Monday, July 27, 2009

Camping 2009... the Continuing Story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and with all the pictures on this post, I figure I'm saving my fingers a lot of typing!

Meet Marv... AKA Dad, Papa, Male Parental Unit... the brains behind the Lutterman campsite setup. With his step ladder and millions hundreds of feet of rope in tow, there was barely a square inch of our dwelling that wasn't kept dry for lack of tarps overhead. Thanks, Dad!

These two handsome boys are Micah and Ryan. How do you keep them out of trouble the dirt while camping? Rides in the stroller with Auntie Rah, of course! We put on a few miles, I'm sure.

Callie, Ashleigh, Samantha, and Natalie entertained themselves with Barbies, group excursions to the bathroom, playing games, reading, soccer, and exploring.

Have I mentioned that McCarthy Beach State Park is our family's favorite spot to camp? Surrounded by beautiful tall trees, amazing sand beach, and brilliant stars at night, who can help but love it! But perhaps the best thing about our little piece of heaven is the gold mine we discovered down the road years ago. A small gas station that serves ice cream! Two scoops of the delicious, mouth-watering, icy treat in a sugar or plain cone will only set you back $1.25 (the single scoop price). The kids have learned that camping = ICE CREAM CONES!

Don't get me wrong... the adults love them too, although you wouldn't really know it by the look on Dad's face!

On Wednesday of our camping week, Ryan turned 2. Although the day was rainy and cold, we managed to have a party, complete with balloons, cupcakes, and well, of course, ice cream! We also celebrated Samantha's birthday because we weren't able to be there for her party in KC.

Here are a few pictures of the week at camp... hanging out, playing games, cooking, roasting marshmallows...

This year we had electric hook-up in our campsite, so we made full use of that. Some things we brought... night lights, crock pot, electric cooler, icicle lights to decorate our sites, laptop with DVD player! Because we had a lot of rain during our camping week, the kids spent time in the tents watching DVDs to keep them entertained. It was a nice diversion for them, since the weather wasn't very cooperative.

For the last couple years, my sisters and I have exchanged tacky gifts. There doesn't have to be a special occasion to receive or give a tacky gift... just being together is occasion enough for us. Erin brought Samantha's swim goggles camping, and Becky found a gem at the dollar store to give Erin. The combination is beyond words...

I don't ever remember a time when we cut a camping trip short because of the weather, but this year was so rainy and cold that we came home a couple days early. Camping at Gramma & Papa's house wasn't too bad. We still had some of the ambiance of "real" camping, and we were able to stay out of the rain and cold when it hindered our outside fun. Here are Callie, Natalie, and Ryan playing trains with Papa. Who is enjoying it more?

Does this answer the question?

We did have a campfire a couple times, so we were able to roast hot dogs and marshmallows in between the raindrops.

Lutterman family camping wasn't complete without several games of baseball and kickball. I think the kids beat the adults, but we had a lot of fun.

Time at Gramma's house isn't complete until the girls have had a tea party. Samantha was the host, since she was the birthday girl. A delicious meal of turkey, ham, cheese, dinner rolls, crackers, grapes, jelly beans, cookies, and of course tea lemonade, served from Great Great Great Gramma Minnie Randolph's tea service.

And with that, I end the Lutterman Camping 2009 saga... I still typed a novel, didn't I? If I didn't have the pictures, it could have been a series!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Camping 2009

Ah, camping 2009.... What a great time. Although it didn't turn out exactly how we planned, we did have a great week.

My sister Erin and her family came from KC on Sunday. Monday morning we ran around town and did last minute necessary shopping... you know, puzzle books, pens, snacks, etc. Finally made it to camp and Mom and Dad had one campsite nearly set up. My sister Becky and her family were there to join us, so it was a great reunion. This was actually the first time our whole family has been together to go camping since Erin and Ben got married.

After getting our two campsites organized--thanks to Mom and Dad--we actually went swimming. This is a luxury we rarely enjoy on our first day of camping. Little did we know it would be our last. (Swimming day, that is.) Monday night was beautiful and very enjoyable.

Tuesday we awoke to clouds and cool temps, which later turned to drizzle. Knowing we've needed rain for a while, it wasn't too distressing. And, whenever the Lutterman family puts up a tent, we are guaranteed rain at least one day. But how do you entertain 2 small boys when they can't crawl around on the ground because it's so muddy? It wasn't easy. You can only throw a ball around a tent for so long. And Auntie Rah only has so many tricks up her sleeve! :) It was a good thing we had electricity in our campsite. DVDs were our salvation for the 4 girls. Madagascar, Bolt, and Princess Diaries were a hit.

Wednesday, we had torrential downpour in the afternoon. So much that dinner plans were cancelled and we opted to drive 30 miles to Hibbing to hit McDonald's, thinking there was a playplace. Oops... Auntie Rah remembered incorrectly. No playplace there. Since we were the only idiots out in the soon-to-be flood (besides Noah--not that he was an idiot, don't get me wrong), we basically had the place to ourselves, so the kids were free to roam. Wal-Mart was our next stop, then it was "home" to camp and bed for the kiddos. After a few games, we ran in between raindrops to hit the hay.

