Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Camp 2014

Although the kids are too young to attend overnight summer camps, all three had the opportunity to participate in day camp this past week.

Allie and Zach had a great time at our church's day camp...with Water Wednesday, crafts, old camp songs (like the songs Ben and I sang at summer camp when we were kids), friends, and tons of games, they were a little sad to wake up this morning with no more camp left to attend. 




During the afternoons this past week, Olivia was excited to attend Princess Dance Camp at the local dance school.  Making new friends, learning princess dances, creating crafts (crowns, Olaf the snowman, a bow and arrow), and snacking on princess treats were some of the many highlights of Olivia's week.  Each day featured a different princess that the girls could dress up to resemble (Sophia the First, Anna/Elsa from Frozen, Merida from Brave) and without a doubt Frozen day became the most favorite.  Likewise, Olivia was sad to see the end of Princess Camp yesterday.

Super excited for the first day of camp!

With her new friend on Sophia day


Before Frozen day, dressed as her favorite, Anna....and Finn, playing the part of Olaf.


To celebrate the end of a fun week, we all went out for Fro-Yo at Orange Leaf last night where Zach was delighted to discover they had PISTACHIO ICE CREAM (which, honestly wouldn't mean much to you unless you've seen Cars 2 and remember the part where Mater refers to pistachio ice cream...since then, it has been somewhat of an obsession).  The rest of us reveled in the goodness of frozen yogurt flavored to taste like Wedding Cake, Peanut Butter, White Chocolate/Brownie Batter, Snickerdoodle, Pineapple, Orange and Blackberry (and yes, they provide dividers so you can actually experience each one of these flavors separately, or if you are Ben, you just lump them all together and proclaim that Peanut Butter and Orange together is like the newest and best version of the Creamsicle).  Definitely a great end to a great summer week!

Summer Swim Lessons

Last Tuesday marked the half-way point of summer swim lessons. 




Olivia is still convinced that she knows all there is to know about swimming.  We're glad she isn't afraid to jump in the water all on her own anymore, but a little healthy fear would be nice at this point!

Allie and Zach are both progressing through their classes as well.  Allie was swimming the butterfly last week and I was shocked at how well coordinated she could accomplish a stroke that I nowhere near mastered (not that I mastered any swimming stroke, but the butterfly was way out of my league!).  Zach continues to swim lap after lap with ease with almost every stroke.  Sometimes Ben and I have to do a double take because we aren't sure whose kids are swimming in the pool...surely it can't be our kids who opt to use the doggy paddle exclusively when we go to the pool on our own! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Minocqua Vacation 2014

We always look forward to the beginning of summer because it means vacation is imminent!  Our 9th annual week long vacation to Minocqua was better than ever this year.  With new accommodations, we also had access to a private beach on Lake Minocqua that was a hit with everyone.  Despite it being the rainiest week we remember spending in Minocqua, we still managed to hit up the beach daily (by far the kids' favorite part of vacation) for swimming and playing in the sand.  We already can't wait to go back again next year!

Inside the lake home...and yes, Finn got to come along this year!

The view of Lake Minocqua from the second story deck

All the kids are ready for a ride on Grandpa's boat










The kids couldn't wait to go tubing and requested that Grandpa give them a wild ride!

Olivia preferred a more tame version of tubing.







Breaks at the cabin almost always involved Uncle Chris reading the to the littles.

Thankfully, we had a few more readers to give him a break once in a while.





Breakfast at Paul Bunyan is a must!


The donuts are our favorite!


You can always find what you are looking for while shopping in downtown Minocqua...even a matching hat!

The dogs on their first ever boat ride.

They seemed happy, but we're not sure it was really their favorite pastime.








The dogs after a long walk

Annual spaghetti dinner

Zach's favorite picture in the small history center along the Bearskin Trail leading to downtown Minocqua...it's a picture of a derailed train.

Playing at the park in downtown Minocqua



Hot dogs and slushies after a morning at the park


The spectacular fishing spot where there were no shortage of fish to be caught!

The kids were catching bigger fish than Ben or I had ever caught (not that we should be bragging about our fishing abilities or anything!)

We think they were catching Bass

And some sunfish too.



It's actually quite a miracle that no one fell in...and that Ben was able to de-hook all those fish and re-hook all those worms.

This was the biggest fish caught...it actually almost snapped Allie's little Disney Princess fishing pole.

Campfires and smores! 





Rainy Day activity #1:  Exploring the history of Minocqua at the local museum, complete with model trains

The kids also learned how to use and read Morse Code

And they sat in a replica of a one room school house


Zach was excited to try on this old football helmet.

And it should come as no surprise that Allie chose to pose at the teacher's desk in the one room school house!




Visiting the Thirsty Whale for lunch

Horseback riding!

Olivia talked the ENTIRE 30 minutes we were atop that horse. 


Go-Karts!



And more fishing...except the fish were a little smaller this time around.




Rainy Day Activity #2:  BOWLING!





Obviously, I was not gifted with the ability to bowl...even with bumpers!

Celebrating Daddy's birthday with ICE CREAM!