Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Camping and Hiking

 We have a church owned campground about 20 minutes from our house, so its not as big a deal to pack up the car and head out for a Friday night campout. It's close enough that Ainsley, Taryn and I can go home for the night to sleep and for the big kids to get back early enough to play in their sports games on Saturday.
We LOVE these water barrel swings. You can easily swing 3 small people at a time! If only I had a big tree in my yard...

And there is no way that Taryn is going to let her older siblings out-do her. "I want a turn on the top!"

 Nate, while mountain biking with a friend, found a new place for us to take some leisurely hikes. No major hills to climb, so perfect for little kid legs. This particular hike was the first time we came on our own as a family and Nate and the kids picked a route for us to go on. I should have been watching the map more carefully, because what I thought was going to be an hour MAX hike, turned out to be a 4 mile, 2 hour long hike. That's why they tell you no matter how long you plan on hiking in the woods, always take water - and we hadn't! No food either. For all of that, and Tanner's bathroom issues, the kids did a pretty darn good job of hiking.

 Taryn in all her glory. I wish this picture wasn't blurry, because this captures her so well, and she's finally looking at the camera!
 We survived! Water and treats for everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Break - April 6-8th

 For Spring Break we decided to head out to an area near Port Townsend, WA. Another family in our ward invited us and a couple other families to rent a house for a couple days and since we aren't ones to miss out on a party, we packed up the van and our trailer full of bikes and motorcycles, and off we went! The first day we met at the beach in Port Townsend where we explored some of the old forts and bunkers that have since been abandoned. That always scares me to death because there are stairs and drop offs that aren't railed worth beans and those kids run around with not a care in the world. Thankfully, we didn't stay long, and instead enjoyed most of the afternoon at the beach.

 When in doubt, start a game of football!
Once we made it to the house, the kids were let loose and when they were inside, most of their time was spent playing dodge ball in the basement. This house was no ordinary house either. If you'll notice in the background there is a slide and "steps" leading back up to the next floor. You could find slides and secret passageways all over the house, there was a lego room, and a stackable foam block room, at least 6 bedrooms, a hot tub and space to run around galore. My kind of house. There were 5 families staying there at once which meant 10 adults and 25 kids under the age of 12. The beautiful part about the house was; it was so big you hardly even knew that anyone was in the house, except at mealtimes! woohoo

 The kids favorite was when the adults would go down and play dodgeball with them. When that happened, it was dads vs. kids and moms. That was a riot, let me tell you! I think the moms and kids pulled it out a couple of times...It was mentioned that once the kids were in bed that we should play wives v. husbands, but the girls were never stupid enough to actually go through with it!

 Movie night! A friend, Rig, was even tired enough to pass out on the floor in between two love sacs. Good thing they didn't squish him any more than that, yikes!

 Taking a hike. All the other families made their kids go, but I didn't want to take any of my kids who weren't interested in going, so I ended up going by myself with everyone else, ha! Made my hike a breeze cuz I wasn't dragging any of my kids along. Nate and the kids stayed back at the house so they could get some good motorcycle riding in.

 We brought our little 50 cc motorcycle and then my motorcycle, so we had fun taking kids on rides and letting all the kids have turns learning how to drive the small bike. We had a couple of crashes, some more exciting than others, but besides Nate flipping over the bike once, it wasn't so bad. It's just so darn hard to teach the kids how to use the hand brake to stop. When they pull back on the brake, and try to dismount at the same time, they end up yanking on the gas. Super tricky. It was fun watching Nate teach and coach and be patient with all of the crashes. He did way better than I probably would have done. All in all, I think everyone had a good time with it and the kids were all proud of mastering something new.
 Hot tub time! How many kids can we squeeze in a hot tub? How many kids peed in the hot tub?

 I just had to include these pictures even though they were blurry, because Rig (Rigdon) loved holding Ainsley. He even got her to quiet down a couple of times just talking to her. What a cute boy. I love seeing how some kids are just naturally drawn to babies.

 Tanner had pulled his arms inside his pajamas, so of course we had to take a couple of pictures to make fun of him.

 I was sad to leave all the families and fun, and the gorgeous, enormous home. We had such a great time playing games, chatting, watching kids run around us, shooting guns, hiking, riding motorcycles and more! Hopefully we'll get to do it again.
 Here we are riding the ferry back home.
You can see Nate, who's hanging out with the passed out kids, waving from the van down below.