Browsing Category

Family Adventures

Family Adventures

Enchanted Forest

After leaving Salem, OR we spent the first part of the day at Enchanted Forest in Turner, OR. Enchanted Forest was amazing and our kids loved it. Silver Falls would have been amazing if we had the energy to go for a hike. We ended our day in Portland, OR at our hotel swimming and getting to bed at a decent hour.

Family Adventures

Prehistoric Gardens

We drove a lot today. We left Klamath, CA and drove for 1.5 hours to Prehistoric Gardens in Port Orford, Oregon. Basically across the street we discovered Arizona Beach, which is a beautiful and clean beach with almost nobody there. We had the beach to ourselves. After leaving the beach came the 4.5 hour drive to Salem, Oregon.

Family Adventures

Fern Canyon

Fern Canyon Hiking with my Family

We spent most of today driving. A 4.5 hour drive took about 6.5 hours due to potty breaks and stopping to stretch our legs. We started our day leaving Fort Bragg, CA. Our stops along the way were in Eureka, CA and at Confusion Hill. We hiked around Fern Canyon and then got to our hotel in Klamath, CA in time for a quick swim and some dinner before bed.

Family Adventures

Vlog 2: Waterproof Phone

Vlogging is hard work when you try to stack it on top of an already busy life. The goal of producing two of these videos each week is going to take a lot of work and hopefully, I can stay committed to it.

Vacation is right around the corner and I look forward to being able to step away from work and focus on time with my family. Don’t worry, the vlog will continue over vacation. I plan to enjoy my camera equipment while on this trip.

Blog Family Adventures Parenting Projects

3 Gun Nerf Battle Birthday Party for Liam


Liam’s 5th birthday was quickly approaching and we had no plans. I remember my wife and I sitting on the couch about 2 weeks ago contemplating just having some close family over for pizza or something. Something about that didn’t sit right. I mean it was my first born son’s 5th birthday. That’s kind of a big deal. The idea of getting a bounce house for our backyard sounded horrible. There’s a time and a place for easy entertainment, I kind of wanted to do something fun.

I remembered watching some 3-Gun Competitions on Youtube. 3-Gun Competitions have become really popular over the last few years. This form of shooting sport requires you to go through a course hitting targets while switching between three different types of guns. I began imagining how cool that would be to do in our backyard with Nerf Guns. It was decided that Liam would have an Epic 3 Gun Nerf Battle Birthday Party.


With little actual time to plan this between work and traveling to Seattle for 3 days, I took to Amazon to load up on Nerf arsenal. We didn’t have much, to begin with. Our kids have very few gun-related toys. A year ago I bought four small Nerf guns to my wife and I could battle with the kids, but some of them are too hard to shoot. Today, some of the six-year-old kids even had a hard time with them.

I wanted the backyard to be fun. My wife took to Pinterest and I worked on some ideas of my own. I had a bunch of moving boxes from when we last moved and some wood. We went to Home Depot to buy the wood stakes we used to hold everything up. It took more time to gather and buy everything I needed than it did to set it up. I set up the entire backyard in about 3 hours including painting things camouflage and cutting the wood stakes to size.

List of Nerf Guns & Darts:

The kids had such a great time. Most of my son’s friends are his age with a few of them a year or two older so this was a hit for everybody. My younger son enjoyed it just as much as the bigger kids.

As you can see, the set up was pretty simple. I used a bunch of yard marker sticks I got in a bundle from Home Depot and crossed twine over and around them to simulate razor wire.

The real bottleneck was reloading guns with Nerf darts. I purchased a few extra clips, but the main gun had to be reloaded each time. A couple of parents helped in that process which kept things moving along quickly.

Pool noodles worked great. I just stuck sticks in the ground and slipped the pool noddles over them. I bought these pool noodles.

I had some boxes and boards laying around so I used spray paint to add camo to the boxes and targets to the wood panels. It’s nothing fancy, but for a moment, the boys thought they were in a war zone. I even bought a couple of inflatable tire tubes pool floats that I turned up on their side and made into targets.

The party kept my wife and I pretty busy. I don’t remember standing still for even a moment. I wanted to get more photos of the action taking place, but the sun was kind of at a weird angle and made it hard. With so many kids running around and my focus on them having a good time, I ended up just putting my camera away.

After the somewhat organized portion of the event was over, we handed out little single shooter Nerf Guns that were part of the party favor for each of the kids and they went to battle in the backyard. With plenty of Nerf darts all over the place, there was endless fun to be had.

I have attended a lot of little kid birthday parties and at each one, the Pinata gives after the first few kids. My wife picked out this Avengers Pinata and filled it up with tons of candy. The problem is that this thing would not break. Each kid hit it and then we let Liam at it again, it would not break. I had to hit it as hard as I could with the plastic bat 3-4 times. Next time I will make sure we have a metal bat.

Of course, Liam fell this morning on the playground at church and gave himself a nice goose egg on the forehead. Either he or his brother does that often the morning before a day where many photos will be taken.

Liam’s 5th birthday party was a huge success. After all of the friends left, it was time for baths and the boys fell right asleep. They played hard today, and that is what it’s all about.

Get my Sunday Dispatch right in your inbox
Join 18.5K subscribers