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Blackberry Honey & Mustard Pork Chops with the Easiest Roasted Potatoes

Midwest kids got to summer camp. There is something very special about being away from your parents for the first time, sleeping under the stars, hiking and canoeing. 

Jami Gertz

All of the summer camps are officially booked and paid for!

This year I am leaving us more "free time". It may not seem that way to the untrained eye lol but it is in fact, true. We are spacing things out and doing 3 day camps instead of 5 days. So that every week we have some free time together. Usually we spend 2 weeks in Cochrane during the summer. This year my Sister and her family are heading out East so we will not be taking our annual trip. I am super happy for my Sister and her family, they get to visit her in-laws, they don't get to see them enough but on a wholly selfish level, it is going to be a very long summer without seeing them. Plus, we usually meet up with my WpgBesty in Cochrane at the same time. A very long summer indeed. :(

So, without having that chunk scheduled we decided to try some new camps!

I know how some people feel about over scheduling, we've been through this before LOL but there are so many wonderful programs that are offered in the summer! Programs that aren't offered the rest of the year. When I visited as a child, my grandparents put me into amazing lessons that were all different and I loved it! Kids are in school all year I think they deserve to play in the summer! I have left us plenty of free time for the girls to spend at the beach and to do fun things with me but I find it very hard to keep them both entertained for 8 weeks. I guess you could say I'm Sophie Trudeau! 

I don't even want to get started on that one LOL actually, all I have to say is, I respect all of my friends opinions. I have seen a lot of people that I like and respect that have a differing opinion on this one than me. That is OK. And that is all I'm going to say on that :) LOL

Anyways, I do find it hard to find interesting things for the girls to do. They are 4 years apart so they don't necessarily like the same things. HBear is a very "energetic", actually, both my girls are high energy LOL But this year, I think I have a pretty balanced summer schedule! I'm crazy happy with our picks. 

HBear will be trying out a weeklong program, a joint program between the Yacht Club and the Art Gallery. She will be doing sailing in the morning and art on the beach in the afternoon!

The next week I put SBean into a morning craft/dance camp! She is super stoked! She will be going into ballet next year with this company so I thought it would be a super opportunity for her to get aquatinted with the structure and teachers!

While SBean shakes her bonbon, HBear decided that she would like to attend sleepover camp again this year! She stuck with the 2 nights/3 days but we changed camps. The YMCA Camp she attended last year, shut down :( This year the only available camps are Bible camps. That week will be an interesting post ;).

Hodoo Adventures is putting on a fabulous camp that includes, kayaking, bike riding, rock climbing, and hiking/trail exploration! We signed HBear up for 3 days of adventure fun!

HBear loves gymnastics camp. It has been a favourite of hers for many years. They do games, gymnastics, lego, and kickboxing! They will both attend the camp for 3 days.

That takes us to Peach Fest!!! We don't plan anything during this week as we like to enjoy everything our favourite Festival has to offer!

HBear asked to attend Karma Kamp again this year. I love this weeklong program! They dance, do crafts, take nature walks to pick up litter and visit retirement homes to visit with the elderly in our community. It is a fantastic program!

While HBear is out doing acts of kindness throughout the community, I signed SBean and I up for a Mommy & Me SUP class! I am so excited! My SIL and I tried stand up paddle boarding last year and I found it very relaxing and a good workout! We will be doing 2 morning classes :)

SBean will also attend a Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Community Centre to finish off her SUP week!

The next week is free because we plan on doing a little family staycation! We are thinking about going to Vernon to do a little vaycay :) There are so many fun things to do like the waterslides, the Log Barn, the drive in and new and different beaches and parks!

For our last 2 weeks of the summer, HBear has Tennis lessons for an hour each morning and then she is doing a 2 morning SUP/Yoga classes. SBean will end her summer with a Super Hero morning at the Community Centre!

PLUS Every Tuesday from 12-1 the Museum/Library puts on a Science hour for kids of all ages! It is free and so much fun! We will try to get to as many as we can this summer! 

