Summer Comes to a Close

I’m not quite sure what has happened to my summer. But it’s over. My kids started school today.

5th and 2nd

It has been a whirl wind of a summer. But I think that is the way I like it.

There has been lots of ups and downs.

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But plenty of fun and adventure.

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Lots of late nights,

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And long tiring days.

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(Yes, this is NOT a good example of how not to wear a seat belt.)

There has been a whole lot of corralling this darling baby boy.

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and oodles of swimming in our favorite green pool.

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There has been days at the lake,

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And plenty of celebrating.

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But most importantly some good quality family time.

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We even made it to the beach (but I’ll write more on that later.)

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It’s been simply lovely. I’m sad to see it go but in a strange way it’s a welcomed relief.

Camping with my Family

Surprise! Are you in totally shock? I know, me showing up in your feed reader is an absolute miracle.

I’ve practically managed to take off the whole summer from this lovely computer. I dare say I haven’t missed it one bit. In fact, when I think about sitting down and blogging about what I’ve missed these past couple months my stomach starts turning in circles and I have to find something else to think about for fear of loosing my lunch. I have this terrible inner turmoil of what to do with my little site, kill it cold turkey, let in dwindle a slow and painful death in the blog graveyard or drag out everyone’s misery and pick up back up again.

Hah, don’t say what you think I should do.

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For now, I’ll show you highlights of our splendid summer vacation. We planned a little camping trip with my family. We wanted to go to a little campground we went to as kids. Mom and Dad have always had such memories of the place and whenever we happened to be driving by they mention how nice it was and how us kids had so much fun chasing squires and playing among the pine trees.

As remembered, it was such a delightful place. Private camping sites, clean bathrooms with flush toilets, and beautiful tall lodgepole pines that gave us shade for most of the day. I remember making or imagining little club houses in small groves of trees. These girls did the same.

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They made the cutest little nature houses for their toys.

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Furnished with picnic tables, chairs and horse corals.

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It rained and rained on us the first night. Gratefully, our old ripped up tent managed to keep us dry. I love listening to the rain drops on the tent roof as long everyone is warm and snug. Like the old days, my parents rented a trailer that keep them perfectly comfortable and dry. Walking in and out of it to get this and that of things I forgot, brought back so many memories of camping trips gone past. (My first camping trip in a trailer was when I was 2 weeks old.)

me in the pink, camping at 2 weeks old

Here is my dear sweet, beautiful mother. I absolutely love the happiness in her face. She might not like me posting this picture of her but I love it. In fact, to me, her hair is still brown.

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We didn’t have a whole lot of down time but Isaac managed to kick back a little bit. This is somewhat a rare thing for him.

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A big part of our family camping trips involve fishing. I have so many great memories of tromping through the mountain streams catching little brookies with my daddy. It seems to me his hair is still brown too. Hah. I love this picture of his wrinkled eyes, growing forehead and wind blown hair. It isn’t very often I see him with messy hair. He’s such a clean cut kind of guy. Does the love of your parents grow when you see them interacting with your own children?

He has passed on his love of fishing to us and now his grandchildren.

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When fishing with little children Dad often casts the fishing pole, sets the fish on hook and lets the little ones reel them in. It’s absolutely thrilling to catch you’re very first fish that way. Here is me, that little blonde thing, with my dear daddy and my very own first fish.

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Here is my sister’s boy experiencing the same thing.

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He might think the fish is a little bit slimy. I’m not sure, though, you’d have to ask him.

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I was proud as punch when Jeremy caught a fish too. Bringing home the bacon, I mean, the fish dinner. Yum.

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I didn’t get much fishing in myself. I had to make sure Sam understood that we needed to say ON the boat. Not OFF.

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He didn’t really care for his life jacket. Those darn inconvenient things.

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I loved spending time with my sisters. (I have one brother but he lives in Florida. Boo.) There is nothing quite like a sister. Giggles are sure to ensue and it’s a fact that you can always be yourself.

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That is all that I have for now. You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. My Sammy is awake and fussing at my knee so no more embellishing. It was such a lovely trip. I’d like to make some more fun summer memories and stay far away from this computer but we’ll have to see what the next 2 weeks bring. Ta ta for now.

June

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OH NO!!! I just wrote a big long post on how our month of June is going and it’s gone. Completely gone.

I could cry. In fact, I think I will.

Ah, I was having a hard enough time sitting down to write it. Summer has just given me a big whollop on the head. Whatever that means. But it hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been easy managing the 4 kids at home. ALL DAY LONG. They want constant friends, they want constant activities and make constant messes.

Arggg… Dear school, I secretly miss you.

