Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Camping

This past week we went on our annual family camping trip.  We went to the Michigan Creek camp ground, near Jefferson Lake.  We actually went to this same campground two years ago.  We were able to get the same exact camping spot, and were so excited about that. (It was right next to the bathroom, which is always a plus).  The last time we went to this spot we brought our yellow lab puppy Jasper with us.  It was a disaster taking him.  This time was so much more enjoyable.  We did take our dog Misty with us but she did great. It was so nice to get away for a few days and just relax as a family. We hung out, went exploring, went fishing, and ate yummy campfire treats. Lots  of memories were made and we came home filthy and exhausted. Here are some pictures I took. I wish I had gotten more.
One of our kids favorite things to do on camping trips is sit around the fire and carve things out of wood.  Brandon would always do this when he went camping with the scouts, and now he does it with our kids.  Needless to say we have a lot of wood carvings around here! This time  he brought them each a piece of wood to carve swards out of. 

It was so fun to see Scarlett enjoy the whole camping experience this year.  She was too little last year to really enjoy it, but boy did she love it this year!  She wanted to do everything the big kids were doing, and wasn't afraid to get dirty in the process.

Like I said, we brought Misty with us. She did great.  She didn't even need to be tied up because she stuck right around with us
 We bought little papasan camping chairs for the older three when they were younger, and it was so fun to see Scarlett enjoy them.  I couldn't get enough of seeing her lounging in them.  I think it made her feel like such a big girl =)

Here are Lexi and Levi carving their swords. You gotta love the box cutters! haha

Scarlett was being so cute sitting and playing with Misty.  I got my camera to take a picture of the cuteness, and right as I snapped the picture Scarlett grabbed Misty's face.  As you can see Misty was not too happy about that.  Scarlett is a grabber, and Misty can by a little snappy at times.  Not a good combination!

Brandon brought his blow torch along to help get the fires going, lol.

Here are Alexis and Scarlett eating some blueberries.  Some of them were a little smooshy, as you can tell by their faces.  Scarlett was reaching to throw hers on the ground. I was constantly picking up food from the camp site, for fear that we would attract bears! Some rangers stopped by the first night and told us they had been having some "visitors" and to make sure we locked up all our food at night.  That was enough to freak me out and turned me into an obsessive food cleaner upper. I got every last crumb! 

When her little camp chair kept tipping over, she decided she liked the big camp chairs better.

There was area to go exploring that led to a river.  The kids loved exploring, and Scarlett wanted to be right there with them

The kids loved playing in the river.  It made me a little nervous when they were climbing across the rocks, but luckily no one ever fell in!

Alexis was determined that she was going to catch some fish with this plastic bag.  She tried all different spots, and tried her hardest to get one! She even lost the bag at one point, and tracked it down way down the river.

When deciding on where we wanted to camp, one of the priorities was going somewhere with no fire ban.  Having a camp fire was a must for us.  It just doesn't feel like real camping without one!
We did smores the first night, which is always a hit.  We forgot our marshmallow roasters as home, so we had to make some out of sticks. 
Here is Scarlett munching on a marshmallow before we even had a chance to roast it! She loved those marshmallows, and didn't even know the difference between a roasted and non roasted one, so we just let her go to town on it.

 Brandon brought his fly pole, but we didn't have any poles for the kids, so Brandon made some out of some tree branches and fishing line.  They worked great and we actually caught three fish with them!  I wish I had gotten more pictures =(  He had the kids catching grasshoppers in the field to use as bait, and the fish loved those grasshoppers! We threw all but one fish back, which Brandon cooked over the campfire that night.

Scarlett was fascinated by the outhouse. After I told the kids a scary story about an outhouse (mom fail), they were afraid to go alone, so we spent a lot of time waiting outside the door for them =)

The second day, we planned on going to Jefferson Lake to go fishing, but it ended up raining off and on all day.  So we just stuck around our camp site.  The kids made friends with two kids at a campsite next to ours and had fun exploring and catching grasshoppers with them all day. In between downpours, Brandon took the kids fishing.  It was a great day.

That night we made banana boats. Alexis has been raving about them ever since she had them earlier this summer at youth conference. I actually had never heard of them!  You take a banana, cut it down the center (with the peel still on), and stuff it with goodies.  We had mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and reeses pieces. Them you wrap it in tin foil and roast it over the fire. When it's done you have a gooey yummy treat.
Here are Brandon and the girls filling theirs.  Brandon was a little unsure of it as you can see by his face.  Levi wouldn't even entertain the idea, and opted for a smore instead =)

Here are Alexis and Tori's stuffed and ready to wrap.  I could not believe how much they stuffed into theirs!

Waiting for them to be done! They ended up being pretty tasty, but a little weird at them same time, lol. Alexis finished Tori's when Tori decided she didn't like the banana flavor.  It was fun to try something new!

Here's a picture of me to prove that I was indeed there =)

Getting ready for camping trips, and going on them is always a lot of work.  But the memories made are priceless and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


At the end of the school year Tori was able to participate in a fun cheer leading program at her school called cheer fit.  It was totally noncompetitive and so much fun for her.  Each of the girls got their own uniform and pom poms.  They met once a week, played a lot of fun games, learned a routine and got a little treasure to bring home (Tori's favorite part).  They were able to perform at the school's field day opening ceremonies, which Tori was nervous about, but loved.  Tori had so much fun and is looking forward to when it starts up again in the fall. She is excited to be able to cheer at some of the middle school sporting events this year, and learn some more moves =)  Here are some pictures I got on the day of their performance:

 It was such a great program their school offered.  Tori won two awards at the end.  One for always participating, and one for one of the most improved.  It was so fun to see Tori go out of her comfort zone a little bit.  She had a blast!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tiny Town

On Memorial Day we decided to head up to a fun place nearby calle "Tiny Town"  I have heard of it and always wanted to take my kids, so when Kristalyn suggested it, I was all for the idea.  It is this little town filled with tiny little houses.  There are all different kinds, and some of them, the kids can actually go inside.  All of the kids had a blast running from house to house.  I was able to get some really cute pictures too.  There is also a fun liitle train.  Just a side story about that- Brandon, Alexis and I were squished on a seat and someone mentioned there was still room in the caboose.  All of the kids ran back to ride there, and I decided to go back to so we wouldn't be so squished.  I got a few weird looks as I proceeded to the back, saying that I was going to ride in the caboose.  When I got back there I realized why!  It was this tiny little place, that kids could barely even fit into!  LOL  we all got a good laugh out of it though.  All in all, it was such a fun little outing.  We ended with the kids playing at the little park they have there, and having a picnic.  Here are some of the pictures we got