Bizz & BooBoo

A hippie mama doing her best!

My October Absence… and a visit to the Pumpkin Farm! October 20, 2011

Filed under: Holidays,Things to do/Places to Go — bizzandbooboo @ 12:11 am
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Well October and fall arrived….. and my blog diminished!

No particular reason, I was doing so well keeping up on 4-5 posts per week, and then I missed a few days, and a few more… and then the not writing blog posts habit must have began. They say it takes 7 days to form a habit, right? So now I will work to write a new post for the next 7 (or so) days and get back to the grind 🙂

This past weekend we visited a local pumpkin patch at TJ Farms with my husband’s parents and we had a wonderful time.

We are ready to go Mom!

I just love these little wagons they have, they are so fun!

So many pumpkins, so little time!

BooBoo was playing the drums on this one.

And Bizz found his pumpkin!

Caught this moment just before they both started looking away and wandering off!

BooBoo was having the time of her life riding while big brother pulled the wagon loaded with pumpkins!

The Pumpkin Thief strikes again…

And the whole family in the barn!

Happy Halloween

And a quick flashback… the below two pictures were taken last year (2010) at TJ Farms when hubby and I took Bizz & BooBoo!

*Sidenote – how weird is it that I wore the exact same shirt last year and this year. Didn’t even realize until I pulled up these pictures.

What are your favorite halloween traditions?

I am looking forward to hubby and Bizz carving some jack-o-lanterns and to trick-or-treating with the kids at Grampy and YaYa’s house!

~Jesse

PS – Thanks to my wonderful father in law for taking a lot of the pictures you see in this post 🙂 My camera cohort-in-action!

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And a couple blog giveaways to check out if you are interested:

Thirty-One Gifts Utility Tote Giveaway – Being Frugal & Making it Work: Ends 10/24

A Very Merry Christmas Barney DVD – Being Frugal & Making it Work: Ends 10/30

 

Homemade Play Dough! September 28, 2011

Making homemade play dough is one of the most simple and most fun activities to do with your children!

It costs very little, and most of the ingredients you probably already have in your house!

This is the recipe I use:

Kool-Aid Play Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 pkg unsweetened kool-aid
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup boiling water

*Side note – my son thinks that kool aid packages are for the purpose of making play dough because we don’t drink that stuff!

Directions: Mix dry ingredients while water is heating up. Add oil and boiling water. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until dough like consistency. Store in airtight container!

It is really neat to make because when you mix the dry ingredients you don’t really see the color granules from the kool aid – and then as you slowly pour in the boiling water make sure your child is watching, because like magic the mixture turns into the color of the kool-aid!

Bizz adding the green kool aid to one mixture (we made two batches)!

I let Bizz help me add all the dry ingredients and mix them well. Then I added the boiling water and mixed with a fork for a few minutes until it was cool enough to touch. Then we took turns kneading it!

Both bowls after the hot water was added - Blue & Green!

Here is the dough after being mixed before being kneaded.

 

Bizz showing off the finished product!

Have fun and go make some play dough!!!

~Jesse

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Who says only kids can play in the mud? September 19, 2011

My sister and I have never exactly been the “girly” types.

Growing up in northeastern PA on a dairy farm (for a short while for me) and always out in the boonies we played in the dirt, fished, collected tadpoles, got excited during hunting season and so on.

While we both have found our feminine sides and enjoy dressing up and getting pretty (I think her more than me – she has a lot of shoes!!) we still aren’t exactly girly.

So… when we heard about a 5k Mudder Challenge – we signed up.

What better way to spend some quality sister bonding time and to have fun then running 3 miles through mud, over hay bales, up hills and into the Sacramento River?

Aerial Shot of the area the Mud Run took place!

Here is my sister and I before the race began – it was about 7:30 am! (Note the color of our clothes….)

Pre-Race

And we made it….. don’t have any pics from during the race – but finally got these of the finish (note the new color of our clothes) 🙂

Almost there...

Finish strong!

And we still like to play in the mud!

A few tips for anyone who is going to run a mudder (and for me to remember for next time):

  • Bring a waterproof throw away camera, or a friend who can take pics!
  • Wear pants that will stay on (Yeah, I had to take a safety-pin off my race # and pin my pants which were falling off 3/4 of the way through the race from the MUD!)
  • Create a team and dress up or have a name (or both) – we raced as individuals, but are figuring out our team for next year!
  • Have fun and wrestle in the mud a little more 🙂

The run was a fundraiser for a local non-profit, River Partners. Here is a little about what they do: The mission of River Partners is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment. River Partners protects the environment by implementing large scale restoration along streams and rivers. We work on the major river systems of the Western United States.