It was quite unfortunate that our whole neighborhood went out of town on some fun-land-dream vacation the first week off of school and my poor kids were stuck pulling weeds and doing math facts because their mommy is trying to add some sort of structure to their day.

“I’m so bored” is all I’ve heard all month long dispite my efforts to go swimming and plan little park dates and such.

Spoiled rotten, I dare say. Is it all my fault?

Please forgive my sour attitude. It’s all because my lovely, sweet, well thought out post is has disappeared in stupid wordpress save-draft land. I clicked save draft and now it’s gone.

Here is a cute photo of Sam to cheer us all up.

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It’s almost been a full month since I’ve written. Getting started back up again is going to be hard but I must.

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Hello friends. I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day weekend. We had a perfect weekend filled with good company and adventure. Just what I needed.

After the busy weekend I was grateful for a wet rainy day today. It allowed me to do a bit of recouping and apparently, I wasn’t the only one who needed it. Sam must have needed it too. He took a huge afternoon nap for me. Hurray, hurray!

You know what I do with really nice long nap times… scrapbook!

Here is Template 105 for you to enjoy. Blocky and flexible. Download it here for free for a limited time.

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Here are my pages. Credits at flickr.

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I still have a lot of catching up to do with my scrapbooking… Hopefully long naps can become a regular thing around here but with summer around the corner I’m not so sure. Hah!

Happy Scrapbooking.

Sam is One

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This little darling is one today. As a mom I have to look back and think about his sweet birth day.

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He doesn’t even know today is any different from any other even though we’ve sang to him, let him eat lots of cookies and wished him Happy Birthday the minute he woke up.

He just prefers to eat sticks. What he really wants is to clobber my camera. That is why he has a tear on his cheek. Poor guy.

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He’s walking so well for a little one year old but he really likes to crawl because he’s so darn fast. Come and get me, cute boy.

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This old dog was a great help in getting Sam’s picture taken. I have him sit by me and he gets Sam’s attention. Sam likes Chopper more than he likes me.

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And just for fun… my cute lady hens. Whom Sam also loves. He sits at the fence and lets them pick at his fingers. Brave boy.

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Thank you for the eggs, girls. (When I gather eggs I always try to tell them thank you. I certainly wouldn’t want to lay an egg everyday.)

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A Climbing Trip to Maple Canyon

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This week I was able to have a little climbing trip down to my favorite place, Maple Canyon. This canyon is only an hour and half away from me and I hope to frequent this climbing heaven throughout the summer a little bit more.

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You see, I have been training very hard this past year. I’ve been going to the climbing gym twice a week. I’ve learned a lot more about technique, how to gain more power and strength and how to save energy in your arms and hands on the hard climbs. I want to try my new skills on the great outdoors. Also a new climbing guide book was published last year for Maple and I finally got my hands on a copy. This book opens up so many wonderful climbing areas within the canyon that I didn’t know about it. Huzzah! Anyone up for a trip?

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Monday was the planned day for our little climbing day trip. It rained and poured all weekend and so I was a bit nervous about it working out but the weather app promised it would clear up on time. Monday morning I woke up to wet, wet, wet. But my good climbing friend, Janaan, is just as crazy as me so we threw the kiddos in the car and headed down anyway. The sky did lighten up but there was a very teeny tiny drizzle for most of the morning and the weather stayed a bit chilly. We bundled the kids up and hiked up to the perfect location for a rainy day. The Pipe Dream cave is humongous and kept us dry all day long.The rain created little waterfalls running down both sides of the cliff. It was amazing.

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The climbing was fabulous. Most of the grades at this crag are very difficult. With the help of some climbing friends I was able to try out some very challenging climbs although I only have pics of Janaan climbing. Nice under cling, girl! Don’t let the rock deceive you, it’s harder than it looks.

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The kids had plenty to entertain them while we climbed.

There was a little tree swing.

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We had a birthday party piñata because 3 of our friends were celebrating their birthdays. How cool to have a pinata smashing party at the climbing wall? The kids loved it and filled their pockets with a ton of candy. After that we had no problem keeping them happy.

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And we even set them up a great big rope swing. But we had to show them how to do it first.

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Leah was still a little nervous about it so she and I hooked up together.

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Then she was brave enough to do it herself. Wee!

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Ah, what a lovely day it was! I’m already dreaming about our next trip.

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Memorial day weekend, anyone?

Productive Nap Times

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When I get my baby down for a nap I’m faced with the daily question of what to do with my time. Should I have a rest myself? Should I get busy cleaning up? Do dishes, laundry, scrub bathrooms, organize drawers and closets? Can I put off the garden any longer? Do I catch up on Pinterest, Instagram, Joss and Main, or my new favorite feed reader Feedly (did you know google reader is closing down)? Will I ever finish the latest book I’m reading? Should I get some scrapbooking time in, work on my shop, or blog about my mundane exciting life? Should I bust out some paper and paint and have a creative session with Leah? (She’d love that wouldn’t she!)

