Thursday, July 28, 2011

gram is here

the following week gram and papa p came up. dad helped out at the camp for the week, which was also mackenzies camp week, and mom stayed the kids and i. it was a whirlwind of a week as i had also committed to doing VBS. at the time i didnt realize it was the same time mom would be here.

everything worked out though and mom was able to stay home with jori in the mornings while i did VBS with the big kids. i loved that mom and jori had some special time together and that she was able to get a good morning nap in each day. when we would come home she was just so happy. i know it was because she got some one on one time and just soaked it all up.

gram spent some time with garret reading to him from an airplane book. he sure soaked up the special time too.

gram did lots of fun things with the kids but i never got my camera out for any of the other things. i just enjoyed having her here as well. on wednesday i got a sitter and i left all 4 kids at home so mom and i could have some time after vbs. it was a lovely afternoon of eating girly foods, shopping at craft stores and book stores and shoe stores. all the places i would have a hard time going to with the kids.

thanks for all your help last week mom. your the best. we all love and miss you. wish you lived around the corner and we could see you everyday.

animal week

its time to get back to posting about all the fun we have been having doing "school" this summer here at home. the week after cooking week (look back a few weeks if you are interested in some really yummy and fun to make recipes) was ANIMAL week.

on monday we headed to the library as usual. i told the kids they could pick which ever animal they wanted to learn about. i pointed them in the direction of the animal books and helped them pick. they could each pic two books about the animal they wanted to learn about. kenzie was with us too, so she picked out some books as well.

Brenna picked elephants, raelyn picked snakes, garret picked scorpions, and kenzie picked fireflies. oh well that only one of the pics was really an animal. :)

when we got home we drew names to see which order we would go in to learn about the animals.

tuesday was brennas day so we learned about elephants. i wrote some questions on our chalk board and they had to listen for the answers as we read. the questions were: where does it live? what does it eat? what does it look like? and any fun facts they wanted to add. after reading and learning lots of cool things about elephants i had a little coloring sheet.

wednesday was kenzies day so we learned about fireflies. we read books and answered all the same questions. we made our own fireflies out of construction paper and added glow sticks. i told the kids we could stay up late and catch fireflies that night. they were so excited. since it doesnt get dark here until almost 9 i had them all cleaned up and in their jammies and then we just waited for it to get dark so we could see the first firefly.

the kids had a great time and so did kenzie and i. none of us had ever caught fireflies before. they are super easy to catch but hard to keep in the jar. they all kept wanting to fly right back out. dont blame them :)

after they all said goodnight to the bugs we let them go. i dont normally do things like that. especially when im so tired and ready for bed myself by 9 oclock, but i am so glad we did. the kids still talk about it.

thursday we learned about scorpions. we read our books, answered our questions, and did a coloring sheet.

friday daddy came and surprised the kids and took them out to camp for the day. so we didnt get to learn about snakes but i dont think they minded. they loved spending time with their dad. this also gave kenzie and i a special day to just hang out. jori and i took her out to lunch at a place she kept wanting to go to while she was here and then we went to a few stores and did a little shopping. it was a really nice time for the three :) of us. good sister bonding time!

so that was our animal week. our kids sure do love animals and insects and all of gods creation. i love being able to tell them who created all the things they love to learn about and watch and discover.

long view ranch

most of you who read this know that Dave and i moved to east tennessee about 7 years ago to help run a christian camp his parents started. the camp is called Long View Ranch. each summer we host week long camps where kids from all over can come and play paintball, ride horses, learn archery, go mountain biking, go waterskiing, tube the river, do crafts in the workshop and most importantly learn about God and the plan he has for each of the kids lives. His eternal plan for them. Long View wants to give kids "a camp experience that lasts for the long view of eternity."

