Sunday, September 23, 2012

FIRST CAMPING TRIP: HIGHS AND LOWS

We have never gone camping as a family, and after a rather long week, we decided to get on out of town and into the great outdoors.  The weather was supposed to be perfect.  We sent out an email to our community group to see if anyone wanted to join us last minute and had a family of takers.  All in all, it was great fun.  Here's the high low run down.

Low:  It takes a long time to pack everything to go camping.  It just straight up does.

Low:  I left my wallet on the back of our car after lunch in Hot Springs Village.  We got a call and had to go back for it.  On the very bright side of this is that a police officer found it, and I got it back safe and sound.  That was a sweet gift from the Lord, because it sure could have been a lot worse.

High:  Having friends come with us.  We love the Helmicks, and it made everything more fun to have them along, especially for the kids' sakes.  They had a great time playing together.

Grilling acorns.

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Chilling in the camp chairs.

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Making their own fire.

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High:  Enjoying the beautiful weather and quick camp set-up - the guys did such a great job.  Playing in the woods when it is nice out is such fun. (This is the daddy/daughter photo mash-up)

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Low: Realizing that even in the great outdoors, kids still want to watch movies.  We found Bella in the car like this.  After we got her out, she really did enjoy the woods.

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High:  Canoeing on Lake Ouachita.  Gorgeous - though a little hot in the heat of the day.

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High:  Bella crashed in my arms, in the canoe.  I laid her down in the bow of the boat, where she napped the rest of our ride.  That is the life.

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High:  Playing on the playground while we took turns canoeing.

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High:  Heading back to camp for dinner.  Grilling out always tastes so good.  The hot dogs were more jumbo than I imagined.

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High:  Seeing how happy fire makes John.

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Love him.

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High:  Hearing the girls in the tent after we put them to bed, but before they fell asleep.  Lily especially had some awesome lines like, "Bella, I am just trying to get some rest, and you are not respecting me."  To which Bella giggled and said, "Ickle, ickle, ickle" trying to tickle Lily.  They giggled and laughed a lot, and when we went in to bed ourselves, we found them asleep, face to face, with their hands touching each other's face.  Precious.

Low:  Sleeping in a tent with our kids.  Actually, it was not nearly as bad as it could have been, but it was not a great night of sleep (not that we were expecting one).  Bella was so delighted when she discovered us in there at the middle of the night that she started laughing, and them pounced on our faces and tried to stay laying there.

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Plus, our tent was on the small side, so if we were to do this much in the future, we might need to upgrade tent sizes.

Low:  Poor Drew-man, our friends' son, had a rough night of sleep.  Thankfully all the little girls slept through it, but the adults were not as fortunate.  However - isn't he a cutie?  Every time you take his picture, he says, "Cheese" and makes this face.

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High:  The girls wanted to wear head lamps in the morning.  I love groggy, head-lamped little girls in matching pjs.

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Low:  It started raining while we were making breakfast, which had not been forecasted at all.  In the middle of that drama, Bella got upset and purposefully fell backward while standing on the bench seat of the picnic table.  She was stunned and on the ground getting rained on when I got to her.  Thankfully, she was just fine - I am so thankful for God's grace is keeping this child alive and well during this phase of her life.

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Low:  That rain turned into a massive and rather scary thunderstorm, especially since we were camping on a ridge and hanging out under a tent with metal poles.  As it picked up, we made the call to abandon the rest of our plans for fun and head home.  This meant the guys got soaked as everything got packed up, and we watched as lightning lit up the sky.  It felt quite dramatic.

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Though it ended sort of crazily, we had a wonderful time, and it has left time for rest and getting stuff done today that we wouldn't have otherwise.  I think there will be more camping in our future, especially if we get a larger tent and always camp near bathrooms.

3 comments:

Stefanie said...

Wow - that last pic of Bella looks so much like your youngest sister! Not that I know her, but the picture reminds me of pictures of her!

Linds said...

yall are so brave! Drew wants to go camping with the boys SO bad, but I refuse to go in this phase where sleep comes so few and far between anyways. I think they are going to attempt a camping venture in the backyard soon as an ease into the real thing :)

Mom Spenst said...

Carol, watch John with fire. In the past, he has been a little on the crazy side! :O)