What would you pick?

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Here is my little darling making cookies with me. You see how happy she is? Shouldn’t this always be my choice?

I wont tell you what usually wins though (chances are you know because you’re faced with similar questions yourself) but every day is a little different. Sometimes I’ll tackle the laundry or join Leah for a rousing game of Batabanga, or plop down on the couch exhausted. But today I’m giving myself some computer time. Leah is gone at a friend’s, the kitchen is mildly clean and the laundry is calling my name but my dear little blog is sadly neglected.

So, hello dear blog. Would you like to know what I’ve been up to?

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I have a new little hobby. It’s Slacklining. Have you heard of it? I think it’s surprisingly fun. It’s kinda of nerdy- like an outdoorsie kind of nerdy. It’s good for your core and obviously for balance too. You might have seen people at the park doing it and thought they were tightrope walking. It’s different though because the line has slack in it and bounces up and down unlike a true tightrope. The kids love it and we’ve set it up at home and at the park.

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Next up, we had a lovely little family picnic at one of my favorite rock climbing spots. The weather has been absolutely divine and so when there is a chance to be outdoors, we are there.

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We had such a good time but Emma seems to be approaching some preteen moodiness stage. It’s getting to be a bit of a pain. We even let her bring along a friend to help lift her mood. But none the less she was determined to have a bad time.

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Any recommendations for handling moody girls?

Here are my cute boys. Sam was determined to explore our fire pit and wanted to crawl around in the dirt any chance he could get.

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This kid has become even more busy than ever. He is making good progress on his walking. He can make it across a room if he is really determined. Monday night at the park he had so much fun exploring the baseball field.

Stop eating dirt, my son!

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That’s it for now. Nap time only lasts so long. Next time I get a chance to sit down, I’ll do some templates and pages.

Later.

Hello May

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April treated me very well but I’m still happy to see May here. Despite our typical spring weather being up and down, (snow one day and 70 degrees the next) the world around me is greening up, the sun is out and feeling divine as is shines down on my face. More walks to the park will be happening and if I can swing it, I’ll even be getting some climbing time on the rocks outside tomorrow!

Hurray. Hurray.

Here are some pics to show you what I’ve been up to. (Sorry for the repeat if you are following me on Instagram.)

MS Walk:

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Mountain biking with my hunny:

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Biking with my Baby (not on the mountain):

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Painting rock pets with Emma:

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Taking care of this little guy:

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Going to the park with this little guy:

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And cheering on this little guy’s first steps:

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Ha, ha! It feels like a lot of time is spent with my “little guy.”

I’ve been suffering from a repeating clogged mild duct. Luckily there is no infection yet. I’ll work it out and then a few days later it will come back. I get them in the same spot, same side, each time. Usually the clog is in my nipple and then it backs up the whole bottom half. Ouchy, they hurt. They make me grouchy. Have any of you suffered from these over and over again. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Is it Sam’s position? Am I not getting enough sleep?

I’m going to get the hot pad and lay down until Sam wakes up from his nap.

Oh no, he just woke up.

ps. I bought these jeans. I’m not sure if I should have buyers regret or not. Am I too old for printed pants?

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Later.

Template 104 + Add on Kit

Hello folks! How’s your day going? The sun is shinning at my house and we are enjoying some nice spring weather. I’d love to be outside but I have a house full of littles running around. I think a trip to the park is in order.

But before I do that I’m going to put my newest template up for grabs. Snag it here for free until I put it in my shop.

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For some reason I always love these wonky little pieces of paper on a template. I think they add character and allow you to use a bunch of fun patterned papers without getting too messy.

My scalloped banner is for inspiration for placement of your own elements or banner but I actually ended up using it. I warn you that the string is in no way professionally created and barely even resembles a string if you look closely. So with that disclaimer, I’ll also tell you that the scallops are all on one layer so it was a little tricky to get multiple patterns on it. For a tip, if you decide to use it, use your marquee tool to “cut” out little pieces of paper and then drag them on to the template and group them all together onto the banner. Does that make sense? You can have 7 little pieces of paper all grouped together on one layer. Let me know if you have any questions.

Here are my pages for some inspiration.

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And because I liked this template so much I went ahead an made a few more in the same style. This Add-On kit is in my shop here. It will be 50% off through May 1st so save a buck while you can.

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More pages scrapped makes one happy mommy. Yea for making a small dent in my pictures! I can’t wait to print these out.

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17 Emma turns 8

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.