doesn't that sound amazing! it is! the goal is to give the kids the best, most energetic, fun experience with the activities and in doing so, gain their attention and respect as we share the gospel with them. some kids have never heard the good news about what the Lord has done for them and are hearing it all for the first time. others come from christian homes and learn how to put their faith into action while they are here.
doesnt that sound amazing? it is! the food is just as awesome as all the fun activities they get to do. each meal is home cooked to perfection loaded with butter and sugar and there is always a dessert served after each meal, even lunch. if you spend any amount of time at long view you are sure to go home with your shorts fitting a little snugger.
doesnt that sound amazing? it is!
but it is also one of the hardest times for our family.... dont get me wrong it is an amazing place where God is always working and shaping his people. however it means really long days for both dave and i. really long days that are spent APART from each other. before we had children we were able to serve at long view together, but as our family started growing that became harder and harder and it was evident that i needed to be home with the kids and dave needed to be at camp full time.

camp is about 30 minutes from our house. dave gets up super early and goes to bed super late so he just stays out at the camp. even if he came home at night the kids would all be in bed. we all miss each other terribly! we are in the final countdown of when we all get to be together again. just friday and saturday and then we get our daddy back. YIPPIE!!

this year has not been as hard as years past. the kids are getting older and i tried to be diligent to have things planned to do to keep all the kids and myself sane. i know the lord has been with me every single day that dave and i have been apart. single parenting is so hard. i am so blessed to not have to do it on a regular basis. i also had mackenzies help this year too and we all really enjoyed that.

so camp is awesome but it is also a really hard time. we are almost through though and i thank the lord for what he has done both at the camp this year and even here at the widmaier house.

Long View also does custom retreats for any size group. you get to pick what you want to do, how long you want to stay and what will work best with your budget. any group is welcome, if you are a boy scout, mother/ daughter group, father/ son group, school field trip, whatever we would love to have you out at long view. you can click on the link in the first paragraph to take you to our website.


the boy cousins enjoyed playing BeyBlades while we were together on the 4th of july. it is a spinning top game. some yells let it rip and you pull your top off a special string. the last top still spinning wins. it was fun watching the boys have a good time together. even the big boys (the dads) played.

thankful for
the cool rain
fun games
yells of laughter and victory
watching dave and steve have a good time with their boys

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

vbs week

this week i am teaching a second grade class at our church for VBS. i have not taught in years and really felt the lord tugging on my heart to do so. VBS is really not my thing. i get a little nervous, a get really tired. excuses, is the day we present the gospel, the way to become a christian to these kids. i am nervous. i want to be able to answer their questions, i dont want to mess it up, i want to present it clearly, i want my heart and their heart ready to deliver the good news and hear the good news.

this morning i got up and read a devo from the Proverbs 31 website. it was just what i needed. isnt is awesome how God speaks to us. He gives us just what we need when we need it. i hope you will read this too and be blessed by it today.

Friday, July 15, 2011

friday menu

breakfast: banana cinnamon french toast
lunch: turkey bacon wafflewiches
dinner: meatball subs and apple sauce

so yummy. the loved all the steps to making french toast. dont think we have ever made it at home together so it was their first time seeing being part of the process.
this was my FAVORITE lunch. these were so good. we got all the stuff to make some more again.
we also made the frozen apple slushies. again they were a hit! i plan on making these again while my mom is here. i think she will really enjoy them as well.

for dinner we made meatball subs and had apple sauce. easy dinner, that is for sure. the meatballs were just frozen ones and we dumped them in sauce while they warmed up.

as the kids were going to bed last friday they were so excited to see what we were going to make for breakfast.... i was happy to say CEREAL :) but i was more happy that enjoyed cooking week so much. at first when i said we were going to have a week all about cooking, garret asked why. i told him learning to cook was just as important as learning anything else.

thankful that he Lord has given me so much patience and energy to do this "school" thing with the kids this summer. summer is tough for me. it is hard when dave is fully involved with camp. every year in the past i have dreaded this time of year. only by gods grace i feel like i am actually surviving this year, and not only that but thriving as well. thank you sweet jesus. i couldnt do it without you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

thursdays menu

breakfast: pancakes
lunch: quesadilla faces
dinner: broccoli cheese soup and fish sticks

all three kids helped with the pancake making, pouring, and flipping.
lunch was quesadillas with veggies and fruit where they could create their own funny face. they learned how to wash, peel and slice their veggies. they loved peeling the carrots.
dinner was broccoli cheese soup. i was surprised by this choice. they all helped cut the broccoli and onions and took turns stirring and adding ingredients on the stove. we also cooked up some fish sticks in the oven.

