Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Camping...(No, really...we went camping!)...

Hard to believe, I know.  I am not exactly the "camping" type.  I love Jim Gaffigan's bit on camping, (HERE), where he says, "My parents never took me camping, you know why?  THEY LOVED ME!"  (I included his bit on bacon--just for fun--LOVE that guy).  Well, I certainly love my children, and more than my children, I love my bed, my air conditioning, and all of the comforts of my HOME.  We had a ward campout, though, and with Todd being our Scoutmaster (the rugged, outdoorsey man that he is), I guess we have something to prove to the ward, so we went along.  I seriously haven't been camping since Emie and Erin were little girls.  We used to go on an annual Memorial Day camping trip with Todd's family, and stay for 3 or 4 days, or until I murmered enough to get Todd to take me home.  I remember one picture of Emie and her cousin Kami when they were like 2 and 1 year old, and they were COVERED from head to toe in DIRT after a day of camping.  That's exactly what I don't like about it--I rather enjoy being CLEAN.  It's actually a good thing I wasn't born in the pioneer days, when they had to leave their comfortable homes, and belongings, knowing they would be CAMPING, oh pretty much for the next few YEARS!  I fear I would have been like, "See you all later, I think I'll wait for the TRAIN to Utah!"  Since Todd's parents bought their cabin in Heber, the camping tradition has gone by the wayside--and well, as you can tell, I haven't missed it!  :)  I did manage to find a few pics that prove that we HAVE gone camping.  Emie and Erin weren't deprived of this wonderful tradition--see?

That being said, I certainly can be brave enough to go and spend ONE NIGHT in the desert with my family--I am not completely spoiled rotten!  Camping isn't really what it used to be either--as we walked around from campsite to campsite--you realize that people don't really leave all that much at home anymore when they go camping.  People had their laptops, their ipads, their phones, their airbeds, their state of the art cooking equipment, movie projectors, and if they were luckier than I am--even their RV!  Yep, camping doesn't necessarily mean you leave the "comforts of home"--rather, now you just pack up the comforts of home & take them with you!  We got out our tent, nervous since we haven't used it in 10 years--but it was just perfect, although 8 man really doesn't mean 8 MAN.  It means 8 small children (maybe)--but not 8 ALLEN sized people.  We were a little squished even with the 6 of us in there (Emie slept in a little tent with her friend Taylor, and Erin had an orchestra concert & had to stay home (lucky her).  Jack was in heaven setting up the tent, and for the campfire program, but when it actually came time to go into the tent & go to bed, he freaked out a little!  "I want to go HOME--to MY bed" he cried.  Which actually means he wanted to go home to MY bed, and I can't blame the little guy--I feel the same way when I try to sleep with all of my children in my tent out in the wilderness!  He did end up sleeping right next to me on my little camping mat in my sleeping bag (which is not made for one big lady--much less one big lady + child)!  Needless to say, I was glad it was only ONE sleepless night.

The next day, the ward had planned an Eagle Scout Project to coincide with the ward campout.  Too bad not many people decided to come along, because there was a LOT of work to do on this project.  They were fixing up an OLD cemetery called Roosevelt Cemetery that is right off the road near an RV park by the lake.  When we got there, Jack asked me, "What's a Cemetery".  I said, "It's a place where dead people are in graves under the ground." After that well thought out explanation--my sweet Jack wouldn't get out of the car!  He was scared to death!  I need to remember that unlike my other children, this child hasn't been around a funeral home his whole life (duh), and dead people still scare him!  I changed my story a bit and said, "We're going to a PARK".  To which he answered, "A park where people LIVE and DIE?"  Yep, that kind of park!  It worked, and he got out of the car!  We quickly realized that it wasn't going to be an easy project when in the first 5 minutes,  I brushed up against a Prickly Pear Cactus and got a bunch of barbs in my leg from it.  OUCH!  Emie had those things in her socks, and the bugs were not fun either.  She had an open wound on her knee from volleyball & the flies wouldn't leave it alone the whole time & it was driving her crazy!  YUCK!  We had the kids help cut away cactus and brush from the graves, pave the walkways with rocks, clean up trash, and help paint the crosses that marked the graves. A couple of hours into the project, though, a nice BIG rattlesnake came right through where we were working, and I realized that maybe I shouldn't have my toddler & kids running around in the path of rattlesnakes & we decided it was time to go!  YIKES!  Thank goodness, no one was hurt (Todd bonked that thing on the head pretty hard with a 2X4 before the ranger came over and "removed" it--meaning he picked it up gently and took it over to another bush  down the way from where we were working--I would have rather had the peace of mind to know that thing was DEAD!)  Anyway, I was surprised how much fun my kids had working, even though it was hot, and sticky, and HARD.  Sometimes I'm sure I don't give them credit for what good kids they are!  I sure love my family!

Here's the bad news...they all want to go camping for Memorial Day now...oh dear! 

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