I know, I know. I am crazy for going to the zoo today. But, despite the heat, we took off after morning swim lessons and headed to Brookfield.
While we weren't the only crazy ones to go out and brave the hot sun, the zoo was uncharacteristically not crowded. It was really nice in one sense, since there weren't a ton of people there; on the other hand, it was seriously hot. We tried to stick to the shade and indoor exhibits, but by the end of our time there, we were all dripping and exhausted, and it was necessary to spend $8.50 on 2 (yes, just 2, and not the big ones!) bottles of cold Gatorade, since our water supply had been depleted. I cringe when having to spend so much on something like that, but my survival instincts outweighed my financial sense at the moment! Sure sure, I could have filled up at the drinking fountains but that Gatorade was just so incredibly cold-and-refreshing-looking.....
Anyway, despite the intense warmth, we had fun!
The highlights of today's visit were a carousel ride, the dolphin show, and the children's barnyard zoo.
Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the actual animals that the kiddos were riding on...Meredith was riding on a giraffe, and Caleb was on a praying mantis. I just held Shane (long story).
The dolphin show was a lot of fun, although Shane was really tired and really sweaty and just wanted to sleep (that's what I get for skipping naps)....so he was a bit cranky, but overall he did a great job, despite the conditions! I didn't get a ton of great pictures, as we were in the "splash zone" and I wanted to protect the camera. And, I had a really sweaty and clingy baby on my lap. But, here are a few...
The best part of today's visit was definitely the barnyard zoo...
I feel like I must explain that Shane's shorts are soaked because of a spilled water bottle, not anything else...
...more specifically, getting to pet and brush the goats!
Shane loved the goats. Never mind that he kept calling them "doggies."
Caleb was very diligent in his brushing....
Meredith loved loved loved these animals. Not that her facial expression here shows that.
She especially enjoyed hanging out with the babies!
Another successful (although uncomfortably hot) couple of hours at the zoo. We are all going to sleep well tonight!
Two new recipes again this week, and they both turned out pretty good!
The first was a homemade crunchwrap supreme. Apparently this is a homemade version of one of the menu items at Taco Bell, although I have never actually had it there.
I apparently don't have tortilla wrapping skills, as I was not able to successfully fold the flour tortilla over the filling/corn tortilla. So, I improvised and cut 2 flour tortillas to be the same size as the corn tortilla and layered everything before cooking on the stove top. Also, I didn't put the sour cream in any of the layers, as I prefer my sour cream to be cold and more of a garnish for dipping. So, flour tortilla on the bottom, then a layer of seasoned meat and cheese. Then the crunchy corn tortilla. Then the lettuce and tomatoes. Finally, one more flour tortilla on top. Then, cook it quesadilla style! They turned out really great. We love tacos, and combining the crunchy corn tortilla with the typical flour ones made for a great upgrade to our usual version. =)
Next up was this chicken dish. Kris loves sun dried tomatoes, so I made this one with him in mind. I'm not a huge tomato fan, though I really love basil. I used more of the tomatoes than the recipe called for, and in our opinions, even more would have made it even better. The sauce was creamy and yummy, though next time I'll use more sun dried tomatoes.
The Crock Pot Italian chicken was really good! I was a little nervous about the amount of flavor that the recipe called for (seemed like a whole lot of Italian dressing and a whole lot of Italian seasoning) but it turned out great!
The Grilled Island Chicken was just okay. The flavor was not as wonderful as I had hoped. I marinated it for about 9 hours, maybe I should have done it overnight. It tasted good, it was just nothing special.
Click here for the crock pot Italian chicken recipe and here for the grilled island chicken recipe.
We spent the weekend up in Wisconsin, at our good friends' house. They (Shawna and Rob) just had their 5th baby - a girl, finally, after 4 boys! Little Emersen is such a sweetie, and it was great to meet her and hold her.
In true baby fashion, she slept most of the weekend. While she did a lot of that, the "big" kids did a lot of playing. Caleb and Meredith had so much fun and of course it was nice for us not-so-little people to catch up. The Millens drove up as well, so it was an extra-fun reunion of sorts.
All of the big kids eating lunch (Shane, Benten and Emersen are not pictured)...
Not sure what they are watching, but it must be good.
For the past year, Caleb has been telling us about how he wants one of these "vehicles". Every time we pass them at the toy store, or Wal-Mart or wherever, he reminds us that he really really would like one of his own.
All of his dreams came true this weekend when he got to drive one for the first time. And I am pretty serious about his dreams coming true. When I asked him if we was having fun, he replied...."Yes, I have been dreaming of this!" So cute!
The big highlight for the kids was the pool. I am not sure how many hours they clocked in the water this weekend, but it was a lot. Our kiddos have gradually gotten more comfortable in the water over the recent weeks, and it was really great to have the opportunity to play some more.
Of course, the slide was a hit.
I love these next pictures. Mostly because, even though they were all planning to jump in at the same time, Caleb was a bit delayed. In the 3rd photo, you can see him finally jump after everyone else is already making a splash!