Memorial Day Camping Weekend

We are back from a long (and FUN) camping weekend.  We spent last week getting geared up for it – MiMi and Grampy stocked up the camper while Avery and I made some goodies to pack.

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Avery was a big helper making apple chips.  Yes, he took a bite out of almost every one before putting them on the tray.
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That batch of apple chips barely lasted Friday afternoon – Avery devoured them as soon as we got to camp and shared them with his friends.  I’ll make two batches next trip. And if you noticed Avery’s face in the last picture…IMG_6491

He also helped me make cookies and since stirring is hard work, some flour escaped the bowl.

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Friday morning came and Avery was so excited…. that he just kept sleeping and sleeping.IMG_6499

I even tried my ‘mommy tactics on him – opened the window, turned on the lights… but he was still snoozing.  I guess he knew he had a big camping weekend ahead of him and he needed to stock up on sleep!  Friday at noon, we were off!  Grampy and I (Mimi had to work all day and joined us later Friday night) picked Avery up at daycare (which Avery thought was pretty cool since we had the camper with us!).IMG_6501

(Oh, Avery looks like a grump in this picture because he’s making a “Pokey Face”)

Just over an hour later, we pulled into the campground – and we were the first ones there! (first ones in our group – we had 6 sites reserved for my Papa’s side of the family – my Mom’s Dad).  After setting up the camper, we headed off to the railroad track.
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We stayed at River’s Bend, in New Haven VT.  It’s very secluded along a river, but there is a train track and bridge near the entrance.IMG_6506

We climbed up the hill and I snagged a couple good pictures of these two.

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I wouldn’t dare walk over the bridge part – eek too high.  But Grampy and Joseph did.

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Avery and I stayed on the tracks and I almost got a very poetic picture of Avery on the tracks, then the dogs photobombed it.

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We put down pennies and dimes for the train to flatten.  We went back on Saturday and we found them all – smushed.  Avery and Joseph (my cousin) thought it was pretty cool!
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To bring our first day camping to a close, we did popcorn over the fire…IMG_6518

Good thing we brought two bags of it because the first one exploded, haha.  Avery and Grampy enjoyed their usual nighttime snack.IMG_6520

The rest of the weekend was a blur of fun… lots of fishing, playing in the sand, kayaking, playing with family – cornhole and woffleball and some new game called KamnJam.  Avery skipped rocks in the water and rode his bike around with Joseph.  They played soccer and with this helicopter spinner Avery would let off and Joseph or Mia would catch.

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Grampy finally caught a couple fish.  Avery had so much fun playing with his second cousins – ‘my friends’ as he calls them.  He woke up Sunday morning and asked ‘where are my friends?’ since they only came for the day on Saturday and had left that night.  He really loves playing with them.

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Avery, Grampy, and I spent hours looking for fish.  I took this picture a split second before Avery fell in right there.  It was too funny.  He had a soaked pantleg (just one) and a shoe. We were all laughing.  The water wasn’t deep so he didn’t get far and his pants dried before we got back to camp.IMG_6536

The river was so low in places that we walked out to islands like this a couple times.  We found broken pottery, dug holes making rivers and floating sticks and leaves down – so much fun.IMG_6564

And Avery and I went out in the kayak 4 times I think… one time we even took Frasier along!

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I didn’t carry my phone around with me, so there aren’t pictures of every second of the weekend, but that’s what camping is all about – leaving work, and housework, and electronics at home and enjoying the outdoors and the people you’re with – and we sure did that.

We closed the weekend with smores… oh and catching a frog – the second one of the weekend.IMG_6566

Thank you Johnson Family for such a fun camping weekend.  Sunday afternoon while I was baking up a storm for the week and Avery was playing play doh, he says ‘I want to go camping’.  I think he had fun 🙂

❤ Meghan

This and That

I can’t believe we’re already on the tail end of summer!!!  July was a busy month… I only posted once a week, so to make up for it, here are 13 random happenings from the past month… a little of this and that…

1. We made Kale Chips.
IMG_2278They weren’t too bad.  My Mom can eat them like potato chips, but Joey and I could only stomach one each.  They are just so dense!  Yes, they are very good for you, but I’d rather have kale in my smoothie.  They are very easy to make tho – we picked the kale from the garden, cleaned them, added some oil and seasoning, cooked um, and ta-da, chips!

2. We went on a Bug Hunt!

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Avery, Grampy, and I walked around the house for bugs.

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We found some crickets, a slug, a moth, a centipede thing… oh and a snake!IMG_2363

Grampy handled the catching (with a fish net, you know, the kind you use for a home fish tank), and Avery watched in wonder… pointing, giggling, laughing, smiling.IMG_2332

Avery was soooo intrigued by the snake!  It was a tiny garter snake.IMG_2340

We must have sat for an hour watching it, giving it sticks and grass to wind around.IMG_2348

When we let the snake go, it slithered away and Avery chased it, so cute!

