Category Archives: Activities

Enough is Enough!

We are well into the new school year and finally after 12 weeks things seem to be slowing down around here.  We all have  our daily routines established and for now things are rolling along smoothly.  We did hit a bump in September where it seemed us parents were just too tired to cope and it seemed the kids were given the opportunity to fall back to their old TV watching/ IPad days.  I declared, “Enough is enough” in October and away went it all for 30 days.  What an amazing break from the noise and distractions of our technology driven world.

It has been great getting back to what we do best, being a fun family!

We have been playing this balloon game for days.  The kids beg us to play any chance they get!  The rules are easy, keep the balloon in the air.  They have come up with many new rules to keep it challenging, including a doubles game.
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We enjoyed a Harry Potter Potions making night at the library.
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Maddie as Hermione Granger at character day at school.
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Other random happenings at our house:
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And of course we had plenty of Halloween fun.
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Our First Epic Trip – Taos Part 1

After we had driven about 3,300 miles we had finally made it to Taos, NM!  This was the stop that we had been looking forward to.  After seeing so many beautiful places on our trip, we were worried that Taos might have lost it’s majesty.  Although it took Sara an hour or so to get the feel, Taos was as inviting as ever.  We pulled into town and cranked up the KTAOS.img_7487img_3392
We found a cozy spot to camp in the Taos Ski Valley and started our 9 day camp out.  Once again, we didn’t have water or electricity.
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Each of us picked our favorite thing to do in town.  The John Dunn Bridge is always a must see.  Usually we all love swimming in the Rio Grande.  But, sadly, after seeing such clear, beautiful water on the other legs of the trip, the water just didn’t seem inviting.  Maddie barely even stepped foot in the water.  We did get a couple of good pictures of the kids before they were begging to leave.
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We all loved taking afternoon naps.
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The kids always enjoy a trip to one of the coolest toy stores around, Twirl.  I like loading up on “stocking stuffers” here while the kids play.  We actually visited here twice this trip.
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Next up, Taos Part 2

Mother’s Day 2016

I am so very lucky to have three wonderful kiddos.  I am thankful I was chosen to be their mommy.  My life would feel so empty without them (maybe a little quieter that’s for sure)!

Our celebration started off with a pedicure and manicure arranged by Maddie.
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Then sweet gifts!
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We then went to church.  It was such a wonderful service and Ethan was an acolyte which made it even better.  Followed by a brunch with my mom and my sister’s family.  Sadly, we did not take a single photo of our afternoon together.

I always choose to stay home on Mother’s Day so I can be close to my babies.  Since we have been talking about making the kids a tree house since Christmas, I chose to have a family work day and finally get that thing started!  We are all excited about the final outcome.  The kids keep adding things to the wish list.  We will see if we can fulfill their dreams.
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We wrapped up our day with a delicious meal shared outside and two family art projects.
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It was truly a great day.  I love my family so very much!

Our First Camper Adventure

The Epic Family has been very busy lately between life and self employment, but we have also squeezed a few adventures in the middle of the rush.

We are gearing up for a long journey, in July, and decided to buy a camper to for our trip.  We are taking a month-long trip and were planning on staying in a tent half of the time and hotels for the rest.  We figured that the cost of our modest camper would equal the cost of lodging.  So, it was basically a wash.

We took our camper for its first trip a few weeks ago.  We had an awesome time and can not wait for our trip.  We slept so much better than tent camping.  Sara is now dreaming of tiny home living once again…pdc_camping_denver 017
It took way too long to figure out how to mount the support poles! pdc_camping_denver 055pdc_camping_denver 019
We went on a short hike and played in the river.pdc_camping_denver 025 pdc_camping_denver 027 pdc_camping_denver 028pdc_camping_denver 034
We need a healthy alternative to s’mores.  Any ideas?pdc_camping_denver 041
Sara got us out of bed to do some water color painting as the sun was setting.  We all really got into this activity.pdc_camping_denver 045 pdc_camping_denver 046 pdc_camping_denver 052
Overall, the weekend went well and we are definitely looking forward to the next time we get to venture out.

February Happenings

This winter we chose to stay inside quite a bit more than last year.  Well, the weather is finally warming up and we are coming out of hibernation.  My, it feels lovely getting outside more.

We are spending our days making volcanoes, shooting off bottle rockets, playing soccer, hiking, making mud pies and mud villages and just being outside.

