Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some Christmas Crafts

     Here are some of our outdoor themed Christmas decorations. In the first picture I have to give Pinterest credit for the idea...actually ideas, because it was 2 ideas merged into 1. I was trying to find a new and fun way to display our Christmas cards we receive instead of hanging them on a door or wall or putting them on top of the entertainment center. I found the idea of hanging the cards on a fishing pole and we just happen to have a few fishing poles hanging on our walls (more about those in a later post).
      Next I had to figure out a way of hanging the cards on the fishing pole. I found the idea of painting clothespins white, then painting red candy cane stripes on them and then I added some glitter paint to make them sparkle. I think next year we might string some twine through the fishing pole guides to make it easier to hang the cards.

     I've already shared this one with you, but I want to share it again because it's so easy! We bought the biggest fishing bobbers we could find and put an ornament hook on the top hook of the bobber. We have had a lot of people compliment our bobber ornaments. It's funny when they say "Those bobbers look real." and then we say "They are."
   If you've seen a Bass Pro Christmas sale flyer advertising their Christmas activities, you've probably seen the next one in the daily craft section. Another bobber with an ornament hook attached to the bottom bobber hook and then some fuzz glued to his "hat" and "face" along with some eyes and a nose.

     The bobber Santa led to an idea for bobber snowman (bobbers come in very handy for Christmas decorations). The tricky part was hooking the 3 different sized bobbers together using their own hooks. It's hard to see his pipe cleaner arms in this photo but you can see his pipe cleaner scarf and his fuzzy ball eyes, nose and buttons.

     I hope this gave you some Christmas craft ideas. This will probably be the last post until after Christmas so have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bass Pro Christmas

If you've never gone to the Bass Pro Shops Christmas village, you need to. This is the Denver store from the top floor looking down.

They didn't have as much going on it seemed like. It was still fun though and I got in a fight with the camera so there weren't many pictures taken.

There are shooting games, race cars, train, monster trucks, crafts and drawings. They also have treats for sale. Those cinnamon pecans are my weakness, I can smell them through the entire store!

 There is also a carousel which is a lot of fun for kids. I kind of wish we had a smaller kid to take with us so I could have ridden.
 Since our godkids are too old for Santa, we didn't go through the line for Santa. If you do I, go get your Santa pass first! Sometimes the passes aren't for a couple hours wait so it's better to go get your pass and do some shopping while you wait for your turn with Santa.

 Of course there are also the regular Bass Pro fun like the aquarium.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Is Saved! We have a tree topper!

     This year when we took out the Christmas decorations, the Angel that has been on top of our tree for years had broken wings. I had that angel before I met my husband so I wasn't surprised they were broken. After searching for a new tree topper, we discovered we didn't want to pay that much money for something that we didn't like. So I decided, it can't be that hard to make a snowman tree topper. I was wrong. It took me all day and I'm pretty proud of him. It took 2 tries for his body and 3 tries for his arms. This year he is a fisherman, next year he might be a hunter.

     Here is a close up of his hat. I've started experimenting with tying flies so I thought it would be really easy to make some flies for his hat. I didn't tie these flies on hooks, just some wire I have for jewelry making. Today I learned that tying flies on wire that moves if you pull on it too hard is really hard.

      I made him a fishing scarf out of some fish fabric I have left over from making some curtains. Next time he's a fisherman, I think I'm going to make him a fishing vest.

 I had some leaf shaped buttons so I decided he needed them.
      Making a fishing pole was a little harder than I thought it would be. First I had to figure out what to make it out of. A skewer, an old button, a piece of a toothpick, a piece of string and a tiny fishing lure were the materials we came up with.
Here is the reel:

 Here is the rod part:

 Here is my snowman on top of our tree. I'm a little too short to put him on straight without knocking the tree over so he is going to sit up there crooked like that until my husband comes home and can fix him. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Favorite Holiday

     Sorry about the long break! My brain went on vacation while we were getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating. This winter I plan on doing some decorating themed posts and since I love Christmas decorations so much I decided to start with some outdoor themed Christmas decorations we have. These are only a few and I'll share some more of my favorite ornaments later.
     First, I will warn you that I LOVE Christmas. It is my favorite holiday. I love the smells, the lights, the decorations, the foods, the parties and getting together with my family. We have celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve in my family since I was a baby. Now, everybody comes to my house Christmas Eve for the fun and we try to plan a lot of fun for one day. I get mad when people accuse me of liking Christmas because of the gifts. I like finding gifts for people, but if there were no gifts, I'd still love Christmas. We live on a dead end, very narrow street that not many people know about. At Christmas, you can see our house from over a mile away. From Thanksgiving until the beginning of January, our street gets a lot of night traffic with people coming to drive by our house because they saw it from the highway. We always know they are coming to look at our lights because they drive by really really slow, turn around and drive back really really slow. It's a lot of fun to watch for the people looking at Christmas lights.
      This year we added some of the blow up yard decorations. We have said for years we would never ever ever buy any blow up yard decorations because during the day, they are just a pile of fabric on the ground and if the wind blows just right, it moves them. On a shopping trip before Thanksgiving, we walked through the Christmas decoration/garden center of the store and saw the best blow up ever. The next 2 times we went to the store we laughed at the blow up every time and the 3rd time we bought it and then laughed that we said we'd never ever ever buy a blow up Christmas yard decoration and there it was in our basket. It's hilarious!!!
     Here is the first view of our new yard decoration:

     Here is the second view:

     Santa pops out!!! I still giggle when I see him pop out! Yes, during the day he's a pile of fabric in the yard and sometime the wind makes him not work quit right, but he's still a lot of fun.
     After Santa was set up, my husband and I decided we needed to go get the other camping themed blow up Christmas yard decoration so we added the tent, rain deer and campfire blow up to complete our campground themed yard. Aren't they cute?

      Here is what they look like lit up at night:

      Now some inside decorations. How many of you have a fisherman Nut Cracker?

      Here are some of our tree ornaments. This one makes me laugh because it doesn't seem appropriate to put on your family Christmas tree:

 This one is new this year. My husband found it the day after he said "We need to find some more girl themed outdoor decorations."

      This one is also new this year. I hope his antlers don't brake too easy.

 One of my favorite ornaments is homemade and it is really easy to make. It is a large bobber that we added an ornament hook to.

      We have a few more homemade ornaments to share and some more ornaments we have bought that are my favorites. Luckily we have a big enough tree that we can keep adding more every year because we find new ones we "have" to have every year........and a big yard, too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Caught" Some Wildlife Finally

     We originally bought the game camera to catch the bear that likes to poop in our driveway. About a month ago we moved the game camera to the back yard to see if we could catch the deer that has been leaving tracks back there. We have only been catching the neighbors, trash trucks, my husband, myself and the maillady coming and going. We haven't checked the camera in a long time because there hasn't been anything exciting on it in awhile. Last night we decided to pull the card and check it. This time we saw a firetruck (no lights), some crazy people riding our ATVs around our property (I was 1 of those crazy people) and then we saw this!

      The year is messed up on our camera again so it was actually taken October 28, 2012 and 4:04 AM. There were a couple pictures taken during the day of some neighbors and then that night, this picture was taken!

     He walked through the yard later that night! We've seen does cruising around the neighborhood during the day but we haven't seen a buck and we weren't expecting to see one that big! I hope we get to see him and some of his friends again soon!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Camping With Pets

     Pets have always been a big part of my life since I was little. If you look through my old family photos, you will see our family dog on all of our camping trips. It takes some planning and some patience to take your pets on a camping trip so I came up with some advice.
We don't use cables for the dogs, not because we think cables are bad. We don't use them because we have 2 dogs which would mean 2 cables.That means 2 cables that they would get tangled up in and 2 cables you have to untangle from each other once the the dogs are so tangled, they can't move. This year we found these cool fences. In these pictures there are 2 fences together. It's perfect for both dogs to hang out in together. They are a little awkward to store for the drive but my husband has figured out a way to hang them on the back of the motorhome. My dogs love them because they don't get tangled up in a cable and it is similar to their home routine of going to the fenced yard for potty breaks. Our lab, Kaos, can be trusted off of a leash and out of the fence if she's supervised. If she is out of the fence (both camping and at home) she will go into the fence to do her business and then come back out to continue what she was doing. Kaos also knows she can jump the fence with little effort, but she won't because she knows she's supposed to stay in the fence.

     The fences work great while we are fishing and have the dogs at the fishing spot. If it is a small area we are fishing at, we can use just 1 fence. On this trip we had enough room for 2 fences. It was warm in the sun so we set up an umbrella and a blanket. When your pets are outside with you, you have to think about what they need. If you are hot sitting in the sun, they are too except they have a fur coat they can't take off. Make sure they have a place to stay cool and have plenty of water. We added a blanket to the shade so they could get comfy. They were happy to sit and enjoy being outside with us.

     To make meal time easier, I portion out their food in baggies at home. When it is time to eat, we don't have to measure out food and we also don't have to worry about if we have enough dog food with us. My dogs are 10 and 8 1/2 so they are on medicines for their joints, allergies and arthritis. Right now I put their medicine in a baggie and put it in a larger Zip-loc baggie with their portioned baggies of food.I also make sure to pack plenty of chewies and treats. Try to keep with their normal feeding routine while you're camping. If they eat dinner at 5:00 p.m. every day, then try to give them their dinner at the same time while you're camping. If they get Dentastix after dinner, bring some Dentastix for after dinner.