since the recipe only made two servings i bumped everything up a bit and changed a few things around but this is what i kind of followed. sorry i never follow a recipe completely. dave laughs at me.

they all LOVED this dinner. raelyn declared it the "BEST dinner she had ever had in her whole entire life!"
for dessert we had pudding cones: another hit. we used fresh wild blackberries from out at the camp. so yummy.
my kids enjoying their veggies
creativity making things fun to eat and try
watching them learn and grow as we cook together
hearing the joy in their voices when they announce their cooking is wonderful and that we should open a wid kids restaurant called "Wids Place"

Monday, July 11, 2011

wednesdays menu

breakfast: scrambled eggs
lunch: monster sandwiches
dinner: mini stuffed meat loafs

scrambled eggs in a jar- garret did all the egg cracking, they went right into a jar, then we added some milk and salt and pepper, we shook it up and poured it into the pan. he cooked them up and did a great job. i had to keep reminding myself that he can do this and just let him do it. he did awesome. i was proud. he was proud. and we all loved eating them.
lunch was so yummy... monster sandwiches. they are like little pizza pockets with funny faces on them. kids loved making them and eating them.

dinner was a special one. we picked all of dads favorite things to eat and made it all just for him. this was going to be daves last night of eating at home for about 4 weeks while camp is going on full time.

we had mini meat loaf stuffed with cheese, corn on the cob, onion rings and a toss salad. the kids assisted with all parts of the dinner. garret even put his hands in the meat and made the meat loafs.

a yummy day for sure.

a wonderful kitchen to cook in
fun new recipes to try
a great family dinner with dad
fresh corn on the cob

cooking week

this past week was COOKING week at the wids. monday we were still celebrating the 4th with family so on tuesday we went to the library and got some kids cook books and some books about cooking before there was electricity. the above cookbook was a gift from mom last summer. it was by far our favorite.

tuesday the kids looked through our books and decided what we wanted to make for breakfast lunch and dinner for the rest of the week.

they learned about making a menu and garret helped me write our a shopping list.

going grocery shopping is my least favorite thing to do, especially with the kids but i knew this was all part of the process of cooking. i wanted to teach them the importance of having a list and shopping and paying for our food. kenzie was awesome and stayed home with the two littlest and i took the bigger to the store. it wasnt as bad i had thought :)

i will share our menu here, sometimes that is the hardest part for me. coming up with something to cook.

tuesday was a pretty simple day:
breakfast: cold cereal- garret poured the milk for everyone
lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches- they each used a knife and made their own sandwiches. even brenna. she was so proud and they all did a really great job
dinner: chicken in the crock pot with rice and carrots

the rest of our yummy week coming up soon.

thankful for:
a husband that works so hard so we can afford our groceries
fun cookbooks with lots of pictures
kids that loved learning how to cook
kenzies extra helping hands
watching my kids try new things and being proud of themselves
time with cousins
our independence
the soldiers that did fight and are still fighting for our freedom
camp staff and campers
friends that god placed in my life
the feeling of peace that has only come from god, that i can actually "survive" this summer with dave being at camp full time. never felt this way before in the summer. SO thankful. God is good.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the whole gang

this was the whole gang that celebrated the 4th together... well i guess not the whole gang, this picture doesnt include dave and i, steve and katie, or debbie..... we had a total of 22 people all together for two days. fun times. loud times. unforgettable times.
this picture is of all the grandkids... minus meghan who is at basic training in south carolina. we are so proud of her and thought of her often this past weekend.

