Monday, September 22, 2014

July, August and September 2014 so far..

There's so much I want to write!  And of course very little time...
You'll never guess what we did in July!  We camped =)  We went up to Door County and tested out the new Harrington Beach campground.  And celebrated Colleen's birthday too!  It was another month where we were pretty much gone more than home.  It was really good though, for more than one reason.  For one, it was good practice for the long August road trip.  We were constantly thinking about what we would need, how we could improve on the storage, finding a system that would work while we were gone for 3 weeks, sometimes w/o getting to big cities w/a box store.  Also, we did some really awesome stuff!  Normally, I am not comfortable enough in the boat to go out into Lake Michigan much.  I get panic attacks, mostly when I can't see the shore or there are waves bigger than, oh say, 6".  Which, on Lake Michigan, is a lot of the time!  However, I love Rock Island and Dave was trying to convince me to take the boat from a launch in Door Co all the way to the island.  I wanted to do it...but I also didn't want to puke, pass out, or hyperventilate in the middle of the bay.  I finally decided the big adventure would be memorable enough and the bay isn't nearly as choppy as the big lake.  On a scale of 1-5, the only time I got to a 3 or 4 was when we chose to stop for gas.  We didn't HAVE to, but we thought it would be better to play it safe than get caught out of gas in the twilight.  We had to cross between the islands and the big lake water was tossing us around!!  I survived though...and it was so worth it!!  How many people can say they did that?  Again, we learned a lot for the next time we do it.  B/c yeah, I'm ready to do it again next summer!  
On to August.  We left the homestead in late July for a 24 day road trip - all the way to WA State to see Dave's brother and family!  Again, we camped along the way =)  We were able to go back to the Badlands, the Black Hills, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone.  I could talk for hours about what we saw and did!  There were animals of all kinds spotted by all 4 of us...we cooked some yummy meals over the campfire and hiked and hiked!  We got to see some beautiful country and it was a huge blessing that we could 'camp' right outside our family's house.  The cousins wasted no time running off and playing and it was almost like we were still in WI.  By that I mean that the WA house was sort of similar to the WI house they had and since it was all their same furniture and stuff in it, well...we felt like we were in our home away from home!  They fed us, took us to church, showed us around and stayed up late talking.  It was like the old days.  Dave and I used to go to their house a lot when we first started dating and...ARG no crying while typing a blog post!!!  After a few days, we took the oldest niece still living at home and headed to the coast to camp.  We hiked to the northernmost/westernmost corner of the US!  The beach was many memories made there too!  Then it was back to home base and well, it was really hard to leave.  Let's just leave it at that.  =)  The trip back home was fun too - well, ok, I won't lie, I was complaining a lot more about a sore behind from sitting in the truck!  We had fun but pushed it a little more to get home faster.  And then - we had a mountain of laundry, a 4lb pack of mail, lots of political robo-calls and almost 2000 pics to go through!  It wasn't long and we celebrated Mo's birthday and then we were at school for the open house, meeting teachers and finding cubbies.  Dave went back to meetings and paperwork while I figured out how to calm the voices in my head that were trying to fill the silence here at home.  Last year I was home all year w/no extra kids, but phew!  It was a tough transition this year.  It was a rapid one, an abrupt one...I went from living w/3 other people in close proximity (less than 200 sq ft maybe?) to rambling around an empty casa more than 5 times that size!  It was hard.  I kept grumbling about everyone else getting to do something new and exciting while I went back to packing lunches and cleaning.  Ok, that's a lie, I rarely clean.  I'll say running errands...anyway - I'm over it now but I had a whiny re-entry into regular life!  I really want to have more adventures.  It doesn't help that one of my best friends and her family drove off in their motorhome/house for a life of travel and adventure.  I keep reading their stories and daydreaming about driving my camper over to wherever they are!  Again, I'm over it now, but yeah.  I had to go through an attitude adjustment...
September is not quite over yet but it's had adventure of it's own!  I was able to get away for the weekend to Door Co w/some good girlfriends from church.  We laughed, talked, wine tasted and hiked...another weekend found us at the Y for the first gymnastics meet of the year!  For the boys, no other teams accepted the invite to compete, so the judge scored and provided notes for them to learn from.  It was great to see the improvements in Mo's strength and endurance from last year!  He was a lot more focused this year I think.  It's going to be a fun season!  This year Colleen is taking ballet instead of gymnastics.  We get to go to a dance recital!  Looking forward to that too...Sorry there's no pictures in this post.  I was going to find some, but I'm distracted today.  I can only do one thing at a time!  I'll come back, hopefully later in the week, w/some pictures and other updates.  I'm so glad I got to write and I'm not even behind on the housework - take that, laziness and clutter collection!

Highlights from the first half of 2014

As many of you may know, WI had a really bitter winter this past year.  It wasn't exactly that snowy, but it was one of the coldest on record.  There were windchills in the negative 20s and such for weeks, school was canceled for temps, not snowfall...etc.  We were all indoors A LOT since it wasn't safe to go out and play.  For people like me, who love snow and being outside, it was brutal.  For kids of all kinds, it was torture.  They were so sick of indoor recess!!  Being who we are, our family could not get our brains off of being outside and traveling...on one of the coldest and windiest days of the year, Dave went down to an RV place to check out a hard sided camper.  We video chatted so I could see the thing and laughed about the wind rocking the camper!  Spring break was coming up and we were itching to 'get out of Dodge'!!  It wasn't long and the camper was in our driveway and our savings was in the hands of an RV felt good to have worked toward a financial goal!  Then spring break came and it felt even better to say we were going to drive until the thermometer rose above 60*!  We almost made it there too...=D  We ended up in was pretty nice, not hot, by any stretch of the imagination, but they had spring bulbs pushing up through the dirt and that was good enough for us!  One day I left the towels hanging on the line and when we came back to the campground, it was snowing!  Nothing stuck, but it was an adventure!!  One of our favorite things was having pretty much the whole entire campground to ourselves.  There was only one other group of campers....and they weren't even there the whole week!  We went on some sunny hikes and explored the KY and TN border.

A Glamping We Will Go!

In late April, we took a mini vacation to the WI Dells waterpark hotel, while early May found us on the run for the local Bookworm Garden Fun Run!  I was able to go on field trips with both Moses and Colleen - one to a Y nature camp and the other to a nearby zoo.  

JUNE!!!!  We looked forward to June and it did not disappoint!!!  Of course there were the obligatory make up days of school but that didn't change the fact that a big anniversary was coming up!  The love of my life and I spent the day with our family - and then kicked off a week in the same town we had our first honeymoon =D  It was a little different with kids along, but we are not complaining!  There was much fun - boating, kayaking, mini golfing, tubing, swimming, camping, and YES every day included ice cream!  The weather was perfect - hot, sunny and just what we needed after a winter cooped up inside!  We polished off the first half off 2014 by going to football camp, seeing family, camping with some good friends, and doing some MORE camping!