Monthly Archives: June 2010

Digital Scrapbook Freebie – Sketches 2 Life #10

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Can you tell that we are on "stay-cation"?

This year, because all of the kiddoes had different events that they are attending over the summer, we decided that Lar needed to take his vacation time at HOME! Not too mention, we have been spending most of our extra monies on landscaping and gardening items for the new house. We still have a long way to go with the landscaping, but a little here and a little there never hurt anyone!

As you have seen from some of our previous posts, we are cachers… geocachers to be exact. In this year long journey, our goal was to hit 100 caches in one year. We didn’t quite hit our goal(April 21 was our 1-year anniversary), but are still working hard towards that 100 mark. After this morning, we hit the 93 mark… ALMOST THERE!!!

We decided to hike around Willow Lake in Prescott this morning… and then took the kiddoes to Jack in the Box for a much needed lunch for the hungry troops and then headed home. We ended up “caching-in” on 5 caches around the lake and one in the Granite Dells of Prescott. There were so many cool sights around Willow Lake – Ducks, snap dragons… there was even an old stone fireplace that was the ONLY thing left standing… I tried to research Willow Lake to see who occupied there. There was an interesting sign about Glassford Hill which can be seen in the distance.

Here is some info that I found online on Wikipedia:  Colonel William A. Glassford traveled the area in the 1880s and helped build a system of 27 heliograph stations to monitor the movements of Apache Indians, U.S. military troops and civilians. Glassford Hill was a part of that early communications system.

Tomorrow it’s just me and the little 3. Lar and Grif are heading out to the cub scout day camp and Shelby Lynn is still gone in Tucson until Saturday.

I have a new “summer-time” digital design that I am finishing up. and we (and the pups) will be heading out tomorrow… maybe a picnic…maybe a kids movie… don’t know for certain yet. I am THRILLED to be on a mini-vacation at home.

Another day of Caching

Kris and Berlyn finding the Chuck Wagon geocache

Lar has been off of work on vacation, or should I say “staycation” this week. we decided to load up the kids and the doggies and head out to find a few new geocaches in our area. Shelby left last night for her Rainbow Girl Grand Assembly in Tucson, so I am short ‘handed” the big sister.

The adventure began, stopping at Circle K for a few sodas… their water was out, so the adventure REbegan heading to Maverik for a few sodas and a snack for Berlyn. We headed north to a few caches north of Paulden.

Off to Jake’s Claw TB Hotel to pick up a travel bug to move to a new location today.

Then, we headed off to Industry meets Nature. Beautiful views… cash was WAY too hard woth the 4 little ones and the 3 dogs…

We passed on the travel bug to Chuck Wagon. Berlyn managed to find this cache (It is always GREAT when the little ones accomplish something.

El was the first to spot this MICRO from the woodpecker series #87

Across the highway, we headed down Old Highway 89 to Sullivan’s View – Sadly, Grif and I couldn’t find it.

2 more to go today… 2 from the woodpecker series. (#88 and #87) – We successfully found both of those. (Elly was so proud for finding one all by herself!!!!)

All in all, it was a GREAT morning geocaching with the little ones. (aside from not finding 2 of the 6 that we went on).

Our tips with kids for geocaching article did end up being posted on both and on and is in today’s newsletter for them.

For more information on geocaching – a GPS style treasure hunting visit –

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Geocaching with Kids – Tips and Tricks

In this day and age of technology, it is hard to persuade kids to get outside. I know this for a fact! We have 5 kids in our family ages 11, 8, 6, 4 and 2 who love playing on their computers, wii and gameboys. (My husband is a Network Administrator and I am a digital graphic and web designer, so computers are our life.)

A year ago, in order to both get additional exercise for our homeschooled family and find a family activity that was not only fun, but also a way to get our kids ‘thinking outside the everyday box”, we discovered geocaching from our friend of many years, The Outdoor Princess. With a family of this size, it was hard at first to organize ourselves to get going with any activity. In the last year, to date, our family has placed 5 and found and logged 83 caches.   Here are a few tips to get your family started in geocaching.

