Sunday, June 11, 2006

Earth, Fire, Wind and Rain.

We had all three in abundance this weekend.

Flip Flop Momma must not have been praying too hard, cuz we had the WETTEST and muddiest camping trip ever! (AND I found loads of earwigs while putting the tent away, thank you very much for jinxing me!) We met my sister, her hubby, my nieces, Shannon - almost 6, andLaura - 14 months - and BIL's friend and his wife and their 2 young sons (2 yr and 5 months). So. Lots of kids. Lots of rain. Lots of mud. Any questions? I had the dirtiest children I've ever seen! BUT!!! (and this is a big but) we had fun. Here are some speedy memories of this weekend for all to hear:

- Justin and Shannon dancing in the rain and being weather forecasters. Justin predicted rain and wind (hmmm... ya think?) as the rain poured over his head (I didn't have a rain hat or a hooded rain coat for him! Bad mom.)

- The 3 oldest kids dancing around the fire that they MIRACULOUSLY kept going despite the torrential downpours, and singing "Fire! Fire! FIRE!!" (Yes. I'm raising pyromaniacs.)

- Feeding them s'mores and realizing that Shannon had eaten 4 of them without any of us realizing!

- Watching Justin and the Laura interacting. He was feeding her, entertaining her, playing cute baby games, and just being an overall nice kid. It's good to see that he's slowly growing out of his not-so-friendly stage (is that nicely put enough for him to read in the future?)

- Being amazed at how incredibly good Corinne was this weekend! She napped when she was supposed to, went to bed in a tent during rainstorms and STAYED asleep, and allowed me to lie her down while she was still awake!! She didn't poop all weekend though. This could be bad tomorrow, but I'm glad I didn't have to deal with poopy clothes in the mud and rain...

- Justin reading his brain-questions for me and Patrick. He's so smart, it's scary at times. I'm amazed every day at how much he understands (of course, this wasn't a good thing when he went to bed in the tent and said - while yawning - that he didn't mind going to sleep cuz he could stilll hear us talking. Um... My BIL was quite tipsy (drunk) and was getting some racy stories going... Oops!)

- Sitting on the beach with the kids and my sister watching Patrick build a river with the kids. And then racing up to the shelter as a downpour took us by surprise!

- I started getting all weepy while we were on a hike (the trail guide said 2.8 miles. It was more like 6.8 miles, but I digress). I had Corinne on me in a sling and was generally bringing up the rear with Evan. He was getting quite tired (rightfully so) and was whining and needing to be carried. Patrick was carrying him on his shoulders and I was watching the group from behind. We've been camping several times with my sister's family, and we always take good hikes. I have so many memories of watching the other adults and kids walking together. I realized that the kids are getting bigger already and that these days may be shorter and fewer than I think. I started to get misty and made sure to enjoy the hike instead of wishing it would end so I wouldn't be tired and have to listen to a whiny 4 year old. I enjoyed it for what it was.

Snuggling with Pat and the kids in a cozy tent with only slightly damp pillows and having everyone safe and happy...

So, despite the mud and rain and cold, it was a good experience. I love camping and so do the kids. But the bottom of our bathtub tonight was quite a sight!

On a different note, I got an email from an old high school friend who just had her second baby a month early. Thankfully, her daughter is healthy and a good size. Sadly, my friend's first child was born too premature and he only lived a few minutes... I just wanted to say how thankful I am that she can hold and love and treasure this child.
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