My baby turned eight (8) this week. That’s almost 10. Which is almost 15, and that’s just a few steps to 20. My word, she’s about to move out of the house! My baby!!
Dramatic hysterics aside… Since her birthday was this week, we gave her a choice of how she wanted to celebrate her birthday. The choices were:
1. Celebrate birthday with friends by having a party, blah blah blah…
2. Do “something special” with the family!! “Something special” is defined as something we wouldn’t normally do, either because of cost or time or whatever. Mark and I had planned this particular “something special” as a family campout for one night.
Mark sold her on the camping experience with the mere description of S’mores. I tell ya, it doesn’t take much with this crowd.
So! Camping was the celebration of choice. The last time Mark and I went camping together was September 1999. I was pregnant with my first child (the aforementioned birthday girl) and did not know it yet. This was to be the first family camping experience since having children.
We bought a new tent in honor of the occasion.** A 6-man tent. Apparently, a six-LARGE-BURLY-MAN tent. When set up, it looks like a convention center. 12 feet by 15 feet of space with more than enough headroom for a tall adult to stand. This is our new tent. We did not pay that much for it, thank you, Costco.
Anyway, we planned as best we could and we had a fabulous time. It had been raining a little earlier the day we left, but the sun came out and not a drop of rain could be found by departure time. However, the wind was picking up and by the time we set up our tent around 5pm, the wind was gusting to (what seemed like) at least 30mph! (As a small aside, I’m told by close friends that I have the gift of hyperbole. But they don’t know ANYTHING.) The kids were helpful by sitting on the windblown parts of the tent while we crammed poles and hooks and what-have-you into the various corresponding parts. Somehow we got the tent up, but in the end, Mark had checked the forecast and saw the lack of rain in it, so we neglected to put up the rainfly as a time-saving measure.
While I cut up vegetables for dinner, Mark made a fire. Then he and the kids flew a newly-purchased kite.
I managed to get pictures, even with meaty/carroty/potatoey hands. I made the aluminum foil packets of food (ground beef, carrots and potatoes) and tossed them onto the fire. After about 20 minutes (the fire must have been really really hot!), Mark checked the food and it was ready! So we got out the ketchup and salt and cheese and ate dinner around the campfire. Except that I forgot the salt. But the ketchup was there!
After dinner, we went hiking (a short hike) which was punctuated by Hell’s Angels trying to run us over on their electric scooters. Oh, I kid. It was probably only some other campers riding around. But we did throw rocks into the lake. Next was BibleTime around the fire, after which it got dark. The flashlights came out for a trip to the pottyhouse and then came (duh, duh, duh, duh…) S’mores!!! I found that I could put the S’mores together in the dark even with a flashlight completely blinding me in the face.
I neglected to take a “before” picture. But I did what I could!
Washing up after S’mores at a campsite without water would prove to be tricky for anyone. But not those pesky Dishmans! Overcoming obstacles is their middle name! Mark took the sweet, sticky children to the lake with a roll of paper towels while I finished off some/most/a lot of the S’more making materials. Don’t need that extra food laying around luring the bears and all, ya know. Lots of wild, scary bears in suburban Texas. Yep. You will be impressed (surprised?) to know that I did not need paper towels nor a lake to clean myself up.
We put the kids to bed in the tent (HA! As if) and we ate more S’mores before retiring ourselves to the tent.
After approximately 8 hours of laying awake in a dark tent, I noticed Luke sitting up on his “bed”. He was quiet, which was nice, but definitely not sleeping. Ugh. That’s when the rest of us began to stir. We made a morning potty trip, this time we didn’t need those flashlights, thank goodness! Mark reignited the fire and I rummaged in the car for the muffins I had made the day before in anticipation of a low-key breakfast (and, more importantly, low-key breakfast cleanup). Once he got the fire going, Mark heated a big pot of water for hot chocolate (for the 4 of us) and coffee (for him).
We took another walk down to the lake to see what Mark thought was an otter. (An otter? In a North Texas lake? Hm…) It turned out to be fish. Very frisky fish. You know, come to think of it, most of the wildlife we saw on this camping trip were all very very frisky, if you follow me. A sign of spring, I suppose! And guess who was right there, taking their pictures. Ick.
Like a fish out of water… No, really!
We took down our tent and packed up our stuff and left. It was a great experience to camp with the kids. Especially now that they’re older. Even the
large windstorm gusty breeze that blew through the campsite for 95% of our stay wasn’t so bad. And we were able to celebrate our firstborn’s birthday in a new and exciting way. She was thrilled with it and she and the other kids can’t wait to go camping again. Luke’s birthday is in a few weeks and he is already planning for his “something special”.
Maybe I should figure out that rainfly now.
**I’ve heard of other bloggers doing product reviews on their blogs for free merchandise…just to let anyone out there know, I would love to do tent reviews. Here is my latest on this very tent:
The Northpole Family Camping Tent 6 Person Large Canopy is made by the largest tent manufacturer in the world. And it is easy to see that they specialize in making LARGE tents. This tent is a whopping 12 feet by 15 feet of luxury living at the ole campsite. Our family of five bodies, made up of various shapes and sizes (Ahem), took up little more than half of the ample room inside this tent. And even with an outside morning temperature of 55 degrees (Farenheit), the inside of the tent was a balmy 60 degrees (at least). Setting up the tent is a breeze, but not if there is one. A rather rambunctious wind blew through the entirety of our tent-setting-up-experience, which made for a difficult time of it. As a result, we decided to cut our losses and did not put up the rainfly. One thing that does not seem to help is the “EZ PAK Storage Bag with larger zippers and an expandable gusset on the bottom of the bag to make repacking your tent a breeze”. Don’t make me laugh. The only thing that would make repacking this tent a breeze would be to make a bigger bag. But I digress. All in all, we loved our camping experience with this tent. Now go buy it.
