Maple Syrup Festival!

untitled.pngEvery year in March, Indiana has a festival all about… you guessed it; maple syrup! It takes place in the morning and goes on until the late afternoon, and people come from all around to celebrate! There are two unofficial traditions at the maple syrup festival; to go while you are super bundled up (because it is usually freezing cold out), and to wear muck boots. Almost every single person you see at the festival is wearing muck boots! In Kentucky and Indiana, it rains all the time from February to almost May (its our rainy season), so the ground is always soft and muddy at the festival. Everyone comes to buy maple syrup (some of the best syrup we’ve ever tasted!) but they all stay for the fun and games!

untitled2.pngParking is a bit of a walk away from the fest, so they have men giving hay rides all day to and from your car! Mateo loves the hay rides πŸ˜€

untitled3.pngAt the festival, there are dozens of vendors selling homemade goods, candies, and toys! Everyone has tons of fun looking around at everything for sale and talking with the vendors. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find a super cool souvenir to take home!

untitled6.png7The toys always become a magnet for the little ones. Its so fun to watch them get excited about everything there is to buy! Sometimes they will bring their own hard-earned money with them to buy a toy all on their own.

untitled7.png22.pngOne vendor had an entire table of handcrafted home goods made almost entirely out of dyed wood. They were so beautiful! They had ice cream scoopers, salt shakers, pepper grinders, thread rippers, and even a few gorgeous kabuki brushes for applying makeup! Erica wanted to get one, but we never returned to the booth 😦

untitled8.pngOh dear, the dreaded honey sticks! Every event we go to has these flavored honey sticks, and everyone loves them. Momma always lets each person pick a flavor and she buys the sticks for us. Mateo especially loves them πŸ˜€

untitled9.pnguntitled10.pnguntitled11.pngNow, what is a festival without awesome games to play?? Every year, we have a game called the Tomohawk Throw, where you get 3 tries to throw a tomohawk and get it to stick into a piece of a log a distance away. The boys always NEED to try it. They all tried, but sadly no tomohawks stuck to the log 😦 Better luck next year!

19202123Of course, the festival always has its fair share of games just for little ones! They set up a whole area with fun, easy games just for the younger kids. Mateo and Olivia have so much fun playing the games! They especially liked this game, which is similar to skii ball. They sunk quite a few holes too!

1314This game is by far Olivias favorite; she has to ride it every year! It is a man-powered merry-go-round! There is a large pole dug into the ground, with an X shape sitting around it (those are the seats) suspended by ropes. Everyone gets in the four seats and the men start pushing and running, twisting the seats around and around the pole. Then, once it cant be wound anymore, the let go and it unwinds the other way, spinning and causing everyone riding to laugh and yell. This was Mateos first year being able to ride it, and you can tell from his smile that he had a blast with his sister! (Sorry the rope is in the way in the last picture! 😦 )

1516Later on in the day, it gets much warmer out and all the kids like to play in the creek! Since everyone comes in rubber boots, people even go for a nice walk in the creek water, like Jp did! He said the water felt freezing through his boots, but it felt cool too. There are lots of stones and slate on the floor around the creek, so the little ones always try to see who can skip stones the farthest. Chris always beats everyone; he can skip a stone up to four jumps! Plus, we don’t know how he does it, but he can take a stone twice as big as his head and still make it skip. He is insane!

17Poor Mateo couldn’t get his stones to skip like Chris 😦 He instead just threw rocks and sticks into the water for fun πŸ˜€

18Lastly, they set up a long log on stands, and two people take a two-person saw and try to saw off a piece of the log! Once you (finally) get your slice cut, you can take it to have a maple leave wood burned onto the top. Looks so beautiful, doesn’t it?

We cannot wait until next years maple syrup festival! Our jug of syrup usually lasts us until the next years fest, so lets hope this one does too!

Does your town have any festivals or seasonal traditions? We would love to hear about it! Let s know in the comments! πŸ˜‰

Sunday Brunch + Pancake Recipe!