3. We watched the Brain Freezer
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Our friend from high school and her husband (shout out to Izzy and Alex) put on their second annual 5K race in Burlington, and we went to watch.  Why didn’t we run?  Well, for this race, you run 1.5 miles, eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and run 1.5 miles back.  It was fun to watch but we couldn’t stomach doing it!  If you do, check out The Brain Freezer 5K Website! 

While we waited for the runners to come back, we took in the views (Lake Champlain)…
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And played at the park (Battery Park, Burlington).IMG_2262

After we watched the runners come in – Avery was cheering and clapping – he’s such a good sportsman!  Then it was off to the waterfront for a picnic.IMG_2265

4. Avery’s First Shave.

Avery’s gotta do everything Grampy does, so when he heard Grampy needed to shave one night… well, he just had to join in!
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First, they lathered up…IMG_2291

Grampy demonstrated…

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And Avery shaved too! (We had a fake razor in Avery’s Play-Doh set, which worked great)

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5. We got invited to TWO weddings!

You know how much I LOVE getting mail… so I was very excited seeing TWO wedding invites in the mail within a week!

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First was Kelly and Josh’s wedding invite.  We’ve had the date on the calendar for a while, but it was nice to finally get the official invites – they were soooo pretty!  Oh and note how it was addressed… Ms Meghan and MASTER AVERY Valyou… haha 🙂  Very cute, Kelly!  Kelly is my sister’s best friend from grade school… so it’ll be great seeing her tie the knot!

And our second invite was for Marcus!
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Our brother, as Sarah and I have dubbed him since we’re like family, is getting married in January!  So happy to see him tie the knot too, and both are in Vermont even though both couples live down south.

6. Joey and I Gave Blood.
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I’ve been meaning to get into giving blood on a regular basis, but never fit it into my schedule, so Joey and I made a date to give blood together, and neither of us passed out!  We’ll do it again in September 🙂

7. We visited Nana & Papa

Avery threw rocks in the creek out back, I raided Nana’s workshop for cloth for family reunion costumes, we had a yummy dinner of spaghetti, and angel food cake for desert!

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Avery and Papa sat on the porch and watched birds.  It was cute and sweet until Avery got comfortable and started smacking the window when birds came by, scaring them, and Avery laughed, thinking it was sooo hilarious.
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Then it got a little crazy when Avery and CoCo (Nana and Papa’s dog) started chasing eachother around the house!  Avery thought it was so fun, and CoCo kept barking and bouncing around taunting Avery to play.

8. We visit Gram & Gramp every Wednesday.

Most Wednesdays, Avery and I head over to the park near Gram and Gramp’s house and play there for an hour, have a picnic dinner.

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Then we meet MiMi and Grampy at Gram and Gramps to visit for an hour before heading home for bed.  Avery loves playing with the puzzles and legos they have.

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We go for a walk, and Avery bikes circles around us on his tricycle.

9. We had fun OUTSIDE!

It’s amazing having a huge yard, garden, and garage to play in this summer.  We’ve been outside all weekend long and every weekday afternoon.  Avery’s been swimming in his big pool…

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Our favorite games in the pool are chasing each other around in circles and catching his babies (baby/tiny animals/dinosaurs) with his fish net.

Avery loves mowing the lawn in his skivvies…IMG_2324

When it’s raining, we can still be outside and play in the garage – Avery rides his bike or we play with chalk and cars.  Or we sit on buckets and shuck corn…IMG_2315

Avery moves his toys around the yard with his wagon from Easter.
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Avery loves playing in Grampy’s garden too.. we’ve picked lettuce, rhubarb, peas, and wild strawberries and raspberries…IMG_2298

They’re the perfect summer afternoon snack! Avery LOVES them.  He won’t eat the big ones from the grocery store though, haha.

10. Visits at Michael Eyes

This is Michael Eyes.

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(He’s not naked! He’s on the deck without a shirt on because he had been swimming and he had blackberries smeared on his face from Avery, haha)

He’s my uncle (my Dad’s brother), and Avery’s great uncle, but that’s not his name.  He is officially ‘Michael Eyes’.  He was originally Uncle Micheal (not Mike), as Avery called him, but then he became ‘Tomato Eyes’ one silly afternoon playing with cherry tomatoes, and the two have mashed together, so Avery calls him, “Michael Eyes.”  Well, we’ve visited with them a few times this past month – we visited the playground next door…IMG_2266IMG_2271

Enjoyed their pool….IMG_2532

And their nice garden and bridge over the creek running through their property.IMG_2273

On our most recent visit, we played in the pool, had a yummy dinner and desert, and sat by the campfire… while Avery played in a box with two nerf balls… he was sooo entertaining… and man was he having fun.  Avery would sit in the box, throw the nerf balls to us sitting around the fire, and he would hide in the box.  Two of us would toss the balls into the box.  Avery would come up, point to each person and ask ‘Was it you?’ until two people said yes, he would laugh, throw the balls to those two people and we would do it again.  This went on for an hour!  Then one time we all hid when he was in the box and when he came up, it was pretty funny!

