Archive for the 'family fun' Category

Summer Fun: Squirt Guns

3 buckets of water + 3 squirt guns + 3 crazy kids = 1 fun way to cool off when it’s hot outside

Little Skiiers

This weekend was the first opportunity we had this year to venture up to the ski slopes as a family.  It was E-boy’s very first time on skis and he had so much fun on the bunny slope.  He wasn’t the least bit scared, and kept asking when he could go up the lifts.  Daddy and the girls did a few runs from the top of the mountain while E-boy practiced.  Since the skiing part of the skill seemed to come naturally to him, I was working with him on stopping.  I think he just was having so much fun skiing fast, he didn’t want to stop.  He had a great time, and can’t wait to go up to the mountain again.

One More Camping Trip

Last weekend our family headed up to the lake for one last camping trip of the summer.  It almost feels like we’re cheating when we go camping in September, eeking out an extra bit of Summer.  The weather around here is gorgeous in September, and since most of the tourists have gone back home, the lake is quiet at this time of year.

When we got in on Friday we set up our campsite.  The weather report predicted that there could be rain showers on Saturday morning, so Hubby and I strung up a tarp over our picnic table, just in case.  It turned out we didn’t get any rain, but we had a monster windstorm on Saturday night.   The tarp didn’t blow away, though, and neither did we.

Saturday morning was cool, so we started out by taking a little hike above our camp.

Here’s my attempt at getting a candid shot of the family hiking.  I don’t think the kids know the meaning of the word “candid”.

 After our hike, the weather had warmed up a bit, so the kids had fun paddling this raft around.  Hubby took E-boy for a ride.  Me, I sat in my camp chair on the dock and knitted on a sock.

Do you see that nice rock wall around the fire pit?  We built that!  By the afternoon on Saturday the wind was starting to blow, so we needed to make a little wind break for our fire.  Here’s Hubby building up a fire for me to bake a birthday cake for E., who turned seven on Saturday.  The plan was to bake a chocolate-raspberry cake in the cast iron dutch oven.  It was a good plan, but next time we’re going to use a different recipe.  Luckily, the birthday girl enjoyed her cake.

 Here’s the finished cake, complete with pink candles.  I didn’t keep track of how many were blown out by the wind before the birthday girl started blowing.  Inside the pretty pink box was a new webkinz unicorn, which E. thought was a pretty good gift.  This picture makes it look like the unicorn is whispering a secret in E’s ear.

E-boy still has a thing for throwing rocks in the water.  I don’t think there are any more rocks near the beach that are throwable by a three and a half year old boy.  You can see here how the wind is starting to whip up the water.  It kept blowing all night long, and didn’t die down unitl late the following morning.  It was a pretty crazy night, lying in the tent wondering if it was going to blow away in the wind.  The kids didn’t seem to have trouble sleeping, but Hubby and I didn’t get much rest.  Luckily, we’d battened down the hatches and were prepared to wait out the storm.

This last picture is of our dinner on Sunday, beef stew cooked over the campfire.  Seriously, this was yummy!  I precut most of the veggies at home and brought them in a ziplock.  The beef was leftover from the last dinner cooked at home.  At camp, all I had to do was put the meat and veggies in the pot, and cut the potatoes.  Then I tossed in a packet of seasoning and some water.  It only took about half an hour over the fire to cook the carrots and potatoes.  I’d brought along a loaf of homemade bread which we sliced, buttered and garlicked, then wrapped in foil to heat over the fire.  It made a delicious dinner served at a lake-view picnic table.

Hubby Proved Me Wrong

I didn’t think he’d really be able to do this.  I should have known that telling him I didn’t think he’d be able to do it would be challenge enough that he wouldn’t give up until he’d succeeded.  And succeed he did, even I have to admit it.

The other day Hubby got the idea in his head he’d try to build a snow cave with the kids.  Yesterday, he piled up a huge mountain of snow on the front grass.  The kids spent a while sledding down the hill yesterday and again today, helping daddy compact the snow.  And today he started digging in.