4th of july 2011

celebration on the 3rd...

daves brother and family decided to come for a quick visit before camp hit full swing. they live in nashville so it wasnt to far of a drive. they arrived on the 3rd. we enjoyed a great picnic dinner and then headed to the pond to go fishing.

there were enough polls for all the kids to fish. daves brother has three kids all about the same ages as our kids to the cousins had a great time fishing together.

grandma kay with the two littlest cousins... jori and ruthie
brennas big catch! a bass.... brenna makes me smile to big. she put her thumb right in that fishes mouth and held on to it. growing up i was the only one out of me and my brothers that would hold a fish! thats my girl. :)
after fishing we laid jori down and headed out to the basketball court at the camp and lit off some fireworks. we started with sparklers. i always loved the forth of july as a kid. loved the sparklers and fireworks.
this is the first time in many years that we have not had a camp group here on the 4th. so that means this was the first time in many years that we got to celebrate the 4th with daddy. that made my heart happy. i love doing things with the kids that i loved from when i was a kid.
dave went crazy buying fireworks so we had quite a show. in east tn you can buy all kinds of crazy big fireworks. we all had a great time. garret loved picking out fireworks with dave and then having him there to light them off together. garret was so busy that night i didnt get a pic of him, but he sure did enjoy himself.

flying with daddy

dave is a pilot. he earned his private pilots license a few years back and really enjoys renting a plane from time to time and enjoying the view. it had been a really long time since he had flown and was really missing it.
list past week, he had some time before camp got crazy to take the plane up for a little while. he took all the kids, garret, raelyn, brenna and mackenzie with him.
they were only flying about 45 minutes but got to see our house and the camp. below is a picture of our house with the trampoline in the backyard. pretty cool.
im always a bit nervous while he flies but he is a great pilot. i also know these are the kind of things the kids will remember for a long time.

math week in review

last week was MATH week here at the wid kids summer school. the kids decided it was not near as fun as science week, but i still think we had a good time. i didnt want to just focus on addition/subtraction and math facts so i tried to come up with some fun things they would like to do that had to do with math.

monday we went to the library again and exchanged our science books for our math books.
we came home and we talked about SYMMETRY-
we found symmetry in the alphabet, in shapes, in designs, in people and in nature.
i printed out some pictures of butterflies for them to color and we went outside and found leaves that had symmetry.
tuesday we learned about measuring:
we read a fun book and then i gave each of them a ruler and a tape measure. then i made a "measure- treasure hunt" and they had to go around the house measuring the lengths of items around the house. we talked about how they could find 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch on the ruler and made sure they were measuring things exactly. we talked about how important it is for daddy when he is building, to make sure he measures things exactly.
tuesday evening we picked up gram and kenzie from the airport :)

wednesday we learned about time:
gram and kenzie helped us make a giant clock and wrote down what we did each hour of the day. we talked about am and pm, minute hand and hour hand, and played a game with the clock we made. garret has been learning about time so he can pretty much tell time now all on his own.

thursday we learned about fractions:
kenzie helped teach the lesson. she said fractions were her favorite so i let her take over :)
in order to reinforce fractions we read a book and made our own pizzas!

the pic above cracks me up... i gave them some work sheets to work on too. dont they look excited ! ha ha .... oh well. they really werent grumpy, just looks like it in this picture.
it was the first time i had ever made a pizza crust. we bought a packaged mix and it turned out so yummy. the kids had a blast smoothing out their own crust.
yummy pizzas already to be cut into pieces and learn about fractions again... and then of course eat!
Friday we learned about money and how to earn it:
we learned what each coin was worth and read some books about how to earn money. we talked about saving, spending and tithing the money we earned. we painted piggy banks.
and we set up a table in the front yard to sell fresh eggs from our chickens, lemonade and cookies we made. we didnt have many customers as we are on a pretty busy road. hard for people to stop. but the kids had a great time and we did have a few customers. we even got to talk about what to do if your business isnt doing well. :) a teachable moment.
we had to take gram back to the airport on thursday but we got to KEEP mackenzie with us. she will be us until her week of camp which starts on the 17th. she has been a great help so far and the kids just love having her here. i am really enjoying her being here as well.