Sunday, May 20, 2012

Countdown to Summer!!

It has been mass hysteria around the Schulte Household in anticipation for the summer!  I am busy getting enough things organized to keep my kiddos busy for those long boring summer days.  The kids are just itchin to get out of school and sleep in (yeah right) and to stay all day in our pajamas.  Okay, maybe that is just mommy's fantasy summer.
 Last week the kids school had a wonderful schoolwide event called "Run into Summer".  Many parents and older siblings came to cheer on their kids and to run with them as they ran a designated course around the school.  The little girls and I headed down to the school with a picnic lunch and waited to see Rosie and Bubba line up at the start line.  They started each grade one at a time so we got to see each of the two kids start and then headed to the finish line to see both cross the finish line and receive their medal. 
 The PTA also provided each student with a t-shirt that day and the kids afterward during the picnic ran around with sharpies signing each other's shirts.  SO CUTE!!  So much better than a yearbook. 
 Here is all the grades lined up doing their jumping jacks to warm up.
 The kids were all excited for the day!  It also meant they got to have a picnic outside and go home early since it was an early out and me and the kids walked home at 12:30. 
 Our own lightning bolt had a good start!!  Bubba was right at the front of the pack from the start. 
 He was all smiles when he crossed the finish line, but by the time I got to him at the receiving line he had tears coming down his cheeks.  He was so upset that he was pushed down have way through and was sabotaged!  We really need to work on his gracious losing skills.  Good thing every kid got a medal.  :-)
 Rosetta is all legs and had no problem navigating the course.  Next year I will have to coordinate it better, so I have a babysitter for Lil Miss so I can run with them.
This Weekend we had our second camping trip.  It went much smoother than our first weekend so that must mean we are getting the hang of this.  I am also getting much better at cooking in the camper.  Last weekend it was hotdogs, pudgy pies... and then I ran out of ideas.  But this weekend i made taco salads, baked chicken strips, baked beans, and dutch oven potatoes.  We ate much better!  :-)
 There was lots of hiking on our trip this time.  Last week we spent alot of time finding geo-caches, this week we found a few but spent more time hiking and enjoying the scenery.  We invested in a new backpack for Lil Miss, since carrying her around was getting to difficult and this terrain a stroller wouldn't have made it, and letting her walk by herself is out of the question! 

 {snack time -- apples and swinging   Isn't life sweet!}
 {Of course Mommy found a beautiful Rose garden}

 {take time to stop and smell the roses}
 We dared to go to the Wildcat Den Park with 4 kids who hadn't had a nap, but the kids did wonderful.  I am so glad they LOVE nature as much as me.  It is amazing that this landscape is only 40 minutes away from us.  We spent the whole weekend enjoying each other that the kids didn't have to ask to watch tv, play video games, or say "I'm Bored!"
{Our 3 adventurers}
{Daddy and I took turns carrying this little munchkin on our back}
 The three older kids and mommy climbed a rock wall to a cave.  Rosetta was a little leary about the heights, but she made it up.  It was so nice to have her want mommy's hand to hold and need me. 
 Mommy was not as graceful climbing the face of the rock as the kids.  They are so nimble and Bubba isn't afraid of scaling rocks or sliding down the hill as fast as he can. 
 {Look smiles after a loooong day}
 Daddy was multitasking with Lil Miss strapped to his back.
 One of the main attractions of the Wildcat Den Park was the Pine Creek Grist Mill.  I didn't think we would spend much time in it, thinking it would be really boring for the kids (and maybe me too!) but the kids enjoyed it and we had a hard time getting them to leave.

 {cool wall of handmade wheels}
 When we were just getting ready to leave the lady who runs the mill told us they were getting ready to start up the mill in 5 minutes.  It was fascinating.  The kids got a small idea of how the mill really made it easy to make flour, birdseed, etc.  A lot easier than when they had to grind flour with a rock.  They tried it though.
 We got our very own birdseed that we saw being made.  Rosie was the one to throw the corn ears in the bin to start the process.
We made the arrangements to camp near Muscatine for a simple reason to support our adoption agency with a fundraiser/raising awareness with a bike ride across Iowa.  5 guys rode across Iowa yesterday 276 miles and we were the finish line cheering them on their journey.  They made it into the park at 9:30 pm.
{I can only imagine what their legs felt like after biking ALL that way!!  they had smiles on their faces though and answered all our kids questions about their bikes and "what's that?"}

 The kids and I (lil miss included) made a banner for them as they rode into Muscatine. 

