22 August 2013

Home Sweet Coleman

About a month ago, Jack thought it would be fun to torture me go camping with the family.  Though I will freely admit I was less than thrilled with the idea of sleeping outside in the cool yet humid weather with three potentially scared, crabby children, the girls were over-the-top enthusiastic about the idea.  Problem 1) No tent.  Solution 1)  Thank goodness for social media and friends who kindly offered droves of tents for us to borrow.  We were set (thank you Cotterells!).
So THAT'S where the chips went...
Problem 2) A late dinner.  We waited for Jack to get home Friday afternoon, packed up the car and left.  Solution 2) In order to keep anyone from getting too grumpy from a rumbling stomach, we handed out a few treats to hold us over on the way to the camp site.  I made the mistake of tossing the chips to the girls.  In 30 seconds, 3/4 of the chips were missing.  I should have known.
Problem 3) Only one measly booklet of matches.  Though I had two HUGE boxes of matches, they've mysteriously disappeared and Jack denies any knowledge of their whereabouts (I just know it has something to do with him barbecuing or smoking out the honey or ground bees).  Solution 3) Being an Eagle Scout might not sound that awesome any more, but Jack had the tent set up and a roaring fire started (with one match, he repeatedly and very proudly pointed out) before I got the girls and the food out of the car.  Home Sweet Coleman!
Problem 4) Waiting for the food to cook.  Solution 4) Let them eat junk food.  Hey, it was Friday night.
Problem 5) Sleeping in the same tent.  Solution 5) Though our camping trip was postponed due to much-needed rain (that didn't bother showing up anyway.  Boo!) and then family illnesses, we let the girls "practice" sleeping in the tent in the great room.  By the time it was dark, everyone zonked out without so much as a whimper.
Problem 6) No baby swings at the park.  Solution 6) Swing with Kate in the hiking backpack.  Bonus) Major arm workout.  The junk food calories were gone in a matter of minutes AND Kate had a blast.
Problem 7) Not enough swings for all of us.  Solution 7) Tire swing!  It was no push from Uncle Jordan, but the girls laughed and had fun.  And probably didn't need to wear helmets.  Just in case.
Problem 8) It eventually got dark and chilly.  Solution 8) Roasting marshmallows, of course!  The girls are really becoming pros toasting blobs of sugar to gooey perfection.  Then, when Evelyn needed a break, she discretely slapped her stick--using the spare marshmallow as adhesive--to my back.  Then, when I had the decency to use said stick to roast a tiny, half-already-eaten marshmallow and eat it myself, she said in all sincerity, "Mommy, why are you eating my marshmallow?  I've only had one!"  Bonus) I didn't get that many additional empty calories.
Problem 9) We were all sticky after devouring a bag of jumbo marshmallows.  Solution 9) Jam marshmallow in mouth.  Lick fingers.  In a real emergency, employ baby wipes.  Done.
The girls wading in the lake like old women with their skirts hiked up.  They still got soaked.
Problem 10) I forgot sweatshirts for Jack and I.  Solution 10) Jack (again, using his incredibly honed Eagle Scout skills) lit a fire (with one more match!) for breakfast.  We ate and headed down to the lake to keep from shivering by running around, basking in the sun and wading in the warm water.  Also, be a dork and wear socks with sandals.
There goes Jack, pondering again.
Camping had it's own set of problems for sure.  But the solutions were easy/delicious/fun/hilarious/enjoyable.

I think we'll be camping again soon.

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