Grandma Camp

Last week, Joe’s mom took all of her grandkids for the week and had their annual “Grandma Camp”.  The kids always look forward to several days with their cousins and it’s always a nice break for Joe and I.  This was the first year Ashton got to spend the entire week there so he was excited to be one of the big kids.  They went to the cabin on Sunday night and we picked them up on Friday afternoon.  The kids were busy horseback riding, swimming, miniature golfing, doing projects, and they even got to go to Ronald McDonald House to donate all of the pop tabs they have been collecting throughout the year – they use the money from these to pay the electric bill at the Ronald McDonald House.

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My kids came home tired and that’s always a sign of a fun week!  Jayde told me this was the best Grandma Camp she’s ever been to, so Grandma must be doing something right!  They’re already talking about next year – and so am I because having 5 kid free days never happens!

 

Weekend “Adventuring”

I love Summer and the ability to take weekend adventures to new places.  This weekend we had fun “adventuring” as the kids called it!

Friday night we got to celebrate my nephew’s 4th birthday.  Somehow I only took one picture – of Danika and the dog:)  The girl does love dogs and often reminds us that she’d love to have one again some day (I keep pretending I don’t hear her!).

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We had plans to go to to a drive-in movie Saturday (there are only 2 drive-in movies left in Nebraska, and the closest one to us is 2 hours away).  Neither Joe or I had ever been to a drive-in and the kids couldn’t wait to go.   We went back and forth about taking the camper up to Neligh and finding a camp site or getting a hotel and letting the kids swim.  We ultimately decided we should take the opportunity to use the camper, so we had no real plan except to pull the camper up there, hope to find an open camp site and go to the drive in.  We left Saturday morning on our adventure!

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After stopping in Norfolk for lunch and a few groceries, we headed to Neligh.  Once we pulled into town, we found the park and were a little nervous when we saw that there was a ball tournament going on and it appeared there were a lot of campers there.  We did find an open spot so we set up camp.  It was a very nice park/camp ground and the pool was right there too.  It had a fun water slide and basketball hoop so the kids were in heaven.  The kids thought it was so fun that we played a game of “PIG” at the basketball hoop in the pool.  We swam for a couple of hours and then played at the park for a bit before heading back to the camper for supper.  There’s nothing more I love than spending an uninterrupted, mostly unplanned day with my people!

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We hung out at the camper for a while and then Danika wanted to go on an adventure in town.  We packed up for the movie and then drove around town – we found some cool old bridges to drive over and located the town “airport” before heading to the drive-in.  We got our snacks and were ready for the movie!

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The movie started about 9:45 and by 10:20 Ashton was asleep on top of me and I’m pretty sure Joe and I were asleep long before the movie was over (that’s the downfall of putting an air mattress and lots of blankets in the back of the pickup!).    The drive-in plays two movies a night but we only made it through one before deciding we better head back to the camper.  I’d definitely recommend checking this place out if you haven’t already – we loved it!

We headed home Sunday morning, let the kids rest for a couple of hours and then headed down to the cabin to swim.  Again, I failed to take pictures but we had a great time and the water felt amazing on such a hot day!

I’m hoping this week I can get back into some home projects since our evenings are finally freeing up!  Maybe you’ll start to see something on this blog rather than our weekend updates….maybe!

Have a great week!

 

 

Weekend Recap

So, I fell off the blogging wagon last week.  I’ve decided I must have early onset Alzheimer’s because I completely forgot to post anything throughout the week.  The reality is that we were SO busy this last week that having extra time to blog just wasn’t there.  (And I make no promises for this coming week, which is likely to be even more insane as Joe will be gone working to restore power from the storm.)  Here’s a recap of this weekend:

Friday evening a large storm came through our area and knocked down some trees at our house – we were watching out the window when I heard a large crash.  A big maple tree on the side of our house lost some large branches and fell on top/off to the side of our house.  We were really lucky, because no windows were broke and our roof/soffit damage is very minimal and it could have been so much worse!  We lost power in the storm and were out for about 12 hours.  If you ask my kids this was the longest 12 hours of their life, even though they were sleeping through most of it!   I think they have a new appreciation for what Joe does when he goes to work.  I reminded them that we were lucky to have power as quickly as we did.  Here’s a few pictures from the damage:

