Monday, July 30, 2012

4th of July

My kind of 4th of July includes:

good friends
fireworks in the street
barefoot children
water play

We spent all of June moving (BOO...yuck!), so we really wanted to do something fun for the 4th.  Our new house sits in the perfect cul-de-sac for having a party in the street.  So we called up some friends and threw together a BYOM 4th of July party.  It was PERFECT and met all the requirements for my ideal 4th of July!

I think I counted 21 kids/babies total!
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Isn't she a doll face?  



Bike derby

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I will never get tired of seeing her buns!  It's impossible to keep those things covered!  Ba-da-BING!

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Lucy set up a regular Happy Nails.  She gave all her friends a patriotic manicure!

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Yosemite - Meadow

There is NOTHING on this planet that compares to seeing the sun rise and experiencing the newness of morning in a beautiful place like Yosemite.  

This particular morning we were up and at em before the sun peeked it's head into the valley floor.
We snuck, and I say snuck because if you get to Curry Village before the 7am shower attendants arrive, then you can shower for free.  

Feeling clean and fresh, we decided to take a stroll through this beautiful meadow.  On our walk we saw a doe with her 2 frolicking fawns.  They were so lovely to watch.  We wished we could get closer, but since we'd already trapped squirrels and snuck showers we figured we ought to at least stay on the marked path.

So, we took some pictures and continued on.

I LOVED the meadows of Yosemite and next time I will be sure to lay in one during sun down.  

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yosemite - At Camp

Boy, are kids a lot of work!  
Boy, is camping a lot of work!
So you know what camping + kids must equal = Eeeeeekkkkkk!

And what makes it all the more special is when you are packing the night before the big campout and one of your kids gets the FLU!

At about 11:30 pm Sunday night, after packing/preparing for several hours, Lucy threw up in her bed.
Awesome, we say.  Maybe it's a fluke?  She has thrown up before because of something she's eaten that didn't settle well.  So hopefully that's it!

But what if it's not?  Should we bag the whole thing?  
Camping and the flu don't seem to mix!

We decide to carry on.  She didn't throw up that much.  Let's take our chances.

So we did.  We had an excellent, easy drive.  Jack didn't even get carsick around all those turns.  Thanks to the Dramamine we tried 8 times to get him to swallow until we dissolved it and made him gag it down.  But no FLU!

We set up camp.  Troy did a lot of work in the 90+ degree heat of the day.  Then he started to feel "woosy".  Uh-oh.  He tried to shake it off with a dip in the river, but eventually the bug got him.  

We had to enjoy the foil dinners without him on the first night.  

The kids LOVED assembling these.  I didn't expect them to go over this well, but they found it so fun to prepare, cook, and unveil the finished dinner all by themselves.  They were really tasty too.

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The next morning Troy felt great.  YAY!  I don't think I could have held down the camp very long solo!  

Jack was busy collecting "hay" for the fire.  I know I've mentioned before that he is OBSESSED
with ALL things fire.  He could collect wood ALL day, if we let him.


I learned quickly that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to keep Sam clean.  He was just learning to walk, but crawling was his main mode of transport, so he and the dirt became one.  At the end of the day I took a wipe to his hands, feet and mouth and called it good enough!

Sidenote:  It was well into the 90's the week we were there, so we were SOOOO hot in camp.  We went through tons of water, and our only refreshment was the river!


Troy was adamant about making really fancy camping dinners.  Trust me, I was campaigning for weenies and beans!  He borrowed a dutch oven from a co-worker and concocted this delicious chipotle chicken and rice dish.  Oh man...the aromas were divine.  The only problem was that we didn't have any fancy tools for lifting the dutch oven lid.  So as you can see, he had to opt for some makeshift devices.  Just as I was done taking these pictures, the lid tipped and dumped all the charcoal into the food.  Oh boy, was he bummed.  Or mad.  Or maybe a teensy bit furious.

It was a real bummer.  We tried to salvage it, but most of the food had tiny bits of crunchy charcoal.  It was absolutely as tasty as it was was just a little bit crunchy.

The next night we bagged our planned meal and took everyone to the Curry Village cafe for burgers and fries.  BEST MEAL I'VE EVER EATEN and best decision we've ever made!


These kids slept so well.  The nighttime weather was warm enough to sleep lightly covered.  It was heavenly!

Even Sam had great nights, but he kept waking up at 5:30ish.  Usually Troy or myself would take him on a drive or bike ride to keep him quiet for the other campers.  That was kinda brutal, but you do what you've gotta do.

I love this picture with Jack and his Lion.


This picture is a favorite too.  All my kids LOVE daddy!

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Troy built Jack this squirrel trap which provided hours of entertainment!  It seemed like a good idea until the Yosemite Ranger came by and reprimanded me with dirty looks about the whole shenanigan.



Lucy found her church friend, Eliza.  They had fun running between campsites, riding bikes, and coloring.


These are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE pictures of the entire trip.  Maybe of all time.

This was the cutest morning interchange between these three lovers.  They just kissed and hugged and snuggled with Dad as they woke up.  

I love my boys.

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Despite all the hard work that goes into camping with kids, it was TOTALLY worth it!

Yosemite 2012

We hadn't been to Yosemite since we were kids.

Our friends offered us a campsite that was going to go vacant for their reunion, so we jumped on the opportunity.

I'm so glad we did.  You just can't put into words the majesty of the landscape in Yosemite.  From the valley floor or the Glacier point overlook, the scenery is incredible.

I only wish, as always, that I had taken more pictures!

I will slowly attempt to document our visit.
We hope to make this a vacation spot every year!

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