Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Joys of Camping....

For those that REALLY know me, you know I am not a camper. There are many aspects of camping I don't necessarily enjoy. It is my opinion that camping is a chore, a production where everything from making breakfast to using the bathroom is work. But Dallan talked me into it. He said camping creates memories for your children and I want to go and create some memories...so I relented...and here are some of our best moments....
1. Our camp site - We camped at Cave Springs up in Sedona. Our camp site backed up to a creek where the kids found this rope swing. It was one of their favorite things to do.

2. Our trip to slide rock - This was Madelyn and Jackson's favorite off site activity we did. They had an absolute blast and were not afraid to slide, swim, or jump!
3. Our trip to see the Indian cliff dwellings at Walnut Creek Park - Madelyn spent a good portion of her second grade year studying Native American tribes, so this was right up her alley. After going all Jackson wanted was to meet a "real" Native American.
Madelyn by a very cool looking Juniper tree.
Hanging out in one of the many cliff dwellings there.
4. Our trip to Bearizona - In mine and Dallan's opinion this was a waste of $50, but the kids had a good time.
This was one of the black bears we saw from the car window as we drove through the zoo. The kids appropriately named him "tubby".
Classic Jackson! He came up with that pose all on his own.
Their Bearizona tattoos!
5. Our hiking trip to Devils Bridge - The kids didn't love the hike. It was hot and it was uphill, oh who am I kidding I didn't love the hike either but the end was worth the effort.
The beginning of the trail head.
The top of the sandstone arch.
More from the top.
6. Making friends - Our camp site was full every night which meant new friends to play with everyday. The kids had such a good time making clubhouses, going fishing with their little nets, and exploring the creek with their new BFF's. Jackson wouldn't slow down long enough to get a picture with him and his little buddy. But I will say he was the social butterfly of Cave Springs. If he wasn't going camp site to camp site looking for someone to play with, he was pillaging for food. The boy has no shame when it comes to eating.
In conclusion...I have to agree with Dallan...we did create some great family memories. I still think camping is hard work and sometimes I don't want a vacation to be hard work, but this time around I was thankful Dallan talked me into it. We had a GREAT time!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What to do, What to do...

As I was sitting poolside today in my shorts and tee shirt I vacillated between two different thoughts...The first....why should I care about what I look like in a swimsuit (I refuse to wear one in public) when there are people that look like "that" walking around parading themselves in front of a crowd of people. I mean they seriously have no shame. And the second thought was....if you wear one you will undoubtedly become one of "those" people and someone else will be thinking/writing the same thing about you. So you either stay cool or stay covered, I haven't made up my mind yet, and I can promise you that there will be no pictures should I decide to be brave.

PS - I love the promise of looking 10 pounds thinner in 10 seconds with the "miracle" swimsuit. Do they not understand that the swimsuit only covers a portion of my body. I mean they aren't selling me something that goes from head to toe. How do they then expect to make me look 10 pounds lighter? Advertising!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Feeling a Little Guilty...

Today was our first real day of Summer vacation. I mean the first day that we were home by ourselves for the entire day. Can I just tell you that it was a looong morning followed by an even longer afternoon? The last thing I wanted to do was plan a family home evening lesson. So I decided I would go ahead and give my search of the perfect cupcake recipe a trial run and give the results to the neighbors across the street. Because the "thin mint" cupcakes included things like boiling water and chocolate ganache I decided to go for the easier snickerdoodle cupcake. And I cheated BIGTIME. It was a store bought cake mix with a few added ingredients to doctor it up, and then it was frosting you buy in a can again with a few extra ingredients. I made the batter, sprinkled the tops with cinnamon and sugar, and hoped for the best. First lesson learned....I tend to overfill. The results....cupcake batter oozing over the edge. However, they did make my house smell lovely. The tops didn't "crackle" like a snickerdoodle cookie does but the taste was yummy. I then frosted them with cinnamon vanilla frosting, attached a card to the plate and sent the kids on their way. On a different note...I need serious help with my presentation skills because I am telling you they weren't pretty. In fact I was embarrassed to even take a picture of them so I don't even have any proof that I actually baked them. But here is where the guilt set in. A few minutes after the kids came home the phone rang. It was my neighbor. Mandee what kind of cupcakes were those? Well...they are supposed to be reminiscent of a snickerdoodle cookie. Well they were the best cupcakes I have ever had. Seriously you could put those cupcake places out of business. I was too embarrassed to tell her they came from a box. But then Dallan reminded me that maybe she knew they came from a box and that they weren't as good as a professional because (and these are his exact words) what is she really going to say...hey these are pretty good but I know they came from a box. Maybe she decided to call you because it is easier lying over the phone than in person. By the way he ate 4 cupcakes so they couldn't be that bad! So there is my confession...I am a slacker. I buy cake mixes from a box and pretend they are homemade. There I said it. And for those like me that want the recipe...you let me know, and I promise I will never tell a soul.