Camping 2009

We had a wonderful camping trip this past weekend! Despite discouraging weather forecasts and a rough start, we ended up with beautiful weather pretty much the whole time, and the girls did great. This was Ruby's first camping trip, and she was amazing.
Rae & Daddy try out the new camping chairs
Ruby quickly adjusted to camping...and eating grass...and dirt.
I am in LOVE with this picture.
The adventures began as soon as we arrived. It didn't take us long to notice that after driving all the way to William O'Brien State Park, we had forgotten our tent poles at home! It was very frustrating at first, but we quickly realized how blessed we were that the campground was only about 45 minutes away. There was no better place for us to make a mistake we'll never make again!

JP ended up driving home to get the poles, and I stayed with the girls at the campsite with only a few items that had gotten pulled out of the van: one box of food, a kiddie pool, a screen gazibo, some blankets, and the pack-n-play. I set up the gazibo and tried to get the girls to nap in it (Ruby in the pack-n-play, and Rae on the ground), but that just wasn't happening. Neither of them could sleep, so I got them up and we played in the pool until daddy got back. We had no bug spray, and both Rae and I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. Ruby escaped with only one bite. After setting up camp we roasted hot dogs and headed to the beach to cool off before bed time.

Friday was filled with more swimming, nature walks, and time around the camp site. We also let Israel stay up with us past her bed time and roast marshmallows. But after two nights of sitting around the fire by ourselves, JP and I were both missing the company of our family we're used to having on camping trips. We were excited when my brother Joe and his girlfried Becky joined us on Saturday. After setting up their tents, we headed down to the St. Croix River to let the dogs swim, then we hiked to the "sliding rock," a large, sloped rock we used to love to play on as children. It was fun for me to see Rae having so much fun in the very spot I used to play as a little girl.
Pay no attention to the rear end in the background
Becky's black lab (Jake) and Joe's bulldog (Beau) were there, too.
Ruby thought it was hilarious when Jake would lick her all over her face.
Rae on the sliding rock

Our friend Eric also joined us for a few hours on Saturday. It was so great to see him, and he and Ruby really hit it off!

On Sunday, the rest of my family showed up for a Father's Day picnic. The day was a little cooler and more overcast than the other days. My mom brought a huge lunch for everyone, and we hid under the trees as we ate our bar-b-que sandwiches. The kids had a blast running around in their rain coats, too.After lunch we went back to the beach for more swimming. By 2:15, all of the kids were so tired from playing that they kind of started to fall apart. We had to quickly get them loaded into the car and head home before chaos erupted. My girls were both asleep by the time we pulled out of the park, and after transferring her to her bed at home, Rae slept until 5:30 pm.
It feels great to be home and I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in the air conditioning last night. I think JP has all but decided that we need to keep our camping trips to earlier spring and in the fall to avoid the hot weather. Now I just have to tackle the unpacking and laundry...


Quick Update

Tomorrow we are headed out for our long overdue first camping trip of the season. The forecast says thundershowers tomorrow and Friday, but we're praying for that 40-50% chance that it WON'T rain! Pray with us!
This was a big week for Ruby. She is now officially a crawler! We got her very first crawling experience on video, so hopefully I can get that uploaded soon. With the crawling came the confidence to try pulling up on things as well. It won't be long till she's walking along the furniture, I'm sure! Ruby also started clapping yesterday, which is the cutest thing.
Israel is doing very well using the "big girl potty." We've started and stopped so many times, but only now have I really seen the motivation on HER side to do it. Rae doesn't like it when you call her a baby; "I'm just a big girl," she'll tell you. So the other day, JP explained to her one day that diapers are for babies. "Ruby is a baby, and she wears diapers. If you really want to be a big girl, you should use the big girl potty. " That seemed to do the trick! Now she just wants to be big!
That's all for now. I'll have lots of pictures and stories when we get home from camping.


Time for a T.V. fast???

Rae: (watching Diego) "I loooove watching T.V."
Mom: "Oh, great."
Rae: "But we don't always watch T.V."
Mom: (feeling encouraged) "That's right!"
Rae: "Yeah, cuz sometimes we have to eat!"