Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Annual Camping Trip Round up

We just returned from our annual Wads/Groth camping trip today.  Read about past camping trips here and here.  This year, we chose Governor Dodge State Park in Dodgeville, WI.  The forecast showed blistering heat and rain, but we went ahead with our plans anyway.

I had already whipped up some camping sangria and we could not let that go to waste!

Peach infused vodka
White wine
7 up or Sprite
fruit: I used strawberries, apples and blueberries
artificial sweetener
mason jars and lids

Put 1/2-1 packet of sweetener in the jars (I put 1/2 because I was afraid it was going to be too sweet and it was perfect).
Chop up your fruit and fill the mason jars about 2/3-3/4 full of fruit.
Put 3 shots of peach infused vodka in each jar.
Fill the jars up with white wine.
Place your lids on the jars.
Put on ice.
When ready to drink, pour 1/2 of a jar into a solo cup and fill the rest with 7 up or Sprite.

And they were

 Here we are just getting to the campsite and still clean and excited:)

We set up camp in the heat and humidity.

(Last year our little tent leaked during a good rainstorm at night so we invested in a much larger 6 person tent with screen porch and some cots.  Game changer.)

Peek inside:

Dining room:

And then we had to eat immediately.

 And we embarked on our 3 night camping adventure.  Including swims in the lake, ribs by Cookie, sparklers and glow sticks...

Unafraid raccoons visiting the campsite every night and stealing butter out of coolers, a torrential downpour and wicked thunderstorm the first night and morning camp coffee...

Children games of Wall-e, hide and seek and paper Barbies...

The shortest hike on the hottest day...

On the second night, after our rib dinner during which we listened to scary thunder sounds for almost a continuous hour, we got an alert on our phones of a tornado warning, not watch, for the next half hour.  This prompted a flurry of activity including throwing our kids in the cars, stowing the chairs away, adding stakes to the screen tent that lifted off the ground in a gust of wind all while consoling the kids that "of course it is going to be fine!  Nothing bad is going to happen!"  Then we quickly made a mad dash to the local Wal-Mart (where else) where we shopped our anxieties away.

 Rainbow after the storm.

Then we treated the kids (and ourselves) to A&W ice cream.

The next day, we continued on our merry camping adventure.

 (One of the craft project for the kids: nature dream catchers.)

We also made a trip to House on the Rock (which I don't know why I have never ever been there before).

If you have not been there, please, please go!  It is amazing!!

And back at the campsite, we watched the kids fight play.

And then, we were spent.

More memories in the books:)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The "Good Days"

I have this terrible compulsion to read every single parenthood/motherhood/toddler town article on Facebook.  Articles about how fast the little kid years go by.  About how tough it is now but someday, those articles promise that I will look back at this time and miss it.  I will miss the little messes.

The messes that are easy, although maddening when done 50 times per day, to clean up.  The tiny, high-pitched voices that echo through the halls screaming, "MOMMY!?!"  Gallons of bathwater on the floor.

Tiny sticky hands constantly reaching for me.  Countless nights of mombie-ing through the house tending to baby people that are scared/sick/lonely/hungry/just plain not tired.  Crates overflowing with teeny tiny shoes.

Finding half eaten chicken nuggets/breakfast sausages/pieces of gum strategically placed behind chairs so I don't find them until days later.  Never getting to eat a full, warm meal or drink an entire coffee while it is still hot because there is always 1-5 other needs that require attention.  Sippy cups strewn throughout the house that you hope to God are not days old with curdled milk.

I certainly cannot contest the fact that time really is flying by at the speed of light.  I don't know how my first baby is almost 5 and my littlest baby is almost closer to 2 than 1.  I don't know how the hell I got to be closer to 40 than 30 but I am.  Time is sneaky like that.  Just keeps going on and on regardless of what you are doing.  

But I find it impossible that I will be upset by being needed just a smidgen less every moment of the day and night.  I truly find it hard to imagine how having just a few more moments of time to myself would be so bad.  But they all say its true, I will soooo miss these "good days."  

So I am trying.  Really trying to see these days as beautiful messes and maybe even live in the beautiful mess for just a bit before quickly sweeping, collecting, wiping and mopping it up.  Maybe even capture the beautiful messes with my camera and keep these moments forever.  Or better yet, share more of them here on the blog.  I mean, you would love to see a days old chicken nugget perfectly hidden behind an ottoman, right?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Open Shelving

Hey all!  Hope you had a great (and safe) 4th of July yesterday!  I am making some more changes in my dining room.

Previously, I had showed you some pics of the table and new room rearrangement.

This pic shows the back wall where I was not done making changes.  You can see the big coffee sack framed to the upper right.  I decided to take that down and put some open shelving up.  Open shelving is red hot and trending right now.  It is not always the best thing to jump on what is trending but I decided to go for it.  That area has always been a challenge for me for some reason.  Maybe it has something to do with the kid kitchen that lives just below it.  Or not.

Anyway, I picked up some small wooden corbels at Home Depot and painted them white.

Then I hung them on the wall.

Then I bought a pine board and had the Home Depot guy cut it down to give me 2 30" boards.  I stained them with my favorite stain mixture, 75% Minwax classic grey and 25% Minwax dark walnut.  I placed them centered over the corbels, predrilled some holed and screwed the boards to the corbels.  Done.  Then came the hard part, decorating/staging the shelves...

 I used all stuff I had on hand already, meat grinders, basket, baking ware, sifter, scale I got from an antiques mall, bird houses and the Craftshop orb.

Oh, and I got some chairs that I am in the process of painting white with chalk paint.  I have one coat on and I.just.can'  So that is how they will live for a bit.

Stay tuned for more changes to this wall!