Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ridgefield Wildlife Preserve

 I was sitting in the red chair reading my book and then two girls squeezed in on top of me. We read like this for a few minutes before I felt squished out.

 Didn't bother them at all... Izzie and Maddie.

 Picked up our friends Heather and Treya and ate lunch at this cute little bakery in Ridgefield before going to tour the Ridgefield Wildlife Preserve. It was a fun day.

 Izzie, Treya and Maddie

 The Ridgefield Wildlife Preserve is a couple mile loop that you do in your car. You drive like 5 mph so we let the kids free in the back after I put the seats up. This was pretty cool to them.


 Maddie


 Nutra


 Izzie with a mudmush cake she made. They have gotten so good at mud pastries that they look really edible!

 The "factory."

Maddie and her petit fours.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Annual Ditt-Imes Campout 2016

 Our fourth annual summer with the IMES. The first year was just a day trip, then two years of two night trips and this year we did a three night trip. I met Angela when my girls were about three months old and her twins were about 6 months old. Now she's got four kids, while I just stuck to having two. Her kids are Andi, Alex, Zoe and Zelda. My girls were totally looking forward to this trip! My mom and Chris came along too, so we had a big campsite. Chris joked that he was the only guy with 8 girls, since Anderson, Angela's hubby couldn't come this year and I still haven't gotten John out into the woods quite yet.

 Nanna enjoying the firepit while the kids are all running around exploring.

 Seriously, I couldn't even get them on film except as blurs.

 We stayed at this same site last year and ALL the kids requested it again because of this tree stump and it's proximity to a little creek behind the site.

 S'mores! Zoe, Angela, Zelda, Alez and Maddie.

 Me and Izzie.

 I brought the badmitton set up again. It's a really cool set up. And their skill improved vastly since last year. As in they can actually hit the birdy at all.



 Down to the lake we go....





 Nanna helping Maddie float. I did get in this time. The water is cold, but doable if you go slow!!

 Finding seaweed? What's it called in a lake? Water grasses?? We also found a dead fish and Zelda had no problems picking it up and throwing it to the other side of the lake. Ew!

 Cooking dinner. We didn't collaborate this year because our kids all eat such different things. Maybe next year we can collaborate on some of the meals. We produced a LOT of dishes that all needed to be washed by hand!


 I made gumbo one night. I was SO looking forward to this. But it didn't turn out great.  It looked picture perfect but the taste was just meh. It was edible though... sort of. We filled up... on dessert...

 Card games!


 Even at the end of July the mornings are chilly. Long sleeves and a hat help!

 Reading circle.

 Rock painting. We told them about Vancouver Rocks. They live outside of Seattle, but I told them, I bet Seattle has a similar program.



 I think this was the last summer for this tent. It was Chris's for many years before I got it. It'd probably still be good for dry camping or if you spent the money to reseal it, but we got a few drips and I don't want to chance getting poured on!


 Take time to look up. The trees are amazing.


 Chicken Broccoli casserole that came out really good!

 Brownies in Oranges. I'm officially over this dessert. We made it at the beginning of the summer and didn't get to eat it because of the raccoon, and we made it last summer. It's good, but a lot of work to prep.

 We learned that butter gets sap off. So if you get sap on your fingers (or toes) smear butter on the sap and rub. It lifts the sap like magic (soap does not work.) Then you use soap to get the butter off. Well, the kids were running around barefoot and of course got sappy toes. So I got some butter and fixed Maddie up. Zelda watched in amazement. I explained what I was doing. Next thing we know, she's purposefully looking around for sap so she could have Butter Toes. She succeeded and here's Angela getting the sap off!






Good bye hugs... until next year... although there was talk about visiting each other's houses in between!