Lake Vacation

Since most kiddos in Iowa are back in school, the Forristall family decided to take advantage of the quietness that lake life has to offer during the dog days of summer.  Kevin, Luke, and I met Gary and Diane, as well as Hillary, John, and Katie at Lake Panorama for a five day family retreat.  It was the perfect mix of relaxation, boating, swimming, sunning, as well as stuffing our faces pretty much every minute of the day (okay, maybe that was just me and Katie).  Luke came home wondering why we don't open the refrigerator one hundred times a day...it was a bit of an adjustment.  

We spent the days reading, sitting by the lake, going for boat rides, and (you guessed it) eating.  Our nights were spent making yummy dinners, sitting by the fire laughing, watching Hillary put together a massive 1000 piece puzzle (she finished it, by the way), and playing the trademark Forristall family game: Cashflow.  It was nice for everyone to be together for an extended period of time.  Vacations are the best, especially with family.

Uncle Kevin was good at making Katie giggle.

Puzzle time!

This girl and her Cheerios.

Playing with Katie.

Time on the boat!

Luke's first experience driving a boat.

We spent a rainy morning exploring Panora.

He loves giving flowers to Mama...he melts my heart!

Luke enjoyed rock climbing.

Luke was a happy camper in the water.

More boat time.


Random Picture Friday

Hey all!  It's been awhile.  My sweet mom has been bugging asking me to do a blog post.  So, here is a collection of pictures from the past few weeks.  Prepare for picture overload.  Enjoy, Mom!

Luke and Amelia at the Omaha Children's Museum

Luke trying on his lifejacket for the upcoming lake vacation.

Luke hung out with Kara and Amelia (and the cows) as Kevin and I went on a date.  Thanks again, Kara!

Luke loved all the tractors at the Iowa State Fair.

This bull was BIG.

The infamous turkey leg.

Luke and Amelia, you guessed it, playing in a tractor.

Family pic at the fair.

Luke and I visited Ottumwa to visit family while Kevin was out of town for work. Landon was singing to Luke in this picture.

Grandpa Gary and Luke rock climbing.

Grandma Diane and Cousin Kathryn playing with Chet this past weekend.

This hair...that I refuse to cut.

Best buds.


Dairy Free Wacky Cake

I had the privilege of baking last week...and it was glorious!  It's not often I get to whip out my baking supplies to make something sweet, as Kevin has vetoed sweets since November.  It's always a treat when we have guests over because it means I have an excuse to make something yummy.  

Our good friends and Council Bluffs Journey Group leaders, Brian and BobbiAnn, came out for dinner last week.  Their daughter, Claire, is just four days younger than Luke.  She is such a sweetie and it's always fun to get her and Luke together.  Claire has an allergy to dairy products, so I wanted to make a cake that even she could enjoy.  I found this wacky cake recipe on Little House Living and it is definitely a winner because of it's yumminess and simplicity.  I'm not sure you can tell it's even dairy free...but I will let you be the judge of that.  Hope you try!

Wacky Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup oil
2 cups water

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix all ingredients together until there are no lumps.  I suggest using a Kitchen Aid mixer.
3.  Pour batter into lightly greased 9x13 pan.  
4.  Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Top with soy whipped cream.  If dairy isn't an issue for you, a cream cheese frosting is great on top as well. 


Kathryn is ONE!

Last weekend we headed east to celebrate our niece Kathryn's first birthday.  She is a little bundle of fun and we had a wonderful weekend seeing all she is up to these days.  Her Mommy and Daddy (Hillary and John) planned the cutest purple party for her out at their farm and she was, without a doubt, the star of the show.  They also had Kathryn dedicated to Jesus before the party started, so it was even that much more special.  Kevin performed the dedication and did an amazing job...I was one proud wife.  (Have I mentioned how blessed I am to be married to him??!!)  It was a beautiful day to celebrate a beautiful little growing girl.  We can't wait to see you again soon, Miss Kathryn!

The birthday girl getting ready to eat her cupcake.  

Uncle John's shop is full of 'toys'.  He also has friends that have lots of 'toys'.  Luke was in little boy heaven.

Kevin talking about Miss Kathryn during the dedication.

There are so many people that love this little girl!

Luke and his cornbread.  I should have taken an after picture...

This family is too cute.


Saying Goodbye

Goodbyes are never easy, not one bit.  

Last week we had to say goodbye to my sister-in-law and her three kiddos.  They moved out to Livermore, California to be with my brother.  It was bittersweet.  I know this is an amazing opportunity for them, but I will miss them terribly.  I am looking forward to seeing them at Christmas time.  Love you guys!

 Mae and Kevin on one last tractor ride.

We played a little baseball.  

Xavier is one sweet boy.

Uncle Kevin let Xavier drive the tractor all by himself.  He did awesome!

All the little travelers before their trip.

All the happy (and unhappy) cousins in a picture one last time until Christmas.


Random Picture Friday

Hey everyone!  Have a blessed weekend!

These boys are always up to something.

Luke loves the markers Auntie Paige gave him!

Luke's first experience picking sweet corn.  He had mixed feelings.

Daddy and Luke.

The boys at the Quarry last weekend.  How is this the only picture I took??

Zoo time with my dear friends and our kiddos.  Love girl time!

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