Now we are looking into the next Mud Run we are going to participate in… and I am working on getting in better shape so my sister has to keep up with me (instead of me slowing her down!)

~Jesse

This post was shared on my Gather page on 9/20/2011!

This post was shared on my Redgage page on 9/22/2011!

 

Keep your kids from driving you insane – and have Fun! September 1, 2011

Filed under: Parenting,Things to do/Places to Go — bizzandbooboo @ 7:00 am
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As any parent knows, children are amazing and loving beings who fulfill our lives…..

and can drive us crazy on occasion or fifty!

So… what are simple, frugal ways to have fun with your kids without sitting in front of the TV all day, spending a lot of money, or having your kids tell you they are bored a hundred times??

Here are some ideas:

Visit the local farmer’s market (even if you aren’t going to buy anything)

BooBoo enjoying a breadstick from Tin Roof Bakery at the Wednesday Market 8/31/11!

  • Visit on a consistent basis and have your kids get to know the vendors and farmers. It is beautiful for your child to learn where the food they eat comes from and who is growing it!
  • If your child is older create a scavenger hunt (find 5 heirloom fruits or vegetables, find out what time a farmer has to wake up in the morning, learn what free-range means from a chicken farmer, etc!)
  • For your younger children it is a great environment filled with colors to learn and things to count and people to say Hi to! I have yet to meet an unfriendly person at the market!
  • Try samples of the various artisanal products and fruits and veggies!

Go to the Park! It sounds so simple, but I am always amazed at how few kids there are at many of the parks we visit each week! 

Bizz guiding BooBoo up the play structure!

  • Enjoy the swingsets, slides, monkey bars and other assorted playground equipment
  • Always bring a few simple tools (plastic shovel, bucket) so if there is sand or dirt to play in they can dig and build. I just keep a small bucket with a few toys in the trunk of the car ready to go!
  • Find out what time the sprinklers are on and bring your towels – let them run through the sprinklers if it is a hot day (just make sure to respect the park and not damage fragile ecosystems)
  • Let your kids make friends with strangers – it will build their confidence and independence, and as long as you are right there it is safe and a good thing.
  • Take a walk and let them explore whatever they want!

 

Bizz & BooBoo relaxing on the swings at Hooker Oak Park!

Just let them play… and don’t interfere (as long as nobody is about to lose an eye!)

  • Kids have truly AMAZING imaginations – and I feel that it is our job as parents to foster that imagination – by not always planning something.
  • Have basic toys and supplies available for them to access (paper, writing utensils, blocks, play tools, etc) and just let them do what they want! If that means coloring a piece of paper with a black marker until the marker runs out – then so be it!
  • Give them freedom to be themselves and learn how to figure things out and fix problems – do not always help (I know, that sounds crazy – and it truly is hard when your 4 year old gives you those big brown puppy dog eyes and says Mommy, I love you, can you please rebuild my tower that sissy jut knocked over again…)
  • Let them get dirty – Dirt don’t hurt and they are washable!

 

BooBoo getting dirty while Bizz rakes away in the garden!

The list goes on…. and will be continued with some actual ideas for specific activities on those rainy days – and those days when just letting them play is resulting in boredom and mommy insanity 🙂

But I truly believe that it is of the utmost importance to allow our children to experience a “childhood” of simplicity in nature, in play and in life. Because as we know….. adulthood comes all too fast!!

~Jesse

PS. And be silly a lot…

 

 

Rocky Campground is, ummmm.. rocky. August 22, 2011

Hubby and I had the wonderful opportunity to get a weekend away for our 6th wedding anniversary (Thanks Auntie Amy, Grandma & Grandpa, YaYa & Grampy!!)

We decided to go camping for our trip! While it may not have been the most luxurious anniversary trip we saved lots of money and had a WONDERFUL time fishing, hiking, enjoying nature and spending time with each other!

Whenever we get ready to go camping if we have never been to the campsite before I always find myself searching online for details about it. I like to have an idea what to expect before arriving! What I have found is that the typical small campground does not have a lot of info available online about it. So I am going to do a recap of the campgrounds we visit on my blog so hopefully if you come across it in your searches it will help you determine if it is the site for you!

