Monday, August 13, 2012

Camping for Seven

For the first time in about four years, we had a proper family vacation planned for the second week of August. It had been planned for months, and we were all anxiously awaiting the time of departure. I'll leave all the details for a personal journal rather than a public blog, and suffice it to say that the vacation didn't come to pass in the way it was originally all planned.

Though we all felt plenty of disappointment and regret, we also knew without a doubt that the right decision had been made for our little family.

Instead?
We took our five children camping for a few days.
Oh boy.

First of all, I have to say we are blessed to have a decent, running, big enough for us family car. It is a suburban for Heaven's sake But when you need seven sleeping bags, seven pillows, seven chairs, seven pads, food for seven for a few days, not to mention a change of clothes or two, plus a tent to sleep all seven people in, the suburban seems significantly smaller. Oh, especially when it wasn't really an option to leave a child or two home alone and so all seven seats in the car were occupied too.

Luke wasn't exactly thrilled to travel the almost 100 miles with an 8-man tent on his lap, but considering Megan had two camping pads on her lap, it only seemed fair.

For being a pretty "insignificant vacation" I sure ended up with a lot of photos. But that's okay. It really was a wonderful few days. If we don't count the "rattlesnakes in the area" risk, a difficult child, a child that pee-ed in the sleeping bag, a parent that was extremely uptight if anyone rearranged the food container or cooler (not me by the way), it would have been nearly perfect.
But even with all those not-so-great things, there was plenty to make it a trip to remember.
Luke's Sunday assignment to go into nature and capture with a camera things that make him appreciate Heavenly Father's creations...
Grandpa's Sunday nap visit to our campsite. (I liked to think he genuinely wanted to come and visit us, but Mike insists "Your dad has a brand new convertible Mustang, why wouldn't he want to enjoy a beautiful Sunday drive."
The swing that went from this...
to this... courtesy of a physics lesson from Grandpa Peter...
The darn "Vacation Fairy" (that had supplies from the "cancelled trip") that somehow found us at our campground...
I have many fond memories camping in Logan Canyon with my family 22+ years ago. We were just a few miles away from where we camped when my brothers Casey and James were the same age as Joshua and Drew are now. It was a stark realization how quickly time really does pass.
Mike always acts as though he is doing me a giant favor whenever he offers to put Drew down for a nap...
Playing games and eating our some of my favorite things about camping...





Due to the potential of rattlesnakes nearby, we were pretty vigilant about keeping all of our children in long pants, and shoes and socks. For those that know Drew, this was no easy feat. By the last night, we were picking our battles...
Surprisingly, our campfire programs were quite entertaining. If you don't count the number of times we had to tell the children to either quit being too hyper or to stop crying, or to demand Luke quit aiming his behind into the fire...
I wish I had a photo of our family testimony meeting on Sunday morning or of the impromptu family gathering in the tent late Sunday afternoon. Between some really cheesy jokes from a Phineas and Ferb jokebook, a pillow fight among the five children, and a few funny personal stories thrown in, it was a highlight of the trip. I loved that as we drove home after having done a fair number of activities for the last few days, "Sunday afternoon in the tent" was what nearly every family member recalled as their "favorite part of the trip."

It's the little things...
And that's what makes the sting of the cancelled vacation a little easier.




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