Friday, June 30, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 6/9 - 6/15 - Part 3)

Since this week was jam packed with fun, I split it into three parts.  You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Wednesday (6/14) Day three of day camp and we were up early and ready to go.  Daniel wanted me to be with him and his den again today so I spent the day with them.  We started our morning in the gaga ball pit.  The boys had a great time playing and us adults even got in for one game.  After working up a sweat playing gaga ball, we headed to a lodge to make a paracord bracelet.  Daniel and I caught on pretty quick and had a fun time making the bracelet, although we ran out of time so we didn't finish it there.  After that it was time for lunch so I went to pick up Zak and all four of us had lunch together.
AJ and Zak told us about their mornings during lunch.  AJ and his den made a wood bench for the first half of the morning and then learned about cooking over an open fire.  They made a dutch oven cake which AJ said was very good.  Zak went for a short hike and then they did science experiments.  I got there as they were finishing up making name bracelets using Morse code so I got to help him finish his up.

After lunch, AJ went back to his den but Zak decided to hang out with Daniel and his den for the afternoon.  The sibling circle didn't have anything going on in the afternoon so we all agreed Zak would have more fun with Daniel and I.  We headed down cardiac hill to go back into the creek.  This was Zak's third time in the creek and he was running all over the place in it.  I could barely keep up with him.  Daniel did not love creeking, he kept freaking out that something was touching him.  We didn't get nearly as much today as AJ's group did on Monday, the leaders said the creek was getting "tired."  But we still all had fun!
After the creek we headed over to the much anticipated BB gun range!  Daniel was so excited to shoot the BB guns.  They got a safety lesson on the guns and then it was time for them to shoot.  Both Zak and Daniel took a turn shooting.  Zak got lots of help and hit the target a few times.  Daniel missed the target on his first turn, but went back a second time and hit it a few times.  He was disappointed he didn't do better but I calmed him down and he now wants his own BB gun to practice.  After all of the boys had a turn on the range, we headed back up the hill on Foxfire for the closing ceremony.
We picked up AJ and he excitedly told me all about his afternoon.  He got to go rowing and he loved every minute of it!  He was going to go in a dry boat but then his friends decided they should get wet so they got in a boat that got splashed too.  They had a blast on the lake and did not want to leave the boats.  The second half of the afternoon they learned about first aid in the wilderness.  AJ said this was a little boring since he knew some of it.  I heard from the leaders it was not the best presentation of the camp.  They will review some of the basics early in the year in our den.

After a full day, we headed home from camp.  I cooked pasta for us for dinner and we mostly spent the night on the couches.  I reloaded our packs for tomorrow and we all got to bed early.  This week is fun but it's really wearing us out!

Thursday (6/15) The last full day of day camp for this year!  We were slow to get moving this morning, I think the week is catching up with us, but we made it to camp on time.  It started with the excitement of AJ's den serving as the color guard to raise the flags at opening ceremony.  AJ got to assist with the American flag.  I was very proud of him and all of the boys in his den.
After the opening ceremony, we split up again.  I spent today with AJ's den while Daniel went with his den and Zak started the day in the sibling circle.  AJ and I started the day with his den figuring out their skit for the last day.  They decided what to do, practiced a bit and then we were heading to our next station - sling shots!  AJ enjoyed using the sling shot and even had me go out and shot a few times.  It was fun to again do something new to both us and to do it together.  When we finished there, we headed to archery.  AJ struggled a bit with that but eventually he got it.  I also got a turn to use the bow and arrow.  It was super fun and empowering!  After that we were done for the morning so we headed back up the hill and picked up Zak from the sibling circle.


