Friday, August 19, 2011


Today I am feeling a little down. I decided to sit down and write out a list of things that I am grateful for lately and hopefully that will lift my spirits!

Today I am grateful..............

~That Brandon was home last night to fight off yet another bat that somehow made it's way into our house.

~That Alexis offered to mop the floor today with great enthusiasm. It has been needing to be mopped for a while.

~ That I get to see two of my sisters this next week.

~ A much needed girls night outs at Nella's with a dear friend

~ A patient husband who deals with my crazy pregnant hormones on a daily basis.

~ My mom and dad's nice air conditioned house that they let us come hang out at whenever we want.

~My sweet kids who make me laugh.

~ Patient neighbors who kindly bring back our dog when it escapes on a daily basis.

~Much less nausea then I have been experiencing

~ Good sales on comfy pants.

Ok, I feel better. Now back to my day.................

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Bears Out Tonight.....We Hope!

I was feeling really guilty about how un-fun our summer had been, and so Brandon had the idea of going camping. I was a little nervous about going, because of how rotten I have felt, and Brandon said he would just take the kids. But it made me so sad to think of all the memories I would be missing, so I decided to tough it out. I spent several days looking on the Internet trying to find good camp spots ideas. A few days before we were set to go, I still didn't really know where we were going to go. There were so many places that looked good online, but what if they weren't?? Then I thought that maybe we should ask someone who camps a lot for an idea. (I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier) so Brandon asked a friend and he suggested Jefferson Lake. I called right up to get a reservation, but found out that you have to reserve a spot at least 5 days in advance. They said there was one first come first serve sight, so we probably wouldn't get it. Then Brandon talked to Justin again, and he said that right next to the Jefferson Lake campground there is an overflow campground that you could go to, but it just didn't have any amenities. So we decided to leave early Friday morning and try our luck. We got out of the house by 10, but after having to make several stops, to pick up last minute things, we didn't really get going until around 12. By the time we rolled into campgound there was a sign saying it was full =( We decided to ask anyways just in case, lol. The lady was really nice. She told us about the overflow with no amenities (bathrooms) but then she said there was another campground just up the road called Michigan Creek that might have a few spots. As we drove to see I started preparing myself for having the dig a hole to use the restroom (which being pregnant means, having to dig a lot of holes!) I was relieved when we pulled into Michigan Creek and found several open spots! We snagged ourselves a perfect little camp sight and then started setting up camp. Here are the kids standing in front of our tent, ready for our camping adventure.

We brought our two dogs along, because we felt to bad asking anyone to watch our obnoxious yellow lab puppy, and the kids didn't think it was fair to make Misty miss out on all the fun. Lets just say, we will never bring Jasper again! He was the source of quite a bit of stress on the camping trip, but I wont go into that now.

Misty, on the other hand was a perfect angel. She can come any time =) After we set up camp, we took the kids exploring and to look for some firewood. We found a little stream, which the kids loved, but unfortunately in order to get to it we had to walk across a narrow log surrounded by tons of mud. Needless to say, we all got quite muddy. I hate getting dirty, and when my kids get dirty (maybe that's why I'm not much of a camper) so I tried to be a good sport about the whole thing, but it was hard! lolHere are Brandon and Levi on their way back from getting firewood. They found an old dead tree that had been cut down, and it provided us with a ton of firewood.

Here's Levi chillin in the tent =)

Brandon made up a game similar to horseshoes, but with rocks. Levi got bored fast, but it kept Brandon and the girls busy for quite a while.

We made hot dogs for dinner, and then the kids begged for smores. We tried to hold them off until it got dark but it didn't work too well. Smores are the best part of camping!

Here's the one picture of me we got (That I will let be seen) We had so much fun sitting around the camp fire at night in our jammies. It was really hot during the day, but once the night hit, it got quite chilly. We were so glad that the fire ban had recently been lifted, so we could enjoy lots of nice warm fires =)

After a while we decided to head to bed, and we got all situated in our tent. Here is Brandon cuddling with Jasper, lol.

