Monday, July 13, 2009

camping, boating, and arachniphobia

Anna takes driving seriously.
Cora has a lead foot.

Cap'n Roosky

The wind was totally messing with G's 'do.

Cora and Daddy went tubing!

Man, I have a good lookin' family!

It was froggie heaven at our campsite. This one's name is Frogger. I'm a little concerned over their creativity and what they may name their children one day.

This one's name is Jumper.
We had ourselves a nice little idealistic get away this weekend. Genesis and I headed up to a beautiful lake and campground near Casper on Friday. Some of the women of the church were having a camping retreat together and our plan was to join them for a night and then have the fellows with the kids come meet us on Saturday for another night of s'mores and campfires. Most women's retreats consist of spa like activities, or hotel rooms, but in Wyoming, the girls are bred tough and we camp. Gen and I got that 8 man tent up like no one's business even if the rain flap was a bit crooked and the self satisfaction we felt lasted all day, until that night when we actually had to sleep in it. The ground was a bit least on Gen's side. She spent the night on a deflated air mattress that she told us later worked a bit like a sled. So she would scrape her way back up the hill and her mattress would slowly slip and slide right back down to me.
Then the boys arrived and the fun could really start. We moved the tents over to a more level spot while the kids frolicked and swam and ate sand and named amphibians. The kids got extremely lucky as one of the ladies stayed behind with her boat and took us all out. Cora, my adrenaline junky, went tubing behind the boat, first with Daddy, then by herself. She learned all the signs they use with their hands to communicate with the driver, but they only one she actually used was the thumbs up sign for "faster!" Anna got to go too but I had run out of batteries for the camera by then. Yes, my 7 year old has more guts than me; no surprise, I stayed safely IN the boat opting not to be stuck behind hanging on to something for dear life while my too-short life ran in front of my eyes like a movie. I'll go sky diving and mountain climbing, but you can keep your extreme water sports, thank you very much.
Our next camping adventure was, shocker, a burst of unexpected Wyoming weather that struck suddenly and without warning. One minute we were relaxing on camp chairs, sippin' an icy beverage and soaking up the sun, and the next we were holding down the tent as a hurricane force wind arrived. We had just laid Gianni down for a nap in the pack 'n play inside the tent when this crazy wind struck and Genesis struggled to catch the end that had caught the breeze and was flinging it up several feet in the air, while I tried desperately to free the stuck zipper in order to get inside and rescue my baby who was using his pack 'n play like a flying carpet inside. After we calmed our beating hearts and staked the tent back down again, we all cuddled inside to ride out the storm.
Sunburned and sweaty and stinky and covered in sand, we pack things up (have you ever camped with a minimum of 3 kids? It's like moving only you have to fit it all in one trip in your car). Happy and looking forward to a shower our calm is disrupted by a couple of small spiders in our van; one on a pillow and one on a towel. I remember Andy saying as he was packing up that we had slept under a spider tree, but I wisely had not mentioned this to my girls. We squish the spiders. Suddenly from the back seat, Anna calls that there's another one on the little plastic chair next to her. As I'm reaching for a tissue to pass back to her, Cora makes the mistake of looking back to see it. What she actually views is a very large blob of hay that is stuck to the bottom of the chair. It has blades that could be spider's legs if you are in a moment of panic already and don't take the time to look closely. It's the size of my fist and right behind her head. She screams like I have never heard anyone scream in my life, rips off her seat belt and proceeds to fly into space, hurtling her little body through the air, past her little brother who she apparently is comfortable leaving behind to be eaten by the largest tarantula the world has ever seen, and comes to rest somewhere on the back of Mike's head as he is driving (i.e. swerving to a stop on the highway and trying not to cuss). By this time, Anna has come to the conclusion that the spider she herself was pointing at must be next to a spider that is worthy of complete and utter terror, and she follows her sister's example to the letter. We peel our first born and second born off our bodies and shout at the top of our lungs that what they were looking at was straw and not an eight legged freak. We have to yell, please understand, because they are still screaming in horror. Gianni calmly eats his goldfish crackers and stares at his sisters in fascination. We finally peel them off the ceiling and attend to the blood dripping down Cora's leg because she almost amputated herself trying to get away. I would have been angry but then my own mother would start her own blog and tell her story of my sister and I being around the same age and being left in the car while she went in to a store for a minute. We were under strict rules; do not unbuckle our seat belts and do not get out of the car under any circumstances. Now no one disobeys my mother. As we sat obediently in the car, munching graham crackers, we see a tiny little minuscule spider on the ceiling above our heads. We can't get away! We pelt it with crackers! We lose our minds in fear! We bang on the windows and scream for help! By the time Mom comes back we are red faced and snotty and hysterical. She probably would have spanked us but she needed her hands to cover her face with laughter. To this day if she sees a spider she calls one of us to ask if we have any graham crackers. Haha, Mom, this one's for you!


  1. I am so proud that you let the little twirps out into the water to try tubing! You've come a long way my friend!

  2. waterskiing is not extreme! It's a necessity of life. For me, it's therapy. :)