Maddie went to a Rubix Cube workshop and mastered it!100 days of school 052 endoffeb 009 endoffeb 016 endoffeb 059 endoffeb 084 endoffeb 092 endoffeb 104 endoffeb 108 endoffeb 116 endoffeb 118 endoffeb 164
Ethan started taking piano lessons in January and knows a few songs already! endoffeb 167
Valentine’s Day was low key.  We exchanged simple cards and mostly ate fruit. We did get out to make art with the seniors where our Gigi once lived.  They were so grateful to have company.  It would be worth your time to adopt seniors in your area. Valentinesday 025 Valentinesday 104Valentinesday 112Valentinesday 122 Valentinesday 124

Pre-Christmas Happenings

Here are few glimpses into our family’s holiday season.  This year, like every year, we made a paper chain to count down the days until Christmas.  Each chain link has an activity to do.  We add a mixture of fun family things along with service to our community.  We were very fortunate to be able to do all of these activities as a family on the correct day.  Last year, we both worked late hours and most of the activities didn’t happen.

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Crystal Paper Snowflakes

During our homeschool co op last week, we made crystal snowflakes.  My Mom found this idea and we enjoyed the process so much during class I wanted to do this again as a family project.  The results are lovely and the whole process is easy and only takes about three hours.

What you Need:
Coffee filters to cut snowflake designs out of.
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A Styrofoam or glass plate with a lip big enough to hold liquid.
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A glass jar, 2 cups boiling water and 6 tablespoons Borax – dissolve mixture.  Be very careful when pouring this out, the jar gets very hot.
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Pour equal amounts over each snowflake.  The above measurements made 5 snowflakes.
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Your crystals will begin to form within an hour.  Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Then pour off the water and peel off your beautiful snowflake!
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Halloween

All year we have been dreaming of Halloween for the chance to dress up as a family and hand out fruit to people who are truly in need.  Last year we found out that people were going crazy for the oranges that we were handing out (instead of candy) and were shocked to find that some of these people had little to eat for that day.  We vowed to hand out more fruit this year.  While we thought that we had bought enough this year (about 250 oranges and apples), we were mistaken about the amount that was needed.

Since our family had just finished reading the Harry Potter book series with the kids, we thought it would be great for all of us to dress up as characters from the books.  Sadly, the kids had their own ideas about how they wanted to dress.  Sara and I dressed as Harry Potter and Hermione.

Max designed and colored the sword of Gryffindor.  But, we all helped create the Hogwart’s castle for our trunk.midnovember 004midnovember 009

Max was so helpful and caring when passing out fruit to the kids.  He would say, “Apple or Orange?  Red apple or green apple?.” midnovember 015 midnovember 018 midnovember 033midnovember 035

Next year, we will save even more money to buy plenty of fruit to hand out.

 

Pumpkin Carving

You may not think that carving pumpkins seems like much… However, we realized that last year we never even got around to carving them with the kids when we were in The Fog.   We all enjoyed this activity together.  We think the kids pumpkins turned out pretty cool.

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John and I couldn’t stop looking at each other knowing how far we have come since last year.  We love every moment (well, mostly, ha) spent with our family!

Our First Big Camping Trip

For Labor Day weekend, we decided to attempt our first big camping trip since Max was born.  We have camped close to home and in our back yard but just a few times.  We also surprised the kiddos with a trip to the Albuquerque Zoo.

I decided to embarrass the kids and wear this robe in the hotel lobby to check out.  Pranking is a family tradition.
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We didn’t get to see everything we wanted to see but had a great time at the zoo and aquarium.
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Taos Ski Valley is a great place to camp and it is also free.  We are already day dreaming of many more camping trips to this place.birthdayboys_camping 322 birthdayboys_camping 326 birthdayboys_camping 327

We set out for an all day hike but Maddie quickly decided that she was not going to participate.  Ultimately, Sara, Max and Maddie turned around and headed down the mountain while Ethan and I journeyed on.  birthdayboys_camping 343 birthdayboys_camping 349 birthdayboys_camping 361 birthdayboys_camping 368 birthdayboys_camping 373 birthdayboys_camping 394

Sara wanted to prank the tourists.  She actually looked like a local in this outfit.birthdayboys_camping 404

Overall, this was an amazing experience!  We loved spending two nights tent camping and being in the midst of so much nature.  We found that our trip went smoother when we just hung out, read books and played games at the camp site instead of trying venture out.