Monday, April 15, 2013

Whidbey Weekend

What a full weekend!!!

On Friday, Eric's brother, sister-in-law, and niece (John, Wendy, Piper) made the long drove from Eastern WA over to Seattle and spend the night with us. Saturday morning, all of us packed up and headed north to Whidbey so we could celebrate Eric's dad's 70th birthday as a group.

Our kids LOVE to go to Bestemor and Bestefar's house. In fact, we use upcoming trips to their house as incentive for good behavior. Works like magic every time!! The kids love running around the big yard and especially adore going to the saltwater pool at the local athletic club. This weekend, they got to do both. We experienced some pretty heavy rains, but the kids were able to find a few windows of opportunity and get outside to play (aka: soak their shoes and socks). Fortunately, the pool is indoors, so that activity isn't weather dependent.

Saturday morning, the guys (aka, Eric, his dad, and brother) packed up some sidearms and headed to the gun range to shoot at paper targets (what those poor targets ever did to them, I'll never know!) After returning to the house, the guys proclaimed the day to be a great success and a lot of fun. I was mighty impressed with the groupings I saw on Eric's target!

Saturday afternoon, Eric's mom, Annika, Conor and I headed to to the pool. We always have fun swimming together, but this time was especially entertaining. First, we remembered to pack life jackets for the kids, so they were able to enjoy more freedom in the pool. Secondly, we discovered a toy at the pool that provided endless fun. It was a little dive toy shaped like a torpedo; the fun came from the fact it would make crazy turns as it sank. Conor (being buoyant in his life jacket) would throw the torpedo into the water and then one or more of us would clamor to be the first to recover it. Eric's mom and I were in hysterics as we scrambled to get the torpedo. Even as I write this, I smile thinking about how goofy we were and how hard we laughed. I gave the toy such rave reviews, that Eric wound up ordering one for us to take to Mexico so we have a fun pool toy on hand!

Eric's mom was struck with the idea of making homemade playdough (see recipe below) with the kids once we discovered the store-bought playdough was hard as a rock. I whipped out my phone, found a recipe, and within a short time, the kids were sculpting their dough into all sorts of creations.

Saturday night, we had a nice family dinner and birthday celebration. Eric's dad made some very tasty BBQ ribs that were coated in a fantastic sauce (I need that recipe!!). For dessert, we had the option of lemon meringue pie, pecan pie, and lemon sherbet (see below for recipe). The neat thing about this sherbet is the recipe came from letters exchanged between Eric's grandparents before they were married. The recipe is attributed to Martha Moulton, who was Eric's mom's grandmother (I think). No one went to be hungry, let me tell you!!!

On Sunday, we woke up, had breakfast, Eric's mom and brother freed a very confused and tired hummingbird from the garage (which was pretty neat!), and then headed back to our respective homes... exhausted, but filled with lots of fun memories.

The rest of Sunday was spent unpacking, doing laundry, taking the kids to swim lessons, making jam, doing yard work, spending way too much at Costco, starting my monthly baking challenge project, and staring into space with exhausted eyes. We need a weekend to recover from our weekend!! :)

Conor stirring the playdough

Annika taking her turn

Let the fun begin!

Annika's snowman

Conor modeling one of Bestefar's hats from the old lumber yard

Lemon Sherbet (Martha Moulton)
2 c milk
1 3/4 c sugar
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon rind
1/4 tsp lemon extract

Mix together and freeze. Stir occasionally.

Homemade Playdough (
1 c flour
1/2 c salt
2 T cream of tartar
1 T oil
1 c water
Food coloring

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil together in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constatnly for 3-5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and will clump. Remove from heat, knead for 5 minutes. Add food coloring during kneading process. Store playdough in a plastic bag.

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