Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Roughing it??

We had our ward campout recently. Tyler complains that it isn't really camping when there is grass, bathrooms, running water, and you don't have to hike to get there. I, on the other hand, am perfectly happy with this pseudo camping our ward practices, and with all the young children, it is more necessary.

I am not as outdoorsy as I would like to be. My family NEVER went camping, EVER! I don't think we owned a tent and every year for girls' camp my parents would have to borrow camping supplies from the neighbors (I may have gotten my own sleeping bag about three years into it). Then compound my lack of camping experience with the fact that I am allergic to the outdoors and you get a non-camping Mom. I think Tyler does not approve of these things, but he is patient with me. I do want my girls to grow up knowing something about camping, so I try to participate when the opportunity arises (namely, the ward campout). I shamefully admit that I was NOT going to spend the night but it was too hard trying to find someone to drive me back the next morning. Laziness won out and I decided to stay. Plus, I knew it would make Tyler happy...and it did.
The girls loved our huge tent.

I think at one point there were five or so children in there having a huge pillow fight. I really didn't mind as long as it was giggling and not crying coming from the tent. I should definitely thank my in-laws for the awesome tent that we have. It is for 8 people and we can even fit the bassinet in there when our children are small. We don't use it often (yes, still my fault) but when we do, it is wonderful.
Friday evening was mostly just playing and exploring. I learned that quesadillas cook very quickly in one layer of tin-foil and that my kids don't like charcoaled tortillas. Fortunately, I also brought hot dogs so no one starved.
Tyler spent most of his time on the hill of death. That is not the official name, but I am certain I can convince the mothers to name it that soon. The hill is ridiculously steep and the only way kids come down is sliding on their rear ends (which doesn't do wonders for the clothing, but hey...we're camping right?). Here is a picture that does not portray adequately enough how terribly steep it is. If you look to the far left you can see Tyler on his way up with Robyn on his back.

Next, there is a rope swing at the top that adult men have trouble controlling. And if you happen to lose your grip on the swing, the only place to fall is on the hill of death which is not forgiving (see above). I try to stay as far away from this hill and Tyler insists on taking all the girls up it. I don't watch. He dutifully took each child up and let them hold on to him while he braved the rope swing. This worked well until he realized he had taken the kids in the wrong order and he saved the heaviest for last. I am very glad I was NOT around to see this next part, because I may have gone into labor early.

Apparently during June's ride, when Tyler came back from swinging, he didn't catch the tree (‘as well as anticipated’—his words) and they plummeted onto the steep slope. Tyler was amazing. He hit the ground in a surfer pose and skimmed down, chased by a landslide of gravel, coming to a perfect landing at the bottom. However, none of the other Dads were fooled. After watching this event, they quickly evacuated the hill so no other children could be foolish enough to try that stunt. I am glad that Tyler gets his girls involved, but I would still love it if he stayed clear of the hill of death.
Ivory was content to spend most of her time on the swings.

She is getting really good at holding on without an infant swing. It still scares me, but after the hill, it was nothing.
June spent the majority of her time finding treasures and reveling in the fact that all the flowers she found were NOT part of someone's garden and mom would actually let her pick them to her heart's content. I still think it is sweet that she brings them all to me. I even allowed her take a picture of me (this is to make you all think what a trooper I am for camping with my big belly. :)

I took a picture of June with her treasures.

This is my favorite part and I am glad that we happened to get a picture of it. She found a shell somewhere under the swings and she was happy with her find. She put it in the car to save it and in the morning when we were packing up, Robyn came tearing back to the tent to show us a surprise. Turns out the shell was inhabited: a snail was slurping around the back on the van. He was quite the stowaway. We couldn't find him later and he traveled all the way home with us and kept himself cozy until I found him after shopping on Monday. Does slug slime come off easily? I haven't even tried to clean it yet.
The kids slept pretty well, although Ivory seemed to be suffering from her eczema and she squirmed some of the night. Other than that, we feasted on a delicious breakfast provided by a very generous Bro. Johnson in our ward and then we headed home. Not really roughing it, I would say, but we had a good time and hopefully the girls will develop some "camping" memories along the way.


Cindy B said...

It sounds like you had a great time, but I am not a happy camper either. I love being outdoors, but I never sleep well in a tent. The ground is always too hard and I wake up when the sun comes up and wish that I had a hot tub handy to soak out the kinks.

But yea for Maleen! What a trooper to be out there, pregnant belly and all.

Rynell said...

I am impressed that you went camping whilst pregnant! Honestly.

I camped a ton when I was a kid. That's all our vacations ever consisted of. Now we never camp. Andy is the one allergic to the outdoors. Seriously, last time we went camping he was up all night struggling to breathe. He likes to say he likes breathing more than camping.

Emilie said...

Looks like you had a fun time, I hope that others did as well! I personally would like to scrap the campout and rent the Scera Pool next year. You game?

¡Vieve! said...

I have never been camping in my whole life. I think if my camping experience was like yours, I could totally do it!

Chelle! said...

Oh, how fun!! I love to camp and be out in the mountains. My mom and dad started taking us camping when we were tiny tiny!!! I am glad that your family had a great time!!

Deanne said...

My kids had a blast! They loved playing with Tyler until late into the night. He is a trooper! It's been fun catching up on your blog.

skye said...

I'll admit I don't like to camp as much as my husband does, either, even though I grew up in very big camping family. But I will say that ward campouts can be very fun, especially if they provide a meal, because really, any meal I don't have to make is worth a bit of "roughing it". :)

Sharon said...

Ok my love,

You deserve a medal for going camping when 8 months prego. I don't care that you don't go every weekend (most folks chicken out and don't sleep in a tent anyway) but you, you are hard core when you do do it.

And your adorable Flag pic, you know me and that I love America and freedom. And yes, I read the consitution from time to time. :) Take a looksy at the 3rd vs of the Star Spangeled Banner. It makes me cry every time.

Hugs and love,