Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More summer fun

Oh my, has it REALLY been two weeks since I last blogged? Waaaah! - where has the time gone??!? This summer is certainly a busy one. We have been working down our "bucket list" some more:
  • Visit the Arizona Science Center: We went with friends from church. Their daughter is the age of our oldest two boys, which made it particularly fun for them.

Both Becky and John were picked as volunteers for one of the demonstrations :)

  • Go hiking at Mt. Humphreys, the highest point in the state of AZ: This was for the guys only! About 15 men from our church went that day, plus our three boys. Conditions on the mountain that day were insane, with wind speeds approaching hurricane force. Of course, as there were only guys on this trip, nobody would be dissuaded from soldiering on to the very top, in spite of the fact that every other hiker they encountered that day turned around when they reached the timber line, and were exposed to the elements. I'm just glad nobody got blown off the side of the mountain, and made it home safe and sound... 

  • Go geocaching: We finally tried it, and loved it... more or less! :) I think this pastime is best enjoyed by more nerdy-leaning folks who enjoy high-tech scavenger hunts. Some of the caches are simply impossible to find, clues and coordinates or not.

  • Make marshmallows from scratch: There are many recipes online for making your own marshmallows. I chose one that uses honey and high-quality gelatin, thinking that something cannot both be a yummy candy AND completely wholesome, but was glad to be wrong: the kids LOVED these, and I felt good about letting them eat as many as they wanted. I didn't take a picture, but in spite of the honey syrup being brown, as I whipped the mixture, it became perfectly fluffy and white, as one would expect a marshmallow to be. We saved some of the marshmallow creme to make rice crispy treats, too.

  • Make personal pizzas: Of course, this is always a favorite with the kids!

  • Go on a camping trip: Our church's annual camping trip was at the end of June. This year, we had a total of 80 people, with 41 of those being children (38 of which were 9 or younger - wow!)

Fair warning: get ready to be photo-bombed with my cute littlest camper, who has been giving us the biggest and sweetest smiles :)

  • Set up the projector in the back yard and watch a movie/docu while floating in the pool after dark 
  • See fireworks  
We combined these last two into our 4th of July activity. The kids all agreed that they would much rather set off their own fireworks than watch a big display somewhere else. My husband set up the projector, and we played "KJB - The Book that Changed the World" on the back wall of the house by the pool, while he grilled sausages for all of us to enjoy as we floated in the pool and watched the docu. Once it was over, him and the kids set off fireworks on our street. It was close to 11 pm by the time everyone was in bed that night. 

  • Make s'mores: I wasn't motivated enough to make a solar oven with the kids, or to light the fire pit, so we just made these under the broiler in the oven. To make it more fun, we used PB cups, mint patties, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and coffee & cream chocolate for the s'mores.  

One activity that was missing from our bucket list, but that I was hoping to be able to do, was playing in the rain. We simply cannot count on rain in the desert, but thankfully, we have so far had one dust storm, followed by torrential downpours, this summer. It started late at night, just as I was about to send the oldest kids to bed. Funny enough, the kids had all been told to go to bed in their swim clothes that night, because we were planning on getting up at the crack of dawn and heading to the splash pad for a picnic breakfast before the sun got too hot. So it was easy enough to just send everyone out the front door, even though it was getting late. Miriam had fallen asleep already, but since rain is so rare, I decided to wake her up and see if she wanted to go play in it. She was so disoriented when she got up, that she started brushing her teeth, thinking it was morning and we were leaving for the splash pad. The next day, she had no recollection of that, whatsoever! :)

The rest of this week is very full as well. Tomorrow, I have to get some dental work done, take  a meal to a new mom, and then there is church at night. Thursday, we are packing up for the homeschool convention, and setting up our booth in the afternoon (we are exhibitors again this year!). All day Friday and Saturday will be spent at the convention. Sundays are busy days for us, and by Monday I will be ready to just crash and rest.

Thank you for checking in! :)


    1. Oh, dear Boaz and that smile! What a lovely wee boy he is. I can't help but smile back!

      Trips out with the whole family are such fun, aren't they? It took me until my big twins (babies 4 and 5) were walking to think of using the same colour shirts to help us stick together. Now I am less insistent for my older children, as they know better than to wander off, and the elder girls both have their own cell phones to call if need be. My youngest 6 still need to match however - and they all have my and Gil's cellphone numbers written on their arms in permanent marker at busy locations. So far, we haven't lost anyone., although there have been some close calls with Isaiah, he's prone to stopping in a daydream and getting left behind. His twin, Lucy has taken it on herself to always check he is there now!

      How exciting to be able to play in the rain so late, the weather here wouldn't suit it, even summer rain is much too hard and cold. I don't usually envy your desert heat, but that does sound like amazing fun! Did you end up with a last minute load of washing to make sure the swim suits were ready to go again in the morning?

      I hope the exhibition goes well for you. Homeschooling simply does not suit our gregarious children, even the holidays without 20 or so classmates is hard on them, but I love the concept and am fascinated by the curriculums and ideas of
      Home schoolers and use them to extend our time at home :)

      Blessings from one big family to another - Annabelle

    2. If the kids liked the treasure hunting aspect of geocaching, but you guys weren't too fond of the technology part, you should give letterboxing a try. No GPS is needed, sometimes a compass, but could check out the online clues ahead of time and pick out ones that are kid friendly. http://www.letterboxing.org/ and http://www.atlasquest.com/ are good places to get started.

    3. Looks like you guys are having fun =). That mountain trip would have given me panic attacks though....lol. Little Boaz is just adorable =)

    4. The puppy eyes Boaz gives us in one of the pics, slay me! Adorable! And, baby Annie has become a little lady, and baby Stephen has become a little boy. Wow. Time sure flies. Do make more babies. They don't stay babies for too long.

    5. Your family is so beautiful!! I really enjoy your blogs showing all the fun and creative activities ya'll do!

    6. Your new little guy is super cute!!!! Looks like you guys are having an awesome summer. I live in Henderson, NV so we are trying to find lots of things to do indoors as well or beat the heat at early morning.

    7. You have too much energy for me, especially postpartum! Super woman. I am so not as ambitious as you!!

      Boaz is soooooo kissable and the kiddos have grown so much. I remember when you took us to the Science Museum. It has been too long. Becky was the baby! Take care and stay cool.

      Jessica Argon

    8. One game we use to play here in the South of Spain in the summer is "water pistols and a garden hose".
      Point the hose to the sky and it will rain!

    9. Love this post! I'm a big movie fan, but it's so difficult to find anything decent out there these days, unless you want to watch propaganda films produced by Hollywood. Ordering that movie you screened right away.


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