monday off as well & ended up with a 9 day stay-cation.  We have had a great time the past week with no real schedule (other than me having to teach Zumba).  We've balanced doing fun things with staying home and relaxing.  I think the boys really enjoyed it, I know I sure did!

Some of the highlights included taking advantage of some unseasonably warm weather to walk around downtown to see the lights, going to COSI to see the Curious George exhibit and enjoying a few new movies including Monsters University, Polar Express & Despicable Me.  Adrian was also able to sneak out one night to see the second Hobbit movie with a friend & I got a night out of dinner and shopping with a few of my friends.  We also had a date night to see "Flashdance - The Musical."  While the play wasn't the best, it was nice to get out of the house alone & relax during this busy time.

Christmas was very low key for us, the calmest one since we've had kids.  We went to Carl's house on Christmas Eve and had an amazing meal with them.  Then on Christmas Day we did NOTHING!  We just got up, opened presents, played with our new toys & relaxed.  I didn't even cook for us, we just had leftovers, sandwiches & frozen apps.  It was glorious!

We all got a ton of awesome gifts this Christmas!  AJ & Daniel especially like their new video games, Disney Infinity, Skylanders SwapForce & Lego Marvel Superheroes.  Zachary is enjoying the new play sets, including Mike the Knight, Superman, Spiderman & Skull Island.  I got new shirts, headbands, workout DVDs and jewelry.  Adrian got movies, gift cards, OSU stuff & running gear.  We also got a bunch of board games & movies which are making for tons of family fun nights!

Hope you all enjoyed Christmas week as much as we did!!

Santa came!!
Stockings hung by the chimney with care
Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Review & 2014 Preview

Wow, it's been over 2 months since I blogged.  Part of it was that I was busy, Oct-Dec are the busiest months of the year for me every year.  Part of it was I didn't feel like writing the specific posts I was thinking I "should" write.  I didn't have monthly updates for the kids, didn't want to update the goals, etc.  But recently I really wanted to get back to blogging.  I took some time to think about it and I think the way to go is short but often posts.

This post will be kinda long & will be one final update on my goals from 2013.  Then starting this week, I will do 3 posts each week:  Mondays Menu Plan (a plan of what we are eating the next 7 days), Wednesday Work Out Updated (an update on my exercise & weight loss plan) & a Week in the Life post over the weekend (some highlights of our week as a family).  Hopefully this works better for me & is also interesting to those of you who read the blog.  If not, I'll change it up again.

Here is the final update on my goals for 2013.  I'm not doing specific goals like this for 2014.  I still have goals, but they will be more monthly or shorter focused than a full year.

 Exercise Goals
1.  Do 13 races in 2013 - Did it.  It wasn't pretty, and the final few were virtuals & slow, but I did it.  Gonna try 14 in 2014, but most will be free virtuals.  I also have 2 half marathons on my schedule, would like to find a 3rd.
2.  Exercise 5 days/week - Pretty much nailed this one all year.  It helps that I'm teaching 4 Zumba classes per week.  Will continue this in 2014.
3.  Do monthly challenges - Did it, including a plank challenge in Nov that I loved.  Will do this again in 2014 as well, will follow the Sisterhood of Shrinking Jeans monthly challenges.

Weight Loss Goals
1.  Stay under my calorie goal for the day for 13 out of 14 days - I was all over this thru the year.  The last 2 months my eating has been horrible.  Giving myself until 1/2/14 then it's on again!
2.  Lose 1-2 lbs/week - I was doing well, then my eating fell off & I was maintaining, then gaining.  I'm up like 10lbs since Halloween.  Yuck!  I will end the year down around 20 lbs so at least that's something.
 3.  Get under 200 lbs by my birthday the 1/4 marathon the end of the year - Didn't do it.  Pissed off.  I will do it in 2014.  That will be the LAST year I will ever weigh in the 200s.

