Summer Fun: Jumping in the Trampoline at Night

On Saturday night, I had been working on a project while Sean and the littles watched a cartoon.

When I came out of the bedroom, they ran up to me, excitedly asking, “Can we jump in the trampoline?  It is dark outside.”

It was one of the summer fun list activities that they had been looking forward to since the list was created a few weeks ago.

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I looked at the clock, and quickly said, “Yes!”

There were squeals as they dashed for the door.  Then, I remembered that I had a surprise for them that would make the night time jumping even more fun – glow sticks.

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They jumped and played for about 20 minutes while Sean and I sat in the sunroom with smiles on our faces.

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As much as it is sometimes hard watching them grow and gain independence, these are the rewards that come with it.  Sitting back while watching and listening to our babies enjoy such a simple thing as jumping in the trampoline at night with some glow sticks is just one of the many times that we realize that our children are growing, but in a good way, a positive way, a happy way.

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For Love of the Trampoline – Recipe: Not Just Another Chili Dog

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We continued our quest to get our backyard into shape this weekend.  Sean and I have decided to take it all in baby steps.  Rake – check.  Sand box – check.

So, on Saturday, we decided to continue checking off boxes on our backyard to-do list.  The trampoline has needed maintenance for awhile.

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Sean replaced the net and added new foam poles.  It looks new.

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Gabriel was confined to the house reading a book while we worked because he has been under the weather.

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But, Summer and Ethan happily pitched in.

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While Summer tried her hand at reading the instructions,

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Ethan was telling Summer all about the rules. It was absolutely priceless to hear. The words were not clear. But, he knew where the rules were posted, that they were in-fact rules, and that it was very important for him to share them with Summer.

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Maintain trampoline – check.

The littles thought that they had hit the trampoline fun jackpot.  Even though they had happily played in it while it was needing a tune-up, they played with much more vigor and glee on Saturday and Sunday.

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And, once it was all ready, we let Gabriel jump and get some Vitamin D.  We could not let him miss out of on the fun.  My mother always told me that getting moving was part of the healing process.  Watching Gabriel jump and play with his siblings made me believe it.  He does not feel 100% yet, but I do believe that the fresh air and activity was good for him.

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Just like this chili dogs were good for the whole family on Saturday night.  When I saw the Gourmet Chili Dogs on Bev Cooks, I immediately pinned the recipe.  While I am not a huge fan of normal hot dogs, Bev’s chili dogs were calling my name.   I changed them up slightly based on what I had in the pantry and what I knew my family would like.  And, they did not disappoint.  We loved them.

Speaking of love…I adore Bev’s blog.  She is funny, she posts amazing recipes, and she takes beautiful pictures.  She has the whole package over at Bev Cooks.  Stop by for a visit.  You will be happy that you did.  And, happiness on a Monday is a very, very good thing.

Not Just Another Chili Dog

Not Just Another Chili Dog

Ingredients

For the Chili:

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 Tbs. ground cumin

2 Tbs. chili powder

2 Tbs. sweet or smoked paprika

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup red wine

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (7 ounce) can salsa verde

1 package frozen corn

2 Tbs. honey

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup water

Kosher salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Chili Dogs:

2 pounds hickory smoked sausage (or 6 links)

6 hoagie rolls, brushed with melted butter

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

    Preparing the Chili
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high.
  2. Add the onions and garlic; saute 3 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed red pepper, cumin, chili powder, and paprika; cook for another 1 minute
  4. Add the ground beef, sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and cook until browned all over.
  5. Pour in the red wine and cook 1 minute.
  6. Add the tomato sauce, beans, salsa verde, corn, honey, vinegar, water and another pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour.
  8. Preparing the Sausage and Bread
  9. Preheat oven to 350.
  10. Slice the sausage into 6 links.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes.
  12. Change the oven to the broil setting, and broil for another 3 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven.
  14. While the sausage is broiling, brush the rolls with butter.
  15. Broil for 1 1/2 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven.
  17. Putting it All Together
  18. Place one sausage link on the roll.
  19. Add a generous spoon full of the chili.
  20. Top with cheese.
  21. Enjoy!
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/01/30/for-love-of-the-trampoline-recipe-not-just-another-chili-dog/

Have a great week!

I shared this recipe at Beyer Beware, Delightfully Dowling, A Southern Fairytale, 11th Heaven, Mrs. Happy Homemaker, Make Ahead Meals, Frugal Antics and Add a Pinch.

Ethan’s Progress Report

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It was a good week – healthier littles, beautiful weather, report cards, and a new therapy session.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we had report card day this week.  Ethan’s report card is the same and different from other children.  He is assessed in his general education classroom in areas such as social studies, science, art, music, and physical education.  For his special education classroom, we receive a detailed report on where he is in regards to his yearly goals.  We were so incredibly proud of Ethan’s progress.  He has already mastered several of his goals, and he is making good progress toward most of the others.  Based on his report, he is on track to master all of his goals by the end of year, which would be amazing, especially given how sick he has been off and on this year.

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Ethan began Occupational Therapy this week, and we believe that it is going to be great for Ethan.  The wonderful thing is that his speech therapist and occupational therapist work together, so they can discuss Ethan’s progress and work together towards the common goal.  And, the other great thing is that they have Ethan’s school goals, as well as their own goals for him.  So, we have even more people who are working to get Ethan better and help him to meet his over-all goals.

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The weather was just beautiful here.  We have always known that fresh air and activity are both huge in Ethan’s over-all health and development.  While the weather did seem to give him some allergy issues during part of the week, it did not slow him down.  And, today, he spent almost the entire day outside playing with his siblings while Sean and I did some yard work.  Watching him jump in the trampoline and run around in the backyard always brings a smile to my face.  It is the little things, those things that we honestly did not know if Ethan would be able to do, as he was struggling to crawl and then walk.  When I think back to those days, I have to believe in miracles.  I have to believe that he will talk more one day, too.

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So, yes, it was a good week.  I will be the first to admit that the past few months have been hard, at times.  But, when we have weeks like this where Ethan is feeling good, playing outside, and making such great progress at school, those bad days make us appreciate the good ones even more.  That is why I like to think back on the days that were not filled with unicorns and rainbows.  I know that they are not always around.  But, I also know that they appear when we need them.  And, that is what makes them so special….just like my Ethan.

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