Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Fun Activities

While Sherrie was in Utah, we met over at Mack Park and let the kids play in the river.  The water was pretty cold, but they had fun marching through it.  Its always nice when the cousins can spend time with each other and make lasting memories.
Parker really got to bond with Aunt Sherrie this summer.  Sherrie and her family spent 6 days at our home this summer.  We had two days of selling popcorn, so Sherrie helped me watch Parker.  Even though she is overwhelmed with her own family, she still takes time to make my kids feel special and she helps create a relationship with them.
Early this summer, we decided to clear out part of our garden and make a fire pit for our family.  This is something that they have always wanted and so we went for it.  We sprayed the weeds, layed down some black tarp and then topped it with small rock.  I think it turned out pretty nice.  We have only used it three times this summer, due to the heat and mosquitoes.  Hopefully, we will find more time to enjoy it in the Fall!
School will be starting soon, so I decided to take the kids to the Ogden Nature Center.  It is really inexpensive but the boys enjoy exploring the area and seeing the different animals.  Here is a picture of my cute kids in an Eagle's nest.  Cooper was excited to show Clayton the Paragon Falcon and the Bald Eagle.

As we walked along the trail, we stopped for fun pictures.  I love the way some of the tree branches grow.  They would make the best forts for my boys. I know I would have loved playing in them as a child. Parker did a great job sitting in her stroller and enjoying the walk. She finally crashed out on our walk to the car!
After you park your car, the trail up to the main building has lots of bird houses made by different people or organizations.  The boys showed me some of their favorite bird houses along the way. We packed a lunch and sat in the shade to eat it.  The boys loved watching the large Desert Turtle in its cage.  They also loved the tower and looking through the big telescopes! It was nice to spend the day with my kids.  I love getting to see the excitement on their faces.
In July, Bryce had an Elder's Quorum activity out in northwest Utah.  They carpooled out to the Morse Family property and enjoyed a day of fishing.  Many of the men brought their boys along for the trip.  Bryce said it was gorgeous.  He and Cooper each caught a Tiger Trout.  They were both good sized fish.  Cooper caught his with his little Spider man fishing pole.  Bryce brought them home and grilled them for our family.  The boys enjoyed eating the fish and Cooper had a fun time with his Dad.
We love taking the kids to the Jump Zone. If we go on Tuesday's, then they get an extra hour to jump.  This is such a great activity to help beat the heat and to still allow them to get some exercise.  They say its a lot more fun if they have friends to enjoy it we had the Gabrish kids come with us!
Zane invited Clayton to come to the Riverdale Splash pad with him earlier this summer.  He was so excited to ride in their jeep with the top off.  He spent most of this summer playing with Zane and Gracie.  He is such a social little guy and loves playing with friends.  They are so creative and have had so much fun jumpin on the tramp, making chalk paint, crushing rocks with hammers, riding bikes, and making forts!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hoppin' Poppin' Kettle Corn

It has been such a great opportunity to start our new business this year.  After much preparation and planning, we finally decided to open Hoppin' Poppin' Kettle Corn. My dear friend, Holly Casebolt, asked me if I wanted to go in on the business and be co-owners.  It has been a good decision for us.  After getting financing and doing all the small, mundane tasks, we became business owners in April. 
After we received the equipment and machinery, we started practicing in the garage.  I remember our first batch tasted so good and we were so proud of ourselves.  We kept eating it till it was gone.  After making batch after batch and tweeking things here and there, we finally were ready to go out and sell it. 
Part of the reason I wanted to start this venture, was so I could teach my kids how to work and earn money for their missions.  Cooper has a very outgoing personality and he has enjoyed helping us make the popcorn and market it to the customers.  He has done a great job giving samples and telling people about our different flavors!
 In July, we did an event in Clinton.  Holly was not able to be there, so I had Dad and Micaela come help me.  Micaela was a very hard worker and I was very impressed with attitude and her motivation.  It was a lot of fun to have both of them with me.  I loved being able to teach them how it all worked and I think they enjoyed it.
 We also had quite a bit of success selling in our neighborhoods to our friends.  The flavors that we have done this year are kettle, caramel, fruit fusion, white cheddar and some cinnamon.  I never realized how much people love kettle corn till I started this business with Holly.  I am amazed at what people will pay for popcorn.  So far, we have had a fun and successful year.  WE have almost made back enough to pay off our initial investment!
 Here are some pictures of our very first event, St. Mary's Guadalupe Garden.  The weather turned out to be in the low 50's with rain all day.  We were so excited when we sold our first bag.  We ended up selling $160 worth that day and we were pleased with that. That was the day we established our main jobs.  Holly did the cooking of the popcorn and I did the sifting and bagging.
Overall, it has been a huge blessing for our family already in its first year. There have been so many things we have learned and we have received many tender mercies along the way.  We really have been blessed throughout the summer with great success at our events.  Cooper has had an opportunity to work and earn money, my family comes and spends a few hours with us every Saturday at the events, we have been able to pay off some bills, and Bryce has been able to spend quality time with his kids!

6 Months Old

 We took Parker to her 6 month check-up and she seems to be doing very well.  She is 27 inches tall (88%) and weighs 15 lbs (46%).  She is so much fun right now. A few weeks ago, she wouldn't put pressure on her feet and now she loves to jump.  I bought her a jumper that goes between the doorways and she loves to sit in it and jump up and down.
She loves her feet.  Over the past few weeks, she has learned to grab her feet and stick them in her mouth.  When I lay by her or try to get her dressed, she will grab me with her hands and feet.  She always has her feet in the air.  Parker also loves to go for walks in the stroller.  She just lays back and puts her feet up and just chills.  We go on lots of walks, even if it is around and around the driveway.
Parker also loves to eat food.  When I started her on oatmeal, she was a natural eater and knew just what to do with her food.  She loves her oatmeal.  Right now I feed her oatmeal for breakfast, a veggie for lunch and oatmeal in the evening.  If I don't make her take a bottle first, she will have nothing to do with it.  She watches us eat and thinks she needs to be eating as well.
Just this last week, she has started to grab toys and hold on to them for a few minutes.  They go directly to her mouth as soon as she picks them up.  She takes her binki out of her mouth, but can't figure out how to get it back in there.  She is really starting to roll over.  I don't lay her on the ground that much, so she has never felt the need to roll over.  She is getting stronger now and likes to roll over and lay there for a few minutes.  She will probably be sitting up in another two weeks.