There was bear danger in the area, so I was really nervous that first night. I hardly slept a wink, and would jerk awake at any sound, thinking for sure it was a bear! I felt better that Brandon had his gun to protect us, but I was still a little freaked out! On our last morning there, the people at the campsite next to us came and told us that they just saw a bear cub run past the campsite next to theirs. I was so glad that we were leaving because there is no way I would have slept at all knowing that! We made sure we always kept our campsites really clean, and always packed up all of our food in our car each night. Brandon thought I was a little silly as I went around the campsite each night and picked up every crumb I could find, but I was just trying to be careful!
The next morning we had a yummy breakfast of sausage, hash browns, and pancakes. There is just something about camping that makes everything taste so good! After breakfast we loaded up and headed over to Jefferson Lake to go fishing. I am not much of a fisher, so I wasn't much help getting the kids poles ready. Here are the kids anxiously waiting for a Brandon to finish with a pole so they could start.

I love Levi's huge excited grin in this picture =)

Almost ready to go...

First up was Alexis. Right away she got a bite, but as she was reeling it in, it escaped =( She did end up catching another one though. Unfortunately it was when I had gone back to the car to make some sandwiches so I missed the photo opportunity. She kept it though, and loved playing with it (eeekk) Brandon ended up cooking it that night.

Here are Levi and Tori waiting patiently for their turns.

This picture of Tori makes me laugh. She is humoring me by letting me take yet another picture but her expression is clearly saying, ok mom that's enough!

Next up was Tori. Doesn't she look like a natural?

She also got a bite right away, and it didn't get away! It was so fun to see how excited she got as she reeled it in.
Here she is with her catch. After admiring it for several minutes she decided to let it go back to it's family =)

Finally it was Levi's turn.
Tori hopped up next to him to give him some pointers =) He got bored really fast, and didn't catch any fish, but he didn't seem to care! lol

Here's a picture of Jasper with us at the lake. He may look innocent enough, but don't let him fool you. He sure was a trouble maker, and we ended up cutting our fishing trip a little short, because we couldn't keep him under control.

Towards the end, the kids talked me into letting them take their shoes off and go wading in the lake. They loved it =)

After about three hours we packed up and headed back to camp. I was exhausted and wanted to take a nap, but Brandon and the kids wanted to keep on fishing, so they headed down to the little stream by our campsite to see if they could catch anything. They actually caught 2 fish! When they got back, Brandon gutted them and cooked them over the fire along with the one that Alexis caught earlier. He got Tori to take a bite, to which she almost threw up, haha. Levi and I didn't dare try any. I told Brandon that I was sure that I wasn't supposed to eat fish caught from streams or lakes while being pregnant, since they hadn't undergone proper testing, lol. It got me off the hook this time, haha. but Brandon and Alexis did and they actually really liked it and gobbled them up. I went on to make our planned meal for the night, Chilli. It tasted so yummy!

After dinner we got out these popcorn things that I found at the store before we left. We didn't quite know how they worked. Brandon read the instructions and decided to try and cook it over the stove. These next few pictures are hilarious. It started out totally flat and within a couple of seconds it totally puffed up. We were sure it was going to explode at any second!

You can see Alexis holding out a cup in this picture in case she needed to catch any if it exploaded.

Luckily it didn't and it proved to be quite a tasty treat! Then we got out the marshmallows to take advantage of our last night to make smores.

Alexis decided to enjoy the popcorn a little bit longer before she made her smores =)

Brandon and the kids headed out one more time to get a little more firewood to last the night and next morning. We sat around the fire again for quite some time that night while Brandon wittled each of the kids a knife, and himself a new walking stick. It was so relaxing sitting around the fire and just enjoying each others company.

That night was a little harder cleaning up the campsite because of all the popcorn everywhere, but I made sure I got every one! We didn't want any unwanted visitors that night.

We all slept pretty well that night. I was glad that I didn't wake up as much =)

The next morning all the kids crawled up on Brandon's cot to keep warm =)

We just slept in and realxed all morning. Then we got up, had some cereal for breakfast, and relaxed a little more. We didn't want to feel like we were in any rush, since we didn't have to check out of the capsite until two. Finally after a while we started packing up to head for home.

It was such a fun relaxing weekend that was much needed! It was so great to to take a break from reality. I actually felt really good the whole time, with only a little bit or nausea.

We really want to head back at least one more time this summer. This time without the dogs. Well Jasper at least =)