Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day weekend camping trip

For the third year in a row, we went camping over the Memorial Day weekend with friends. The weather was perfect this year, not too hot during the day, not too chilly at night, and NO rain!

We go to Fall River, which is about an hour and a half from Wichita. We rent a large campsite and have a large picnic shelter with electricity, so it's hardly roughing it. I tell people the roughest part is sleeping in a tent--we even have an air mattress!

We loaded the car and packed it to the gills!

Brett helping with the tent.

Home sweet home.

Brett's favorite camping activity:
watching videos on the portable DVD player.

Friday night dinner.
Casey helped Kurt man the grill.

The kids roasted s'mores at the campfire.
Lauryn and Casey decided they needed
their sunglasses because the fire was so bright.

On Saturday, we took the kids for a walk to see the dam at Fall River. Since it's rained so much in the last month, they were letting water out of the dam. We camp at the Dam Site campground right near the dam, so we were lulled to sleep at night by the "white noise" of the water pouring out of the dam.

This is the bridge we have to cross
to get to our campsite.

Brett and Casey.

The dam. Last year we were able
to fish on the banks of the river
where that tree stands.

Jeff, Dan, Terry and Kurt.

We bring plenty of activities since we have lots of time just sitting around the campsite.

The guys played frisbee golf in the
field behind the campsite.

Dan's turn.

The boys learned how to play croquet this time, since Jeff, master of the campsite games, brought his croquet set.



We also took the boys' fishing poles so they could try to catch some fish. They really just have fun casting out.



We took Terry and Doug, our
master fishermen, along to
help the boys.

Saturday night's dinner was a fish and vegetable fry. Terry deep-fried broccoli and cauliflower and some of the striper he'd caught on a previous fishing trip.

Terry manning the fryer.

The fried veggies were awesome.

We eat like kings on these camping trips. On Sunday night, we had a huge meal. Doug and Cindy had smoked ribs and brought them, Terry made guacamole and we had steak and chicken fajitas.

Jeff manning the margarita machine.

Doug and Cindy cutting up the ribs.

Terry tasting his guacamole.

Amy was in charge of grilling the
chicken and steak for the fajitas.

On Monday morning, the tradition is for the guys to make the girls breakfast. We had scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon.

Brett helping to crack the eggs.

The guys cooking breakfast.

It's also a tradition for us to take a group photo on Monday morning before we head home. Only the people who didn't shower during the entire weekend get to be in the photo. What a prize, huh? :)

Our group; a little smelly, but happy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Casey's spring party

Yesterday, Casey had his first-grade spring party. We did a summertime theme.

One mom brought surfboard cookies

For the craft, we bought the kids
foam sunglasses they could decorate

Decorating the sunglasses

Casey's friend Nate
(Why do I think of Elton John when
I see them wearing their glasses?)


Casey and his glasses

One final class photo

Casey has been in a looping class for kindergarten and first grade, so he's been with the same teacher and classmates for two years. As a thank you, I made a scrapbook with photos from the past two years for the teacher.

Mrs. Daray opening her scrapbook

She showed the kids the pages as she read it

As a keepsake for the kids, I printed their first grade class photo and pasted it on a sheet of paper, then had them each sign one for their classmates. It took a lot of time and organization to make sure everyone had signed, but it was worth it.

Class keepsake

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Brett had an assignment to choose an animal from a list of about fifty and then create a diorama of the animal's habitat that included the animal's predator and prey.

He chose the Komodo dragon. Needless to say, this isn't an animal we're intimately familiar with, so we took Brett to the zoo to see the one there and also did some research in books from the library.

We bought a box at UPS and I used some scrapbook paper I had for the background. The most expensive item in the diorama was the dragon. It cost $10.50 at the zoo!

I think it turned out pretty well considering we'd never done this before.

Brett painting the wild boar,
which is the Komodo's prey

The diorama with the wild dog,
the Komodo's predator

Brett painting "blood" on the
wild boar

The Komodo feasting on the wild boar
while the wild dog looks on

Brett and his finished diorama.

Brett's score sheet for the diorama.

Royals game

On Sunday, we took the boys to Kansas City to see their first Royals game in the newly refurbished stadium. We met Dan's brother, Mike, and our nieces Sophie, Lily and Maggie.

The stadium is awesome. There was lots for the kids to do and, of course, lots of great food.

It was a great day.

Brett with the scoreboard behind him
(Not sure what's up with the "peace" sign!)

Dan, Casey and Brett watching the
Royals practice before the game

Maggie, Casey and Lily

The four of us in front of the
fountains in the outfield

Brett standing in front of the statue
of George Brett, who he was named after

The kids each got a Build-a-Bear
Royals lion at the game

Brett, his peace sign, and
the Statue of Liberty

The scoreboard and fountains
in the outfield

Watching the game with Uncle Mike

Dan and the boys on the field before
the kids got to run the bases after the game

Brett standing on home plate

The boys on the field after the game

Casey and the foam finger
he HAD to have