Saturday, June 30, 2012

Swimming at the Beach

Our crazy town doesn't have an outdoor swimpool, so you can often find us at one of the 1,000 lakes in our county! We do have a wonderful swim beach right in town that has some fun docks to jump off. The kids love swimming!
 K-girl warming up from her swim.

 K-man helping his sister fill a bucket with wet sand. He spent most of his time having a water/squirt gun war with some friends who were there.

K-sis taking a quick break.

We did swim, I promise, I just didn't get any pictures because I was busy keeping track of all four kids in the water.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Croquet in the Backyard

We checked off a few more activities off our summer to do list this past week. The kids had a blast playing croquet in the backyard. Some of us played by the rules and others just hit their balls through the hoops. We also learned that adjusting the game for younger siblings keeps everyone happy.

Blurry group pictures, I think they were to excited to hold still. :)

Notice our soft, green MN grass??? I love MN.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Finding Time for Crafts

It's been a busy, busy summer and the kids are constantly outside playing since the weather is so beautiful. I took both of the kids school tables from downstairs and put them by my front window so I can keep an eye on everyone and slip in a few minutes of crafting. I've been doing some card making, Cricut cutting and even sewing.

 A sign I made with my Cricut for a benefit.

K-girl and I whipped up some birthday party gifts for a friend's party this weekend. It's always fun as a kid to have your name on stuff. K-girl had fun picking out the font and colors and gluing/sticking them on to the gifts she picked out.  

We LOVE veggies!

On Saturday we were able to get out to Bluebird Gardens for our first FREE pick for the season. While K-girl was at a birthday party riding horses, the rest of us loaded up and went out to pick peas, lettuce and spinach. I didn't take the camera out to the field, so no farm pictures, but I did manage to get some of the kids shelling peas.

 My favorite shellers. I love that my kids enjoy helping with food chores.

 We picked 2 5-gallon buckets of peas and ate quite a few while we were in the process.

 K-man and I stopped by the spinach patch to pick up a small amount (I'm sure we'll be getting more on Tuesday.)

We also picked some loose leaf lettuce.

mmmm....these farm fresh veggies taste SO good!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fast and Furious Travel

This past week flew by for our family! Shawn's grandpa Guy is in the hospital and recently had two different surgeries so we decided it was time to make a quick dash down to Kansas. We left on Monday morning and returned home on Wednesday, about 12 hours on the road each way. It was a quick trip and our first time to visit KS and not stay at a grandparent's house. Luckily, both of our brother's families live near Wichita, KS and were able to take us in for a night. (I'm sure they would have been willing for us to stay longer, but this is Shawn's busiest time at work so we had to hurry home.)

 Our four k-kids and Shawn's brother Eric's three k-kids. Christmas is a little bit crazy at the Papon household with seven K. Papons running around.

 The boys with all the kids playing on the playset. It was HOT and WINDY!

 Shawn and one of our nephews.

 K-baby loved all of her cousin's dress-up clothes.

 Nana was able to visit and enjoyed playing games with all the kiddos.

 K-man and his cousin enjoyed a game of battleship.

The second night we drove over to my brother's house and enjoyed a short stay. A couple of our kids got sick overnight, but recovered by morning. Nothing like having guest in your house that are puking. Yuck!

 K-girl and a cousin.

 The kids enjoyed some time swimming with their cousins.

The kids didn't end up getting to see Papa Guy because he was in ICU most of the time we were down in KS, but Shawn was able to spend quite a few hours visiting with him. I'm glad that we made the trip and are praying for Guy's recovery. Hopefully our next trip to KS won't be as fast or furious.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day Weekend

I took the kids to Fleet Farm to pick out Shawn's Father's Day gift and they REALLY wanted to get him a tube to pull behind the boat. We wrapped it up and open it right away so they could try it out. We declared that it was going to be Father's Day weekend so he could open his present early. When Shawn got home from work on Friday we opened it up, returned it for a different one and then headed to the lake to try it out.

 This is me. I'm trying to train for a triathlon at the end of July. I jumped in the lake to swim for 20 minutes while Shawn and the kids did circles around me with the boat and tube so other boaters wouldn't run over me. It was really busy on the lake for Friday afternoon! I had a good swim, but next time I'm going to remember to bring my goggles.


 K-baby waving to mommy in the water.

K-girl liked to go FAST and she kept pointing in the air to go faster!

