Tuesday, July 10, 2012

{Happy 4th!}

{Blog update:  For all you non-instagram friends/family, I added a widget to my blog with my instagram photos. I post pictures pretty regularly on there. You have to click out of your google reader, but you can see them if you want up there by the header}

We had such a good time over 4th of July! The weather warmed up just in time.  The kids couldn't wait to get dressed in their festive gear. So we took pictures right away so I didn't have to worry about them getting dirty the rest of the day. 

Pretty darn cute kids.

We had a relaxing morning and afternoon with the kids (pedicures with Addy!), some baking for our BBQ later that day, a little yard work, and some partying decorating. 

We got this idea from Pinterest to put stars on the grass.  The original idea was to use flour with a stencil, but we opted for spray paint! It worked like a charm and so far the grass didn't suffer one bit and will be grown out to mow it over this week. 

I pulled out the decor from Carson's Minute to Win It birthday party and we had instant 4th of July party gear in a matter of minutes!  So fun for our BBQ that night.

We had two fun families over for a BBQ and fireworks, the Carvers and the Kerrs.  They have kids that line up exactly with ours and makes for such a fun time.  We all got a good laugh that Josh and Trevor coordinated outfits. The BBQ, salads and homemade ice cream were a hit and so delish!

We had quite the view of neighboring firework shows ($$$!), and we enjoyed our arsenal of sparklers, pop-its, snakes, and fountains. The kids had a blast!

We love the chance to reflect on our great country,  and we are proud to be Americans!  We love our country and are so proud to display our American flag!

Monday, July 09, 2012

{Alder Lake Camping}

Oh man, the summer is always a crazy activity season, and I need to get pictures posted up before I get too far behind!  

A week before school got out we headed to one of our favorite camping spots, Alder Lake.  We love it because we can get from our driveway to the campground in less than an hour.  It's beautiful and smells lovely.  The kids thought it was Christmas when we pulled the trailer out of storage to get it ready for the trip.  Nothing like cramming 6 people into a 22 foot trailer!  My friend says camping is just people pretending to be homeless.  It's kinda true, right? 

I love how it stays light until 10pm during June.  We rolled into the campground at 8pm with plenty of light and time to set up camp and roast some marshmallows and hot dogs. 

So glad I stuck in the pack 'n play at the last minute.  This little guy is walking everywhere and it really helped keep him contained while still having him outside with us.  Plus we even managed to set that up in the trailer so that he could have his own bed (the kid LOVES his own bed and it is hard to get him to sleep any place else).  He's attached to that and his favorite blankie.

The next day was full of sunshine in the morning. We busted out the little bicycle and put the training wheels on for Rylan. He loves his scooter and hasn't been interested in riding a bike at all, but we finally got him to try it this trip and he's a pro already. 

We worked our way over to the beach area which has a nice playground.

It was only about 70 degrees, so I didn't have the kids put on their swimsuits. I figured they would just play in the sand...which turned out to be an epic failed assumption. I should have known that kids near water, cold or not, are going to get wet.  And they did.

It was a little tough trying to keep the sand out of Miles' mouth, but he loved playing with the big kids.  See Ry in the picture below stripped down to his undies?  Yah, I was THAT mom. 

Our good friends, the Bennetts, met us at the lake around lunch.  We visited and ate yummy homemade guacamole. 

Carson spent an hour filling water balloons which resulted in a major water fight that the kids loved.

We convinced the Bennetts to head back for their tent so they could spend the night and Sunday morning with us.  While they were gone it started to rain and didn't stop until we left the campgrond on Monday.  We haven't ever camped in rain. I know, kind of hard to believe, but we have really lucked out, weather-wise.  That 18 hours of rain made for an equal amount of clean up once we got home.  Everything was muddy and soaked.  We made the best of it though and were grateful for the Bennett's canopy and tarp. That along with the trailer awning gave us a place to be dry and still able to enjoy the fire. 

Camping prep is always a ton of work, but it is one of our kids' favorite things to do.  It's worth all the chaos and clean-up to carve out these little family experiences.  We have a couple more fun camping trips planned this summer.  Can't wait!

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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