Sunday, July 31, 2011

Backyard Fire Pit

We invested in a fire pit a couple of years ago and  it has been a great addition to our backyard. It's one of our favorite things to do on a summer evening: having a campfire without the camping. Just sitting around watching the fire and talking until the late hours of the night.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kick Bones

Jess wants to take a bunch of games with her to school when she goes: games, movies and a popcorn popper will hopefully help make her one of the social hubs of her floor. We bought her a pack of dice and started learning some dice games. This one is super quick to learn, fun to play and all of the game pieces can fit into your pocket.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't Drink!..... But, If You Do

We have always raised our kids to not drink. We have discussed with them, ad nauseum, the dangers of too much alcohol. They have grown up with the phrases "You never want to turn your right to choose over to something else" and "It only takes one choice and one moment to change your life forever". We have also taught them this with the big but at the end of it, and I have learned recently how important that big but is.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Man Cave: Food Fight

I don't remember now if it was green beans or broccoli. I think it was green beans. Jeff was 5, and he didn't want to eat them. As his father I had taken my stand: you will not leave this table until your plate is clean.

And so it began.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 Tips For A Successful Hike

I have spent the last couple of days talking about hiking in my posts Take A Hike and Our Top 10 Trail Foods. We are in prime hiking season here, and if you haven't done much, I highly recommend you get out there and hit some trails. If you do a lot of hiking, bear with me and share any ideas you have that I haven't mentioned.

Today I will give you 10 Tips to ensure you have a successful hike.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Top 10 Trail Foods

As mentioned yesterday in "Take A Hike!", we are pretty avid hikers around here. If we have a sunny weekend you can pretty much guarantee we are out on the trails at least one of the days. We have had a lot of trial and error on what kinds of foods work best when hiking, so today I will share our top 10.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Take A Hike!

One of our most favorite things to do through the summer months is hike. There aren't many things more satisfying than hauling tail up the side of a mountain to a beautiful view, or cooling off in an alpine lake you worked so hard to get to. It doesn't matter the age or athletic ability, everyone can hike.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Biking On The Water

Needing a little something different to do on a hot summer day? This just might be your ticket. You can be out on the water, get a little exercise, and if the weather is hot enough take a dip and cool off.

Paddle boats are perfect for a great family activity.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bubbles! 10 Homemade Bubble Wands

One of my favorite summer activities is blowing bubbles. It just takes me back to being a kid, is relaxing and looks super cool. The best time for me? Right as the sun is starting to go down, the weather is cooling off a bit, and it is comfortable to sit outside and watch your bubbles float lazily down to the lawn. Here are some fun ways to get creative with bubbles.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dreamy Ice Cream

I saw this idea this morning and since it is National Ice Cream Month, and it looked so simple and amazing, I thought I would share. 

I really think they should make ice cream it's own food group ;o) Yum!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Man Cave: Write It Down, Bro

For most people the word "diary" conjures up images of powder-pink, locket-bound notebooks, preciously guarded from the prying eyes of obnoxious little brothers by precocious teenage girls. Inside are myriad secrets - secret crushes, catty quibbles, personal revelations - important to no one but the author. I call BS. Diaries rock, and they aren't just for girls. Some of my manliest ancestors kept diaries in some form or another, and their stories live on today because of it....check it out:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Unoffical Harry Potter Cook Book

Umm.... Hello! A Harry Potter Cookbook?! That is just too cool for words. Yes, I will admit that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I have been reading these books since day one with my kids and have grown to love Harry, and all of his adventures, immensely over the years. If I wasn't in the process of trying to get rid of cookbooks, I just might have this on my Amazon account right now...... we'll see if I can hold out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Give Me Your Ideas - Your Favorite Way To Keep Cool.

I have been feeling a little down as of late and could use a pick up from all of you. I kid you not, here is what our weather forecast says at this very moment: "82.5. That's the average cloud cover percentage since July 7th -- nearly two weeks of mainly of those days had measurable rain and two others had a trace...." Please Help Me!! Here's what you can do.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Be A Stay At Home Mom With Pride!!