K-man liked going fast too!

The tube was a definite hit with the kids, Shawn got to drive his boat around the lake and I got some training time in, everyone was happy! We were glad that we all got to spend some more special time with Shawn and celebrate how awesome he is as a dad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Camping with friends

We love our bible study group!

Usually our group takes the summers off with everyone's crazy summer schedules, so we had a great time getting together with everyone this past weekend for a quick camping trip. We had a couple of families that couldn't come and we were only able to stay for one night, but hopefully we will be doing this again sometime soon. We ended up with 4 couples, 18 kids and 1 dog.

K-sis, K-girl with a friend watching the kickball game.

Shawn and K-man in the background waiting for their turn to kick the ball.

 Mom and all the girls cooling off in the water. It was in the 90s this weekend, which is HOT for us Minnesota people. I'm pretty sure the kids spent most of their time in the water.

 The girls with another friend burying themselves in the sand.

 Building in the sand.

 Shawn gave lots of boat rides in his new boat. We are hoping to get a tube to pull behind the boat soon.

 Our tent and the girls playing with Hazel (the dog).

 Making fruit kabobs for a meal.

 The men manning the coals for our dinner.

 K-baby and K-girl exploring our tent with friends.

 Building a castle on the beach. The had a blast finding big rocks in the water and burying them in their castle.

 Another picture of the kids playing on the beach and Shawn giving more boat rides. This was a beautiful campsite and I'm planning on making it back there sometime this summer. Our campsite was under some beautiful shade trees and only feet from the swim beach!

The girls and I doing a scavenger hunt.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


We are on our second week of Bluebird Garden's CSA and really enjoying our fresh veggies. I love it when my kids will eat lettuce right off the head.

 The second week box. The cabbage and lettuce heads are huge!

The first week box, both the family share (left) and regular share (right). I was totally amazed by the variety of veggies in the first box.

We ended up giving our friends the share box and we are taking the family share box because we had originally planned on splitting a family share, but Shawn won a free share box. We are both getting an amazing deal this summer and I can't wait for the harvest events to begin.

I just checked our freezer and we only have a few frozen veggies left (mainly green beans and pumpkin) and one jar of salsa. I do have lots of roasted tomato sauce, but I think we ate almost everything else.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fun, fun, fun

 We had donuts at the park after signing up for summer reading.

 Slip-n-slide with the neighbors.

 Water balloon games in the front yard. This one we were doing a target toss.

 Balloon toss

 Eating lettuce from our first Bluebird Gardens box.

Showing off our recycled gatorade watering cans.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Four Excited Kids

We are officially into our second week of summer and activities are keeping us busy. It almost makes me wish for winter when we stay home for days on end and don't travel anywhere, but not quite. We took last week off completely from school and any scheduled activities (besides our camping vacation) and this week we are easing back into some school work (the kids are each working on spelling and math each day) and the summer activities have started in full force.

 K-girl is attending a Ridin' on Faith Horse Camp this week for girls ages 7-12. She was up on Monday morning and ready to go at 7 o'clock even though the camp didn't start until 9. :) She had a fabulous time meeting with the five other girls her age, learning about horses and talking about God. She worked really hard to memorize her verse the first night so she could get a prize when she went back on day two. If you ask her she'll tell you her horse's name for the week is Hershey and he's kind of ornery.

 K-man is really worked up this week. Baseball season has finally begun and he is really ready! I had to drop him off at a friend's house to take him to the first baseball meeting so he wouldn't be late and miss anything, since K-girl's camp started at the exact same time (go figure). When I arrived at the meeting he ran up and was so excited to show me his new baseball hat and t-shirt. Go YANKEES!!

Last, but not least the little girls are excited about summer too! After the first week of applying tons of sunscreen for all our outdoor activities I decided to bite the bullet and get all the kids new swimsuits and aqua shoes. Do you realize how long it takes to lather up 3 girls and 1 boy each day??? We had one girl suit with a saggy bottom, one with straps that kept falling off and the other one's suit wasn't covering her top area.  Luckily, Walmart had some good deals on some super cute suits that are modest, will greatly free up my time spent applying sunscreen for other fun activities and provide more protection against the sun. I'm thinking by the end of summer the amount I will save in buying sunscreen for my children will be greater than the initial cost of the suits. (Plus I'm praying that these will last longer and I can reuse them next year since all three girls are wearing the same short sizes.)