Daniel told us about his morning during lunch.  He got to go swimming with his den for most of the time and he said it was awesome.  He also listened to the leave no trace lecture, which he said was OK but a little boring.  The funny thing is that his morning was exactly what AJ was doing in the afternoon.  And I agree with his assessment 100%.  We kept Zak with us again this afternoon because he really wanted to swim.  He did a great job keeping up with the big boys again this afternoon!!
While we were swimming, Daniel and his den were learning how to tie different knots and how to widdle.  They also did a nature hike and learned about some of the animals that live in the park.  He said this was his favorite afternoon!  He loved seeing the snake and the spider that the scouts had in tanks for them to check out.  Both were caught in the woods we spent the week in.  Daniel and his partner caught a few worms while on their hike.

We met back up for closing ceremony and the boys asked if we could go to the trading post and get ice cream.  I let them do it since they had all been very well behaved all week and there was very little complaining.  While we were in there it started raining so we had a picnic under their awning with our ice cream before heading to our car and heading home.  I was exhausted when we got home so I packed up our stuff for tomorrow and headed to bed very early.  Such a fun week we are having!!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for June 26 - July 2)

Wow, this past week flew by!  We were super busy with Minecraft camp, swim lessons and me teaching 10 classes.  I fell behind on blogging but will be getting caught up this week for sure.  I did a pretty good job sticking to my plan last week until yesterday when I was craving a BLT sandwich.  We had some bacon that I needed to use up anyway so we had salads and sandwiches for dinner.  It was delicious and hit the spot!

I'm still struggling to find time to grocery shop alone or the patience to shop with all three kids.  This past week was a little easier since AJ and Daniel were busy every afternoon so Zak and I did a bunch of shopping while they were at camp.  This week they all have VBS every night so I'm hoping to do my shopping while they are there.  I am planning thru 4th of July so I hopefully don't have to worry about shopping over the holiday weekend.

Speaking of the holiday, how is it already July?  This year is flying by!  We're not really sure what we're doing next weekend, a lot depends on how Adrian's week at work goes this week.  If Congress gets the budget done by Thurs, we'll have an awesome 4 day weekend.  If not, I'm not sure what our weekend will look like.  We're planning as if they will finish by Thurs and we can do lots of fun things this weekend.  If that changes, my meal plan may change as well.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pakistani Kimi
Tuesday - Meatball subs for the kids, meatballs over zoodles for the adults
Wednesday - Chicken & Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls
Thursday - Leftovers - because there is always one day each week that I don't want to cook
Friday - Shake & Bake Chicken, hopefully we'll be at Zoombeezi Bay as a family for the evening
Saturday - BBQ of brats, burgers and hot dogs with our favorite potato salad
Sunday - Steak or chicken on the grill with leftover potato salad and whatever veggies we don't use this week

Water Flavor - Mango - I got 2 on sale on Friday at Meijer and I can't wait to make this water

Overnight Oats - I will be starting the week with the old standby favorites of Banana Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Apple Cinnamon.  I will also try a new to us flavor Pumpkin Pie.  I'm excited to try the new flavor!

Clean it out challenge - I will continue to use up the wheat germ in the overnight oats and I'll also be using up a can of pumpkin for the new flavor of oats.  I'm also using up some potatoes and sour cream that I need to use for the potato salad.  And I bought a lot of veggies last week so I'll be using those up this week before they turn.  I'm also using up some frozen rolls for the boys meatball subs, they love them on little rolls.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 6/9 - 6/15 - Part 2)

Since this week was jam packed with fun, I split it into three parts.  You can read part 1 here if you missed what we did over the weekend.  Come back later this week for part 3!

Monday (6/12) was the first day of Cub Scout Day Camp.  We got up super early to be at the meeting place by 7:15am and Daniel came into our room with his eye crusted shut.  I knew it was pink eye.  Thankfully Adrian was able to take the day off (and work some from home) so AJ, Zak and I could still go to camp.  We arrived early and I was a little overwhelmed with all of the activity, but also excited for the day.  I dropped Zak off at the sibling circle and then walked with AJ's den for the day.
The morning had a bunch of short activities, some of them were needed for the rest of the week.  We designed our den flag, came up with our chant, weighed and measured each boy, identified some tracks and took our den picture.  We finished up the morning with a presentation from COSI on wheels.  We all enjoyed the demonstrations, especially them firing rockets into the air.  After that, I picked up Zak from sibling circle and we all had lunch together.  Zak also got to watch the COSI presentation and he loved it.  He spent the rest of his morning playing in dirt, sand and with the toys in the sibling circle.

