Saturday, July 21, 2012

One more room makeover!

A couple of days ago we finished organizing and cleaning Caroline's room.  The kids (and Mom!) are all very pleased with their neat rooms.  Caroline spent the rest of the afternoon playing in her room after we were done, clearly happy with its improvement.

So, here's your tour!  (They cracked me up how they had to pose for the picture.)

Caroline's closet/Barbie and American Girl doll paradise
Caroline went through her entire bookshelf by herself, and took all of the books that she would either like to hand down to Evan (lots of good Kindergarten books for our big boy) and donate to Goodwill (the ones too girly for our big boy!).  Together we dressed up Caroline's American Girl dolls and did their hair.  Julie on the left is wearing the beautiful 1st Communion dress Grandma Nosek made, and Elizabeth on the right (that Grandma Orton got for Caroline) is wearing one of my daughter's favorite party dresses.
It's good to have these pictures to remember what the kids' rooms looked like!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thank God for rain, Moxie, and clean rooms!

We have had a pretty severe drought going on around here, and it finally broke tonight!  Huge thunderstorms rolled in, bringing much needed water to our very thirsty trees, plants and dormant, crunchy grass.  We are very thankful, so much so that we won't even complain that the t-storms rolled in right at bedtime.  It is worth mentioning because Henry invited a scared Caroline to sleep in his room tonight with him since Seth is at a sleepover.  I thought that was sweet.  Then our dog, Moxie, comforted Caroline by laying right beside her! :)
When there was a HUGE clap of thunder, I went in to comfort both of them.  (Henry was already asleep!)
It's been a very productive week.  Because I am going camping from Sunday to Wednesday with Henry and his scout troop, and because we are expecting our Japanese foreign exchange student next Thursday, we needed to get stuff DONE. Dave has been packing all of the camping stuff.  The kids and I have been tackling our bedrooms...want to see the results?

Evan's room
Evan's closet (I pulled out all of the clothes that don't fit or that he doesn't wear)
Another view in Evan's room (we also organized all of the kids' bulletin boards)

Henry and Seth's room
Another view in Henry and Seth's room (we pulled out all of the books that the kids don't read and are going to garage sale them)
Henry and Seth's closet
Caroline's room will be finished tomorrow.  We are making progress!
Caroline's closet
Tomorrow we'll also tackle the playroom and the master bedroom.  I told the kids that as soon as we finish all of this work, I am taking us out for ice cream!  It will definitely be well-deserved.  I am proud of how hard they worked.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We appreciate cows.

Yes, we do, which naturally means that we dressed like cows to honor them on Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A.  And, of course, it naturally follows that we try to eat more chicken when possible.  Chick-Fil-A richly rewarded our enthusiasm for their holiday by giving all of us a free meal!  I think that I would have paid about $25, and YAY! it was free!!
If you are admiring our cow costumes, thank you.  We all made our own spots.  My sister, Karen, dressed as Khloe "Kow"dashian, and honestly, if Chick-Fil-A were handing out awards for best costumes, Karen would have won hands down.  From the cool sunglasses, to her glammed-up cow bell, to her sparkly nose (not pictured), her costume was the most fun!  She even made a button for me that said, "More cowbell!" from the ever popular Saturday Night Live skit.

The party went well except for when a chicken tried to steal the spotlight.
Thanks for a fun lunch, Karen, Robbie and Chick-Fil-A!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Timber-Lee Finale

On Saturday morning, I left the house at 6:30 AM to pick Caroline up from Camp Timber-Lee.  Dave stayed home with the boys and Moxie so that they could get some extra sleep for our busy weekend.  At about 8:45, I pulled into the camp parking lot and made my way to the outdoor chapel.  I quickly found Caroline amongst all the campers gathered there.  Even though she had only been away from us for three days, I definitely missed her.  Is it crazy that when we gave each other a big hug I had tears in my eyes? ;) I then found my seat because the campers then began singing their favorite songs from the week, one of which was the one I captured in this clip...