Thursday it was family powwow time. A decision to be made... do we stay and hope for good weather on Saturday, when we'd have to pack up anyway? Or do we call it quits and head for home to camp at Gramma and Papa's house? We decided to pack up the soaking, dripping tents, tarps, toys, children, parents, grandparents, and auntie... since the weather forecast wasn't looking too great for the rest of the week. After one last ice cream cone at our favorite gas station, we accepted plan B and spent the rest of the week "camping" at Gramma and Papa's house.

Don't feel too badly for us... we had some of the camping spirit left in us. Campfire, roasting marshmallows, kickball and baseball outside, picnic lunch, and of course our favorite camping pass time--playing GAMES! The boys loved the freedom to run/crawl around, and the girls took over the toy room upstairs.

I'll update with photos later, once I get them onto my computer. All in all, it was a great week of family time, and we're looking forward to Camping 2010!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me Monday

Once again, a week has slipped by and I haven't blogged. At least it means I'm out doing things that will give me plenty of "writable moments" for Not Me Monday! Go to MckMama's blog to see what other people have not done this week!

One day this week, I was craving macaroni and cheese, so I decided to make some. After I drained the noodles, I went to the fridge to get the milk. I did not see an empty shelf where the milk was supposed to be. Hmmmmm.... now what do I do? After weighing the options for a couple minutes, I did not get out the can of whipped cream. Hey, it's a dairy product, right? The basic ingredient is from a cow, like milk is. But when I saw that the can read "sweetened," I decided that wasn't the best option. So, I opted for choice #2. I did not take the recently-drained noodles and put water in the pan to mix with the cheese. I guess it worked fine, although it didn't taste quite right. Oh well. I learned a lesson. Check the fridge before you cook the noodles.

Because I literally have fabric coming out of my ears, when I was tempted to go to Blackduck this week, there is no way that I gave in to that temptation. No, I have way more self control than that. Upon my arrival--you know, if I had gone--I got out of the car and slammed the door and was surprised to see the back hatch of my car bounce. That's weird, I thought. So I went to the back and attempted to lift the hatch, and of course, it opened easily. I did not have a sudden revelation that the last time I had opened it was 2 weeks ago while hitting some garage sales. So, I did not drive around with my back hatch opened for 2 weeks.

On my return trip from Blackduck (wait, I didn't go there, did I?), I did not have to swerve to avoid hitting two small baby raccoons, in the middle of the day. From what I could see at 55 mph, they were really adorable. And of course, I did not leave my camera (Mylo) at home that day! Ahhh, when will I learn?

My garage sale find for this week was a pile of Mailbox Magazines, a preschool idea magazine. I was so excited to find them, and for a great price. After closer reading, I saw that there are additional ideas and patterns available online. Since I don't subscribe to the magazine, these aren't available to me. Hmmmm... the lady didn't remove her address labels. I did not compose and mail a letter to the lady, asking her if it would be okay for me to login with her information from the mailing label. I did not receive a phone call from her the very next day. Her answer? Absolutely, go ahead and use my information and I hope your year of teaching goes great. I was so super excited and can't wait to use some of the ideas I found!

Well, that about wraps up this edition of Not Me Monday. Since I'll be gone camping for the week with my family, I'm sure I'll have much more to write about next Monday. Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Let the therapy begin... yes, it's time for Not Me! Monday once again. Go ahead, be honest, tell, everyone what you did not do this week. MckMama says it's okay to admit your shortcomings. Check out her confessions here.

This week, I did not not blog all week, because I was not busy doing other things, thus neglecting my random ramblings....

I absolutely, definitely, for sure did not stay up until 3:45 a.m. one day this past week. And if I did happen to do this once, I most definitely did not do it more than once, let alone three times! Nope, I am always asleep by 11:00 p.m. and up at 7:00 a.m.

If I made a habit of going to bed too late this week, I certainly would not have been working on purses for my internet store. I definitely did not finish 11 purses this week, bringing my total to 16! Here is a picture of what I did not accomplish this week.

After completing 16 purses, there is no way I would have cut out 9 more purses! No way! I'm not obsessed with making purses, just because I find cute fabric.

Once my online store was up and running, I did not check it several times a day to see if I had any messages or orders. Nope, this store will not be a time waster for me! If you'd like to add to my obsession, check out my store here: Go ahead, send me a message!

On the 4th of July, being the true American that I am, I definitely did not leave at 10:00 p.m. to see if I could see the fireworks. It was not me who hit EVERY red light in town, and when I got to the lake 15 minutes later, I was definitely not disappointed when the only brilliant lights I saw were the hundreds of boats that obviously were there on time to see what could have been a great show. But I'll never know, will I?

If you had been in the vicinity of Wal-Mart in Grand Rapids on Sunday, you definitely would not have seen me enter the store not once, or even twice, and for sure not three times. No, you must be mistaken. I would never go to Wal-Mart three times in one day

Well, maybe I'll have more time to blog this week, since the 11 purses are done and my online store is up and running... but wait! I just remembered... I have 9 more to make. Well, I'll talk to you sometime in the future! In the meantime, try your hand at Not Me! I guarantee you'll love it!