Look out high school-these gals are reaching for the stars!This potential packed power muffin was the 1st baby I ever held. She was hours old and I knew we'd get along right away. We've painted cherry blossoms in kindergarten, swam at every local pool at least a dozen times, shopped, have done our hair, shopped some more, baked and chatted.
I am so proud!
Words from her principal "...LOTS of potential here!"
Work hard honey and remember that Aunty is always ready to help with homework, boy issues and shopping trips!

nice niece

Each picture was great with this pretty gal...my niece..my very first niece. She's pretty, smart and great with kiddos. No pressure doing this shoot-she just came from winning the photography award for her school.......a HUGE school with a gigantic cool photography studio and lab.She's just really fun. Her escort is an awesome guy too. He laughed and joked for an hour in a dusty construction site risking life threatening injuries while clearing plastic off barbed wire fences so we could get the perfect shot.
I loved being out doing something nice for my sweet niece.

bean tipi

My Dad is helping me with a garden
this summer. My very first.
Thanks to a very wet spring the seeds were a little late getting in but it didn't stop us! We love to "check" on our garden, this day last week the three of us had fun watering the plants and our hair!
My Little Sprout loves beans. He's loved them from the moment he was ready for people food and the magic bullet soon became my best friend. I love fresh beans too.
The garden has tons of beans planted. We are even trying to get creative with our beans.
Thanks to the great engineering of Pa, we are attempting a bean tipi! Fun to play in and fun to eat! I have no idea if the beans will grow tall enough......I'll post updates. Bean experts out there feel free to offer any advice!

happy water baby with land loving parents

Do you see gills on this little boy?
Look hard, I can't find them but they MUST be there somewhere!
We love the water around this house. We swim in the morning, afternoon, evening and every minute in between.
Water baby featured above loves to jump in, float on his back and "hide" under the water all by himself. We play ring around the rosie, chop, chop, timber and pop goes the weasel every spare second we have.
These photos by Justin were crazy awesome and really captured the "being two and having fun" feeling.
What a great way to celebrate and remember being 2!
(Justin says there's even more great shots to come soon! Can't wait!)

kinsmen park with daddy

It was overcast and cool. There were no lines. Costco shopping was finished. It was still before noon. Perfect.

Perfect way to spend a morning.

Fathers Day 2010

I love Father's Day.

Maybe it's because I have hands down the best Dad ever. My Dad has raised me to believe in myself, to always work a little harder than you think you can and to wear my heart on my sleeve. Oh, I 've had broken hearts from wearing my heart on my sleeve, gotten in over my head on a project or two and doubted my strength at times but that's just when my Dad appears to help me out. I'd be lost with out him. Really lost.

Even now that I am a Mom, my Dad is still teaching me. He compliments me on my parental patience, let's me know that I have too many rules and spoils my son and I rotten with his time. Time. That is the best lesson a parent can ever pass onto a child turned parent. Time. The best lessons or gifts my Dad has ever shard with me all come down to one very important lesson....his time.

My husband is an amazing Daddy. His best daddy quality is making time for us.

He sneaks home early and ofter arrives just in time for meetings, appointments and clinics because he wants to squeak in an extra bite of cereal with us.

I love Father's Day because I get to spend it with the 2 best Dad's I know!

Shades of Summer

A much admired blogger Lizzy started this a few years ago. I watched with awe as a pair of sunglasses traveled from state to state each recipient taking a few photos wearing the glasses and demonstrating how they were enjoying the summer. The fun unfortunately stopped at the border. Understandably, snail mail and customs hang ups can be limiting that way. But hey, when one door closes another opens and this year Lizzy offered pointers to anyone who wanted to try it out in their country.
Yipee! Thanks Lizzy!
So, here we go Canada!

Here's the deal:
1. You can't be moving this summer or traveling extensively. (in case the the package gets lost or doesn't get forwarded)
2. First, you take a photo wearing the sunglasses having fun Canadian style and email it to me, also, print one out, put your name, city and province on it and pop it into the box.
3. Second, you will ship a small box with the sunglasses in it to the next person on the list I'll include in the box.
4. You must ship glasses & list of addresses with in 2 days of receiving them.
•The first 25 peeps to email me are included in all the fun.
•If you can follow the above rules email me at chantellekinakin@hotmail.com with the title shades of summer Canada 2010. Please include your complete Canadian address. I can't wait to hear from you!
Canada only but if you are in Western Europe and want to play along email Kristin Reinhard at ShadesofSummerEurope@gmail.com or follow along with Lizzy in the states here.

make cupcakes

3pm Wednesday afternoon.
me- "do you want to get up?"
mr. cranky - "no!"
me - "do you want to ride your bike?"
mr. cranky - "No!"
me- "do you want a drink of milk?"
mr. cranky - "NO!"
me - "what would you like to do?"
mr. cranky- "make cupcakes."
Oops - no mix. No problem, blueberry muffins are even better.
Each blueberry was hand placed by Mr. Happy a.k.a. Mr Cranky.
Me- "Happy?"
mr. cranky - "Happy!"
(insert cuddles, giggles and kisses and crumbs here)

salad garden

For the last 2 years I have struggled with what to put it this awkward box. I had envisioned it as a bench with storage but I guess I was unclear with the contractor. (Yeah, I'm still trying to figure that one out too!)
So this year I decided to try a salad bar. If it works it will be handy as I can open my kitchen door, snip a few leaves, rinse well and voila....SALAD!

