Weekend Recap

Yet another busy weekend for the Kreifels family – I’m pretty certain I can just assume every weekend from here until forever can be classified as “busy”!.  We lined my mom up to watch the kids Friday night and decided to hit up the Scotty McCreery concert at the Washington County Fair.  It was a much needed night out without the kids- I can’t speak for the quality of the performance as we spent most of the night in the beer garden and couldn’t really hear the band at all.  Still nice to have adult time!

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Saturday morning Joe and I were up early and took one injured pig that we aren’t going to be able to show at the fair to the butcher, ran to Omaha and ran a few errands, and then went and got the kids.  We all took naps in the afternoon (I apparently am useless on 4 hours of sleep!), and then I tackled projects around the house – cleaning, helping Danika with a 4H project, etc.

We’ve been dog sitting for our neighbors this week, and two of their dogs are lab puppies with a lot of energy.  The owners gave the kids spray bottles to spray the dogs so they don’t jump – the kids spent more time spraying each other than anything, so Saturday night we let them go crazy and have a spray bottle fight.  They loved it!

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We spent some time working with the pigs and went for a Ranger ride, and then I decided to tackle a late night project and make Danika some pig signs to hang by her stalls at the fair that she can write her pigs’ names on.  She’s been having a rough time with her favorite pig being gone, so I thought it would cheer her up.  It helped a little at least!

Sunday, we got the camper ready for the fair and then headed to the lake to swim with cousins for a couple hours.

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We got home from the lake and Ashton snuggled up to Joe and not long after he was passed out!

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We had a picnic with our 4H group Sunday evening at the fairgrounds and got home in time to get everyone showered and to bed…long day made for cranky kids!  This week is our county fair, so we’ll be camping most of the week/weekend. I’ll do fair recap next week sometime….should be a fun/busy week!

 

Vacation – Part 2

I’m not sure we could top the water park on the second day of vacation, but we thought we’d try!  We got up early Monday morning and drove to Adventureland.  Ashton wasn’t too patient on the car rides, but found this map of Kansas to be pretty entertaining for at least 30 minutes.  We never knew Walmart, and Adventureland could be found on the Kansas map:)

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In years past, Monday’s were never very busy there so we were banking on that again this year.  Unfortunately, I think it’s late enough in the summer that everyone was trying to get their vacations in because when we pulled in the lot, there was a LONG line to park…so much for thinking we’d have the place pretty much to ourselves!  Luckily the weather was really good, so that made the crowds more bearable.  We always hop on the train around the park as our first stop.

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After the train, we hit up the skyfari to take us to the other end of the park.  The view behind me was all of my favorite people.

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We did a couple of rides and then thought we would do the Raging River – along with 1,000 other people.  The line was long but we didn’t gauge how slow it would move.  We thought the wait might be 30 minutes so we decided to get in line.  After 1 1/2 hours, we finally made it to the front to front of the line….Ashton had about lost his mind by that time and we were all pretty cranky.  We decided it wasn’t worth the wait for the 5 minutes of entertainment.  Lesson learned!

We grabbed some lunch and then hit up a few more rides – by this time the people had all moved to the water park so the rides were less busy.  The kids were all about the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler and I was happy to sit and watch – those kind of rides don’t sit well with me anymore!

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Ashton was obsessed with this guy – had to run and give him high fives whenever we saw him!

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We ended our visit to Adventureland with a stop at the ice cream shop and then headed home.  Luckily, the ride home was pretty quiet and the kids got all wound up about 15 minutes from home.  Here’s the response I got when I asked for a picture showing how they felt about almost being home:

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We had a great little vacation…it’s always fun to get away even if only for a short time.  I love spending time with these people and hope that the kids will remember it for a while!

 

Mini Vacation

It’s been hard to find time to get away this summer with softball and 4H pigs, so we decided to do a quick vacation the last couple of days.  We left Sunday morning and headed to Kings Pointe Water Park in Storm Lake, IA.  I knew a few people that had been there before and it had good reviews.  It was a HUGE hit with my kids!  Ashton wasn’t tall enough for all of the slides, but there was one big outdoor slide (the orange one in the picture below) that he could ride down on a tube with an adult (it was fully enclosed and completely dark most of the way down, which was actually pretty nerve-wracking, but it didn’t seem to bother that kid!).  I think Joe and I each carried a double tube up the huge set of stairs to the top of the waterslide at least 15 times (quite the workout!!), but it was worth it because I’ve never seen Ashton more excited.  The girls were brave and tried every slide there – even the ones that went straight down that Joe and I wouldn’t even go on!  We managed to spend the entire day there between the outdoor slides/pool and the indoor ones.

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The kids were pumped to find their own American Ninja Warrior course:)  Apparently, Ashton was happy to tell anyone (even the kids he didn’t know) that fell in the water during this obstacle that they were an American Ninja Warrior loser!

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Both Ashton and Jayde we excited about the diving boards.  Ashton was pretty entertaining to watch running and jumping off of the low diving board.  He really wanted to try the high dive, but Joe and I decided that might scar him for life so we made him stick to the low dive!

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Jayde went off the high dive a few times and then decided she wanted to try a flip like she saw some of the other kids doing.  It started off okay, but then ended in a back flop…she came up crying (which made me convinced that she broke her back or something since I’m a huge worrier!).  In the end, I think it just scared her and probably hurt a little (or a lot!), and Joe was trying hard not to laugh at her!  It might be a while before she tries that one again.

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We ended the day with a little park play time at the park next door to the water park, and we walked up to the top of the lighthouse for a quick picture.

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We had such a fun day!  The kids were excited to spend the night in a hotel (which apparently we don’t do often enough).  I think Jayde would have been happy just staying in a hotel for the night.  Stay tuned for day two of our mini vacation….

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!