While the U.S.S. North Carolina easily could have been worthy of a day trip in and of itself, the weekend before school got out we used it as the kick off for a camping trip. There was still one last school day, but a quick run to the coast to sleep in our tent seemed like a great way for our family to kick off the summer.
|just in case you wondered what it looks like to quickly toss everything into the van for the six of us to go camping...|
One of Ian's goals is to raise his girls with a knowledge of tools and the general ability to fix things so that their husbands learn from them. It often takes much longer for a task to get completed around our house (the bunkbeds) or at the campground, but it is one of the many things I admire about him as a father. He is so patient in teaching them skills.
And where were the boys during operation tent set up?
Well, you could say that exploring every deck of the U.S.S. North Carolina took it out of them...
...they kicked back and caught a few ZZZs as we unpacked the car and got our site ready for family fun. No worries on them missing too much, as soon as they heard the words "bathing suits" and "swimming pool" they perked right back up. We swam until everyone had pruny toes and rumbly bellies and then operation "build campfire" began. Eight little feet scrambled across our campsite as eight little hands reached for any sticks ~ large or small ~ to add to the firewood in hopes of getting our dinner fire ready to burn quickly.
The menu was simple, hot dogs, Sun Chips, sweet potato chips, raw veggies with hummus, and all the cherries, blueberries and strawberries we could eat.
As the evening light faded, we played several rounds of Go Fish at the picnic table by lantern light before it was deemed time for s'mores. We hunkered down around the campfire telling stories and just enjoying a night unplugged. It was one of those evenings that you wish just never has to end.
Eventually though it was time to do our best to get the gooey marshmallow off everyone's faces (using baby wipes by candlelight), step inside the tent, and crawl into our sleeping bags. Once again, especially at age 40, I was amazed at how well I slept on the ground. Perhaps it had something to do with our entire family being so close, perhaps it was sheer exhaustion...whatever it was, I woke up refreshed and ready to face the day ahead...which was a good thing with these two "manning" the breakfast campfire.
Now at home, I'm usually the one planning and preparing meals (with the exception of Daddyday ~ known to the rest of the world as Saturday ~ breakfast...Ian is one amazing breakfast chef!) but when we're camping the propane stove and the cast iron skillet on the campfire are Ian's domain. Before I knew it he had coffee in the french press, pancakes on the propane stove, and sausages in the skillet. Teamed up with the cantaloupe I had cut at home and plenty of bananas, we were set for a hearty meal.
Ky, as usual, was "a very useful engine" during breakfast prep. I watched her carefully turning those sausages and asked myself when in the world she became a young lady...because at over four feet tall now and with her little "Mama hen" tendencies, it seems she is growing and maturing all too fast!
|little mama making sure the sausages got evenly browned|
|little man is SO CLOSE to being able to do the monkey bars on his own|
|a round of checkers?|