Monday, May 13, 2019

Camping is for the bird…ers…


After our one successful one night stay at Maumee Bay, we knew the park was going to be on our repeat list!  The following weekend we headed back to MB.  We found out, as we checked in, that it was Birders week. 
Apparently, it’s the Biggest Week in American Birding is a 10-day festival in northwest Ohio, "The Warbler Capital of the World!".
We thought it was super cool when the office told us about it, so we went and bought a bird feeder, seed and a pole.  It would appear the cheapest bird feeder we found sucked.  So we ended up dropping the seed on the ground.
But it was so cool to see all the beautiful birds!!  We had a Cardinal that didn’t leave our site.  There were quite a few Blue Jays, and a TON of Red-winged Blackbirds. 
On Friday, as usual, it rained.  We ended up switching sites b/c the Friday site was booked for Saturday, but our Saturday spot was not booked for Friday!  WOO!  Instead of staying one night at #119, the park let us moved to #55 Friday, so we could set up our site. 
Since it was so chilly on Friday, we didn’t stay outside long.  When we came in to watch tv and stay warm, the tv wasn’t getting any local channels.  So weird, because it was earlier.  Guess what..Dennis forgot to put the antenna down. At least he didn't forget me! *First mark against our newbie RV selves.



Saturday was nice but so cold.  We had my mom, brother, Jenny & kids over for dinner.  Jenny wasn’t feeling well and spent most of the time napping inside.  It was chilly and I ended up getting sick around 7.  I was so upset b/c we were having a good time hanging out!  The other stayed outside and taught the kids how to play Euchre. 

Sunday morning, we could hear the birds singing.  I opened the blinds in my room and we watched them fly in and out of our yard.  It was so peaceful.  We were all pointing out different things about each bird.  











Since it was warming up, we decided to stay one more night.  (Luckily MB is close to our home/work/school!). 

We did have to go to a different site, but that was fine – it was less muddy. Cai, Bry & I were setting up the site and saw a beautiful yellow bird.  After some online and book research, we found out it was an American Yellow Warbler.  Unfortunately, both times it was near us, we couldn’t get a good picture.  Boo.
But we followed it with the binoculars.



Later, as the four of us played Euchre, a girl about Bry’s age & her older brother rode up on their bikes.  The girl said “Can we be friends and ride bikes?”

The girls looked at me and I said ok – go ahead.  Off they went.  Dennis got into his hammock, I reclined my chair and we sat there in peace.  After about 10 mins, I said, “The girls didn’t take their phones.  How am I supposed to check on them?  Maybe I should go look for them.”

Dennis said, “I’m sure they’re fine…but I did just watch this Criminal Minds episode where they used kids to lure kids.”

Me:  !!!!!!! Why would you tell me this??!!

Dennis:  I don’t know.

Me: Give me the keys!

Off I went…As I pulled off of our loop, I saw a couple walking their very LARGE dogs.  As I got closer, I realized they were not dogs – they were donkey’s.  One had flowers on it’s ear and the other was wearing a lei.  Perfectly normal.
I took a picture b/c I knew there was no way Dennis would believe me!




I went down 3 of the loops and by the park – no kids.  I started to panic.  I headed back to our site to tell Dennis he was coming to help me find them and there they were, waiting for me.
Ugh…

After that, I asked them to stay where I could see them.  Too many bad scenarios were going through my head. Later, my mom said they never knew where we were.  Well…as the child that was off doing things – that was a bad decision on their part.  We did so many stupid & dangerous things!   The little girl (McKenna) was talking to me (while Dennis slept in the hammock) and I asked her if she lived close, she responded yes, 5 mins away.
She asked Bry if they could play the next day and I told her that we wouldn’t be here.  She was disappointed.  She asked if we’d be back Friday and I said maybe. 
I asked her how old she was (same age as Bry) and what school she went to. When she told me, I asked her if she knew my cousin’s son.  She responded yes, he’s in 3rd grade, right? 
Since she "checked out" I felt much better letting the Bry play with her – haha – yes, I am insane.  When they rode bikes over to her site (a loop over), Bry came back and told me her mom was a volunteer there and they go camping every weekend. 

We were so sad to have to leave Monday morning.  We are really loving this camping thing.  Even if it’s local spots – it’s worth it.  Just being away from the house and hanging out in these parks is a lot of fun!

