Jack’s Birthday

Per our tradition, we met Granny and Grumps at Highcliff State Park for Jack’s birthday.  This year was chillier than most, but luckily we avoided most of the rain that was in the area.  Saturday and Sunday were beautiful days, about 55 degrees and mostly sunny.  We hiked for miles around the park, stopped for snacks and breaks and were back to the campsite for late lunches both days.

Posted in Camping, Jack

Rocky Arbor

We spent the weekend camping at Rocky Arbor State Park down by Wisconsin Dells.  We picked up Jack early from school and headed to the campground. We drove through Ripon at snack time so we had to stop at the cookie factory for samples.  The campground was empty of campers but full of mosquitoes, so Friday night was spent in the camper watching a movie.  On Saturday we rode on the WI Dells Ducks.  The kids thought it was great.

We had a picnic lunch at Mirror Lake State Park where the sun was out and the breeze was blowing.  The kids played on the playground and then we all took our rest time on the beach.  Jack and Jacey had art supplies along so they kept busy drawing while June took a nap.  We hiked on a nature trail to the lookout point and then headed back to our campground for dinner and a bike ride before all the mosquitoes came back out.

Sunday was chilly!  We headed to the playground to play tag to keep warm.  It was a great weekend and the kids were excited to go back to school to talk about their trip.

Posted in Camping

Jack’s Birthday

It has been a tradition the last few years to go on our first camping trip on Jack’s birthday weekend.  This year we went to High Cliff State Park.  The weather at the beginning of the week didn’t look too promising for a fun camp out with cold temps and lots of rain.  We actually lucked out and had a beautiful weekend. We picked up Jack from school on Friday and he was so excited that we got him from school with the camper attached to the van.  Granny and Grumps came to camp with us for the weekend and they had arrived on Thursday, so they were waiting for us when we arrived.  We spent Friday night out in the rain.

Saturday morning was chilly, but by mid-day we were taking off layers.  The sun came out and it was pleasantly warm.  The kids started out the morning by coloring or drawing in their camping journals.  Jack had his explorer gear on, so after breakfast we all went for a hike.  I think we walked about 4 miles total between breakfast and lunch back at the campsite.  We walked all along the bluffs to the tower and back.  Luckily we had lots of snacks and water along, and every now and then June needed to be carried.

Saturday night we had Jack’s birthday “cake” which was chocolate cupcakes.  Jacey made robot cake toppers out of a new craft book we’ve been getting ideas out of.  Jack was quite happy with the cake and told Jacey how much he really loved the robots!

Sunday morning we took another 3-4 mile hike to see the burial mounds, up to the tower, and down around by the lime kiln ruins.  Kids did great again on the long walks!

Posted in Camping

June’s Birthday Campout

The website is fixed so I’m updating old posts!  From OCTOBER:

June’s birthday was last Thursday and on Friday we left for our last camping trip of the year to Hartman Creek State Park.  We packed appropriately for the chilly weather as temperatures were about 34 degrees in the mornings.  Luckily we found lots of firewood around the campsite and kept the fire going most of the day to warm fingers and toes.

On Saturday we spent the morning biking all around the little lakes in the area.  It was a beautiful morning for a ride, so each of the girls were in a bike trailer and Jack was on the tag-a-long.  I had Jack behind my bike and I don’t think he ever stopped talking the entire ride.  It was like the faster his feet pedaled, the faster his mouth had to talk.

Saturday afternoon we went to a little pumpkin farm just down the road to see the giant pumpkin shooter.  This “pumpkin chunkin’ ” machine was blasting pumpkins over the highway and way way out of sight.  We think the uncles need to build one.  There was also a little train that the kids rode on.

We carved pumpkins before dinner to get ready to light once it got dark.  This is Jacey’s serious pumpkin carving face.

Saturday night was the birthday dinner for June and we all wore our party hats!

Sunday was another gorgeous day for walking and looking at the pretty scenery.

 

 

Posted in Camping

Good Little Quackers

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More photos to follow from our week of vacation.  These were taken on our last night at Gull Lake in Brainerd, MN.  We had dinner and then took a walk to see the ducks.  If you quack just right, they will come.  Also, the kids learned a new joke:

What does a duck eat with his soup?

QUACKERS!

Posted in Camping

Birthdays!

Jack and I had a fantastic birthday weekend.  We had planned to go camping to High Cliff State Park, but got a call late on Friday afternoon that the road was flooded and the park was closing for the weekend.  Potawatomi had sites open so as soon as Justin and Jack got home we left.  We picked up Pizza Hut along the way and after we got the camper set up, we ate dinner.  Jack blew out the candles on his birthday cupcakes and then opened his gifts.  He built legos by the light of the lantern and said what a great birthday he had.

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We woke up on Saturday morning to a steady rain.  We enjoyed breakfast in the camper and did some more lego building until the rain let up.

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We went down to the beach to throw some rocks and then took a hike on the nature trail.

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The sun poked out for the afternoon, so we headed back to the water.  The kids had a lot of fun doing “experiments” with rocks, water, and sand toys.

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We finished up the afternoon with some more legos, snacks, and Jacey made a lovely weed stew.