I plan on reseeding every 10 days to keep a supply going. My honey berries blooms have come and gone and are growing everyday. I'm hoping to try a honey berry vinaigrette later this season, stay tuned!

rainy afternoon

Are you a picker or a looker?
As a little girl my parents made it clear that nature was to be respected. Picking flowers was never even an option. I can clearly remember my Dad discussing with me if I would I would rather everyone enjoy the flower or to pick it just for my own enjoyment. The good old parent guilt trip technique began early in my household, but it also helped me develop a good moral conscious at an early age. To this day I prefer flowers in a field to ones in a vase. Is that odd?Foster isn't interested in picking flowers yet altough we do stop to smell them many times a day. We are also busy planting our first garden!
It's no surprise this, The Tiny Seed, is one of his favorite books right now, we love Eric Carle around here!

I had to snap a few pics as he was "reading" he told me this was "Daddy" and the girl was "Mommy". It made me smile to think thats how he sees his Mommy and Daddy.....friends with a certain extra sparkle in their eyes.......

easy summer supper

Love these chips!
They dressed up a hot dog dinner and even pleased a picky eight grader!
I recommend them with hummus for a perfect after noon snack. I like to eat veggies with hummus too, but only in summer, that's not strange is it?

Sunday's are typically family swim and supper day around here. I have to admit that last year I tried pretty hard to make nice suppers,they were very well received but still, very time and energy consuming. This year I'm taking it easy and spending more time in the pool instead of the kitchen.
Last night we feasted on hot dogs roasted over an open fire, hummus, veggies and pita chips. I made a pitcher of iced coffee and used Saucy's idea for cucumber infused water.

Supper was delightfully easy and the best part-----I swam all afternoon, ate and then swam more!

loving blurb

Need a great Father's Day gift? I really recommend Blurb. This will be the second book Foster and I have made for Father's day. I always order 2,one as a coffee table book and the other as "Mommy's Copy". The books are a good price and great keep sakes too.

Huggies® Jeans Diapers Hit the Streets!

This is cute but creating some controversy of course.

Pre-baby I would never have found this amusing but now it makes me laugh!

I'd stock up for my boy but he is more of a gotch man these days except for naps, bedtime and when he's having too much fun outside!

Anyone have any good tips for keeping my shoes/jeans/face dry? With no fire hose of my own I'm not quite sure how to teach aim while sitting. We are doing the touch your toes and it seems to work but I am open to better ideas!

RSVP for Family BBQ HERE!

What's this, another party?
But this one is a
daycare family Bar-B Que
Sounds like tons of fun doesn't it! I can't wait!
We are so lucky to have met Share-Owen (as Foster calls her).
She has opened her home and her heart for us and we will be forever full of thanks.
This Bar-B-Que is just a little way we thought we'd say
Hmmm, notice the cute bracelet. It's super fun to make.
It took just a few minutes.
I'll give you a play by play on how I made mine on Monday.
( Martha has a tutorial, check it out here if you can't wait)
But for now it's invite arranging and BBQ planning.
I sure hope Fosters buddies will make it!

(daycare families, just below is where where you tell me if you can come or not. Please tell me how many in your family to expect. Now let's hope for great weather!)

the best party secrets revealed

That's how many pictures I took at my son's birthday on Sunday.
Good thing I knew a photographer was coming!
photography students need cash.
Parents like pictures.
Find student (or friend), give cash, get a CD full of amazing stress free pictures!
BONUS.....MOM (me) is even in them!
LAST TIP......is not really a tip. I need your help here readers. I had a fabulous time and it seemed like everyone pitched in and that made it even more fun. Foster, (who wants to live in his Spider man PJ's now, while listening to allergies by the BNL's) is taking forever to open his gifts because each time he opens one he loves it so much we spend the rest of the day with it/in it/doing it.
Please tell me your favorite way to say thank you. A thank you that is sincere and heartfelt and maybe even involves a two year old.
What are your favorite kind of thank yous?
(until I get some ideas, thank you to everyone who came. Foster had a great time and everyone was so well behaved! What a lucky family we are to have so many nice people in our lives!)