When everyone woke up this morning I was elated even though everyone got into bed late last night all baths were given and hair was washed. I just don’t know if I would have had it in me to do it this morning. I think the last several days have taken more of a toll than I first anticipated. Overall I am very happy about the way “Nana Camp” is going. I know all the kids are enjoying it, and that is what matters.
Shortly after breakfast it was off to church and I was impressed with the kids. Usually when they come they write on the cards in the pew and this time I told them they were all old enough not to do it anymore, except Macy. They were wonderful. They were quiet as a mouse. Maybe they are a little worn out too.
Right after lunch Grampy had to go help Paige and Rodney set our tent up for the big excursion tonight, which is camping. We borrowed their tent and while they are setting up I called Carolyn and Judy to help watch the kids at the creek while I went to Wal-Mart. I needed to pick up several more things for the cookout. Sunday night services started at 5:00, so I was hurrying to try and get everything ready for tonight.
We didn’t get back to the campsite until just before 7:00. There are really no words that will describe the preparation for camping with nine munchkins. It was worse than Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I was frazzled by the time we even got to the creek. The kids were like bees in a flower garden. They were everywhere. I know it is probably just the Nana in me, but I was continually counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to make sure someone hadn’t wandered off or hadn’t been snatched by a water moccasin. Grampy, on the other hand, doesn’t have a care in the world on outings like this. He thinks I am a little ridiculous that I keep such an eye one them. I teach fifth grade and since Camden is entering that this year I am well aware that they are old enough to be given leverage. I really depended on him a lot this week to help with the others. He seemed to like being in charge, and I took full advantage of it. They were too busy catching crawfish to even watch where they were going, or what was in the water around them. I am petrified of snakes and of course I told the kids to make sure they watched for them. Grampy told them not to worry about them that they would run off as fast as they could when they saw the kids coming.
I had the hotdogs ready before we left, so more of the time could be spent by the kids making smores. The kids burnt marshmallows, lost marshmallows, threw marshmallows, ate marshmallows, and hid marshmallows. I am thankful I brought bags and bags of them because they loved every minute of the cookout.
I had invited two of my friends to bring their grandkids and campout with us. Jane and Mack brought their three, Henry, Evie, and Logan. Judy brought Luke with her, and Lauren and Jordan also came. We had four tents set up near the creek. I also volunteered my precious sister, Carolyn, to come along with us.
Lawrence and Polly Alexander were wonderful to let us use the beautiful site. Lawrence raises Airedales and he brought one down to the campsite and told the kids all about the Airedale dogs. They ate hotdogs with all of us and we had a great time.
After supper we all sat in a circle and the kids took turns telling stories and singing songs. They laughed and laughed. The kids made all of the stories up on the spot, but they seemed to love it, and that is what counted. The little ones informed the older kids right off the bat that no scary stories were allowed to be told. Noah set everyone straight on that account. He has done an excellent job all week keeping me informed about everything. He has even let me know when he felt like someone was even fixing to break a rule. If the fire needed more wood, if the drinks needed more ice, or if the marshmallows were too burnt, I could count on Noah to let me know.
About 10:00 we had decided that the stories must finally come to an end and it was off to bed. Needless to say, off to bed did not mean off to sleep. Joshua asked me a couple of times what the howling sound was he kept hearing. I assured him it was Mr. Lawrence’s dogs. He said one time he had to sleep on the ground when he was camping with his Pappy, and he said he was scared all night because he thought the coyotes were going to come and get him. I was very thankful he was asleep because around 3:00a.m. I thought they might be coming to get me. Macy still had not gone to sleep at midnight. She said her tummy was hurting her, so she sat with me outside the tent with Aunt Carolyn, Judy, and Grampy. I was not really sure if her stomach was hurting or not, or if she was still just too scared of the spiders that the boys had informed the girls were inside the tent. Of course there were none that I found, but the boys thoroughly enjoyed hearing the squeals from the girls. After all, isn’t that what camping is all about too? Thankfully by 11:30 all the kids, except Macy, were asleep.
I have to be completely honest here. I do not like camping. I do not like it at all. I am not a camper, I am a soft bed Nana and I was dreading this trip. I do not know what possessed me to come up with such a plan for “Nana Camp” that included camping, especially with nine kids. Grampy, on the opposite spectrum, is all about the outdoors. He was definitely in his element. Well bully for him. I do not like bugs. I do not like the heat and humidity that comes with camping. I do not like to be dirty at all. I will not go behind a tree and use leaves for toilet paper, like my mom told me they had to do sometimes. Grampy had gone and borrowed a potty, much to his disagreement, just to try and pacify me, and I loved it. Carolyn, Jane and all of her family, as well as Judy, and all of hers, stayed true to the woods, and went behind trees. It is easy for boys to do, but I am not a fan of it in any form or fashion. I think all of my granddaughters are going to be just like me because they all used my potty. We know how to camp with a little finesse. Hee Hee
We had a half moon that gave some light all of the nighttime hours, expect when there was heavy cloud cover. I ended up a little after three going inside the tent to sleep with the girls. Abbie woke up twice, sitting straight up and mumbling something I could not understand. When she saw me she just smiled and went back to sleep.
Carolyn slept outside under the stars on a cot near the tent doorway. Grampy had brought two cots and I did not have room for one inside the tent with the nine kids. Grampy too slept on a cot under the stars, on the back of the tent. The more I think about it the more I should have ragged them about having a cot. Everybody gave me grief about the potty and said it wasn’t a true “camp” experience. Well I think using a cot is not a true camp experience. They should just have slept in a sleeping bag on the ground. Oh well! All is well that ends well.
Although camping is not on my list of 1000 best things to do, it was an experience I would not take anything for doing. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The kids will always remember it. They had a blast. I had tons of glow sticks, bracelets, and necklaces I had bought to use and I totally forgot all about them being in the back of the van. The kids were excited about them and they forgot about them as well. I will have to use them tomorrow night or Tuesday night. Is it really just two more days until they all go home? I cannot believe it. I have got to make the most of the two last days. We didn’t even have time for games today. I am so behind. The next two days will be packed to get in all the things I had planned. I am the luckiest Nana in the world.