9.jpgWow, the past week has been so insanely busy! We’ve been working on school, we made strawberry jam and yogurt earlier last week, we have spot cleaned the house from top to bottom, had an essential oil team meeting, and we had a slumber party to celebrate our birthdays! We had a bunch of friends over and had a great time. Sadly, being so busy kinda made us fall off the face of the blogging world πŸ˜₯ So here we are! We had a fabulous brunch this Sunday and wanted to share it with you πŸ˜€

We had bacon (made by Chris), homemade arepas (made by Jp) and pancakes (made by Erica), served with orange juice. These are our favorite pancakes ever; so fluffy and yummy πŸ˜€ Sometimes we make a syrup from strawberry jam, or from brown sugar and bananas (that one’s Poppas favorite) and they are soooooo good! This recipe is enough to make a few pancakes for each person at our table (so 10 people). Here is what you need to make these pancakes:

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
10 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
9 tsp butter, melted
3 3/4 milk

Lets get started! First, put your butter in a bowl and set it in the microwave to melt to a liquid (we don’t own a microwave so we popped it in our toaster oven πŸ˜€ ). In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.1.jpgIn a separate bowl, mix together the milk and eggs. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the milk egg mixture, along with the melted butter.Β 3.jpgWe use a Kitchenaid Mixer but you can use a whisk to mix the batter well. It will be very thick and slightly lumpy, but that’s normal.Β 4.jpgHeat up your griddle or stove to medium-high. Use a 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake to get them to the right size. 5678Cook up some bacon to go on the side, and you’re done! These are so yummy, and incredibly fluffy. Everyone always wants more, but they are usually too full to eat any extra!

What do you usually eat for breakfast on Sundays? Do you have any special traditions? Any tips for making pancakes? Let us know in the comments!

 

Experiment: Making Gummy Bears!

10.jpgOkay, so we kinda lied… Were actually making gummy Legos! A few years ago, Momma threw a lego-themed birthday party for Jp, and we made lego shaped crayons. Fast forward about 6 years and we still have the molds we used! They are so cute and super fun. Sometimes the little ones would use the molds to make lego ice cubes πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ So today were making lego gummies out of gelatin!

1.jpgTo make these, you will need: 1/2 cup cold water, 2 tbsp unflavored gelatin, 1 packet of Β regular jello mix, a small pot and glass measuring cup for pouring, a whisk, and any molds you want to use. Lets get started!

34First, Olivia poured the water into the pot. We added the 2 tbsp of unflavored gelatin and started mixing. (Tip! The unflavored gelatin is the most important part! Without it, you would be making regular jello and it wouldn’t be firm enough to hold!) Move the pot to the stove, but DON’T TURN IT ON YET!

56Add the flavored jello and keep whisking. Turn the stove on to medium-low, grab a book or magazine, and sit tight! Keep mixing for 10-15 minutes, or until the powder is fully dissolved. It should be much smoother than when you first added the powders at about 10 minutes. Transfer the mix to your glass measuring cup.
Olivia: “We should open a candy shop! We could sell gummies and cookies and cupcakes and…”

78Oops!9.jpgPour the mixture into the molds until you have no more jello mix left. You want to pour very slowly; the mix goes a lot faster than you’d think! Olivia filled a few and kinda went overboard on one, but it was okay! Pop them in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to let them set.
Olivia: “I just wanna eat themmmmmmmm!”
Erica: “But they aren’t finished yet.”
Olivia: “I know, but still!”

Once they’re cool, pop them out of the molds and you’re done! These are so easy to make, and the look so adorable that we almost did’nt want to eat them! (allllllllmost ;D )101112Olivia: “Could I throw it on the floor to see if it bounces like a bouncy ball? I bet it would…”13Everyone loved these! We have to buy more jello mix in different flavors so we have different colors too. We are so happy these turned out to be a success!

Olivia long after we finished: “Are you SURE I can’t see if its like a bouncy ball???”

Have you ever made gummies? How did they come out? Let us know in the comments!