Ok. This is a really odd use for a blog, but hang with me a minute…
We were cleaning out the garage this morning when we saw …EEK!!! MICE!!
But cute little baby ones. Four of them in all. We can’t find the momma, but we’ve got the babies in a large jar (with the lid off, of course!).
Here’s where you come in. Does anyone want these babies?! I am rallying to save their cute little boo-boo lives, but I have neither the time nor the real inclination to take care of them. And that’s to say nothing of what Mark would do to me if he knew I were to keep them. Adopt-a-mouse? Anyone?
Here is “Squeaky” (the kids named him because he’s the loudest):
Their eyes are not even opened yet. And they are cute and fuzzy. (”Fuzzy” is another one of their names, FYI. For the record, “Templeton” and “Honeydew” are the other two.)
So, anyone for a new pet? Heh, heh? Let me know if you want one (or all 4!).
No, I do not know what will happen to them if no one wants them. Please do not think such things!
UPDATE….. We let the mice go in a lumber pile in our backyard. Which probably means they’re all dead by now. Circle of life, kids, circle of life. And I set some traps in the garage for The Momma. No sign of her yet (and YOU KNOW there’s got to be a daddy-type lurking around somewhere). Probably need to change the bait on those traps. I’ve been through Velveeta and peanut butter with no success. Anyone have good results with different bait?
Yes, I’m still devoid of creativity.
Luckily for you, I have my trusty camera to assist me in my dearth of blog postings!! Everybody say, “Yay!”
Or “Nooo!”, if you don’t like that kind of thing.
First, our weather has been rather interesting lately. And being a meteorologist’s wife does have its responsibilities, photographically-wise, that is. Early last week, we had lots of fierce hail. This picture was taken at 2pm after the Night Of Hail (3 different storms beginning around midnight with varying sizes of hail)–and yes, the hail had remained until well after 2pm. Imagine what it looked like at midnight! I didn’t take a picture of it then, because, well…who wants to be slammed by a huge iceball to the noggin? Not me, thanks. Anyway, I picked up this handful from a large pile of hail in my yard.
This is one of my favorite pictures with Mark and his weather-nerd obsession watching the hail come crashing down:
This next one is of Mark with his good friend, Mr. NOAA Weather Radar/Watches/Warnings. He checks this quite a bit during storm season. This just happened to be taken during our Dash for the Tub in the middle of the night. More about that later… (it’s blurry, sorry! It WAS 4am!)
The Dash for the Tub ‘08 took place early Thursday morning when the tornado sirens went off around 4am. We tore sleeping children from their beds and crammed all 5 of us into the tub in the children’s bathroom. Of course, any more growing on the part of the children (or any of us for that matter!) and we won’t all fit. The most memorable quote of the experience came from Luke, who ended up sitting at the drain-end of the tub, “My bottom is all wet. And I did not pee on mine-self.”
Who’s tired of weather pictures?
Are you hungry? I have been drawn to take pictures of pretty food when I encounter it. It’s starting to feel like a mental illness, though.
Exhibit B: Crockpot Spare Ribs (with yummy sauce) –recipe swiped from a yummy website–
Exhibit C: Grilled corn
And speaking of “grilled”, we made a major purchase last weekend…. Meet our newest family member:
And two days after this picture was taken, he was hailed upon. He does not appear to be noticeably injured, however, his little blanket (also known as a grill cover) is now full of holes. Ugh! The best part about his life with us is that little burner off to the right. Now we can have bacon without stinking up the house. We can stink up the neighborhood instead!!
And lastly, the 2nd grade has been studying economics. Thoughout the school year, they’ve been earning a “salary” of fake money from the teacher, paying “desk rent”, getting bonuses for being helpful (etc.) and paying “fines” for turning in homework late (etc.) –all with this fake money. To wrap up their lessons this 6 week period, they held a free enterprise market. Each child had to make a product (a lot of one product, i.e., bookmarks, cookies, etc.) to advertise and sell at the market. My own 2nd grader decided to experiment with a few different kinds of brownies. She made chocolate chip brownies, brownies with sprinkles on top, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup brownies, and M & M brownies. She sold out her “store” (selling 35 large brownies) within 15 minutes. I guess we now know what The People want!
Yummy! I was hoping she would have to bring some home and we could eat them for dinner. No such luck.
Well, that’s it for this rendition of Once Again, The Camera Saves Angie’s Blog From Going Completely Down the Toilet. Hopefully next time, my creativity will be revived and I won’t have to gather camera dregs to blog. Hopefully.
Is anyone still here? I hope so.
Yes, friends. It’s true. This is a crusty, old, stale blog. I’m not feeling the creativity at the moment, but I thought you might like a glimpse into the soul of Angie. Or something like that. Thanks to Kathy, I now know…
You Are Midnight
You are more than a little eccentric, and you’re apt to keep very unusual habits.Whether you’re a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.You enjoy staying home, but that doesn’t mean you’re a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.
But is anyone really surprised by that? Hah! I think not.
Except that “lying awake in bed” thing. That’s definitely not me. Who has time for meditation? There’s sleep to be had!