Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weaver's Orchard

On Friday after work, Rachael and I took the kids to Weaver's Orchard to do a little cherry picking.

Let me start off by saying that it was already a very sunny, hot, humid, Summer day out to begin with.

For those of you, like me, who grew up in the "big city".... far from anything that resembled a blade of grass or a fruit tree... this was an experience (Southern California for me.... but you could insert Chicago, New York City, or any city in Arizona or New Mexico here).

Anyways......cherry's grow on trees. They grow in these nice little clusters that are very easy to get to for the little one's....unfortunately they are also very easy to get to for the birds. So....the farmers have thought of a great way to keep the birds away from these little morsels of heaven....they grow them in these huge white tents.

I'm sure that these white tents are very helpful, and I am sure that I would have been very upset trying to find a few cherries that weren't previously pecked at by some purple stained bird.......but DANG did that tent make it 10 times more unbearable to be outside!

It was hot in there. So hot that within minutes all of us started dripping with sweat. Even the kids said that they had enough after only a few minutes and Jen said she was getting "dizzy". I have never heard her say that before, but honestly, I was getting a little bit dizzy too!

So.....we did what anyone in that situation would have done. We got ice cream. Then we went into the air conditioning.

Makes me wonder about my grandparents and great-grandparents. They must have been tough cookies to be able to live and work without the comfort of central air conditioning. I'm not so sure I would have made it into my adult years if I had grown up in that time. Either that or I would have invented central air conditioning and lived a life of luxury. One can only wonder.

Here are a few pics of the kiddos. Man are they all so cute!

Also, here are a couple of new layouts that I finished recently. I used the new Cosmo Cricket Hello Sunshine on a few and I just *love* that line so much! The colors are so vibrant. I have one sheet of the green left and I am dying to use it soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not such a little baby anymore........

Every single day Jennifer seems to grow right before my eyes.
Just a few months ago she was still doing "baby-ish" things.......things that reminded me that she wasn't quite a big girl yet.

Now, it's a different story.

Every day she does something that reminds me that she isn't such a little baby anymore. She likes to completely dress herself every morning with no help from anyone. She loves to have "jobs" to do like getting the mail from the mailbox when we get home and letting Daisy outside to go potty. She INSISTS on scrubbing the shampoo into her own hair and can make her bed just as good as her big sister!

And, for the past week and a half she has worn her big girl underwear to bed without one accident.

That means no more pull-ups (I'm doing a little happy dance about that!!!)

Yep. Looks like I don't have a baby anymore.

Only big girls in this house.

Monday, June 23, 2008


One of my favorite blogs to read was introduced to me awhile ago by my friend Patti (thanks pcakes!!!)'s called The Pioneer Woman. There is a link to it on the right of my blog.

The Pioneer Woman cracks me up with her witty sense of humor and the way she decides to "keep it real" by talking about all sorts of topics......from photography to farting.

Oh.....and calf nuts.

Go ahead. I know you are intriqued. Go take a peek and meet me back here for the rest of my story when you are done.

One of the recent things that The Pioneer Woman discussed was a product called LemiShine.

Ron and I went out in search of this product and found it where one finds pretty much anything that one will ever need in life: at the local Walmart.

It has changed our lives.

Well.....maybe not our LIVES, but it changed the way our dishes look.

See.......we have hard water. And we have been too lazy to get someone out here to give us an estimate for a water softener for the past 9 years (man.....that's pretty lazy if you ask me). We have dealt with the hard water issue by replacing our glassware often which is usually as soon as they become too embarassing to use in front of anyone who is not blood related to us.

Blood relatives don't count and get to drink out of the completely cloudy glasses, while visitors and guests get the only half-way cloudy ones. That's the rule.

Then, every so often, Ron and I would was the glasses with CLR to get some of the cloudy out....but after one or two washes they would be bad again. UGH!!!

Fast forward to a post on The Pioneer Woman about a week and a half ago where she was talking about her hard water issues and said she loved to use LemiShine.