After the kids sang their songs with such beautiful enthusiasm, the camp director gave us a synopsis of what the kids did and talked about during their stay at Timber-Lee.  I am my mother's daughter.  We tend to cry sometimes.  I cried this time because I could tell it had been such a good experience for Caroline.

Then Caroline was able to give me a tour of her favorite places at camp.  One was the nature center, where they had all kinds of animals that the kids could pet and hold.  The ferret and rabbit stole Caroline's heart.  She was making a big push to get one of her own!
She got to hold painted turtles...
and pet a huge tortoise!
Next we went to the climbing wall.  Caroline thought that she was only going to be able to show the wall to me, but was thrilled when they told her that she could show me how she climbs it!  My daughter has no fear, and she's strong too!
Watch my girl climb in the following clip!

On our way back home, our group stopped off at a pizza buffet restaurant.  It was a great place to fill their bellies and share their favorite stories from camp.  Caroline and her group of friends, their older sisters and their friends, and all of the parents made a big group, so we wound up in the party room.  That was a good thing, because when the girls decided to sing the camp songs, it got a little loud.  ;)
Caroline's thoughts on her first camp experience?  She can't wait until she goes next year, and she has been wearing her camp t-shirt (the one in the above picture) every day since she left!  (Yes, I'm washing it!) I'd say she loves Timber-Lee! ;)

Home Sweet Home

Caroline had a great time at camp, but she was happy to come home too!  The boys camped out in the living room with her to welcome her home!
Caroline loved the animals that her camp had in their nature center so much that when she got home, she wanted to see if she could catch her own rabbit for a pet.
Dave helped her set up one that had been successful for him in the past...a Rubbermaid container held up by a sand rake and baited with carrots.  Caroline could supposedly trap a rabbit by pulling on the rope that was attached to the rake.  Unfortunately, she didn't have any luck catching a new pet.  However, as she said, "Maybe it's for the best because Moxie might get jealous." ;)
Even though Dave is not a huge fan of sparklers, he did let the kids use our last pack of them as a little celebration to welcome Caroline home.
We missed you, Caroline!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Caroline at Camp Timber-Lee

I'm so excited for my daughter!  Today she went to her first sleep-over camp with some of her friends!  At 6:30 AM, my friend Lisa picked up Caroline and me, and we traveled up to Camp Timber-Lee.  Caroline was so happy to pass the time in the two-hour drive up there with her sweet friend, Audra.  Here they are when we finally arrived!
Caroline got to bunk up with three of her good friends.  Here she is on her bunk!
A self portrait of my favorite daughter and me!
Their home away from home for the next three days!
This is their meeting room in the center of the lodge right outside of their room.
Elyse (second from the left) and her mom picked up these cool shirts for the girls to wear on the first day of camp!
Caroline and her counselor, Abby
The girlies outside of their lodge, the Ponderosa Pines!
The mess hall
The cafeteria
The outdoor chapel
The beach
I am happy to report that Caroline is not suffering any homesickness. :)  The camp takes pictures of the kids in their activities (like the following one) and publishes them on a website for parents.  It's reassuring to see their smiling faces and to see that they are having a blast!
They look like they are having so much fun that I wish I could be a camper again!  Love you, Peanut!

Fantabulous Lake Pictures...

captured by my brother-in-law, Mark!

He has such a good eye for photography, always catching such fun candid shots. Then, to top it off, he always emails them to us, which makes me very happy. Thanks so much, Mark!

The cousins had a great game of raft pirates's Evan and Charlie defending their ship!
Evan caught a fish!
Caroline caught one too!
I don't know what Caroline is laughing about in this picture, but I love it!
Moxie was none too happy to see her dad drive away in the boat.  Poor puppy!
Off they go!
How many kids can we fit on one trampoline?
The spectators :)
Evan and Aunt Debby putting the flag out on the pier
Evan trying to ski for the first time!
Moxie wishing she could go over to play with her friends next door
The finest seats in (or out) of the house!
Mmmmm...summer sweet corn!
I love summer!  Wish it could last all year!!