Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Camping!

As you may or may not know, we bought a pop up camper back in December.  We've camped in it a few times in our driveway, but had yet to get it out of the driveway. Partly because we had some work to do on the van before it would be a decent tow vehicle.  Well, the camper has now been out of the driveway!
Jason took the week off and we had our family vacation of camping. Our first stop was McKinney Campground on Lake Allatoona. Jason had met some people on a "pop-up blog" and some of them were getting together at this campground. It was really nice meeting some new friends, getting advice from people who have been doing this for awhile, and just knowing others at the campground. They even organized a potluck dinner on Saturday night - which was VERY delicious.There's already plans in the making for this group to get together again in September - we're planning to try to go.

I forgot to take a picture of our actual set up. But here's Rachel looking out of their bunk end.
And lunch at our campsite.
What the girls seemed to like the most about camping was that where we camped, there was always a "beach!" They really enjoyed being in the water and playing in the sand.
We spent two nights at McKinney. We then went home for one night - repacked and headed out again on Tuesday to Duckett Mill Campground on Lake Lanier. This campground was very quite - probably because it was mid-week. Each time we set up, Heidi and Rachel were in the mix wanting to help.
 Here's our set up.
And our view of Lake Lanier.

 Camping meals
Everyone helped with our campfires. Heidi & Rachel helped Jason gather the wood.
  And Emma helped by breaking the larger sticks in to smaller ones that would fit in the fire pit.
 Roasting marshmallows
We did not actually swim in Lake Lanier, but the girls did enjoy walking along the edge finding rocks and shells.  Yes - shells.  Who knew there were shells in Lake Lanier???

Rachel & Heidi found a rather large caterpillar on this log and wanted their picture taken with it. So, there is a caterpillar in between them. :-)
While we didn't swim in the lake, we did go to a nearby county aquatic center that was really fun. It has water slides, a little lazy river, and a playground in a pool that's only about 1 foot deep.  We all had a great time!
Camping fun!
 Sunset!
 Just because...
After 2 nights at Duckett Mill, we went home for the afternoon.  Jason had an appointment at a camper place to help us with our weight distribution hitch  While he was there, we got organized to head out one more time for the week. This time we went to Victoria Campground back on Lake Allatoona. This campground was nice and flat and perfect for riding bikes.
It is a really nice campground with a playground and a beach. Additionally, there is a day use area right next door with another bigger, nicer beach. Of course we checked them both out!
We were planning to camp three nights, but the forecast for Saturday night and Sunday was nothing but rain. We figured we might as well pack up late Saturday and head home dry rather than do it all in the rain on Sunday. It was such a fun time.  The girls seem to really enjoy camping!

Having the camping bug, and wanting to take advantage of the Summer as much as we can, this last weekend we went back to Victoria Campground on Allatoona. More of the same kinds of fun - except it was much warmer this time, so the lake was very inviting to all of us.
 

Here's our campsite.
Our view of the lake.
We took all of our bikes this time, so we took a few evening family bike rides around the campground.
Rachel has upgraded from her tricycle to a bicycle with training wheels. But she DOES NOT like to go fast.
Getting the campfire started to roast some marshmallows.
Now THAT'S a Smore!
I bought the gigantic marshmallows for roasting this time (don't think I'll do that again - a little too much of a good thing). I think it took Rachel about 8 or 10 bites to eat the whole thing. :-)
Yummy mess!
Daddy loving on his littlest girl.
The girls sleeping in their "bunk."

I believe it is safe to call camping with our pop up a success!  Everyone has enjoyed it and we've started having adventures and making memories!  Hopefully we'll be able to camp a couple more times before school starts back. At some point, we need to go camping somewhere without a beach so the girls learn there is more to camping than the beach! :-)  It's been fun!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rachel Update

Rachel enjoys wearing hats from time to time.  This Braves hat she won at the Y Easter Egg hunt.  It's way too big for her, but we make it as small as it will go and here it is.  Pretty cute if you ask me. We need to get her to a Braves game!

I continue to be amazed by this girl's curls every day.  Check out these ringlets!!!

So Rachel continues to sleep on her crib mattress on the floor.  We have not transitioned her to the bottom bunk bed yet.  However, when we do, this might be the first of our children to require a bed rail.  This is just a small sampling of how we have found her sleeping.


And there have been many times we've found her completely on the floor.  I think we'll wait a little longer before we move her to a bed off the floor. :-)

She continues to love riding her tricycle.  Here is a video I promised a while ago (hopefully it will work).

video

Friday, June 15, 2012

Emma Riding

Emma riding Austin.
video

Emma's May

Emma's May was busy too wrapping up the school year.  Her class took a field trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and I was able to go with them.  It's a neat place if you get the chance to go sometime. In one part they were told about how bees make honey and the little dance they do. So the kids were supposed to pretend they were bees and walk around these stepping stones doing the "bee dance."
There was also a cute Peter Rabbit area where they got to hide in the tool shed or in the watering can.

But when Mr. McGregor came they had to run to their home in the tree. The whole class fit in the tree!

There was a "tree house" with a slide for only the kids - no adults allowed.

They learned about the butterfly life-cycle.

Walking with a friend - Lawson and Emma have been in class together every year.

Towards the end of the year, Emma's class invited the parents and families to a "Poetry Cafe." The kids had been learning about poetry and writing their own.  They decorated the classroom like a cafe and each child read one of their own pieces of poetry.  They all did a great job and had some cute hats to complete the look.

Emma did such a wonderful job.  We were so proud of her.

After the kids were done reciting their poetry, the teachers played a video they had put together.  As a Mother's Day gift to all of us, each child had drawn a picture of their mom.  Then the teachers had recorded each student talking about their mom - it was PRICELESS! A special, special gift.

Emma has continued her therapeutic horseback riding - and will continue through the Summer too.  She is continuing to progress and enjoys being on the horse. She has recently changed ponies to one named Austin.  He is a beautiful paint horse.
I will try to post a video of her riding. I'm not having much luck with uploading videos, but we'll see.