Last Camping Trip

October in the mountains is gorgeous.  Our car ride was lovely.  Upon arrival at the campsite, our friends greeted us and we had snacks.  The kids frolicked in the tall grasses around the campsite, playing in the dirt and sand and exploring the trails.  2014September 262

All our boys wanted to do was go fishing.  So a-fishing we did go.  Brian caught a fish and we actually ate it!  Never did that before.  We don’t fish, but our friends do, so they helped the boys.  2014September 261

As always, I was concerned about getting dinner into the boys on time, to avoid meltdowns, so I stayed in camp to cook dinner, while the rest of the crew went for a hike.  They were gone a while, but that was good, because it took me that long to get dinner cooked over the fire.  Clouds were brewing, and the forecast had said, “possible chance for rain.”  Where we live, this means, 10 minutes of rain, and then sunshine…usually.

About 10 bites into our brats, the rain started.  We got our rain coats.  A few minutes later, we were soaked and cold, because it had turned to hail.  We huddled inside our friend’s tent vestibule, with bags of chips in our hands.  The hail kept coming, and now it was coming at us sideways, into the screened-in vestibule.  Our pants were soaked and our coats were no longer keeping us warm.  After about 30 minutes of this, we gave in and put the kids in our friend’s big car.  Eventually, we broke down further and turned on the heat and the DVD player.  The adults hung out under the tailgate, eating, chatting, staring at the weather in disbelief, laughing at the situation.  IMG_4566

As the darkness set in, we began thinking about just calling it a night.  But, what I didn’t tell you is that we had been leery about camping at all on this weekend forecast for “possible rain.”  Our tent had proved before that it wasn’t 100% waterproof any longer.  We were concerned.  And rightfully so, because my husband went to check the tent, and discovered puddles inside, wet pillows, sleeping bags, clothes…

We were camping at over 10,000 feet — it wasn’t going to be a hot and balmy night, no matter the weather, and now with the cold and hail and wet sleeping equipment, we were not hopeful.  We seriously considered packing up and going home, wouldn’t you?

So, I started moving things around in the car, preparing to pack the car, and as I moved around to the different doors of the car, I noticed something and my heart sank — we had an extremely FLAT TIRE.  Did I tell you that we were at least 30 minutes up a dirt road?

No problem, we had 4 adults, who all knew how to change a tire, but it was pouring and dark.  Should we lie down on the wet, muddy ground and change a tire or wait it out?  What to do, what to do…….

We ended up trying to sleep in the car.  The kids fell asleep easily in their car seats, and I didn’t do too badly, since my legs are a bit shorter than my husbands.  But, a few hours into the night, everyone was uncomfortable.  My husband took our littlest one and braved the tent.  We all made it through the night, and expected the sun to be shining in the morning — that’s what it does around here…usually.

It was still raining hard in the morning.  We had no dry clothes left.

The tire was changed, in the mud.

The car was packed, in the rain.

Breakfast was pretty much non-existent, due to lack of fire and lack of motivation.  We had graham crackers in the car, and stopped at a diner a couple HOURS into our drive home.

Just before we high tailed it out of there, well not really, because we were driving on a doughnut and on a dirt road, we packed up the tent.

We collapsed it, balled it up, and tossed it on top of the car, whereupon Niagara Falls came down on both of us!

As we drove out of the campsite, we tossed the tent into a dumpster!  ATT00003

That was the last camping trip of the season.

$800 later, I had 4 brand new tires… = Most expensive camping trip ever!

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You know you live in the sticks when…

Hopefully, I haven’t double posted this, but I had to share…

We went to a mall a while back.  Realizing that my kids have NEVER been to a mall (we live really far away from them, and I have them), I mentioned a little bit of info about what a mall is to them.  To which Brian (6yrs) states: “Yeah, Momma, I know.  I’ve read about malls in books!”

Now there’s something you don’t hear everyday!

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Friday #167

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All Year Long

About 3 years ago I decided it was sad to get rid of all the wonderful photos people send us at Christmastime, so I started a wall of pictures.  As the cards come in, I place them on the wall.  It’s fun to try to fit each one into it’s special place, never knowing what size or how many we will receive!  Andrew calls it “Momma’s Puzzle”.image

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Friday #166

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Christmas Lessons

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Friday #165

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My Angel

The day was an average one.  Late Fall, if I remember correctly.  Things seemed to be going smoothly.  Nap time came, and he didn’t want to sleep.  I don’t remember why.  Some frustration turned quickly to anger, and he went into full tantrum mode.  In the midst of it, he kicked the shelf that sits above the bed.  On it sat a glass angel.  This angel held no religious significance for me, but it did have some sentimental value.  It had been given to me by one of my very first students, a gem, Mindy.  I still had it, 13 years later.

The angel fell, and broke into a couple of sparkly pieces.  He knew he’d done something wrong, but was still in the throws of the tantrum.  It wasn’t until later that I even found out about it.  At that point he cried and apologized.  His dad and I made it clear that he had to replace it.

Over the next 4 weeks, he wrote and sold newspapers, found an angel he could afford, sold more newspapers, and did various chores to earn money.  He had to earn about $18, which is a lot when you only get a quarter or so for each chore.

His dad helped him call neighbors and family to make sales and keep a ledger and record incoming money and out going costs (he had to pay  for the copies of his newspaper).

Once he had finally earned enough money, they placed the order online, and separated the money out for payment upon delivery!

Weeks went by, and no one really said a word.  Christmas shopping happened, and Christmas quickly approached.  On Christmas Eve, the box had finally arrived, and he presented me with a gorgeous angel, which was a little smaller and a different color, but nearly identical, and now the angel took on a different sentimental meaning to me.

It was all settled.  He paid for the angel, replaced it and apologized with utmost sincerity.

And then Christmas morning arrived.  What  a morning.  The boys were elated.  They couldn’t wait to see the looks on our faces when they presented us with their very thoughtful gifts.

He brought me my gift, which was very small, but heavy.  And then he stood there, leaning into me, waiting, watching, smiling.  He couldn’t contain himself.  As I opened it, my heart sank.  It was another glass angel, this time for the Christmas tree, and in no way related to, or a replacement for, the other one.  I could see that the wing was broken.  I thought about trying to hide it or just brush over it, but his face fell.  His body slumped, and he collapsed into my arms crying, sobbing.  I was crying.  He got up and ran upstairs.  2014December 111

My angel is 6-years old.  His name is Brian.  He is a gem.  He is emotional and thoughtful.  I now have another very sentimental glass angel.  This one will remind me of his generosity and sweetness.

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Dance

Am I the only one who feels the urge to dance when there is confirmation that the kids are asleep in the middle of the day?  :)

“Dance like no one is watching” (because they aren’t!)

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Uncertainty is a Good Thing

I knew what I wanted to be, pretty much, from the day I entered college.  Well, maybe it was in the first semester or so, but it didn’t take me long, that’s for sure.  I just can’t remember now, because I am old.  :)  It’s worked out just great for me, but that’s  not the point.

I’ve met some really cool people in my life.  After getting to know these people, often times they tell me that upon entering college they either had NO IDEA what they wanted to do, or they went in with one idea and came out with a degree in a totally different field, and now are working in a completely different field again.  This is something that is totally foreign to me, but exciting at the same time.  It’s definitely fueling my belief that I don’t actually want my boys to know what they want to be (when they grow up), but rather that they spend tons of money learning lots of things and trying lots of jobs!  Wow, that just sounds insane from a parental viewpoint!  But, in truth, I bet they’d be happier.

What do you think?

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