Thursday, June 20, 2013

Homemade slip-n-slide

This past Sunday was Father's Day, and it's become an annual tradition that my father-in-law creates and runs a homemade slip-n-slide for his grandkids that day (and also a couple other times during the summer!).  The kids absolutely love it!!  My father-in-law is so good at creating things and he also perfects his creations as well - what a gift he has!  He uses black plastic and corrugated pipe for tile for the sides (that way the kids don't fall off).  He has created a little pool at the bottom by looping the pipe and this makes for a great (and safe!) splash at the end.  To run the slide, he shoots water down it, and has the kids lather up with baby wash, and uses the dads as the pushers to get a good sling down the hill.  What a blast it is!! 

"rub a dub dub - 3 boys in a tub"

the 2 littles stayed inside, but still had a great time!

Some special dads

What a blessed day we had on Father's Day.  I am always posting pictures not only of my own kids, but also my wonderful nieces and nephews.  Neil and I are so blessed to live close to our parents and our siblings.  So, with Sunday being Father's Day, we were able to see all those special dad's in our lives....

Neil, his dad, and our crew of 7
the 3 Young dads

My dad and his 4 sons-in-law (isn't the guy on the far left so handsome!!)

My dad and 14/16 of his grandkids (the other 2 are at camp and their little sister is holding a phone with their picture - lol!)

my 3 sisters and I smooching our dad and 2 silly photo-bombers (any guesses on who they are?)

Thank you God for all these dads in our lives.  Please bless them with love and leadership as they bring their families closer to You!! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A brilliant discovery

Fishing with the family

Less than a week after our first trip out to the lake, we planned an evening of fun, fishing, and food with my parents, my sisters and their families, and our crew.  We fished until dark and had a cook-out (including smores) over the fire.  It was a lovely night!! 

Neil fishing with Pookey and Max

Max caught a fish that made it out of the water - he was SO excited!!

This was Pookey's fish that was TOO big to get out with the pole.  Neil had to use a net to get it out!  He caught one of the biggest fish that night! 

Fone, Mario and their cousin

one of the many fish that Fone caught

Pookey and Ariel fishing (look at the the reflection of the clouds!!)

Ariel fishing (isn't this picture of the reflection of the clouds beautiful?!!!) 

Pookey and Max eating dinner

such a handsome guy!  :)

Rose and her cousin

My big sister (in orange) trying to make our baby sister (in green) touch the fish! 

Melody and one of her many fish

my Dad scaring the little boys with some nasty-smelling stink bait to catch catfish

Pookey and one of his many "best buddies"

3 sweet girls roasting smores

my niece and her fish! 

And, I've saved the"best for last"....  I was brave enough to actually take off the fish and throw it back in the lake.  I thought if my 15 year old niece is brave enough to do it, then so can I!  Plus, by doing so and getting over my fear of touching nasty slimy fish, I can help my husband and kiddos during our fishing trips even more.  I'm so glad I did, and so thankful I had my lovely niece to show me that I could do it!! 

Doesn't she make it look so easy?!!!! 

Not posing all pretty as my niece, but got the job done!!  Yippeeee!!  

Thank you God for fun, family, and fishing!  Thank you for leisure time with the family and for finding the beauty of your creation by spending time outdoors.  Thank you for the courage to touch a fish, like my niece, and her great example! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fishing with (lots of) kids

Any outing with 7 kids is a huge undertaking...  going to the library, going to church, going shopping, going to the park, and the list goes on and on and on.  But fishing with a large crew of kids is especially challenging...
Most of the time we plan well in advance and not only pack a ton of stuff to get there, but also prepare OURSELVES for the challenge that lies ahead. 

This past week, we decided to go fishing very last minute.  I am NOT a "spur of the moment" kind of girl, but the Holy Spirit is helping me grow in this way and I love when He urges me to do so.  For some reason, it always turns out wonderful and peaceful.  Huh, probably because it's Him planning it!  My sister shared that her, her husband, and 3 boys were going to fishing that night and I thought that sounded wonderful and that we might just join them.  (we are members of a local lake, along with my sisters and parents)  So, when Neil came home from work and I TOLD HIM that we were going to fishing that night, he was thrilled.  (he's the fishermen, not me!) 

We packed up right away and headed out.  Now for a sense of peace with lots of little ones, our rule is that all the kids MUST wear life jackets.  Even the big kids who know how to swim need to wear them.  This helps me breathe much easier as the kids are walking along the shore and it also frees up my hands so that I don't feel like I have to hold the hands of all 7 children.  We also spray everyone down with bug spray before we even start fishing. Pants or jeans always seem to work better when being outdoors, and it was comfortable for the kids since it was a cool spring night.  Who knows if we'll still be wearing pants/jeans when it's 90 degrees out??  When packing to leave, I had quickly grabbed a stool for Pookey to sit on while fishing, and it worked out great.  It gave him his own space, and he knew where to sit and wasn't hanging over the water's edge.  It also seemed to work out better than those sling chairs. Definitely going to be bringing those stools again! 

Each of the kids caught fish that night, although Max's fish didn't make it to shore.  He said his fish "was too big" and was so sweet even though he lost it.  Out of all the kids, God knew that our sweet Max (our calm and collected and easier going child) wouldn't be too terribly heart-broken not actually seeing his fish that night.

Pookey was kinda silly though.... he was a little crabby that his fish wasn't the "biggest fish in the world". Fone was his buddy and helped him reel in his fish when it bit the line.  He wouldn't even get near it, and gave the silliest look when I asked him to pose for a picture.  You can definitely tell that he was interested in it and excited....

I really don't like to get dirty, but having plenty of poles in and out of the water, it was a necessity for me to get a little dirty and help put worms on the hooks (yuck!).  I did okay and was actually kind of proud of myself.  I was also proud of my 4 biggest kids, who are becoming more independent at fishing and can cast, watch their bobbers, and reel in on their own.  It makes it SO much easier on Neil and I.  Now little Miss Ariel is a different story when a fish bites... she practically throws her pole at us and we have to take over.  Silly girl!  It was even hard to get her to pose with her fish - she was running away....

Here's some sweet Melody pictures, proud as can be....

And, some Mario pictures...

And, also our oldest, Fone...

And look at this - even the 3 littlest ones caught a fish!  Rose and her cousin were especially talented and caught one while sitting/lying in the stroller....

And, a big thank you to my sweet sister and her family for letting us intrude on their little outing.  My parents also decided to come along and join in on our last minute fishing party!!  We had a wonderful time, and are looking forward to many more trips out to the lake this summer!!

my sister

my brother in law, Biff, and their oldest son

my nephew and his fish

Thank you, God, for wonderful nights of fun, family and fishing.  And, thank you for allowing me to be open to "spur of the moment" activities like this.  Your planning is always best!!! 
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