Friday, June 25, 2010

We are off!

It is vacation time in my house!  :)
We are so excited.  And as expected I cannot sleep.  This is most common problem with our trips.  I always start out tired because I am so excited I cannot sleep.  With any luck I will be able to catch up some in the van. 
Our van is packed.  Our kids our ready.  And I am sure the stories are awaiting us.  When you have an 18 hour trip ahead of you, you anticipate the stories that await you.  We keep the kids busy with the DVD player and lots of toys that have been hidden from them over the last week or so.  That way I don't spend a fortune on new toys.  Their old toys become new again when they don't see them for a while.  But shhhh, don't tell and ruin my secret. 
Now I am sitting here waiting for my family to wake up.  Watch this will be the morning that all of my kdis decide to sleep in.  Now what you must know about my kids is that they ALWAYS get up before the sun.  And here it is 6:15 and no one is up but me.  Although, I am not complaining.  It is a different to sit here and just listen to the radio.  It is kind of nice.  Not nice enough, however, to want to do this on a daily basis. 
I have in the short time I have been up gotten dress, done my hair and updated my iPod for our trip.  Well, I THINK I have.  I am not technologically savvy.  I think I have put on there what I want...I think.  I will check it and then scream at it and then have my hubby do it.  He is just so much better at that than I am.  He laughs at me when I try and well, it doesn't work.  Worst part is that when he does it and explains it to me, it sounds SO simple!  My brain just isn't geared to REMEMBER what to do when I want to update my iPod.  Oh well, at least he gets a laugh from it. 
Enjoy the next couple of weeks.  I hope to update a couple times from the road.  Have a good 4th of July everyone!  :D

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teachable Moments: Sand

While we were camping this weekend, we had so many teachable moments.

One of my favorites was when we were playing in the lake.
The kids love the sand.  So I sat down in the water and I picked up a handful of sand.
I had Butterfly touch the sand while there was still water in it. 
"How does that feel, Butterfly?", I asked.
"Soft!", said Butterfly.
After most of the water had come out of it I had Butterfly rub her hands together and asked her again, "How does that feel?".   And she replied,"Rough."
Then I asked her how the sand felt on her toes when she walked across it.  She said, "It feels squishy!" and then giggled her wonderful giggle.
I asked her, "Why do you think the sand feels different under the water and on the land?"  And being four she said, "I dunno!"

After Butterfly was done, I called Bee over.  I asked Bee the same questions.  How does it feel?  What color is it?  What does it feel like when you walk on it?  She said many of the same answers. 

I am so glad that I took that moment to talk to my kids.  To find out what and how they thought. 

Then we talked about the color.  We said it looks like it is brown.  But then we looked closer.  We saw that there were lots of colors making up that initial brown that we identified.  There was brown, black, and white.   Lots of things to learn.  All from a simple handful of sand.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lake Hope Camping Trip

This weekend we went on a trip to Lake Hope.  It was FANTASTIC!  Ok, let me rephrase that.  It was fantastic when it wasn't  We left on Friday around noon.  We stopped to pick up a friend and her two kids.  My hubby would follow soon along with my friends husband and son. 

We arrived at the lake shortly after 3.  Two moms, 5 kids, all of whom are 4 years and younger (4, 4, 2, 10 months and 3 months).  We have 3 tents to set up, theirs, ours and the screen tent.  Thank goodness for the DVD player in the van, which reminds me, weren't we going camping to "get away" from it all?  OH well!  :D

We get three tents up before the men arrive.  YAY!  Our goal was achieved.  When the men get there we then start a fire and get dinner going.  Too bad none of us took lessons on starting a fire before we left.  Attempt one on getting the kids s'mores: FAILED.  Four children were very sad that first night as they went to bed.  Not to worry though, all the grown-ups eventually got their s'mores.  :)  The fire didn't last too long though.  So where you would normally see a group of people sitting around a campfire, we sat around a lantern.  I am still laughing about that.

