Thursday, July 20, 2017




I thought today would be a relaxing day for us. I only THOUGHT. I was a tad wrong. Things got a little crazy and out of hand for us. Several were given CAUTIONS and STOPS. Grampy even said he took back what he said about them being not as loud as they were in some previous camps. They made up for the days they were a little more toned down. They made up for it BIG TIME. Are things always rosy at Nana Camp? Is Nana always sweet and kind and polite with a soft voice? Does everyone always do what Nana tells them to do the first or second or third time? Is it one big happy house all the time? HA – The answer would be unequivocally NO. Today was sort of a day that everyone fell off the cliff. That would include Grampy and Nana.


We took them to my classroom to help me clean desks, chairs, bookshelves, and other things. Needless to say we did not stay long. We went straight from there to clean the church building again for the second time this week. I do not think they like cleaning so much, but overall they did a very good job. Trying to round them all up to do something is like trying to herd cattle. The task can be a bit overwhelming at times.


It was out to eat at a fast food restaurant for lunch and bowling afterwards. We decided to change our visit from Spring Park to bowling because of the heat alert we have going on in our area this week. It has been extremely hot all week long.


From our excursions today we discovered some people are just not patient. The kids did ask lots of questions and several times were told by an adult they asked far too much. Adi even said that someone was being a drain and not a fountain. You never really realize what children take in even though you think they are not listening at all. She was absolutely correct. We encountered someone that was being a drain. Noah told me he would go speak to the person and settle things once and for all. I assured him he didn’t have to do that, and things would be okay.


During our bowling time today Macy walked over to me and put her arms around me and told me she loved me so much. That makes it all worth whatever effort I make for them. When Caley came over to sit by me I told her I was sorry I had been somewhat mean today. She told me I was never mean and she loved camp. I hope you know she exaggerated. With all the cautions and stops called out today I would say I was on a roll in the discipline department.  


I did get more quality time today with the kids. I asked Camden why he came to Nana Camp. He smiled and said it was something he could do to chill out and get out of the house for a week. Carter told me he loved coming because it was fun and he got to be with all the cousins. Joshua said he liked all the activities I did and being with everyone.


The girls all came up and wanted to talk to me today. They told me they would love a two or three day Nana Camp during Thanksgiving break or Christmas break. I smiled really big and said, “Really! Yall really want to do that?” Actually I was thinking, “Seriously, I simple cannot!” If you are thinking that every time my grandkids come over it is like Nana Camp, you would be dead wrong. Nana Camp is a special time that I spend lots of time planning for every detail. I can only do that once a year. I am not a Super Nana. I am probably about as far from one as you can get.


The kids got to spend some time today playing with the ducks. They are hilarious. One relieved itself on Camden and he was hilarious about it. The kids love it that the ducks will follow every step they make. They love playing with them.  


By late afternoon Grampy told me they were getting wilder and wilder. He took Camden fishing again this morning. Yesterday he took Camden, Carter, and Joshua. He took Marah and Bailey close to sunset tonight.


The girls participated in the checker tournament today and Marah won the championship. The kids want to play Bunco again. They loved it Sunday night. I told them we would try and play tomorrow. The girls did animal charades. We did an indoor scavenger hunt at the end of the day.


I fixed spaghetti and hamburgers again tonight for dinner, since it had gone over go good earlier in the week. I burned two fingers probably worse than I ever had before. I think I scared some of the kids because tears were streaming down my face. Noah wrote me the most precious note.


Joshua did the devo for tonight. He asked them to all tell something they were thankful for. Adi shared that she was thankful she has moved into this family. That touches your heart.


My refrigerator is beginning to look empty. That is a huge change from Sunday when I could barely close the doors it was so loaded with food. We have taken out over 15 garbage bags so far from the kitchen and bathroom. By Saturday I am sure that number will exceed 25.


It is about 11 p,m, right now and many are still going strong. Bailey says she just cannot go to sleep. Macy says her tummy hurts a bit. Adi is itching with her allergies. Camden and Noah are watching television. Carter and Joshua are still laughing their heads off going strong on Xbox. Marah and Abbie are asleep. Caley seems to be making some sort of plans for tomorrow. Grampy is snoring. I am sitting here in bed going over plans for tomorrow. It will be Friday. They leave Saturday. Where did the week go?


These kids are amazing and so awesome. Grampy and I are so very blessed.



Wednesday, July 19, 2017




     Today was Service Day. It was quality time we spent going to the assisted living where grandmother lives and going to the nursing home and visiting. Carter played the guitar and Caley sang several songs for both places. Noah played several songs on the piano for the residents we well. They were absolutely amazing. They did a phenomenal job. The residents loved every minute of it, and many told me several times how wonderful all the kids behaved. I totally agreed. It was truly a great day.



