Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Johnson Family Reunion 2012

 The kids counted down to August 6th like it was Christmas - and the Johnson Family Reunion at Fish Lake delivered again.  Here are some of the highlights:  We spent hours cruising up and down the mountain in the many off-road vehicles.  Grandpa babe wins the award for best ranger driving skills.  With him behind the wheel plowing through nature, it's always a crazy adventure.
 The kids enjoyed some much-needed sleepover time.  Stick them in the back of Grandma's trailer on a couple of foam mats, and it's cousin heaven.  Our little bunch of pigs in a blanket!

 Adventure was everywhere!  These guys built forts, gathered an arsenal of stick weapons, hunted coyotes, wandered into mysterious mountain man cabins, and poked a dead "wolf" with a stick.  

 I'm sure they were covered with an impenetrable layer of dirt, but that just made it more fun!

 I always make the mistake of packing a bunch of toys and games to keep the kids busy, but the bags always sit untouched in the car.  It's so nice to watch the kids use their imaginations and play with sticks, rocks, and the occasional cow turd.

 June's highlight of the trip was catching critters at the little scummy pond downhill from our camp site.  I brought these dollar store nets thinking they would be used to catch butterflies.  Sadly, they were always full of salamanders, snakes, snails, and frogs.  

 June spent a good 3 hours each day in the swampy mess.  She's definitely my little tomboy, not afraid to get her hands dirty.

 Klive loved it when all the kids were occupied in the pond scum.  It just gave him another chance to hop behind the steering wheel and cruise for chicks.  This little beauty is number one on his Christmas list.

 We'd take a quick trip down to the creek to wash the pond off of us.  Here's the whole crew of kids ready to take a river bath.

 Kaleb brought his paint gun and set up a Wolverine Training Course.  We took turns trying to hit the paper-plate targets.  Yaya Julie looks pretty serious about this gun business.

 Another ride?  Sure, why not.

 Grandpa Kyle loves hugs!  I think this photo was taken just after Grandma just kicked his butt in a game of Rummicube.

 Marshmallow time!  No camp trip is complete without a fire, giant mallows, and Grandpa Babe lighting some form of hazardous material on fire.
 The Washburns brought the usual, bags and bags of crafts for the kids.  They got to color their own hot chocolate mugs, paint rocks, and make their own puff-paint t-shirts.  We also took the kids on a ranger treasure hunt.  They found their loot right back at camp in the coyote trap they had rigged.

These two kept us all in stitches.  Tukk would whip his manhood out whenever he felt the urge and marked his territory all over camp.  And I'm pretty sure it's Caulder's aspiration to do stand up comedy when he grows up.  My kids sure do love these two.

And on our last morning, we all rolled out of bed at 4:30 and headed to the lake with Grandpa Kyle and Grandma Sara to reel in some fish.  Grandpa did all the dirty work - he kept the poles baited and waded out into the cold water to cast the lines.  Then he handed them off to the kids and let them make the catch.  They were catching fish so fast, Grandpa couldn't keep up.
June really got into it this year.  She was hooking and reeling them in all on her own.  And she's definitely not afraid to handle the slimy stuff. 
 We caught our limit in only 2 hours.  The kids were in fish heaven!  Thanks Grandpa!

 We played a dirty trick on Yaya and made her watch Klive while we fished.  He puked all over her.  I guess his tummy was a little rough from the giant marshmallows and entire watermelon he ate the night before.  Bless his little heart.

 We topped the trip off with a final ranger ride up the mountain and a family picnic.

 We ate, pushed over a few dead trees, played in the water . . .

 and headed back to camp before this storm moved in on us.

 Every day I feel so blessed to have a family that loves to be together as much as we do.  Can't wait to do it again next year!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We're Having a Fish Party!

 Here's the birthday boy's first photo-op on his special day.  He was all slicked up and ready to hit his church meetings before partying it up!

