Monday, August 31, 2009

The fresh face of five

This handsome little guy turned FIVE today. Crazy! If I let myself, I could get really sappy about how I can't believe my baby is so big and how does the time go so fast and what happened to my baby boy but I won't go there. Rather, I'll focus on the awesome day he had and that we all had with him. Just a lot of hanging out at home, in the backyard, just what he likes best I think.

A birthday hug from big sis before she pretty much disappeared for the day with her friends. She came back for meals and birthday cake.
Smacking the ball around with his new t-ball set.Time with Nana - the best.Playing with Hudson. Old toys became new again.Some sillies with mama.A good old-fashioned pile-up in the backyard.Story time.Helping Dad beat up Cooper - always a good time.Five looks great on you, little buddy. We love you lots and lots.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here are the highlights (and a few low lights):

The beach
It was beautiful and by far my favorite thing about this place. We never aftually ventured into the water (way too cold) but the top activities were playing 'follow the leader' across the logs, looking for pretty rocks and shells, knocking down the log houses built by others and then finally on the last night building one of our own.

The bridge
When we drove across it for the first time as we headed in to the park I was completely in awe. The view up there was really something to see.The next day we hiked up to the top, across it, did some hiking on the other side and then headed back over the way we came. I could have sat there all day just taking it all in. The kids had a great time exploring.

The hikes
Our hike up to bridge was the only one we did as a family. Taggart's not really the best hiker (or hunter, like he calls it). "When are we going on the hunt? Can I wear my hunting boots?"
We made lots of stops and brought lots of snacks so he did okay. Hudson had a serious run-in with a wasps nest on the way back. I won't go into great detail because the story could become a long one and I already have a lot to cover, but I will say this - Hudson was ready to pack up camp and head home right then and there. At that point - the worst trip of his life. He bucked up though and enjoyed himself, oh...until the last day when he got stung just one more time. That experience will stick with him until he's a grandpa, I'm sure. If you ever want the full details be sure to ask me, not him though. The fact that he was standing on the trail without his shirt and his pants down around his ankles was not embarrassing then but it has proven to be so now.

The food
We ate well and there was no shortage of it. Camping is not camping without an ample supply of candy in this family so there was definitely that. Dinners included tacos, spaghetti, chicken kabobs, and tex-mex chicken complete with corn muffins warmed over the fire. Food somehow tastes better around a campfire.
The knives
Tony has introduced the boys to his love of his knives this summer. A little scary for me as I already talked about in my Lac Le Jeune post but it provided a lot of entertainment this trip as well. The throwing knives came out again, as the little hole in our tent shows. When I told Tony there was a hole in the tent about the same length as the width of a knife he was not at all annoyed which surprised me greatly, until later when I heard from the kids that it was Daddy who put the hole there. Those rumors have still not been confirmed nor denied. Whittling was the new thing and lots of little spears and other things good for poking and such were created. Reagan thought she would test out Dad's giant toothpick he made.

The memories
We really liked this place and would come back there in a minute if it weren't for the naval base right next door and the jets roaring over our heads making conversation at certain times next to impossible. That aside, we had a great time just hanging out. All the stress I had before we left was gone as soon as we got there and I decided I am a pretty good camper after all. Eventhough I was accused a few times of trying to keep the campsite too neat.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're off

We're off to the wilderness but we have Taggart the Tiger to protect us so I'm sure there is no need to worry.
face painting courtesy of the very kind and patient Aunty Mary
Back to the blogging world in a week or so.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Little rock stars

Forgive me if this is something only a mother could love - I just had to post.

video

Hudson discovered a no-fail mode on Rock Band - very 'ego-boosting' for Taggart.

They are singing the GO-GO's as I type this. So funny.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What are you so grouchy about?

I am not in the habit of using this blog as a place to vent my frustrations. I actually consider myself a bit of a non-complainer (I hope those who know me will agree). I don't like to complain and waste energy on things I can't do anything about.

