Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Break - Week 7

I took absolutely ZERO pictures this past week of our activities.  I will have to do better for next week's post.  This week we spent time winding down, unpacking, etc. from our trip last week.  It was SOOO hot this week with heat indexes hovering around 110-120 more days than not so our outside time was a bit limited.  But we did manage to do the following:

Wednesday we hiked a couple miles along a creek with our friends Renee and Alex;
Skyler hung out with Papa and Karen during the days I worked;
I worked on painting and securing up the chicken coop;
Sweated working so much one day that I killed my cell phone (the wetness indicator even turned--that is a lot of sweating) so had to go get a replacement phone;
Ordered and received another batch of chicken eggs for us to hatch out under our happy chickens;
We mowed our in-town yards in 100+ degree heat...yuck;
Practiced pitching and hitting with Skyler;
Got into several water fights this week to try to stay cool;
Rented and watched Rango;
Took some treks to the timbers to check out our food plots and do some work;
Visited the library to pick up books we ordered and return books already read;
Helped my friend Megan Klauer shoot a wedding and reception on Saturday;
Went to Skyler's softball practice on Saturday morning;
Got some runs in;
Went frog hunting;
Got the buckets and sponges out again and washed and waxed my truck; and
Played board games.

This upcoming week looks to be much better weather so can't wait to fill the days with memories.

Monday, July 18, 2011

2,000+ miles during Summer Break - Week 6

This week was a great week!  We were privileged enough to be invited to spend time with friends at their cabin on the Boundary Waters of Minnesota just as we did last year.  Our trip to Minnesota:
It took us close to 11 hours for us to drive to our destination on Snowbank Lake near Ely, Minnesota (on the US/Canada border).  We only had 4 days total (2 days driving and 2 days on the lake) so we had to cram as much as we could into a short period of time.

We got to see a Flying Squirrel (first time any of us had seen one), Loons, Deer, Badger, Fox, Pine Squirrels, Mergansers, and Eagles.

On our trip we got to do lots of fun stuff like:
  • Fishing -- catching lots of smallies and largemouth bass. Between Skyler and Paul they got walleye, northern pike and silver pike;
  • Snorkeling;
  • Feeding a chipmunk that would sit in our hands and fill his cheeks with peanuts before scampering off to store them for winter;
  • Swimming;
  • Boating;
  • Picking wild blueberries;
  • Hiking to a waterfall;
  • Visit the Wolf Discovery Center;
  • Check out the town of Ely which reminds us of towns in the mountains we have visited;
  • Feeding a friendly fox who showed up at the cabin;
  • Hiking through the Northwoods.
We had temperatures that ranged from the mid-50's all the way up to 90.  Wow, quite a variance!  Had an absolutely wonderful trip!!

Before we left:
Skyler had two softball games, one in Illinois City and one in Taylor Ridge (her team won both games and played awesome).  Her team now has 13 wins and only 3 losses;
We made a trip to the library to return and pick up another pile of books as well as to cash in on the library's summer reading program since Skyler had fulfilled its requirements in order to receive prizes (including a free book);
Preparing for our trip filled up the rest of the days prior to our leaving for Minnesota.
After we returned Sunday afternoon:

Skyler got to hang out with her friends Bailey and Grace.  They went frog hunting which turned into a mud fight as well.  So they had a bucket of frogs and were covered in mud and lovin' it.

Can't wait for week 7!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Break - Week 5 and Happy Independence Day

Some pictures I took this week of the wildlife/outdoors around us.

Pictures from Skyler's games and track camp this week.
Skyler working on the fence this week.

My friend Bonnie and I before the Firecracker Race
Can't believe we have already had 5 weeks of summer break!!  It always goes way too fast.  This week was very busy but also a lot of fun:

Started my 4th of July off early at the East East Moline Firecracker Run with my friend Bonnie.  I ran the 10k (6.4 miles) and placed 4th in my division;
Watched the last of fireworks displays on the 4th as a family;
I ran the Bix at 6 (7 miles) practicing for the actual race coming up the end of this month;
Went to the timber as a family with Shadow where Paul cut some trees that we hauled and made rabbit homes with;
Spent about 12 hours this week staining a fence for a side job -- Skyler was a great help on this one and earned a good chunk of change for her efforts;
Practiced pitching and hitting again with Skyler all week;
Skyler went swimming with Karen one of the days when I worked;
We enjoyed Skyler's 2 softball games in Taylor Ridge and 1 in Andalusia this week;
Took Skyler to her 6th grade physical at the doctor's office where she got 3 shots and a clean bill of health;
This week Skyler attended the Rockridge track camp up at the high school;
I got to watch Skyler's track meet on Friday where she placed 1st in both of her races (the 1 mile and the 400) Woohoo!;
Went to my friend Tracy's house for a pool party with a bunch of friends;
Went to Whitey's for ice cream;
Skyler got to hang out with her friend Sammie while Paul and I cut, hauled and stacked several loads of firewood for this winter;
We mowed for a couple of hours at one of our side-jobs;
During the stifling heat of yesterday we actually sat down and watched a DVD with Skyler which she loved!
We have another busy upcoming week planned -- can't wait to live it out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Break - Week 4

Skyler and the 4-H Country Clovers' Fair Poster they created
Still trying to cross more items off our bucket list of things to do this summer.  I am completely enjoying my time with Skyler on my days off as well as filling our weekends with fun family activities:

Picked raspberries in the garden daily;
Made Fourth of July pinwheels for the porch;
Gutted out the hall closet and reorganized;
Played hide-n-go-seek in the yard (but Shadow sits and stares at the person who is hiding making it pretty easy for the "seeker");
Practiced pitching and hitting daily;
Skyler hanging out with her cousins
Got some good runs in;
Went to Lake Story Beach in Galesburg to swim with our friends Ali, Fran, Lilly and Anna;
Had a picnic on the beach;
Took Shadow to his vet appointment in Aledo;
Skyler went to a friends' house for supper and to watch their fireworks Friday night;
Mowed our most recent addition to in-town yards;
Skyler consoling Shadow at his vet appt.
Went to our friends' Renee and Alex's for Skyler's monthly 4-H meeting and helped create the Country Clovers' 4-H display for the fair;
Baked chocolate-chip cookies to share;
Had Uncle Dasan, Aunt Jeri Lynn and Cousins Molly and Drew over for supper and Uncle Dasan helped coach Sky on her batting;
Had 1 softball game in Sherrard and 2 games in Taylor Ridge this week--Skyler's team lost their first game of the season :(  but Skyler got her first home run of the year this week and earned her homemade cheesecake I promised her;
2 fawns we spotted this week
Cleaned roof and gutters for a side-job;
Made Skyler's "home run cheesecake" with raspberry sauce;
I helped my friend Megan Klauer photograph a wedding on Saturday; and
Went to a friends' pool/fireworks party.