Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First Family Camping Trip

What's the best way to top off a week of the husband being away on a men's retreat then a business trip? Another night away from home, of course!

So this past weekend our whole family went on a camping trip the day after Bo got back from New York City (praise the Lord that he got home safe before Sandy hit). He was such a rockstar buying us a new 6-person tent to fit our family and getting the kids' stuff all packed while I attended a friend's virtual babyshower for her twins. 

We arrived at the camp site in early afternoon, which gave us plenty of time to set up our tent. It was quiet a family affair.

Up until sundown, the boys went for a hike while the older sister of a fellow Boy Scout and I got a fire going stronger. When everyone got back, we made foil packs of burgers for dinner. 

Thankfully the kids fell sleep really easily at bedtime. I couldn't believe how easily it went. I was then free to gaze at the beautiful almost full moon in quiet. Then I headed back to camp and had a really great, long conversation with another Boy Scout mom. It was awesome. And that marked the end of awesomeness for the evening.

I snuggled up close to Mei to try to sleep and that was fun for a little while, but then she keep inching into my space, cramping my style. I was out of a sleeping bag and cold and almost freezing (the temps got into the mid 30s). Then I was up all night worrying about the kids being warm enough, because I wasn't. I kept checking on Mei and she was fine...and cute. Tey told me before he went to bed that he was warm and toasty, plus he was wearing like 4 layers, so I wasn't as worried about him. Plus we was lost inside a thick sleeping bag. There was no finding him even if I wanted. Bean, on the other hand was only wearing one layer, and he only had one blanket. I woke up Bo to wake up Bean to ask him how he was. Both were fine. I felt bad for waking them up. Kinda. Why weren't they as miserable as I was?

They'd be up and at 'em in the morning and I'd be dragging. I decided that it would be best to slide Mei back to her side of the sleeping bag, reclaim my space, and get control of my warmth. I needed to shift focus to myself and my night's rest because everyone else was just fine and dandy and keeping myself awake worrying about them was doing no one any good. From then on I enjoyed a mediocre night's sleep, but at least I was not freezing and getting a stiff neck. Oh I forgot to mention that I also began to steal a corner of Mei's pillow pet because Bo and I forgot to pack our pillows.

Anyway, I'm stoked about camping with the fam and can't wait to do it again. We learned a lot from this first attempt at camping. Apparently there's a winter camping trip with the Boy Scouts in January-ish. Do we dare?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Tame Day that became Wild, as Wild as Wild Could Be

Yesterday morning Bean work up with a swollen eye. He did fall on his face the day before, but there was no bruising nor scratches. Was it allergies? Maybe a bug bite? A stye?

So, today was the day of doctor appointments to figure out what was going on, plus he had Tae Kwon Do as usual. Basically our whole day was spent away from home from 10 to 3, with no time to do what I had originally planned. 

After an initial worry about being off schedule, I reminded myself to chill out. Homeschooling gives us just the flexibility we need to work around unexpected issues such as this.

So, in the car we listened to Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. I know we have been doing that a lot lately, but I had no idea that both my boys that the stories memorized! 

This made me laugh out loud for about 40 minutes (or however long that story goes on) because throughout the rest of it, the boys did all the voices and everything. It was quite entertaining to hear them be the dog, the horse and the cat. Oh my best beloveds!

In the doctor's waiting room, Bean read Charlotte's Web. The nurse and I cracked up about how he immediately made himself at home on the examination table.

Meanwhile Tey and I thought of words that began with different sounds. I have no idea why. It was all I could think of with no props, because unlike Bean, he didn't bring in anything with him from the car to keep busy. Ah well, he was entertained and out of trouble.

When we finally got home at around 3, I was feeling guilty that my kids had only snacked and had no real lunch, so I booked it inside to get something going. Bean yells out in excitement to come back out. I knew it was something awesome, and likely an animal, because he just gets a certain tone in his voice when it is. He found this smooth earth snake right outside the door of the van.

The kids immediately wanted to record it in their nature journals. Now they were the ones racing back into the house to get their journals and colored pencils. Be still my beating heart! I love my little naturalists.

Someone pinch me. Is this my eldest? Holding a writing instrument of his own accord? It's hard to believe that just a year ago, I thought I'd need to buy stamps and pads for him to do his work because he refused to write when he was in preschool. Seriously, the disdain this kid had for writing...

Tey examines the detail of this snake with a magnifying glass.

I think he got too close for the snake's comfort because then it started to curl up and lift its head off the ground. I don't really know. I know zilch about snakes, except that we don't have any venomous ones in IL, so I wasn't concerned overall.

After a very late lunch, I got Mei down for a very late nap and the boys have been playing outside for the rest of the afternoon. Last I heard, they were making mud pies, and making wishes in a wishing well. I interpret that to mean they are playing in mud and water. I'm going to run the bath now.

Not a bad day at all, considering that everything we did was completely off the cuff!

As for Bean's eye, the doctor prescribed some antibiotics. Bo's going to pick it up on his way home from work, but Bean's eye is so much better now, I'm deciding whether or not to even give it to him at all.