Monday, May 31, 2010

Annual camping trip

Last year we started a new tradition of going camping over Memorial Day weekend. This year we went to the Hillman Ferry campground in Land between the Lakes National Park. We were lucky to get a campsite that was really close to everything. The beach, fishing, and most importantly with 3 little kids, the bathroom. 

We brought a little tent for Ella to try to keep her out of trouble. It had been raining and the ground was all muddy and I was not thrilled with the idea of Ella crawling around. She was not happy about this decision. 

As soon as we got the campsite set up we needed a little break. By saying WE I really mean ME. 

After our snack we took the kids to go fishing. 

The kids were very patient waiting for Aaron to get the fishing line ready. Gavin was the only one who wanted to try it once they realized that you have to put a worm on the hook. 

This is the view of the beach from the fishing dock.  

We love campfires! 
  I don't know what it is about fire but we can just sit around for hours just staring at it. Relaxing perhaps? I'm not sure but the kids just sat mesmerized watching Aaron get it ready for dinner. 

We were lucky we cooked dinner early because shortly after we finished we got hit with thunderstorms which lasted until morning.

During the night we found out we had a couple leaks in the top of the tent that need to be repaired but other than that it was a good night. We woke up to sunshine and a drenched campsite. We cleaned up and finally got the fire started to make our breakfast before we headed out on our walk through the woods. 

We stopped to look at the board to see what trail we wanted to go on. Lets see... 20 mile hike? Nope. 10 mile trail? No thanks. Oooh! There is a loop that goes around the campground? Perfect! 

Ella loves the carrier. 
She falls asleep as soon as Aaron starts walking. 

Aaron put the kids in charge to make sure we stayed on the right path. I still would have held him solely responsible if we got lost or onto a longer trail. Something about Army Special Operations and land navigation training would have made it impossible for him to live it down. 

Grace spotted this very tiny turtle in the middle of the trail. Gavin came up with the name Shelly which I thought was really cleaver. So we sat around looking and talking about Shelly for a few minutes then we parted ways. 


When we got back to the campsite Ella was awake and the other kids were tired, hot and hungry. Aaron was getting the fire ready for lunch and the kids just sat around watching him. 

We had campfire pizzas. Which is just white bread, pizza sauce and cheese cooked with a pie iron. The pie irons are probably the best cooking item to bring camping with kids. You can put just about anything in them and the kids will eat it. 

There is nothing better than making s'mores on a camping trip. 
No matter what fun things we do and see s'mores is always the kids answer when we ask what was your favorite part of the trip. 

The first step is to put as many marshmallows as 
possible on one stick. Ava is a pro!


I think this was number 3 for Gavin!

Miss Ava is still in her princess 
form even when eating a messy s'more. 
Pinkies up!

Ella was trying to eat the s'mores right out of Aaron's hand. 
Poor thing, the next camping trip she will be 
older than 1 so then she can try it. 


We had a so much fun that none of us wanted to go home!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Put the lime on the cupcake

Grace had a end of school Luau party and I made these key lime cupcakes. As you can see I had a dilemma choosing which way to decorate them. I did half of each but I prefer the cupcakes in the photo on top. They were so good and I can't wait to make them again!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Great Grandparents

This past weekend my Grandparents along with my mom made the 7 hour drive down from Chicago for a visit. They stayed 4 days and we had a wonderful time!
The kids took turn taking pictures of everything we did this weekend. 

My beautiful Grandma Betty. 

Wonderful Grandpa Vince

Me. Not the most flattering picture but Grace insisted I put it on here. She says I look beautiful as always. How can I argue with that!?! 


One of the main reasons they came down this weekend was to attend the Gold Star Memorial with us. It is a memorial for 5th Group Special Operations that died in the line of duty. This year was a little special because they were dedicating the field as well as having the memorial.

All the 5th group soldiers who were not deployed at the time were standing out on the parade field during the ceremony. 

We were really lucky we had seats in the shade. 

Each of these trees were planted when a soldier got killed in action. They each have a marker with the soldiers name, rank, unit and where he was killed on it. During the ceremony the family members went out and placed flowers on their family members tree. There was a mom who walked out with her two small children that broke my heart. 

After we went to the static display in the middle of Fort Campbell that had all the old retired planes and monuments dedicated to the units that fought in all the foreign wars. My Grandpa who is a Veteran of Korea loved reading everything and took his time walking around the area. 

My Great Uncle fought in WWII and died at Battle of the Bulge. He was with 101st Airborne so we tried to look for his name here but, unfortunately, no names were engraved at this location.  When we lived in Germany we were able to go see his grave in Belgium which was a great honor. 

My Grandpa really loved this quote. 


The last afternoon they were here we just hung out at the house.

Grandpa played soccer with Gavin and Grace while Ava took more pictures. 

For dinner Aaron made some paella and cooked up some BBQ. Some how the entire inside of the grill caught on fire and charred the chicken. We tossed the chicken into a brown paper bag while we tried to get the fire stopped.  My grandpa later admitted to going in the brown bag eating the chicken. He said it wasn't bad once you got past the inch of burnt parts. 

We had a wonderful weekend which went by way too fast.