Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Kevin's birthday was Friday the 17th and being the last weekend before summer classes started up again for him and Megan, Katrina and I thought we should all head to the dunes for some fun for Kevin's birthday. Plus I wanted Avery to get his new quad on the sand sooner than later!

Kevin and Katrina staked out our camping spots Thursday morning and we arrived Thursday night after work. Shane and Angela came just for the day on Saturday. We left late Saturday night while Kevin and Katrina and Ben and DeAnna stayed through Sunday.

What's camping without critters? Very first thing Friday morning, before we could do anything, Avery found this fuzzy caterpillar.


Avery, catepillar

Then the kiddos took off to check things out with Papa and Grandma.
Avery, Emmett, Carson

Poor Julie had a rough time with that big heavy helmet.

DeAnna took this picture of them while they were out.
Avery, Emmett, Carson

Since the kids were gone, I convinced Travis that we should go out too, because who knew when I'd get a chance again once the kids were back. We passed the kids and DeAnna took this picture of us.
Laurie, Travis

Later in the morning, I took the boys for a ride in the Ranger again while Megan, Kevin and Travis rode their quads.
Megan, Kevin, Travis

Kevin and Travis
Kevin, Travis

Megan doing donuts

DeAnna took this picture of us hanging around after lunch
Katrina, Ben, Laurie

In the early evening, I finally got Avery his first chance to ride his quad. He's following me out and Travis is waiting to follow Avery.
Avery, Travis, Laurie

Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy taking Avery out. My ride in Travis' sand rail in the morning and my very short run with the kids in the Ranger before lunch ended up all I got to do that day because no sooner did we get to the dunes with Avery, then I had to turn around and go back with a passed out Carson and Emmett. So the one day of gorgeous weather turned out to be fairly wasted for me.
Carson, Emmett

After Avery got his run, DeAnna took this picture of him on their way back to camp.

Back in camp, we enjoyed a nice evening around the fire pit.

Inquisitive Julie

Happy Julie sitting with Daddy Kevin waved to the camera.
Kevin, Julie


Megan made some "cave art" on the side of the fire pit. I imagine it represents her and her horse Vegas.

And then Kevin added his own "art" to the scene... And Megan wanted to kill him, now that it looked like Megan was herding Vegas into Kevin's "factory."

Avery thought it was funny.

Actually, Avery was just generally happy. Oh, and just a few days prior Avery had lost his seventh tooth to a tortilla chip accidentally wedging the loose tooth out.

Silly Emmett

Ha! I caught you looking!

It's so dirty in the ashy sand around the campgrounds from the fire pits.

Julie has this battery operated quad (we left the battery out) and the boys had fun pushing each other around on it, despite its girlyness. This picture is funny because it caught Emmett trying to kick-start the quad.

Emmett had such perfect timing on the kick-start that I had to video him:

Travis was refusing to look at me, or smile, or give me anything.

Some tickling got a grin, but he kept his face averted, the stinker.

After some yummy foil dinners, it was time for cake for Kevin's birthday. After this shot, I helped light the candles since it was so difficult in the wind. Kevin came over with Julie to help block the wind and we got all but 2 candles lit when Julie leaned in and blew them out! All the center candles went out. *sigh*
Katrina, Carson

So we had to re-light them.

Kevin tried to hold Julie back better the second time.
Kevin, Julie, Katrina, Emmett

Finally we had them lit, and Julie and Emmett helped blow them out.
Kevin, Julie, Katrina, Emmett, Avery

Happy Birthday Kevin!
Julie, Kevin

As we ate cake, I was noticing the way Megan spoke to her Dad, with such animated superiority, and decided to capture some of that. We all had a good laugh at these pictures that I had to show around.
Megan, Ben

Saturday was much cooler and almost constantly drizzling. Plus it was really foggy, so even if it wasn't drizzling, the fog eventually soaked you. So I didn't take any pictures. We were all going to go out for a ride together in the morning, but then my quad (the one Travis was riding since his new-to-him Banshee wasn't ready yet for the trip) wouldn't start. The battery was dead. Ugh. So the only thing left for me to ride was Avery's little 90. That sucked. It's such a tiny engine and totally bogged down under my weight.

Most everyone had disappeared while we tried to get the quad started, so when we left it was just me on the 90, Travis and Avery in the sand rail, and Shane and Angela each on a quad. We only made it to the first big hill and Travis blew the condenser in his rail. Ugh again. So we sat in the foggy drizzle while he headed back to camp on Shane's quad to get a replacement. And sat and sat and sat. I had Avery do loops around us on his quad. Ben and Alli in Ben's sand rail found us and sat and sat with us while Ben and Travis tried to get it fixed. Finally I told Avery to get on Ben's quad that either Shane or Angela had ridden in so I could take him around for a bit of a ride in the vicinity. It wouldn't start. So I'm thinking, "Am I cursed on this trip or what?" Turns out whoever had rid it in had left the lights on and the battery was dead. Thankfully there's a hidden kick-start on that one and somehow that made it able to start. I'm clueless there, but it worked. So Avery and I rode around briefly and then Travis decided he wanted to take the rail back and see if my quad would start and I should just head back anyway since the Honda 90 couldn't do anything anyway. Ugh again.

So I went back. And started packing up our gear. Before I left the dunes, everyone had found us in our stuck spot and they all ended up coming back shortly after I did and we all had lunch. Late afternoon Shane and Angela left and Alli got to stay for the night with Papa and Grandma. They left gas for Shane's quad so I could get a ride later if I wanted. That ended up being the saving grace of the weekend. I did indeed get to go for a ride on it later following Kevin, Travis and Ben each on a quad. The drizzle even cleared up while we were out. The ride ended all too soon though considering it was my only decent trip out, but Travis and Kevin were tired and sore from all the riding they had already gotten to do so led us back.

So, all in all, it wasn't my favorite trip to the dunes considering the effort to reward ratio this time out, but such is life with three little kids. I didn't even get to ride my own quad! How nice it would be if we had a four-seater sand rail, or with a bench back row, so we would be equipped to ride around will all our kids with our own rigs!
Still, I'm thankful for some of the things that went right that you don't notice until they've gone wrong:
-no air mattresses lost air during our two nights (always a bonus when camping!),
-no midnight puking up hotdogs from Avery like last time (which I just realized I didn't include in that post),
-my foil dinner was fabulous for the first time since it seems like I've had disasters with those often in the past (from burning to Travis knocking mine in the dirt and there being nothing left to make a new one out of)
And of course we had some fun family time and the weather the first day couldn't be beat.
Despite the frustrations for me, I'm still always looking forward to the next trip out!


Jessica said...

Umm, your eyes look STUNNING in the pic of you and Travis! Love it!

Mom said...

Those helmets are bigger than the kids. What kind of aliens are they? Emmett is nothing if not persistent. That quad will start if he has anything to say about it. Great video.