11 August, 2015  |   Comment

We went camping

Don’t you hate it when your plans to post every day are interrupted by a vacation? No? Me neither.

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Last week, we went camping up by Mt. Shasta at the tippy top of California. It was magical.

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We had kids and teens and grown-ups. We had light-up balloons.

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We had all the luxuries of home.

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We made some music.

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We made breakfast.

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We made fires.

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All the cool kids played in the water.

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We ate marshmallows for breakfast.

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And made new friends.

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It was a restorative time.

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It was a relaxing time.

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We decorated.

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We made some delicious food.

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We lounged. And lounged some more.

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We maybe even learned to play cricket.

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We wore our fanciest clothes.

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We even went paddleboarding.

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7 August, 2015  |   Comment

Poetry Friday: A Strange, Wild Song by Lewis Carroll

He thought he saw an Elephant
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
‘At length I realize,’ he said,
‘The bitterness of life! ‘

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister’s Husband’s Niece.
‘Unless you leave this house,’ he said,
‘I’ll send for the police! ‘

he thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
‘The one thing I regret,’ he said,
‘Is that it cannot speak! ‘

He thought he saw a Banker’s Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus.
‘If this should stay to dine,’ he said,
‘There won’t be much for us! ‘

He thought he saw a Kangaroo
That worked a Coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was
A Vegetable-Pill.
‘Were I to swallow this,’ he said,
‘I should be very ill! ‘

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
‘Poor thing,’ he said, ‘poor silly thing!
It’s waiting to be fed! ‘

He thought he saw an Albatross
That fluttered round the lamp:
He looked again, and found it was
A Penny-Postag e Stamp.
‘You’d best be getting home,’ he said:
‘The nights are very damp! ‘

He thought he saw a Garden-Door
That opened with a key:
He looked again, and found it was
A Double Rule of Three:
‘And all its mystery,’ he said,
‘Is clear as day to me! ‘

He thought he saw a Argument
That proved he was the Pope:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bar of Mottled Soap.
‘A fact so dread,’ he faintly said,
‘Extinguishe s all hope! ‘

6 August, 2015  |   Comment

Nora Lea’s Seventh Rainforest Breakfast Birthday Party

nlh-birthday-invite

Can you believe our girl is seven already?
You remember when she was born! And now she’s seven.

She’s had a series of memorable birthday parties – and we were ready for one more!
This year, we hosted a rainforest themed breakfast party.

Nora Lea’s food plan was to host a breakfast sandwich bar. We also had yogurt with granola and Fruit Loops for special rainforest flair.

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Then, we hosted a snake hunt. Prizes went to the top snake catcher, but all the kids complained that it wasn’t fair to the other kids who didn’t find enough snakes. Man, it’s a tough crew.

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We decorated with these cool twisted paper vines. Pinterest is my frenemy.

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After the snake hunt, we played some rainforest animal bingo, ate some cupcakes and sent the kids on their way by 11:00 am. We got some newborn snuggling time in too.

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We saved our money because we bought regular grocery store cupcakes. The kids were just thrilled to get some sugar.

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nlh-birthday_anais-happy-birthday     nlh-birthday_singing

And as always, the costume box came out.

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Breakfast birthday parties are the best.

4 August, 2015  |   Comment

During June, I drew monsters

One of the fruits of my fits and starts was a daily monster drawing over on the Insta. It was a fun little daily thing. These days, I seem to be into smallish creative daily things.

All my silly drawings are here in one happy monstrosity.
Enjoy!

6-1 6-2
6-3 6-4
6-5 6-6
6-7 6-8
6-9 6-10
6-11 6-12
6-13 6-14
6-15 6-16
6-17 6-18
6-19 6-20
6-21 6-22
6-23 6-24
6-25 6-26
6-27 6-28
6-29 6-30

3 August, 2015  |   2 Comments

Camp HJ – A Fortieth Birthday Adventureparty

I turned forty two weeks ago.
I thought I was cool with it, found out I wasn’t and then quickly got cool with it again.
Want to know how?
I threw a big Adventureparty.

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Six months ago, I started planning. I knew I wanted a summer camp theme, I knew I wanted tube socks involved and I wanted food at the end.

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I got what I wanted.
(Plus, I got to snuggle some babies.)

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And with that, thirty people went on a walking clue-adventure through our small town.

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The Planning
As you can imagine, there was a lot of planning. I tried to ensure that each team would hit each destination at a different time.

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There were seven stops. Five stops held clues that rotated for every team, and the last stop told the campers where the party was.

Each stop was within walking distance of the first destination and had an activity, a snack or a drink for the campers to enjoy.

The Party
We met at our house and had some drinks while all the guests arrived.

pre-party-snacks

Everyone got a red bandanna because head bandannas for weeks are one of summer camp’s best things. Then, I sorted campers into cabins and distributed the first clues.

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I told everyone not to hurry — mostly so I wouldn’t be at the last destination until the end of the party — but apparently it’s just human nature to compete. The teams took off lickity split.

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I was particular about who went on each team, trying to make sure they’d all get along and that there were a good mix of energies.

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My sister and I each manned separate arts and crafts stations. The rest of the stations were self-service. At my station, campers decided on a group theme to decorate nametag canteens. After they were done, I handed them their next clue.

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At my sister’s station, campers made leather bracelets and ate summer sausage snacks.

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We used the picnic table behind the library for that stop.

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Clare was a tough cookie, and wouldn’t give up the clue until all the holes were filled.

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Except for one time.

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One of the clues sent you to the alley behind Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen where I leaned a board with team clues up against a wall. It was strange to “tresspass” in public space when I was setting up the clues – I wanted the campers to feel that illicit excitement of getting away with something.

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alley

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Then, a clue led campers to the wine business center where each team received a special gift.

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Tube socks. TEAM TUBE SOCKS!

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After they collected their tube socks and clue, campers went to a shopping cart loading area for their next clue. I know.

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After campers picked up that clue, they landed at another park, one right next to the police station. Everyone got a compass and their next clue.

That last clue led everyone to our town pay phone, where they found a flyer with a url leading all the campers to the final destination.

After about an hour, about 2 miles of walking and glitter glued fingers, everyone landed at a local park. I’d hired an awesome hot dog vendor to serve weenies to all my successful campers.

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hot-dog

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party

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I made myself a s’mores cake because I’m grown up now.

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It was a lot to do by myself, but I loved the whole darn thing.
I mean, just look at me.

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