Monday, June 20, 2011


Let me start this post by saying that I am not a camper... never have been... never even really tried. Of course, I went to summer camp as a child, but somewhere along the way, that child decided that roughing it was not fun and fancy hotels with room service were oh so much nicer!

Seven-ish years ago, my sister Amy, married a camper. And her life as a non-camper was over. (I'll never forget the first time she went camping with him... She had a million bags packed including her hair dryer and flat iron!!) I would always do my best to sound supportive when she told me they were going and cluck appropriately when she told me about her trip when she got back... the bugs, the heat, the rain... inside gladly knowing that it would never be me.

But, never say never!!!

A couple of years ago, my camping converted sister and her wonderful huzband, told me about a study that had been done to determine what factors are common among families that stay together... Across all socioeconomic statuses, races, political standpoints, etc., the common factor was (drum roll) camping. This made me start thinking about camping from a different perspective. Add to that how much my kids ADORE being outside and how much I want them to experience everything life has to offer... I totally got it!

SO, when Amy told me they were going camping in May with Damon's family, I invited myself. (How sweet is Damon's family not to blink an eye about having us crash their camping trip!!)

We bought a tent and prayed for the best!

We had the BEST time!! I was shocked how much fun I had... I think there were several factors that attributed to us having so much fun that wouldn't have been there if we had tried going camping on our own...

1- Damon's parents massive RV, parked right next to our tent, so we had a home base including a microwave, coffee pot and griddle.

PawPaw & Moppy

2- Damon & Amy's amazing campfire cooking - silver turtles, cobblers, sour dough bread & S'mores!
Ivy & Aunt Mimi
Making Silver Turtles

Making S'mores!

3- The weather was PERFECT! Cool and crisp in the mornings and warm in the afternoon. (Of course, I just assumed it would be hot and didn't plan clothing accordingly, but who cares!!! I'll take the cool!)

The babies LOVED the tent... Jumping on the air mattresses was a daily activity. There was a park nearby, tons of fish in the lake for fishing, massive amounts of sticks and dirt to play with, and their favorite -- Uncle D's Canoe! The water was too choppy to actually use it, but they would sit in it and pretend to paddle!

Sidney, Ivy, Brie & Aiden

Uncle D with all 7 kids

Mitchell & Brie
Playing in the Dirt

Story Time with Daddy
Mitchell, Briellen & Sidney

There were a couple of times that I felt like the soon-to-be-step-mom on the Parent Trap clapping my sticks together to make the "bears" go away, but mostly there were very few creepy crawlies and other unpleasant camping stereotypes.

Sign us up for next year, please!!!

Brynne, Ivy, Aiden, Luke, Brie, Mitchell & Sidney

Me & My Babes
(See how pretty the park was!)


P.S. The amount of laundry that I had to do when we got home was insane!!!