Sunday, October 27, 2013


In honor of this being our 300th post, I'll keep it short and sweet.
We have West Side Children!!! They are definitely their daddies kids.
I was raised on the east side, where the sun shines, and it's warm.

My sister and I would lay out.....because it recharges our battery!!!

 We go to the lake, because it's hot, and the sun is shining, and the lake is cold and feels good!
My Nephew T. We're buds.

The sun makes me happy.
It's like a hug from my Heavenly Father.

We live on the West side. All of our kids have been born and raised on the West side.
They do not share the same infatuation I have with the sun shine.
They share the same "let's play hide and seek, you just don't come find me" relationship that their father has with the sun.

At least we can agree on one thing....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pocket Knives & Waterfalls

Camping is fun. Camping with kids can be challenging.
Fortunately our kids are getting older so they are able to do more picaresque camping activities, which is making camping a little more fun each time we go.
This summer was filled to the brim with camping for our kids. They first spent 2 weeks at Nana and Papas while I went to be a leader at the Girls Camp for our Church. It was so fun and it was nice to have a glimpse of teenage (12-17 yr old) girls from an adults point of view. When we picked them up from Nana and Papa's, we went straight down to Silver Falls to go camping with Greg's family.
We decided that they boys are old enough to learn pocket knife safety and how to whittle. They LOVED IT!!!

They were so careful and handled it perfectly. Making sure no one was in their way, or within range of getting hurt!! 
It was a rough camping trip for Ashley. The play pen didn't get packed so we tried to get her to sleep with us, or on a bed of blankets and she wasn't having it. So she was up all night and a bit moody, although you can't tell it from any of the pictures.

Grandma and Grandpa brought walkie-talkies and the boys loved playing with those. They would take turns coming with me to take the garbage down to the dumpster so that they could use the walkie talkies.

Silver Falls is an amazing place to go on hikes!! There 10 waterfalls and a hike for everyone, ranging from a mile or two to the full 9 mile hike around all 10 waterfalls!!!
We went on the short one, because we had littles who wouldn't make it the full 9 mile hike.
Ashley was excited to be able to walk and not be carried the whole way, however, we did bring the carrier for the tricky parts or for when she got tired of walking.

They boys had fun learning about animals, plants and waterfalls along the way. There was a big poster to see who's wing span matched yours.
Isaac is an American Crow
Gary is Broad winged hawk!

Or so they say........
This is probably the most famous water fall because the trail goes behind it.  The boys were apprehensive at first, but after being convinced they wouldn't fall, continued on our journey.
As you can see, Isaac still isn't convinced that this is the safest plan...being behind the water fall and all.

I tried telling the boys that if they were quiet they would be able to spot a leprechaun, as they like to live behind waterfalls, but all we found was a bear in a cave.

 When Greg and I were dating we hiked the falls. This was our first time back since then.  It was fun to show our kids something that we did before they were even a twinkle in our eye.
This encompassed 3 of my favorite things:

The kids were tired, which resulted in a tantrum here and there, but all in all they had a really fun time and they are still talking about "hiking the falls".  I love seeing them work together, and encourage each other when the hill was a little steep for their liking.
They really do love each other and I love doing things with them that just build upon the friendship that is being formed.

We have pretty awesome kids!!!

Of course the kids LOVED cooking over the campfire. We have been very blessed with kids who have common sense when it comes to fire and cooking. They are very careful and help other little kids be careful!!

We were blessed to have their Great Grandma come down for dinner, as she lives close to the park.
Ashley loved the snuggles and songs that her Great Grandma sang to her. It was so sweet to see them together.
Greg's Grandma is a pretty amazing lady. She loves her family and loves spending time with them.  Her stories are fun to hear.  It's fun to hear stories from someone as experienced as her.
The boys had to practice their whittling every chance they had! If there was a moment of free time, they had their knives.
We decided, after the long day (yes, that was all in one day) we didn't want a repeat of the sleepless night before so we packed everyone up and tag teamed the drive home.....and by tag team what I mean is, Greg drove home while we all slept.

It was the highlight of our summer!! The kids LOVE camping, and while it is beyond exhausting to camp with little ones, the memories and the bond it creates in your kids is 1,000% worth every exhausting minute.