A Camping we will go..

Our annual family camping trip that had gotten rained out in May, was rescheduled for this week-the third week in June. Erika has been asking almost since we arrived home from camping last year when the next time we were going would be. To say that they were excited was an understatement. We had checked out several other camp sites at various state parks in the area, but all decided that out site from last year would still be the best. We packed up our van with our huge 10 man tent, sleeping bags, roasting sticks, and enough camping snacks to last us for a week.

The GPS took up the back scenic route, which I love. It has beautiful views of the lush green countryside, and as you approach FDR park it takes you up a bit in elevation. I always feel like I am in the mountains out west. The campsites at FDR are a first come, first serve, but being in the middle of the week we were confident that “our” campsite would be available. Our hopes were dashed a bit when we approached our site and found someone else already there. After driving around for a little while, we decided on the one right next to our favorite site. The site we had last year was so great because it was all flat (no slopey hills that makes you slide down your tent in the middle of the night) and had a lot of open area to put our tent and for the kids to run free. At the back of the site there was a 3ft creek bed that was all dried up. The kids had spent hours making bridges to walk across. Luckily the site we had chosen was still in close proximity to the creek bed.

As Aaron and I set up the tent, the kids busily collected fire wood for us, found their firesticks for the week, and tried to find some big sticks for their new bridge. By dinnertime we were all hot, covered in our first layer of dirt, and having a ball!

Family picture camping blog

Aaron took the girls to the playground up the hill nearby, and Austin eagerly assigned himself the task of preparing the wood for the fire. He had it all set out and ready to be lit when they returned. After hot dogs we had fun making smores and enjoying the fire. My favorite part of camping it staying up and sitting around the campfire. It tends to stir gentle conversation and quiet moments of pondering. With the vast sky above and millions of stars shining down, it helps to put in perspective our lives and the miracle of it all. I don’t consider my self a big tree-hugger kind of person-but I do love to have a chance to be reminded of this beautiful earth that was created just for us.

Austin burning marshmallow blog

Austin building a fire blog

As the campfire died down, and we attempted to settle down for the night, I remembered from last year the hardest part of camping. The sleeping. Basically we all just don’t sleep for three days. Every little sound seems to stir someone awake, and by morning all my little campers that were so nicely spread out among our big 10 person tent the night before, are now all practically laying on top of Aaron and I. Little bumps in the night always tend to be a little louder when you are in a tent. We could hear a raccoon (we think) scavenging through our trash, and other little animals chit chatting to each other all night long.

The morning was a welcome sight, and the kids were ready for a full day. After only being awake for a few minutes, urgent calls from Austin brought all the girls over to see a little tiny frog he had caught.

Frog in Erikas hand blog

Soon everyone had their own little pet frog to hold. The larger daddy frog that Austin had caught the night before was still in the butterfly net, and was happy to have some company. Our little frog family hopped happily around, while the kids had fun trying to capture them again. Abby lovinly held the daddy frog and watched over him. It seemed to be better that way, she was having a hard time understanding how to gently hold the little frogs. Unfortunately, some of the frog family didn’t seem to make it through the week. Circle of life, right?

Here is our attempt at our frog family picture.

Frogs on table 1 blogFrogs on table 2 blogFrogs on table 3 blog Frogs on table 4 blog

Abby and Erika babysitting the frogs.

Abby with frog blog

Erika with frog on leg blog

That afternoon we packed up our lunches and went on a hike around the lake. It was about 3.2 miles and the kids were amazing. They did so good! Some of our favorite memories were the “brain tree”, finding a horse-tree to ride, trying to catch squirrels, listening to woodpeckers, and finding a caterpillar to bring back to camp.

family hike blog

When we returned to the campsite Austin entertained us by building a rope ladder with his rope he brought from home, and some sticks. It was very cool. Even our camping neighbors came over to try it out. That night we made spaghetti over the campfire. It was a new experience, but luckily the kids were so hungry from the hike they were willing to eat anything. After the girls went to bed, Aaron, Austin, Brooke, and Brianna played capture the flag with our camping neighbors, and we all enjoyed some more smores.

Kids on rope ladder blogScott on ladder swing blog

The next day was pack up and leave day. After 2 nights sleeping in the heat, we were all ready to go home I think. We got in the car and blasted the AC until we pulled into the driveway. The kids were so funny-for the next couple of days they would walk around the house saying, “it’s so cold in here!”

74 degrees never felt so good.


The Simon Family said...

Fun! Your photos really captured the spirit of camping. Now I'm excited about our camping trip up in tennessee over Labor Day Weekend. :) BTW, I love Erika's rain boots!

Gary and Shelice Murphy said...

I bow to you all...camping in GA in the summer...you are all troopers!