After lunch, we dropped Zak back off and I did my first hike down the hill.  We stayed on the trail (Foxfire) instead of the road (Cardiac Hill) since it was super hot and sunny!  We got down to the bottom and went creeking.  This was the one thing I did not want to do, but I didn't have a choice when AJ asked me to go in with him.  It was actually kind of fun, unless I thought about the fact that there were animals in the water with me.  AJ didn't catch anything, but his den caught a bunch of fish and crawfish.  It was nice and cool in the water as well so that was nice in the heat of the day.  After creeking, we headed to the lake for some fishing.  AJ got to make his own fishing pole and then fish with it.  Again, he didn't catch anything (no one really did) but he had fun.
We finished up at the lake and did our first hike up the hill, Foxfire again.  It was hard.  Not as bad as I was expecting, but we were all hot and tired.  But I was proud that all of the boys made it with very little complaining.  I picked up Zak from sibling circle to find out he went on a nature hike, saw some animals and went in a creek.  He loved his first day!!  We got back to the car and were very happy for cold water and air conditioning!

We got home and Daniel was doing much better.  He had been given the OK to go to camp the next day.  He did have his last baseball game of the season that night, but he missed it to rest and let his eye recover.  We had an easy dinner of leftovers, restocked our packs and headed up for an early bedtime.  It was an amazing but exhausting day!!

Tuesday (6/13) We got up early again for day 2 of day camp and Daniel's eye was just about back to normal so he got to join us for the day.  I decided to walk with his den the whole day just to keep an eye on him and his eye (plus he had a fun schedule for the day!)  We got to camp, dropped Zak off at the sibling circle, dropped AJ off to his den and got settled in with Daniel's den for the day.  Unfortunately the day started with a severe thunderstorm coming thru the area so we had to seek shelter for about 30 minutes until the all clear was given.

When we finally got started, we headed to wood crafting.  We had a great time making a penny hockey table together.  My fingers took a little bit of a beating, but it was worth it.  When we finished up there, we headed to the archery range, the thing Daniel was looking most forward to.  We had a little more lightening so we had to stay inside for a history and safety lesson before getting out to shoot.  Daniel had a blast using the bow and arrow and did pretty well once he got started, finishing up with two bulls eyes!


After archery, we ran back and grabbed Zak from sibling circle for lunch.  We asked AJ to join us, but he wanted to stay with his friends.  We had a nice lunch in the shade and found out that Zak had been playing with toys, blocks and sand all morning and was looking forward to his afternoon at the creek.  We split up again after lunch and Daniel and I headed down cardiac hill for our STEM lessons.  We made fingerprints using cocoa powder, explosions using Alka-Seltzer, name bracelets in Morse code and identified different powders.  It was pretty neat and was in the shade which was awesome.
When we finished up with STEM, we headed to the lake for our rowing session.  On our way there we saw Zak and the other siblings heading towards us to go to the creek.  Daniel and I had a great time rowing around the lake.  Well, he and the other scouts rowed around the lake.  I sat in the back of the boat and enjoyed myself.  We saw Zak again when he was done in the creek and he was so excited to see Daniel and I in a boat.  When we finished up rowing, we headed back up the hill on Foxfire trail for the closing ceremony which was super quick because there was another thunderstorm headed our way and they wanted us on the road before it hit the area.

