Sunday, June 30, 2013


 Strawberry season is almost over so we decided we'd better get some while we still can. Rod and the 3 older boys picked about 4 flats worth before deciding that 95 degree weather was too hot to pick more. We also decided it was too hot to process in the house and set up tables outside in the shade near the sprinkler.

 Bitty Brenna helped eat a rather amazing amount of berries. I still can't believe how much this kid eats! I guess after Owen not being able to eat at all at this age, I'm out of practice feeding a toddler.

 Owen decided it was too hot for clothes and ditched them while running through the sprinkler. Our house is set back from the road and we have a double line of trees in the front and all the neighbors are at least an acre away, so we just let him run around naked. Ninety five degrees is about as hot as it gets here, so we aren't acclimated to the temperature.
 Poor Brenna fell on her face after eating a bunch of strawberries. Her face isn't really bloody it's just berry juice.
 Morgan helped us out by moving the sprinkler around to different parts of the yard while running through it.

 Devon is excited about the end of strawberries. She's been working in one of the processing plants this summer and is getting rather sick of seeing strawberries coming down a conveyor belt at her. Now she gets to do raspberries! She was still able to tolerate eating strawberry shortcake for dessert though.
 These strawberries either were frozen whole or sliced and sugared for future strawberry shortcake or waffles! I decided it was too hot to make jam. Maybe another day soon.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Chores for Brenna?

 I admit I'm a mean mom who makes her children do chores. I don't usually start them out this early though ( at this age I do have them help me put away their toys and put dishes in the sink). Brenna simply insisted that she was old enough to do the dishes, and could do a much better job than Devon. So, what could I do, but let her help?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Food, Water, Toilet Paper!

 I have a confession to make. I keep toilet paper in my van. All the time, not just when I'm camping. I also keep water and some sort of food, but those get used up (and sometimes not replaced right away) much more often than the toilet paper. See, I have 7 kids and often we have friends or cousins along too. We live in a very rural area about 30 minutes from an actual town with stop lights and such. We also travel several hours away to big city hospitals frequently.
  Accidents happen, to us especially. Most of the time accidents end up involving toilet paper (or baby wipes, also kept in the van). Sunday, we ended up stuck on the mountain for almost 3 hours before we were rescued. This barricade was the only "private" spot in which to use toilet paper. So, yes I sent several children over the barricade next to the cliff ( there was actually about 10 feet before the drop off) for "privacy". If you are ever in a similar situation, may I suggest you only bring boys? It's much easier that way. Don't worry, unlike other travelers who must have had similar problems we did not just leave our toilet paper on the other side of the barricade( Seriously ! Everywhere!). Devon and Kalina were making so many jokes about it that I promised to embarrass them forever by writing this post.

Luckily they are good sports!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Leavenworth 2013

 Saturday we (minus Cameron who went on the scout hike) along with Kalina and Tilly headed into Leavenworth. I'm not usually into tourist trap towns, but I love Leavenworth! They have the best gingerbread and our all time favorite store Kris Kringl.
 One of our family Christmas traditions is to get each child their own ornament. We keep them in separate boxes for each child so that when they move into their own homes they will have enough to decorate their first trees. A good portion of our ornaments have come from this store.
 Owen quickly chose a blue blown glass bird and then was removed from the store due to an inability to act safely around breakable objects.
 Brenna enjoyed eating the heads ( and only the heads) off of the mini gingerbread men and women. We also bought a little over a pound of saltwater taffy intending to share it, but Devon, Kalina, and Tilly ate all but about 20 pieces.
 We only had one minor catastrophe. It was all Rod's fault. As we got in the car, Rod saw gum stuck on a cup Morgan had.  He told her to get the gum off the cup and put it in the garbage. Only by the time we got to the garbage she had already found a different place to put it! I was able to get some of it out while we were in town and most of the rest came out with the help of some butter back at camp. Only a small chunk had to be cut out.
 We let Morgan, Owen, and Duncan have some time in the bounce house. Brenna wanted to play too, but a few other kids were being rougher than I thought she could handle.
While they were in the bounce house Kalina took a trip up the rock wall.
  I have been promising Kalina that I would teach her how to sew this summer. I asked her to decide what she wants to learn to make and that I would then pick out a simple pattern for her to learn on. She decided that she wants to make a Traditional Bavarian Folk Dress. She fell in love with them while we were in Leavenworth. I had to think a minute before I could come up with a beginner version of that! I decided that we will make a peasant top, a full skirt, and an apron and then I'll see if she's up to attempting a bodice or if I'll just make that for her.

 Devon, Connor, and Tilly walked around the main square taking pictures. I love watching Tilly take pictures! She's so serious about getting the right angles, her pictures turn out great!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Camping 2013

 Now that you've heard all about our trip home, I thought I'd share some pictures of the actual camping trip. We arrived at the campground at about 8:00 at night with only a few minor inconveniences (involving poop and puke, and I admit they didn't seem minor until the trip home). Our friends from the Baker's Dozen had taken our tent with them and had it all set up for us when we arrived. Friday night we shared a fire and s'mores with the Baker's Dozen crew ( and Ben who had only had s'mores one other time) and then headed to bed. It took the little kids a while to settle down. Okay, it actually took the big kids a while to settle down too, but they weren't sleeping in our tent. Connor and Cameron slept with their patrols and Devon shared a tent with Adalia and Tilly.
 Saturday morning started out bright and early( at least early for us) with Rod making pancakes and bacon for breakfast. We hung around camp for a couple of hours and then headed into Leavenworth (more pictures later) when everyone else went hiking. We chose not to hike since that would have put us farther out of emergency range than we were comfortable taking Owen. Cell service isn't very reliable up there. We got back to camp around the same time as everyone else and relaxed a bit before dinner. Brenna invented a new game called "camouflage". It consisted of her sitting on the ground and covering herself with pine needles and dirt.
 It meant that she got to take a bath in the washtub before bed. I think that might have been the highlight of her trip up until the ride home.
 Owen also got a wash tub bath, but his pictures all turned out x-rated.
 Morgan had a blast playing with all the other little girls! She tends to be surrounded by boys here at home so having so many girls her age was nice for her.
 This little boy ran and played in the woods most of the trip and refused to pose for pictures.
 Saturday night, the scouts had a Flag Retirement Ceremony complete with full uniforms and large flames!
 Sunday morning the big kids got up early to go river rafting. We stayed at camp and packed up while this little guy got his beauty rest.
 I checked Morgan's sleeping bag and didn't notice at first that she was still in it. This is the sleeping bag she earned selling girl scout cookies!
 Finally we had everyone fed and everything packed and headed to the park where the rafts come in. We let the little kids run around the playground for a while.
 Brenna broke out from the sunscreen we put on her Saturday, so she got to wear her sun bonnet . I think I need to make her a few more. She is so pale AND has super sensitive skin.
 Finally the rafts started coming in. I actually didn't manage to get pictures of our crew because we didn't realize they were our rafts. The rafting company was using different colored boats than last time Rod or I went. I did get a picture of this raft because some guy in it was waving at us like crazy so we assumed he was one of our group. He wasn't though.
 All in all, we had a great time and would love to go again next year! Minus the car trouble on the way home that is!