Sunday, June 25, 2017


Our sweet Rio turned 2 today!  The kids wanted to celebrate.  So, we did with TUNA! He went right for it.  I guess he didn't realize the candle was lit.

We had to pull him back and take a photo and sing him happy birthday. You can tell the only thing on his mind is tuna.

This cat loves tuna.

We are so happy to have him. Literally, Emily sent me 15 Snapchats today of the cat.  She misses him dearly when we are away. All the kids do.  He's a sweetie!

Fool Hollow Lake Camping

We went to this campground about 3 1/2 hours East of us last year with friends. We liked it so much, we returned this year.  Most of the lakes in Arizona are small and not swimmable due to bacteria and what not.  But, you can swim in this lake.  And thank God for that because it was 95 degrees out!

The storytelling will be out of order because I took pics on my phone, waterproof camera and regular camera.  But, you'll get the idea.

The drive is longer than most we do.  Just when the kids were starting to get squirrely at the almost 3 hour mark, we came across a Dairy Queen.  Which DQ cures just about every ailment.  

We finally got to camp.  There's Ben off her shoulder exploring.

We set up our tent and headed right to the lake. Then, we went out for Mexican food. We did this last year too.  And man, those chimichangas left a great impression.

And the margaritas were great too!

We had a great view of the lake from our site.

We made smores that first night.  YUM!

And the kids played cards.

This is one of my favorite things about camping.  Everyone just sleeping and this picture truly captures all that I love about being in a tent.

David makes us a great breakfast.  We had hookups at this site.  All of our friends have trailers. Since we wanted to be next to them, we got a site in the hook up area.  Which meant, we had a fan with an extension cord in our tent and we had coffee from a real coffee pot.  It's the little things!

We got to the lake early as it was hot.  So hot that sweat would just drip down my back just sitting at camp.  Which was fine with everyone as we had a great time.

Here's Emily and her girlfriends jumping off the dock.

Dakri and me!

And this is what we did for 3 days.  Just float and relax.  Camping is tough!  :) David has Noah in our inner tube and that's Dakri and Ryan.

Then, it's time for a snack on the dock.

For some reason, one of the kids favorite thing from last year was "Gina's Frog School".  They all wanted to swim across the lake.  And somehow, I was the adult who volunteered to go.  So, Gina's Frogs School was born. They were all my little tadpoles until they made it across. Then, they became frogs. This year, they all couldn't wait to do it again.  So, off we went.  I had a few other adults follow along just in case we have a frog in distress, but the kids all did great. It's maybe 1/4 mile across and then you have to get back, so it's no small feat.  So, I had several kids graduate to Bull Frogs this year and a few new tadpoles, like Noah, Clara and Savannah that didn't want to do it last year. They became frogs.  It's a great time.

They have a great playground right across from our camping spot too.  And bathrooms with flushing toilets and showers. Seriously, this is the life!

Then, Ben remembered that there was a zipline at the other playground, so we biked to that.  Noah didn't want to bring his bike. He said he'd run, which lasted about a minute.  Then, I made him hug me like a monkey and I rode with him in front of me.  It was not easy.  And we found the zipline.  Luckily it wasn't as cool as they remembered, so we headed back.

We walked to the water at sunset and Noah and Ben were saving the dragonflies from the spider webs.

So, so pretty...

David made the kids Jiffy Pop popcorn. It's always a favorite.

The next day was more lake time. Noah and Savannah were crushing pine cones and making a mess, but having fun.

These two are so cute. I always joke that I'm taking pictures for their wedding video montage. I joke, but I'd be thrilled if this little sweetie was my daughter in law one day.

Amy's family has kayaks, so the kids all take turns and just cruise all over the lake.

Ok, now we are done with phone pictures and we'll jump back a day with the waterproof camera.

Here are the girls chilling out.

Noah actually got cold a few times, so he'd relax on the emoji raft.

Here's Josh and his friend and Ben.

Ben looking so serious.

This is Clara. She's Savannah's older sister.  Noah is smack dab between the two in age.  I joke he'll marry one of them.  She's a doll too.  Clara is a wild child, much like Noah.  

Emily and Alissa kept trying to share this kayak.  They are getting a little too large to share a kid kayak.

Noah had a BLAST on this thing. He'd cruise all over the lake and turn on a dime. 

Here's Stephanie and Savannah.  

Noah and Clara...

Ben was happy just to walk around, get wet, walk around some more.  You know Ben. There was some rocks there and he was happy with that.  I didn't tell him some kids saw a snake there earlier.  It was just a little one, nothing poisonous.

Dakri has this boat that the girls took out.

So, this next pictures is after our second night and our third day there.  We were supposed to stay 3 nights, but David had work stuff that he needed to do and we had an awful second night sleep.  Noah usually sleeps with David, but he wanted to sleep with me.  He wakes up at 11:45 and says "Oh no, oh no, oh no...I have to go poop." Ok, he does this sometimes and it's just a fart. So, I take him outside our tent and tell him to try to go in the woods.  Oh no, oh no, oh was not a fart. The poor kid had diarrhea.  We go back to bed...1:45...oh no....I decide I'll take him to the bathrooms.  I get the tent unzipped and turn around for the lantern and our soft toilet paper and I hear him already going in the woods again.  Poor kid.  2:15...oh no, oh no, oh no...we make it to the bathrooms.  He never had a fever. I just think he may have eaten too much junk, not enough water and had too much sun.  After that he was just fine.  

But, I woke up and suggested to David that we just spend the day there and leave at like 5:00 that night.  He completely agreed.  We needed time on Sunday to regroup.  So, we did just that.  You can tell Noah felt just fine at the lake that day.  Me, I felt like a zombie.

So, this is Groot.  I stole him from Dairy Queen on the way camping.  See, they had Guardians of the Galaxy cups. It wasn't a fancy plastic cup or something, just a basic paper cup. I didn't want a soda. I just wanted Groot.  I'm sure the lady would've just given him to me, but I grabbed him when her back was turned. My kids were like your stealing that?  Um, yeah!  I cut him out and now he's on my dashboard.  I love baby Groot! 

And here's the kiddos on the way home at about 8:00.  They were wiped out. Nobody actually slept though, which was good. The last thing we needed was someone taking a power nap at 8:00 at night.

We are so thankful to my Mom for always coming up and watching our house and our pets.  
Thanks, Granny!

It was a wonderful trip with wonderful friends.  We are already planning next year!