June 4, 2014-Camping Adventure Day 2!

(click here for today's pictures)
From burnt biscuits to a 2-mile hike!

  • As I wrote last night, my precious Whitman was sleeping peacefully at our feet....that didn't last long!  At home, he fusses and cries out often while sleeping.  We do the obvious thing when this happens-ignore him.  Ignoring him can't really be done in a tent when you have 5 other babies sleeping as well.  We did though try to ignore him for as long as we could-then we tried some milk and a diaper.  He guzzled his milk before Robby could finish changing his diaper and he continued jabbering/fussing. 
  • We finally got him out of his bed to lay with us (that meant me moving Campbell over-50 pounds of dead weight.  And she ended up with my comfy sleeping mat and I was just on the rubber mat)  Whitman enjoyed laying with us-except he wouldn't lay down.  He just rolled and tossed and climbed and would scream if we tried to make him stay still.  By this time, we were considering locking him in the van.  
  • We tried water and then finally, we tried what we should have done in the first place-ignore him and play that the others didn't wake up.  Reagan did wake up and look around but laid back down when I told her that he would be asleep soon.  Both boys sat up as well but they had no recollection of that in the morning,  And Keaton and Campbell slept through it all.
  • I really don't know who went to sleep again first-Whitman, Robby or I.  I stayed awake listening to him be quiet for about 3 minutes and then let out a loud whimper/cry and the  next thing I knew, it was morning-ish and Campbell was telling me that the birds were saying it was time to wake up.  I quickly explained that they weren't talking to us and we both went back to sleep.
  • The next thing we knew, we were all waking up at 8 in the morning.  We were shocked-that we rested well, that Whitman finally stopped fussing, that we didn't wake up at the crack of dawn and that it was already 8!  Gracious, Robby practically ran out of the tent to throw breakfast on the stove.
  • And what a breakfast it was-bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits!  By the time all of us made it out of the tent (some dressed and some not) Robby had breakfast ready.  He did have a bit of a hard time with his biscuits-some were overdone and then the ones that were perfect, he sat on top of the oven to keep them warm and burned the bottoms.  But since we had plenty, the perfect biscuits were finally cooked and everyone ate up.  
  • That was a perfect start to our morning.  We washed and dried the dishes-the kids really loved this.  Maybe I should stop using the dishwasher and just let the kids wash dishes in the sink!  Then we picked up a bit-we have said that it is so hard to stay organized.  Part of our problem is that our bags (clothes) can't be in the tent because there isn't room but part of the problem is we have so many people and necessary items that it is just overwhelming.  I didn't make a list of necessary camping items so I will need to create one when I get home-Robby and I will have a camping debrief one night when we get home.
  • After we had semi cleaned, we loaded up and drove a tiny, tiny bit to the trail head because we didn't think these kids could do any more walking than the trail.  We opted for the Fall Branch Trail-the 2 mile trail and not the ones that were 4 miles.  Those that were 4 miles also had the words "steep and rugged" after it-not words that mix with 1, 2, and 4 year olds!
  • We had borrowed a backpack carrier for Whitman and he wasn't too pleased about being in it for the first few minutes but then he relaxed and enjoyed the ride-even sleeping for at least a mile of the trail.  The trail crossed the stream a few times-mostly bridges but one was stepping on rocks to cross the stream.  This trail was fairly "rugged and steep" for my crew but everyone pressed on.
  • My Keaton walked the entire way but often told me that she wanted to go home.  And at one point, Campbell asked to go back.  I tried to explain that the trail we were on was a circle and we couldn't just turn around.  Graham heard this and walked over to Campbell to say "Campbell, I'm tired, Daddy's tired, everybody's tired.  But you can't just give up."  Sometimes he is just the sweetest little thing! (like today when he washed my water shoes off at the lake before he brought them to me)
  • The trail was absolutely beautiful and I would really love to come sometime in the fall.  The kids would enjoy seeing it with the leaves changing.  At the end of the trail is some waterfalls-we probably could have swam in them, as other folks were, if we would have brought the proper attire.  But we will save that for another day and Grannymom and Grandpa were already at our campsite waiting on us.