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We spent a good chunk of Saturday morning cleaning up.  A plumber had to come out and put a new vent in for our hot water heater since the storm damaged that as well.  We were happy to have hot water after he was finished!  Joe headed to work after we got most of our damage cleaned up and will likely working 16 hour days most of this week – say a prayer for me (and him too!) 🙂

The kids and I spent Saturday running a few errands and relaxing.  They came up with a “talent show” and I got to sit through that in the afternoon, followed by some of this:

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At least they weren’t fighting…

The kids finished up their Father’s Day gift for Joe – according to Jayde they are bears snuggling.  I love their creativity!  He came home to sleep for a bit Sunday morning so the kids got to give him their gifts and enjoy a few snuggles before he went back to work.

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We went to Grandma and Grandpa Kreifels’ for the afternoon to enjoy Father’s Day with Joe’s family.  We all enjoyed the perfect lake weather!

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Hope all the Dad’s out there had a great Father’s Day weekend!

Weekend Recap

We had a great Memorial Day weekend spent camping at the Fremont Lakes!  We went down Friday afternoon and started off the weekend with a little fishing.

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Danika caught one fish but it got off the line!  One of the families we were camping with brought a hammock and the kids LOVED it!

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Saturday morning we headed home to get Danika ready for her dance recital.  Her dance studio only does a recital every two years and this was a recital year.  She did an amazing job and it was fun to watch her and all of the other dancers!

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Ashton had a bit too much fun at the recital (or maybe it was the fact that he missed nap time 2 days in a row!) but this is what I saw less than 10 minutes after getting in the car after recital.

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We headed back to the camper after the dance recital and hung out for the night and all day Sunday.  The boys did a little more fishing and all of the kids had fun swimming and playing.  Danika got to have a couple friends come spend the night in our camper so that was an extra fun bonus!

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We loaded up and headed home late Monday morning and spent the day getting the house back in order, doing laundry, and planting most of our garden for the year.  We have a garden of mostly pumpkin varieties with a few vegetables thrown in.  Hopefully it does well!

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We are gearing up for another busy week with softball games every night, and we get to celebrate Danika’s 9th birthday on Friday.  It’s going to be another fun, busy week!

5 on Friday

Instead of Friday Favorites today, I decided to do 5 on Friday….or rather “5 Thoughts Floating Around in my Head!”  I’m mentally (and physically) drained this week and feel like getting some thoughts out of my head might help me regroup…so I’m sorry if none of my post interests you today:)  It’s more for my sanity!

One

We’re only one week in to summer vacation at school, and I’m already questioning whether I made the right decision with summer daycare.  We typically have a high school girl come in and watch the kids at our house in the summer, but this year we decided to leave Ashton at the daycare he’s been going to and send the girls to the YMCA summer fun club.  Both of these are great programs and the kids love it there, but it kills me to get my kids out of bed every morning earlier than they have to for school so we can leave the house by 7:20 am….isn’t it supposed to be “summer vacation”?!?  I’m sure all working parents have been saying this for years, but this is the first summer it’s really affected us (in years past I’ve worked from home or only a couple days a week so summer schedule was always really lax).  Dealing with the wrath of my children at 6:30 am when they don’t get to bed until late because of summer commitments (ball, 4H pigs, etc) does not rank high on my fun meter!  I’m hoping we fall into a better routine as the summer goes on (at least I keep telling myself it will get easier, because it can’t get much more painful at my house this week)!

