Saturday, June 23, 2012

Father's Day 2012 Edition

Father's Day is always fun. I love having one day that I don't have to work as hard for the kids, and get them to work for me. :)
Family around the party table!

This year, Luann out did herself. I love the usual treats (No cake! Yeah!) and little gifts of things that I need/want. This year, I mentioned about the local big box alcohol shop having a large selection of soda, she got a nice variety of root beer and related drinks. Some were good (normal root beer flavors, cream soda) and some were not really good at all (I'm looking at you, a chocolate soda called Coco Fizz). I was great fun pouring a little from each one for the kids. The best is always the gross ones, to get that priceless looks on their faces.
Selection of Sodas

Sunday, June 17, 2012

California Here We Come!

Oh summer, where have you gone?  We have been busy with many adventures and activities.   June started out with camping, followed by Chad's birthday.  In typical Luann fashion, I decided to torture my husband by planning a vacation to celebrate.  I forget that just because I would LOVE to travel for my birthday, doesn't mean Chad does.  In face next year I think I will plan to go to my mom's for his birthday and leave him with gifts (no cards) and a fridge stocked with cheese and rootbeer.

Anywho, back to the travel.  We have a timeshare, and thought we'd try two of the more obscure resorts (aka, not Disneyland or San Diego).  We stopped in Indio CA and spent two days swimming because it's just as hot there as home.

 With swimming our only entertainment outlet, some improvising had to be done.  A good hour was spend trying to make a couch cushion bridge.  It proved to only be successful for those aged four and under.
Our next stop was Big Bear, a city in the mountains of San Bernardino County.  It's where the people of LA go to ski in the winter.  There's also a lake and lots of places to hike.  We went hiking, took a pirate ship tour, and played monopoly. We really know how to have a good time.

Kiwi is making a face because the pirate is trapping her with a snake. 
Kiwi won.  She barely reads, and yet she beat us all soundly.  I think we have a new luck sucker.
 Just a few happenings in Big Bear - On the "hike" along the lake, Chad left me with the older two because the younger two were done.  We didn't have two cell phones because mine was dead (as usual), so meeting up at the end became dicey.  We were supposed to meet at an observatory, but it wasn't accessible on foot.  We found each other eventually, but I was pretty stressed waiting around (15 minutes is an eternity sometimes) and wondering if we were going to have to hitch a ride back to the resort. 

On the Pirate ship, one of us had the wonderful idea (I won't say who) to buy candy and soda to feed the kids and keep them "busy" on the 90 minute trek around the lake.  We were trapped in a 1/3 scale replica of a pirate ship with a sugar high almost 2 year old and no way off.  This was our first experience seeing a direct link between sugar consumption and crazy in JW.  Eventually he was left to scream it out on the floor because nothing else was working.  I'm sure the rest of the tour LOVED us. 

Overall, this was our kind of trip.  Laid back with plenty of time to chill and do absolutely nothing. The kids got their fill of cable cartoons, and I got my fill of vacation.  Home is always so much nicer after being away for a while.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Camping: why do we do this again?

We went camping.  It was fun...for the most part.  I want to list the pros and cons here to remind me why I do it, and maybe why I don't want to do it again.

Pros -
Weather: It's so much cooler on top of the mountain.  It's nice to be able to be outside in the middle of the day.
Freedom: Because of the cooler weather, the kids are free to roam around the campsite making forts, fording streams, and exploring all kinds of natural growing things.

 Hiking: I love to hike.  I love to force my kids to hike.  It's good for them. 

Kaylee was done.  We still had to go back down.
Beauty:  There is just something about the mountains that is just achingly beautiful.  I could sit and watch the aspens quake and listen to the water in the stream all day long.
Food: We eat good camping.  There's nothing quite like a fire roasted hot dog followed by s'mores. I put some effort into my meals, because if I have to suffer, at least I won't be hungry doing it.
Screen-free:  no video games, no ipads, no TV.  Lots of time to play games and explore
Family: Camping means being with family.  We loved the time to be with cousins.  

Cons -
Weather: it's much cooler on top of the mountain. Night time is not so pleasant in a tent.
Sleeping accommodations: We never bring enough blankets.  Our air mattress never stays blown up.  No one sleeps well.
Stuff:  you have to bring a lot of crap camping.  And you always forget something.  We were packed tight and still didn't bring everything we needed because we camped with my brother who was fully stocked.
Bathrooms:  Two words - pit toilets
Dirt: It's everywhere! 

I don't know what my final verdict is.  This tripped happened to be particularly bad because we had colds, which caused ear aches and restlessness at night. Camping is a whole lot of work and very little sleep.  But looking back at the pictures I love to see the beauty surrounding my dirty filthy kids.  If it was up to Chad - never again.  Left up to me...maybe.  As long as someone else comes with us.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Memorial Day Fun!

Three day weekends are nice, because you can get all the normal things done (cleaning, cleaning, more cleaning) on Saturday, and still have another Saturday (observed) to have fun. Normally, we are kind of boring, if you haven't been able to tell based on the frequency of posts. But, we did actually do something fund this last Memorial Day.

We found ourselves doing a local attraction that we just hadn't gotten around to seeing. This cave is not a cool as Kartchner Caverns, but is it fun to see none the less.

The best part was when we were all looking at the Cave Bacon, as it is called. We were all checking it out with the flashlight and JW called out "Bacon!" really loud. Always amazing what he gets out of the conversations.