 After church was a different story.  He did a bit of rolling in mud puddles with his dad right after I got him dressed to party.  We decided that it was probably best to just leave him in his grungy clothes since the party was at Grandma Sara's house and there's no chance of staying clean at that joint.

 Mommy and her special birthday boy.  So glad I remember to hand the camera off to Dad so I was in at least one of the pictures.

 Klive gets into my primary bag almost on a daily basis and his favorite find is my toy fishing pole I use for singing time.  He has developed a love affair with fishing, so we thought it best to throw him a fishing-themed birthday party.  Thank you pinterest for all the great ideas!

 Here's our selection of edible fish bait.  I'm pretty sure Uncle Kory commandeered the gummy platter for his dinner plate.

 Artsy-fartsy Dad and June poured their hearts into carving this fruit-filled, watermelon shark.  It was the hit of the party!

 The kids dug into fruit, fish sticks, french fries and their mini-sodas!

 Klive opted to start with the gummy platter appetizers.  Those worms were calling his name!

 After dinner, we filled up the shark pool, gave the kids fishing poles and nets and let them catch their limit of magnetic fish.  Klive gave up on the pole pretty quickly and just used his net.

 The kids got to toss a line into the good ol' fish pond for prizes.  Kolby threw a few tricks into the mix - June was appalled when she caught Dad's flip-flop instead of a treat.  Klive was shaking with glee when he reeled in some of his favorites - fishy fruit nacks.

 We channeled our very own fish market and challenged the fam to a water balloon fish toss.  It was tough to say who won, because I think everyone ended up wet.

Here's Klive's fishy cup cakes and pretzel fishing poles.  When we sang to him, he was so excited, he had to poke his finger in every cupcake.
 True to Klive form, he licked all the frosting off the top and discarded the cake.

 Present time!  He got a new potty seat, a car race track, a fishing game, a tractor, a monster truck tent, mini marshmallows, some new books, a bike, guns, and tools.

 But it's not a party until you end up naked and face-down in the dirt crying.  Happy birthday big boy!
It was a magical day followed by an equally magical night, all tucked in with Skippy-Jon-Jones and his new greatest treasure - his beloved chain saw.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

He's a Big Boy Now!

 It happened.  He turned two.  My baby boy is becoming a little man.  Klive's our last baby, and I've had a hard time coming to terms with him reaching all of these big-boy milestones knowing that we won't have them again.  The good news is that he just keeps getting cuter and funnier, so I guess I'll let him keep growing up.  

 Let's see, what do I want to remember about our dude at 2.  Klive is one busy boy.  He's not one to sit and play quietly with a toy or two.  He hits the floor running at about 7 in the morning, tears into his toy box, and gets a giant, messy adventure going.  He especially loves to throw his toys down the stairs and bulldoze right through his sisters' play areas.  

 He's your typical boy, into using his yard tools alongside his dad, crashing his cars, turning everything into a gun.  But every once in a while he caves into sisterly peer-pressure and dives into the dolls and dress-ups.  What can I say, he does what he has to to survive.  

 He's still the king of making faces and now that he's talking, he's even more of a joker.  He repeats everything he hears, so his sisters have turned it into a game and try to make him say incriminating phrases.  He gets into plenty of trouble when left alone for more than 30 seconds.  We may need to purchase some heavier kitchen chairs, because he swiftly and silently slides ours all over the house to reach all things off-limits.  But how can you get angry at a boy you catch up to his eye-balls in kitchen sink bubbles doing the dishes with his bottle brushes.  Smart, sweet, but ever so sneaky.

This boy fills my heart and my days with so much joy and happiness.  He is so precious to our little family and we can't get enough of him.  Today I was pushing him around the grocery store and as we entered each new isle, he would say, "Mom, wait, wait, wait, wait . . . hugs."  Then he would hold me tight for at least a minute before we were allowed to move on.  If that's terrible twos, then I say bring it on!