Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Camping 2010

We spontaneously rented a cabin at a nearby regional park. We wanted to give Sam a last-of-the-season opportunity to fish. We also wanted a couple of days with just our family to be in the woods and get away from home. We've always been tent campers and we love to cook outside, etc. We didn't go that route for several reasons: 1) the warm weather is past and it's just too cold at night for the littlest ones. 2) It's a major production to pack and prepare for a "rustic" trip with six young children. We decided on the next step up, a rustic cabin. This one-room cabin would have a roof, a wood stove, beds, a stove and refrigerator. Just enough extra convenience to reduce the amount of effort and discomfort. Well, what ended up happening was the park manager called and us and said that the forecast was COLD and very WET. He upgraded us to a modern cabin at no additional cost. So...it didn't end up being very similar to camping but it was a blessing in light of the weather. The modern cabin has two bedrooms, living and dining rooms, and kitchen. Oh, and a bathroom. No outhouse visits in the rain. :) Hot water (not to mention running water) and electric heat with a thermostat were the other major conveniences. I also didn't have to pack as much because all dishes and cookware were supplied. Since we had this cozy cabin for such a great rate, we asked if we could stay another night and we enjoyed a lovely mini-vacation, huddled together getting dry from our occasional excursions out into the rain. Our first meal in the little dining room.

This first arrival evening we cooked up some Reuben sandwiches with our homemade sauerkraut and served them with potato salad and iced tea.

I'm not sure where she got this (maybe her friend, Katrina), but this is one of Millie's favorite faces to make for me right now.

Two ready for bed. They're excited. They're holding their flashlights that we got them and they were excited about those too.

Two more ready for bed.

And the last two.

Cal really wanted me to take a picture. What a sweet 5 year old. :)

Some fun in the rain.

The slides and other toys were just too wet.

This was actually on the way to a lake in the park where we were heading to do a little fishing. There are two small lakes there that are both very child-friendly.

My dinner helper, buttering the bread.

Calvin and Dad made up their own game that was like playing soccer with a Frisbee. They called it 'frisoccer."

This is a good shot of the living room. The door to the right leads to the small room for the boys and the one straight ahead is the room that Peter and I shared with the girls.

A game of Rivers, Roads and Rails.

And a game of Oware or Nam Nam, that the boys had just received in the mail from their Aunt Leslie who brought it back for them from Ghana. They loved the game. It was such a fun thing to have along on the trip.

This was the last fishing trip on the last day. Peter took the boys for a few hours over to a lake at a nearby park. Here's Ben showing you a little pan fish he caught there.

Peter said it was so foggy that it was strange standing out on this water-drainage platform where they fished. They could only see a short distance in any direction. But it did not hinder the fun. They caught several little fish and had a generally good time.
This "camping" trip was great for our family. It was wonderful to have a couple of days with no distractions or responsibilities that we could just play with the kids. We played lots of games and did a lot of reading aloud to each other. We rested. We talked. It was great. The Lord worked out the details and we were so thankful for the renewed feeling in the relationships with the kids. I think it was what we needed after a busy summer.

Friday, October 22, 2010

William's Huevos Rancheros

He did this on his own and it was a very satisfying meal.

Eggs poached in a tomato/onion/green pepper sauce and covered in cheese. Great pregnancy breakfast food.
I'm getting the boys all prepared to be the breakfast cooks for a while. They've learned to make quite a few things on their own. Sam and Will each do two days a week right now and Peter does one. I do it on the weekends. Most menu items are simpler than this, but it is tremedously helpful for me to get the day started in other areas while this is being accomplished by them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cecily's #2 Birthday

Finally! Our computer crashed this week. Several days of attempted repair ended in the purchasing of a new one. There was some trouble with transferring data also, so tonight (!) I've got the pictures, I've got a working computer and I'm able to finally post them!
A sneak preview. Miss Cecily and her cake.

Back to the beginning. Birthday breakfast. She's very adept at funny faces for the camera. We had cinnamon biscuits and sauteed apples.


Birthday dinner, toddler style. We had biscuit-wrapped hot dogs, some cheese-sauced vegies and a new salad I tried which was (ahem) nasty. Seriously bad salad. The kids loved the hot dogs of course and wanted to know why I don't make that more often. :)

Cards and money! :) Thank you Grandma Bethel and Grandpa Larry!

Putting her money in her jar.

Opening cards from brothers.

Loving the pictures colored by her brothers.

First gift.

Her own backpack! It has been the bane of her life that every sibling has a backpack and she doesn't. Problem remedied.

A spinning-top toy.

What could it be?

A clacking, alligator, pull-toy.

Something from Grammy. Something to match my sister.

She's figuring out what it is...

A leotard and skirt. There were some ballerina pajamas included too.

Clapping. Dancing clothes is happiness.

Of course, we must dance immediately.

"Hi mom."

Eventually, Cecily decided it was most fun to fall down.

Sister kept trying to get her back up...

...which she thought was very funny.

Will comes to dance with the birthday girl.

Calvin too.
When we headed back upstairs for cake, I remembered that we hadn't got out the big toys I had got for her. This little seesaw was $3 at a consignment sale I went to.

And the slide was $5. I knew she would enjoy these this winter when she can't play on the swingset outside much.
Climbing up to try it out.

I don't know why she had her tongue out, but it was pretty funny. I guess she was concentrating.

Grand Finale.

Singing along.

Clapping when we're done singing.

OK. So there were a lot of pictures with this face or something similar. I didn't post them, but I thought I'd post just this one, since it SO Cecily after all. We sure had a fun evening with our littlest sweetheart. This is such a fun age when we get to know a child better and see so much more of their personality. Hooray for toddlerhood!