Here’s E-boy in the start of the cave:

At this point I said, “yeah, we made a cave big enough to fit a toddler”.  Hubby was undeterred.  E-boy looks on as daddy continues.

Now, the cave is big enough for Hubby to squeeze in, and he convinces me to help move the snow out of the entrance.

All three kids now fit into the snow cave.  Neighbors start wandering over to see what we’re up to, and passing cars slow to watch to action.

Finally done, the whole family inside the snow cave.  I recruited a neighbor to take this picture.  (Thanks!)

Inside, the snow cave is actually quite cozy.  There is plenty of light coming in through the door, and through a couple little vents in the roof.  The walls are about 10 inches thick.  It’s surprisingly roomy inside, with plenty of room to sit or lay down and to turn around.  Wiggling through the door is a bit tight for an adult, but totally doable.  So, yes Hubby, you’re right.  Having a snow cave on the front lawn is pretty cool.

A Little Summer Fun

We took the boat up to the lake this week, and hubby convinced E. to be his partner in “jumping into the water from up high”.  I stayed dry and attempted to capture the event on film, as the weather wasn’t too nice that day.

Here they are on the dock:

And daddy dives in:

E. spent a long time working up her nerve to jump. 

And she does it!  (Notice daddy, AKA rescue swimmer, has put on a wetsuit…yes, the water was that cold.)

And it was fun!

WaHoo!  Way to go, E!  Here’s what she has to say about it  (she wanted to type, I helped with spelling):


Empty No Longer


The picture frames on my wall that is.  I guess most people put the art in the frames before they hang them.  Well, I’m not most people.

I bought these frames on clearance at Target (don’t you just love Target’s clearnace?) and had brought them into the house and put them on the top of the dryer just inside the back door.  There they sat for several weeks.  One day, hubby asked me when I was planning to hang the frames up, so that’s what I did.  Only I didn’t put anything in them, because I hadn’t yet created the artwork I had in mind for them.  And you just can’t rush the creative process.

Today, I created the artwork for the frames.  It was hard to get a good picture, since the wall the frames are on is behind the Christmas tree this time of year.  These primary colored collages feature artwork that my girls and I created.  Each collage incorporates paints, crayons, markers and colored pencils.  I designed the color pallates, and showed the girls different techniques to make interesting textures.  This is an art project that can’t go wrong.  Once our papers were complete, I cut them into various sizes of squares and arranged the collage.  I think they came out lovely, and can’t wait to gaze at them once the tree is out of the way.

Cheerleaders in the Making?

When my 7-year-old daughter woke up this morning, the first word out of her mouth was “pom-poms!”

We have a neighbor-girl who babysits for the kids occasionally, and she is a cheerleader at the High School.  Last night, while Hubby and I went out to dinner, the kids got to go with our neighbors to watch their babysitter cheer for the girls’ basketball team.  The kids all had a fabulous time!  The highlights of their night included popcorn, piggy-tails, pom-poms and staying out way past bedtime.  They came home with a bag of pom-poms to play with.

I think Hubby was hoping that the girls would be more inspired by the basketball players than by the cheerleaders.  No such luck.  This morning, the girls (and the baby boy) are cheering and shaking pom-poms.

Any Excuse for a Party.

Last night the kids and I threw a party.  No, we didn’t invite anyone, just us.  It was a Monday Night Football party.  We’re not big football fans, but it was the excuse we needed to eat dinner in front of the TV.

Here are the kids, cheering for “the blue team”.
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Saturday – Family Fun Day

For the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, Hubby had a Saturday off work, so I declared it a “family fun day”.  Since I was the one to daclare the holiday, I also got to choose how to spend it, so I chose geocaching and lunch at my favorite small-town hamburger joint.

Here are a couple pictures of our finds:
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And here’s my little hiker, who was way more interested in rocks and sticks than actually walking down the path:
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And finally, a successful group shot.  Hubby balanced the camera on top of a rock, and used the timer feature to take this one…pretty good, huh?
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Flickr Photos