Grandmother Johnson loves the grandkids. She especially loves when they come to visit her. Although she is 87, you would think she was much, much younger. She is someone who is extremely young at heart and someone who has always put others first. She is a wonderful Godly woman who lives her life daily for the Lord. We are thankful and so blessed for a mother and grandmother like her.


We ate lunch at the assisted living on the patio. Carter let out a huge belch. Everyone laughed and Noah told us all that Carter’s belch was nothing compared to what his mom could do. He said she won a contest with Mr. Ryan at church. Camden was like, “Are you serious? Aunt Anna actually belched in front of others?” Noah was totally convincing that she actually did, and she did it very loudly. (Sorry Anna! It was just too much fun listening to Noah to leave this out.)


Our ducks arrived early this morning. I had procrastinated and did not get the eggs in time to hatch everything, so I ordered a dozen ducks. The kids enjoy them so much, and Grampy takes them to the nursing home so the residents can enjoy them.


We are so glad Adi joined us Monday night. She has been a trooper. She reminds me of when Nana Camp first started and when Macy was much younger. Adi has fallen right in there and has participated in everything everyone else has. She has laughed and laughed so much and she told everyone she now has some new cousins. She also came and told me last night that she had been the very best one because everyone else has done things or said things they shouldn’t do. Yep! Reminds me of those first Nana Camps.


Tonight was mid week service at church and afterwards everyone enjoyed Yogurt Mountain. Grampy gave me a disciplined look, (LOL) when I told everyone that this year I was not going to follow behind them and tell them how much they could or could not get. I told them they could be their own judge, and to get only what they would eat. Everyone kept waiting for Noah to finish (he was the last one). Last year I guess I slacked off and didn’t realize he had completely filled up his cup, and it was even running over. Last night he was actually very moderate with the amount he got. I think Adi won the prize this year and she ate every bite. It was fun seeing her enjoy it so much. I was watching her for a tummy ache, but it never happened.


By bedtime, as much as it pains me to write this, the house was in shambles, as far as being a mess goes. I really do not know how or when it happened. We had eaten sandwiches for supper before church and we had snacks when we first returned from the visits. The kids had a couple of hours to play and have free time. Grampy had taken the boys fishing, so I guess I just dropped the ball and allowed them to have the run of the house.  Anyway, it took me a good while to clean up. Oh well!


Abbie and Adi came to me about 10:30 and told me they couldn’t go to sleep because Caley, Bailey, and Macy laughing. Marah was already asleep. They said the girls told them they could not keep from laughing. They said no matter what they said they would not stop. I told Abbie and Adi to just go tell them if there was anymore laughing a caution sign would be delivered to them within the next five minutes.  LOL – There was not one more peep of anything from the girl’s room. I made caution signs and stop signs to give out as needed. If they are doing something they need to stop I simply give them a caution. If they have already been warned and continue they get a stop sign which means they will end up with a conference with me, or Grampy, or both. I love it.


It is actually about 11:00 and everyone is asleep except for the boys. That is no problem for me. All is well.   




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TUESDAY, JULY 18 (Day 3)

TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2017
Day 3


It has been a very productive, coordinated, fun, exciting, and totally DRAINING day. I had given Grampy a heads up and told him that if we made it through until Wednesday morning we would be coasting the rest of the week. I knew he actually didn’t have a clue what I exactly meant by that, but he found out quickly. Although yesterday was Water Day and a couple of hours were spent at the pool and at the splash pad, that still did not take into account there were 12 hours left in the day to play either water games or some inside games.


On top of yesterday, today was Game Day. I will admit that every single year, Game Day is the hardest day for me. It wears me out quickly. It is a fast paced day with one game after another, and the kids are in high gear every minute. The rest of the week the activities are varied and not packed tightly one on top of the other. I guess after today I sort of expected Grampy to wrap his loving arms around me and tell me what an amazing Nana I am. I thought he would tell me how impressed he was and how fun Nana Camp is. LOL – Every time we had a chance to stop and glance at each other today he was usually shaking his head about something or muttering something or the other. Usually Grampy heads off to work each morning with a huge smile on his face and we do not see him again until after work. (I totally understand that smile.) Therefore, this is the first year he has had a true reality check of the day-to-day activities that take place while he usually is at work.