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Sunday morning Nana called us to tell us more rain was on the way.  We packed up early and took off just before the rain hit.  Everyone helped unpack and we all needed a nice warm shower.  After we got into our comfy clothes, we decided to celebrate my birthday.  We spent the rest of the afternoon building legos, watching movies, and drinking cocoa.

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Posted in Camping

Hartman Creek

A few weekends ago we went camping to Hartman Creek State Park with Grandma and Papa.  It was a gorgeous weekend, weather-wise.  Sunny and high 70’s every day.  We took long bike rides every day and the kids took turns in the burleys.  The first day I was pulling  Jacey and Justin took Jack and June.  Jacey spent the morning singing a tune, “I’m stuck in here, by myself.  Oh I’m stuck in here, by myself.”  It was hilarious!  On the return route, Jacey and June were together, so Jacey modified her tune to, “I’m stuck in here, with little June.  Oh I’m stuck in here, with little June.”  It really got stuck in all of our heads all weekend long.  During these rides, Jack was occupied with cords and books.  He would try to sound out words and we would all try to figure out what he was spelling and what the book said, while we were all riding along.  The scenery was beautiful with all the fall colors.

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At the end of the bike rides each day, we would circle around to the beach area with the playground.  We had a snack, played in the water, did some swinging, and let the kids burn off some of their energy.

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Saturday night, Grandma brought out the pumpkins for carving.  Jack carved his pumpkin all by himself this year.  Jacey did a little bit of gut scooping, but then just directed me where to carve things on her pumpkin.  Grandma was in charge of carving June’s pumpkin.We lit them up and put them by the road once it got dark.  Lots of people stopped and looked at our glowing jack-o-lanterns.  We also took a moon walk around the campground and saw some other spooky Halloween decorations.

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Sunday we all wore our Packer clothes.  We tried to get a family picture, we had some pretty good attempts.  Now, if I was a Photoshop master, I could just trade all our heads around and make one good one!

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Then it was time to start packing up.  We roasted hotdogs for lunch and then headed back home.

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Camping – Point Beach State Park

A couple weekends ago we met Grandma and Papa, Uncle Jesse and Auntie Kolia for a weekend of camping.  We left after breakfast on Friday morning, with a small detour to a rummage sale.  We scored a kids picnic table which Justin strapped on to the back of the camper and took along.  We set up the camper while Jack and Jacey set up their stuff on the new table.  It’s the perfect size for generators and Littlest Pet Shop animals.

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Aunt Mary and Uncle Don came up for the afternoon.  We ate good food, sat around the camp fire, enjoyed the chilly fall weather.

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We spent a lot of time on the beach.  Did a lot of walking, digging, kite flying, running, falling, and getting our feet wet by accident.

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We took a bike ride into town for the annual “Ethnic Festival.”  We sampled fried smelt, gyros, mini-donuts, chili… all kinds of great food.

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It was a great weekend!

 

Posted in Camping

Kettle Moraine

Last weekend we went camping to Kettle Moraine State Forest.  When we left home it was raining, so we stopped at Pizza Hut for lunch.  I think it’s funny that the kids always associate Pizza Hut with camping. Usually with the Olson group and when we go to Hartman Creek we always do the first night dinner at Pizza Hut since that’s when everyone is rolling in to town.  So on Friday when it was raining and we were deciding where to eat, the kids said “There is a Pizza Hut, we always go to Pizza Hut when we are camping!”

The rain stopped for us to set up the camper.  We changed into our suits and went to check out the lake.  We swam for about an hour before the thunder started rumbling again.  Made it back to the camper for a nice dinner of sandwiches.  The kids requested a movie to watch before bed, but the rain was so loud on the camper, we couldn’t hear the movie!

On Saturday morning Papa called us and said that we’d better get outside early because more rain was coming.  We took a long walk around the campground and looked at all the campers.  We found a trail that went around the lake but because it was through a big swamp and we almost got carried away by the mosquitos, we turned around.  We ended up walking for about an hour and a half and we made it back to the camper just as it started to sprinkle.  We let June nap while the rest of us played “Go FISH!”

After lunch there was a break in the clouds so we took another walk to the boat landing and the playground.  We headed back for naps and just as we got settled in it rained again! Luckily rain is nice for napping.

After nap we took a drive to see the other nearby lake.  We sat and played in the sand for awhile.  Jack and Jacey collected snail shells and wanted to take them home as pets, but I said they might like to stay by the lake instead.  I didn’t want the van to smell like dead snails!

Sunday morning was a gorgeous morning so we hung all our damp sheets and blankets on a clothesline and took a bike ride.  We stopped to walk on the fishing dock, play at the playground, and dump our garbage.  After that it was time to start packing up.

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Potawatomi

We camped at Potawatomi State Park at the end of July for the weekend with Grandma and Papa, and Uncle Jim and Aunt Marion.  It turned out to be quite hot so we spent one day at Clark Lake enjoying the water.  The kids had a blast floating around on the lake.  We ate a picnic lunch and as we were packing up we saw a strange sight… someone brought their pet camel to the beach for a swim!

Jack has been really into bugs and critters lately, he found a caterpillar and the kids spent the entire afternoon making it a little “home” on the bench in the campsite.

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