  • And at the very end of the trail, there was a swinging bridge.  Robby bounce and bounce on that bridge-delighting some Dennies and terrifying others.  By this time in the trail, I was pulling Keaton and Campbell both with the boys bouncing along beside Robby and Reagan behind us taking pictures.  Seriously, I bet they have taken more than 300 pictures on 2 cameras.  Surely one of our kids will end up being a photographer-you would think that they all would, the way they fight over those cameras.
  • Back at the campsite, my kids who were minutes ago exhausted bounded out of the car like lightening to see Grannymom and Grandpa.  We all talked for a bit and the kids showed Grandpa their archery skills-they aren't good at aiming but Anderson can really shoot that arrow far.  Robby took a quick shower because he was dripping wet from sweat from hauling Whitman around on the hike.
  • Then it was time for lunch-lunch wasn't a thrilling camping meal but it was still delicious.  I always think that anything you eat outside taste better and our sandwiches today were no different.  We all ate and then after a bit, it was time to go swimming!  We had been lucky on our hike that the sun was mostly behind clouds and that we were deep in the shaded woods but we were not so lucky when swimming.  It was hot, hot and sunny!  But the kids didn't seem to mind at all.
  • The sandy beach is really just tiny rocks but my crew loved playing with those rocks.  They made some type of water dam and the little girls loved filling their lap with the rocks.  The swimming was too cool for anything above my knees but Whitman still enjoyed floating in his floatee.  That floatee was probably 7 years old so it was on its last leg and barely held the baby up-he didn't mind at all though and loved every minute of it.  
  • The other kids splashed, played and swam for quite a while.  I think they were pretty tired because we really didn't have to beg anyone to get out of the lake.  Back at the campsite, Robby took the boys to take a shower and then I took the girls for their shower.  And oh how nice a shower made us feel.  Though just about the second you walk out of the bathroom door, you start sweating again!
  • Grannymom stayed to help get supper ready for a bit.  Tonight's supper was cooked on our coals.  We put a hamburger patty, an onion piece, potatoes, carrots, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper on a piece of foil and then wrapped it up and put it in the coals.  The kids all made their own packs (needed a sharpie though to keep them straight)  When the timer went off, Robby picked up one and it was cooked perfectly.  We started getting them out but others were not cooked.  So he just quickly cooked them on his grill and then we started eating.
  • The kids really did well and at least tried everything.  Whitman did only want to eat if he could use the fork himself and Keaton wasn't going to eat for anything.  But oh my the ones that we did eventually get cooked in the foil pack were delicious.  The potatoes and carrots were excellent.  That will definitely be a meal that we do next time.  
  • I had my own dessert cooked in a pack of foil too-apple crisp.  It turned out very well-Graham and Reagan helped me eat it but I ate most of it and could have eaten more of it had it not been for the kids taking my plate to go and wash it.  After we cleaned up, we walked up to the playground. 
  • And Robby had his own dessert cooked as well-cookies on his camping oven.  Reagan said that they were the best cookies she had ever eaten.  I think that was a bit of an overstatement but they were really good.  Whitman did throw down his potatoes and carrots after he had a bite of cookie.
  • The kids played while Robby ran-his 98th straight day.  When he would run by us, the kids would holler and cheer him on.  We played there until they ran out of things to play so we played Bible charades.  Finally, Robby ran back to us and we went down the hill to the bathrooms and then back to our campsite.
  • The kids and Robby had played a game while supper was cooking, so tonight we just read our Bible story and then tried to put Whitman to bed by himself.  He thought stayed awake until we went to bed and then talked happily until he fell asleep (hopefully the child we sleep all night).  We tried to see the stars with Graham's telescope but we weren't able to-maybe sometime we will go someplace less tree-y to look at them.  
  • Then we all climbed in the tent-I typed, Robby worked on pictures and the kids played their kindles for a bit.  Campbell was the first to put hers down followed by Graham and then Reagan.  Poor Keaton had not had a nap today and was sound asleep during the Bible story.  
  • Things may change depending on how the night goes (ha!) but we have had an excellent time camping and will definitely camp soon (hopefully) again.  

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