#thepineapple  #sdfamilyrvadventures




Sunday, May 12, 2019

Serenity on an overnight camping trip

On the Sunday of our first local camping trip, the weather was BEAUTIFUL.  Of course, this is how our lives work.  We camp all weekend, with terrible rain and mud to be going home to gorgeous skies.  So we decided to see if we could camp at Maumee Bay State Park, another local campground.  Even though they were only open for their seasonal campers, they did allow us to come stay a night. 
We were in awe of the beauty there.  After spending 3 days at Stony Ridge KOA, this was like a first class resort.  
Part of it was because there were NO neighbors, so it was peaceful, but the sites were so much better.  While MB doesn't have water hook ups at their sites, there is a filling/drain station at the front of the park. 
Dennis' friends, Leo & Shawn, stopped by for a visit and had dinner with us. 
They are a sweet, young couple.  Leo was in a car accident in Nov of 2018.  He was 3x's the legal limit driving a Rav4 and crashed into 4 cars, then a utility pole and then flipped his car.  He is lucky to be alive.  He has hearing loss and damaged his right eye.  He can no longer open it.  But he's alive!! 








 He learned a lesson, the hard way, unfortunately, but he doesn't really let it affect his happy attitude.  We sat around the campfire for awhile and laughed at stories.  After dinner, they left because Shawn had to work that night.  Oh to be young again...the kid was only going to get about 4 hours of sleep and then go work a full shift at work.  Ugh...I shudder at the thought lol!

 After they left, we sat outside for awhile, until it got to chilly.  Plus we had to get up for work and school earlier than usual the next morning since we weren't at home, so we decided to go inside, wind down and go to bed.

The sunset, while the four of us played Not Parent Approved  was breathtaking.  We were so sad we were only staying one night.

We knew at that moment, we will be spending a lot of time at Maumee Bay this summer!


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Snapchat Saturday

What do you do when you're camping & it's chilly and rainy out, on a Saturday?

You play with Snapchat filters!






















Wednesday, May 8, 2019

"While the world changes, the cross stands firm."


After what seemed like the longest year in Prep (Religion), Cadence has finally been confirmed!!  The amount of things that were required to make Confirmation were painful.  I fully support the kids learning and understanding to make this sacrament, but writing a letter to our priest, answering specific points with at least 3 sentences each. 
Another paper for May Crowning, about Mary, and a 3rd paper about the name of the Saint they chose.

It doesn’t seem like much, when it’s spread out, however, it was happening during the school year, when the kids already receive a bunch of homework.  This was in addition to various meetings and “retreats”.  Cadence doesn’t not write well and was very stressed during all the papers. 

All of the churches in the diocese hold their Confirmation at the Cathedral and the Bishop (usually) is the one doing the confirming. 
When we got to the church – it was PACKED.  There were supposed to be a total of 5 churches making their confirmation, but there were actually 9!  This happened to be on a Thursday evening (all of the others were Saturdays) and it started at 7 pm.  There were 100’s of kids making confirmation.  They all looked beautiful and of course the Cathedral itself is beautiful, but the process was TERRIBLE.  We could see nothing – I didn’t even know when Cai was up there.  I felt like I was there to stare at the back of the heads in front of me because I couldn’t see anything else.  I’m still bitter about it and it’s been over a month since she made it.

It didn’t end until after 9, which infuriated me because it was a school night and my kids had school the next day.  While the children making their confirmation, that attend Catholic schools, have teachers that don’t assign homework and understand what is happening, public school teachers do not know, nor can they work their lessons around this. 

I was so happy when it was done. In four years this will start all over with Bry, but we’ll be at a different home church AND I’m prepared.  We saved all of the papers Cai wrote.   😊

Even though I was annoyed by everything, I couldn’t be more proud of Cadence. She looked beautiful.  And Andrea, her sponsor, was so supportive.  I'm so thankful to have her in my life and to have her be a role model for my girls! 










Pineapple

Why #thepineapple? Well…have you ever seen the hilarious show, Psych?  Dennis & I LOVED this show.  For various holidays, I’d buy him the seasons on dvd.  We would watch them, over and over and over.  The girls started watching it with us and they also fell in love.