11. We celebrated Lorri’s Bday
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Avery and I joined Joey and his family at Joey’s MiMi’s house and had a nice evening celebrating Lorli’s (That’s how Avery says it) birthday.  Avery helped blow out the candles and he ate some yummy cake!

12. We went to a Wedding

Wedding number two of the year.  One more to go to this fall.

Wait, lemme take a selfie…
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Joey’s friend, Matt, from grade school tied the knot.  Church wedding, reception under a tent – it was really a nice setup.  They had horse shoes, cornhole, a bonfire, seating areas all over.
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Joey was an usher. Here he is with the other ushers and the newlyweds:

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And here’s Joey with his friends that went through grade school up to high school graduation together.IMG_2492

Joey and his Mom dancing during the mother/son, father/daugher dance – they asked other child/parents to join them… nice face, Joey.
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13. Photo Op!

Joey’s Mom snagged some nice pictures of us at the wedding, so here’s our cutesy photo op 🙂
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And that’s a wrap!  But ofcoarse after 3 days of working on this post (yeah it takes me that long, lol), we’ve had some more happenings…so that just means more posts coming soon: Valyou Family Reunion (Disco Theme!), the Fairfax Egg Run, and my 10 Year High School Reunion. Oh and guess who’s birthday is coming… AVERY’S! He’ll be turning 3 at the end of September, so I’m working on party planning… I’ve started a page with the party info here, but it’s pretty empty right now.  More coming soon!

Until then.. we’ll be off enjoying the summer 🙂

❤ Meghan

H54F: A Fun Filled Week!

This week, thankfully, went by much slower than last week.  With Halloween and two classes I had to take last week, the week flew by and I didn’t get as much time with Avery as I like.  This week was another story.  Avery and I had hours of fun with legos, baking cookies, coloring, and making a present for Aunt Sarah’s birthday.  Such a fun-filled week!  Here’s this week’s TOP 5:

1. Museum Play Date

Over the weekend, Avery and I joined his buddy from his old daycare, Emmett, and his Mommy, at the Boston Children’s Museum.

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They have a membership, so we got in free!  (remember my  $ Saving goals of doing free activities?!)  We got there early and it was gorgeous out – and there were pidgeons along the boardwalk…which Avery thought were ducks, so he spent half an hour chasing them and quacking at them.  Seriously.  Hilarious.  He was having a ball – and we weren’t even inside the museum yet!

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When we did go inside, the boys played for 2 hours – trains, cars, in a tree house, reading books, play kitchen, etc.  They were too cute to watch together…
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We will be going back after the new year – we have to wait a while because Emmett is going to be a big brother within a few weeks!  Oh and look who passed out hard and fast on the way home…
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2. LEGO MANIA!

Avery and I have really gotten into his legos this week and when I ask him what he wants to play every night, it’s legos!  We even played for 15 minutes this morning before going to school/work because we were ahead of schedule.
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Avery loves building a big tower… and when it got too big, we made use of his step stool.
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He thought that was the coolest thing.  Now when we get the legos out to play, he brings out his lego John Deere tractor, I get the heavy bag of legos and then he goes and gets his step stool!

We’ve built some pretty tall towers this week…
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And of coarse when we run out of legos, someone has to push it over…

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3. Pumpkin Cookies

We scored pumpkin cookies this week – on sale for $1.50/box because it was after Halloween – but since Avery loves pumpkins, it was perfect for us!  We had fun making cookies twice this week (I split the box in two and did two sessions of baking).
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Yes – he tries to eat the frozen cookies… silly kid.  He realizes later that the cooked ones are much yummier…

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4. FRIDGE ART

I love our new fridge.  You would think I would be missing the stainless steel, two door, water and ice maker fridge from our old house… not at all!  Why?  Because that one wasn’t magnetized, so Avery couldn’t play magnets on it while I was cooking in the kitchen.  But our new fridge, a plain white tiny little thing… it’s magnetic!!!

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Avery and I have spent hours playing with magnets and I even hung his first piece of artwork from his new school on the fridge last night.

5. Birthday Surprise!

Avery and I spent two nights working on Aunt Sarah’s birthday present.  One night for the present and another for the card.  I am so excited to give it to her this weekend…IMG_1941

Happy Friday!!!

What are your weekend plans?  MiMi and Aunt Sarah are visiting… I better clear space in my phone for more photo taking!

High Five For Friday – join the link up party here!