Family/Personal Goals
1.  Declutter this house - I did really well with this the first 1/2 of the year & things were under control.  Then I got involved with a huge project for the PTO at AJ's school & that took over my time.  I'm proud to say that I finished that project in Nov, well ahead of my goal of finishing it in May.  Starting next weekend, Adrian & I are cleaning & purging this house.  It will probably take all year!
2.  Read at least 12 books this year - Done!  I actually finished 14 books & have 20% left in the one I'm currently reading so I'm gonna finish that in the next 4 days!
3.  Take one picture each day - This has been a super fun challenge!  I have taken a picture everyday & will make sure to finish out the next 4 days strong.  Not sure if I'll do this again or not.  Thoughts?
4.  More consistent blogging - See above.  :)

Jones Family - 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Zachary - Terrible Twos!

Happy 2nd Birthday to Zachary!! 

Wait, what do you mean it's not February??  Zak's not 2 yet??  We still have 4 more months until the "terrible twos" officially start?  O.M.G.

In all seriousness, I never believed in the terrible twos.  For me it was always to treacherous terrible threes.  Both of the other boys were fine at 2 and a nightmare at 3.  But Zak seems to have hit this phase much earlier.  I guess it's having 2 big brothers to show him the ropes.

Some of his antics include:
  • Climbing on toys to change our thermostat
  • Using the step stool to play in (and make a mess in) dish water
  • Climbing on the counters to get to his vitamins
  • Torturing his brothers (especially Daniel)
  • Stealing food off of everyone's plate (yet not eating what he has even if it's the same thing!)
  • Coloring on walls, tables, screens, etc
  • Not napping
He also did this on the way home from grocery shopping:
That sucker was really stuck in his hair!
But he's also a cutie.  He continues to be so verbal it amazes me.  He repeats everything everyone says.  He loves being outside and playing with his brothers.  His newest obsession is our sidewalk chalk.  He loves to color on our driveway, deck and garage floor (as well as a few places he's not supposed to - see above).  He has a new friend at the gym, he spends most of his time playing with a little girl whose mom takes my classes.  He continues to grow & amaze me every day.

Here are a few better pictures of Zak from the past month:
Picking the perfect pumpkin!
Cheesing after we picked up AJ from school
Mom, can I have an apple??

Sunday, October 6, 2013

AJ Update

AJ is about 6 weeks into first grade and he is thriving!!  I could not be more proud of him and how amazing he is doing this year.  I was worried about him adjusting to full day & eating lunch at school, but he has adjusted like a champ.  He doesn't always eat his lunch (I suspect that is because he's too busy chatting with friends) but he doesn't come home starving so I'm happy.

For those who don't know, we went through a very long evaluation process this summer for AJ and in the end he was diagnosed with severe ADHD.  He started medicine in July and it has been the best decision Adrian & I ever made.  He is still the same AJ, only better.  It is obvious that he can think clearer, communicate better and focus better.  I know this route isn't for everyone, but it is the right route for us.

I love walking home from school with AJ every day hearing all about his day.  He tells me what he learned, who he played with, what people said, which special he had, etc.  I NEVER heard any of that before.  He has  made friends with some of the other boys in his class & they even got in trouble for being too rowdy on the play ground!  I know I shouldn't be happy that he got in trouble, but I'm happy that he has friends that he is playing with...even if they are playing the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fighting Game."

Walking home from school...all 3 boys love it!  So do I!
AJ is also playing football this season and he is loving it!  His team's season started a little rough, but they finished the season with 3 straight wins and have a very good chance of winning their first playoff game.  AJ plays defense and he plays about half the game.  He has improved tremendously since he started and I am thankful for his coaches working so hard with him and all the kids.  I'm also thankful AJ didn't want to give up when he was struggling and his team was losing.
AJ in his game day uniform
Ready for practice!
We are also in AJ's favorite month of the year.  He loves all things fall and Halloween.  We went apple picking and to our first corn maze a few weeks ago and had a blast.  AJ went to a local farm for a field trip last week and got to pick apples and make applesauce.  In the next 3 weeks we plan to go to 2 other corn mazes, pumpkin picking, apple picking and a ton of Halloween parties!  We are going as superheroes this year, AJ is Wolverine.
Apple picking
Showing how tall he is this year

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Goals Update - September

September was a pretty good month, finding our routine with school in full swing.  We are super busy and I'm finding it hard to find time to blog during the week, but here is a quick update on what's been going on.

