Monday, March 31, 2008

Camping in Savannah

Savannah Trip part 1.
Here is our first camping spot that we stayed at we had just over a mile & 1/2 hike in. The kids did great with the walk, and to Brian's surprise I was able to do the walk just fine with my pack on. (I even carried my pack & Madelyn out on Wednesday).
Our spot was right on the edge of a marsh so we had great views of water birds the whole time.Here is our Teepee finally in action.Brian and the kids walking out on Tuesday morning to visit a couple of tourist spots.To get to our spot you walked on a path that wasn't so kept up. (It looked like a hurricane had just gone through).We also had a water hole that filled in with the tides. (It would fill about late morning and empty out by late afternoon)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Madelyn's Second Birthday Party

We went up to papa's & grandma's house on Friday after dinner so we wouldn't have to wake up early on Saturday to get ready for Madelyn's Party that we had at papa's house. The party was great. The boys did a fantastic job smoking the chicken and Grandma & I had everything inside ready well a head of time. The kids had fun playing with their cousins & friends that came over. Madelyn got a slew of new dresses & toys so she was one happy camper. The kids also got their Easter baskets while we were there as well. They both got really cool spring/fall jackets & Maddie got a cute hat & Brendan got some handsome shorts. I will have to take & post photos of the jackets & Madelyn's new bike that Brendan helped pick out for her later.

Here are the photos I did get...
The kids being grandma's cuddle buddies while we watch a Power Ranger movie friday night....Madelyn getting ready for her birthday party day breakfast of special Papa waffles....Madelyn opening her presents.....It is a good thing we didn't take a video of this as she was really neat & slow.Madelyn's Mojo birthday cake....Smiling while we sing to her....Trying to blow out the candles...Brendan had to come in a save the day and blow them out.Madelyn trying to be neat eating her cake...The boys playing on Papa while Madelyn plays in the other part of the play room...The kids opening their Easter Baskets...Madelyn in her new fishing hat....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jen's New Butt Hauler......

Our Element has been a great car. When we bought it, we only had one kid. Removing the extra seat and filling it with stuff for camping and trips was not a big deal. Now, with both back seats filled, we had less and less space. So, we wanted something bigger.

With gas so expensive, this might not seem like the best option. But, in order to get more room than we had, we looked at several vehicles. Saturn Outlook, Honda Pilot, Honda Ridgeline, Chevy Trailblazer......I even looked at the specs of a couple mini-vans. The end result was estimated EPA mileage ratings all within 1MPG of each other. However, with the Active Fuel Management System on the Silverado, it could put it quite a bit ahead of the average estimates. Actually, Jen was cruising down the expressway today, watching the instant gas mileage gage, and was getting mileage in the upper 20s, to mid-30 MPG, for an a period of time (not just a few seconds). But, we will see how it works out in the long run.

Brendan likes to pimp big in the front seat : )

Little Maddie in her back seat:

We also considered used vehicle too. But, Jen's Element was only 4 years old. My GM discount is equivalent to about two years of vehicle depreciation. The savings we got with 0% financing is huge, and not available on used cars. So this was it......

We want to get a color matched cab high topper, so we can just throw our camping gear in and go. Other than that, the truck is a 4x4, with Z71 off road package, 4 door (obviously), has the 5.3L V8 Vortec (315hp), trailer package, remote entry, remote start (Jen loves that), CD Player, dual zone climate control, Auto-dimming mirror with compass and temperature, heated outside mirrors, fog lights, and I am sure I am missing a couple things. The front and back seats are pretty cool too. Both have a console for storage and cups, etc. But they can still be flipped up to seat 3 people front, and 3 people in the back.

Pancake Breakfast

This past Sunday we went to a pancake breakfast & maple syrup event at the local museum here. The food was good and the kids were on their 3rd breakfasts each!
But in addition to the good food we got to learn some cool stuff too.
Brendan got to learn how to 'tap' a maple tree to get the sap out to make the syrup.
Here he is in the steps..
Drilling a hole into the tree....(they put a round piece of wood in afterwards that acts like a band-aid and will heal the hole)Putting in the spile....Hanging the bucket to catch the sap...We also went on the same walk we went on last year at the Maple Syrup event.
Here we are learning how the Indians collected the sap & boiled it down the the maple sugar candy.Here Brendan is in the Maple tree area...Brendan & Madelyn by the dinosaur out front of the museum...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Valentine's Craft

Grandma Tatz sent the kids a Valentine Craft kit from the Popcorn Factory for Valentine's Day. We finally had a free evening last week to get messy. We have 12 popcorn hearts, (we ate a couple before hand) and lots of different candies & frosting tube to use like glue.
Here is our work area on the kitchen table....Mom's creation.....Brendan working on his project....Madelyn ate more of the art project than she worked with....Brendan's creation....(it is about 5 layers of candy tall)Brendan with his creation....Madelyn's creation....Madelyn with her creation...
Of course after all this candy & fun it was time for a bath & bed. And a really good brushing of the teeth.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Snow Day! Again!

Brendan had another snow day from school today. But this time they got to go out and play in the snow. Brian got them all suited up before he left for work while I was on my way home from another doctor's appointment.
Of course after lunch we watch a movie and now Maddie is sleeping while Brendan and I are getting ready to play Monopoly Junior ~ of course he is going to win, this is why I don't like playing this game with him, he always wins.

Oh well. Here are the photos from the kids outside......
Brendan and Mojo playing in the snow (I think Brendan is losing.)Madelyn trying to throw a snowball at Brendan while he is again playing with Mojo.Madelyn trying to get up on the porch the hard way.While I was making lunch Madelyn was being extra cute with Mojo.