Monday, June 23, 2014

Camping...Kinda

Jessica has been asking Jason to set up the "big" tent down at the lake for quite some time.  Finally, Jason said, "Ok".  I looked at the forecast and I saw that there was a 60% chance of rain, but around here that is a hit or miss number...we took our chances and decided to just do it.  So we loaded up the car and the mule and headed down to the lake with all of our camping gear.  Of course, it started to downpour so we all had to run to the car and wait until the storm passed.  It passed just enough for us to get the tent set up, but we saw another storm cloud coming and realized that we were in for a long wet night.  Jason and I quickly went back up to the house in the car and grabbed a tarp for Jason to set up as a canopy near the camp fire so we could cook and eat without getting wet.  It worked...well for those who weren't sitting under a hole that was in the tarp.  Hunter was beside himself and didn't know what to do.  The only way to help calm him down was to lay a sleeping bag down on the ground for him to lay on.  That seemed to work for a little bit until he heard something in the grass down the hill and had to chase after it!!
Thankfully it had only rained that first evening.  In the mornings, we would all head back up to the house for the day and in the evenings we would come back down to the lake to have supper, s'mores, popcorn, play games, and head to bed.  We did this for four nights in a row until I finally had enough uncomfortable nights of restless sleep (even though Jason and I had an air mattress).  It was plenty of days anyways and the kids had fun :)  It's just fun being able to do something together as a family and make memories.
The kids are hoping to set the tent up again over the Fourth of July when their cousins come!!






Marvel Cave

Usually when we go to Silver Dollar City, we just go on the rides.  We never knew that there was a cave that you were actually able to tour!  Karma's dad had gone and told her that she should check it out because it was pretty awesome!  Since we had the opportunity to go again just us as a family, we decided to check out the cave.  Pictures does not reveal the true beauty of this cave that we were able to tour through!  It was beautiful and amazing!!  We were all awe struck by the beauty and structure of the cave.  The tour was an hour long, but it did not seem to take that long at all.  With no exits throughout the cave, I wasn't for sure if I would make it the whole hour since I am nearing the end of my pregnancy and I feel like I am living in the bathroom these days....but I made it :)
Definitely worth checking out if you are making plans of going to Silver Dollar City!!






Brothers

In the middle of May, Jason's other brother, Dave, came down from Wisconsin for a visit.  Mike and Karma came on out for the weekend so they could spend time with him as well.  Jason, Dave, and Mike were able to get in a lot of fishing!!  Before Mike and Karma left, Dave wanted to have a fish fry with the fish he brought down and the Walleye and Catfish they had caught that week.  Jason's brother, Jon, came to join us for the fish fry, so it was a perfect opportunity to get a picture of the brothers with their dad.
The rest of the week while Dave was here, the kids took turns fishing with Uncle Dave and Jason.  A fun memory for the kids :)  We enjoyed Dave's visit and miss being able to see him on a regular basis like we used to when we lived up North.





Mother's Day

For Mother's Day this year, Jason made his mom this beautiful bench made with cedar.  Jason's brother, Jon, had found a dead cedar tree on the property and cut the tree down into boards.  Jason then had to run the boards through the planer and cut them down to the right size in order for it to fit on the bench ends that his mom had bought.  Jason put a lot of work into this bench and it turned out so beautiful!!  Sadly, even though it is painted, the cedar color fades and it doesn't look so beautiful anymore, but it is still a very nice bench :)


While Jason worked in the barn, Jacob came across some unused little blocks of wood.  He wanted one to "make something".  He spent all afternoon sanding this block of wood.  His plan was to give it to me for Mother's Day :)  He was so proud of his block and wrote "Hopy mothers day" on it and handed it to me on Mother's Day!!  It was such a sweet piece of wood given to me by a very thoughtful little boy :)  I gave him the idea of drilling a little hole at the top to make it into maybe a pencil holder or a flower holder.  So after church, he had Jason make a hole at the top and he then put a pencil and a dandelion in the hole for me :)




 The kids had all pitched in to help buy a glider for me for Mother's Day!!  This glider is so comfortable and will be so handy for rocking our sweet little baby girl to sleep :)


Peaches!!