We gave it a try and let me just say to all my blood finally get to drink out of the good glasses......cause they all look brand spankin' new!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So......while I have not been paid by Walmart to tell you to shop there, nor do I have a lucrative endorsement deal with LemiShine (i.e. the greatest freakin' invention since those cool corn-on-the-cob holders), I am telling each and every one of you to run out and find LemiShine if you have even the slightest hard water issue.

It will change your life.

My name is Andrea Chrupcala and I approve this message.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Knoebel's was......

TONS OF FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

Man did we have a good time camping with our good friends Rachael, Chris, Macy and Jack! The campground was packed, but we really didn't spend much time at the campsites......we were in the amusement park most of the time. And Ron went on almost every ride all weekend!!!!

The weather was great........we only had a few minutes of a slight drizzle, but it did get a little hot + humid on Saturday.....nothing that a few Gatoraids and Slushies couldn't fix!

One of the really cool things that happened was that Macy got to be an "extra" in a little play that they did at the castle. She got to dress up as a mermaid and do the mermaid dance and take a bow!! She did great and was such a great actress!!!

Steph opted out of doing it and instead decided it was way better to sit in the stands and cheer Macy on.


Jack and Jen were SO good all weekend and all of the kids got along so well.

I think little Jack is smitten with the end of the day Saturday he was spontaneously giving her hugs and trying to hold her hand. Jen got a little jealous but luckily Steph has two hands so all was well in the 3 year old world.

Along with the typical (and always necessary) Smores, we tried some new things at the campsite:

Homemade personal pizzas over the campfire which were yummy and we will try again, homemade personal cherry pies that were not so yummy and that Rachael and I need to figure out a new recipe for, mojito's that were FAB-U-LOUS, and some crazy Malibu Rum + pineapple juice + Peach Schnapps concoction that I could have sipped on all weekend. YUM.

All in all, a fantastic trip that was made even better by sharing it with some friends. I can't wait for the next one!!!!!


Here are a few pics of the fun.............................

Daddy and Jen riding the airplanes:
That's Steph and Macy in the background. The funny thing about this picture is that Macy just turned 6 and Steph will be 7 in 4 months.....but Macy was the "adult" on this ride because she was over 48" and Steph wasn't.

Adorable girls.....

The whole group......

Monday, June 16, 2008


My nephew Justin hit a big milestone in his life this past weekend.......he graduated from High School and will be moving onto college in the Fall.

Way to go "kiddo"!!! (Which is funny cause he is like 6 foot infinity and has been bigger than me since he was 10. But I can still beat him at Wii Dodgeball anyday.)

Justin is one of those kids that you stand back and look at and feel very blessed to have in your family and in your life. He amazes me because he is not one of the "kids gone wrong" that you read about in the newspaper and hear about in the news all of the time. He has followed a pretty straight path throughout school, gotten extraordinary grades, excelled at sports, played LOTS of Xbox.....yet managed to basically stay out of trouble.

Oh.....and he happens to be a pretty cool person, too.

He will be a perfect role model for my own two kids later in life.

A few months ago he started dating the most adorable girl, Diane, and they really make a perfect couple! They will be attending Shippensburg College together, and I am sure he will continue to amaze all of us while he is there. case you ever read this......Uncle Ron and I are so very proud of all of your accomplishments and we love you very much! Congratulations on making it through the difficult High School years and making it look so easy!!!!

A few pics of the graduate himself:

Here he is swinging Jenny upside down, she was cracking up!

Here he is with his mom (my sis-in-law Mischele), his dad (Paul), and two of his sisters (Karyssa and Corinne). And yes, if you are thinking that the whole family is just way too "pretty", you are correct. Next time I should Photoshop some mustaches or rotten teeth on them or something.

Love you Justin.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

On the road again....

