Our Weekend Camping Trip

We had an absolute blast camping with our friends this weekend.  The Girls are dirt magnets and most pictures of them are of them covered in something like dirt or sand.  Luckily my good friend and their godmother took some pictures that are more than worth sharing.

Our fun got started after everybody had their camp set up, lunch was eaten by all, and the kids picked where they wanted to go.  They picked the private beach for the campground.  On our way to the beach there was a creek that was irresistible for the little ones.

Amelia was playing around and ran off to show her godmother a pretty green rock she found.  I’m sure she probably wanted to bring it home with us but she is used to us staying at State and National Parks so she was pretty comfortable with having to put it back and leave it there for others to enjoy.

Amelia found a pretty green rock on the beach.

Amelia found a pretty green rock on the beach.

My friend took our picture… for my few readers who are not related to me, this is us:

Michael and me posing for a picture.

Michael and me posing for a picture.

Well the creek was fine and dandy for a while, but there is a whole wide ocean on the other side of that ridge and with 4 little ones that was not to be left unexplored.

Michael leading Amelia down to the water for some fun in the surf.

Michael leading Amelia down to the water for some fun in the surf.

Michael swinging Annabelle out over the ocean.

Michael swinging Annabelle out over the ocean.

Isn’t he awesome for taking the kids down into the surf so I can hang back and chat with my friend???

Annabelle seemed intrigued by the beach and more willing to stay still for pictures than her sister.

Annabelle overlooking the ocean.

Annabelle overlooking the ocean.

Annabelle being goofy on the beach.

Annabelle being goofy on the beach.

But back at camp the kids were just as entertained by a couple of balls, a few toys, and a lot of dirt.

Amelia getting down and dirty with the boys.

Amelia getting down and dirty with the boys.

Annabelle and her god-brother, Ethan, hugging.

Annabelle and her god-brother, Ethan, hugging.

As far as Humbug Mountain State Park in Oregon goes we would gladly come back.  The temperature was perfect for water play, the campsites have plenty of shade, it didn’t get too cold at night, and all of the fog you see driving there wouldn’t dare hang around the state park and the private beach.  It was sunny and beautiful and we even attempted to get the 4 kids to hike all the way to the top of the mountain… we got halfway before we turned back.  It is a 3 mile hike up steep switchbacks… talk about feeling it in my legs today.  But after indulging in way too much camping junk food I feel like we worked some of it off.

What are your favorite camping and hiking places?

 

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Shepherd’s Pie and Pinterest

If you all follow my Eight Dollars a Day board on Pinterest then you know I pin new meal ideas often.  On there I have things from Paleo to Vegan and now Gluten Free.  We have tried so many different eating styles in the past few years to see what works best for us.  What we have learned is that Paleo can be done on a budget but unless you are eating primarily vegetables and proper servings of meat you will find yourself gaining instead of losing weight.  Vegan tastes like hungry… and lentils are never an acceptable substitution for meat in a Shepherd’s Pie.  And Gluten Free is easier when we are not constantly trying to find acceptable substitutions for the breads and sweets.

That all being said, we did find a great and totally family friendly Shepherd’s Pie recipe.  Even Mr. Picky ate a big serving and I didn’t have to coax him to eat the vegetables in it.  I followed it almost exactly except for the Tablespoon of minced garlic I added in after the onions.  And her directions do not seem to specify when to add the brown sugar so I just put it in with the rest of the spices.  I did use a steak rub and the zucchini which she lists as optional.  But to me they made the meal.  We used that homemade chicken broth that I talked about a couple days ago.

Stay tuned to find out if the kids like the Straw-Blueberry Chia Pudding for breakfast tomorrow.

What kind of eating styles have you tried? What did you like about each one?