1. When searching for caches online, find ones that are not on main busy roads. It is much too hard to get your kids out of the car and search for the geocache safely.

2. The Caches are ranked on the website 1 to 5, 1 being the easiest. Only take the kids out on caches that are ranked 1 to 2.  Success is the key. If they can’t find it, it will no longer be fun.

3. Print out each cache that you are planning on going to and put each sheet in folder. They are easier to keep track of in the car and to keep track of after you finish.

4. 3-5 caches is about the limit for 2 year olds. (Trust me on that!)

5.  Always think ahead, carry hats, sun screen, extra batteries for the GPS, a camera or 2 and bottled water. We have a canvas bag that we load up with the essentials to take with us. Don’t forget a SNACK!!! Nothing is more trouble than a hungry 4 year old. If you are going to be gone for a long time, pack a picnic lunch.

6. Before you jump in to find a cache, make sure that your kids each get a turn at carrying the GPS (they will not break them and it makes the experience more fun for them.)

7. Some kids can find geocaches better than others. Let the little ones look first. It is not a game against each other. Your family is on the same team!

8. Kids are smarter than you think. They will follow clues, sometimes better than adults. My 8-year-old discovered that the names of the caches are sometimes clue – If something is called a honeybee, then it is probably hidden near something yellow and black.

9. You never know what you are going to come across. Keep that camera readily available.

10. To get started you do NOT need a $500 GPS. We picked one up for less than $60 and it has lasted us a full year and is still going strong.

11. When traveling on vacation, make use to check out the area that you are going to. On the way, there are bound to be a few that they kids will enjoy to find, also a chance to stretch your legs.

12. Take photos of every place that you go. I guarantee that your 6 year old will have an adventure story to go along with each place.

13. Don’t pick flowers! You never know what they are… and a 2 year old itching will end the day.

14. Bring some little knickknacks to exchange. A dollar store bag of army men go a long way.

15. Have FUN! This can be a GREAT family experience! It has been for our family.

Postcard Exchange Program

My friend Kim is AWESOME. She just emailed over to me a program called It is a website that you register and send postcards to others. You can send up to 5 and as yours arrive, your name will be put in the “pool” to receive some. We are VERY excited to get started. Out first names are from the US, Finland and Russia. Sending those off tomorrow!!!

Super Batch of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I LOVE pumpkin bread… especially when I am making something to take to a potluck. Tonight is the annual Raingutter Regatta for our scout group. Lar and I are hosting it at our house.I am so thankful that we have the room to do it too!!

Here is my recipe for my pumpkin bread (this make 4 mini loaves and 2 large loaves. I have 2 Pampered Chef Clay large loaf pans and 1 of the 4 pan mini onemy PC Gal, Crystal HOOKED me up!!) – You will need a LARGE mixer for this recipe!! I have a KitchenAide that I use.

Preheat oven to 350.

  • 5-1/2 c Flour
  • 1T Baking Soda
  • 2T cinnamon
  • 1-1/2t salt
  • 1-1/2t nutmeg

Mix together and set aside.

  • 4-1/2c Sugar
  • 1-1/2c Oil

Combine in your mixer.

  • 6 eggs – Add one at a time and fully combine before you add the next one.
  • Once combined, add in pumpkin (29 oz can)

Slowly stir in flour mixture plus 1c water (warm)

Lastly… add one bag of semisweet chocolate chips. mix until fully combined.

Divide between your bread loaf pans (fill until 2/3 full) Bake at 350 for about 75 minutes (if you have all baking at the same time) or until the bread “springs” back when you touch it.

And YES, you can FREEZE this bread for up to 3 months (although, it doesn’t last that long at our house!!)

Library Summer Program

I LOVE taking the kids to the summer program. It seems though that we are busier during the summer with less school than during the year when all we do is school …

Every week, local businesses sponsor programs for the kids at the library. Ronald McDonald was here on Monday. WHEW it was a fun, energetic and LOUD performance, and the kids LOVED it.

We have formed a homeschool website for all of the chino Valley and Paulden homeschoolers too… All of the library programs are listed on there.