This weekend we went camping with a big group of homeschooling friends. Last year, the weather was unseasonably cold, and we all froze. This year, the weather was absolutely *perfect*--lows 70s during the day, and 50s at night. I hope that doesn't mean next year is slated to be unbearably hot!
Packing for a camping trip involving 11 people is quite a logistical challenge, to say the least. This year I actually typed up a list, which really helped. There were only a few items we needed to add to list once we got back home. The food is definitely the biggest challenge. Our family eats so much, especially when all those growing boys are outside all day long exercising!
With the new baby coming, next year I am planning to move Micah on up to the tent with the other big boys. I always have trouble with little kids in sleeping bags--they wiggle around during the night, ending up sideways and completely uncovered. At a consignment sale in March, I found this "toddler travel bed". It comes with 6 styrofoam strips of equal length--2 for each side, and one for each end. You slide them in the sleeves, then velcro the corners together, making a little frame for the flat little mattress. I put Micah's sleeping bag in there, and it worked perfectly! He didn't move sideways at all, and he stayed perfectly covered, sleeping like a rock each night!
Drew wasn't quite so cooperative. He was cold the first night, and woke up a few times, but the second night was warmer (and he was so exhausted), so you would think he would have slept great. But alas, it rained a little bit, and I guess that woke him up, and he ended up crying several times, making a restless night for me. At least it didn't bother anyone else!
This was the same hike we did last year, where on the way back Micah pitched a huge temper tantrum after lagging farther and farther behind. So I had to carry him, and in the midst of all the drama, I totally missed a trail intersection, and I marched off down a different trail. This is now known in family lore as "the time when Mom got lost", although I always point out I was not technically "lost". Once I realized I was on the wrong trail, I turned around and retraced my steps! Anyhow, nothing like that happened this time.
Sacramento!) So Nathan had to get part of it out on the hike, and then both he and I worked on the last part once we got back to the campsite. She looks like she is even laughing a bit here, but don't be fooled--Faith is not our "stoic" one, LOL. Ah, the drama of girls.
When we got back, we began the laborious process of tearing everything down. We had a bit of a time crunch--there was a potluck dinner at 6:00, and we wanted to be done before then! We got one tent down by 6:00. They go up faster than they go down! After the potluck (we brought teriyaki chicken strips that I cooked at home and just reheated there), I continued tearing down. Nathan went to work on 2 "pie iron contest" recipes. A pie iron is a square metal thing that opens up and is on 2 long poles, so you can stick something in there and cook it in the coals of a fire. They've had this contest for several years, but we didn't even have a pie iron before last weekend, when Bob ordered 2 from Amazon! They are fun little things for camping, and you can definitely make yummy things in them. Nathan made a caramel apple pie one in a crescent roll crust, and another one with hot fudge topping and coconut (I didn't try that one, if you can believe it).
So after the contest, we were able to finish getting loaded up, and we finally got home around 10:15--exhausted and filthy! Everyone except Nathan, Luke, Caleb, Bob and me were fast asleep, so we just brought them all in and put them straight to bed. We unloaded the bare minimun, some of us took showers, and then we fell asleep into bed. It is so lovely to be in one's own bed, especially after camping! Baths, showers, and laundry were the first things on the agenda after breakfast, though. I'm still tired. I think it will take a few days to recover from all the fun, but we are all looking forward to next year!