Yep....we are camping again this weekend. 3 days and 2 nights at Knoebel's (which is an amusement park in Pennsylvania). The park is located in the woods and is a free park (which means that you can walk through for free, but you pay for the rides by purchasing tickets.) We've been there twice before and always have a great time.

Attached to Knoebel's is a campground and we are meeting my friend Rachael there with her husband and two children (Macy, 6 and Jack, 3). We are really looking forward to a fun trip with the kids and some good friends!!!

Oh, and by the case you were wondering...............................the caterpillar is dead.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The caterpillar

The day before we left for Otter Lake, Steph comes home from school and finds a great big caterpillar in our front yard. She asks me if we can put it in something and then with the MOST pitiful look on her face, asks me if we can keep it.

I just so happened to get a big salad for lunch in the cafeteria at work that day, and for some reason, the size of the salads that they give to you are enough to feed a large family of 5. Plus they cost an arm and a leg. For a whole bunch of lettuce and some strange vegetables that I can't pronounce. Anything else that you buy there will barely satisfy your hunger for even an hour, but the salads are humungous.

Man was that salad yummy.....

Anyways, I brought half of my salad home that day and it came in this really great caterpillar container. I mean this thing was MADE to be a caterpillar house.

So, I obliged. I went in the house and cleaned out my yummy salad container and poked holes in the lid. Steph and I then pulled a bunch of leaves off of the tree in the front yard and found some dead sticks for it to crawl on. The little thing looked so happy.

And so was I.

Until I realized that we were going on a 4 day camping trip the next day!

So....I proceeded to try and calmly explain that the really perfect little house that we just erected for Mr. Caterpillar was more like a hotel and less like a penthouse apartment, and that Mr. Caterpillar would have to check-out the next morning before our trip.
Steph was not happy. Not happy at all.

So, I found myself on the internet researching how to keep a caterpillar alive in a really cool salad container for 4 days while we were away.
The stupid internet said that you need to give it fresh leaves every day.


Every day??????????
You have to feed it EVERY DAY!!!???
Thats just crazy talk.
It's like having a newborn or something.


I was hoping that it would be happy with the wilted little leaves that we just plucked from the tree two hours ago.

So, I started to come to the realization that Mr. Caterpillar may just be going on his first road trip with the Chrupcala family. And I was not pleased.

I then explained to Steph that we would NOT be keeping him in the house, but that she was more than welcome to find him a nice spot on the front porch or in the back patio. And that is where he spent his first night.

I thought about that little guy many times that evening and secretly wished that Steph would have found him when we got back from our trip, or that I would not have had the yummy salad that day that came in that perfect little caterpillar house. Darn.

Fast forward to the next morning. Steph woke up and went to check on Mr. Caterpillar.

To my astonishment, Mr. Caterpillar must have felt my sorrow and regret from the night before and decided to pity my poor little soul............Mr. Caterpillar formed his chrysalis that evening. (Oh, and just so you don't think that I am THAT smart, I had to Google that word to see how to spell it.)

In my huble opinion, Mr. Caterpillar is just plain rad. And he has impeccable timing.

Here is Steph with her chrysalis, in the perfect little caterpillar house, yesterday.

I think he will come out in a few more days, then I guess I will need to research what I am supposed to do with a newborn baby butterfly.

Anyone have any ideas???

And please don't tell me that I have to feed it every day.....................

Monday, June 2, 2008


Jennifer is so cute.

So. Stinkin'. Cute.

While we were camping she asked us over and over if we could stay there forever.

When she would jump into the pool she would yell: "One....Two...Free.......CANNIE-BALL!!!!!"

She kept calling the bags in the lantern marshmallows.

She asks for Bologna, cheese, and crackers for every meal. Even breakfast.

In the car the other day, for no reason what-so-ever, she said: "Mommy, I really like your hair."

She likes to fold tissues up really small and take them wherever she goes.

And just 5 minutes ago, while she was sitting on the couch, she asked Stephanie to put her arm around her neck and hold her closely.

So. Stinkin'. Cute.
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