After a wet cold spring , we were all kinda wondering if summer would ever get here.

It did. This week.

And not just the weather! (Which is really hot and humid…)

We had our first guests of the season – 2 of my sisters, one soon-to-be-niece-in-law, one niece and her bff. (best friend forever)DSC_0218

Can you say shopping?! At a thrift store of course!

Pedro wasn’t here – he spent the week house sitting for a friend, leaving Buddy as the lone male in a house full of girls while Jan was at work.

So of course the the electric fence charger got knocked down in the mud, the entire fence was down, all the cows got out, and the water tank sprang a leak.

Oh – and we had a baby calf!

belted galloway calf

We miss you Pedro. Come home. Now.

We planted two more rows of sweet corn, two more rows of green beans, and lots of herbs. Still no weeding though. Maybe next week…

And we enlarged my flower bed!


Okay – so it may not be the flower garden of my dreams – it is twice as big as last year!

Baby steps are still progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t you think the wire fence adds to the charm and beauty of the scene?! Not. But it is a necessary evil to keep the silly chickens and cats out until the flowers get established.

Speaking of cats – we also had our first litter of kitties for the season. Still haven’t found them though.

And to top it all off – we’re packing for our annual family camping trip.

There’s just something about sleeping bags and Hershey bars and bug spray that says “Hello – it’s summer!”

Oh – and did I mention that it’s hot and humid?


Captain Crunch Bars

Capt. Crunch BarsCan I admit here and now that I am not a sugared cereal person.

Buddy- however – loves it.

So twice a year when we go camping I let him pick out one box to bring along.

This year’s choice for the our July 4th Family Camp-Out was Captain Crunch.

And it came home unopened.

Oh dear – now what to do. An entire box of sugared cereal that only Buddy likes.

I know! I’ll feed it to the youth group! They’ll eat anything!

A quick google search and I had several recipes for Captain Crunch Bars. I picked one.

Dagmar (who shares my disdain for sugared cereal) took one look at the recipe and said, “Gross”.

But she made them anyway – and hasn’t stopped eating them since.

They are really yummy!

Suddenly – sharing them with the youth group no longer seemed like such a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

Captain Crunch Bars

1/2 cup melted butter
1 box yellow cake mix
3-1/2 cup mini marshmallows
8 ounces chocolate chips
3-1/2 cup Captain Crunch cereal
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pout the melted butter over the bottom of a jelly roll pan.

Sprinkle the dry cake mix on top, followed by the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Captain Crunch cereal.

Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the whole thing and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge as soon as you remove it from the oven.

It will set up as it cools. If you can wait that long.



Packing Up

We’re going camping this weekend – just like we do every July 4th weekend.

We’ll pack up and meet my family at a state park where we will all get sunburned, eat way too much chocolate, and laugh so much we cry.

Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?!

It is wonderful!

That is – it’s wonderful – once we get past the “pack up” part and are on the road!

I don’t like packing. There’s a lot of stuff needed when you pack up 7 people for 4 days of camping.

So many things to find – little shampoo bottles for everyone, old towels that can get sandy and dirty (but not so old that they embarrass me!), old shoes, old clothes, and then there’s all the food!

There’s a lot of stuff you can forget.

I decided some time ago that each child would need to be responsible to pack themselves. What they pack is what they live with for the weekend.

If they forget their swimsuit – they don’t go swimming.

If they forget their tennis shoes – they will hike in flip flops.

If they forget their toothbrush – well, um – we’ll just make sure they sleep in another cabin! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sound hard core? Maybe – but so far it’s working! They’ve handled the responsibility well. They may have forgotten things, but they figured out how to function without them – and it wasn’t Mom’s fault. ๐Ÿ™‚

But still – packing isn’t without it’s stresses. Have you ever noticed that things just “disappear” when you start to pack?

One son lost all the shorts in his dresser – they just disappeared?! Just a month ago he had enough shorts for a week long camp – now he’s down to just 2 pairs?

Is it just me – or does this sound vaguely familiar?

But we’ll keep pushing through. A wonderful weekend with some of my favorite people on earth is well worth it!

So little by little things get crossed off the list and the pile by the door gets bigger.

Oh dear.

That pile by the door – somehow we need to get it all in the mini-van!

Have I mentioned that I really don’t like packing!

Going Camping…

800px-SparklerIt’s that time once again – the weekend that my children look forward to all year – it’s time to go camping.

We’ve spent the last week finding things, packing them, unpacking and repacking them.

Sleeping bags were aired out, food prepared, camera batteries found.

Towels were selected – good enough so I wouldn’t be embarrassed that they were seen in public – but old enough to potentially get ruined or forgotten.

Lists were made, checked off, remade, and adjusted.

A million little details were taken care of.

All of this for 3 days.

Days full of hot dog roasts, creek wading, and playing Frisbee. These are long days and short nights with mosquito bites and sunburn.

But – we’ll spend those days with each other – no distractions – no i pods, mp3 players, computers, TV, or radio – there isn’t even cell phone reception!

We will eat way too much, laugh till we cry, and make some amazing memories.

Is it worth all the trouble, the time spent preparing, the 3 hour car drive, and the sunburns?

You bet!

I’m just as exciting as the kids are!

Have a wonderful July 4th weekend!

Duck Tape Shoes

At a recent Youth Group camping trip, my oldest children were quite impressed with the shoes one of their buddies was wearing.

At least, I think you could call them shoes.

He had taken a pair of ankle socks, turned them inside out and covered the inside with duct tape. Then he turned them right side out and covered the outside with duck tape.

He claims they are water proof and very comfortable, but did admit they didn’t work well on gravel. (It ripped up the tape.)

I’m afraid the mother in me thinks they don’t have much support or traction.

But, I will admit that I think they are pretty cool looking and will definitely attract attention.

And yes, I let my kids make a pair, too.

Why? Because around here we all know that,” Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver.”