Because I feel like I get my family back.
We went camping at Beaver Flats this weekend. It was supposed to be for two nights, but we only stayed for one. I always used to say that I like camping because Ken turns into me (cooking, tidying the campsite . . . ) but now I think I love family camping because we are all together with no distractions.
We played fetch in the river till Flex was exhausted, maybe even to the point where it was dangerous - as in he was almost too tired to swim back to us on that last throw.
Jaclyn got Carmen hooked on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
And Jaclyn taught Chloe how to make friendship bracelets with embroidery floss (Jaclyn was our own family YCL.)
Steven toasted the perfect marshmallow.
Carmen figured out a way to toast her marshmallow with the chocolate piece already inside.
Chloe and Jaclyn liked S'mores made with Nutella the best. (Actually, Jaclyn liked just toasted marshmallows with the Nutella - no graham cracker.)
Chloe did a little whittling.
Did I mention it was Chloe's birthday on Saturday and this whole camping trip was her idea? The kids gave her a science kit and Ken and I gave her leather bound scriptures, which she begged for. I told her we save that gift for 14 years old before seminary starts in our family, but she argued that she has so many scriptures that are meaningful to her that she wants to mark in her permanent set of scriptures. What else could we do but grant this birthday wish?
It rained on us Friday night, but we were warm and dry in our tents. Saturday morning Ken made his famous *Krispy Kreme Kamping Pancakes* (as I call them because they are fried in butter) but I accidentally bought whole grain buttermilk pancake mix and they weren't the same as white flour Krispy Kreme pancakes.
We set out to hike to the Ice Caves, but some of us were really slow hikers. Once again Jaclyn stepped up as the family YCL and kept the little girls singing and walking cheerfully along our way. We got close enough to see our goal, but the weather was rolling in and we turned around and walked back (Steven felt this was a huge waste of the hiking we'd already done). We made it back to our van moments before total downpour - which was lucky considering somehow Carmen thought someone else had packed her jacket when I said "Everyone pack yourselves a jacket" (???) and she was reduced to using a garbage bag for rain protection on our hike.
We let Chloe make the call choosing between sitting in our tents out of the rain for the rest of the day (with 6 hours of daylight to kill) or going home. She chose to pack it in, so instead of baking her cake in a dutch oven with charcoal briquets (works like a charm) we went home, did laundry, and baked her cake the usual way.
She chose Peach Berry Cobbler. And since we were home we had ice cream to go with it!