We hung around camp.  The men went somewhere...still not sure what took them so long to do whatever it was that they  Then we had lunch and the kids got their first s'mores.  Not sure how we got that fire going but we did it.  Then the kids and mommys went swimming.  As we were splashing around in the water it starts to sprinkle.  The sprinkle turned into a rain shower.  So we gathered the kids and went to the bathroom (since it was the only REAL one and we wanted to take advantage of it).  As we are leaving it started to DOWNPOUR!  Oy.  But the kids had a blast running through the rain.  We got back to camp and were trying to organize everything so the men could hopefully go biking in a couple hours since the downpour didn't last too long.  Well, the weather had other plans...insert second downpour here.  We have a couple kids and a daddy in one tent and a few other kids and the other three grown-ups in the screen tent.  Yes, you read that right...the screen tent.  Why the three of us chose a SCREEN tent I will never know.  But if you sat in the center of the picnic table only your legs got wet.  I was one of the grown ups in that screen tent.  I was holding Bubby.  Bubby thought this whole idea of raining and running around like crazy people was hilarious!  He laughed nearly the whole time.

Shortly after the downpour the men decided since mountain biking was out that they would go on a road ride.  So they did.  And apparently there was another downpour...but just on them...not everyone back at camp.  While they were gone the mommy's played card games while some kids rested and other quietly played.  They we had some kielbasa.  I have had that once before and I didn't care for it, but cooked on an open grill and served on a bun, it was pretty darn tasty!  We used charcoal for that fire...and it worked well for cooking.  In order to try to start the wood fire we tried yet again to start another fire.  We used the coals to start the wood on fire and it worked pretty well.  As long as we kept the portable fan we had brought on it.  We had the WORST luck getting that fire started.  Here's to hoping we have learned something and can start a good fire next time. 

We wake up and we notice pretty quickly that the sky is pretty grey.  So we decide to call it a trip, pack up and head home.  After breakfast and getting the kids set up with the DVD player in the van (thank goodness for technology) we start to break down camp.  And the rain starts to come down too.  At this point we are so tired and over it we threw on some ponchos (that I got for $0.57 each last summer!) and broke down camp...tents and all.  We were soaked, the tents were soaked, the dog was soaked (did I mention that my friends family brought their cute little puppy?  She was GREAT!  We loved having her there), and the grown-ups were soaked.  We headed out.  And wouldn't you know it...the sun came out and the sky turned blue.  I cannot tell you how mad we 

This was one of the BEST camping trips ever.  The downpours made it more fun.  I am so glad that we got to go and spend it with great friends.  I can't wait to do it again.  :D

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer has HIT!

And we are busier than ever.  We have been spending much of the time outside.  We bought blow up pool last year and have used it more in the month of May this year than we did all of last year!  I am so glad we have it.  :)

We have been grilling, hanging out outside, letting the kids stay up too late (bad Mommy! lol!), and just having a good time.  This weekend we are going camping.  We are going with another family and we are SO excited.  We haven't been camping since before Butterfly was born and then we only went once because I was preggo with Butterfly.  It was awesome and we want to share that experience with our kids.  So we will haul all of our camping stuff, kids and their stuff, and friends along to the campsite and enjoy the time outdoors.  We are hoping the weather holds out for us or we will be hanging out in the mini van alot watching movies!  LOL.  It could get interesting with 6 kids (5 of them 4 and under) and four adults crammed in a mini van to avoid the!

This week the kids and I got to go strawberry picking.  LOVE IT!  I made 15 pints of strawberry jam,  6 jars without pectin and 9 with pectin.  I think I am liking how the ones with pectin set up a bit better but I don't mind having some strawberry "sauce" for pancakes and shortcakes.  :)

I recently started a new workout DVD.  Jillina Michaels 30 Day Shred.  There is a lady on my Facebook who is doing a 30 Day Shred challenge so I took the opporrtunity to challenge myself, lose some weight and hopefully get a shot at winning a stunning bracelet.  :)  I am on day 3 and I am hoping I can make it through the workout.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

After we get back from our camping trip we will be preparing for our vacation.  This year our vacation is taking us back to Minnesota where both my husband and I grew up.  My grandmother is turning 90 years old this summer (July 1st) so we are returning to help her celebrate that.  Both my family and my hubby's family live in the same area.  It is convenient on one hand and hard on the other.  I hope that everything goes well.   We will be celebrating Bee's birthday while we are there.  She was born on July 5th.  I can't believe she is going to be 3.  Where did the time go?

Bubby is now able to eat lamb and rice.  When we return from camping we will be trying a fruit or veggie so that he can hopefully have a whole meal!  :D  What amazing progress we have made.  I thank God for giving us a fabulous doctor that has helped me understand a bit better of where our son is.  I am so glad she is so patient and she answers any questions that I have, no matter how silly they seem.  She is awesome!  Thank you Dr. C! 

Alright, well those are my musings for the day.  :)  Sorry I haven't updated lately.  Things have just been so summery, it is hard to be inside.  :)