 Exercise Goals
1.  Do 13 races in 2013 - So I was signed up for 4 races plus a virtual race in September and I only finished one of them, the virtual one.  The foot and knee pain I've been having has been really bad and I finally went to my doctor.  She advised me to stop racing & see a foot doctor.  He told me I had blocked sweat glands "because I'm an athlete."  Best.  Diagnosis.  Ever.  He said wait a week or so and I can go back to racing.  For now, I'm just going to focus on the Fall 5 and 10 mile virtual race series that I'm in.  I'm registered for one more race this weekend, I'm debating that one as well.

2.  Exercise 5 days/week - I was pretty spot on for this goal in September.  I'm not going to go back and count, but I think I exercised all but a few days this month.  I'm really proud that I didn't let my injury stop me, just modified what I've been doing.
3.  Do monthly challenges - I signed up for three challenges in September:  one on Challenge Loop to move my body everyday, one on Facebook to burn 500 calories everyday and one on a blog to get back to basics.  While I met the goals for these, I didn't log them regularly.  But I still completed them so I feel good about that.

Weight Loss Goals
1.  Stay under my calorie goal for the day for 13 out of 14 days - Again, I was pretty spot on with this in September.  I think other than retreat weekend, I was pretty good with my eating.  I stayed under (or at least near) by goal most days.
2.  Lose 1-2 lbs/week - I weighed in at 210 this morning for a total of 8 lbs lost this month, averaging 2 lbs per week.  Yay!!
 3.  Get under 200 lbs by my birthday the 1/4 marathon the end of the year - I'm currently at 210.  Still determined.  11 lbs or bust!

Family/Personal Goals
1.  Declutter this house - I am eliminating this goal.  The house is in pretty good shape after half a year of doing this.  I continue to do what I can, usually one thing per weekend including switching out Zak's clothes, cleaning the pantry out, organizing the front closet and cleaning out the file cabinet.  There is just too much else going on right now.
2.  Read at least 12 books this year - I finished 1 book in September "Same Kind of Different as Me" bringing my total to 12 for the year and satisfying this goal.  I won't stop reading, will see how many more I can finish.  I'm currently in the middle of 2 books, which is rare for me.
3.  Take one picture each day - This has been a super fun challenge so far!  Not like I needed to take more pictures, but it is a really cool way to chronicle the year.  You can check out the pictures on Facebook.  Still going strong with this one, haven't missed a day yet, although some days are harder than others.  In October I'm doing the #sisterhoodshots challenge again, should be fun!
5.  More consistent blogging - I blogged here and there in Sept.  I'm backing off a little on blogging because we are just very busy right now.  I have stopped my weekly workout blogs because I'm not doin ga lot more than Zumba, so it's not that exciting to read about.  I'm still keeping up with the monthly blogs about the boys.  Hope you're all enjoying keeping up with us!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Zachary - 19 months

Since I did back to school blogs for AJ and Daniel, I figured I'd do a quick updated on Zachary too since I'm trying to get back to the pattern of blogging once a month for each kid. 

Zak had his 18 month appointment the other day (we were too busy in Aug to get there, oops!) and the doctor was very pleased with him.  He is growing like a weed, he is 29 lbs 13 ozs (90%) and 33 1/4 inches long (88%).  He has hit all the milestones he should have by this age and is pretty advanced for a lot of the things (because he has 2 role models to teach him).  The only thing we have to work on is weaning him off the bottle.  I know I need to do it, but he won't take milk any other way & I still feel like he needs the milk.  We are down to only 2-3 bottles (one for nap, one for bed time & sometimes one in the middle of the night if he wakes up).

The big thing I am noticing and loving about Zak at this age is that he is talking a ton!  He says probalby 50-60 words, and is starting to use sentences as well.  He understands the back and forth of conversation and can answer your questions.  It's also great that he's using "hungry" and "juice" to tell me what he wants instead of just screaming & crying.  AJ & Daniel are loving trying to teach Zak new words.

Other than his verbal skills, Zak is also working on his gross motor skills.  He has now totally mastered the stairs, both up & down.  He also climbs on everything and is learning how to jump with both feet.  He loves playing outside and can kick a ball, throw a ball & hit off a tee already.  He loves swinging and has started to get brave and try the big kid swings.