We headed towards Hat Creek, located in Lassen National Forest in Northern California! We had about 5 or 6 possible campsites and went until we found one that was a good match for us!

We ended up at the Rocky Campground!

It is a tiny little campground right off the road with about 8 or 10 spots. The cost was $10 per night (can’t beat that). There were a few beautiful spots that were a little larger when you first drove in, but of course they were taken since we were arriving on a Friday night. We found the last spot on the right. Tiny campsite – but perfect for us. Access to the creek was right down the hill from our site and it had everything we needed!

 

Pros of staying at Rocky Campground:

  • Small campground
  • Inexpensive nightly cost
  • Beautiful creek with moderately easy access
  • Great fishing
  • Doesn’t get too cold at night (we stayed in early August)
  • Bugs are not bad at all
  • Great creek/water sounds at campsite
  • Easy to hike for miles up and down stream along Hat Creek along both sides (there is a bridge to cross at this campground)

Cons of staying at Rocky Campground

  • Many sites are very small
  • Would not be good with young kids
  • Right off highway so there is some vehicle noise
  • No running water
  • Gets hot during the day in areas not shaded

Overall I would recommend this campground for tent camping for adults or families with older children! Make sure you pack in lots of water (no water available at campground). Old Station is only a couple of miles away if you need more ice or bait!

And some more about our stay –

FYI – it is definitely Rocky as the name implies….

We had a little trouble staking our tent in our spot due the rockiness!

The campfire pit was perfect and we enjoyed beautiful campfires each night. Lots of branches and wood available around (not sure how long ago but a fire obviously went through the area years ago and there is still a lot of fallen trees, charred wood, etc.)

Had a few perfect smores!

And enjoyed relaxing and the natural beauty around us a LOT!!

  

And the fishing was pretty good as well!

What is your favorite campground and why?? We will definitely return here in the future!

~Jesse

 

Camping with kids… August 1, 2011

Filed under: Camping,Parenting,Things to do/Places to Go — bizzandbooboo @ 1:01 pm
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The difference between camping before kids and after kids is….. well I am not sure the two can be compared…

My husband and I love to camp – I wouldn’t call us avid campers, but I hope to be an avid camper someday!

I still pack way too much and worry I won’t have something essential that I need (especially when going with the kids).

Before kids:

  • We would set out with a general idea of where we wanted to camp and find the place that was perfect
  • We would enjoy the sounds of rushing water in nearby creeks or rivers
  • I would stay warm by the fire
  • We’d splurge on smores and beer after dinner and sleep cozily in our large tent!

After Kids:

  • We go to places that we have been and are familiar with to know how kid safe it is
  • We enjoy the sounds of BooBoo not crying and Bizz not yelling about something
  • I worry about the kids staying warm throughout the night and constantly wake up and check their blankets
  • We make sure the kids stay away from the fire so no one trips into it – therefore usually I am sitting far enough back that I can’t feel the warmth of it
  • and I splurge on leftover cheerios that didn’t fall on the ground and maybe a drink of warm leftover apple juice 😉

Truthfully – I LOVE camping with my children, I love the experience I am giving them at such an early age and that we are lucky enough to be able to do these things as a family!

And it amazes me how many people are always surprised and almost congratalatory to us for camping with our children. Every single time we have gone camping as a family I have been approached by an older person who has asked something along the lines of How can I convince my son/daughter to take their young children camping? It is such a great expereience – look you are doing it! I never really know how to respond except to say it is a lot of work, but for me it is worth it and the fun overrides the work!

There are some things you have to be prepared for though:

I don’t mind my kids getting dirty – Dirt don’t hurt! And they WILL get dirty  filthy when camping! Just bring lots of washclothes or baby wipes – and don’t worry about cleaning their feet – just put socks on at bedtime 🙂

Bedtime, as you know it, isn’t going to happen. Just let them stay up on your laps next to the fire for as long as they want! It is quality time like nothing else! If they fall asleep in your arms even better! Bring some comfort items from home (fave book, blanky, sleepybear) to help if needed, and be sure to have a nightlight of some sort if they need it in the tent!

I LOVE the joy on Bizz’s face as he gets to explore and find new bugs or branches, and especially this year as he gets to be Daddy’s helper in collecting firewood and setting up camp!

And – You will have to have smores after dinner, and possibly after breakfast and lunch as well if you keep the fire going – and I am all for that 🙂

What is your best or worst camping story, tip or experience?

~Jesse