It is about 11 p.m. now and the kids are still full force in the den. Grampy just came in the bedroom and sat down in his recliner. I just stopped typing and looked over at him. I am relieved. A huge smile broke out on his face. He told me that the kids are growing up fast and that he thinks they are not near as loud as they have been in some past camps. I told him I was a tad worried about him today. I asked him if this was all a bit too much for him. He assured me he is fine, just tired. As we are sitting here talking the kids have all just burst out laughing so loud in the den it is crazy. Grampy and I both burst out laughing ourselves and agreed that it’s worth it to hear that laughter. These are times they won’t soon forget. This camp is about them all being together and being with us. We could take one at a time and probably spend more quality time with each of them, but doing that is easier said than done.


I started their day by encouraging the finicky eaters to try my French toast. Some tried it and some didn’t.  Abbie and Noah told me several times that they loved it.  After I finished cleaning up all the dishes and had the kitchen back in order Noah came up to me and told me he would love more of that wonderful French toast. He convinced me he actually did like it.


After breakfast we changed a bit of the schedule around and left to go clean the church building. I feel taking them to help clean the building is a great teaching experience for them. Carter said he couldn’t believe we had been cleaning the building for right at 18 years. Well I can believe it. I have lived it. We started when Paige, Brooke, and Ben were so young. We divided up the chores and they all had a specific job to do. We had to go back and redo a few things behind them, but that is a learning part of growing up. Some today thought it was fun and I am sure some others probably thought they didn’t come to Nana Camp to work. LOL – We will be going back once again after mid-week service. They were a big help to us cleaning the building.


 I hope they come to camp for lots of reasons. Every time we can get a chance to teach them something good we do it. They need a respect for every job that any person does. They need to know that helping Grampy and I clean the building is something they should do because they love us, and not because we tell them to do it. We think they are the greatest kids ever, but we want them to be kids that are respectful of others and kids that live their life to glorify God.


Lunch was chips and sandwiches. We had bought the very small bottles of water for the refrigerator. I found out quickly that when we have the regular size water bottles they leave them a third or half full and we end up being far too wasteful.  Grampy told me today that they had already gone through over 150 of the bottles. It seems a little crazy to me, but they drink the bottled water much more than drinking it from the refrigerator or from the faucet. They all need to drink more and this is one way I have found to accomplish that. It is definitely a little more money, but worth it to me just for them to consume more water.


Dinner was chicken nuggets from Chick Fila, macaroni, corn on the cob, blueberries, and salad. Grampy went and picked up 90 nuggets from Chick Fila. They were all consumed within about ten minutes. It is rare to find one thing that all of them like, but chicken nuggets falls right into that category.


We played some very fun games today. I tried to find new ones that we had not played before. We played word switch, marshmallow drop, guess who, cotton ball caper, pool noodle toss, Oreo lick, chocolate stacks, BeanBoozled, toss across, and more. I think I had as much fun as the kids did.


I remember a couple of years ago that Paige and Brooke had noticed from the pictures I sent them of Nana Camp that their kids were wearing the same clothes over and over almost everyday. When they asked me if I realized that my response was, “Read my lips. No, I didn’t notice and no I don’t care, and does it really matter as long as their clothes were clean everyday?” I do not realize what they have on. I have other things going on in my mind, although that is something I need to be mindful of.


I let the laundry pile up on me from yesterday. I usually keep up with it, but after 9 beach towels, and about 9 others towels from Water Day and 9 other towels from baths, my laundry stack was a little absurd. I don’t think the kids look forward to “laundry call” and the reason probably is because clothes are ALWAYS left that nobody claims. They are called back at least twice to go through clothes again. Finally, I USUALLY find the owner of the clothing. 


While I am typing, (it is now 11:45 p.m. and things have toned down tremendously in the den) Grampy is sitting here laughing his head off harder than any of the kids have been doing. He is listening online to a video of the Comedy Barn again. Well if that gives him pleasure I will go purchase him as many of those as he would like.


Grampy and I have made it through the two most active days. We have made it through spills, commode overload and being stopped up at least three times, wet floors in the sunroom, den, and hallways, extremely loud squealing, sticky floors where we still haven’t figured out the substance, and completely drenched bathroom mats. (I did have a talk about drying off in the shower or in the tub at least some before stepping out.) We have made it just great. Are we tired? (Does it rain?) Of course we are tired? Are the kids tired? I think they are worn out every night. They play hard all day. We do try to have some soft time everyday. My definition of soft is time to just sit and not do anything. In my opinion we do not have as much of that as we need to. Perhaps tomorrow there will be more time to just relax, and time to rest. Life passes us by too quickly. We need to live everyday as though it is the last, because it certainly could be. I thank the Lord for this day.