It was a late night by the time we got back to the camper and jumped into bed.  We packed up this morning after breakfast and headed back home.  The girls were in the backseat jamming to Lemonade mouth.  I Love that they were sharing the music.  We are already trying to plan where our camper takes us the next time we journey out.  Any Ideas?  We won't be camping for another month since we are going to Disney in 21 DAYS and I have SOOOOOO much to do before then.  So we haven't made any other reservations yet, but I think the next campsite has to have a pool or at least a lake to cool off.  It sure was a hot one this weekend.   Time to call it a weekend.  Monday tomorrow and only 4 more days of school!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Look Mom, No Pattern!

So I found this fabric on clearance at Hancock fabric and just had to have it!!  I envisioned what I wanted a cute simple dress for lily with a tuxedo like ruffle in the front.   I couldn't find what I wanted in a pattern so I made one.  Ambitious, I know!!  But after the first one was too small I corrected my mistakes and by golly I got it to work.  Here is the final product.  I don't have a picture of Lil Miss in it just yet   But plan to have photo shoot real soon.  Hopefully when I finish Gigi's snow white dress I can do both of them at the same time.  I just wanted to share...  

{buttonholes!  I did a buttonhole on the sewing machine.  I am so proud of myself!}

Roughing It

We started a new family tradition today.  Camping.  Okay not the traditional tent camping where you cook everything on the fire and pee in a shower house.  Nate and I've been there and done that.  Not with 4 kids though and 2 dogs.  This was more like "Glamping", glamorized Camping.  We had our own bathroom, stove, microwave, pantry (yes I said pantry) and Air conditioning.  It was definitely "glamping".  It was definitely an adventure, but many memories were made and many more will be made.  There were oops and boo boos along the way but we survived.  We looked like amateurs but I'm okay with that.  By the end of the summer we will look like old pros who have done this forever. 
 {Home Sweet Home... our home on wheels}
 We all fit in the truck on our trip.  On Saturday when we had the truck unhitched we went Geocaching.  How we describe geocaching to the kids is like treasure hunting.  When Nate first told Bubba we were treasure hunting he kept asking "where the X was?"  Like X marks the spot.  Using a compass (or there's an app for that) we search around in cemeteries, ditches, church parking lots, you name it looking for treasure.  The boxes are big or micro and usually hold "treasures" like dinosaurs, toy rings, anything tiny.  You take a treasure and replace it with a treasure you brought.  This weekend we found 4 caches!!  It was mommy and lily's first experience, and Mommy found the smallest one to date!  I am hooked. 
In the boonies of Illinois we found a micro caches at this cemetery.  It was picturesque.  The tombstones at this cemetery were so big for how old they were.  Pretty Fascinating!
 The campground we stayed at was perfect.  It had a playground were the kids could play, there was lots of space between the sites so we had alot of privacy, and it had hiking trails to a lake.  It was really nice!
 There was some relaxing going on as much as possible.  And lots of snacking.  Nate said one of the special things about camping growing up was that he had things they normally wouldn't have at home.  Our kids enjoyed bubblegum (it is banned at our house since mommy doesn't chew gum YUCK!!), pudgy pies, koolaid, and much much more.
{This little girl was much trouble!}
 One of my favorite geocaches was off the beaten path.  We had to scavenger in a ditch to find some treasures!! 
 {this cool old chair was hidden in the weeds}
 There was lots of log climbing this weekend.
 Daddy found it!!! 
{running .... she did alot of that, mostly away from us}
 Kids up in the weeds, why does this mom think this is so fun?  No poison ivy yet, but I am always on the look out and trying to teach the kids what to look for and avoid.  I have got the calamine lotion though just in case! 
 In the rain we kept busy as well.  The DS and Wii didn't even come out of their hiding spots.  There was lots of coloring.  Daddy, Mommy, Rosie and Bubba got in a heated game of dominoes.  Of course the best people won....... the GIRLS!!! :-)
 {first picture on the fridge}
 {Enjoying her and Bubba's room}
 {did I say ornery?}
 {There is our pantry..... I am in heaven}
{the little girls watched Lilo and Stitch while the big kids played dominoes}
{the big red barn}

 {our last treasure hunt..... a bummer because we looked and looked and didn't find it}
 {Happy Mother's Day!}

 {it's not like we didn't try... daddy was deep in the jungle looking for it and still came up empty handed}
{all the headaches...... but this picture makes it all worth it}
 This morning I woke up to a beautiful card (bubba picked it out) and we had eggs and toast and watermelon for breakfast.  The whole weekend was a trial run and to see if everything worked on the camper.  During breakfast we found out the smoke detector worked too!  No fire, but apparently the smoke detector didn't like how I was cooking the eggs.  :-( 
 {limited counter space}
 {Family Time}
The whole weekend was fun and the kids had a blast staying up late and sitting around the campfire.   It must have worn them out because all 4 of them slept the entire drive home.  Can't wait for next weekend.