Sunday, July 8, 2018

Feeling Squeamish?

I've always been a fan of hands-on learning.  Recently Birch and I ran into some friends in our stake that have a large farm.  We were talking about butchering chickens and they invited our family out to learn how this is done.  When Birch and I were dating his family raised chickens as well.  Birch and I had the opportunity to help with the butchering process - though we skinned the chickens instead of  plucking them.

The kids were totally disgusted that we were insisting they join us for the afternoon at the farm.  Alysee had legitimate girl's camp preparations she needed to do so she did get out of the experience.  When we first arrived at the farm there was a momma hen who had just hatched her eight chicks and they needed to be caught so cats wouldn't eat them.  Birch helped catch the momma hen and we did all feel sad that it was going to be butchered on the day its' babies were born.  Much to everyone's happiness we found that that banty hen was not one of the ones we would be butchering.  Everyone loved running around catching the baby chicks.
Guess who was begging to take one home?
The unlucky chicken...actually there were five unlucky ones.

After their heads are chopped off you dip them in the can of boiling water to loosen their feathers.

Then the plucking begins.

It took a bit to get into it but everyone (except Nate) joined in.

Trying to get out all the pin quill feathers.

I think we can all agree that the smell of death isn't that awesome.

Naked chicken

Next they blow torch off the tiny hairs -- who knew a chicken had feathers and hairs?!!!

Then we had an anatomy lesson.  It was amazing how clean this process actually was with an expert showing us how it is to be done.

But really the kids would have rather spent all day holding these chicks!

Nate had a really hard time with the whole thing, therefore he was elected to bag the chickens.  These chickens were each probably ten pounds!  HUGE!

Then we took the chickens back to the house and they were scrubbed up and prepared for the freezer.  Meanwhile Chloe found baby puppies to love on.

I think Chloe was born to the wrong family.  She needs a summer on a farm!
Everyone agreed on our drive home that it wasn't as terrible as they thought it was going to be.  Some of my favorite parts was just learning and listening to all the great stories from our friend.  It is so nice for the kids to be around someone so wise and knowledgeable.   We enjoyed a hot dog roast together before we parted ways.  I'm pretty sure this experience will not be forgotten!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

4th of July Awesomeness

How is it July already?!!!  I'm trying so hard to not wish away the summer with being excited that Elder Ditto will be coming home.  There are so many fun things happening between now and August and I don't want summer to be over.  But here we are in July...

We started out the 4th of July with joining the Andersen's ward's breakfast.  Then we took our decorated bikes on over to their home for their annual kid's bike parade.
Rue, the cutest biker!

So fun having Ami and Poppi here all week!

This started out like a good idea for Tyler until he let Nathan pull him around on a bike with a rope.  Ended with a bruised bum!

Otter Pops and visiting time after the parade.

Coop and Alysee
Family Hike to Naches Peak Loop
After the parade we loaded up our sack lunches and drove to Naches Peak Loop.  We were so sad to see the trail buried under snow and unable to still hike with normal shoes.  We spent some time walking around accessible parts but ended up in a snow field.

Tyler's partner in crime.

Good thing Birch brought the frisbee.  It ended up being a sled for everyone.

 Poppi is the best at coming up with entertaining games.  F.Y.W (Freeze Your Weiner) took a bit of convincing to get anyone to want to play.  The basic idea is that the contestants try to catch a snowball in their pants.  If they do they take one step backwards until they can no longer catch the snowball.  Here Poppi is is a WEINER WINNER!

On top of the world!



The ladies jumping for joy!
It's been so nice to be altogether these past couple of weeks.

Mountain crocuses 

Poppi and Sawyer

Hazelnut bum sledding

Aunti Laura


Tyler took all these great pictures -- love this one of Ami and Rue

Isla getting some speed.
Then is was home for a teriyaki chicken, rice, bread, corn on the cob, and two fancy salads for dinner.
followed by DESSERTS!!!