The peach tree is once again has an over abundance of peaches...for now!!  The squirrels are such pesky little creatures!!  We have found several peaches, that they have stolen, under a tree with only a few bite marks...grrr...such a waste :(  Hopefully this year we will be able to eat more peaches than the squirrels!!


Easter Project, Coloring Eggs, and Slime...

Pinterest has some pretty neat ideas that I always want to give a try.  Well, I have seen this project going around for awhile on the internet even before I came across it on Pinterest...making string Easter eggs.  It "sounded" like a fun project...at first.  I bought all the materials: string, glue, balloon, and little candy to put inside the balloons.  The kids had a little of a hard time getting the string to stay on the balloons, so of course I heard complaining, but once they got the hang of it, it went much smoother.  The next day, we popped the balloons only to have the string collapse and cave in.  Only a few stayed in the shape of an egg.  This may be a project that won't be repeated :)










For the last few years, we have gotten together with Jason's brother and his family for Easter, but this year Karma broke her arm while snowboarding out in Colorado.  Since she was still in a lot of pain, they decided to not come.  The kids were all disappointed, but they still had fun coloring eggs and having an Easter egg hunt the next day.  Grandma had put money in a few of the plastic eggs, so of course that made the hunt even more fun :)  We also had a nice Easter dinner over at Jason's parent's house.



Another Pinterest idea that actually was a success...making Slime!!  This was such a fun project with the kids!!  I pretty much had all the ingredients except for the surplus amount of glue that it required.  Each one was able to do the step by step directions and they had fun doing it :)  Definitely a project worth doing again once the slime comes to the point of tossing, but because we have them stored individually in plastic Ziplock bags, they have lasted for a long time.





"Let's Put Our Money Together!"

For Jesse's birthday, he had gotten a tent from his aunt and uncle, so, of course, now Jessica and Jacob wanted one as well :)  At first they each wanted to buy one and had to save up $30 each, but when they realized that they each had about $15 they decided to put their money together and buy one that they both could share.  They were so excited to get home to set it up!!  Jesse set his up as well and they all slept in their tents.  Jessica seems to be the bravest who is always wanting to sleep in her tent.  The boys for some reason aren't as eager to set theirs up unless mom and dad are sleeping out with them all or if cousins are here :)
Jessica has definitely gotten her use out of this tent already!!


Enjoying God's Little Creatures


A snail that Jessica had found 

A Luna moth

A Tiger swallow tail caterpillar...I think :)

Family Time

Earlier this spring, we had family come for a visit.  First, Jason's sister, Amy, and two of her kids came for a week to visit.  The kids had a lot of fun playing with their cousins, but we also put them to work :)  We had all the kids help pick up large rocks down the mile long driveway and help with splitting logs.  Jessica had fun just being able to play with another girl :)
The following week, Jason's brother, Mike, and his family came to visit for a few days over spring break.  Their oldest daughter was on a missions trip in Guatemala, and was unable to be here.  Jason and his brother ended up making four sets of stilts for the kids for fun and to try something new.  It was quite funny watching the kids learn how to use them, but they were quite fast in learning and were doing real well.  By the second or third day they were having competitions in how far they each could go :)
A few days later, Mike and Karma's oldest daughter, Carissa, came home from her missions trip, so we all decided to go to Silver Dollar City!!  For Christmas, I had saved up my cleaning money so I could buy season pass tickets to Silver Dollar City.  If you buy the tickets at the beginning of the year, you also get several guest passes as well.  We have so far gone twice with Mike and Karma and their kids and once by ourselves as a family...definitely trying to get our money's worth :)








Hummingbirds!!

One of my favorite times of spring is when the hummingbirds come back!!  They are such an amazing bird to watch.  I like to place my feeder out on the back porch so when I am working on supper or the kids are doing dishes, we like to watch the hummingbirds come to the feeder.  It amazes me at how quick they are to get their little beaks in the tiny hole, how fast they can beat their wings, and their ability to fly in all sorts of directions. :)