Two

As I said, this are just random thoughts in my head.  I’ve been struggling with youth sports as of late, and really don’t know how it will all pan out.  I’ve encouraged Danika to play all sports available to her, because I think it’s good for kids to learn to play in a team atmosphere and take direction from someone other than parents.  This spring I will be the first to admit that I overcommitted her to the point of frustration for all of us.  She was so busy that she would have melt downs every night because she didn’t have any time to be a kid and I felt horrible about it.  I’ve promised her that I will not ever make her play a sport if she’s not 100% on board in the future.  She wanted to sign up for softball but we’re hitting the point where she’s not 100% committed so practices are a struggle….I don’t want her to quit because that’s not teaching her that she needs to follow through with her decisions.  I’m putting this in writing so when it comes time to sign up for fall sports, I can go back to this post and remind myself that I will not force her into anything!! 🙂

Three

I’m super excited that camping season is finally here (see this post for some great camping recipes)!  We’re hoping to camp most of the weekend and I cannot wait to just relax…it’s nice being out at the campground and enjoying the outdoors, and then I don’t see all of the to do lists that keep growing at home!  It’s fun family time, and the kids always look forward to it.  Camping is one of my very favorite things about summer!

Four

Danika has her dance recital this weekend and I always look forward to seeing her dance…she really enjoys dance and will be sad when this year is over.  I’m not sure if she’ll continue to dance next year or not, but regardless am so glad that she has found something she’s good at and that she loves doing.

Five

I really want to sit down with the kids and write a summer to do list.  I think it would be fun to have a list of things they actually want to do this summer.  I envision this being both simple things (eat ice cream for supper, movie night, catch fireflies) and also items that require more planning (go on a camping trip to XYZ campground, have a play date with a friend, etc).  Letting all 3 kids have a say in our summer plans and also putting them in writing will help us accomplish at least most of the items on their summer fun list.  I’ll try to get that done in the next week or so and share it!

 

If any of you have any insight on summer daycare, youth sports, etc. I’d love to hear your feedback.  I’m on the struggle bus this week and need to reset as we go into June so that we can enjoy our summer…we need to find a happy balance of free time and commitments!  Enjoy your long weekend – I know we will!

 

Friday Favorites

Today I’m linking up with Andrea and Narci to share my Friday Favorites!

One

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On Monday, Jayde had her 1st grade field trip to the zoo, and I got to go along as a chaperone.  It was a hot one (90+ degrees) but we had a lot of fun anyway.  The misters along the sidewalk were our best friend after lunch!  It’s always a fun time to get to spend special one on one time with her!

Two

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We’ve started walking Danika’s 4H pigs daily this week, and that’s been a favorite of mine to watch her really enjoy doing it.  The first walking experience was an adventure, but it’s been really fun every other day.  We all find it kind of therapeutic to let them out and walk them around for 10 minutes each evening.  Danika does way better with them than the rest of us…we’ve decided it’s because of her calm personality.  They never take off running for her like they do for Joe and I – but I consider walking them a form of exercise, and having to run after them is just a way to burn a few extra calories:)

Three

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Summer vacation started for the girls on Wednesday – it’s crazy how fast the year went!  I now have a 2nd and 4th grader (and I think that makes me officially old!).  We can’t wait for late summer nights, lots of swimming and camping!

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Jayde was awarded the Raider Award for her class – it’s an award given to just one kid in each class….she was so excited and we are so proud of the good student and classroom helper that she is!

We’re hoping the weather clears up this weekend so we can go camping again this weekend through Memorial Day.  It’s been a cold, rainy few days and it looks like it will continue for the next couple of days.  Have a great weekend!

 

 

Weekend Recap

We took the camper out for our first trip of the year this weekend!  The weather was perfect (again – we’ve been really lucky with great weather the past few weekends!).  We camped down at our lot by the river which is only about a mile from our house.  I was a little worried we’d be bored, but we definitely stayed busy while we were down there and were able to come home during the day on Saturday and get a few things done.  Here’s some pics from the weekend:

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We came home on Sunday morning and ran to town to pick up a few vegetables to plant in the garden.  Joe sprayed something in our yard and garden last spring to kill weeds and we found out after the fact that our garden wouldn’t grow because of that spray, so we didn’t get to have a garden last year.  We’re going to test it out to see if the chemical is out of the soil this spring, and if my vegetables stay alive for a couple of weeks we will go ahead and plant our pumpkin varieties.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will actually have a garden this year!

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The kids all made me sweet homemade gifts for Mother’s Day, which was the best present ever!  Hope all of you mama’s out there had a great day/weekend as well!

Friday Favorites

Today, I’m linking up with Erika, Narci & Andrea to bring you my Friday Favorites.  I have no life altering products to share this week, but rather a compilation of some of my FAVORITE moments this week!

