Sunday, October 21, 2018

Church Vacation

Last weekend we went up north about three hours to attend our annual Church Vacation. Last year was the first year we went and the kids loved it. They had been talking about it all year asking when we would go again. This year we stayed in the backwoods cabins. It was a little bit of a walk from everything but it was actually amazing. We loved being forced to be outside a little longer and soak in the smells and feels of fall. It was a chilly weekend around 35 degrees. Made us SOOO thankful that we got our outdoor camping trip in last weekend and wasn't out in this weather. It was a little wet from rain earlier in the week but it didn't rain on us while we were there. 

We spent some time in the gym running around. Thomas loves balls and being on the go.

Lots of time by the campfire and Isaac was a huge fan of four square, which he is doing in the background of this photo.

We arrived late Friday evening so it was already dark. This was Saturday, just hanging out.

We had an all camp game, Isaac and I participated and it was pretty fun. We each had a piece of the pumpkin in our 'kingdom' and our teams had to try and steal the other pieces to make the whole pumpkin in our own circle. The kingdoms were spread out pretty good so there was lots of running.

Isaac was on the brown team, hence the brown face paint. I was on the red team.

And of course we spent some time in the fireside room playing games, eating snacks, and doing puzzles.

More four square:

This was our cabin. Had 6 bunk beds and a bathroom in it. It was just our family, so each of the kids got to be on a top bunk. Thomas was in his pack'n'play and Kyle and I had a queen bed on the bottom of a bunk bed.

After naps we went over to the ropes area. It was COOOOLLLDDD and windy over here being by the water. We were by a little campfire but didn't last long. It was so cold.

Dinner time in the dining hall. Thomas loved getting some running in.

And bedtime. I'm rocking Thomas here. The girls were utterly exhausted so after dinner we went straight back to the cabin. Church was at 7, but we missed it. They also did s'mores at 8, Isaac and Kyle got to make s'mores but we were all snoozing by 8, myself included. I did not sleep well the first night, I woke up to attend the early morning holy yoga and couldn't get my watch alarm to sync so kept waking up through the night in fear of oversleeping and missing yoga. The second night I slept great!

Sunday we woke up, went to breakfast and then packed up camp. The kids played around a little bit then we loaded up and headed back south. We missed the snow, but heard Sunday morning was some beautiful winter wonderland snow. The ground was covered when we got back into town.

We got home and made our own fire and had a lazy afternoon. Thomas loves sitting in his reading chair looking at books. I think he's going to have a love for books like Isaac does.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October Camping - St Croix State Park (October 6-7, 2018)

Since we survived our first family of six camping adventure we decided we wanted to try it again. When we went back in July it was hot, it wasn't much fun making a campfire and the bugs had Isaac in tears on our hike. So we knew we wanted to take the kids camping again when it wasn't the heat of summer. Well... there was a beautiful weekend in September and I booked this one night campsite; not realizing just how cold it would get. The first cool weekend we had in September made me nervous because I knew we still had a few weeks til we could our camping trip in. But October 6th was the first weekend day we had available so October camping it was. 

We just did one night, Isaac had his last Saturday morning soccer and we had the van mostly loaded so we could drive to the state park immediately after soccer. It was only an hour and a half drive away. We arrived about 3:00 and got camp set up. 

It was super cold when we arrived, it was about 45 or so.

Checking out the hiking map.

We attempted a hike before dinner. Thinking we'd do the hiking club trail. But with how things were starting it wasn't looking promising. Emma learned a valuable lesson... that of which to remove gloves when using the bathroom especially before wiping after a poop. Those gloves got put in a doggy bag until they could get ran through the washing machine.

Good 'ol Harpo is so patient as all the shenanigans take place.

Alright let's do this... it was starting to get cooler at the evening went on.

Well we didn't make it far when we saw a path that went down to the river. So we made the choice there: "we keep going for the hiking club password, or we take the trail down to the river and take that path back to camp" We decided on the latter which was good because my hands were cold and it was time to get the fire and dinner going. 

It was gorgeous fall colors. Seriously a perfect last camping adventure. We are even more thankful after this past weekend when temps were dropping below freezing. We squeeze in this trip just in time!

Kids playing with their hiking sticks. Emma picked up a hiking stick back at Glendalough and Mary's stick was from Ft Snelling... which Mary ended up falling and poking her self in the cheek with it shortly after this photo :-( You can see the damage done in a picture from the next day. 

Beautiful fall tree by the bathrooms

We had dinner: sausages with sauteed peppers and onions and s'mores. Then we bundled up for the night. The kids in one tent and Kyle, me, and Thomas in the other. Thomas did great all night, he didn't seem the least bit cold. I was cold and didn't sleep very well at all. Isaac got up to pee about 3 times. We were ready for it to be morning, lol. It got down to about 36 or 38 that night. We woke up and got a fire going at the crack of dawn. Warm oatmeal for breakfast and the rest of the s'mores. Oh and hot chocolate. The kids were in heaven!

Felt so nice by the fire. This is the kind of camping we love. Maybe a litttttle warmer. But we def want to go earlier in the summer and then maybe try to get a September trip in next year.

Christmas card candidate (that is if I do them... eeek didn't get them done last year)

Enjoying hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Mary's poor eye. It has completely healed now, but it didn't look good the next couple of days. 

We packed up camp and set off for the hiking club trail. The sole purpose of camping ya know?! lol gotta get that hiking club trail password.

Miss Mary straggling behind.

Thomas really enjoyed the hike... slept the entire time.

So pretty!

Harpo slept in his coat, he was colder than the kids were.

Found a caterpillar.

Thomas woke up about this time in our hike, we were almost back to camp, and realized we lost one of his mittens :0( Kyle ran back a ways to see if he could find it but no luck. Oh well... they only lasted us 6 years as they were originally Isaac's.

We got home and made a fire to warm up. It was a fun (full of work for mom and dad) camping trip. Making memories :0)

Thomas loves this book, lol I love that he's reading it upside down. But lately he will throw all the other books on the floor until he finds this one and then runs around with it.

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