One other milestone that Zak hit...really we hit as a family...the high chair is gone.  We noticed he was getting upset sitting in it and preferred to eat sitting on the kitchen table.  Since we didn't love that, we set up the booster seat to see how he liked that and he loved it.  I'm sad to see the high chair go, but happy to get the extra space back in my kitchen!  We also got rid of the jumperoo recently, I feel like I have a bigger house now!!

Here are a few pictures of Zak over the past month or so:
Big boy at the table!
Measuring up at Lynd's Farm
First time in a bounce house
Zak loved peach picking!  The trees were the perfect height for him

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goals Update - July & August

 Well, once again I have let two months pass without an update on my goals for the year.  This was partly because our summer has been so busy (click thru the blog to read all about it, it's too many posts to link here).  But it was also partly because I had very little to report in July, I barely hit any of my goals.  As August came to an end, I recommitted to all most of my goals for the year.  Here is the update on what I did the past two months & a little on how I plan to redirect and have better results for Sept.

Exercise Goals
1.  Do 13 races in 2013 - I didn't do any races in July and finished one in August, Scioto Miles Summer 10 Miler, bringing my total for the year to 10.  I also did the Lady Tutu 5K, but since I was injured and not really "racing" I didn't count that one.  I have 4 races coming up in September, so I will meet this goal this month.  I'm on a great pace for this goal, wondering if I may get 20 in for the year?
2.  Exercise 5 days/week - I was all over the place with this for July and August.  I did what I could when I could.  I've been doing a lot of exercising since mid-August and I know I will kill this goal for September.
3.  Do monthly challenges - I didn't do anything in July or August.  I started Insanity in July, but then the opportunity to teach Zumba came up so I dropped everything else to focus on that.  But for September I'm already signed up for 3 challenges:  one on Challenge Loop to move my body everyday, one on Facebook to burn 500 calories everyday and one on a blog to get back to basics.  I'm excited to get back to the monthly challenges!

Weight Loss Goals
1.  Stay under my calorie goal for the day for 13 out of 14 days - This has been a pretty big fail for the past 2 months.  Most of the days I didn't even track, although the days that I did I was under my goal.  I would say I tracked about 1/3 of the days during July and August.  But I recommitted to this on Aug 26 and hope to track every day in Sept except for the 3 days I will be away at a retreat.
2.  Lose 1-2 lbs/week - This hasn't happened.  I actually changed this to stay the same for the summer.  I weighed in at the end of May at 218 and on August 21 I weighed that as well.  Since I didn't track 3 of the next 7 days, I stayed on 218 on the 28th.  I will be exercising & tracking every day in Sept, so I'm hoping to see the scale go down.
 3.  Get under 200 lbs by my birthday the 1/4 marathon the end of the year - I'm currently at 215.  I'm sick of this goal.  I want it bad right now.  I'm sick of seeing 2xx.  This WILL happen by the end of the year.  I'm determined!

Family/Personal Goals
1.  Declutter this house - In July and August I was pretty much just in survival mode to keep up with the normal housework, dishes & laundry since we had family visiting for 3 weeks.  I have shelved this project for now because I've taken on 2 other big roles, Zumba instructor & Box Tops Chairperson for AJ's school's PTO.  I've committed to working on Zumba 30 minutes a day, 4 days per week and Box Tops 15 minutes per day 5 days per week starting in Sept.  This will not leave time for decluttering.  I did declutter a ton of paperwork and other stuff form our loft.  And we reorganzied & downsized the play room.  So things are getting done, just not as much as I would like.
2.  Read at least 12 books this year - I finished 1 book in either July or August:  "Sparkly Green Earrings:  Catching the Light at Every Turn" by Melanie Shankle.  This book was really good!  It was a humorous look at motherhood from a Christian perspective.  This brings my total to 11 for the year.  I'm almost finished with "Same Kind of Different as Me" so that will fulfill this challenge.  I wont' stop reading, will see how many more I can finish.
3.  Take one picture each day - This has been a super fun challenge so far!  Not like I needed to take more pictures, but it is a really cool way to chronicle the year.  You can check out the pictures on Facebook.  Still going strong with this one, haven't missed a day yet, although some days are harder than others.
5.  More consistent blogging - I blogged a bunch at the start of July and again at the end of August, with nothing in between.  I'm trying to get everything blogged from the summer and then I'll try to even out my blogging.  Hope you're all enjoying keeping up with us!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to Basics

So I, just like most other people, slacked over the summer.  I didn't exercise as much as I usually do.  And I ate way more junk food that I usually do.  I'm OK with it all, I had a great summer with my family.  And I did accomplish my goal...I weighed in on 5/29 at 218 and weighed in again on 8/21 at 218.  I went up and down some in the middle but I am really pleased that thru it all I maintained my weight.

