So when my husband, my dear, sweet, loving husband asked me why we never go camping anymore I finished changing the babies diaper, yelled over the 2 boys who were squabbling and screaming underneath my feet and asked my teenager to finish his up his latest retort quickly so I could answer him.
'It's just so much work with 4 kids!'
After deciding that we would make the best of it and just go so the kids could have fun and get dirty and experience all that the great outdoors has to offer we immediately realized that we didn't have any camping gear. By this I mean that the last time we went camping was like 3 kids ago so we needed bigger everything and more of it.
Several hundred dollars later we left Cabellas armed with our new 3 room tent, camp stove, flashlights and first aid kits. We were good to go.
Wait. How the heck are we going to fit all of this
crap gear along with 4 kids in 3 car seats and a 6 foot tall teenager into our car? Hmmmm, guess we should have thought of that.
A few hours later and some very creative, errr packing by Jim we crossed our fingers and pulled out of the drive way.
Arrived at Starbucks and then we were on our way.....
Until about 20 minutes later when we realized that we forgot to pack wipies for the baby and the road trip snacks for the kids were packed on the very bottom of all of our gear. Pit stop at the New River Snack and Go and we were on our way. Again.
Notice how sweet, understanding and tolerant Britton is about the whole 'Being shoved into the
back seat with Jack, a birthday present and a watermelon.'
Just a short time later we arrived at the camp spot on near the Mogollon Rim. We were excited to get there because it was a family reunion of sorts and lots of our cousins were going to be there to play with.
For the next 2 days, we set up camp. And by 'we' I mean Jim.
While I did other necessary things that all campers do like having a fingernail painting party.
Every respectable teenage girl camper packs a bucket of fingernail polish.
Mona's very first finger nail painting experience. See, I told ya, camping is great!
We also played some camping games like:
Which our team totally ROCKED! Go TEAM 4!
But Britton, Alec and Ben won . ;)
and "Cup Stacking'
and 'Bubble Gum Blowing'
Now that's a bubble! Go JoAnna!
But the best part of all was sitting outside and laughing with family. Telling stories
and playing with our cousins.
How many kids can fit on daddy's lap in a cheap-o camp chair?
Waking up to a camp fire breakfast in the fresh air listing to the birds chirping and happy
kids was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
Jack, Nolan and Mona eating breakfast.
We also celebrated Nolan's 5th birthday while we were there. He opened all of his new Star Wars toys in front of about 30 family members singing him Happy Birthday! Fun, fun, FUN!
The first night was freezing cold and pretty miserable. I'm not sure who had a worse night with it all, Rachel and Jim and also Aaron and Joanna in the tents next to us with sick babies, Jim sleeping on the rock hard, cold ground or Mona and I on the deflating mattress which was soaked in pee.
Dad came through in his usual style by assuring us that his night was just as miserable because his air conditioning in his brand new 5th wheel kept going up and down an entire degree so he had to kick on and off his down comforter and that his new Sleep Number mattress was on the fritz and was off by a number. He also drank to much diet coke from his refrigerator while watching a late night movie on his flat screen and had to wake up in the middle of the night and walk 5 feet in his slippers to go to the bathroom.
None of us were impressed. At all. ;)
The highlight of the camping trip was waking up to this holy vision.
Alec, adorning his Hugh Hefner robe and slippers with his hot cocoa in hand.
Thanks for that Alec. We all needed a good laugh.