But.....today I feel like I am complaining about everything.

a whining four year old

bickering brothers

pool-water that I can't seem to get clear

a dirty floor

fixing too many snacks

the list goes on...

And then I thought what's wrong with me today? What am I so grouchy about?

I think I've figured it out...

Going

camping

stresses

me

out.

We don't leave until Sunday and we are only going for four nights (in a tent, mind you) so why am I already freaking out about it?

Because

it

is

so

much

work.

I've spent the last hour googling and then finally getting on the phone to find out what kinds of food we can and cannot take across the border. Good thing too because all the stuff I thought we couldn't take we actually can but firewood, which I hadn't even thought of, we can't.

I've got lists everywhere, in my head and all over the counter, to make sure I don't forget anything. We don't camp enough, so I really don't have this down to a science. Yet, I'm not sure if I really want to camp any more than we do.

Okay, enough.

I've vented and let it all out.

Do I feel better?

I'll let you know.

It might take until after we've returned.

Wish me luck.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Something I forgot

I've been told that I left out a very important part of our Lac Le Jeune weekend. I knew that I had and was planning to cover it in a second post. But when a certain person (he knows who he is) has the camera, I am left with about a thousand photos to go through, delete and edit. It takes a while.
So without further delay, the scaries part of the weekend for me by far:
Knife throwing. "Isn't that dangerous with all the kids running around?", you might ask. "YES", I say, "it is." But we did it anyway because, as I was told, that's what boys do when they are in the bush. Oh ya, and girls.

That big stick was put there by Tony as the line to stand behing when someone was throwing.
That's me trying to keep Tag behind the line.Still trying to keep him there - look like Cooper's trying to help.
Can you see that lovely look on my face - I was quite certain that Tag was going to cut off his right ear.

Who said girls can't throw knives?
Feeling very manly.Glad to say that we left the back hill with all of our fingers, toes and ears.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lac Le Jeune

This past weekend we spent three great days at my brothers cabin in Lac Le Jeune. When we got there on Saturday afternoon, Rudy and Tina were there to greet us. The weather was nice and warm but not hot. Not swimming in the lake weather, by my standards, but of course I still always coax the kids to get in. While my coaxing did nothing, Uncle Rudy's bribing was all they needed. $10 bucks for who ever jumped in off the end of the dock. All the boys took the bait. I think we were all a little surprised that they all did it so quickly and Rudy that he would actually have to cough up $30 bucks. Apparently they are all a little money hungry. Not Reagan though, she was quite happy to stay warm and dry. She always has the most money in her piggy bank than her brothers at any given time. She's a saver.
Hudson was the first one in.Tag was second with a cannonball.'Gimme some of that'Cooper finishes it off
Reagan thinking that getting wet and cold is not worth $10.
The rest of the day brought hanging out on the porch (my favorite), a walk in the woods to see a big tree hit by lightning, kayaking, dinner with our lovely hosts, and an attempt at fishing.
Love this shot for some reasonThe biggest 'blowy flower' everThe walk got a little long and boring for Tag - here he's trying to throw a rock at me because I won't carry him
Uncle Rudy distracted him nicely with this big stick which they both carried all the way back to the cabin. Tag was determined to take it home but we threw it behind the cabin when he wasn't looking and luckily for us he didn't notice.Got this photo thanks to Rudy - thanks for noticing my girl in the beautiful light - this is one of my fave shots of the weekendDessert on the porch.
Some Reagan and Hudson time hanging out on the dock waiting for the others to come back in the boat
She was teaching him some silly song that she learned at campSome quiet time with Dad and his iPodTime to get clean. Cooper informed me he was very thankful he wasn't part of this particular group shot.This one was taken on the drive home. We were at a stand still on the highway for about 45 minutes due to a vehicle fire. The kids just got out of the truck and literally played beside the highway.Maybe my favorite of the weekend. And on this note - Happy 16 years today to you, Tony. Happy Anniversary. I love you.