Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cousins & Camping . . .

We have had a busy, fun, exciting, sometimes trying two and a half weeks. It all started on a sunny, late spring day in mid June when travelers from afar brought us three cherubic boys to spend two and a half weeks while their parents were abroad. I feel parched . . .anyway, the cousins were finally here to play, dream, and imagine with, and the kids could not have been more excited. Originally, we were going to have a grand plan of what to do with them here, but gradually the thought changed to, "let's just see what happens."

Everything imaginable has been played and they have had a great time with it. We tried to stay close to home because the idea of loading up SEVEN children between the ages of 1 and ten, frankly scared me. We did venture out a few times and all went well. Some of the things they did were:

running through the sprinkler, jumping on the trampoline, playing games, playing video games, play-dough, visiting Grandma & Grandpa, observing bugs and snails, watching fireworks, eating, eating, eating ( really, it still amazes me how much food BOYS eat!!!), watching movies, going for walks, riding bikes & scooters, playing at the park, blowing bubbles, building cities out of legos and blocks for the homeless pet shop animals, getting to watch the baby learn to walk (this may make his Mom and Dad sad) it was so fun to see him go from crawling to walking, more, more, more

We have had such a great time with them, but I know they miss their home and parents so while we will be sad to see them go, it will be happy for them.

We also went camping over the long Independence Day weekend. This we were not so brave to do on our own, so Grandpa and Grandma came along to help out and it was great to have them there. It was our first time at this camp spot and we were really pleased with it; plenty of shade trees, streams, wildlife. We got everything set up and the kids immediately went exploring. Within in the first few hours, they had all found some amazing snails on some of the trees. The snails graciously accepted ( ok, so they had no choice) the invitation to reside in cups for a couple of days and be observed by some eager kids. We did all the great camping things; roasted marshmallows for smores, cooked hot dogs on the open fire, skipped rocks in the streams, collected every stick, rock, and willing bug in sight. They built a small raft with Grandma and Dad and floated in down the river. The kids had a ball!

We went for hikes on two of the mornings and though the trails were within a mile or two of one another, the scenery couldn't have been more different and enjoyable. The first hike was a trail just out of our camp. The trail was mostly steep, not much shade, and the vegetation was more desert like. It was a challenging hike for the kids but they were troopers and when we made it to the top, we were all amazed to see the view.

The second hike was a lot less steep, but the vegetation was amazingly lush and at times we had to go through plants , wild flowers and weeds that reached up to our chests ( sometimes, over the little's heads). We followed a stream hoping that we could make it to the source. The trail got a bit more trying and the vegetation a little more dense. The trail, at times, seemed to disappear and then be clear again. I wonder if we were some of the first hikers of the season. We stopped for a little rest and decided that we would go for ten more minutes and then turn back, no matter what we found. The kids were up to it and so off we went. Not 5 minutes farther, we found the source of the river and it was a beautiful and breathtaking view. The spring was one of the biggest I've seen just rushing right out of the mountainside, up through the rocks. Part of it was concealed under trees and brush, so to be sure we found it, Dad and I hiked a bit farther til we could tell it was the spring head. The little's didn't quite understand what it meant, but the older kids thought it was pretty amazing. An experience I hope we can keep having.

Well, I've been a bit longer than I wanted to be, but we had an amazing time and are soooooo happy that our cousins could come spend time with us! Enjoy!

1 comment:

April Mitchell said...

Wow! Looks like you all had quite an adventure. It is always so great just to be with family. Thanks for sharing a bit of your joy!