Monday, August 30, 2010

Longing for Fall? Scrapbook!

Round about this time of each season, about 2/3 of the way through, I begin longing for the next season. I enjoy the craving, the anticipation of the change. During our camping trip to Northern Wisconsin I spotted several trees that had already shown signs of fall colors. My heart does a little pitter patter... for fall may be my most favorite time, but there is nothing I can do to make it arrive any quicker. Enter: scrapbooking.
I can easily satify this craving with a dip into some old photo boxes and my trusty scrapbook supplies. I tend to buy everything on clearance, so the next time I go to pull out a certain type of supply there is something new-to-me in the box.
Last week I squeezed in a little bit of scrapbooking Fall 2008.
This two-pager goes in the family album.

This layout about Hunter goes in his personal album.

Same with this other layout about Hunter.

I want to share this layout here, but because it features a member of our family who does not like to have her image online, I blocked her face with a piece of chipboard. :) Love the patchwork I did in the background here, using all scraps from my scrap basket.

Happy scrapping!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ben's First Day of Kindergarten

This week Benjamin started Kindergarten. He was so excited! He wanted his picture to be taken by our mailbox post.

I am super proud of his first day of school outfit, by the way. It's CHAPS, my favorite. The shorts were 80% off at $5.80, and the shirt was free! Kohl's sends out one of those $10 off any purchase cards, and the shirt was also 80% off priced at about $9.80 on clearance. Free. Love it!

Had to get one brother shot. Hunter had his second day of preschool at the same time.
This is Ben's coat and backpack hook in the hallway outside his classroom.
Here's the classroom.
And his beloved orange desk. He has proclaimed his favorite color is now only orange. It used to be green and orange.

Happy school year to all of you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hunter's First Day of Preschool

Hunter started his second year of preschool this morning. Of course, I took a few (er, a ton of) pictures in our front yard, and one by his cubby outside the classroom.
He's getting to be such a big boy! Even his teacher noticed.
He is becoming quite the jokester.
A shot of the Buzz Lightyear backpack-finally a large enough size for school.

My favorite shot of the morning!
Big boy by his cubby.

Happy back-to-school everyone.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Camping at Pattison State Park, Wisconsin

A few weeks ago we took our very first family camping trip. While browsing the photography website flickr years ago I found some picture of waterfalls in Wisconsin, and set out to someday see them. The time finally came this summer, with both kids old enough to camp and us finally having all the essential gear to make it happen.
The drive up to Northern Wisconsin was 6 hours. Our dog, Laura, sat in the back with the kids, although with all their bedding you could barely see her!

We left our house at 4 am, so round about 8-9am we needed some real food. This diner was on the side of the road, and we simply could not resist the huge cow and rooster statues.
Ben loves restaurants. They are a rare treat for us. This one reminded him of his toy diner at home, so he loved it.

Love the way Hunter is looking at Theo here.

Had to get a picture of them on the barstools in his cute place. Hunter fell off his and bumped his head on the wall. He got up and laughed, though.

Love this rooster!

It was pouring rain when we got there. Literally flooding; Theo even saw a house and car under water. This water was all around our campsite.

We unpacked our tent in a brief break from the downpour, set it up and unloaded. I was so proud of us, no fighting of being bitter about the rain, just hard work and a smile when it was all through. Hunter and I set up the inside of the tent, then the camp area outside, while Theo and Ben went and got firewood.
When Ben got in the car this dragonfly was on the his window.
In the tent!

I truly could not be happier.

Here, Ben is sitting in his camp chair having a snack.
So proud to pass on the tradition of camping to my boys.
When the rain finally subsided we drove over to see Little Manitou Falls.
Ben and Hunter loved the bridges.

The beauty of the falls was more than I expected. The DNR website explains the water has a root beer colored tint because of the leaves and roots that are in he water throughout the Black River.

A photo of the kids in front of the 31 foot falls.
Cute little trail. Theo walking with Laura and Hunter ahead of us.
Ben with me, enjoying all the cool moss and foliage.

I took this picture form the top of the falls, looking down.
The kids loved that the water looked like a bubble bath. Very sudsy.

Pictures of me with the boys at the top of the falls.

And Theo, looking quite svelt and sexy, I might add, holding up Hunter.

Next, we drove over Big Manitou Falls. You could view the falls from several different angles, and they were all spectacular.

Ben loves nature as much as me. I caught him saying, as he was leaning over looking at one of the falls, "God, I love this. I want to live here." He also said some of the same things I said as a child viewing Yosemite Falls, like, "Wouldn't it be awesome to go swimming down there!"

The water was unbelievably strong and fast, no doubt from the downpour we had just witnessed.

So beautiful!!

At the top of Big Manitou Falls there was another bridge.

The boys at the top of the big falls.

The view from an overlook point just below the top of the falls.

I read this sign to Benjamin and he recited a synopsis to the next person he saw on the trail.

Back at the campsite, ready to warm up by the fire.

Eating dinner at our campsite.
Before our trip we found these huge marshmellows at Farm and Fleet. They were hard to roast all the way through!

Hunter eats a jumbo s'more.

Ben, too.

The kids kept asking about bears, which are common in this part of Wisconsin. Dad made up this elaborate story about a bear named Ooga Booga who didn't like loud little boys. In an attempt to keep them quite at camp, he referenced this Ooga Booga bear repeatedly throughout the trip. The boys know better than to believe anything Dad says, so it was pretty funny.

First thing the next morning the boys were looking for Ooga Booga. lol. We walked over to the Big Manitou Falls for another look at it's roaring waters. This peaceful Interfalls Lake is right by the campsites. It has a great beach, if the weather had been warmer we could have gone swimming.

This tunnel takes you under the damn that seperates the lake and Big Manitou Falls.

We then took a short drive (12 miles) to the neighboring Amnicon State Park. This place was even more beautiful! the covered bridge you see behind us here seperates upper and lower Amnicon Falls.

Lower Amnicon Falls

Upper Amnicon Falls from the bridge.

In the far left of the this picture you can see Theo, Laura and Benjamin standing by Upper Amnicon Falls.

Hunter and I climbed down on that little deck, too. Here is his by the falls.

Looking up at Theo, Laura and Benjamin.

The covered bridge from the top of upper Amnicon falls.

Tucked back in the woods at this park we also found Now and Then Falls.
Next, we drove a little ways more to Wisconsin Point to see Lake Superior. I didn't expect it to be so beautiful, and yet again, I was stunned. The kids skipped rocks, and played in the sand.
Ben loved the color of this rock.

Back at the campsite Hunter played ladder ball for hours.
We picked up these cool Junior Ranger booklets and backpacks for exploring available at the State Park offices. If the kids completed a book (geared at their age level) they could earn a patch. Both boys dilligently did all the assignments in the books, with our help. Their favorite was Rabbit and Fox, where one perons pretend to be the fox sleeping in front of his food, and othe pretends to be a rabbit and sneak up as quietly as possible to get the food. Teaches the kids how foxes use their ears to guard their food. We also had to take a nature walk. the boys and I ventured off on a trail that dogs were not allowed on. We enjoyed the lake, and saw an eagle.

Love this picture of Ben working on his ranger booklet.
Hunter also got tons of baseball time in with dad.
Hope you enjoyed hearing all about our trip! I crossed several Summer To-Do list things off!
Happy Summer!