I am so happy to have this all planned! There is nothing I dislike more than the question "what are we doing today" or the "I'm bored" whine! LOL Now I will plan some crafts, hikes, bike rides, beach days and play dates for our free days and BAM, we have a summer Folks!

This past week was busy. I find May and the beginning of June to be almost as busy as September or even December (shudder).

SBean wrote her name... all by her big self!

She also did yoga,

and Gymnastics!

The Girls had their annual eye Dr appointments. HBear was so excited!! She LOVES doing the tests lol She apparently needs a stronger prescription so new glasses are on order,

It was SBean's first visit! She loved it too lol She has been talking about the eye chart for days :) Thank goodness her eyes are 20/20!

On Friday evening 1 of the classes at HBear's school held a Family Spring Dance to raise money for their teacher's summer trip to Africa. She is going to build a school! The dance was a BLAST! The music was great, the kids had so much fun and they raised money AND awareness for a great cause! This teacher is Da Bomb! I sure hope HBear gets her :) She organized zumba instructors to come in and get us moving and a African Drum Circle PLUS her class had a dance prepared for all of us! The music didn't work for their dance, so the teacher SANG it! On her own! While she danced!

Seriously? Da Bomb!

SBean rocked her soccer practice,

and we enjoyed a morning at the Farmer's Market.

We stopped and had an amazing lunch at The Cellar,

and then after nap Papa joined us and we headed to the Fair!

I honestly can't believe my little girl went on this ride!!! I thought she was all talk but nope, she LOVED it! Both of them are such Daredevils! This Mama will need to take a valium before we go to Disneyland! LOL

We had cuddles,

and then we went for a bike ride along the channel! HBear is an official bike rider now! She did an awesome job! So proud of her :)

After our ride, HBear went to her Besty's rock climbing birthday party! I love those girls :)

Right after the party we quickly changed and went to the Sparks Commencement Ceremony. HBear was honoured to be asked to be the Brownie that accepted the new Sparks into her Brownie Pack. She opted to give all the girls a handshake lol she FLEW down the line hahahaha it was super cute! Her SBesty (hence the name SparksBesty) is "flying up" to her pack so that made the whole experience even more special!

And that was our week!
I made this pork recipe last week. I made it for HBear because she LOVES blackberries! Unfortunately they are crazy expensive this week so I found this recipe that uses blackberry jam! It was unreal! I paired the chops with the easiest roasted potatoes. EVER. They are like dreamy little hash browns and take minutes to prepare! Everybody licked their plates clean!

Blackberry Honey & Mustard Pork Chops
Adapted from Closet Cooking

1 pound fast fry pork centre chops
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup blackberry jam
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon oil

Marinate the pork chops in the mixture of the vinegar, honey, blackberry jam, mustard, cilantro, soy sauce and garlic for 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the pork chops and cook until lightly golden brown on one side, about 2-4 minutes, flip them, add the marinade and cook until the pork chops are done and the sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

I also made the EASIEST roasted potatoes! I hate potatoes, they take so long and they require... work :( Not these! They are like hash browns. Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. You can add whatever seasoning you want and you don't have to peel anything!

Easiest Roasted Potatoes

5 potatoes
1/4 cup oil
2-3 tablespoons seasoning (seasoning salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning etc.)

Cut up the potatoes into 1 inch cubes.

Toss in oil and a mixture of seasoning. I used garlic powder, seasoning salt, paprika, and parsley.

I put them into the oven at 350 for about an hour and a half. I tossed them every 25 minutes. You could put them in at 450 for 45 minutes but my corn was in at 350 for 30 minutes sooo... I improvised :)

***BTW the BEST corn ever is roasted in the oven. Keep it in it's husk and roast at 350 for 30 minutes. Pull it out, shuck it, butter it, salt it, and EAT it!***


Sharon Harmatiuk May 17, 2016 at 5:00 PM  

Art on the beach sounds so relaxing! I love seeing the photos of where you live!

Kristin Maier May 19, 2016 at 2:53 PM  

Penticton is a beautiful city in the heart of the Okanagan! It is fabulous for family vacations, we have a beach on either side of us! Come check it out!

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