One day, I was reading something about the show and read they try to make some sort of pineapple reference in (almost) every episode.  Some of the scenes with the pineapple end up deleted, but most remain.

I read it started with a moment of improv by Shawn (James Roday).  During the polot Shawn & Gus are arguing about their case and Shawn spots a pineapple on top of the fridge and asks if he should slice it up for the road.  After that, it became Psych’s “thing”. 


We looked for them in every episode after we read that.

So, even though Psych is no longer airing, we really love the show.  It’s (mostly) clean humor, the entire family quotes lines from the show and we love re-watching it (and I DESPISE repeats!). 

When it came to naming the rv, we threw a few around.  Also being HP fans, Dennis suggested Hogwarts Express, however, due to the fact there is nothing EXPRESS when driving this beast, we decided not to go with that and then The Pineapple was born!

Seriously, if you’ve never watched Psych, do yourself a favor and watch it!! 

#thepineapple #sdfamilyrvadventures




Sunday, May 5, 2019

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.

We were so excited about camping after finishing our first trip, Dennis asked me to book a spot at a close campground so that we could learn more about the rv, camping, see how Blitz reacted and of course - just have fun!

We found a KOA that was about 20 mins from our house..I was a little hesitant bc the price was higher than the state parks, but we were all so excited about camping, I sucked it up and reserved a spot for the weekend. 
First - it, again, rained ALL weekend. Ugh. 
Second - I have never been to a campground which didn’t drain well from rain water. Literally, little ponds throughout the whole campground. There was so much mud - the dog kept tracking it in, the kids tracked it in, we tracked it in. 

The fire pits were also flooded. We pulled in different than some of the other campers to avoid the extreme amounts of mud on the one side. 

No one from the campground ever said to turn, they saw us use the fire pit before it flooded...well a couple from Canada pulled in around 5 the afternoon of our 2nd day. Dennis was using the pit and the lady got really shitty with him, telling him it was their picnic table and pit. He said, yours is in the other side. She kept bitching and after Dennis finished cooking, he told them to take the fire he had built. 

They declined and went inside. 

At 8:45 that night, we were all inside, the girls and I laying in our bed watching tv, Dennis in the front watching tv and there is a knock on the door. It was one of the workers, informing us we had to remove our tabletop grill from the picnic table and not use that fire ring bc it wasn’t to our site. 

We had not used the pit for 2.5 hours at that point. 

So, he moves the grill to the back of the van and comes in. As he’s moving it, the lady is standing at the door and says, it’s about time. 

::eye roll::  literally no one was stopping them from using the table or pit for hours AND left a fire going for them. 
Anyway, the next am at 8:30, we hear them pulling out.  Grrr. 

Since we were unable to spend Whits bday with her bc it was during the week - we had her over for a waffle sundae bar. 
After breakfast, we took Whit and the kids home and decided Since the rain has finally stopped and the sun was coming out - we were going to camp one more night!  BUT not at this KOA. So, we decided to try Maumee Bay!  
Best decision ever!!!!

Can’t wait to share our Maumee Bay (MB) adventures with you!

#thepineapple #sdfamilyrvadventures


Friday, May 3, 2019

25 - quarter of a century

Dear Whitney,

You are a quarter of a century old.  25 years of life.  You continue to amaze me with your strength and determination. 
I know things are not easy for you...actually they've never been easy for you.  But you take it with such great stride.  I'm so proud of you for this.
You fall and get back up.  You take care of yourself and your babies.  It's something you should be proud of.

This year, instead of dinner, we had brunch.  And we had it at the campground in the rv.  It would have been a lot better if it wasn't a mud pit, but I'm just happy I got to share another year celebrating you!

We enjoyed (your choice) waffles, with whip cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips - do delicious, sausage and oj.  Your cake was small but that was because I figured with such sweet toppings, no one would want to eat cake after! Also, we forgot birthday candles, but we'll always have the memory of you blowing out one of my big, house candles, haha!






We got you some capris and shirts - you never get your self anything, so I wanted to make sure it was something only YOU could use and enjoy.  And of course, made sure your favorite color was on each pair of the capris.

I love you so much and look forward to celebrating another 50 years with you!

We love you,

Mom, Dad, Cadence, & Bryleigh