But now, I'm on a mission.  I HATE seeing that 2xx when I weigh in and I want to get to one-derland.  So how am I going to do that??  Get back to basics!  I saw a challenge on one of the blogs I love to read, Brooke not on a Diet, to get back to basics in the month of Sept.  She follows the Weight Watchers program so a lot of the program will focus on those principles, but anyone is welcome.  I've done WW in the past & believe in the system, it's just not the right one for me at the moment.  But I follow a lot of their advice so this works out perfect for me.

The first part of the challenge was to set a goal & reward for Sept.  My goal is to lose 8 lbs this month, putting me at 210.  I lost 3 this week so I'm well on my way.  My reward will be fitting into the 2 new workout shirts & 1 new pair of capris that I bought.  My second goal is to get under 200 by the end of the year.  I'm counting down now and it will happen!

The other challenge I've started is a virtual race series called the Fall 5 and 10 Mile Race Series.  I did the same series in the spring from the same blogger, Mommy Run Fast, but it was 5K and 5 mile races.  The rules are you do a 5 or 10 mile run/walk in the first 5 days of the month.  I like the increase in miles this time around.  I will only be doing 5 miles, unless I can do 2 back to back (on a weekend) then I'll get 10.

My plan for Sept was actually 10 miles.  I was going to meet my walking buddy Dana this past Sun and Mon at 2 different places for walks of around 5 miles each.  Then Adrian was offered a place in a golf tournament on Mon so I had to cancel on Mon.  And then the yuck hit our house and I was exhausted Sun morning & texted Dana that I needed more sleep.  We decided to meet 3 hours later and do our walk.

We met at Hoover Dam (no not in NV, there is one here in OH too) and set off with a plan of 5ish.  We started walking & talking & even though I was struggling a little, I thought the miles were flying by.  After what seemed like forever we looked at how far we had walking...1.5 miles!  Are you freaking kidding me??  I really though we had gone twice that far.  Wow!  We kept plugging and talking, but it was super hot & after a while I was having trouble breathing.  I actually had to stop to catch my breath.  We finally got back to the car & I had done around 4.5 miles.  I had a bunch of water, watermelon & cooled off on the ride home and felt much better.  I did a lap around my block to finish up at 5.08 miles in 1:22:32.  Not my best time, but I was really just happy to survive.  October will be harder to get a walk in since the 1st-5th are a Tues-Sat, but I'll figure something out.
Dana & I at the Lady Tutu 5K - we didn't take a pic this weekend
I'm so glad to be back to it and shooting for this big goal.  I feel like I've been going after it for a while and I'm happy to be so close to accomplishing it!

Anyone else have a goal they are trying to reach by the end of 2013?  Anyone back to basics now that the summer is over & school is back in session??

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Daniel's First Day of School

Daniel started school on Wednesday Sept 28th this year.  He is going to the same preschool he went to last year, only change is that he will go three days (Mon/Weds/Fri) instead of two.  He even has the same teachers as last year, they just switched places and the aide from last year is the teacher & the teacher from last year is the aide.  This made the start of school pretty easy for all of us this year.