We got in the car and heard all about AJ and Zak's days.  Zak loved hiking up and down the hill and being in the creek.  He said it was the best time walking in the water and catching fish.  AJ told us about what he did all day.  He started at geocaching which didn't really work that well because the satellites were down.  But he's super interested in learning more about it and hoping he can go caching with Dad soon.  After that, they learned how to make a tent/shelter which he enjoyed and told me all about.  After lunch, he had a troop meeting, which was basically introducing them to how a Boy Scout meet runs and what they will be doing as a Boy Scout.  They also learned how to start a fire in this meeting, which was the highlight of AJ's day, especially since he made fire with flint and steel!
We hightailed it out of the park and didn't actually get too much rain.  We stopped to pick up pizza for dinner since it was a fundraiser for our church and I knew I would be too exhausted to cook.  We got home, ate pizza, restocked our packs for tomorrow and headed to bed.  Daniel was especially exhausted, probably because he's still fighting off the infection from pink eye.  He was falling asleep on the couch at like 7:30!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 6/9 - 6/15 - Part 1)

Friday (6/9) was the last day of sports and arts camp for AJ and Daniel.  Jodi drove them to the park and they were able to get into art for the day.  They also all wore their swim suits so they could play on the slip and slide.  They had a great week at the camp - I am so thankful for this mission in our town!  While they were at camp, Zak and I ran a few errands and then went to the Garver Y so I could observe a class I will be teaching a few times in the next few months.  I had a great time doing Zumba with some friends and he enjoyed the "new" childcare room.
After class, Zak and I had a quick lunch in the car and then headed to the Gahanna Y for his make up swim lessons that were cancelled yesterday.  He swam for a little bit by himself before class, did a great job in class and then swam with me in the outside pool for about an hour.  We had so much fun!!  Jodi picked up the other boys from camp and brought them to her house to play for a while.  I picked them up and we headed home to get ready for the pizza party celebration for camp.
We had a great family night at the celebration.  We had free Jets pizza for dinner and enjoyed seeing a lot of our friends at the church.  Then we watched a fun video of the week and learned a little more about what the teens all did during the week of service.  After the celebration we headed to a new to us ice cream place, The Dairy Hut.  It was delicious, we all gave it 2 thumbs up!!  I enjoyed checking out a local place instead of the chains we normally go to.  By the time we got home, we were all exhausted so we got the boys to bed and followed very soon after them.

Saturday (6/10) started with all of us sleeping in after a busy week!  Then we all got started on our busy weekend.  Adrian took Daniel to his baseball game where they won again.  Daniel played pitcher in the last inning and made a great play to get a batter out at first.  I took AJ and Zak to Zak's last soccer class for this session.  It again was parent participation so I played with him.  It was a fun start to our morning.

After all of our morning sports were done, we came home to start working around the house.  I had to finish up some shopping so I ran out to do that while Adrian took the boys to play mini golf at Magic Mountain.  They had a great time and Zak got a hole in one!!  They played a few video games while they were there as well and then came home so we could grill out steak for dinner.  We finished up a few chores and had a relaxing night at home.  We did have a little excitement when we caught the ice cream man on our street - we all enjoyed our ice cream!!  And after the boys went to bed, Adrian and I had some wine and movie night since we were too tired to do it last night.  We watched "Dr. Strange" which was awesome!  It's not one of my favorite Marvel movies, it was very cerebral, but it was still really cool and great effects!

Sunday (6/11) We all slept in again, it's becoming a regular Sunday occurrence.  We got a few things done around the house, then headed out to church together.  The boys are loving being in service together in the children's ministry, especially when I'm back there with them.  After church, we came home for a quick lunch and then headed to the movie theater to finally see "Captain Underpants."  The boys loved every minute of it, although AJ did say the book was better.  Adrian and I thought it was just OK, not as clever as some of the other kids movies we've seen recently.
After the movie, we came home and started prepping for a very busy week.  I cooked a whole chicken so we have it ready to eat all week.  I also packed up our back packs for Cub Scout camp and got our lunchboxes and water bottles ready to go in the morning.  We finished up the last of our chores, had meatball subs for dinner and relaxed a little before heading up to bed as early as possible.  We have five early mornings ahead of us so we are trying to get to sleep as early as possible this week!