     Water is very important to both you and your pets. If you're drinking a lot of water during a warm day, your dog should be, too. We have a red plastic water dish that stays in the motorhome but can be placed outside in the fence area if we are outside. We always make sure the water dish stays full. In the motorhome we put the water dish under the table so the dogs can get to it easily and so we don't keep tripping over it and spilling it. When we are out on the ATVs we have cloth dishes made for dogs and traveling. They store easy on the ATVs with a canteen of water for them.
     You have to have patience with your dogs whether they are new to camping or have been with you on trips for years. You have to remember even though you try to keep their normal home routine, the routine is still different so they are going to have their moments of craziness. You also have to work with your dog when they are new to camping. Kaos' first trip went.....well, chaotic. If she was left alone for 2 seconds she had this annoying whine that could break windows a mile away. She also wouldn't eat much, got distracted very easily and was a crazy lab. Even after all her chaotic craziness during that trip, we knew she was going to be a good camping dog when the first night she started woofing queitly to wake us up. It sounded like a baby bear going through our stuff outside our tent. My husband put Kaos on the bed with me and he went out to discover someone's golden retriever was the one outside our tent. When she first heard the noises, she didn't start barking which could have made things bad, she woke us up quietly. To prove what a good camping dog she is, here is a picture of her at the table in the motorhome with a bunch of raw sausage right in front of her and she is pretending to ignore it. How many dogs do you know that you would trust to do that?

      Kaos is our good girl and Sasha is our princess. She can't be trusted to be free and if she's tired of walking, she will sit and not move so you have to carry her. Sasha isn't as trustworthy as Kaos, but she is still good at camping. We used to leave her at home with family while we took Kaos with us because we thought she didn't like camping. If you let her sit in your chair and make sure she is inside the motorhome when the fire starts popping, she does great. She likes laying in the durt in the shade and going on rides (especially on an ATV).

     Another tip I have is to help make bedtime easier. My girls are pretty spoiled so we fold out the table bed and put their beds and blankets on. We bring their beds from home to help them sleep better. If Princess Sasha isn't comfy or gets cold, she gets in our bed and then we aren't comfy anymore. It is a little bit of a pain to bring Kaos' big bed, but it is worth it for her to be comfortable at night so she sleeps good.

     After a camping trip, my dogs are always exhausted. If we go on an ATV camping trip, it takes the dogs 2 or 3 days to fully recover. Keep a close eye on your pets when you get back home. If they act more than tired, a trip to the vet should be scheduled. We have to keep a close eye on Sasha with her back problems and Kaos with her allergies and ear issues. If they have any issues with any of those after a camping trip, they go see our favorite vet. Since we keep a close eye on their medical issues during a trip, we hardly ever have to go to the vet after a trip now which makes us and the dogs very happy.

     I hope some of my tips will help you and your pets enjoy a fun camping trip together. I love taking my girls with us and miss them a lot if they don't go with us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

4 Bites, 4 Species

     I can't believe I didn't post the pictures of the fish from my birthday trip! The water was really cold so we didn't catch as many as we usually do at that lake, but there is a fun story behind the ones we did catch. We were fishing the river next to a bridge and my jig caught the bridge. I was about to cut the line when my husband told me to let him try. A few seconds after he handed me his rod, the bobber went under water. I was surprised to see a crappie when it came to shore. Since I was in charge of the rod at the time of catch, I got credit for it.
     A few minutes later my husband caught this nice cat fish on his rod.

I decided to give up on the lures and jigs and switch to a worm and bobber like my husband so he handed me his rod while he went to get me a bobber. Well, a few seconds later, his bobber was under water again. A nice drum became fish #3 for the day. Too bad he flopped in the dirt a little before he posed for his picture.

      With my newly rigged rod, bite #4 was a little bluegill. Bite #5 was also a bluegill. We were hoping we could keep catching different species every time we had a bite, but we were still excited about catching fish.

      On the last morning we went back to the river (because that's where we were catching fish) and I made sure my husband didn't catch the only catfish of the weekend. It's hard to see, but my catfish had really nice markins on his sides.

     Only 6 fish for the long weekend, but we still had a lot of fun. I also got my jig back from the bridge which was great since it was one of my new jig heads and bodies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

My husband carved this pumpkin for me for Halloween.
Isn't it great?!

The designs on the other sides of the pumpkins are reflecting off the wall.

The Bass

Deer Tracks

The Duck

The Antlers

Happy Halloween Everybody!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Girl's Birthday In The Outdoors

     Last weekend was my birthday camping trip. We had a lot of fun and I think it was one of my favorite birthdays ever. The girls and I posed for a picture after we set up camp.
      My husband let me open a gift a couple days early so that I could the gift during the trip. My girls helped me open my gift.

      Look what I got!! I will admit I'm spoiled. That red shiny tube was supposed to change the color of the didn't really work.

      During our trip we had a visitor come through camp. He didn't stay long but it was nice of him to come visit.
      There was another girl celebrating her birthday last weekend. My little Sasha turned 10 so we celebrated with some Pup Sundaes (for the dogs, we didn't want any lactose free beef flavored ice cream).

      You can kind of see the ice cream on the top of her nose. She was having a great birthday, too.

Big (and younger) sister Kaos also enjoyed the Pup Sundae.

     On my birthday I opened my last gift but couldn't try it out until I got home. Part of it was those bands you put on your rolling pin so you roll dough out to an even thickness - I didn't get a picture of those for some reason. The other part were these!

      I can't wait to get to try them! My hands are going to stay nice and warm when we're riding in the cold weather. I wish they made them for feet, too.