Monday, April 29, 2013

Our First Camp Out

James bringing the tent poles to Daddy.

The kids have been asking for a long time to go camping. Life has just been so busy that we haven't been able to. Since it's the end of the semester and things are starting to quiet down a little, and since the weather has still been cool at night, we set up the tent Friday evening and slept in the backyard! Josh and James put it all up by themselves and got our "fire pit" ready. The girls and I got all of the sleeping bags, pillows, and camping chairs together and set up the beds.

So excited to camp!
The girls supervised the boys while I was cleaning dinner up.

Testing out their nest as soon as it was made!

It was very dark by the time we finished. We shared S'mores and did devotions around the fire. I taught the kids to identify the call of the Common Nighthawk and the Chuck Will's Widow, two birds that come out at night. We heard them calling all night. (We also heard our neighbor's loud Latino music for awhile too - which just wasn't quite as nice to try to fall asleep to.) You can listen to the Common Nighthawk too (and our neighbors...):

Just before bed, the kids started asking questions like, "Is it safe to sleep in the tent?" and "What if the ________ come?"  (________ = panthers, coyotes, bears, bad people, raccoons, skunks....) We explained to them that it was safe to sleep in our tent because God was in control of all of those things (panthers, coyotes, bears, people, raccoons, skunks, etc.) and He would be with us all night. Then we reminded them about how the Israelites spent 40 years wandering the wilderness and sleeping in tents. So we pretended we were the Israelites sleeping in our tent in the wilderness.

Redneck Fire Pit

Cutting up wood for the fire

Yes, someone did sit on a sticky skewer.  Names will NOT be mentioned.

All ready for bed!

After we put the kids to bed in the tent, Josh and I sat by the fire for a little while.  It was nice to sit there together, talking and watching the fire. Maybe we'll do it again this weekend? Since there was no rain in the forecast, Josh did not put the tent fly on. We really were sleeping under the stars. The kids slept through the night very well.

The moon was so big and bright behind the pines!

It was a good trial run because I wasn't sure how the kids would do. I really expected that I would end up in the house with Lydia, at the very least. It was comforting to know that if we needed, I could "go home" at a moments notice. Or use a civilized toilet if one was required.

I woke up to a mockingbird singing in the apple tree and the sun just coming up through the pines. How nice! Lydia was next, and she immediately toddled over to our air mattress for some milk. Josh got up and went to sleep in her spot for a little while longer. Here was my view:

James is the lump on the left, Josh is the lump in the middle, and JoyAnna is the lump on the right. 

JoyAnna's Favorite Part:  "Going in the tent and sleeping."
James' Favorite Part:  "The fire."
Lydia's Favorite Part:  We're still not sure, but she seemed to enjoy the entire experience.
Josh's Favorite Part:   He says he doesn't know. But I'm pretty sure it was the campfire, too!
My Favorite Part: "Waking up in the morning to blue skies and songbirds."

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