One

A friend sent an extra Kiwi Crate craft project she received in the mail from her son home with me last weekend.  My girls absolutely loved putting it together (it came with all supplies and instructions on how to assemble).  They spent a couple hours working on it and needed no help from me (extra bonus!).  Their end result was awesome and they had so much fun working together on the project. (For some reason I can’t get the picture from this fun project to load on my computer, so you’ll just have to imagine how wonderful it is:)

 

Two

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On Monday, the girls had track and field day at school.  Joe’s mom was able to come up and spend the day there, and since I was working she offered to take Ashton with her.  The girls were so happy they were there and I was happy to receive the pictures and videos throughout the day!  Win, win for everyone!

Three

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We had some rain on Wednesday throughout the day, so softball practice was cancelled for the night…we were all happy because that meant we actually got to be home with no plans for one night this week (this meant the girls were glued to their iPads since they don’t usually have time during the week to play on them)!

We’re going to attempt our first camping trip for the year this weekend…hopefully all goes well!

 

 

 

Weekend Recap

It was a cold, rainy weekend in our part of the world (think 30 – 40 degrees cold!) so we spent a lot of it curled up indoors!  Friday night we celebrated Ashton’s 4th birthday with a family party.  The birthday boy loved his presents!  IMG_9250.jpg

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Ashton wanted to have his cousins over for a sleepover for his birthday, so after the party we had a sleepover!

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Silly Boys!

Saturday morning, the boys played for a while in the morning and I took Danika to her last volleyball game.  We spent the afternoon being lazy, and Danika went to a friend’s birthday party and sleepover.

Jayde came home from spending the night with her cousin and we had an easy dinner (chicken nuggets and tator tots) and watched a little TV.  I looked over and saw Jayde on the couch like this – I think she was tired!

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Sunday, I did some meal prep for the week (I’m making an attempt at eating healthy again – we’ll see how it goes).  I spent some time working on blog posts, did some real estate work, and laundry.  Danika had another birthday party in the afternoon (this time a swimming party).

We ended the month of April on the couch as a family!  It was nice to have a pretty quiet weekend at home!

 

Friday Favorites

Today I am linking up with Erika, Narci & Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.  Here we go:

One

We had a fun Easter weekend.  Saturday we had a family Easter and the weather was amazing.  We got all of the kids together for a picture at the park before the day was over.  

Sunday we were able to spend the day at home.  The kids slept in a bit and then they found their Easter baskets and hunted eggs around the house.

We spent the rest of the day doing outside work since the weather was amazing!  We got the cars cleaned out, got the camper out, cleaned and ready for the season and did a little yard work.  We rarely have a day at home, so we took full advantage!

Two

Another favorite for this week is that Danika picked out her 4H pigs over the weekend.  She’s been so excited to show pigs this year, but I was a little worried when she got into the pen of pigs that she would freak out.  She and Jayde were both really into it (Jayde even more so than Danika which surprised us all!).  We ended up with 4 pigs that we will get in a couple of weeks.  Stay tuned to see how this project goes….I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about this!

Three

I’ve tried all sorts of workouts over the past few years including Jillian Michaels and 21 Day Fix DVD’s, Jazzercise, etc.  I joined Beachbody on Demand back in February and it’s been amazing being able to workout at home each morning and having a ton of various workouts to choose from.   They often run specials (when I signed up it was an all access pass for $99/year).  This gives me access to any Beachbody workout (there are a ton!) whenever I want, wherever I want. I like the variety and the fact that I can choose a workout that is 10 minutes or an hour depending on how much time I have.  It’s my favorite way to workout – in my house, on my own time frame!

Four

My final favorite this week is my Yeti Tumbler.  I literally have this thing with me everywhere I go!  I love that I can fill it up before work in the morning and my water stays cold (with ice!) all morning.  I sometimes use it for hot chocolate and it stays warm forever.  As the weather warms up, this will be great to take boating, camping, etc. because my drinks will stay cold even when its 100 degrees outside.  If you need a good gift idea for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, etc. this is a great one!

Have a great weekend!