Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Call of the Wild

Lately I have really felt Mother Nature beckoning to me, and this is what she has been saying:

Go camping.

Is there any better way to teach children about nature and enjoy God's creations than camping? I think not. So, with the boy's arrival approaching, I determined to pull off an all girls camp-out as soon as it stopped raining. Fortunately, last week it stopped raining. I invited my friend Becca and her daughter (Kate's BFF) Kaylynn to join us in roughing it in the vast unknown.

Choosing a campsite can make or break the camping experience, and I believe I picked the perfect one. My parents' backyard. There is a nearby pond, a fire pit, and a bathroom. Like I said, it was perfect.

My parents were out of town for the week, and my mom was quite worried about us being in such close proximity to the local wildlife, i.e. deer, beavers, and the local woodchuck. I told her we would be prepared to defend ourselves and just take our chances. When we pulled into the driveway and looked upon our campsite, the first thing I saw was a wild turkey. That's right, dinner. Somehow, he eluded us while we were unloading the car, and we were back to hot dogs. But first, to the pond!

There is an added feeling of security when your personal flotation device has a crotch strap.

First we paddled around in the canoe and paddle boat, then the kids played on the beach, building castles out of sand and goose droppings.

As Becca and I wandered over to the fire pit, I proceeded to brag to her that I had received the award of "Best Campfire Builder" when I was 12 at girls camp. (Yes, my friends, this is foreshadowing.) There was a ton of debris already in the pit, and I knew starting the fire would be a piece of cake. Here I am at the business end of a lighter.

A considerable amount of time had passed in which no apparent progress had been made, yet the children looked on with unshaken confidence.

Okay, so I never could get it started. But luckily, a mountain man emerged from the foliage and got a respectable fire going. (Thanks Mike!) At last we were able to enjoy an authentic, campfire-roasted hot dog (blackened and covered in ash).

The next item of business was "putting up the tent". My dad offered to set it up for us before he left town, but no no! I wanted the girls to get that feeling of accomplishment that comes after we've worked hard. I think Becca got that feeling, but as you can see below, it didn't really happen for me.

So. I'm not exactly sure what went wrong, or why Becca's tent looked so awesome, and mine looked so... not awesome. But am I a quitter?! H*ck no! The tent came down and I started over from scratch. I'm sure you will agree, the second attempt was much better:


This wicked profile shot about made me wet myself.
It may not have been pretty, but it was shelter! I generously allowed all the little girls to sleep together in this tent, while I shared Becca's with her.

They didn't seem to mind. I love how Faith studied Kaylynn's pose and tried to imitate it :)

After this we all went swimming in the pool - Becca, Kaylynn, Kate, Faith, Me, and my gigantic belly. There is no photographic evidence of this. You can thank me later.

It was way past bedtime when we finished swimming, but there was no way we were going to bed without s'mores. The fire had gone out, and I asked if anyone would be too disappointed of we went inside and cooked our s'mores in the microwave. I know, pretty pathetic. But once again, the kids didn't seem to mind!

At last it was time for bed. We tucked the girls in, and I endeavord to bore them to sleep by telling them a story about the life cycle of an acorn. They indeed thought it was very lame, but it didn't make them more tired.
After several trips to the bathroom, a panic attack that the moon had disappeared, and a general insomnia that was very unevenly distributed, everyone but Kate ended up in the mom tent. She turned out to be the lucky one that actually slept most of the night. But as I lay there wondering when this night would finally end, the birds let me know that morning had broken at last. One bird in particular. I wish I could have seen outside the window, because I could have sworn that it was the chocolate eating giant, Kevin. And he was right outside our tent.

We had a great time, but by the next day, my girls agreed that we don't really need to go camping again. Fine by me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lotsa Pictures

We celebrated Aunt Laurie's and Uncle Greggy's birthdays, along with Easter, in one fell swoop.

Greg knows we give the best presents.

Tools + Tiara = Best. Birthday. Ever.

Laurie is equally unable to hide her excitement.

A Princess birthday cake?! Poor Greggy, all future birthdays are now ruined.


I love my family :)

Easter egg hunt

This is Kate's favorite park. She thinks it's "totally awesome".

This child is so funny. Examples: The other night we were saying bed time prayers. Faith's was, "Father, bless Mommy Daddy, Amen."
Mike suggested that it could be a bit longer, so she tried again,
shouting at the top of her lungs. Adjectives can be so darn tricky.
We were in the car when she said the following:
"Lemme tell you sumting Mommy. Funny joke. Laugh lot." [long pause]
I wondered if that was the joke, until she resumed:
[snorting laughter]
Good one, Faith!
Same day, we went to the library. Now, to set the scene, we are in the grownup part of the library, and I had forewarned the kids that they needed to be very quiet up there. Faith sits down on a rolling stool. Kate wants to sit on it too, so she sits down behind Faith, with their backs facing each other. Faith doesn't like that Kate is sitting behind her, and tries to push her off by leaning on her. I tell them it's time to go, and Kate stands up abruptly. Now how do I describe this? Faith launches backwards off the stool, and actually stalls in a headstand for a full 2 seconds before crashing to floor screaming.
I'm giggling even as I write this, I wish I could have recorded it. So I just hugged her and tried to hide my laughter, and told her she could push the buttons on the elevator. She calmed down instantly.

Grandma and Great Grandpa at the totally awesome park.

Makeover #1
Kate and Faith found some green shimmer eyeshadow. It is no longer with us.

Makeover #2:
Kate gave Faith a complete makeover - clothes, makeup and hair. At first I was so distracted by the eyebrows that I didn't even notice the bangs. I don't think it turned out nearly as bad as it could have. Plus, bangs grow a lot faster than eyelashes. :)