Being a stay at home mom is viewed these days as an old fashioned practice: the more money and prestige a woman has the better, seems to be the more common view. I have felt it was worth the pay off to be home with my kids and raise them myself. There are people out there that will make you feel bad, or lesser of a person, for making that choice. Don't let them!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

You're Never Too Old To Run Through The Sprinkler!

Okay, admittedly this picture was taken two years ago, back when we were still having summers in Seattle, but it was a lot of fun when we did it. It was a hot summer, so hopefully there are some of you out there having one of those - and the easiest way to cool off is to run through the sprinkler. Get out there, get in touch with your inner child, and run through the sprinkler with your kids. I promise you'll have a blast.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Warrior Dash Is A Must!

K... I'm a runner and love to run, but let me tell you something: this race is for everyone. If you are in enough shape to drag your carcass three miles (walking or running) and strong enough to climb a 15 foot rope wall, you must do this little muddy race. This is what we just spent our morning doing, and we had a blast!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cool Off In A River!

Somewhere in this world people are having a sunny, hot summer. Actually, I think pretty much the whole world is but Seattle. If I close my eyes and think real hard I can see the sun, it's been a while....... Some day we'll get our week of summer, but until then everyone else can enjoy one of my favorite summer activities - playing in the water.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Man Cave: Top 10 Road Trip Tips

Summer is here. Like many Americans our family will be making a few road-trips. I love road trips, and over the years I have made literally hundreds. In today's Man Cave I have distilled all my accumulated experience and knowledge into 10 vital tips for a successful road style. So load 'em up, leaves in 5 minutes, with or without you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Goal In Parenting Is For Your Kids To Leave

As you know, I just spent the last two days at Central Washington University with Jessica at her freshman orientation. I really have mixed emotions going on right now about my baby leaving home. We are very close and I will miss having her around me, but I am also very excited for her to grow into the woman she was meant to be. I had an eye opening moment while there I would like to share.

Monday, July 11, 2011

College Orientation

Here we go folks. The new chapter in the Cheney home is beginning. I will be gone with Jessica for the next two days for Central Washington's orientation. I am starting to have a few mixed emotions on this whole kids growing up thing.... 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bike Bonding

It's a beautiful, semi-sunny day, here is Seattle Washington. Aaron and I are loading the bikes on the car and getting ready to head out, soak up some rays, work up a sweat and spend some quality time together. Going on a bike ride is a great way to spend the day together as a couple.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Schools Out And You're At Work

Guest writer: MJ Smout

Ahh, summertime is here again!  This can be an enjoyable, relaxing time of year unless you are a single parent and your children are too old for daycare.  Then it’s:  ‘Now that school is out what will the kids do for the next two months?’  Well, with no money for day camps and no family nearby who could take kids all day, we had to make our own plans.

Friday, July 8, 2011

July Holiday's

With vacation, 4th and July, and trying to catch up from said vacation and holiday I am just not on my game. I realized I forgot to post July's holidays so here ya go, some fun and unusual things for you to celebrate the rest of the month.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Man Cave: Combatting the Evil Media

Dads are incompetent idiots. Casual sex with multiple partners is OK. Murder is justified, as long as you are revenging another murder. Cheating on a partner is fine, as long as you think you are about to break up anyway.

At least that's what my television taught me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cake Batter Ice Cream

Ice Cream and summer go hand in hand in our house, and I LOVE  homemade ice cream. Cake batter ice cream is one of Jessi's favorite flavors, and we wanted to make ice cream for her Graduation party. I went sleuthing for a good recipe: this one was a huge hit. I have made this twice now and it was great both times. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wallawa Lake, Oregon

I had an amazing week with my family! We went up to Wallawa Lake, Oregon and had a great time hiking, swimming, paddle boating, playing games and eating. It's a fun destination if your looking for a new place to go.