Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I know it has been quiet on the blog lately.  But we have just been too busy living the best.summer.ever.  Don't believe me?  Lets recap.

The first half of summer was very laid back with several cousin sleepovers...

 Neon cousins.

 I would love to hear this convo while making mini pizzas.

We watched Jens' band Take the King play at Brat fest...

They just idolize their cousin:)

We went to the zoo a few times...

And went to the splash pad twice...

Then we had to check out the new trampoline park in Madison...

But it was after the 4th of July that our summer really ramped up.  I feel like we have been going non-stop.  And although I am completely exhausted, we have made some of my favorite memories ever.

 Me and my date watched a movie in the park.

A few days after that, we left for our annual Wads/Groth camping trip.  It brought with it lots of firsts including first time camping with 5 kids, first camping tornado warning and my (and my kids) first trip to House on the Rock.

The day we got back, we headed to the Dane County Fair to watch Take the King.  And eat food.  And ride rides.

A few days later, we had our annual Koslo/Groth weekend extravaganza complete with a homemade fish bowl.

The following friday, we headed to the Milwaukee County Zoo with my side of the family...

And the next day, we headed to my in-laws campsite in Montello, WI where it just so happened to be Christmas in July.  Yes, we camped TWICE this summer.  Crazy, I know...

Sully was so excited, he probably peed his pants a little.

That Monday, I took the kids to see the butterfly exhibit at Olbrich Gardens...

The following weekend, my cousin got married and I had SO MUCH FUN dancing the night away with my family, including my Grandpa!!

 Strolling around the capital after the ceremony. 

And the next day, we were off to the Dells for 3 days where the kids had their first Noah's Ark experience and Wisconsin Ducks tour.

Whew!  See?!?  I told you we are having the best summer ever!  I mean, the fun just never stops!  I also took part in a craft show, made over my dining room, had a successful Craftshop in Milwaukee and had a garage sale!  And we are not done yet.  Oh no, we have two more weekend trips planned along with another cousin sleepover.  So you may not be hearing a ton from me here on the blog until September.  I am kind of looking forward to slowing down this fall and doing a few house projects.  But for now, until the weather starts to change and cool off, I am just going to ride this Big Kahuna wave of fun right out into the sunset.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

18 months

Dear Sydney, 

Hey girl.  Today, you turned 18 months!  I took you and your crazy brother to Olbrich Gardens to celebrate.  

You explored, climbed and tortured your mother together.

You are such a little person these days.  With clear likes and dislikes.  Unlike your brother, you have much more likes than dislikes:)  And you are more easily distracted and redirected than he was at 18 months.

Even though you two are as different as night and day in so many ways, you have a special bond.

He helps you and you help him.  He loves you and you love him.  He annoys you and you annoy him.  Its perfect.

Everything he does, you want to do.  Monkey see, monkey do.

Your vocabulary is huge.  You will try to repeat anything we say.  Currently, my favorite word that you can't even come close to saying but you try super hard is "brother."  And any word ending in "k" or "ck" is said with a hard "CKKK" sound.  It is hilarious!  A lot of German in you:)  Your first two word phrase was, "HI Turbo!"

Your personality has completely blossomed into the silliest kid I have ever met.  You enjoy "dressing up" with beaded necklaces, crowns and hats.  You even pretend to "go bye-bye" by slinging a purse of bag over your shoulder while waving and saying "Bu-bye!"

In the morning after I dress you, you look down, pat your belly and say, "Pretty!"

You eat like no kid I have ever seen.  Sometimes, you have 3 dinners.  It's crazy!  You are our little garbage can.  You also enjoy sharing your food, typically after you have licked it or had it in your mouth.  You offer it up saying, "Bite??"

At 17 months, you took up the Nuk.  I think it is comforting for you since we are weaning off of nursing.  I can't help but think it is adorable:)

You have been and continue to be such a joy in our lives.  You are the perfect piece we were missing without knowing we were missing it.  You shower us with love- continuous hugs and kisses and back pats.

I can't get enough of you and am always wondering what you will do next.  I am having so much fun being your Mama:)  Here's to more adventures together!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Annual Camping Trip Round up

We just returned from our annual Wads/Groth camping trip today.  Read about past camping trips here and here.  This year, we chose Governor Dodge State Park in Dodgeville, WI.  The forecast showed blistering heat and rain, but we went ahead with our plans anyway.

I had already whipped up some camping sangria and we could not let that go to waste!

Peach infused vodka
White wine
7 up or Sprite
fruit: I used strawberries, apples and blueberries
artificial sweetener
mason jars and lids

Put 1/2-1 packet of sweetener in the jars (I put 1/2 because I was afraid it was going to be too sweet and it was perfect).
Chop up your fruit and fill the mason jars about 2/3-3/4 full of fruit.
Put 3 shots of peach infused vodka in each jar.
Fill the jars up with white wine.
Place your lids on the jars.
Put on ice.
When ready to drink, pour 1/2 of a jar into a solo cup and fill the rest with 7 up or Sprite.

And they were

 Here we are just getting to the campsite and still clean and excited:)

We set up camp in the heat and humidity.

(Last year our little tent leaked during a good rainstorm at night so we invested in a much larger 6 person tent with screen porch and some cots.  Game changer.)

Peek inside:

Dining room:

And then we had to eat immediately.

 And we embarked on our 3 night camping adventure.  Including swims in the lake, ribs by Cookie, sparklers and glow sticks...

Unafraid raccoons visiting the campsite every night and stealing butter out of coolers, a torrential downpour and wicked thunderstorm the first night and morning camp coffee...

Children games of Wall-e, hide and seek and paper Barbies...

The shortest hike on the hottest day...

On the second night, after our rib dinner during which we listened to scary thunder sounds for almost a continuous hour, we got an alert on our phones of a tornado warning, not watch, for the next half hour.  This prompted a flurry of activity including throwing our kids in the cars, stowing the chairs away, adding stakes to the screen tent that lifted off the ground in a gust of wind all while consoling the kids that "of course it is going to be fine!  Nothing bad is going to happen!"  Then we quickly made a mad dash to the local Wal-Mart (where else) where we shopped our anxieties away.

 Rainbow after the storm.

Then we treated the kids (and ourselves) to A&W ice cream.

The next day, we continued on our merry camping adventure.

 (One of the craft project for the kids: nature dream catchers.)

We also made a trip to House on the Rock (which I don't know why I have never ever been there before).

If you have not been there, please, please go!  It is amazing!!

And back at the campsite, we watched the kids fight play.

And then, we were spent.

More memories in the books:)