Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The camper returns

So Ryan has been at scout camp for the past five days. This has been the longest time that he has ever been away from the family. He woke up Monday morning and met his troop at 3:30am to take off for camp.
This is who was there when we got to the Hogge's house...more showed up later, but it was early and I wanted to get back home to bed. We cheated and sent Ryan with a cell phone (it was an old flip phone so he was roughing it), so we were able to get daily updates.

Some highlights...
Ry went on a hike through the deep woods. When he got back to camp he found 9 ticks sucking his blood. He says he screamed and freaked out until someone got them off him. He is proud of the fact that he holds the record for the most ticks though. Tick total for the week:15.

Ry worked on and finished a bunch of merit badges.

Slept in a tent with tons of bugs had no zipper net-plus he left it open to let in light (and bugs). Thank goodness we sent a bug net.

Completed lumberjack maze-not on paper, but among the trees.

Got 40 points on his first try shooting a rifle. Not as much luck with archery.

Brought home some of the drinking water, for us all to experience. On the left side is the camp drinking water, on the right side is our home drinking water. (Hopefully that was self-explanatory-our home water is not yellow) YUCK!

Cooked steaks for the troop, and had three campfires.

When he got home he told me that camp makes our home feel like a fancy hotel.

I asked him if he was planning on going again next year. He says, "Of course, but once a year is definitely enough."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Summer Day

As I have already said, last summer my parents moved to Apple Valley. They actually now live about 11 minutes away. Their house is on a beautiful, deep clear lake. It has become one of my children's (and their friends') favorite places to go on a hot summer afternoon.

Today was a hot summer afternoon (finally). Emily grabbed three friends and spent the day swimming, kayaking, fishing and generally having fun.Can't you just feel the sun's heat and hear the laughing as they jump into cool water.

Andrew got to hang out with Ethan, one of his life long friends. They navigated the lake in the kayaks, built in the sand, and caught 12 fish.
My children are not the only MN grandchildren to love spending time at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We also got to play with our dear cousins Fiona and Adele. They looked so cute with their sun hats, goggles, floaties and smiles!In theory everyone should be tired tonight, but somehow I am the only tired one around here!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Our cookie stand

The "last day of school" cookie stand started many years ago. The bus stop up the street had a fun tradition. A cool mom had set up a table with cookies and juice and cheered as the kids came off the bus. Well, Ry was the only kid at our bus stop , and I did not think to set up a party, so we joined their fun. The next year the fun mom told me that I would have to continue the tradition because her kids were done with elementary school. Our bus stop has grown each year and I have faithfully set up a table with cookies and juice to start the summer celebrations. Unfortunately, I had class this year so I missed the fun.
But the cookie stand lived on! Luckily, Erik flew into the country minutes before the bus and found himself manning the stand with some of the neighborhood moms. It looks like they had a great time!
Here is my sad fifth grader. She had to say good-bye to her elementary school life.
Here comes my now SECOND grader!More summer bound kids..
Our lovely the little one was a fun new kindergartener this year!
The stand stayed set up long enough for the middle schoolers to join the fun (Ry wanted to make sure they did NOT miss the tradition-after all Ry was one of the original cookie standers).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Plans

There is less than a week of school left (for the kids that is) and we are starting to think about summer and how we want to spend our time. When one asks Andrew how he plans to spend his summer, he will say "computer games." I have NO DOUBT that Ry would give a similar response. I am sure that many computer games will be played...but I have other plans too.

This year, I wanted to find something that the family could enjoy together. Naturally, that lead me to Valley Fair. I grew up going to Valley Fair. I have many great memories riding the rides with my brothers and sisters. Actually, when they are in town, we still can be found going to Valley Fair running together from ride to ride. So I decided we should get season passes this year. The kids are finally all tall enough to really enjoy the park!Growing up, we loved the rides, esp. the Corkscrew and the Enterprise *pictured above. (I also have fond memories of pudding pop stands-sadly those are gone now). It's funny, but each ride still carries vivid memories with my brothers and sisters. Last week, we spent the afternoon exploring the park and riding the rides. Surprisingly, there were no lines at all. It was such a fun day.We were able to ride rides like The Wild Thing then hop right back on and ride again.Andrew did the same with the High Roller aka the White Roller Coaster. The day was filled with good family togetherness...including screaming together and laughing together.