We went in Monday night to "meet" the teachers, see the classroom and hear about the changes for this year.  Daniel goes to Eastpointe Christian Church and they are a very new preschool, this is only their second year, so there are a few changes from last year.  For me, the most exciting one is that they are now having an express drop off.  I just pull up, open the door & let Daniel out.  Brilliant!  I don't have to lug everyone out of the car!
Daniel at Meet the Teacher night
 Wednesday morning arrived and we had to get up at 7:30 and out the door by 8:30 for the first time.  Yikes!  We somehow did it and arrived on time.  Daniel went right in, found his name on the circle time mat and was ready to go.  I headed out to drop AJ at school and teach my Zumba class.  No tears from either of us!  Victory!!
Ready for preschool year 2!
Ready for circle time
I went back at 11:30 to pick him up and the teacher told me he had a really great day and that he was a great example for the new kids.  He told me on the way home all about his day and how much fun he had.  He was also super excited that since it was also Mouse's first day of school (a book they read) that Mouse had left a treat in his book bag...
A note & cookie from Mouse
Daniel really enjoyed his first day and went back on Friday just as excited.  When I asked him what his favorite part of school is he said "everything!!"  This is such a change from about a month ago when he was insisting he wasn't going to school at all this year.  Here's hoping it continues to be this good all year.

I also got a few crafts from Daniel's first day of school.  I love that both boys did hand print projects for their first day of school.
Daniel loves blue!!
First day of school hand print
Daniel's homework.  I He did a great job!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Rest of Summer - Part 2

Finishing up my summary of our month long family visits from July-August.  This is more of a photo dump than an actual post.  You can check out part 1 here.  I thought this was the last post about the summer, but I forgot that Adrian & I had a mini-getaway, so I'll be sure to post about that soon.

We were able to go peach picking with my mom.  We usually do this with my uncle as well & we also usually go blackberry picking.  But the picking schedule was delayed this year because of the weird weather we have had.  I'm thankful we got to go pick peaches (and I'm loving eating them now!) but I am bummed I never was able to get out to the blackberry patch.  Oh well, there's always apple season which started this weekend!!

AJ showing off his peach
Daniel collecting handfuls of peaches
Zachary loved that he could reach the peaches
Our haul
We went shopping at Easton and then played in the fountains and watched the trains.  We also took a trip there to try out the new yogurt place, Groovy Spoon (thanks Groupon!)
This is the longest they ever stand still - watching the trains!
We took a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with my Mom, Dad, brother, sister in law and niece.  We had a good time, although the boys probably could have lived without it.  We'll bring them back in a few years, I'm sure they'll appreciate it more.
Daniel is ready for the day!
AJ enjoyed hearing the coaches talk in this helmet

Me in the helmet.  It was hard to hear the coaches' orders.
The babies doing stair repeats.  Gotta get them in football shape!
The championship trophy that will be awarded in NJ next year.  So cool to see it!
And finally, we spent a lot of time outside.  We were in our yard, in Uncle Carl's yard and at the pool up the street with our friends.
Everyone enjoying the swing set.  The boys also camped out a few times with Uncle Tom, Nana & Daddy
Heated badminton game with Uncle Jon

Me pushing AJ & Zak to the deep end
Daniel playing in the pool
AJ, Daniel, Zak & Marli playing in the baby pool while the lifeguards, Tammy & I rested
Pool time with Tammy!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Rest of Summer - Part 1

So I've already told you about our trips downtown, to the zoo and the fair this summer.  Those were our big events, but in between them we did a bunch of other things.  This blog is going to be more of a photo dump of the other events.

We went to Zoombeezi Bay with the family and had a blast riding the slides, playing in the wave pool and riding the lazy river.  I didn't get many pictures since we were in the water the whole time, but here's one of Daniel in between rides.
We went to the dam park (Alum Creek Under Dam Park is the real name, but it's way more fun to say dam park!)  We played on the play ground for a while then headed up the stairs to walk around the dam for a while.  Uncle Tom and I ended up walking close to 4 miles...and wanted to keep going but felt bad that everyone else was waiting for us back at the play ground.
Zak and Daniel playing on the slide
AJ loves climbing on this structure
Alexandra & Daniel "racing" down the slide
Jones family on the see saw
The whole group of us on a walk at the top of the dam.  Such a beautiful area!
 We ate a ton of good food!!
Homemade pizza!

Thurman burger!
Lots of ice cream - both Jeni's & Graeter's
Steak & Shake!
Pork Roll!  It's what's for breakfast!
Carl & I cooked a ton of amazing food.  Here is one of the meals I did, it was an Italian night.
Home Made Buckeyes!!  Delicious!
This post is getting kind of long, so I'm going to end it there for today and do part 2 of the photo dump tomorrow.  Check back to see what else we did!