This watermelon cake was a hit!
And I'm embarrassed to say that this is the first year we skipped taking the kids to the fireworks.  It was such a long day and Birch and Tyler both has work early in the morning.  I'm not making that a tradition though, I totally agree with the kids that it was lame we didn't go watch them. 

Loved spending the day with family!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dust, Dinner, and Down in the Dumps

Camp Hope recently moved to their new location out of town on a dry ol' piece of ground behind the old Kmart.  After a bit on confusion on finding the new location we set up dinner for the homeless.  We prepared for 100 people and sadly only served like thirty.  In fact our group probably doubled the numbers -- we've learned that when we serve dinner at the beginning of the month our numbers are down as many are paid by the government that week and head to the casino.  I think our numbers were also down because Camp Hope had only moved two days prior and it would take some effort for the residents to get to the new location. 

Location...sure doesn't seem as ideal as the old one.  No electricity, no running water, porta pots, not sure how you shower, sleeping on the ground (I did notice everyone had a nice pad), and HOT!!  I think they are working on water and electricity??!!

Keeping with the 4th of July theme we did a hot dog bar with lots of toppings, chips, pasta and potato salad, water bottles, and otter pops.  The otter pops were a HUGE hit!!

If I understand correctly, Camp Hope will be getting several of these large military tents that everyone will sleep in.

Due to some community complaints and having to leave the other location so quickly they went to Walmart and purchased a bunch of these nice family size tents.  The residents made it sound like they would be taking them away and replacing them with the large military tents.  The folks we spoke with were not excited about this idea.

We couldn't do these meals without all the other families that pitched in.  I think we had around a dozen families provide the food and then about thirty of us to serve the meal.  The missionaries joined us!

Eat your hearts out!!
Breaks my heart when we have children come through the food line.  Somehow camping year round just doesn't sound that fun.  I love this opportunity to serve our community as a family!

Monday, July 2, 2018

A family that climbs together...stays together

Monday was set aside as a Family Adventure Day - we were supposed to go to a waterpark at Lake Chelan but after seeing that the weather was going to be 65 degrees and 20 mph winds we decided we needed to change our plans.  It's always hard to agree on something as a family so after taking everyone suggestions we decided to make the decision on our own as parents.

It had been a long time since we had rock climbed as a family so we decided that the temperamental weather would be okay at The Feathers in Vantage, WA.  When we arrived the car was literally shaking in the wind but the boys hopped out and started setting up the climbs.  It took the girls and I a little longer to venture out of the car.
Alysee doesn't love to climb to she still made it to the top!  

I'm proud of her for doing something she doesn't dig doing.

I was kind of wimpy and only made it up part way and decided I was good for the day.  I spent the rest of the day cooking lunch, keeping warm in the van, and taking pictures.

Chloe was on fire.  She scampered up the climbs like it wasn't even hard.

Birch was especially excited to try and new climb called Satan's Wagon.  It is a 5.10b which is really challenging!

Tyler is quite the good belayer.

Tyler did awesome climbing as well.

Top of the world!

Birch teaching Chloe how to tie her climbing knots.

This girl is determined!

She didn't make it all the way to the top of this climb as it was a 5.10b but man -- look how high she did make it!

Nate was an A.N.I.M.A.L.

Look at those muscles popping out!

This picture kills me!!

Like it ain't whatin' nothin'

Nothing holds Birch back!

Coop has gotten so much more brave.  Nathan did an awesome job belaying Coop.


Next stop Wanapum State park....
Alysee meditating

Ditto Kiddos!
I found this corner of the beach that was blocked from the wind and was so warm and toasty.  I ended up taking a little nap!

This girl could be a dancer or gymnast if her parents would pay😉 

Patterned after Uncle Luke's famous Cascade Lake photo.
Spike ball.  Always.  Anywhere.

We ended the day with going out to dinner at El Porton.  It was nice to have a day together!